Fri
Aug 22 2014
01:12 pm

Under the just because it's legal doesn't make it right category

To convince them to work in the subsidiary instead of transferring within the company, DuPont assured its employees that it had absolutely no plans to sell the spin-off.

... a few weeks later DuPont sold to Koch Industries. Koch cut both salaries and retirement packages. DuPont had, as it turns out, been negotiating this deal the entire time.

Employers Can Legally Lie to Workers, Court Rules

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Fri
Aug 22 2014
12:00 pm

Voting is apparently another civil right that old, rich white guys seek to deny in Ferguson.

Voter Registration Drives in Ferguson Are "Disgusting," Says Missouri GOP Leader: Voter turnout was just 12 percent in Ferguson's last municipal election, and in a city that's 60 percent black, virtually all city officials are white.

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The FBI is conducting an increasing number of raids across the country compiling evidence of charter school waste, fraud and corruption. This article has several examples along with some background on who is profiting from privatization.

The Con Artistry of Charter Schools

Charter schools are such a racket, across the nation they are attracting special attention from the FBI, which is working with the Department of Education’s inspector general to look into allegations of charter-school fraud.

[..] Over the last decade, the charter school movement has morphed from a small, community-based effort to foster alternative education into a national push to privatize public schools, pushed by free-market foundations and big education-management companies.

This transformation opened the door to profit-seekers looking for a way to cash in on public funds.

In 2010, Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp. has been an ALEC member, declared for-profit K-12 public education “a $500 billion sector in the U.S. alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed.”

The transformation has begun.

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Thu
Aug 21 2014
03:05 pm

What: 3rd/4th District Democrats Club Meeting
When: Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 6:00pm
Where: Bearden Branch Library, 100 Golf Club Road Knoxville TN 37919

Our Guest speakers will be:

Rynn and Susanne Dupes: Rynn will give a talk on the history of the League of Women Voters, and explain why it is vital force in the battle to increase voter participation. Susanne will give a talk on "SWOT" which is an exercise that helps people determine their strengths, weaknesses, opportunties and threats. This has been very useful training for political candidates, but of course can be helpful to anyone.

for info: Chris Foell (foellmc@aol.com)

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41
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Thu
Aug 21 2014
03:03 pm
By: Treehouse  shortURL

The newest pipeline is from the State of Tennessee government to the Corrections Corporation of America. Good grief.
(link...)

"America, where we spend $40K a year to incarcerate each prison inmate and $8K to educate each elementary student."

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Thu
Aug 21 2014
02:48 pm

What: 6th District Knox Co Democratic Party Meeting
When: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 6:00pm
Where: Karns Public Library 7516 Oak Ridge Hywy

Guest speakers will be Mark Harmon and Richard Dawson, Newly elected members of the Tennessee Democratic Party State Executive Committee, speaking on the directions and plans for the Tennessee Democratic Party.

for info: Janice Spoone (spoojh@comcast.net)

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Thu
Aug 21 2014
01:05 pm

The Knox County Democratic Party announced that the annual Truman Day dinner will be held on Oct. 2nd at The Foundry. This year's theme is "Stand Up - Keep Fighting." Featured speakers will be announced in the coming weeks. Click here for more info and tickets...

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Farragut High School, L N STEM Academy, Powell Middle School, Rocky Hill Elementary School, and Sequoyah Elementary School were named to the Tennessee Department of Education's 2014 "Rewards School" list.

Reward Schools are "the top 5 percent of schools in the state for performance—as measured by overall student achievement levels—and the top 5 percent for year-over-year progress—as measured by schoolwide value-added data."

SOURCE: 2014 School Accountability

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Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Gordon Ball has named top members of his campaign team. Former 4th District U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis will lead a team "comprising chairs representing the three grand division including former U.S. Senate democrat candidate Terry Adams and 15th District Representative Joe E. Armstrong for the Eastern Division. Nashville Businessman Bill Freeman and Nashville Metro Council Member-At-Large Jerry Maynard will be co-chairs in Middle Tennessee working with the Gordon Ball for Senate campaign. West Tennessee will be headed by co-chairs Minority House Leader Rep. Craig Fitzhugh and TN Democratic Party Secretary and member of the DNC, Gale Jones Carson.

SOURCE: Press release at the Memphis Flyer...

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Thu
Aug 21 2014
10:49 am
By: michael kaplan  shortURL

(link...)

The issue of sovereignty over Gaza’s gas fields is crucial. From a legal standpoint, the gas reserves belong to Palestine.

The death of Yasser Arafat, the election of the Hamas government and the ruin of the Palestinian Authority have enabled Israel to establish de facto control over Gaza’s offshore gas reserves.

British Gas (BG Group) has been dealing with the Tel Aviv government. In turn, the Hamas government has been bypassed in regards to exploration and development rights over the gas fields.

The election of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2001 was a major turning point. Palestine’s sovereignty over the offshore gas fields was challenged in the Israeli Supreme Court. Sharon stated unequivocally that “Israel would never buy gas from Palestine” intimating that Gaza’s offshore gas reserves belong to Israel.

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Thu
Aug 21 2014
10:36 am

What: Lonsdale Community Market
When: Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 11:00am
Where: Lonsdale Park, 2705 Stonewall St

Lonsdale United for Change is hosting a Multicultural Community Market with foods, crafts and music from other cultures. Details in the press release after the break...

Continued...

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Thu
Aug 21 2014
10:29 am

The Achievement School District is a statewide, state run school district that takes over failing schools from local school boards.

How is it working out? Not that great, apparently...

29
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Thu
Aug 21 2014
01:17 am
By: Lisa Starbuck  shortURL

Looks like Nashville charter school prospect STRIVE Collegiate Academy is pushing the Metro Nashville School Board to reconsider their rejected charter application, which if rejected again, could become the first test case of the new charter authorizer law. This would allow STRIVE to bypass the local Board of Education and appeal directly to the state in order to grab the money open a new charter school using public funds.

It's the Great Hearts charter school dilemma Part II, and Jesse Register, the Director of Schools, is on the hot seat, along with the rest of the BOE. It's pretty much damned if they do and damned if they don't.

From the Nashville Scene:

Register said that he asked STRIVE, which was developed in conjunction with the Nashville-based Tennessee Charter School Center, to delay its application for a year but STRIVE wanted to appeal. If the board rejects STRIVE again, they can appeal to the state board of education under the newly passed charter authorizer law. This would be the first test case.

In 2012, Great Hearts appealed to the state, which ordered the Metro School Board to reconsider its rejection of the Arizona-based charter operator. The board rejected it again, and Gov. Bill Haslam's administration withheld more than $3 million in funding for Nashville schools.

In a tense exchange with board members, Register refused to say whether he was recommending the STRIVE appeal be approved, only that the committee's recommendation be considered.

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We've been thinking about dabbling in investment/rental property. The Mrs. is pretty good at sniffing them out. We went to see one recently. In fact, we were probably the first to see it. The Realtor was there with the seller to get the listing.

The place might have potential, but, as-is, it would be more suitable for a Criminal Minds kidnapping/dungeon episode.

We seriously doubt that any of the "improvements" were permitted, much less up to code. Mainly, the "improvements" were liabilities that would have to be ripped out and completely redone. Along with the rest of it.

Nonetheless, the seller and the Realtor thought the house should command a premium price per square foot because of the "improvements." In reality, if you took out added square footage from the "improvements" (not even counting the liability and rehab cost), our estimated valuation was less than half of what they were asking based on comps, condition, work needed, etc.

They are wanting a Sequoya Hills or Fox Den valuation. This property is not in one of those places. It was sad, really. One could argue that the MLS listing is basically fraudulent.

We understand sellers who have emotional attachment, have invested too much, or are otherwise just crazy. There's no excuse, though, for Realtors who enable them.

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Wed
Aug 20 2014
04:43 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Me: How do you like that new tea? (Ed. note: Green tea with Mandarin orange flavor.)

Her: Eh. It's OK. Not sure I really like it though.

Me: How come?

Her: I don't know. The orange flavor is too strong.

Me: What about the green tea? Do you like that?

Her: Not sure. It tastes different.

Me: Just... different? How is it different from regular tea?

Her: It tastes greener.

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25
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Wed
Aug 20 2014
12:42 pm

Corporate folks should be pretty happy. At least from a financial perspective.

Looks like a near all-time high.

From the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis …

Corporate Profits After Tax (without IVA and CCAdj)

2014:Q1: 1,734.9 Billions of Dollars

Corporate Profits After Tax

Why Does The Economy Stink? Because America's Owners Are Greedier Now Than Ever Before

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29
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Wed
Aug 20 2014
10:28 am

Three more Knox Co. schools have been added to the state's "Priority List" of the lowest-performing 5% of schools in Tennessee. The latest additions are Green Magnet, Lonsdale Elementary, and Vine Middle/Magnet School. Along with Sarah Moore Greene Magnet, which was already on the list, there are now four Knox County schools in the "Priority List."

The KNS quotes Dr. McIntyre as saying "I think in a couple of those instances, we are beginning to see some real positive momentum and positive changes and improvements in those schools."

"Those schools" have combined enrollment of about 1500 students. Based on per-pupil spending, that represents approx. $13.5 million in public school funding (annually) just waiting to be tapped by free market corporate interests for charters and/or vouchers under various existing and proposed privatization "reform" schemes.

SEE ALSO: Tennessee Department of Education 2014 School Accountability

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Wed
Aug 20 2014
09:37 am

Amidst all the turmoil at the Tennessean, Chas Sisk has decided he's had enough. Instead of "reapplying" for his job, he asked for a severance package.

This is yet another big loss for state government reporting. Pretty soon, the only news out of Capitol Hill will be press releases from Gov. Haslam and Lt. (real) Gov. Ramsey, dutifully transcribed by compliant newspapers of record around the state.

As reported by the Nashville Scene, this is just one example of the "rock-bottom morale" at the Tennessean as management installs "an exciting new structure that is geared toward building a dynamic, responsive newsroom" without editors, photographers, or, apparently, seasoned reporters who know their beat.

PREVIOUSLY: Another shakeup at the Tennessean

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Tue
Aug 19 2014
10:51 pm

From Yahoo ...

Washington state's insurance commissioner, Mike Kreidler, said "there is no question" that discrimination is creeping back. "The question is whether we are catching it or not," added Kreidler

..."Insurance companies are basically singling out certain conditions by placing some medications on high-cost tiers," said Hill. That "is pretty blatant discrimination in my mind."

Patient advocates say insurers avoiding the sick

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What: Books Sandwiched In Welcomes Alvin Nance This Wednesday!
When: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 12:00pm
Where: East Tennessee History Center, 601 South Gay Street

large_AlvinNance2.jpgThe story of poverty in affluent America is a sad one, but not a new one. And it is the sad story of more and more Americans. Many newly impoverished, victims of a broken economy and a collapsed housing market, have joined the chronically poor living in the shadows of the world’s richest nation. Join Alvin Nance, President and CEO of Knoxviille Community Development Corporation (KCDC),as he explores this problem and solutions in The American Way of Poverty: How the other half still lives by Sasha Abramsky in Knox County Public Library’s Book Sandwiched In.

Continued...

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