Tue
Apr 24 2007
08:48 pm

via WBIR. While I respect my friend and neighbor Indya Kincannon, who is quoted in the article as saying, "The last thing we need is for public schools to become a bastion for low income people who have no other options public schools thrive best when everybody's involved," I disagree with where this is going.

The article, in the preceding paragraph, infers that is the parents who are hurting public schools:

But school board members ask parents to wait before making any hasty decisions that could hurt public schools in Knox County.

One must admit that the between marginal magnet schools (hint: key finding is that "Achievement patterns as defined through NCEs, within the five magnet schools have not changed much over the past five years") and this ridiculously ham-handed rezoning plan, you cannot and should not blame parents for the state of affairs in Knox County Schools.

more after the flip.

Continued...

157
like
Tue
Apr 24 2007
07:40 pm

I have said this time and again, and I will say it one more time.

Sen. Reid and other Congressional Democrats are hitting the wrong note on Iraq and getting it all wrong with talk of "failure" of U.S. policy and an "unwinnable" war. We won already. Yet they are letting the GOP minority and that idiot in the White House frame it as "surrender" and "defeat".

Continued...

Topics:
63
like
Tue
Apr 24 2007
07:02 pm

"We, of course, already know that when Cheney endorses a war, he exempts himself from participation. On second thought, maybe it's wise to keep Cheney off the battlefield — he might end up shooting his comrades rather than the enemy."

That is from 85 year old former Presidential candidate, George McGovern. A McGovern sticker was the first political bumper sticker I ever put on my car, a Fiat 124 coupe at the time.

I wish every other Democrat had the same fortitude as this old man.

There's more:

At Kos.

43
like
Tue
Apr 24 2007
06:38 pm

If you'd like to know how it was in 1968, in the Vietnam era, prior to a different "surge" and the carpet-bombing of Cambodia and plans for "pacification" of villages and the "Vietnamization" of American occupying forces (should any of that sound familiar to you or not), check out the movie Bobby.

Continued...

51
like
Tue
Apr 24 2007
06:12 pm
By: rocketsquirrel  shortURL

You have to play "guess who" before you click the link.

"In the war of my youth, World War II, I volunteered for military service at the age of 19 and flew 35 combat missions, winning the Distinguished Flying Cross as the pilot of a B-24 bomber. By contrast, in the war of his youth, the Vietnam War, Cheney got five deferments and has never seen a day of combat — a record matched by President Bush..."

"(Cheney) also said that (my) way is to surrender in Iraq and leave the U.S. exposed to new dangers. The truth is that I oppose the Iraq war, just as I opposed the Vietnam War, because these two conflicts have weakened the U.S. and diminished our standing in the world and our national security."

Just imagine if this guy had been president. Read the whole thing. It is spot on.

42
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Tue
Apr 24 2007
02:39 pm
By: bizgrrl  shortURL

Iraq Coalition Casualties 8th highest since the beginning of the war.

Why not flags at half-staff for our soldiers?

..."If the flags on our (operating bases) were lowered for just one day after the death of a service member, it would show the people who knew the person that society cared, the American people care."...

Topics:
45
like
Tue
Apr 24 2007
02:00 pm

Read this, which believe it or not was written before this, which is being linked all over the twilight zone.

I still don't know why they fascinate me so.

286
like
Tue
Apr 24 2007
01:03 pm

Remember voting for the military "surge" in Iraq? Of course you do, it's only been five months since you did so:

Via TPM Election Central.

40
like
Today, April 24, 2007
7% (3 votes)
This week (week of April 23,2007)
24% (11 votes)
Friday, April 27, 2007
0% (0 votes)
May, 2007
11% (5 votes)
This year (2007)
11% (5 votes)
Never
2% (1 vote)
Don't know
11% (5 votes)
Don't care
33% (15 votes)
Total votes: 45
Topics:
Tue
Apr 24 2007
06:38 am

Remember how the right wing blogs and media hacks tried to torpedo Gov. Phil Bredesen's 2006 reelection campaign with allegations of politically motivated promotions and corruption in the THP?

Remember the guy the GOP sent around in a bear suit to embarrass the Governor at his campaign events?

For some reason they are curiously silent on this.

48
like
Mon
Apr 23 2007
10:42 pm
Topics:
Mon
Apr 23 2007
06:34 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Also from Vanity Fair, here's a fascinating, in-depth article about the history of life on The Farm. As you may recall, The Farm is a world famous "hippie commune" founded in the early 1970s out in the country near Nashville.

Personally, I don't think I could live like that. But after the oil runs out the people at The Farm may have to show the rest of us the way.

Part of the story looks at how the group transformed from a commune that did not allow possessions into more of a loose collective with a little capitalism injected to stay economically viable. What's interesting is that all of this occurred around the same time as the "fall of communism" and the end of the Soviet Union. I'm sure there's a wingnut talking point in there somewhere.

But the real message is about sustainable lifestyles in the modern world. Like I said, the whole package is not for me, but it's interesting and there are some lessons for Patio People looking to reduce their environmental footprint and maintain a little sanity.

P.S. Here's The Farm's website. Lots of interesting stuff to explore.

45
like
Mon
Apr 23 2007
02:24 pm

Just received this press release from Lisa Starbuck...

New School Rezoning Forum Announced

A coalition of parents and neighborhood organizations from across Knox County announces a community-driven county-wide forum to discuss the proposed school rezonings. The forum will be held at the Knoxville Expo Center, 5441 Clinton Highway, on Thursday, April 26th, 2007 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. The coalition consists of parents and neighborhood groups in Knox County who are not satisfied with the level of community and parental involvement in deciding this important issue.

Read more...

Continued...

125
like
Mon
Apr 23 2007
12:36 pm

The KNS profiles Stacey Campfield. Here's my favorite part:

While none of those ideas has been transformed into law so far, Campfield said he is optimistic about ultimate success. He compared his crusading to the 18th-century efforts of William Wilberforce to convince England's Parliament to abolish slavery.

"They tried to intimidate him, ridiculed him," Campfield said. "That shows that, if you just keep trying, sooner or later it'll happen."

That Stacey, he's so noble.

56
like
Mon
Apr 23 2007
09:27 am

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in Vanity Fair:

Assaulting the environment across a broad front, the Bush administration has promoted and implemented more than 400 measures that eviscerate 30 years of environmental policy. [..]

Most insidiously, the president has put representatives of polluting industries or environmental skeptics in charge of virtually all the agencies responsible for protecting America from pollution.

According to the article, Bush has appointed more than 100 officials from the polluting industries they are now supposed to regulate. The article profiles the top twelve offenders.

On his radio show "Ring of Fire", RFK Jr. said this week that he and some other environmentalists are calling for the EPA to be shut down until Bush is out of office. They're serious. They say it is doing more harm than good at this point.

40
like
Mon
Apr 23 2007
12:31 am

Quite a few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit several acres of woodlands northeast of Washington DC considered to be the largest piece of undeveloped woodlands in the area and a nesting site for many migratory birds. An area that had remained in one family since before the Revolution and that had been left to a not-for-profit organization for protection, but which was then looking for a loophole in the will that would enable it to sell a portion of the land for development.

Continued...

54
like
Sun
Apr 22 2007
08:33 pm

A few more photos after the jump...

Continued...

68
like
Sun
Apr 22 2007
06:49 pm

Check out this site, www.knoxtransit.org, on the proposed Church Street location for the Transit Center.

From the site:

It is imperative that the proposed Knoxville transit center be intermodal. Passengers are more likely to use a system if it allows seamless movement from one type (mode) of transportation to another. Therefore, the only viable location of a new central bus station should be adjacent to the local rail network.

In 1998 TVA, at the request of the downtown Knoxville's Central Business District, studied the transportation needs from a local and regional perspective and concluded that West Jackson Avenue was the most desirable location for a intermodal transfer station.

The Nine Counties-One Vision Mass Transit Task Force and the Transportation Planning Organization studied the local and regional transportation needs, with an eye to both function and location. With the best information and minds available studying this subject, no better site has been proposed.

Bristol, Chattanooga, Nashville, Memphis and the Tennessee Department of Transportation all are studying, planning for and/or developing passenger rail systems. Knoxville, on the other hand, is planning a bus station.

Some will argue that it is too late in the process and we may lose the federal funding if we do not move forward with the Church Street site. It is irresponsible to suggest we spend tax derived funds rather then lose them.

Do not allow political leaders to marginalize public transit. Do not allow a bus station to be built that will inhibit the development of a fully functional public transportation system. Mother Earth, our children, parents, grandparents and our wallets deserve better.

Please review TVA's proposed concept and location and let your views be known. Contact Mayor Bill Haslam at (865) 215-2040 or e-mail at mayor@cityofknoxville.org and the Knoxville City Council.

50
like
Sun
Apr 22 2007
11:58 am

Evidently Karl Rove is not a fan of Sheryl Crow --

(link...)

Topics:
37
like
Sun
Apr 22 2007
08:53 am

We had a most enjoyable evening downtown last night. Great to see Steve of Whitescreek and his lovely wife and their friends. And a special thanks to the Socialist with a Gold Card who whipped out his Gold Card to pick up the tab for the Mrs. and me. That was totally not necessary but sincerely appreciated. We also ran into Don Williams at the show and it was nice to see him again.

The show was great as expected. Opener Carrie Rodriguez was a pleasant surprise. Powerful voice, great singer songwriter, with some good pickers in her band. First time I think I've seen an electric mandolin. I thought she would be a tough act to follow, although her set might have been a little long for some folks.

Lucinda Williams has been down some rough roads since we saw her last, but she can still lift you up and smack you down and make you laugh while breaking your heart. She has some problems with lyrics apparently, referring frequently to a songbook (and a mighty fat song book it is, to her credit). She gave up on one song, a sort of country/Americana rap number, after two false starts. She brought it home at the end, though, with some loud electric rockers. It probably helped that we had moved down to some abandoned seats in the second row orchestra pit.

The big disappointment was the drunk and rowdy crowd. Drunks hollering out song demands and inappropriate "wooo-hooos" ruin the mood of a beautiful venue and beautiful singer/songwriter voices. I guess they think they're the main attraction that everyone including Lucinda came to see, the way they kept hollering over her any time she tried to talk to the crowd.

Lucinda Williams must be used to it, but she reacted at one point after introducing a song and getting more song demands from the drunks, saying "I guess y'all are getting anxious. Maybe we'll just skip this one." A song or two later, she delivered a rather enthusiastic rendition of "Come On", which seemed appropriate:

Dude, I'm so over you
You don't even have a clue
All you did was make me blue
You didn't even make me, come on!

You're so self involved
You're in some kind of fog
You're hung on on your hog
You didn't even make me, come on!

[..]

You weren't even worth it
I'm sorry I ever flirted
The effort wasn't even concerted
You didn't even make me, come on!

UPDATE: Another review.

Topics:
40
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