Fri
May 22 2015
09:04 am

Mark Harmon: U.S. exceptionalism should be restated

American exceptionalism is both a political and rhetorical trap that confuses dissent with disloyalty and threatens the label "unpatriotic" on anyone who challenges conventional assumptions.

Check the CIA World Factbook and you'll see that more than 50 nations have lower infant mortality rates than the United States. In some 40 nations people have longer life expectancies. Almost 60 nations spend a higher percentage of gross domestic product on education than the United States. Other tallies reveal that we no longer crack the top 10 in the percentage of 25- to 34-year-olds with a college degree. We also have slipped behind many developed nations in social and economic mobility.

We need to be able to talk about these things without getting angry, making excuses or excluding large numbers of people (notably the poor) from our definition of "us."

Read the rest of Mark's excellent column at the link...

SEE ALSO:

usmilitaryspending.jpg

18
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Thu
May 21 2015
02:20 pm

Per USA Today.

"I must speak as plainly and bluntly to you as I spoke to presidents when I was director of the CIA and secretary of defense," he said. "We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be. The status quo in our movement's membership standards cannot be sustained."

I do wish Gates had spoken directly to the need to employ fairness and to avoid discrimination in BSA's policies, rather than suggesting that the organization is now cornered into a calculated consideration of "sustainability."

But yeah, I'll take it.

16
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Thu
May 21 2015
01:19 pm

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Thu
May 21 2015
09:10 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL
newtnlogo.JPG

Even though low-income workers won't have access to health care, kids will be dodging bullets at playgrounds, and public schools will be outsourced to the lowest bidder, Gov. Haslam will nonetheless leave behind an enduring legacy: a new state logo. And it only cost $46K, so far. So there's that.

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25
likes
Wed
May 20 2015
10:28 pm

$15 in five years, about $1.25 per year increase from current levels.

By Jennifer Medina and Noam Scheiber in the NYT
Los Angeles Lifts Its Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour

“The effects here will be the biggest by far,” said Michael Reich, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, who was commissioned by city leaders to conduct several studies on the potential effects of a minimum-wage increase. “The proposal will bring wages up in a way we haven’t seen since the 1960s. There’s a sense spreading that this is the new norm, especially in areas that have high costs of housing.”

24
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Wed
May 20 2015
06:48 pm

I try not to brag about my excellent son-in-law too often, but I'm moved to do so now.

The project that started as a Kickstarter has come to full fruition, and it's pretty gorgeous:

(link...)

24
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Wed
May 20 2015
06:45 am

At the insistence of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Takata has expanded the number of vehicles to be recalled for defective inflators to nearly 34 million. These inflators were made with a propellant that can degrade over time and has led to ruptures that have been blamed for six deaths worldwide.

NHTSA is waiting for the automakers to supply a complete list of affected vehicles. As this information becomes available, NHTSA will update this site to provide the American public with this information.

Once manufacturers identify which vehicles are affected, use NHTSA’s VIN search tool to confirm whether your individual vehicle is under recall, and search by VIN on a specific vehicle-maker's site. It’s important to check periodically because it’s possible your VIN might not be entered into a manufacturer’s system for several weeks after a recall is first announced. If your vehicle is affected, follow-up with the manufacturer to get interim guidance and get your vehicle fixed as soon as parts are available.

18
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Wed
May 20 2015
12:55 am

I read a letter to the editor in last weeks Knox Mercury regarding turning the end section of JWP into a starting point for trails, etc. with a parking lot and turn around area. Maybe a bathroom, bike rental , etc? That seems like it might be a good idea. Have there been any moves to make that happen?

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19
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Wed
May 20 2015
12:00 am

We're getting there ...

from NBC News ...

A big network of walking and cycling paths, wide sidewalks and, most of all, plenty of parks make Washington D.C. the nation's fittest city, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.

Nashville and Memphis make the 10 worst list ...
Running for Office? Washington DC Is the Fittest US City

17
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Tue
May 19 2015
10:19 pm

In a new poll released just today, Gallup reports a Record-High 60% of Americans Support Same-Sex Marriage

Story highlights:

At 60%, support is up five percentage points from 2014

Gay marriage support reaches new highs in all political parties

One in four say candidates must share their views on the issue

21
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Betty Bean: Victims Speak as Whiteside faces judgment

Lynn Porter doesn’t believe in sugarcoating reality, and she’s confident that her 16-year-old daughter, Amber, is prepared for what she’s going to hear when the man who gunned down her father six years ago stands before a judge May 28 and pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

Sources say he will probably serve seven years.

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22
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KNS: FTC, states file complaint against Knoxville charity

The Federal Trade Commission and multiple states filed a civil complaint Monday in Arizona against Knoxville-based Cancer Fund of America Inc.

[..]

Federal and state authorities will hold simultaneous news conferences today in Knoxville and Washington, D.C., to announce an “unprecedented multistate action” against “sham nonprofits with strong East Tennessee roots.”

PREVIOUSLY: Knoxville group on America's worst charities list

UPDATE: FTC statement: FTC, All 50 States and D.C. Charge Four Cancer Charities With Bilking Over $187 Million from Consumers

The Federal Trade Commission and 58 law enforcement partners from every state and the District of Columbia have charged four sham cancer charities and their operators with bilking more than $187 million from consumers. The defendants told donors their money would help cancer patients, including children and women suffering from breast cancer, but the overwhelming majority of donations benefitted only the perpetrators, their families and friends, and fundraisers. This is one of the largest actions brought to date by enforcers against charity fraud.

Named in the federal court complaint are Cancer Fund of America, Inc. (CFA), Cancer Support Services Inc. (CSS), their president, James Reynolds, Sr., and their chief financial officer and CSS’s former president, Kyle Effler; Children’s Cancer Fund of America Inc. (CCFOA) and its president and executive director, Rose Perkins; and The Breast Cancer Society Inc. (BCS) and its executive director and former president, James Reynolds II.

CCFOA and Perkins, BCS, Reynolds II and Effler have agreed to settle the charges against them. Under the proposed settlement orders, Effler, Perkins and Reynolds II will be banned from fundraising, charity management, and oversight of charitable assets, and CCFOA and BCS will be dissolved. Litigation will continue against CFA, CSS and James Reynolds Sr.

More at the link...

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21
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Tue
May 19 2015
09:11 am

Does anybody remember when I posted this public thank you letter last summer?

(link...)

The same young cop caught the eye of some folks last Saturday on Market Square:

(link...)

Such a good guy.

25
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Mon
May 18 2015
05:03 pm

I guess that is a nice sound bite for Alexander. But he and Corker should want the best decision, whatever that is. If during 20 years the best solutions change, then TVA should make that adjustment. 20 years is a long time in most technologies. Things can, and have, changed in energy technologies.

from Knoxnews.com ...

“I think our ratepayers and our jobs are better served when TVA sticks to its mission of low-cost power instead of chasing the latest energy fad,” he said.

TN senators question TVA on renewable energy

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from CNN ...

The ice shelf's disintegrating state came into light after it partially collapsed in 2002. Scientists watched in amazement as the ice shelf splintered and vanished rapidly in six weeks. No one had ever witnessed a large ice mass disappear so quickly, according to Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist at Slate.

NASA: 10,000-year-old Antarctic ice shelf will disappear by 2020

37
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Sat
May 16 2015
07:14 am

According to data from 2001 to 2010 rounded up in a new paper published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tennessee and Alabama have real problems with deaths as a result of accidental discharge of firearms.

The report is on distinct causes of death, defined as "the cause of death in each state that stands out most relative to its national average."

And, then, Tennessee gives more freedoms to those wanting to carry guns. It was just an accident, it doesn't count. Sheesh.

39
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Does this go on in Knoxville?

Natalie Gunshannon of Dallas Township and four others filed suit in June 2013 alleging the only way they could collect on their paychecks was to use the debit cards, which required they pay fees for their own money.

Judge certifies McDonald's debit card case as class-action lawsuit

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35
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Fri
May 15 2015
10:03 pm

There is a table with all 50 states if you scroll down in the article.

from CNN ...

The report found that tuition in Arizona has risen by 83.6% since 2008, or $4,734 per student, after adjusting for inflation.

Arizona is followed by Hawaii (70% increase), Georgia (69.5%), Louisiana (67.2%), Florida (64.2%) and California (62.2%).

Overall, since the 2007-8 school year, average annual tuition has increased 29%, or $2,068, nationally.

Where public university tuition has skyrocketed

31
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