The Sunday NYT had an interesting article about the nation's largest employers building health clinics at their factories and offices:

Today a new wave of clinics is opening, driven largely by a motive that was less of a factor in the past: employers’ desires to reduce their health insurance premiums by taking care of workers before they need to see outside doctors. More than 100 of the nation’s 1,000 largest employers now offer on-site primary care or preventive health services — a number forecast to exceed 250 by the end of the year, according to David Beech, a health benefits consultant.

Corporate America’s new in-house medical offices go well beyond traditional occupational health clinics that hundreds of factories have long maintained for job-related injuries and worker’s compensation cases. Employees can now stop by for check-ups, allergy and flu shots, pregnancy tests or routine monitoring for chronic diseases like diabetes and asthma.

When prescription drugs are required, some employers arrange for the pills to be delivered the next day at the office or plant, while others even maintain fully stocked pharmacies.

The article mentions Toyota, Sprint Nextel, Florida Power and Light, Credit Suisse and Pepsi as some of the high-profile companies providing health clinics.

I suppose this was inevitable, but not because they are interested in employee health beyond workers showing up for work. As the article states, they are doing it to control costs.

The question is, how can a car manufacturer or a soft drink bottler provide less expensive health care than the existing system we have in place, which everyone hails as the greatest system in the world? I guess our system isn't so great after all.

But the bottom line is the bottom line. When shareholder's interests take priority over all other considerations, will workers receive the same quality of health care they would get from their family doctor or a clinic run by the local hospital or health department?

This illustrates again how twisted and perverted our system of health care delivery has become. Employers have no business in the business of health care. There are issues with privacy, portability, employability, family care, continuity of care, and more, all revolving around insurance company dictates and profits instead of a person's abilities, experience, or individual best interests. It has always been baffling to me how we got to this point.

---

*In case you don't remember it, the title of this post is a line from the classic "You have meddled in the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale" scene in the 1976 movie Network. The movie was very prophetic. Before that, Tennessee Ernie Ford's 1946 song Sixteen Tons and the line "Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go, I owe my soul to the company store" was about coal miners, but it seems we have come full circle.

I once worked for a guy who decided to provide "free lunch" for all employees. It was a mandatory program. He openly stated that the purpose was to keep people at their desks. Because, as you know, there's no such thing as "free lunch."

Many see such amenities as lunch, day care centers, laundry and dry-cleaning pickup and drop-off, gyms, and now health care clinics as "benefits". They are. They are benefits to shareholders provided by paternalistic corporations seeking to control every aspect of your life to maximize profits. A better benefit would be a fair wage and a functioning, affordable health care system and free personal time to spend with family and on leisure and personal development.

I am reminded of a philosophy once shared by an associate. He said "I work all week, I get paid on Friday, and we're even. On Monday morning we start all over again." I tend to agree with that philosophy. That's all anyone should want or expect from an employer.

21
like
Wed
Jan 17 2007
10:50 am

Tennessee Election Coordinator Brook Thompson sent Knox County Administrator of Elections Greg Mackay a letter stating:

[T]he Knox County Elections Commission .. cannot conduct a special election to fill these county vacancies. Rather, the election commission shall place these county offices on the regular August 7, 2008 election ballot. If the county primary boards so choose, either or both may timely call for a primary for any or all of these offices to be held with the February Presidential Preference Primary or in May.

According to Thompson, this is what is required by the Tennessee Constitution.

We were curious what a special election would cost the taxpayers of Knox County. Greg said a full special election would cost about $275,000. He wasn't sure how much a non-binding referendum as proposed by Commissioner Mark Harmon would cost, but presumably it would be less.

The Knoxville News Sentinel has more, including a report on the process proposed by Commission Chairman Scott Moore, the proposal by Commissioner Phil Guthe to ask the State Legislature for authority to hold a special election, and Commissioner Harmon's compromise proposal.

101
like
Wed
Jan 17 2007
10:13 am

YouTube Recipe for posting Video’s

From Number9

You will need:

Computer Hardware: ATI, Turtle Beach, or Pinnacle USB (Universal Serial Bus) or internal PCI capture hardware device and software (go to CompUSA, or Office Depot)
Read requirements on side on box for Computer specs and Operating System
Install as to manufacturers instructions

Input Source: Cable TV, VCR, Video Recorder, TV, DVR, TIVO, IPOD, Cell Phone, Digital Camera, or Computer

A YouTube ((link...)) account with Username and Password

Mixing Instructions:

You will set your recording software like Windows Movie Maker to a video setting of 340 X 240 resolution.

On your computer you will record the input from your preferred source to a file on the Computer.

You will login to your YouTube account and upload your video. You have a ten minute time limit and a 100 MB file size.

Post your YouTube video on a popular Blog or Blab like KnoxViews.com to let everyone know it is ready and where to find it. You can also use email to send a link to your friends.

You can learn more here at youtube.com.

37
like
Wed
Jan 17 2007
09:34 am

Cockfighting arrests in Middle Tennessee
DOWELLTOWN, TENN. (AP) -- Authorities in DeKalb County say they have broken up a cockfighting ring where thousands of dollars were being bet.
Police said they arrested ten men Saturday night, and among those watching the birds fight to near death were a 12-year-old and a 13-year-old.

Continued...

36
like
Wed
Jan 17 2007
08:09 am

Ramesh Kallidai of the Hindu Forum of Britain said the swastika had been a symbol of peace for thousands of years before the Nazis adopted it.

He said a ban on the symbol would discriminate against Hindus.
...
The group said banning the swastika was equivalent to banning the cross simply because the Ku Klux Klan had used burning crosses.

Not sure I can agree with the cross/swastika comparison.

Topics:
14
like
Wed
Jan 17 2007
07:44 am

Toyota's success in manufacturing and selling hybrid vehicles is losing an incentive. There is a 60,000 hybrid automobile limit for a single manufacturer. Consumer's beware, the tax credit is now half what it originally was for any Toyota hybrid and will gradually disappear by October 1, 2007. This does not yet affect any other automobile manufacturer, since no other has sold more than 40,000 hybrids.

14
like
Tue
Jan 16 2007
07:01 pm

Knox Co. Commissioner Mark Harmon mentions in his post below that the Cable TV committee will meet tomorrow, Wednesday the 17th at 8:30 a.m. in Room 640 of City County Bldg. Mark is the vice-chair and asks for your input on any Cable TV related issues at markdharmon@yahoo.com.

He says one of the things they may discuss is "incomplete and behind-schedule builds (especially Knology)."

From a recent Knoxville News Sentinel article:

[City Councilman Rob] Frost said he has repeatedly asked Knology to furnish a map of its current service area, one that Feehan has since shown to City Council members and the mayor's office privately.

Feehan declined to release it publicly, calling it "extremely competitive, sensitive information." Feehan also refused to provide an exact number of local subscribers.

Consequently, the councilman requested a map from the Knoxville Utilities Board. Based on public records of all KUB utility poles in the city where Knology has attached its infrastructure, the map indicates that Knology's build-out is barely one-third complete and only covers parts of North and West Knoxville.

According to the article, Knology says the map is incomplete because they also use some BellSouth poles and have some underground lines that don't show up on KUB's map.

Regardless, one might conclude from looking at the map that Knology is "cherry picking" and not providing equal coverage in South and East Knoxville. It seems like they ought to have to explain that.

Number9 also asks in comments below whether Knology carries the local government and cable access channels, and whether they should be (or are) required to.

43
like

Many questions still exist about the new proposed Transit Center for the City of Knoxville. After spending 3.1 million dollars to select the site there are now complaints from the business owner.

From WATE.com

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- The owner of American Accessories International on Church Avenue is upset he was never told by the city that his land could be taken for the new KAT bus transit center. Now, he's denying access to the property.

6 News obtained a letter from city Law Director Morris Kizer, asking for access to the company's land.

The city wants to do an environmental assessment; a foundation evaluation, with the need to do up to 10 core drillings of the property; an archaeological survey, and an inspection of the exterior and interior by a city real estate appraiser.

But in a letter of his own, American Accessories International owner Eric Zeanah told Mayor Bill Haslam he thinks the city will only offer a portion of what his property is worth.

Zeanah wrote, "We are reluctant to approve access when your office will not provide us with a plan that involves American Accessories International or addresses the potential gap."

14
like

The Intergovernmental and Finance Committees met this morning. I serve on Intergovernmental. All our scheduled business (including adoption of an ethics code and requesting opening of the parking garage) was put on the consent agenda and passed. The remaining time was spent on two motions regarding replacement of the term-limited office holders.

Read more after the jump...

Continued...

217
like
Tue
Jan 16 2007
05:14 pm

Bush is forcing certain Federal prosecutors to resign and replacing them without Congressional oversight. In some cases the Prosecutors are involved with investigations of Administration associates. And in one instance a Prosecutor was replaced by an aide to Karl Rove whose job was opposition research on Al Gore.

This is scary!

25
like
Tue
Jan 16 2007
12:37 pm

6,932 voted in the '06 county democratic primary..if you are going to run in the '08 democratic county primary..1.RIGHT NOW..i would get a list of those that vote in the '06 primary..by district,if you plan to run for commission, or county wide if you plan run county wide...these are the yellow dogs..& 90% of them will vote in '08..start calling them & ask 'em for a vote & a yard sign & a contribution...2.this summer,get the '06 state democratic primary list & subtract the '06 democratic county primary list(14,800-6932=7868),start calling them askin for a vote & a yard sign & a contribution 3.this fall,get the '04 democratic presidential primary list..subtract your '06 primary list(24,000-14,800=9200),see if those folks voted in the '06 november general..then ask 'em for a vote & a yard sign & 10 bucks.I would start puttin up yard signs LABOR DAY.

Topics:
18
like
Tue
Jan 16 2007
12:36 pm

There was an Intergovernmental Committee meeting this morning at which several proposals were introduced. Watch Channels 6 and 10 at noon for their reports and interviews.

Word has it that Mark Harmon introduced an innovative proposal that would allow residents to vote on the replacements Commissioners, Sheriff, and others.

Perhaps Dr. Harmon will post to Knoxviews and let us see the proposal?

35
like

The irony is astounding. Anybody who knows Les Jones or who has looked at his blog knows that he has been active in helping Johnia Berry's family find her killer.

Yesterday, a Knox County Sheriff's investigator showed up at his house based on a "tip" that Les resembled a police sketch of the killer (which is crazy). Read all about it here.

Michael Silence makes the point that law enforcement can't assume anything and that they have to run down every lead. It's hard to imagine, though, that they didn't know who Les Jones was or that he, along with the Berry family, have at times been critical of the Knox Co. Sheriff's handling of the case.

Stuff like this makes me once again wonder why anybody wants to run a website that discusses controversial issues.

97
like

This is purely a functional observation of shopping in Knoxville, of the design of Turkey Creek, and of the design of shoppertainment areas and parking lots in general. Please apply at will to the discussion of appropriate asphalt for the South Waterfront.

I live off Broadway in the 4G/ONK area. couple of weeks ago, I saw a sales flyer for a $99 brown leather office chair from Office Max. Went east to "Knoxville Center" and parked in a vast oasis of largely empty asphalt. They were out of stock, but politely looked in inventory and found one remaining at the Turkey Creek store.

Driving distance 21.2 miles to another vast oasis of asphalt full of very short-tempered drivers.

With New Years sales going on, the parking lot at Office Max Turkey Creek was pretty full. I parked in front of Office Max, got my chair, loaded it in the buggy, took it to my truck. No cart returns. Walked back to Office Max returned the cart. Got the "pissed off accelerated drive around" by a large SUV. They wanted a parking space I was walking past. My apologies to that driver for not having longer legs that could walk as fast as their SUV.

I then walked to Super Target to get a side table. No table. Leaving Target, a driver ignored the pedestrian painted stripes and zoomed past me (which means that pedestrians have the right of way, btw) although, not being a militant pedestrian, I try hard to make eye contact with drivers, yield the right of way, be polite, smile, etc.

Anyway, I then walked back to truck in front of Office Max.

I decided to DRIVE to Super Walmart, parking equidistantly between Walmart and the outparcel Chick-Fil-A. (my lunch plan.) Got table at Walmart, no drive by incidents this time, loaded the table in the truck, and walked to Chick Fil A, (through the drive through lane to get to their "sidewalk." Got honked at (maybe they thought I was a homeless person? who would walk?)

my only point: Turkey Creek could have been designed so much better. It could have been designed as a community but it wasn't. The goal was traffic clogged, destination shoppertainment.

Buying a chair and a table should be relatively pain free, and pleasant. It wasn't. From an objective, function point analysis of moving person, vehicle, and purchases from point A to B to C, it was dysfunctional.

There are some nice shops that would be fun to visit, but it's just not worth it, and I shouldn't have to drive to each store located within the same shopping center. If my son were with me, I would, purely for safety from some of the aggressive drivers.

I'm sure I did it all wrong, it's my fault, I just don't understand, but next time, I'm ordering online and paying shipping.

Turkey Creek could have been more like Gerber Village in Asheville, where they tore down the Gerber Baby Food plant and built this:

From SmartGrowth News:
Asheville's ''Gerber Village:'' No Cars Required

''Gerber Village could be called the 'Anti-Atlanta','' says The Asheville Citizen-Times in an editorial about this $150 million project for the 38-acre south Asheville site of the former Gerber baby food factory, where in three to five years about 1,500 residents will find ''almost every amenity without involving an automobile.''

The site's ''urban village'' zoning district, created by the Asheville City Council under its Unified Development Ordinance ''to encourage smart growth,'' the editorial says, is ''a far better fit than the Wal-Mart Supercenter'' that had been discussed as a possibility.

South Miami's Gulfside Development Co. expects to break ground this summer, planning a total of 230,000 square feet of retail and office space, with its first phase construction completed next spring, and 516 to 616 condominiums.

''Once you're here, everything you need is going to be readily available,'' stresses Gulfside Director of Development Jose Suarez-Marill.

Glad to see similar examples of downtown-like urban villages in Buncombe County, the daily mentions Eastwood Village, Cheshire and Biltmore Lake, concluding, ''In-fill development of vacant land, an increase in the city and county tax base and minimal traffic impact is indeed 'smart growth' and a welcome addition to the landscape.'' -- The Asheville Citizen-Times 5/28/2004

(link...)

Topics:
31
like
Tue
Jan 16 2007
10:53 am

KNS story here.

Done by Herb Moncier and, get this, it targets Hutchison. Shocking, I know.

184
like
Tue
Jan 16 2007
09:58 am

Most at this site I'm sure never cared for him, but nevertheless you will find this funny...

(link...)

17
like
Tue
Jan 16 2007
09:26 am
Tue
Jan 16 2007
05:40 am

I don't know how many have seen the movie Lord Of War, but if you have not, you should.

(link...)

Two stories recently released really make this movie hit home.

First:
"AP Exclusive: Military gear bound for Iran, China traced to Pentagon surplus sales"

(link...)

Second:
"He told me that one of his main suppliers had been an interpreter working for the US army in Baghdad. "He had a deal with an American officer. We bought brand new AKs and ammunition from them."

(link...)

Topics:
16
like
Tue
Jan 16 2007
12:37 am
By: Sandra Clark  shortURL

At tonight's Halls Republican Club, Lumpy Lambert made the case for appointing Democrat Sharon Cawood to replace her husband, the term-limited Mark Cawood, on County Commission.

Lumpy said the outcome of the 2008 Presidential election could hang in the balance. He said Republicans should not be power-grabbing and greedy, lest it reflect poorly on the party in the eyes of the less partisan.

East Tennessee looks to Knox County; the state looks to East Tennessee; and federal elections can be decided by Tennessee (a la Al Gore in 2000).

The Republicans didn't seem to be buying what Lumpy was selling.

I'm sure there's a case for appointing Sharon Cawood ... but it's not to make American safe from Hillary Clinton in '08. - s.

Topics:
199
like
Tue
Jan 16 2007
12:06 am

(link...)

The sermon which I am preaching this morning in a sense is not the usual kind of sermon, but it is a sermon and an important subject, nevertheless, because the issue that I will be discussing today is one of the most controversial issues confronting our nation. I'm using as a subject from which to preach, "Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam."

Now, let me make it clear in the beginning, that I see this war as an unjust, evil, and futile war. I preach to you today on the war in Vietnam because my conscience leaves me with no other choice. The time has come for America to hear the truth about this tragic war. In international conflicts, the truth is hard to come by because most nations are deceived about themselves. Rationalizations and the incessant search for scapegoats are the psychological cataracts that blind us to our sins. But the day has passed for superficial patriotism. He who lives with untruth lives in spiritual slavery. Freedom is still the bonus we receive for knowing the truth. "Ye shall know the truth," says Jesus, "and the truth shall set you free." Now, I've chosen to preach about the war in Vietnam because I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.

(cont'd)

Continued...

Topics:
19
like

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Local Media Blogs

Local News

News Sentinel

State News

Wire Reports

Site Statistics

Last 7 days:
  • Posts: 31
  • Comments: 271
  • Visits: 11,727
  • Pageviews: 30,215
Last 30 days:
  • Posts: 123
  • Comments: 1008
  • Visits: 39,361
  • Pageviews: 94,103

TN Progressive

Nearby:

Beyond:

At large: