Thursday, May 19, 2005


More updates

Updating a few stories that have made the rounds on this site over the past month:

1) Earlier this month, the Tennessee Court of Appeals reversed a ruling that would have allowed Vanderbilt University to change the name of Confederate Memorial Hall despite contractual obligations with the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Today, word comes that Dr. Eddie Hamilton, a black 1985 Vanderbilt alum, is offering to contribute $50,000 in an effort to help Vanderbilt buy-out of the contract so that the hall can be renamed. Dr. Hamilton is quoted as saying,

"Anything that makes reference to the Confederacy obviously is a personal affront to anyone of African descent. Our forefathers were enslaved by their forefathers... It is my hope that at least one of my children will choose to attend the school that gave me so much."

Too bad that one of the things Vanderbilt didn't give you, Dr. Hamilton, was an education, particularly in regards to the Civil War, African culture, and motivations and composition of the Confederacy. The story neglects to say what Hamilton is a doctor of, but one can assume that it isn't a PhD in History.

2) Since the national debate has finally turned to the filibuster, it is interesting to finally get the list of the senators involved in the "six and six" proposal, an idea that began to take shape a few days ago. The Washington Post is reporting who the six Republicans and six Democrats are, and there are few surprises. My only comments are: 1) Sheets Byrd is a moderate?!?!; 2) Ken Salazar won his Senate seat in November on the promise to end judicial obstructionism and broke that promise in less than 2 months into a 48-month term, so it is no surprise that he is trying to save face by assisting with McCain's mutiny; and 3) it is amazing how far Senator Lindsey Graham, former manager of the Clinton impeachment while in the House and friend of Van Hilleary, has drifted from the conservative fold. One could bet that Strom Thurmond wouldn't approve of his seat being used in such a way that compromises constitutional principles.

3) In regards to the various bills that are progressing through the Tennessee General Assembly that would end the helmet requirement for motorcycle riders in the state, I promised to find my father's position on the bill, as he is an avid motorcycle rider and fellow conservative. His comments on the bill were in opposition to its passage, as he had two Christian friends in South Carolina (which has no helmet law) that were killed in a motorcycle accident where a helmet could have made all of the difference in the outcome. While recognizing the peripheral limitations that a helmet brings, my father said that the bill wouldn't effect his riding, as he would use a helmet anyway. One point that he made which bears repeating - if the General Assembly doesn't feel that helmet laws are needed, then why not repeal seatbelt laws for automobiles under the same strain of logic? I would love for a legislator supporting the helmet law repeal to answer that one.

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