Thu
Dec 14 2006
09:12 am

You may recall there was a little dustup over the World's Fair Park project a couple years ago. The idea was to save the Sunsphere, the Candy Factory, and the Tennessee Amphitheater.

In the News Sentinel today we learn it may cost $3.4 million for full renovation or $655,000 for complete demolition. Money that was supposed to come from the developer of the World’s Fair Project and not the city.

Looking back on the Candy Factory deal Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam pushed through it is difficult to see how any money was saved. The only assets, the Candy Factory and Victorian Homes, were purchased at rock bottom prices and the Sunsphere and Tennessee Amphitheater were pulled from the project. Looking back at the downtown Cinema project it is now three times over budget. Looking at the Five Points shopping center deal another expensive failure. Don't even ask about Renee Kesler.

So how is this Mayoral administration doing? This is an administration of futures. Future promises that don’t come true. Not on budget, not on time, and not what was promised. This is what happens when you are more interested in the next political office instead of running the office you currently hold.

There is an election for the office of Knoxville Mayor next November. What kind of report card would you give Mayor Haslam today?

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16
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Wed
Dec 13 2006
07:11 pm

One of the joys of retirement is the fact that one reads what one enjoys. Thus I came to read John Mortimer's adventures of the Old Bailey hack, Horace Rumpole and his wife, Hilda (She who must be obeyed). A thread that runs through the entire series is the plonk at Pommeroy's Wine Bar. I have found what well may be the American equivalent of Jack Pommeroy's "Château Thames Embankment". Franzia of California is boxing a sangria to rival the "cooking claret" served at the annual Inns of Court Ball. I love this stuff!

There now - back to the serious topics of the day.

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16
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Wed
Dec 13 2006
06:03 pm

Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota has been hospitalized with "stroke-like" symptoms. Should his illness necessitate the appointment of a replacement, the Republican governor of the state could very well send a Republican to the Senate to serve until the 2008 elections.

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11
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Wed
Dec 13 2006
02:59 pm
By: Johnny Ringo  shortURL

Does the recent media furor over Barack Obama remind anyone else of this?

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19
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Wed
Dec 13 2006
12:59 pm

Sometimes when someone tries to do something good they get confused and screw up something else. This is often referred to as the law of unintended consequences. Case in point would be Senator John McCain's new bill to crack down on child pornography on the Internet. No one wants child pornography on the Internet but the problem is that this bill is so broadly written it could be used to shut down a website with an innocent picture like this.

It is an important cause and something must be done but this bill is so poorly written it could be used to harm people that have nothing to do with child pornography. If this sounds a little like the War on Drugs or the War on Terror there may be a reason. Could it be Congress Critters? Senator McCain is not alone in not understanding the Internet.

From CNET News:

Millions of commercial Web sites and personal blogs would be required to report illegal images or videos posted by their users or pay fines of up to $300,000, if a new proposal in the U.S. Senate came into law.

The legislation, drafted by Sen. John McCain and obtained by CNET News.com, would also require Web sites that offer user profiles to delete pages posted by sex offenders.

After child pornography or some forms of "obscenity" are found and reported, the Web site must retain any "information relating to the facts or circumstances" of the incident for at least six months. Webmasters would be immune from civil and criminal liability if they followed the specified procedures exactly.

McCain's proposal, called the "Stop the Online Exploitation of Our Children Act" (click for PDF), requires that reports be submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which in turn will forward them to the relevant police agency. (The organization received $32.6 million in tax dollars in 2005, according to its financial disclosure documents.)

Internet service providers already must follow those reporting requirements. But McCain's proposal is liable to be controversial because it levies the same regulatory scheme--and even stiffer penalties--on even individual bloggers who offer discussion areas on their Web sites.

More after the jump...

Important UPDATE see comments

Continued...

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85
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Andie Ray, owner of Market Square's Vagabondia, made it on NPR's All Things Considered yesterday with comments about Bush's approach to the Iraq situation. I like these "voice of the people" reports (though they can be a "balance" cop out). What's interesting about this report is how the measured and calm everyone put on the air sound and how close all of the opinions on The Mess are to each other. Too bad The Decider has decided to not decide. Good job, Andie!

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15
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Wed
Dec 13 2006
09:38 am
By: bizgrrl  shortURL

I recently posted about visiting rural America, for fear it will be gone before you do. It is fascinating to also visit urban America. Brooklyn in New York City might be the perfect destination.

I have never visited Brooklyn. After viewing Dope on the Slope's "A Brooklyn Yule Tune", I think it might be quite interesting to wander outside of Manhattan the next time I go to New York City.

For those of us who live in the South, it is almost hard to comprehend 2.5 million people living in such a small area.

You must drill-down to Dope's links, and sometimes further, to get the full experience. Take a view of his blog regularly to see the beautiful and historical sites in Brooklyn, e.g. Prospect Park.

Heating laws, rent-stabilized apartments, ...
Gypsy cabs vs Yellow cabs vs car service? Will they even take you from Manhattan to Brooklyn? Apparently you get in the cab first, then tell them Brooklyn.
The Stroller Manifesto Movement.

I've always recommended Washington, D.C., as a vacation must. It is the capital of our country, ya know. I now highly recommend New York City, and more than one borough. It is the capital of the world.

20
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Tue
Dec 12 2006
10:43 pm

I've always found Mallard Fillmore more frantic than funny.

(link...)

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22
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Tue
Dec 12 2006
08:49 pm

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, David Duke and assorted Hitler Youth from around the globe are having themselves a fine little party in Tehran this week.

Does anyone doubt that Ahmahdinejad would hesitate to implement a whole new Final Solution, given half the chance?

Remember this when Israel finally gets around to blowing the hell out of the "peaceful" Iranian nuclear facilities. Although it seems a tragedy for the people of Iran, they have gone and elected someone who it would seem can't be reasoned with; only dealt with. I hope the next President - whoever he or she is - is paying attention.

26
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Tue
Dec 12 2006
07:53 pm

I just finished reading a thought-provoking article called "Defining Faith," by Barbara Elmore. It was published in Baylor Magazine (Winter, 07 edition). It is a summary of an extensive research project conducted by the university.

While the entire survey can be found at (link...) (74 pages, but contents well tabled), here is an excerpt from the printed piece:

The Baylor Religion Survey contains 29 questions about God's character and behavior. After analyzing these responses, two distinct dimensions of belief in God become clear.

These two dimensions dealt with God's level of "engagement" - the extent to which individuals believe that God is directly involved in worldly and personal affairs; and God's level of "anger" - the extent to which individuals believe that God is angered by human sins and tends towards punishing, severe, and wrathful characteristics.

Continued...

32
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Tue
Dec 12 2006
03:18 pm

Did you see the article in today's KNS about Frist's plans? His says he will spend the next year "looking for big ideas." I guess there are some who go into politics to serve the public, others looking to get rich helping their corporate pals, and some who just want to be "important".

The article says he talked with Bill Gates about "big ideas." Swell. Maybe he can do something about Viagra spams. He also whines about "not being able to establish his identity" because he had to be the "center of gravity" for 55 Republican Senators.

What a pompous, self-important windbag. He needs to just fade away into obscurity, which has been his destiny all along.

LEGACY BONUS: Best Frist quote.

DOUBLE LEGACY BONUS: Best Frist story. (Be sure to read the last paragraph.)

30
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Tue
Dec 12 2006
12:25 pm

Local traffic reporter Pete Michaels is having a problem with the landing gear on his Cessna and is currently burning fuel before an emergency landing at Island Home. CNN and Fox News are both speculating that the landing gear failed to deploy. The video shows the gear is just dangling.

Good Luck to You, Pete! We will be praying for you.

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27
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Tue
Dec 12 2006
11:39 am

When Google purchased YouTube many people said it was one of the dumber business acquisitions in recent history. Mark Cuban laughingly wrote they would be sued out of business. Google prepared a 500 million dollar fund for legal battles.

And there lawsuits. But not as many as expected. Then CBS did an about turn and uploaded 300 clips of their programming. The results have been impressive. The shows CBS pushed on YouTube became bigger hits on Television. It is kind of like windows shopping for new Television shows to watch. David Lettermen and Craig Ferguson of the Late Late Show have received big benefits. Letterman has gained an extra 200,000 viewers and Ferguson’s show is up seven percent. Ferguson’s stand up bits have become classics on YouTube.

The biggest benefit of YouTube for Television Networks may be focus groups. No longer will the studio have to do focus groups the old fashion way. Now they can instantly reach millions of people all across the country and see if the latest sitcom idea will fly.

YouTube may also be the next discovery vehicle for new stars. No more trolling through malls to find the next new face. The next Lana Turner may be discovered not in a soda shop but on YouTube. Lisa Nova hopes it will be her.

Technology pundits have long talked about the convergence of Television and the Internet. All that was needed was an application. YouTube is the killer app for convergence.

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20
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Tue
Dec 12 2006
09:49 am

Tennessean: FCC hearing draws stars and activists

Tennessean: Local media weighs in

Tennessean: Quotes from testimony

Liberadio: Testimony re. dominance of conservative talk radio

Liberadio: Interview with FCC commissioner Michael Copps (podcast)

Sharon Cobb: On generic playlists

Stop Big Media: Nashville citizens and stars hammer big media

Volunteer Voters: Chris Lugo: "I'd just like to say I don't recognize your authority."

Volunteer Voters: Congressmen on parade

Volunteer Voters: Local liberal talk radio testimony

Volunteer Voters: On both sides it's about money

In this post, AC at Volunteer Voters says "If there was a market for liberal talk on the radio it would exist." This is one of those memes floated by corporate controlled media in hopes that repeating it often enough will make it true. Or that at least people will believe it.

I was with a software company that was working with IBM on a project one time, and IBM wanted us to put in a particular feature. I told the guy from IBM that we didn't think there was much interest in it. He said I sounded like this marketing consultant that a transit authority had hired to study whether a new train stop was needed at a certain location. The consultant reported back that he had gone down and stood at the location all day and not one person came by looking to catch the train, so a new stop was not needed.

Even though they are currently working through bankruptcy, Air America has proven there is a market. Their financial problems are a result of mismanagement, not problems with marketing or programming. They are on the air in 87 cities, including nearly every major city in America, and on XM Satellite Radio. So somebody is listening.

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37
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Mon
Dec 11 2006
03:07 pm

For those that missed it, Mark Harmon was on Tennessee This Week yesterday.

Streaming video available here.

Mark and Gene discussed the upcoming, and much anticipated, ruling from the TN Supreme Court on our Charter and term-limits. They also discussed zoning and sprawl and Mark's appointment to the cable committee.

For the rest of the show Mark was joined by Kelvin Moxley and the topic changed to more national subjects.

28
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Mon
Dec 11 2006
12:25 pm
By: WhitesCreek  shortURL

I missed one. Try it:

Test

And I was pretty sure of my answer, dang it.

Steve

25
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Mon
Dec 11 2006
12:15 pm

Is anyone out there using Charter's HD DVR? Have you used Tivo before and how does it compare? Can you record two channels at the same time? Can you watch live TV while recording something else? Can you watch a recording and record two channels at the same time? (DirecTV's Tivo can do all this, not that anyone really needs it.)

How is Charter's HD service overall? Do the local analog channels still have a crappy picture? Is all local network programming available on Charter's local HD channels, even if it isn't HD so you get a better digital picture?

I've been using DirecTV for about three years now with their integrated receiver/Tivo. I love DirecTV's all-digital signal and the Tivo brand DVR, but DirecTV hasn't updated it and won't be offering an HD version and will be discontinuing it in a couple of years.

So right now you have to use DirecTV's proprietary HD DVR if you want HD, and they are backordered. DirecTV also requires a new or updated dish and a new receiver/DVR and they don't have local HD channels yet. So I'm thinking about switching back to Charter cable. Will I be sorry? (Thinking about getting an HDTV, obviously.)

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77
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Mon
Dec 11 2006
11:59 am

KNS reports that the Knox County Commission's Intergovernmental Committee voted this morning to request a state investigation of a controversial referendum that resulted in the annexation of a new commercial development in South Knoxville. Related background here and here.

32
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Sun
Dec 10 2006
08:28 pm

Press Release

KnoxGOP Chairman Announces Intention Hornback Appreciative to the Party for the Opportunity to Serve

For Immediate Release

December 10, 2006

Knoxville, TN; Today, Brian Hornback, KnoxGOP Chairman in announcing his intentions for 2007 said. “I am appreciative of the opportunity to serve as the leader of Knox County’s majority party. Together we have experienced Great success.” “In August 2006 we swept the 5 countywide races where we were opposed, we won 14 of the 19 County Commission races, losing one.” Hornback said. “On November 7, 2006 we delivered more than 15,000 votes for United States Senator Elect Bob Corker, than his opponent received.” “Congressman Duncan was re-elected by the second largest percentage of any contested incumbent Member of Congress in the United States.” “We maintained every Tennessee Republican seat that we held including State Representative Stacey Campfield.”

Continued...

29
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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.

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