(link...)

This could now get interesting.

107
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Tue
Aug 14 2007
07:52 am

The "surge" may be just the beginning of what could be a tsunami.

"I think it makes sense to certainly consider it," Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute said in an interview with National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." (link...)

"And I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table. But ultimately, this is a policy matter between meeting the demands for the nation's security by one means or another," said Lute, who is sometimes referred to as the "Iraq war czar." It was his first interview since he was confirmed by the Senate in June.
Read More

Continued...

128
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Mon
Aug 13 2007
08:35 pm
By: Sandra Clark  shortURL

Tommy Schumpert and Ben Atchley spoke tonight at the West Knox Republican Club. It was a hostile crowd. Going out the door, Schump said, "Wow, I got out alive!"

Atchley is a revered Republican, but he was totally right when he said, "Good government is not a partisan issue. ... It's the people's government, not the party's government."

Tommy and Ben have formed a PAC to raise funds and endorse local candidates -- what they call "good people." -- s.

105
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Mon
Aug 13 2007
07:11 pm
By: StaceyDiamond  shortURL

On a side note to the discussion on the West's, I've been following NORML news for a while. States much bluer than Tn. have actually made some progress on medical marijuana and there was a NORML fundraiser in Austin last week with Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel and others. You occassionally see bills about medical marijuana that come from Steve Cohen and a couple of others in Tn., but that's it and they don't get anyhwhere. UT had a NORML chapter a couple of years ago until the president moved.
Anyway, what I'm geeting at is that enough is enough of seeing anyone going to jail over anything to do with pot unless you throw the Pfizer and execs in with them. I don't have a dog in the fight any more over pot than I do gay marriage, but I think laws against both exemplify American hypocrisy. I would like to see the medical benefits of marijuana fully explored.
The ironic thing is Democrats with all their freedom loving values and the GOP with all their small gov. values let this go on and a Libertarian can't get elected, so we're stuck. I imagine you heard more about this in the 60's but the laws have only gotten stricter over time and I assume people gave up the fight.

24
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Mon
Aug 13 2007
04:53 pm

The Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005, or GO Zone, "contains a variety of tax breaks designed to stimulate construction in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. It offers tax-free bonds to developers to finance big commercial projects like shopping centers or hotels. It also allows real estate investors who buy condos or other properties in the GO Zone to take accelerated depreciation on their purchases when they file their taxes.

The GO Zone was drawn to include the Tuscaloosa area even though it is about 200 miles from the coast and got only heavy rain and scattered wind damage from Katrina."

Million dollar upscale condos with "king-size bathtubs and 'Bama decor, including crimson couches and Bear Bryant wall art."
...
On the storm-raked shores of Lake Pontchartrain in Slidell, Chad Mayo, a pawn shop operator whose business was flooded by Katrina, asked: "The GO Zone? What's that? We're in the dead zone."

It's all perfectly legal. Is it right? Well, as they say in Big Orange Country, whatever is right for football is right for the community.

28
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Mon
Aug 13 2007
02:49 pm
By: Socialist With ...  shortURL
Topics:
Mon
Aug 13 2007
01:28 pm

Tomorrow night at 7:00, a public meeting will be held at West High to discuss the findings of the Baker Center Report on Local Government. The meeting, sponsored by the group Knox County-One Question will give citizens the chance to ask the Baker Center staff about their report and to discuss the issues with each other. Several of the findings are shocking! In some communities (very similar to ours in many respects) government is structured differently than ours. Some governments have built-in mechanisms that address some of the main concerns raised during the KCOQ public forums held in May. The Baker Center used the results of those sessions to focus their research.

Discussions will focus on what the Baker Center learned about 1) ethics, 2) accountability and responsiveness, 3) efficiency and effectiveness, and 4) citizen-driven government in other communities. Visit (link...) to view the entire Baker Center Report.

Reason to come to the meeting tomorrow night:
1) Learn how other communities have structured government to deal with problems you are concerned with – problems like corruption by elected officials, failed leadership, nepotism, using tax dollars for personal gain, and more…
2) Learn how to change our government.
3) Add your own reason…

Reasons to not come tomorrow night:
1) It’s too hot.
2) “They” will never let “us” change our government.
3) I want to wait and see what kind of candidates “they" give us.
4) School just started back.
5) I’ve got tickets to a show.
6) I have to work 11 hours tomorrow, I’m tired now, I’ll be more tired then.
7) Some KnoxViews bloggers say these groups never do anything.
8) There is another meeting at the same time – the other meeting is more important.
9) Add your own reason…

Hope to see you there.

30
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Mon
Aug 13 2007
12:49 pm

We went up to the Look Rock parking area on the Foothills Parkway for the Perseid meteor show last night. We got there about 12:30 AM and stayed until about 3:30 AM.

I was surprised by the number of people and all the traffic. There were people at just about every pullout, and some of the lower ones were almost full. We saw several people with cameras.

The difference in the number of stars you can see in the darker skies is amazing as compared to the suburbs. The Milky Way is so bright you almost don't need a flashlight. There were so many stars and they were so bright, the Mrs. (our star navigator for the mission) had trouble orienting the various constellations at first. It helped when we finally got out a compass and figured out that North was the opposite direction from what I thought. (I believe I have mentioned before that I am directionally challenged.)

The meteor activity seemed to peak between 1:30 AM and a little after 2 AM. We saw dozens of meteors -- I'd guess around 50, but we weren't counting. Some were quite spectacular. I saw at least one double and a couple of rapid fire bursts of two or three.

I took about two hundred continuous 30 second exposures (actually more, but I deleted a bunch of non-productive shots along the way) using a cable release with a locking trigger and continuous shutter mode, and managed to capture exactly four meteors that I can actually see in the images. There were several more that I was sure I had captured, but I guess they just weren't bright enough. Click read more for the two best, which aren't all that great, and some notes on what I learned.

Continued...

150
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Mon
Aug 13 2007
11:29 am

I guess he is out, but may be interesting....

"..His supporters thus far include Howard Baker, a former U.S. senator from the state; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, who played for the University of Tennessee in college; and William Haslam, mayor of Knoxville. "

(link...)

45
like
Mon
Aug 13 2007
10:57 am

Barney Frank and Luis Gutierrez have introduced the "Coinage Materials Modernization Act (H.R. 3330). It authorizes the change in composition of coins.

"The Treasury Department estimates that changing the composition of pennies and nickels will save the government over $100 million a year. By making similar changes to the half dollar, quarter and dime, the government can save as much as $400 million annually."
...
it costs the government 1.7 cents to make a penny and 10 cents to make a nickel.

They don't know what they will use next, they just know the current materials cost too much. Guess the savings will not be realized for quite some time.

Topics:
49
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Here's a detailed, comprehensive plan for national health insurance, and it's written by physicians, not by politicians or insurance companies. I think anyone could get behind a candidate who endorsed this plan. It even takes care of private insurance employees who would be displaced by a single-payer system.

(link...)

89
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Mon
Aug 13 2007
07:19 am

Seems all of a sudden the mastermind of past elections is distancing himself from the White House--or are the Republicans distancing themselves from Rove? (link...)

"Asked in the interview if he felt he had committed any mistakes during his White House tenure, Rove said, "I'll put my feet up in September and think about that."

Famous for his string pulling, the man has who sometimes been suspected of pulling the President's strings so hard Bush has been jerked around like a puppet is "leaving for the sake of my family". Whatever that means.

Read more

Continued...

Topics:
16
like
Mon
Aug 13 2007
05:55 am

Carl Rove Resigns effective end of the month.

Glory be !

But the evil you know.....

25
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Sun
Aug 12 2007
09:11 pm

As some of you know, I just spent 10 days visiting my kids in California. My son, Joey, is in San Diego. My daughter, Rachael, is in San Francisco, and I split the time between their homes.

Joey, who is about to become a father (yep, that's right -- I'm fixing to be a grandma), is a lawyer, as is his lovely Kristin. They live in a neighborhood called South Park, which is pretty close to down town. It's a sweet place, with lots of flowers and palm trees and interesting buildings. The thing that surprised me is how pluperfect this place is. The weather is to die for. While y'all were sweltering your butts off here, the temp never broke 85 or so in San Diego.

Continued...

Topics:
26
like
Sun
Aug 12 2007
10:58 am

Mitt Romney spent more than $2 million to win the Iowa straw poll with 4,516 votes.

This is just insane.

A Romney campaign spokesperson said "This is grass-roots organizing."

37
like
Sun
Aug 12 2007
10:37 am

"Something's wrong here when one of the richest countries in the world, the one that spends the most on health care, is not able to keep up with other countries," said Dr. Christopher Murray, head of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. (link...)

Until Americans can step beyond the fantasy that we are a keeping up with other countries as far as health goes, we will never correct some of the problems we all know are affecting our everyday lives.

If we are dying faster than people in 42 other countries, then it's clear our health care system stinks.

Read more...

Continued...

17
like
Sun
Aug 12 2007
10:30 am

Americans are living longer than ever, but not as long as people in 41 other countries.

Life expectancy ranks 42nd of 222 countries.

Possible factors:
* 45 million Americans lack health insurance
* Nearly a third of U.S. adults 20 years and older are obese
* The U.S. has the resources that allow people to get fat and lazy
* Racial disparities
* Relatively high infant mortality rate

17
like
Sun
Aug 12 2007
09:20 am

Took a quick trip to Nashville with the Mom to visit my sister and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. (H/T to Sis for being such a gracious host and tour guide.)

Nashville has a pretty great downtown area. Spent most of our time at the Frist Center. However, they also have fairly large parks downtown; Centennial Park, River Front Park, and Bicentennial Park. Yes, parks with grass and trees. Quite cool. Did get around to the Bicentennial Park for a quick visit. It was too hot to spend a lot of time outside. We walked quickly by the wall of history carved in marble, around the fountain with many children at play, up to the very large "patio" area with a marble map of the State of Tennessee embedded into the concrete. We all found it quite fascinating. It had interstates and large highways depicted as well as major and minor cities. Quite unique. Then back down to the Farmers Market. Wow! They have lots of produce and it was reported they are open 6-7 days a week.

Read more...

Continued...

Topics:
23
like
Sun
Aug 12 2007
06:57 am
By: Carole Borges  shortURL

Because we are too afraid to unstrap our guns here in the wild West, we have created a huge problem. We have endangered our kids who now have to learn to live in this gun culture.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

But wait! Here's a way to help our little tykes feel safer. Recently this wonderful new product came on the market.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Yeah, now you can just trundle down to your local mall and get one of these $179 bulletproof backpacks! (link...)

"Finally there is a product that will help parents take an active step towards safeguarding their children from school shooting incidents. MJ Safety Solutions has developed "My Child's Pack", the first time ever, ballistic protection back pack that is affordable and practical."

Way cool, huh?

What's next? Bullet proof jammies? Bulletproof Pampers?

17
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Sat
Aug 11 2007
02:48 pm

I've heard people on a number of occasions saying that it's "liberals" who hope for bad news in the War on Terror. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like this, though.

Because we have mislaid 9/11, we have endless sideshow squabbles about whether the surge is working, if we are "safer" now, whether the FBI should listen in on foreign phone calls, whether cops should detain odd-acting "flying imams," whether those plotting alleged attacks on Fort Dix or Kennedy airport are serious threats or amateur bumblers. We bicker over the trees while the forest is ablaze.

America's fabric is pulling apart like a cheap sweater.

What would sew us back together?

Another 9/11 attack.

The Golden Gate Bridge. Mount Rushmore. Chicago's Wrigley Field. The Philadelphia subway system. The U.S. is a target-rich environment for al Qaeda.

Is there any doubt they are planning to hit us again?

If it is to be, then let it be. It will take another attack on the homeland to quell the chattering of chipmunks and to restore America's righteous rage and singular purpose to prevail.

Actually, another 9/11 would be absolute proof that the War On Terrorism is a fraud.

But, in the authoritarian mind, the murder of civilians is acceptable. Even desirable. Even funny. Terrorism is pornography to these people.

This Republican writer actually wants to see another 3,000+ people murdered (supposedly in the name of American unity) and suggests a number of places to hit - and this is considered "journalism" on the pages of the Philadelphia Daily News, too.

It is not the fault of the war's opponents that the war is going so badly. Dolschtosslegende is a myth, despite its many fervent proponents.

46
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