Mon
Jul 9 2007
07:56 am

From Don: I'll be teaching "Adventures in Writing," a six-week course beginning 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 10, at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, 2931, Kingston Pike, near UT. Cost is $140. For more information, phone 428-0389 or 865-805-8849 or email donwilliams7@charter.net, and I'll send complete details. Or enroll by showing up. I'd love see you there.

More details after the jump...

Continued...

16
like
Mon
Jul 9 2007
07:54 am
By: rocketsquirrel  shortURL

This article raises some interesting questions about Fred Thompson, his lobbying work, and his ethical dilemmas. They even compare him to Jack Abramoff.

If Thompson took money to lobby on behalf of a pro-choice group, told them he had multiple conversations with White House Chief of Staff John Sununu on their behalf, and never actually had those conversations, he may have committed criminal fraud. Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff is serving over 5 years in Federal prison for taking money from Native American tribes to lobby on their behalf and then doing the opposite.

On the other hand, if Thompson did serve as a paid lobbyist for a pro-choice organization, then his claim to be the one potential Republican presidential candidate to fully embrace the "pro-life" cause is a fraud. He was willing to sell it out to the highest bidder.

wow. Interesting questions. link here.

56
like
Mon
Jul 9 2007
07:21 am

This weekend I saw a segment featuring Ralp Nader (I think it was on C-SPAN), and he is really concerned about the lack of inspection of goods from China, especially food. He recommends that no one buy ANY food from China. He says the meat and fish coming from there are full of antibiotics, that cattle and poultry are reared in disgusting pens full of excrement. There is a movement afoot to label everything not coming from China with a label that assures comsumers the food is safe from Chinese products.

He also said toys painted with lead have recently been found, not to mention the tootpaste, etc. Nadar felt this was a homeland security issue of great importance.

It was enough to convince me to try to avoid all food that is known to be from China.

Topics:
26
like
Mon
Jul 9 2007
07:18 am

Bungalow re-do in Island Home is featured this month in Cottage Living magazine. Kudos to Jeff and Karen Williamson.

18
like
Sun
Jul 8 2007
06:06 pm
By: WhitesCreek  shortURL

I read several reviews of the Live Earth concerts on the mainsteam media sites. Most seemed to ignore the fact that the concerts got massive support from a wide range of audiences, but there were too many "some said" types that were obviouly made to please the corporate boss, rather than offering a realistic appraisal of the events.

I did find an honest review... from Salon.

Continued...

19
like
Sun
Jul 8 2007
04:43 pm

We were out and about and thought we'd go check out this Keller Bend Park over off Northshore on the "other side" of the lake.

The Knox County Parks and Recreation website lists it as a Knox County park (#19 on the map) with 16 acres and a .5 mile nature trail.

When we got there, we found that the road stops abruptly (our GPS said to keep driving 500 more feet, but there wasn't any more road) and the "park" didn't seem to be there any more.

Read more...

Continued...

86
like
Sun
Jul 8 2007
02:16 pm

I've been up and down Gay St. looking for the Art Gallery of Knox at 317 N. Gay. I'd like to see the photo displays taken by migrant children that looked adorable in the news articles, but this place is more hard to find than Sassy Ann's. The map on the web site seems to show the place being near Depot St. but I did not see it there.

15
like

Michael Moore posts this leaked memo (PDF format) from an insurance company's VP of corporate communications.

The money quote: "You would have to be dead to be unaffected by Moore's movie, he is an effective storyteller."

Read more...

Continued...

68
like
Sun
Jul 8 2007
08:39 am

A recent graduate of UT has a gripe about the "campus’ aesthetic image".

The Princeton Review (free registration required) "ranked Tennessee the 11th most unsightly campus in the country".

Hey, it ranks 6th in being a "jock" school and a major "frat and sorority scene".

I, too, think UT-Knoxville could do a much better job with more trees, landscaping, and green space. They do like their concrete. Easier to maintain and it is oh so obvious UT-Knoxville has trouble with maintaining just about everything.

44
like
Sun
Jul 8 2007
12:09 am
By: unquiet visions  shortURL

This last Friday, I had my opening at Abode on Market Square. I was pleasantly surprised to see a news camera there, and got a little face time on the 11 o'clock news. That's always wacky.

Read more after the jump...

Continued...

16
like
Sat
Jul 7 2007
11:00 pm

My dog, Chance, a.k.a Bear-dog, a.k.a "The Mayor of Market Square" reached a milestone birthday this past March. For a big chow-mix dog, seventeen years is pretty much unheard of, at least I've never heard of another big dog matching that number. Lots of people who have been on Market Square in the past five years have seen Chance, a black bear looking dog who enjoys a daily hot dog from Dave's Dog House. We send him out with a dollar bill under his collar (to "pay" for the hot dog, Dave gives him a great deal)

Chance jumped in my car around 14 years ago. I was in school in way the hell upper East Tennessee and was homesick and overwhelmed when he just picked me out one day. Somehow he decided that I was the one for him. I asked all over the apartment complex but nobody claimed him. He was skinny and looked like he'd never been brushed or had a bath or anything. I mean to tell you he wouldn't give up on greeting me each time I came home from class. He jumped and barked and celebrated just because I showed up. I gave in to the inevitable and upon graduation, brought him home to Knoxville. Our subsequent adventures have been many, oh given the time the stories I could tell...

Anyhow, time has passed and this rabbit and squirrel chasing nut has had increasing health problems. We bested a cancer scare last August, but we've just discovered a large growth way on back on his tongue that is causing him difficulty eating. He has been through so much and always without complaint. He has truly been the best friend I have ever had.

It is time for my husband and I to let him go. Most of our friends think it is well past time, but they've been too nice to make us feel bad for saying so.

Any of you who've been through this decision know how hard it is to make it and I ask for thoughts on behalf of Chance, the best dog ever.

Topics:
65
like
Sat
Jul 7 2007
09:24 pm
Yes
35% (58 votes)
No
61% (100 votes)
Not sure
4% (6 votes)
Total votes: 164
Sat
Jul 7 2007
07:08 pm

I got an email today and want to be sure everyone hears about it. KOMO in Seattle has a video about inflamatory breast cancer. It is a valid concern for all of us. Go to their website and watch the video and then tell everyone you see. I had never heard of this and I'm certain that I'm not the only one. I checked it on snopes.com before forwarding the email.

22
like
Sat
Jul 7 2007
06:08 pm
By: StaceyDiamond  shortURL

In good timing CW was running some Roseanne re-runs this week where Fred Thompson plays a boss who raises quotas too high and harrasses the women and calls them demeaning names. At the end of the show Roseanne leads the women to walk off the job and tells Fred " I guess we won't make the quota this week honeybunch." These types of characters he plays should be taken into consideration along with the Law and Order type characters as the Sentinel prepares their endorsement. :) BTW, there is a good story on yahoo news today about the Nixon tapes revealing that Thompson was acting like a tough guy all the while he was giving Nixon a heads up on what was going on. At one point Nixon says he's "dumb as hell."

26
like
Sat
Jul 7 2007
07:16 am

Live Earth is underway, working its way around the time zones of the world. In case you've been away on vacation to Mars, Live Earth is a worldwide concert to promote awareness of the looming climate crisis.

Here's the media coverage/broadcast schedule overview. NBC will have a three-hour prime-time special from 8PM to 11PM tonight. XM Radio has live, 'round-the-globe 'round-the-clock coverage of "every note from every stage". Here's the artist lineup. MSN is streaming it live over the internets. XM 40 Deep Tracks has running commentary and channel guides.

The idea isn't to raise money for carbon credits or to end global warming overnight or anything like that. It's to raise awareness of the problem and the solutions, and to ignite a worldwide political movement to do something about it. Here is the call to action and the seven point pledge, and here's how to answer the call.

The 27% Dead Enders have been on a massive propaganda campaign to discredit the event, the promoters (especially Al Gore) and the participating artists. I'm not exactly clear on what their problem is, other than some pathological need to exhibit their incredible stupidity after having been proven catastrophically wrong about everything, day after day for six years and going now.

They have decided to be part of the problem instead of the solution on every issue from national security, civil rights, health care, to the environment. They are becoming increasingly irrelevant, and boring. It would be funny if it weren't for the damage they're causing.

The thing I really don't get is that whether you believe human activity is causing global warming or not, the benefits of reducing its effects should be obvious. It's good stewardship of the earth and our natural resources to reduce, reuse, and recycle. It's good business to invest in pollution control, alternative energy, and renewable energy sources, not to mention good foreign and national security policy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. What's so hard to understand about that? Why do they hate America?

For everyone else who cares about the planet, national security, our economy, jobs, and the air we breathe, sign the pledge!

"Political will is a renewable resource." Al Gore

UPDATE: Live blogging at Left of the Dial...

UPDATE: Joe Lance, too...

Topics:
117
like
Sat
Jul 7 2007
06:46 am

Big news in the Knoxville News Sentinel today regarding the ongoing government ethics controversies in Knox County Government. Everybody gets piled on this time.

The front page news today is about the credit card controversy. Ragsdale and most of his top aides have paid back nearly $6500 in unauthorized credit card charges.

According to the KNS, Finance Director John "Smoothie King" Werner paid back over $2000 in charges and was reprimanded. It seems like the Finance Director ought to be setting an example. Oh, wait. He is! Community Services Director Cynthia Finch was also admonished to tighten control of credit card spending.

Earlier in the week, the KNS reported that Community Services Administrative Assistant Requitta Bone resigned after paying back nearly $3000 in personal credit card charges.

The problem is worse than it first appeared. It's hard to understand why government employees think it is appropriate to use government credit cards for personal expenditures. You don't need an ethics committee or a bunch of ethics workshops to know it's just plain stealing from taxpayers. What's not clear is where they got the idea this was OK, or why they thought they would get away with it. There appears to be a serious lack of supervision and oversight, which suggests a breakdown in leadership somewhere.

Then there's this guest editorial today from county IS Director Dick Moran, with a long, pathetic explanation about a $500 gift certificate he received at a "charity" golf tournament.

According to his convoluted mea culpa, he actually called the county law director to ask about the nuances of ethics policy before deciding if he should donate the gift certificate to charity. What a prince. With everything else going on, the administration would have been better off without this self-serving "excuse" that reveals more about the greedy and selfish mindset of public officials than it does about their concern for ethical behavior.

To make sure nobody feels left out, the KNS also has this front page report about yet another possible sunshine violation involving a lunch meeting of several County Commissioners. Lumpy says they talked about fishing. Bolus says he doesn't know what they talked about. You'll have to read the whole thing to fully appreciate the absurdity.

77
like
Fri
Jul 6 2007
09:37 pm

First there was tape footage of the 1994 Senatorial debate where Fred Thompson clearly marked out a moderately pro-choice position on abortion. Then there was the Christian Coalition survey where he checked off the box that said "pro-choice." Now comes more evidence that Fred Thompson was pro-choice on abortion.

(link...)

In 1991, Fred Thompson was hired by the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA) to lobby President George H. W. Bush to lift the so-called abortion "gag rule," under which clinics receiving Federal money could not counsel patients on abortion. At the time the gag rule was one of the most controversial issues in the abortion debate, coming off the heels of the Supreme Court's Rust v. Sullivan case that permitted the White House position.

Fred Thompson's spokesman is trying to deny this even happened. But the former Maryland Congressman and fellow co-worker with Thompson who actually recommended him for the NFPRHA gig calls Thompson's denial "absolutely bizarre." Others who worked with NFPRHA said they were looking for a Republican to lobby John Sununu, then Bush Sr.'s Chief of Staff. And Fred Thompson seemed to be just the right guy.

This seems to strengthen the case that Fred Thompson was solidly pro-choice in the 1990s. He likes to say that seeing his child's sonogram 3 years ago has made him more pro-life. It's certainly plausible that somebody would become more pro-life after seeing a sonogram, but this child is far from his first. Sonogram technology goes back a few decades - admittedly not as sophisticated. One could at least listen to a fetus's heartbeat many years ago. Either way, this will certainly complicate Fred Thompson's bid to win over social conservatives. He appears to be as pro-life as Mitt Romney, which is to say he's pandering.

Note to social conservatives: if you want a Southern, proudly evangelical Christian, pro-life conservative Republican, your man is not Fred Thompson. Your man is Mike Huckabee. Hell, Huckabee even has gubornatorial experience. And if Huck isn't your cup of tea, you've got Senator Sam Brownback, no marginal figure in American politics.

115
like
Fri
Jul 6 2007
05:35 pm

So today the whole family decided to take in one of those legendary Blue Plate Specials that WDVX puts on every day at noon in the Knoxville Visitor's Center. Knoxvillian Mic Harrison and the High Score was the act, making it one of the loudest Blue Plates in a long time. Anyway, I have to say that the whole experience was just beyond cool. I mean, this was the official city visitor's center and I saw absolutely no evidence of corporate cheese that one usually sees in a visitor's center. Everything from the merchandise to the cafe to the Blue Plate itself put the city of Knoxville in a very good light.

As many readers here know, I was a WDVX fan before I made the move from Michigan to Maryville. When I accepted my new job in Maryville I immediately discovered WDVX and played it over the internet just about 24/7. The music, along with my wallpaper of Newfound Gap made me anxious as ever to get down here. But it wasn't until now that I was finally able to SEE the radio station that did more to stoke my excitement for East Tennessee than anything else. And it did not disappoint. I had imagined the studio to be in some far-off room, not right there in front of you as you walk in. Very impressive.

So if any of y'all ever have the chance, go check out the Blue Plate Special. It's a FREE concert every day and it features the best damn music on the planet. I bet that those who trace 10 generations back in East Tennessee might even appreciate the Knoxville Visitor's Center.

(link...)

Topics:
22
like
Fri
Jul 6 2007
04:19 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

KnoxViews clocked more than 800,000 page views and 276,000 visits in June:

Webalizer (all-inclusive) Statistics for June 2007:

Total Pages: 809,288
Total Visits: 276,105
Pages per Day: 26,976 avg, 34,624 max
Visits per Day: 9,203 avg, 15,144 max

Thanks to everyone!

Some charts and more info after the jump...

Continued...

Topics:
140
like
Fri
Jul 6 2007
12:55 pm

Kingfisher at Maxey's Park

Continued...

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