Fri
Aug 31 2007
12:25 pm

Mayoral candidate Isa Infante held a press conference at around 10:30 this morning at Mary Vestal Park.

Seh's not happy about parks funding, and says it's an example of the way our city government spends too much on the wrong kinds of development.

"The city cannot have it both ways," she asserted. "They cannot collect the citizen's tax money, and also expect them to bring out their own shovels and their own mowers."

More on the story, including an audio snippet of her remarks, at the South Knox · Seymour Times. (link...)

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Kickbacks help screw little old ladies out of their pensions "Yield spread premiums" facilitate refinancing for economically disadvantaged. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Oh, and I hear der preznit has a solution for the mortgage crisis: giving tax breaks to rich real estate speculators to bailout Wall Street investors, in the name of helping poor families who won't see a dime. Real outside the box stuff. Whooda thunkit.

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Fri
Aug 31 2007
09:12 am

Sodomy Is Breaking Up That Old Gang of Mine

Serious fun available on the YouTubes, including the old gang in happier times:

(link...)

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Fri
Aug 31 2007
07:34 am

The lawmakers said their plane, a C-130, was under fire from three rocket-propelled grenades over the course of several minutes as they left for Amman, Jordan.

"It was a scary moment," said Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., who said he had just taken off his body armor when he saw a bright flash outside the window. "Our pilots were terrific. ... They banked in one direction and then banked the other direction, and they set off the flares."
...
Despite the scare, Shelby, Martinez and Cramer said they believed the recent increase in troop levels has helped stabilize parts of the country.

"It was kind of dicey," Shelby said. "But it just shows you what our troops go through every day."

US troops stabilizing parts of the country where they are in greatest number. Except for Baghdad, apparently.

Do they need to experience what our troops go through while on the ground? No pilots to zip them away.

Topics:
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Fri
Aug 31 2007
06:32 am

Knoxville Police Department officers shoot dog after attack. Dog's owners call the shooting needless. Story here (link...)

This matter seems to warrant some discussion. It involves pit bulls, which have been the subject in a number of cities. I sometimes feel sorry for responsible pit bull breeders and owners who treat their dogs with proper care. These dogs are more aggressive by nature, but so are other breeds.

I note the dog in question (as well as one other pit bull dog at the house) was 'tethered to a steel cable', which appears from the photos means tied up to a tree. I also note an igloo-style dog house, which is what these dogs appear to have for shelter. The owner says he raised the dog to be a watchdog. Seems to me there's a difference between a watchdog and an attack dog.

Read more...

Continued...

Topics:
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Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, will hold a 3-day evangelical festival at Thompson-Boling Arena April 25-27, 2008. The event is sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Franklin is president of the Association and also of the Samaritan's Purse relief organization. Story here (link...)

I was a small child when Billy Graham preached in Neyland Stadium. Given he's the greatest Christian evangelist of our time, I'm glad to say I heard him in person. I still have the program somewhere around here. I expect this event will draw people from all over East Tennessee and beyond. I look forward to more details as they develop.

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Thu
Aug 30 2007
01:22 pm

A lot of money floating around. May explain some seemingly illogical decision-making.

(link...)

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Thu
Aug 30 2007
01:04 pm
By: Factchecker  shortURL

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced that the 2006 near-record "warmth was primarily due to human influences." El Nino actually had a slight cooling effect in the U.S.

What will the data show about 2007? What are we in for next winter/summer?

h/t Grist.

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Thu
Aug 30 2007
12:49 pm



The trainwreck of a thread about the downtown cinema veered way off course into local politics, so we are moving the conversation here.

As you may be aware, early voting in the City of Knoxville elections gets underway on Sept. 5th. As you may also be aware, the election for mayor is one of only two contested races.

So what do you think? Who should be mayor and why? Vote in the poll and discuss in comments.

Thu
Aug 30 2007
08:13 am

This is pretty good. Watch the video, too.
Go Vols!

(link...)

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Thu
Aug 30 2007
07:44 am

Maybe we all should just give up on fresh spinach. Luckily, I have. Not intentionally, just never started buying it again.

A California produce company recalled bagged fresh spinach Wednesday after it tested positive for salmonella.
...
The recalled spinach was distributed throughout the 48 states and Canada and sold in both retail and food service packages. It covers 8,118 cases of spinach, although the company said more than 90 percent of that was on hold and would not be released.
...
The recall covers 10- and 16-ounce bags, as well as 4-pound cartons and cartons that contain four 2.5-pound bags, with the following tracking codes: 12208114, 12208214 and 12208314.

Consumers with questions can contact Metz Fresh at 831-386-1018.

H/T Orlando Sentinel

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Wed
Aug 29 2007
09:58 pm

I just wanted to cross-post something I wrote on The Moderate Voice about the motivations of Sunnis who turned against Al Qaeda in Iraq. It deals with what I think is one of the least discussed and most important elements of future US strategy in Iraq.

(link...)

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Wed
Aug 29 2007
12:15 pm
By: Sven  shortURL

According to my back-of-the-envelope calculations, President Numbnuts' war supplemental is equivalent to just under 25% of all personal income tax collected by the federal government annually.

$3.85 billion a week.* It's more than that, of course, because it won't be drawn out of the national checking account; it'll be rung up on the national credit card.

I might be able to swallow the largest single chunk of my tax dollars being blown on whiskey and sexy in one big eff-it-all Fall of the Republic bender. But no, the Magnificent Leader has decided to invest it in burning flesh, snake oil and training thousands in how to better kill my countrymen.

Matt Taibbi sums it up perfectly:

What the Bush administration has created in Iraq is a sort of paradise of perverted capitalism, where revenues are forcibly extracted from the customer by the state, and obscene profits are handed out not by the market but by an unaccountable government bureauc­racy.

This is the triumphant culmination of two centuries of flawed white-people thinking, a preposterous mix of authoritarian socialism and laissez-faire profit­eering, with all the worst aspects of both ideologies rolled up into one pointless, supremely idiotic military adventure -- American men and women dying by the thousands, so that Karl Marx and Adam Smith can blow each other in a Middle Eastern glory hole.

* Consider this: the Hoover Dam cost $2.4 billion to build (in 2006 dollars).

Topics:
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Wed
Aug 29 2007
08:47 am

Tech2020 annoucement: Thirteen Knoxville-Oak Ridge area companies made the prestigious Inc. 5000 this year.

Visionary Solutions #310
Sword & Shield Enterprise Security #426
Environmental, Safety & Health #536
Rodefer Moss Technologies Group #1190
Rodefer Moss & Co. #1666
Echota Technologies #1564
Progression Electric #1883
Navarro Research and Engineering #2622
PIPS Technology #2960
R. M. Moore Real Estate Co. #3057
Information International Associates #4295
Personal Computer Systems #4311
The Tombras Group #4824

The Inc. 5,000 includes the Inc. 500, but digs deeper to offer the most comprehensive look ever at the entrepreneurial engine driving the U.S. economy.

It seems interesting that there is a local company that makes computers, and makes money. Personal Computer Systems builds and sells computers to businesses and local government agencies. Its product line includes desktops, notebooks, servers, and peripherals.

The annoucement was received via email. It could not be found on their web-site.

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Tue
Aug 28 2007
07:48 pm

Here's a b-log I do:

1. Ramblin' Man

thanks,
Randall

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Tue
Aug 28 2007
04:27 pm

The Institute for Southern Studies' Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch continues doing the oversight work Congress either can't or won't do in calling the Bush Administration, and America, to account for what is still (not) happening in New Orleans.

Leading up to the second anniversary of Katrina, Facing South has the following must-reads:

Blueprint for Gulf Renewal

Katrina: Our defining moment?

Washington money not getting to those in need

Ten important lessons from Katrina

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Tue
Aug 28 2007
04:10 pm

It looks like lingering questions about Baptist Hospital are answered.

Hmmm, Baptists and Catholics hooking up. Speaking from personal experience with the nominally Catholic Mrs., Baptists usually get the better end of that deal.

UPDATE: More details (PDF format):

Official announcement

Questions and Answers

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Tue
Aug 28 2007
04:06 pm

This just in from the KNS:

TVA violated federal clean-air laws more than 3,000 times in a two-year span at a northern Alabama coal-fired power plant, a federal judge ruled Monday.

UPDATE: Here's the full story with more details.

On a related note, I'm happy to see the KNS let relatively new and pretty smart reporter Andrew Eder off leash every now and then to get after TVA and DOE, who seem to have been off-limits in the past.

Apparently Eder isn't on the TVA PR fax distribution list (and probably won't be on the cocktail reception invitation list, either).

Hopefully other reporters will still have their precious "access" so they can keep us "informed". (Although I have to give Frank Munger credit for usually calling it like it is with regard to Oak Ridge.)

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Tue
Aug 28 2007
03:58 pm

Half designated for academics and half for sports. Story at the Knoxville News Sentinel.

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Tue
Aug 28 2007
02:11 pm

Because they bend over their pages!

Seriously, though, with Larry Craig (R-Own Private Idaho) now outed and his suspected predation in the Congressional Page Program back in the news, I suspect there will be new calls to end the page program.

Continued...

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