What’s Up with the Peace & Justice Center?

The Mid South Peace and Justice Center, located in Midtown at 1000 S. Cooper, has been popping up in the news a lot lately.

For the Martin Luther King holiday the group hosted Van Jones, the outspoken community activist who had to leave the Obama administration after Glenn Beck revealed him for the dangerous radical he is. Jones got  glowing coverage in the Commercial Appeal, which left out all the contraversy around him. The newspaper got several letters to the editor against Jones, prompting Jacob Flowers, the executive director of the MSP&J Center, to write his own in defense of Jones.

Then this weird story about the MSP&J Center being confronted by 3 FBI agents appeared on several Memphis TV stations. They also claimed that the Memphis police were harassing them and you can read about it at OpEdNews.com, which bills itself as “progressive, tough and liberal.”

Then another story in the CA on Thursday titled “Cohen Bill Aims to Curb Conflicts” mentioned them. “If a bill introduced Tuesday by U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen becomes law, more ‘restorative justice’ programs will spring up around the country,” the article says. “Jean Handley, founder and CEO of Turning Point Partners in Memphis, trains Memphis City Schools teachers in restorative justice, an approach for resolving conflict between students without violence. The Mid-South Peace and Justice Center supports the bill.”

Restorative Justice? Is that better than plain justice? Is this akin to reparations, a favorite issue of Cohen? Something doesn’t seem right. Sounds like something  is  afoot at the MSP&J Center.

By the way, the group’s address is the same as the First Congregational Church. What was that about mixing politics and religion and preaching from the pulpit? Previously a Google search of ACORN also listed that address, though no sign is or was visible from outside.

Bristol Palin and Ranting with the Stars

More unraveling in the Bristol Palin – Washington University scuffle.

Mark Noonan at Blogsforvictory.com added his two cents about the cancellation by the university of Palin’s participation in a program on sexual responsibility. “What spiked it was a campaign by Planned Parenthood and other abortion activists who figured that the last place anyone should be having an open discussion is a college campus.”

He found out, through Lifenews.com, that “the protests were led in part by ‘Private Practice’ star Kate Walsh, a member of the Planned Parenthood board of directors who has been in trouble with pro life advocates for urging donations and support for the abortion business.

‘Welcome to the Idiocracy…please join students at Wash U. to boycott Bristol Palin’s speech on abstinence. What does she know about college or abstaining?” Walsh tweeted.

Just because she plays an ob-gyn neonatal surgeon on the show, she thinks, like so many Hollywood stars, that makes her an authority on the subject. What does Walsh know about motherhood or abstinence?

What an amazing hold a radical group like Planned Parenthood has on our culture.

A Club I Like

Another Republican congressman has stepped up and rejected the cushy federal health care plan for himself.

Cory Gardner of Colorado decided to opt out of the government provided health insurance. He joins 14 other Republicans who have stood on principle and rejected Uncle Sam’s plan. The others are Mike Kelly (Pa), Joe Walsh (Il),Sandy Adams (Fla), Robert Dold (Il), Chris Gibson (NY), Paul Gosar (Ariz), Frank Guinta (NH), Nan Hayworth (NY), Bill Johnson (Oh), David McKinley (WVa), Rich Nugent (Fla), Scott Rigell (Va), Bobby Schilling (Il) and Daniel Webster (Fla).

How about it Stephen Fincher and Alan Nunlee?

University Disgraces Itself

“Enraged Leftists Force University to Nix Bristol Palin Campus Appearance” read the headline at gatewaypundit.com. Unphazed – the Palins are attacked so often now it’s almost part of the daily routine: get up, eat breakfast, newspaper attacks Sarah Palin; eat lunch, TV pundit laughs at Palin; go to bed, comedian calls Palin stupid. Trigg is not hers, Todd is unfaithful, Bristol rigs her “Dancing With the Stars competition, Sarah causes the Tucson shootings.  So what else is new?

Then it caught my eye. Students at Washington University in St. Louis speak out against Bristol Palin’s appearance as keynote speaker for Sexual Responsibility Week. Skipping over the ridiculousness of a university wasting a week on that topic, I went on to  dismay and disappointment and yes, anger. The University I had liked and attended had once again behaved poorly.

“Following student dissent, Palin and the Student Union mutually decided she wouldn’t attend,” said the St. Louis Post Dispatch. The controversy would “overshadow the topic they hoped to discuss” the panelists  decided.


When did universities become so close minded? When did they start stifling free speech? When I attended in the 1970s, following the tumultuous 60s, the atmosphere was not as highly charged as it seems  now. Students had  burned down the ROTC building in ’68, but the professors and students seemed to have moved on from that. Even with Watergate in the news and Nixon resigning, I don’t recall students being this mean spirited and radical.

As David Horowitz warns, the Marxist, Leftist leaders of the time did not go away. They just dug in deeper and worked harder to radicalize students. For decades most of us did not realize what was happening.

And they wonder why we don’t have innovations like we used to? When people are not free to discuss different points of view, creativity is depressed. What’s the point of a college education anymore? It’s just delivering more soldiers to the liberal battle against us.

The Second Reagan

Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey was on Fox News this morning. He fielded questions from the public. One answer was particularly interesting.

“Who would you like to see run for president in2012?” the listener asked.

Armey wasted no time in his response.

“Mike Pence. Mike Pence can bring the whole spectrum of constitutional, social and economic conservatives together. They will rally behind his candidacy. He’s a bright man. He’s full of committment. He’s got a servant’s heart. I always thought I would only get one Ronald Reagan in my lifetime. Mike Pence could be that second one.”

Look for Pence to announce next week in my opinion. He is gearing up his organization and can speak  at next month’s CPAC convention.

Ryder Shares Behind the Scenes at RNC

John Ryder, our Midtown Republican Club speaker for February, details how the vote went down at the RNC for chairman. As one of Tennessee’s three delegates, his insights are interesting. We can ask him about it personally  Tuesday.



To: State Executive Committee
From: National Committeeman John Ryder
National Committeewoman Peggy Lambert
Re: Report on RNC Winter Meeting
Date: January 25, 2011

Last month, the Republican National Committee met at the Gaylord National Resort, at National Harbor, Maryland, which is right outside Washington, D.C. The focus of the meeting was the election of the Chairman of the RNC. As your representatives to the National Committee, the two of us, along with Chris Devaney, played an active role in the election.

As we discussed at our December SEC meeting, there were too many issues with Michael Steele, and we were unable to support his reelection. Five other candidates offered themselves: Reince Priebus, the General Counsel to the RNC; Ann Wagner, former state chairman in Missouri and former RNC Co-Chairman; Maria Cino, former deputy political director in the Bush White House and former Deputy Chairman of the RNC; Saul Anuzis, National Committeeman from Michigan and Gentry Collins, former Political Director of the RNC under Michael Steele.

A number of candidate forums were held, which some of you may have seen on C-Span or the internet. In addition, we each received calls from the candidates along with numerous e-mails and correspondence detailing their plans for the RNC. Of course, we also received anonymous e-mails attacking each of the candidates.

Prior to the meeting, Gentry Collins dropped out of the race, leaving the field to Steele, Priebus, Wagner, Anuzis and Cino.

All three of your representatives supported Ann Wagner. After reviewing the qualifications of all the candidates, we each came to the same conclusion. Ann was simply the best qualified to lead the RNC at this time; however, the fact that she is not a current member of the committee and that Priebus had a head start on her, put him in a strong position.

There are 168 members of the RNC, all of whom were present either in person or by proxy. It takes a majority to win and no one has to drop out—the candidates remain on the ballot until someone has a majority.

The first ballot had Priebus 45, Steele 44, Cino 32, Anuzis 24 and Wagner 23. Cino’s strength surprised everyone. The other candidates were where we thought they would be.
Everyone stayed in for the second ballot, which showed: Priebus 52, Steele 37, Cino 30, Wagner 27, and Anuzis 22. This is what was expected—Steele would lose votes as the ballots continued and the battle was among the other three to see who could challenge Priebus.

On the Third ballot, the vote was: Priebus 54, Steele 33, Wagner 32, Cino 28 and Anuzis 21. At this point we felt very good about Ann’s situation. We hoped that Steele would withdraw and that some of his voters would come our way; however, Steele stayed in and the Fourth ballot was: Priebus 58, Cino 29, Steele 28, Wagner 28 and Anuzis 4. This completely confused the issue by reshuffling the three challengers. Steele then withdrew and threw his support to Cino.

On the Fifth ballot the vote was: Priebus 67, Cino 40, Wagner 28 and Anuzis 32. So the Steele vote split between Cino, Anuzis and Priebus. We did not get any of those votes.

Ann did not want to give up, but the sixth ballot told the story: Priebus 80, Anuzis 37, Cino 34, and Wagner 17. By my reckoning, Ann’s votes went to Priebus, while some votes shifted from Cino to Anuzis. Ann then graciously withdrew and did not declare support for the remaining candidates; however, all her votes went to Priebus on the next ballot. The final votes were: Priebus 97, Anuzis 43, and Cino 28.

Although we supported Ann Wagner, all three of us believe the Reince Priebus will do a fine job as Chairman of the RNC. He is a hard worker and well organized. He began immediately by terminating the contracts of the Convention Liaison and her staff, which had been a source of some criticism. He also convened a meeting of former RNC finance chairs to begin the process of rebuilding our relationship with the major donors. We think he is off to a good start and look forward to working with him.

In addition to the election of Chairman, we also elected Sharon Day, National Committeewoman of Florida, as Co-Chairman; Tony Parker, National Committeeman of the District of Columbia, as Treasurer; and Demetra Demonte, National Committeewoman of Illinois, as Secretary.

It is an honor to represent our state on the RNC and a pleasure to work with such good colleagues as we have in Tennessee.

Peggy Lambert John Ryder
National Committeewoman National Committeeman

GOTV Debut

Yesterday the GOTV club had its luncheon debut at the Crescent Club. It drew a good crowd of around 100 on a dreary, drizzly day.

Club founder and president Charlotte Bergmann introduced speakers Josh Davis of the Family Action Council and talk radio host Andrew Clarksenior.

Davis called for family friendly laws and engaged citizens. Too many Christians have pulled out of the public arena leading to a lot of our current problems. Davis recounted founder David Fowler’s experience at the state level. When he served as state senator Fowler said only one time in his 12 years did a pastor drop by to discuss issues with him. So he started the Family Action Council.

One of the issues they are concerned about currently in Memphis is the plan to have unisex bathrooms. Davis showed a short video of a child going into the bathroom followed by an older man. That could be happening here, exposing  children to pedophiles, drug users and transvestites. And the cost is estimated at $50 million for Memphis. Yet few even know the issue is on the table.

The Family Action Council, as does the GOTV, hopes to enlighten voters to issues like this so that we can prevent bad legislation.

Andrew Clarksenior introduced himself as “a country boy from the city of Detroit.” He spoke of his 22 years in the military and his current job as talk show host on AM 600.

He sounded the alarm  that we “live in a world where the Founding Fathers and the work ethic are under attack.” Much of the public believes that the government “is the center,” forgetting that the government is there to serve the people according to the Founding Fathers.

Shelby County Republican executive director Don Johnson took to the mike and discussed upcoming events. Precinct caucuses will be held Monday, Feb. 21 at 7 at Houston High. “We have 236 precincts in Memphis and we should have at least 100 precincts represented,” he said. The party will be electing a steering committee and officers. Then Sunday, March 20 at 3 at Houson High, there will be a GOP County Convention.

Midtowners Jim Merzlufft and Geoff Diaz attended. Geoff has already taken the position of  VP Public Relations for the GOTV  Club.

Bergmann closed by noting the next meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 11:30 at the Crescent Club. Speakers will be Talbott Howard addressing green energy and John Ryder, our RNC link in Memphis.