This NY Times story reveals what a lot of us already know. The pharmacuetical companies in this country are a smarmy set of snake-oil salesmen wearting three piece suits.

May 8 2007
04:23 pm

A new report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Contacts Between Police and the Public, 2005," says that while the number of citizens of all races stopped or searched by law enforcement has dropped since 2002, minorities are still more likely than whites to be searched, arrested, and/or have force used against them.



May 8 2007
11:15 am

this is taken, with permission, from the k2k list:

Sundown in the City- Civil Rights
Posted by: "Martin Pleasant"
Mon May 7, 2007 6:18 pm (PST)

"My name is Donald Land. I am a Green Party member and active in promoting the Green Party platform to as many people as I can. I had attended the Sundown concert last thursday night and after the Wailers finished their set, I took the opportunity to speak to people.

As I was having a conversation with a group of people, (3 women with 1 child, and 1 man), the women stated they were familiar with our local Greens, left saying they would return in a few minutes. The man, later identified as Tom Martin, stayed so we could speak about the Greens.

As we were conversing, A man in a yellow blazer approached us and told us to move on and left. Both of us looked down at the sidewalk and Tom said "Isn't this a public sidewalk?" I replied "Yes it is". We resumed our conversation.

Only a minute or two later, the man came back and said " I told you guys to move on". At that time, I said to Tom" Why don't we finish our conversation over here", pointing to a area in front of the stage, and started to move in that direction. When I did, the man stepped in between Tom and I, with Tom's back to me. Tom had not moved. When the man stepped in between us, is when I saw his police badge for the first time, it had been underneath the blazer.

When I recognized him to be a police officer, I stated to him that if this gentleman moves on, the people that he is with will not be able to find him if he is not here, as there were still dozens of people milling about. He made no reply to me, instead he turned to Tom's backside, and jumped on Tom with a headlock manuever, and took Tom to the sidewalk, HARD. I should also note that Tom was holding a pizza box with both hands.

Another police officer arrived at the scene, and I stated to him that what had just happened was not right, and this officer threatened to arrest me also if I did not step away and shut up, I was already at least 10 to 12 feet away, so I did step away a few more feet, and watched quietly from about 15 feet away as they led Tom out the gate, to a police car and searched him.

I then stepped out the gate to the street sidewalk and called out, " At least, tell what his name is", to which a uniformed officer replied, Tom Martin. I then waited for the women that he was with, who returned about 5 minutes later, after the police had put Tom in a police van and took him away."

Tom would like an opportunity to tell his story
Thank You

May 8 2007
10:51 am

In which terrorism is not terrorism but instead simply a law enforcement problem.

May 8 2007
10:07 am

The Knoxville News Sentinel weighs in, sort of, on the state-wide cable franchise bill being proposed by AT&T.

They cover all the concerns with the bill regarding local control and revenues, build-out requirements, threats to public "cable access" educational and government programming (PEG), and other consumer protection issues.

But there are a couple of curious remarks.

The editorial starts out by saying:

A bill making its way through the Legislature would allow communications giant AT&T to enter the cable television market in Tennessee under the argument that increased competition will result in reduced prices and better service.

They fail to mention that AT&T can already enter the cable television market in Tennessee any time they want, and in fact have been invited by more than one local government to submit a proposal. What are they waiting for?

The editorial closes by saying "It would be great to have a choice of TV providers." Yet earlier in the editorial they note that Comcast, Charter, and Knology already operate in the Knoxville market, generating millions in franchise fees for local governments. These companies were able to negotiate local cable franchises and operate them for years. (And that's not counting satellite providers, who don't pay franchise fees but do provide competition.) Why can't AT&T do the same? What's stopping them?

They mention the "competition" aspects of the bill more than once, and, judging from some of the comments about the editorial, AT&T's massive propaganda campaign has been successful in making this the central focus of the debate in the minds of consumers.

So will the bill increase competition? And what about the other effects? Who knows? But we can look to states where the bill has been passed. Texas is one of them. They have been operating under similar legislation for about two years now. What has happened there?

For one thing, Houston may lose it's public education and government television due to changes in the funding formula under the new statewide cable franchise law.

On the other hand, a survey of 800+ selected Texas residents in three markets, sponsored by a "cable competition" advocacy group, found that competition in these markets did reduce fees by as much as 25%. Other analysts note, however, that some of that competition came from satellite providers. Regardless, the loss of PEG programming is a small price to pay to save a few bucks on your monthly cable bill.

And according to a Texas Public Utility Commission 2007 report:

Cable television (CATV) and non-facilities based Internet Protocol (IP) providers are two relatively new competitors that provide customers with more choices for the provision of their telecommunications and broadband services. CATV telecommunications providers, at this point, are primarily offering service in the urban and suburban areas, as opposed to rural.

But this should come as no surprise. Just as Texas was adopting state-wide cable franchises, SBC (now AT&T) told industry analysts:

During a slide show for analysts, SBC said it planned to focus almost exclusively on affluent neighborhoods. SBC broke out its deployment plans by customer spending levels: It boasted that Lightspeed would be available to 90% of its "high-value" customers — those who spend $160 to $200 a month on telecom and entertainment services — and 70% of its "medium-value" customers, who spend $110 to $160 a month.

SBC noted that less than 5% of Lightspeed's deployment would be in "low-value" neighborhoods — places where people spend less than $110 a month. SBC's message: It would focus on high-income neighborhoods, at least initially, to turn a profit faster.

Regarding consumer protection, the Texas Public Utility Commission report says:

The Commission’s authority to resolve customer service complaints about cable and video providers operating under CFAs [Cable Franchise Agreements] is unclear. PURA 8 66.008 specifies that the Commission has no jurisdiction to process complaints in local markets where two or more non-satellite providers offer video service. However, in markets where the incumbent cable company has replaced an expiring municipal franchise with a new CFA, the municipality is no longer the franchise authority and it is unclear who has jurisdiction to process customer complaints. The Commission concluded at its April 13, 2006, Open Meeting that it does not possess clear authority to address these complaints.

At any rate, AT&T is spending hundreds of millions to "educate" consumers on the benefits of "increased competition" and hiring armies of lobbyists to push these bills through state legislatures. When they finally come up for a vote, they usually pass. Such will likely be the case in Tennessee, where fiercely "independent" free-market conservatives rule the roost.

It's ironic, though, that they will essentially give newcomer AT&T, which now controls most of the telecom industry in the South, a regulatory leg up over their established cable competitors who had to play by the rules on a level playing field to negotiate local franchises.

May 8 2007
09:56 am

Today there is another Animal Control Committee meeting.

So let's try to get up to date with where we are now on this Blount County issue.

~The county commission has approved a 350K loan to Smoky Mountain Animal Care Foundation to get the basic shelter built.

~The county is allowing this shelter to be placed on county land and in the end, the county will pretty much own the building and the land.

Animal Control enforcement duties for Blount County will still be provided by the County but the housing, care and adoption of these animals will be provided by the new shelter.

Much like the Young Williams model with some changes. For operation details check out the presentations at (link...)

At this point is sure seems like they are working on the details and here is where you all can help! This shelter and it's services are currently being targeted to Blount County's non-incorporated areas. That means if you live in Alcoa or Maryville and your doggie should happen to wander off and be picked up by the City, it won't be taken to the new shelter.

Lost pups, stray dogs and wandering cats have no idea if they are wandering in the City or in the County. For this reason alone you folks in the cities should pick up the phone, call city hall and say you want your city to join in with the new Animal Shelter! No way, no how will these cities change what they do now if the citizens don't speak out.

Animal Control duties can and should stay with the cities but the care and placement of those unwanted and misplaced animals can be done by this new shelter.

Pick up the phone.

Go to the meetings.

Raise a few bucks to help get this thing going.

In the end, your pup will thank you for it.

And so will the rest of us.

Animal Control Committee meeting
Tuesday, May 8, 2007, 5:00 p.m.
Room 430, Blount County Courthouse

May 8 2007
03:04 am
By: Elrod  shortURL

As Bob Novak says, with Fred Thompson there is much less than meets the eye. He's a desperation pick by conservative Republicans - especially in Tennessee - who don't like the army of panderers and philanderers among the current GOP top crop. He's one of a long line of "projection candidates" onto whom disaffected voters can project their own longings. Ironically, Thompson's greatest appeal is that he seems "authentic," unlike the others.

But one thing I find striking about the Fred phenomenon is the touchiness with which his supporters guard his aura of authenticity. It's as if his own life story can't stand on its own. Nothing reveals this more than defensiveness over the red pickup truck in the 1994 Senatorial election. By most accounts, it was the moment that jumpstarted his campaign. His supporters say he was simply jettisoning the highly scripted political theatrics expected of a Senatorial candidate; it was just "Fred being Fred." A sycophantic article from Frank Cagle claims that Thompson wasn't really comfortable until he could hold impromptu rallies in rural Sevier County. Never mind that 1994 was a banner Republican year and any Republican who railed against the Washington establishment was likely to draw a crowd in rural East Tennessee. And note the way Terry Frank mocks a Tennessean article that chides Thompson for his Washington insiderness. As if Thompson did not, in fact, spend most of his career in Washington. Hmm, a bit touchy, huh?

Well, Kevin Drum, who brilliantly commented that Thompson "has done nothing to distinguish himself this year except deliver a few vaguely Reaganesque pastiches in a nice baritone," has again nailed Thompson on his phony "let Fred be Fred" persona. Apparently, not only did Thompson lease the red pickup truck in his 1994 campaign, but he didn't even drive it around the state. According to Michelle Cottle, who wrote a 1996 article outlining a potential Thompson Presidential run, "My friend stands talking with her colleagues as the senator is driven away by a blond, all-American staffer. A few minutes later, my friend gets into her car to head home. As she pulls up to the stop sign at the parking lot exit, rolling up to the intersection is Senator Thompson, now behind the wheel of a sweet silver luxury sedan. He gives my friend a slight nod as he drives past. Turning onto the main road, my friend passes the school's small, side parking area. Lo and behold: There sits the abandoned red pickup, along with the all-American staffer." In other words, Thompson only rode the red pickup truck for the last couple hundred feet so all the Sevier County locals could be impressed. He then promptly returned to his luxury sedan. Was this Fred being Fred? Or Fred the Fraud?

May 7 2007
04:44 pm

The KNS reports that former backup quarterback Jim Bob Cooter has signed on as a UT graduate assistant coach, replacing Rick Clausen who left for an insurance job in Chicago.

May 7 2007
04:26 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Senate 2008 Guru is a relatively new blog that's tracking news about every 2008 U.S. Senate race. Looks pretty good.

May 7 2007
03:52 pm

ouch. "It was not Reaganesque." "No red meat." "Too low key."

yeah, and the exclusive Balboa Bay Club in Orange County is sure to work with that image of a "man of the people."


May 7 2007
03:12 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

If you are so inclined, please take this Blogads blog reader marketing survey to help make KnoxViews rich and famous. Thanks in advance.

NOTE: If you have already completed the survey for another blog, all you need to do is click the link.

May 7 2007
01:32 pm

Mr. Bush brushed off his best manners this morning to receive Her Majesty. I was proud of him, he pulled it off pretty well until his nose started itching.

I felt his pain, my nose always itches when I entertain a queen.

May 7 2007
12:58 pm
By: Stick Thrower  shortURL

Over here in South Knoxville (Timberlake/Lakemoor area) we have a family of red foxes that decided to go out and play in the sunshine at about 10 a.m. this morning.

A few more photos...



When I read this link to the Washington Post on Google News, I thought, oh, yeah, here's another health hazard that we have been exposed to for years and they're just getting around to revealing that it's gonna kill us all.

As with so many other chemicals common in the household, buttery flavoring in microwave popcorn is apparently relatively harmless to the consumer, but is it killing those who are on the front lines of the manufacturing process?

While critics charge that OSHA has stalled, California is moving ahead. Here, state Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (D) has introduced a bill to ban the use of diacetyl.

I bought a clunky, old fashioned West Bend Stir Crazy popper several years ago at Wally World. It's nowhere near as convenient but I love what it does for plain old bagged popcorn and a little peanut oil.


Another sterling performance by U.S. intelligence services analyzing national security threats...

May 7 2007
10:47 am

By way of Stormare Mackee at Appalachistan:

"May is the National Foster Care Month. There are over 500,000 kids in foster care in the United States. If you're interested in helping children in foster care, the L.I.F.T. mentoring program established by Governor Bredesen desperately needs volunteers. For four to six hours per month, you can help a teen in foster care to gain valuable life skills. Individuals interested in applying to be a mentor can call 1-866-519-LIFT (5438) to receive an application, or contact Youth Villages at 215-7220."

28% (18 votes)
40% (26 votes)
No, but I will comment on the group's website
14% (9 votes)
Not sure
18% (12 votes)
Total votes: 65
May 6 2007
10:38 pm
By: Treehouse  shortURL

I am surprised nobody has commented on the KUB rate increase in the News Sentinel on 5/4/07 which noted, "The utility says the increases are necessary, in part, because average water and gas bills have fallen during the last decade from decreased residential usage. Although the utility is encouraging conservation, the lower usage is putting pressure on rates. ... On the gas side, KUB said the average annual residential gas consumption has fallen by almost a third since 1996 because of higher gas prices, warmer winters, and more efficient heating units." So because we're conserving, we have to pay more!

Lamar Alexander was on TV tonight explaining that gas prices are higher because of consumption. How can they expect us to believe this? It seems like the more we conserve, the higher the rates go. They need to come up with a new story/explanation. Or we need to quit funding KUB's and the oil company's infrastructure. We already had a rate increase for Knoxville's stormwater fixes. I am not happy about this latest attempt to raise rates.


There is a bit of a dilemma. I don't know whether to have Margaritas to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, or Mint Juleps in honor of the Kentucky Derby.

So, which horse do you like? I haven't been following it at all, but what I'd probably do is a $1 trifecta wheel on Hard Spun with all others. (How much would that cost me?)

When I don't know anything about any of the entries, wheel/box bets on entries with middling odds that can result in a big perfecta or trifecta payoff seem like the way to go, especially if you are there and see the parimutuel odds moving in such a way that might suggest new inside info or expert opinion favoring one entry or another.

Of course, I've only ever been to the horse races once (in Miami). I won about $600 on one race using the above technique, and promptly retired from horse race betting. I also bet on the dogs in Orlando and Daytona from time to time using this strategy, but not as successfully.

May 5 2007
03:26 pm
By: redmondkr  shortURL

A recent Newsweek poll shows Mr. Bush's approval rating at an all time low. It also indicates that each of the top Democrats is looked upon more favorably for 2008 than any top Republican contender. Of course it's way, way too early to see this as a light at the end of the tunnel, but it is a pleasant thought.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bush continues to court those people calling themselves Christians with his threat to veto legislation that would add sexual orientation language to the nation's hate crime law. It seems that the law would interfere with their rights to free speech.

Fellow party members are attempting to resurrect Ronnie for another shot at the White House. They are looking at old Fred, but they are seeing the Gipper.


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