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About: Blayne Clements


    Blayne ClementsI am a 30 something graduate from Austin Peay State University, where I graduated in 1997 with two majors (Accounting and Finance). I am a very happily married man, with one beautiful daughter. I enjoy a professional life of public service and a personal life of travel, reading, music, and always trying to learn from others.

    Email: climbingpossum@yahoo.com



Blayne Clements's Articles:

    One writer’s “best reads” of the year

     

    looming-tower1This year I read a lot of books, or least a lot of books for me.  A couple  stand out in my mind, and so I thought I would share them with you.

    “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11” (2006), by Lawrence Wright

    This book is tireless in its details; but do not let that discourage you from giving it a read.  The book  is rather short at 373 pages; however, it is heavily noted and very user friendly. It contains a 10 page glossary of principal characters with brief descriptions of their importance; which is a invaluable resource in helping the reader keep track of the multitude of players with similar names.

    opinion-081Like most other histories of Muslim fundamentalism (such as the BBC video series “Power of Nightmares”), Wright starts with the story of Sayyid Qutb.  Qutb was an Egyptian writer and Muslim that traveled through America in the late 1940’s.  His experiences and perceptions, started the generational snowball that  led to 9/11. «Read the rest of this article»

     

    Stanley Krubrick retrospective plays Nashville’s Belcourt Theatre

     

    All thirteen of Stanley Krubrick’s film will be shown over the next month at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville. The Belcourt is located in Hillsboro Village; it is a great place to see the newest indie film or foreign film, as well as catch a classic movie.

    I first discovered the Belcourt back in 1998, when they had a Warner Brothers film festival.  The first movie I saw in the Belcourt was Krubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. It is always a treat to see a movie you’ve seen a hundred times on a TV up on the big screen.  My wife , a friend and I went to see The Shining last weekend.  I had never seen it on a big screen before, and what a difference that makes.  The shots of the drive up to the Overlook Hotel, the eerieness of the hotel’s hallways, and, of course, Jack Torrence’s spiral into madness take on new meaning on a huge movie screen.  Imagine  2001 Space Odyssey, Spartacus, or Clockwork Orange shown in larger than life.

    About a month ago I rented The Killing; Krubrick’s first movie circa 1956.  Being a big fan of old film noir movies, I loved this one.  I still can’t believe it is over 50 years old. It doesn’t have that big star and big special effect, but it just oozes quality with it great script and seamless direction. «Read the rest of this article»

     

    “Punishment Park”: vintage film is eclectic, empowering, shocking

     

    Punishment Park MOvie Poster“Punishment Park” was directed and written by Peter Watkins circa 1971. Filmed in a documentary style, it is just under 90 minutes. This movie came recommended to me by a friend who has an eye for eclectic movies.

    As with most movie suggestions, I checked out the trailer before I watched the movie. The movie trailer I found on YouTube was intriguing, shocking, and contained very little details about the movie’s content. I have to admit, my curiosity was peaked, and I went about renting the movie, which is available on NetFlix. The following is the narration of the trailer:

    “Under the provision under Title II of the 1950 Internal Security Act, also known as the McCarren Act, the president of the United State of America is still authorized without further approval by Congress to determine an event of insurrection within the United States and to declare the existence of an internal security emergency. The resident is then authorized to apprehend and detain each person as to whom there is reasonable ground to believe they probably will engage in certain future acts of sabotage.”

    «Read the rest of this article»

     


    “For the Bible Tells Me So” delivers

     

    For the Bible tells me so posterMy wife has a book that I have intended to read for years, but never found the time, “What the Bible REALLY says about Homosexuality.” Then I saw this movie available on Netflix, “For the Bible Tells me So” , and thought at this point in my life, I’m much more likely to get a quick movie in than to read a book.

    The movie introduces you to several families that have two things in common 1) strong religious ties, and 2) a family member that is a homosexual. Director Daniel Karslake’s selection of families with different backgrounds is sure to connect with a variety of viewers. Theres a Midwest lawyer and stay at home mother that are Lutheran; a African American couple from North Carolina who are ministers in a AME church; there a Episcopalian elderly white couple from blue collar rural Kentucky (no spoiler here but their child was the first openly Gay bishop in the Anglican church, Gene Robinson); a single middle class mother, and a long time politician Dick Gephardt and his family.

    «Read the rest of this article»

     

    Stop drunk driving with a red ribbon?

     

    co-red-ribbon.JPGMothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was founded in 1980 with the mission “…to stop drunk driving and support the victims of this violent crime. ” That’s a big, if not impossible goal, “to stop drunk driving”.

    One way MADD is trying to stop drunk driving this holiday season is through their “Tie One on for Safety” campaign. According the the Leaf Chronicle (12.10.07), the Tennessee office of MADD is distributing over 10,000 red ribbons state-wide to raise drunk driving awareness. According to the article, the red ribbon campaign has three stated goals

    1. high visibility of officers, meaning many officers on patrol,
    2. sobriety checkpoints
    3. and more ignition interlock vehicles, which requires a driver to breathe into a register to prove they are sober before the vehicle can start.”

    Goals one and two appear redundant, but that is beside the point. The article does not explain how the display of red ribbons assists in accomplishing the campaigns stated goals. «Read the rest of this article»

    Sections: News, Opinion | 5 Comments
     

    Senator Kurita wants to make a change

     

    Rosalind KuritaAround the end of March/begining of April, our representative in the state senate, Rosalind Kurita, placed a survey in the Leaf Chronicle and said she wanted to hear from her constituents. One of the items in the survey was changing the state’s constitution to allow the constitutional officers to be elected in a public general election. Tennessee state constitutional officers are Secretary of State Riley Darnell, State Treasurer Dale Sims, and Comptroller John Morgan. I have not meet many people who know who they are, much less if they desrve to continue in their constitutional capacity. The constitution states that it is the legislature’s job to determine if these people are doing there job adequately; I mean they are in the best posistion to know right?

    She correctly states that Tennessee is one of the few states that still has the state legislature elect these officers. Kurita has sponosored a bill every year for as far back as I can remember wanting us to decide who the best person for these jobs should be, and the bill has never gotten out of committeee. This year Kurita got the bill out of committee. «Read the rest of this article»

    Sections: Politics | 1 Comment »
     

    Flags Shouldn’t be Use like a Blue Light Special

     

    usa flagHas anyone else noticed this? Its so rampant I think we are completely desensitived or programmed. Anyway see my letter to my local paper. If you agree (or disagree for that matter) let me and others know. Thanks.

    Dear Editor,

    The March 7 paper contained a picture of the huge four American flags at a local car dealership. This was not an ad per se, just a picture. As a Sango resident for the past 5 years, I have seen the rapid growth of this area slowly creeping out to the county. The most visible symbol of this growth, are these four flags, which are visible for miles around, even at night with the flags lit by spotlights.

    Every weekend, the flags are flown slightly different. Your picture shows all four waving in the wind; last weekend they had just three flying; the weekend before that all four were flying but one was at half mast. In the past, I’ve noticed at times the US flag is swapped out for a other flags.

    These flags are not being used to show patriotism, national pride, or celebrating freedom; they are being used as an obvious cheap ad gimmick. How can society get upset about flag burning, but we seem okay to let companies use it to peddle their goods? I’ve seen other businesses even advertise tag lines like “Home of the Largest United States Flag in Kentucky ”. How can the citizen’s which just a few years ago were upset about the tattered flags on the 101st parkway not be outraged by this. I would rather see a small, discretely placed, tattered flag waving out of respect to veterans, than four enormous, prominently lit US flags waving 300 feet in the sky waving as a cheap billboard for a business.

     


    Please write your Congressman THIS WEEK

     

    Soldier in IraqPlease write your house representative THIS WEEK and have them know your view about this Iraqi resolution that they are debating.Here is my letter to my Congressman John Tanner via http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/

    The republicans are no longer in the majority, the democrats won because America spoke loud and clear, that we need to change the course of this country. So the democrats hands have been untied, the strings have been cut, the gloves taken off….what will the democrats do to answer the cry the public made in November…well.. «Read the rest of this article»

    Sections: Politics | 2 Comments
     

    Newsweek gives America different cover story than the rest of the world

     

    My wife sent me a link the other day. The link was to a story about the October 2, 2006 week of Newsweek. As truthout.org states,

    Newsweek has scrubbed the cover of its United States edition for October 2, 2006. The cover of its international editions, aimed at Europe and other world regions, has maintained the original title of the story, “Losing Afghanistan.” The new cover for the United States edition features photographer Annie Leibovitz and is titled “My Life in Pictures.”

    Covers of Newsweek Magazine showing the filtering of news presented to American Citizens

    I found this infuriating and sent the following email to 30 people (it has been edited for space, if you would like the whole email just let me know): «Read the rest of this article»

     

    Non-debates get us no where

     
    Kathl;een Parker VS michael moore

    According to Kathleen Parker (August 14), having a blog and expressing a strong political opinion is akin to “Stalinist tactics”. Such words would not apply to any right winger editorialist like herself of course, but only to those such as the “operative” Michael Moore.

    Parker describes a recent blog by Moore as a “manifesto…straight out of Stalin’s playbook”. The blog merely states his strong opinion that the next democrat presidential candidate be anti-war. «Read the rest of this article»

    Sections: Opinion | No Comments
     


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