Oct 7 2015
11:39 am

What: Joint Hillary/Bernie Debate Watching Party
When: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 8:00pm
Where: Carleo's Lounge 117 S. Central Ave, Knoxville

Teams #Hillary2016 and #FeelTheBern will be feeling the Love at this Democratic Unity Debate Watching Party. Come on down and help paint the old city BLUE!

see link: (link...)

for info: Sylvia Woods (


What: 3rd & 4th District Democrats-sponsored Democratic Debate Watch Party
When: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 7:30pm
Where: Big Fatty's Restaurant, 5005 Kingston Pike, Knoxville

From Las Vegas to Knox Vegas: Democratic Presidential Candidate Debate Watch Party. Come on down and buy dinner and drinks to support our good friends and hosts Big Fatty's, then hoot and holler fer the horse yer backing! Those not betting can act as referees.

see facebook event page: (link...)

For info: Chris Foell (
Isaac Johnson (


Tennesseans Reclaiming Educational Excellence (TREE) writes this morning to report that three charter school companies representing six charter school applications denied by the Metro Nashville BOE are now asking the state BOE to override those local denials.

The state BOE will accept public comments through October 7 on the requests from KIPP, Rocketship and The International Academy of Excellence.

See TREE's complete e-mail with board member contact info and talking points after the break.


Oct 6 2015
06:22 pm

The Blount Co. Commission agenda committee voted 10 to 5 against considering any of the proposed agenda items (apparently for the the first time ever), effectively killing the plea to God to save Blount County from the gay agenda for now. That doesn't mean it's over, but probably. The Tennessee Equality Project turnout was impressive, with about 200 people there by our estimate. We'll have some photos and videos in a few minutes.

UPDATE: Some photos. Click image for gallery....

UPDATE: We spoke with Tony Webb, former Blount Co. Democratic Party Chair, who just recently got married to his longtime partner. He said they had no problem getting a license from the Blount Co. Clerk, but had to go to Pigeon Forge to get married. He called the chapel there and asked if they had any problem performing a same sex marriage. They said "we don't perform gay or straight marriages. We perform marriages." Anyway, here's what Tony had to say about the resolution:


If successful this seems like a game changer

from Yahoo Tech ...

It all feels and — above all — sounds so real. But it’s not. You aren’t really in the club. You aren’t in New York. In fact, you never left your house. You’re sitting instead on your own couch, in the comfort of your own living room, watching the show on a virtual-reality headset.

While this might sound like a scene cut from Back to the Future, it’s actually happening: A legendary New York jazz club — Blue Note — is pioneering such virtual events as a new way for jazz fans all over the world to watch concerts and, eventually, other live events.

Legendary Jazz Club Uses Virtual Reality to Bring Concerts to Your Couch

Oct 5 2015
02:54 pm

Last week I lost yet another mailbox on the narrow road in front of Casa Lulu. By the next afternoon I had straightened the steel fence post that supported it and life was pretty much back to normal.



Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance must refund more than $16 million in taxes paid by five groups of out-of-state insurance companies. Tennessee "adopted a retaliatory tax statute unique to the insurance industry. The statute, which is designed to equalize tax burdens across state lines, protects each state’s domestic insurance companies against discriminatory or excessive taxes that may be imposed when doing business in other states."

$16 million gone, but then how much did it cost TN taxpayers for the Dept. of Commerce and Insurance to take this all the way to the TN Supreme Court?

This is one of the many problems that have arisen during Haslam's administration.


Oct 3 2015
03:04 pm

Buzz Aldrin aboard Apollo 11. Photo: NASA

Here's an incredible archive of photos from every NASA Apollo mission. Nearly all of the photos were scanned in high resolution by civilian archivist Kipp Teague of Virginia. The collection is part of his Project Apollo Archive.

Flickr gallery...

Apollo Image Gallery, indexed and annotated...

BONUS: There's also an Apollo Multimedia archive (click on the Multimedia link).


Maryville Daily Times: Commissioner hopes to avoid 'wrath' of God

County Commissioner Karen Miller wants to save Blount County from the "wrath" of God.

Miller, who represents District 4, is sponsoring a resolution asking that the Supreme Being “pass us by in His coming wrath and not destroy our county as he did Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring cities” because of the June 26 opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court that legalized same-sex marriage throughout the nation.

The resolution...

Oct 3 2015
10:44 am

Huffington Post: Why Some Tennessee Women Are Afraid To Give Birth At The Hospital

A year ago, when Tennessee passed a bill allowing women to be charged with assault if they use narcotics while pregnant, health advocates warned that the law would deter women from seeking vital medical care out of fear of being prosecuted. Their concerns are now coming true.

“We are getting lots of anecdotal information about women not seeking critical prenatal care, and avoiding going to the hospital to give birth, because they are scared of being arrested and having their baby taken away,” said Allison Glass, state director of Healthy and Free Tennessee, a nonprofit women's advocacy group. “Not only does the current law do nothing to help those who may, in fact, need treatment, but it’s actually having a negative public health impact.”

Oct 2 2015
06:36 pm

• Annual revenue of gun and ammunition manufacturing industry: $13.5 billion, $1.5 billion in profits

• Annual revenue of gun and ammunition stores: $3.1 billion, $478.4 million in profits

• Estimated overall economic impact of the firearms and ammo industry in the U.S.: $42.9 billion


Oct 2 2015
04:32 pm

Being a mostly four on the floor blues based guitar rock kind of guy (OK, with some Motown and James Brown thrown in), I'm not sure why I like Janet Jackson so much. But for some reason I've always been a fan.

After taking about a seven year break, her long awaited album "Unbreakable" was released today. I've been waiting, too, and got it off HDTracks as soon as I saw it. I'm glad I did.


Oct 2 2015
03:10 pm

NYT: Private Probation Company Accused of Abuses in Tennessee

A private probation company [Providence Community Corrections of Rutherford Co.] in Tennessee is violating racketeering laws by jailing impoverished people who fail to pay court fines for traffic violations and misdemeanor offenses, and by refusing to waive fees for the indigent, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

Where does it end?

Oct 2 2015
02:11 pm
By: Rachel  shortURL

In the beginning, I enjoyed reading the local internet pundit Instapundit. I often disagreed with his libertarian stances, but I thought he had an interesting point of view, thoughtfully delivered.

Over the course of the Obama administration, however, he's devolved into a apologist for right-wing excesses. But I've still been reading him occasionally. Yesterday I went to see what he had to say about Roseburg and found this gem: violence against Christians doesn’t interest Obama, or help his narrative. (And no, I won't post the link because I don't want to drive pageviews. If you need to, you can find it yourself).

When intelligent people in our society feel the need to say things like this (about ANY President I might add), we are truly lost.

Oct 2 2015
01:16 pm

Today's Ed Week reports that long-embattled U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will resign his post in December.

The rapid pace of change Duncan and his team initiated on the nation's schools - especially through its Race to the Top competition and waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act, the current version of ESEA - has lead to massive blowback from everyone from teachers to state chiefs and the administration's own Democratic allies in Congress.

John King, former education commissioner for the State of New York and current U. S. Deputy Secretary of Education, will head up the department as acting secretary until the end of the Obama administration.

Last year, the National Education Association called for Duncan's resignation, while the American Federation of Teachers put him on an "improvement plan."

However, King, slated to replace him, was never confirmed by the Senate. And last year, while serving as New York's education commissioner, he suffered a vote of "no confidence" from that state's teachers' union, as well as calls for his resignation, too.

Second verse, same as the first, it seems.

Oct 2 2015
11:51 am

If you have Netflix and you haven't already, you should watch the Keith Richards documentary "Under the Influence." He's a pretty remarkable guy, and a lot better musician than some critics might have you believe. (Even if you don't have Netflix, it's probably worth signing up for a month just for this.)

Oct 2 2015
09:54 am

from Bureau of Labor Statistics

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 142,000 in September. Thus far in 2015, job growth has averaged 198,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 260,000 in 2014. In September, job gains occurred in health care and information, while employment in mining continued to decline. (See table B-1.)

Health care added 34,000 jobs in September, in line with the average increase of 38,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months. Hospitals accounted for 16,000 of the jobs gained in September, and employment in ambulatory health care services continued to trend up (+13,000).

Employment Situation Summary

Knoxville, Tennessee statistics
BLS - Knoxville


From PBS ...

This greenhouse that we’re standing in is about 20,000 square feet so about half an acre, yet the yield we achieve is about those of a 20-acre farm. It’s about 20 times more efficient per unit area.

Making use of empty space, urban farming becomes a business

Oct 1 2015
02:19 pm

Reports: 10 killed, 20 wounded at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg Oregon...

UPDATE: Shooter appears to have announced his plan on a message board. Other participants urged him on, suggested weapons and tactics, and hoped for a "high score." They should all be arrested as accessories.


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Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

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