Tue
Apr 17 2007
02:04 pm

The latest Tom Tomorrow cartoon is up.

Those with conservative leanings click here instead.

45
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Tue
Apr 17 2007
11:14 am

Imagine! The state of Tennessee stepping up to the plate on the issue of Clean Water.

Right now in Nashville there is a a bill that would put some muscle behind enforcing clean water laws. It is the TN Clean Water Act of 2007 and it needs our support.

(link...)

48
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Tue
Apr 17 2007
09:00 am

Rocketsquirrel's good advice below notwithstanding, this is a big story, and for those at work who couldn't see it, here's a summary of the Virginia Tech press briefing that just concluded.

Read more...

Continued...

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Tue
Apr 17 2007
08:23 am
By: rocketsquirrel  shortURL

Over at HuffPo, Sheldon Drobny volunteers:

"If you want to get through the aftermath of the Virginia Tech massacre in a healthier way, don't watch the news for about a week. If you did not need an anti-depressant before this event, you may have to start if you decide to listen, watch, or read the news. These vultures will do you in."

good idea. Probably applies to blogs, too, for that matter. What we saw yesterday is a daily event in other parts of the world, but leaves us speechless when it happens here. Are we winning the war on terror, or is the media?

Drobny adds:

Since 9/11 our President has told us "we have to fight them there so we don't have to fight them here." Since this particular assassin is a Chinese National, perhaps GWB would consider attacking China in his sick logic. My answer is that "we have to fight them here so we don't have to fight them here." And the ones we have to fight here are mostly the politicians and media moguls that use fear and propaganda to line their own pockets and give them the power of nightmares to control and exploit us.

So take a break. Don't feed the MSM trolls and succumb to their fear and intimidation tactics as they exploit tragedy for ratings.

Update: Drobny's analysis was posted before the announcement that the shooter was actually a Korean national. doesn't change his point.

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Mon
Apr 16 2007
04:36 pm

Democracy for America (link...) is doing training in Knoxville April 28-29

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Mon
Apr 16 2007
12:10 pm

It's nice that Texas is returning the favor. Tennessee sent them Sam Houston and a large contingent of good old boys who would up getting kicked by Mexicans at the Alamo and Texas sent us back a Nashville professional football team that is almost good. Then Texas does something actually worthwhile and publishes a database of plants native to TN that we can actually use along with info on how and where to plant them.

Thanks, TX. It helps get out minds off the most recent tragedy now coming to light.

42
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Mon
Apr 16 2007
11:29 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Reports: up to 22 killed in Virginia Tech shooting rampage. Shooter reported killed. Others, possibly as many as 28, reported wounded.

UPDATE: ATF says shooter killed himself, two 9mm handguns recovered. White male, connection to university unknown at this time.

UPDATE: Wounded victim who was shot in upper arm says shooter was "Asian", walked in and started firing at random, shot several students and possibly the professor, left, tried to come back in, they barricaded the door and he began firing through the door.

UPDATE: Reports now say 32 dead. Student journalists from the school paper are posting updates at a temporary alternate site.

UPDATE: CNN reports that the death toll is up to 33. They include the gunman in the count.

UPDATE: AP reports that Virginia Tech officials confirm shooter was a student.

UPDATE: CNN single source report (i.e. not confirmed) that a Glock 9mm and "a .22" were recovered.

UPDATE: NBC reporting that the shooter purchased both handguns in Virginia.

UPDATE: New revelations about the shooter's state of mind.

UPDATE: The Hillbilly Savants blog has an extensive roundup.

Blog accounts from the campus:

Ruination Day

Madness on campus

Rather scared

Virginia Tech shootout (scroll down)

Insane freshman year

Holy....

Topics:
178
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Mon
Apr 16 2007
10:54 am

Here's a way cool 24 hour time-lapse webcam video of Thursday's Sundown in the City by Ian from high atop Downtown Knoxville. Geek info here.

45
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Mon
Apr 16 2007
10:37 am

Sandra Clark rips the new plan, and offers sympathy for the guy who keeps getting stuck with damage control. Plus, from Gossip and Lies: "Halls High was virtually unscathed by the school rezoning plan with only four students rezoned to Central. An unidentified teacher said he/she wants to pick which four."

While you're over there, check out the Beanster's column on the storm water ordinance. Yet another huge fiasco a long time in the making.

58
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Mon
Apr 16 2007
09:35 am

Another update on the state-wide cable franchise bill. The latest edition of the KNS's Greater Knoxville Business Journal has this point-counterpoint between an AT&T spokesperson and Knoxville City Councilman Rob Frost:

FROST: "Competition is good, but the competition AT&T is talking about providing is to a fraction of our society. AT&T can come in right now, but they would have to provide their service to everyone. AT&T doesn't want to play by the rules that everyone else has.

"They're going to provide competition to the wealthiest of the wealthy and no one else. Government should not be in the business of allowing the creation of economic classes. This is coming from someone who traditionally votes Republican, but right is right and wrong is wrong, and this is wrong."

Read the whole thing.

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Mon
Apr 16 2007
09:07 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Tom Humphrey at the KNS files this report on a proposed 2.5 cent per-gallon ethanol subsidy currently before the Tennessee General Assembly.

The "pilot" program would be targeted at nine East Tennessee counties. A Pilot Oil lobbyist is promoting the bill. According to the article, the cost would be somewhere around $3.3 million, based on an expected output of 60 million gallons from a producer in Knoxville. The article also mentions Bredesen's proposed $40 million "biomass ethanol production plant" in Oak Ridge.

I've pretty much decided that ethanol is the wrong path to pursue. Some experts say it takes more petroleum to produce ethanol than it replaces and that it's a net energy loss. It seems like a pretty primitive solution, too. We need bigger ideas. And there's already a 51 cent per-gallon federal ethanol subsidy, not to mention corn subsidies.

What if they used the $3.3 million to provide hybrid tax credits instead? A $1000 hybrid tax credit would encourage 3300 new hybrids on Tennessee's roads. Throw in Bredesen's $40 million for an ethanol plant, and that would stimulate purchase of 43,300 new hybrids.

If you figure 15K miles per year at 20MPG v. 15K miles per year at 35MPG, that's a reduction in fuel consumption of more than 14 million gallons per year. Throw in the federal subsidies, and we could all be driving free hybrids! Well, not quite, but you get the picture.

Who would argue with a policy that reduces fuel consumption by 14 million gallons per year and saves Tennessee motorists $37 million at the gas pumps?

Oh, wait...

79
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Mon
Apr 16 2007
07:55 am

According to a press release, members of the Tennessee Senate Environment, Conservation & Tourism Committee will visit Kyle's Ford on the Clinch River on Friday, April 20 to examine the effect that pollution from Virginia coal mines is having on the Tennessee waterway.

The committee has has heard testimony that Virginia mining...

Continued...

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It often starts with parents who don't welcome any questioning of their authority, and it has always been a prominent part of religion where only Popes and priests or the Good Book (be it the Bible or the Quaran) has the answer. At the workplace, employees obey the boss and follow routines that sometimes make no sense to them or their customers at all.

Yesterday I was at the Post Office waiting in a long line while one weary postal worker struggled to work as efficiently as possible. While waiting I saw a small cardboard sign boasting that the Post Office was trying its hardest to please me. It assured me that the postal employee I was about to confront would inform me about five wonderful services when I finally got up to the counter. If I was not told about these services, I could actually win a dollar! Yeah, I thought. Each employee had a couple of dollars pinned to their chest. If they failed to state all five services available, I could demand they give me one of their dollars. At first the thought gave me a little quiver of excitement. Wow maybe the guy would forget (hee hee!) and, I'd be a dollar richer, but as I stood there I began to question what this scheme really meant. It meant I'd be forced to listen to yet another monologue by a worker who was forced to deliver a script ala Hi I'm Mandy and I will be your server tonight. It meant I was going to be told about things I already knew about, whether I liked it or not. Hmmm, I thought. No wonder the line is so long!

Read more after the jump...

Continued...

Topics:
46
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Mon
Apr 16 2007
06:39 am

The Knox County Commission is set to vote today on a resolution opposing the statewide cable franchise bill. More info here, background here.

UPDATE: Joe Powell on the disinformation campaign being run by the bill's promoters.

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Today Dick Cheney said he and the President "have every confidence in Attorney General Gonzalez and that they are "looking forward to the hearings concerning the firing of the U.S. Attorneys". Now really! Looking forward to the hearings? Oh, gee, the mirth and glee that must be pervading the White House at the prospect of yet another Congressional hearing into their wrong-doings must be fun to see.

Having Dick Cheney endorse your integrity today carries about as much weight as a duck feather. It's beyond my imagination to consider how the administration can keep believing statements like this actually bolster anyone's belief that there is nothing deceitful or sleazy going on. Don't they realize how empty that well-worn phrase--have every confidence in--has now become? You'd think after years of singing the same mantra, some advisor somewhere would knock one of them upside the head to get the needle unstuck.

Read more after the jump...

Continued...

Topics:
51
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Sun
Apr 15 2007
01:12 pm

From TomDispatch.com, I was taken by the featured article written by librarian, Chris Ward, The Public Library As Asylum For The Homeless. Although from Salt Lake City, Ward writes about two important issues here in Knoxville and Knox County.

Homelessness is described from Ward's position on the frontline at the downtown library. His voice also convinces us of the importance of the public space provided when a community commits to an urban library.

Ward recently retired as the assistant director at the Salt Lake City Public Library. He's a little preachy* but he's earned the right for his career commitment. He says, "I like to think of our library as the civic ballroom of our community where citizens can practice that awkward dance of mutuality that is the very signature of a democratic culture." The value of the library as a public gathering place is an overarching principle that makes it possible for him to persevere because some day’s encounters yield only frustrating despair.

Inseparable from discussion of downtown libraries are urban transients, the homeless, the outcast. We all know what this problem is – it’s the stinky ick factor or the awkwardness of being within earshot of a schizophrenic...

Continued...

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Sun
Apr 15 2007
12:57 pm

Dope on the Slope has a funny story that starts with a holy card...

Topics:
50
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Sun
Apr 15 2007
10:15 am

This is one of those blog memes I got tagged with. If you're interested in that sort of thing, click "read more"...

Continued...

Topics:
142
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Sat
Apr 14 2007
07:43 pm

Some posters here appear to think that this school rezoning proposal under consideration is routine. It isn't. A systemwide school rezoning proposal of the sort under consideration now has NEVER BEFORE been suggested by Knox County Schools.

Several school communities slated for rezoning, including my own, have no overcrowding or underutilization problems either one, but are nevertheless included in the community-wrecking shuffle.

ARE PEOPLE AWARE THAT THIS SYSTEMWIDE REZONING PROPOSAL IS A FIRST? THAT IT IS DESTROYING COMMUNITIES, AND DESTROYING SOME OF THEM COMPLETELY WITHOUT REASON?

See: (link...)

Read more after the jump...

Continued...

Topics:
178
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