Morning Coffee – Sharpen Your Pitchforks Edition

Yeah, I know. You probably thought the pitchfork sharpening season ended with the November 2nd elections. I don’t think you could have been more wrong. We live in a 24/7/365 pitchfork readiness environment now and that’s not going to change until people start feeling more certain about their economic futures.

The harsh reality is that, in times like this, people can get Balkanized, in ways that may or may not be in their best interests depending on a whole host of factors, but usually it has more to do with who they trust and listen to (and their take on an issue) than what the proposal actually is.

All of this is complicated in a media environment where the most succinct talking points are parroted endlessly. Retaining the Bush Era tax cuts for all but the wealthiest 1% of Americans is called a “Tax Hike”, and somehow that sticks even though 99% of the population would benefit from the lower rate established in 2003, and the additional revenue collected for those with the least want, would help decrease deficit spending…something that all quarters of the populace seem to endorse.

But once a group of people have made their mind up on an issue and fought passionately either for or against that issue, it’s often hard to remove the emotion from any discussion on the topic. For instance, healthcare reform. There are plenty of people, on the left and on the right, that have and continue to express their disappointment or even opposition to the reform passed earlier this year. The right wants it gone, the left doesn’t think it went far enough. Caught in the middle are people who believe the system is flawed, but don’t really know which way to go. One thing they do know is that the system that has ultimately left over 45,000,000 people without healthcare and led to the massive increases in cost of care, is unsustainable.

And that’s where we find ourselves today on the issue of consolidation. You don’t have to go very far to find someone that believes our current political situation here in Shelby County is broken. That is, in fact, one area where just about all sides agree. Where people disagree is on the details. This was made both clear and cloudy with the recent failure of the Metro Charter in the November 2 election. In effect, the majority of folks in Shelby County aren’t opposed to dancing (reform), they just don’t like the music the last DJ played. In fact, the opposition was strong enough that the County Commission passed a resolution opposing the plan.

The question we have to ask ourselves is, are we REALLY against dancing (reform), or just against the playlist the last DJ played?

To that end, Commissioner Steve Mulroy has proposed a resolution. The resolution doesn’t seek to establish a new Charter Commission, or any other formal body exploring the subject of Consolidation. Rather, it seeks to simply clarify that the County Commission isn’t wholly and completely against the idea, even though it was against the LAST idea, just like a majority of the County electorate was against the LAST idea.

Here’s the meat of the resolution:

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Shelby County Board of Commissioners supports the concept of consolidation, and is open to the idea of revisiting
a Metro Charter process in an upcoming election cycle, provided that:
(a) The City Council and County Commission have greater input into the selection of
members of any appointed Metro Charter Commission;
(b) Greater efforts are made to achieve racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity
among any Charter Commission appointees;
(c) Appropriate efforts are made to avoid any undue influence of corporate interests
on the process; and
(d) The issue of school consolidation, if still applicable, should be given weight equal
to that of any other major issue in Charter Commission deliberations.

Nowhere in there does this resolution call for a new Metro Charter Commission despite reports to the contrary.

What I’d like to see is the pro, the con, and the undecided come together and talk about what they want local government to look like in the next 20 years. What future are we working towards, and what things can we do together. The rhetoric on this issue has gotten too hot. In order to come up with some kind of future that will ultimately benefit all of us, we have to look for ways to work together and build some bridges. Where that leads, who knows? but one thing is for sure, if we don’t put down our pitchforks and start working together to better our community, we’re going to lose more ground than any possible gains, and that is truly unsustainable.

See also:
Memphis Daily News
Commercial Appeal

On to the coffee…

Worst Re-election Strategy EVAH!

The SCOTN (Supreme Court of Tennessee) issued an order to halt the executions of 4 death row inmates over the recent lethal injection ruling.

Insight into the mind of an elitist Teabagger – Shorter version…Property owner = voting rights, recently foreclosed = disenfranchised.

The race for HD98 is on. Here are your candidates so far…

Shelby County School Board President David Pickler is officially crapping himself. It’s so bad that even Norris and Lollar backed down. While they’re backpedalling, we should still call their bluff to ensure they never try to hold us hostage again.

Have fun stormin’ the castle. I’ll see ya on the flip side.

1 comment for “Morning Coffee – Sharpen Your Pitchforks Edition

  1. December 1, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Steve, thanks for posting on the subject.

    I am not sure what specific language in the past proposed charter would have brought more “county” voters into the fold, without losing city voters.

    IMO. It’s not worth the effort to: “clarify that the County Commission isn’t wholly and completely against the idea” in a resolution? The number of votes For or Against any resolution does just that. There’s more to this resolution than this. I guess we’ll see how this develops.

    The mantra of “Consolidation or Bust”, wipes away any common ground, good will, or trust … and that’s what we have today.

    Unless the law changes, “county” voters aren’t buying the selling of consolidation. The 85% says something.

    I am still a big fan of yours, even when I might be wrong. 🙂

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