Thu
Nov 23 2006
09:29 pm

This year I am thankful for, Reid and Pelosi, whoever outed Haggard and Foley, WDVX, McKay's free box, a neutered cat that may be peeing in the toilet, relatives, food, psychiatry and R. Neal. Peace, Stacey

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Thu
Nov 23 2006
08:38 pm

Geez, what a feast. Friends and family and a good hike and a nap, and a little football...Life is good.

But the conversation turns to other things as the kids take off to other houses in search of leftovers.

What do you think our country needs to do?

Get out...Stay...Send more targets to Iraq. Lot's of varying viewpoints on everything except that iraq is screwed up, it's Bush's fault, and nobody knows what to do now.

Bush had his shot but blew it, when he dismissed the Iraqi Army and turned over the rebuilding of the infrastructure to Halliburton. In all of history, there has never been a successful governing structure that did not have an involved local  middle class. Take away their jobs and leave thousands of weapons around for the taking and Iraq is a fine example of what you get.

But enough of that...We need a plan of our own, for our own Middle Class. We need a good national conversation of things that will become goals in the coming months. I don't agree with all of this but it's a good place to start.

Wow, Do We Have a Lot to Be Thankful for This Year. Now , About 2007....

Now...I'm feeling nappy. Is it a faux pas to snore in front of the TV with company in the house?

Peace...And I promise to eat less tomorrow...after the leftovers are gone.

Steve

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Thu
Nov 23 2006
08:04 am
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Wed
Nov 22 2006
05:14 pm

A rumor has been flying around today that the Tennessee Supreme Court will be releasing its opinion on the Knox County Charter today. I kept looking for it and finally gave up, figuring my source was wrong. I just got a phone call that it's coming out at 4 pm CST. Has anyone heard anything about this?

UPDATE: Seeing as it is 5 pm CST and nothing has been release, I'll take it that this rumor isn't true. My apologies.

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Wed
Nov 22 2006
04:20 pm

Ugh. They are advocating for the establishment of a scholarship that requires a litmus test of 25% 'Caucasianness' to receive the same. Now, being that BU is an outstanding school and prohibitively expensive, I can see how access to financial aid is of crucial importance to the students there. But.

Continued...

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This morning on The Voice 1180 AM, Lloyd, Kevin and company mentioned a couple of times they had all the transcripts from the city's investigation of the Community Development department.

They were going to review the investigation over the long weekend and then on the program on Monday start discussing what's in the transcripts. Parts of the transcripts may be read on the air.

And from what I've heard, the summaries on the Sentinel's web site are pretty tame compared to what's in the actual transcripts.

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Wed
Nov 22 2006
03:14 pm

UPDATE(2:00pm): I have the police report. Here's what happened:

LaFollette Police were called to the residence of Mike Stanfield shortly before 8:00pm Tuesday night on a theft call. Upon arrival, Mr. Stanfield and his son Shaun told officers that they saw the suspect take a utility trailer from their property and pull it to the street behind his vehicle. Mr. Stanfield told police he and his son confronted the suspect (34-year-old Kenny Shepard of LaFollette) who then fled in his vehicle. Mr. Stanfield is claiming Shepard "struck" his son Shaun with the vehicle as he fled but the report also states a witness claims the younger Stanfield jumped onto the hood of Shepard's car in an attempt to stop him.

The officers arrived at the Stanfield residence after Shepard took off. Stanfield said he knew the suspect and knew where he lived. The officers said they would follow Stanfield. However, the officers got slowed by traffic and stop signs in the residential neighborhood and when they arrived at Shepard's residence, Stanfield--according to the report--and Shepard were already in a struggle and Stanfield had a handgun pointed at Shepard's head saying, "You tried to run over my son! I'll blow your f--ing head off!"

Officers ordered Stanfield to drop his gun, which he did. Both he and Shepard were arrested.

Kenny Shepard is charged with theft of over $500 (the utility trailer was returned to the Stanfield property). Although not official, I have heard that perhaps Shepard is an ex in-law of Stanfield's or somehow known to the Stanfield family.

Mike Stanfield was charged with aggravated assault, was booked and later released on bond.

Stanfield was elected to LaFollette City Council two weeks ago and is due to take office next month

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Wed
Nov 22 2006
01:15 pm

A bit of humor for Thanksgiving. From my youth and You Tube, the WKRP Turkey Drop (link...) .

A Happy Thanksgiving to All.

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Wed
Nov 22 2006
11:42 am

"The Pre-Meal Thanksgiving Safety Demonstration"
A great reminder to not forget the liquor store run today.

It also reminded me of the movie, "Home for the Holidays", with Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr, and more great actors.

Hat Tip to Instapundit

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Wed
Nov 22 2006
11:00 am

So the kids have courage even when the adults don't.

I attended a workshop on coal mining with industry reps, enviro types, and the Tennessee Conservation commission. I came away thinking there were significant monetary interests intent on ramping up strip mining in Tennessee and that the controls were very inadequate to protect the rest of us. National Coal has mining rights to very large tracts in Royal Blue and it is essentially impossible to extract the coal without damage to the New River which flows into the Big South Fork. There could be tragic consequences.

I can hear them screaming, "Jobs, jobs, etc." but the numbers don't actually support much of a job impact due to modern methods and equipment.

We'll see.

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Wed
Nov 22 2006
10:31 am

Here's the Knoxville News Sentinel report. An interim contract was approved, but action on a new contract was postponed for further review.

PNI is embroiled in the controversy surrounding Knoxville's Community Development Division. Renee Kessler resigned as head of that division last week. According to today's report, the local NAACP was at the meeting to ask Mayor Haslam to clarify that Kessler's resignation had nothing to do with charges of discrimination involving division employment practices and Empowerment Zone operations. The mayor repeated his assurances that his own investigation found no evidence of discrimination.

We understand there is a 1200 page report resulting from an internal civil service investigation into operation of the EZ program and Community Development. We expect there will be more to come on this developing story.

In our opinion, City Council was right to approve an interim contract to keep the program going, and they were right to agree to pay PNI for the work they have done without a contract since the previous one expired in April. Now the city needs to review the entire program to make sure it is being run effectively so that taxpayer dollars are producing the intended benefits. City Council was right to postpone the proposed PNI contract until all of this is sorted out and the city can determine how the program can best be administered going forward.

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Wed
Nov 22 2006
10:26 am

Frank at Left of the Dial has the scoop...

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Wed
Nov 22 2006
09:17 am

According to this wire report in the Knoxville News Sentinel, Alcoa is cutting 5% of their work force, approx. 6700 workers worldwide. Their reason?

"Through the first three quarters of 2006, we have generated more earnings than in any full year in our company's history, and in order to continue to move forward, we now need to take the difficult but necessary restructuring steps that will continue to maximize profitability across the company," Alcoa Chairman and CEO Alain Belda said in a statement.

You may recall the Alcoa recently approved a new union contract.

In what is characterized as a "consolidation" and a "joint venture" by Alcoa, they are selling off one of their divisions to a foreign company which will result in three plant closings in Ohio, Georgia, and Florida. A plant in the UK will also be closed.

Some jobs at Alcoa's canned sheet operations here in Alcoa TN could be affected by the restructuring, but the article is a little unclear on that. (Maybe I have reading comprehension problems, but it looks like a paragraph was cut making the remarks about the "remaining 20 jobs" at Alcoa TN confusing.)

There had been speculation about a possible hostile takeover of Alcoa because their stock was underperforming despite record earnings. It appears their solution was to spin off the less profitable divisions and refocus.

In the strange "coopetition" world of business, Alcoa's new "joint venture" is with a Norwegian conglomerate previously involved in a bitter fight with Alcoa over an unsuccessful 2002 takeover bid for the company that owns the company that Alcoa is now partnering with. And if you can follow all that you are ready for the high-stakes game of global corporate hold-em poker.

More here and here.

UPDATE: The Maryville Daily Times report has the missing paragraphs:

In the restructuring, 320 of those lost jobs will come from the company's flat roll product segment, said ALCOA spokesman Kevin Lowery.

ALCOA will be closing its canned sheet facility in the United Kingdom, which has 300 employees.

That leaves a total of 20 job losses that will come from the aluminum company's canned sheet facilities at Tennessee Operations, Warrick, Ind., and Russia, Lowery said.

That makes more sense. It sounds like the Alcoa TN operations may have dodged a bullet, unless of course you are one of the 20 families that will be affected.

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Wed
Nov 22 2006
03:09 am
By: bill young  shortURL

John F.Kennedy..is as far removed from young people today..as Warren G Harding was from me when the President was killed in Dallas on that late fall friday..November 22,1963...I was in the thanksgiving school play..East Lincoln Elementary School(the irony of the name just hit me)..Tullahoma,Tn...we were not told the President had been shot..so we wouldn't be upset..as the school play went on all us kids thought we were doing really well..all the parents were so emotional..what we didn't know..was that..right before the play had started Mr.Turner,the principal,had announced..that the President had died..those four days..Dallas,Nov.22(UPI)--Three shots were fired at President Kennedy's motorcade today in downtown Dallas...Air Force One,flying from Dallas..landing at Andrews Air Force Base..the casket..Mrs.Kennedy & Robert Kennedy..the grey ambulance..& President Johnson speaking...Oswald is shot...the riderless horse..the drums..the caisson.."We ask,that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint..and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of peace on earth,good will toward men." the conclusion of President Kennedy's speech that was never given..in Dallas..on that late fall friday...November 22,1963

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We just got back from the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists panel discussion on blogging. There were great questions (as you might expect from a room full of journalists) and lively discussion about the relationship between blogs and the media, the history and future of blogging, and more.

On the panel were journalist/blogger Betty Bean, KNS Editor Jack McElroy, UT law professor and Instapundit Glenn Reynolds (and his lovely wife Helen in the audience), UT Journalism and Electronic Media lecturer (and walking, talking encyclopedia of journalism, newspapers, and blogging) Bob Stepno, Rocky Top Brigade proprietor Johnny Dobbins, and yours truly.

Our host was Dorothy Bowles from the UT School of Journalism and Electronic Media and past president of the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists. Current president Ed Hooper was also there, and he was most gracious. It was also nice to see Mark Harmon, UT professor of broadcast journalism and newly elected Knox County Commissioner.

We met lots of other great folks, and it was a real pleasure. The Mrs. took some notes and may have recorded the discussion. We will try to sift through all that and post some highlights later.

Bonus, KNS Managing Editor for Multimedia Jack Lail, who is a super nice guy, gave the Mrs. and me a personal tour of the KNS facilities and newsroom. (We got to meet Saul Young, one of the KNS's great photographers who was apparently working late.) Their $25 million+ printing press system is a miracle of modern engineering, capable of cranking out 70,000 newspapers per hour. It was totally awesome.

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141
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Tue
Nov 21 2006
07:33 pm

from Phoenix, Arizona.  A lady who said she was surveying for the Republican Party wanted to know how much I approved of Mr. Bush's performance in driving the Bus of State.

"I strongly disapprove, and I voted accordingly", I told her.

"Do you mind telling me why you disapprove?"

"I consider him to be the worst president since Buchanan."

"Who?"

"James Buchanan; he was the guy Abraham Lincoln replaced."

"Oh", she said, gave me permission to have a nice day, and hung up.

Is it 2008 already? 

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23
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Tue
Nov 21 2006
07:20 pm

Winning hearts and minds, street by street:

(Hey, maybe if you acted like liberators, you'd be greeted like liberators.)

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13
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Tue
Nov 21 2006
06:18 pm
By: ConcernedKnox  shortURL

While Steve Hall continues to call for an investigation of County Government over incidents more than 20 months old, he remains quiet on the Kesler issue which has been front page news on the News Sentinel for over a week. Not only does the City Government issue involve a series of procedural allegations, it also involves millions of federal taxpayer dollars managed by the City. Hall should be more concerned with the local government he was elected to help govern and less concerned with Knox County Government.

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Tue
Nov 21 2006
12:25 pm
By: Andy Axel  shortURL

Remember when Ann Coulter "joked" about putting rat poison in Justice Stevens' dessert?

Coulter had told the Philander Smith College audience Thursday that more conservative justices were needed on the Supreme Court to change the current law on abortion. Stevens is one of the court's most liberal members.

"We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee," Coulter said. "That's just a joke, for you in the media."

Looks like someone was hip to her vibe.

Barbara Joan March, a 61-year-old Connecticut resident, was sentenced last month to 15 years in prison for mailing letters "containing either a baked good or a piece of candy laced with rat poison" to the nine justices...

The FBI has a press release dated October 11 which details the case. Justice O'Connor was apparently making references to this arrest in public last week, which brought this item to the fore.

A 61-year-old woman from Bridgeport, CT just doesn't fit the Bush Administration profile for a terrorist, huh?

We're fighting them "over there," etc.

Food for thought.

Cary Grant: "Aunt Abby, how can I believe you? There are twelve bodies in the cellar and you admit you poisoned them."

Josephine Hill: "Yes, I did. But you don't think I'd stoop to telling a fib."

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15
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Tue
Nov 21 2006
02:37 am
By: Brian A.  shortURL

Monday night Keith Olbermann had another compelling Special Comment, this time on the lessons President Bush has failed to learn from Vietnam.

I'm post-Vietnam War.  For some of you older folks who remember that era, I'm curious to what extent, if any, you see similarities between that period and this.  Not necessarily similarities in the fighting of the war, but in how the government sells the war to the public.

Do valid comparisons exist?  Or is our view of the current affair being unfairly skewed by the specters of Vietnam?

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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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