Mon
Jan 8 2007
01:24 pm

A moment of silence from college students (and former college students) would be appropriate in honor of the passing of Momofuku Ando. The inventor of the Ramen Noodle has died at the age of 96.

Ando gave a speech at the company's New Year ceremony and enjoyed Chicken Ramen for lunch with Nissin employees on Thursday before falling ill, Japan's largest daily Yomiuri reported.

Hmmmm!

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Mon
Jan 8 2007
01:14 pm

Today is January 8. In this young year, there have been no fewer than eight people murdered in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Ms. Helen Hill was number seven.

...shortly before 6 a.m. Thursday, Hill died of a gunshot to the neck inside her home, where police would also find her husband, shot three times, clutching 2-year-old Francis near the couple's front door.

Helen Hill was an artist and filmmaker, an animator by profession; a community activist by avocation. Her husband, Dr. Paul , is a doctor who co-founded a clinic in Treme to help the city's poor. That clinic was lost, along with their home at Clark & Cleveland in Mid-City New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

The Globe and Mail continues the story...

Dr. Gailiunas was hit four times in the cheek and arm but was released from hospital yesterday. Their two-year-old son, Francis, was unhurt. He was reportedly found in the entrance of his house, protected by his injured father.

In a city that has become accustomed to tragedy and to an endless strings of crime -- there have been a dozen homicides in the past two weeks -- this latest outrage was just too much.

"I'm so aggravated and angry," said Helen Gillet, an experimental cellist who gathered with about two dozen other friends of the couple outside their modest frame house in New Orleans's Faubourg Marigny neighbourhood late yesterday afternoon. "I'm outraged at what's going on in the community."

Dr. Gailiunas, who worked in a clinic for the poor run by the Daughters of Charity religious order, and Ms. Hill were part of the community of artists, poets and other creative types, refugees from the rest of the United States and elsewhere, who have been drawn to New Orleans because of its singular history and culture.

They all know that the city is bedevilled by crime, but what has happened since Katrina has shaken them to the core. There were 161 homicides here last year -- all in a city that has only about 220,000 people, half the number from before Katrina, giving it one of America's highest homicide rates.

These kind folks had left New Orleans, but returned on Aug. 28, 2006 - one year to the day commemorating the beginning of the destruction of their re-adopted city.

I probably wouldn't have even noticed this news, except for the fact that a friend of mine was a friend of theirs.

His tribute to her, "Helen Hill and the Death of New Orleans," seems quite fitting a tribute for a person I shall never meet. It is also fodder for an honest conversation:

(more after the jump)

Continued...

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Mon
Jan 8 2007
12:47 pm

From the latest, red-alert-everyone-panic story:

"There is no danger from the gas at this point," Bloomberg said. "The city has not found any high concentrations of the gas."

He added, "The [city's gas] sensors do not show any high concentration of gas that we should be concerned,"

Bloomberg also said there was no indication the air was unsafe to breathe. "It may just be an unpleasant smell."

"We are waiting for the gas to pass," the mayor said.

Take a look at the URL. Heh.

14
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Mon
Jan 8 2007
11:10 am

Here's a local outsourcing story with a twist:

The job cuts are part of an ongoing downsizing of the company's Blount County operations and transfer of production to a Ceramaspeed plant in Monterrey, Mexico.

Some "manual operations" have already been shifted to Mexico, and "automated production" operations will be moved to the Monterrey facility later this year.

So now we're outsourcing robot jobs, too? Do Mexican robots work cheaper than American robots? Have American robot unions priced themselves out of the U.S. labor market?

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As everyone might know the Better Business Bureau "BBB" has a conflict of interest. It is funded by the very businesses against which complaints are filed. They have no obligation to the consumer. Filing a complaint with the BBB is futile and basically a waste of time.

There is another web site called "Rip-Off Report dot com."
http://www.ripoffreport.com

If someone has done you wrong you can file a complaint against them free of charge. If the accused business feels they have been unfairly or falsely accused they can file a rebuttal.

This web site has been in operation for several years. Persons in the Knoxville area seem to be just now starting to find out about it.

Sun
Jan 7 2007
03:46 pm

Last night we met some friends at Mirage, a new Middle Eastern restaurant on Gay Street (cattycorner from the Bijou). Good stuff. Very interesting décor, with a bar, tables, and floor seating.

They're apparently still in their pre-opening stage and haven't advertised yet, so it wouldn't be fair to review them. I thought that the food was very good, though, and would gladly go back. If they're this good now, they should be terrific in six months.

Entrees were around $14. Ours included vegetables, rice, and a salad. They have beer now and have applied for a liquor license. I saw other tables brown-bagging wine. The menu features appetizer and dessert samplers which are nice for couples and groups who want to experiment.

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Sun
Jan 7 2007
03:04 pm

Real life drama straight out of "24" and "Sleeper Cell" may be unfolding right now in Miami.

Keep your fingers crossed this is not what we see on Television.

BREAKING NEWS

Updated: 11 minutes ago
MIAMI - The FBI detained three men who were caught Sunday trying to enter the Port of Miami.

A truck driver raised suspicions when he made inconsistent statements at the port’s delivery entrance, FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela said Sunday.

“At some point he said he was alone,” Orihuela said.

However, police stopped the truck and found two more men in the truck cab, she said.

The men, all of Middle Eastern descent, were in this country legally, Orihuela said.

The port’s cargo area was closed while authorities investigated.

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Sat
Jan 6 2007
02:00 am

Asinine:

The Army said Friday it would apologize to the families of about 275 officers killed or wounded in action who were mistakenly sent letters urging them to return to active duty.

The letters were sent a few days after Christmas to more than 5,100 Army officers who had recently left the service. Included were letters to about 75 officers killed in action and about 200 wounded in action.

Talk about adding insult to injury.

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Fri
Jan 5 2007
09:26 pm

Residents of a Palm Beach County trailer park are being enticed to sell. Developers are chomping at the bit to build more condos in South Florida. I suppose for that kind of money the residents can just buy a condo on the beach. Not the same though. In high-rise condos you don't get to "cruise the narrow streets on golf carts, passing palm trees and tiny, neatly manicured yards". I knew we should have kept our house when we moved. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

This will be one of the differences in SoKno once they get done, that is if they ever get done. Cute little neighborhoods will be come brick or aluminum siding 3-4 story boxes with a completely different type of community. Very little grass and many more cars per square mile. Ah, well, progress. Or is it?

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Fri
Jan 5 2007
09:21 pm
By: Andy Axel  shortURL

Reality continues to intrude upon the Bush-McCain-Lieberman "surge & accelerate" roadmap to victory.

You know that "troop surge" of 20,000 that the president is requesting?

Not so much, um... what's the word... possible.

The military maintains that they can only commit to 9,000.

The president is expected to give his speech on a new way forward in Iraq next week. CBS’s David Martin has learned military commanders told the President they could execute a ‘troop surge’ of 9,000 soldiers and Marines into Iraq, with another 10,000 on alert in Kuwait and the U.S. Two army brigades — about 7,500 troops — would go into Baghdad in an effort to control the violence, clearing neighborhoods and staying long enough for reconstruction projects to take effect. 1,500 Marines would go to the western province of al-Anbar, heartland of the Sunni insurgency. This, even though the Commandant of the Marine Corps was quoted as saying he did not see a need for more battalions. But aides say the President still hasn’t decided for sure on a plan.

Gee, that's only a -55% error. (Calculate it yourself.)

The backpedalling is already in progress:

Escalation backers have already begun distancing themselves from this plan. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said yesterday that not sending enough troops would be “worse than doing nothing.”

Which is another way of saying "par for the course," isn't it, Senator?

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Fri
Jan 5 2007
09:10 pm
By: bizgrrl  shortURL

Bullet falling from the sky hits woman and is deflected by bra strap.

Now there is a reason to wear a bra! Will the guys get the same result from a tie?

28
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Thu
Jan 4 2007
11:31 pm
By: Mark Harmon  shortURL

I know this is a last-minute idea, but let me invite Knoxviews bloggers to be on-air guests on DTV tomorrow night (Friday, January 5th). Show up outside the Andrew Johnson Building on Gay Street about 9:15 pm. The program airs from 9:30 to 10:30 pm on Comcast Channel 12. If you are unable to attend I hope you will watch and perhaps call in.

--Mark Harmon

PS In one other media item of note, this Sunday's WBIR chat fest Inside Tennessee will have three segments all looking forward to 2007 issues: Rob Frost on the city; I talk about the county, Joe Armstrong and Tim Burchett on the state.

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Thu
Jan 4 2007
08:53 pm

Sorry, Les.

BAGHDAD (AP) -- The Interior Ministry acknowledged Thursday that an Iraqi police officer whose existence had been denied by the Iraqis and the U.S. military is in fact an active member of the force, and said he now faces arrest for speaking to the media.

Ministry spokesman Brig. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, who had previously denied there was any such police employee as Capt. Jamil Hussein, said in an interview that Hussein is an officer assigned to the Khadra police station, as had been reported by The Associated Press.

The captain, whose full name is Jamil Gholaiem Hussein, was one of the sources for an AP story in late November about the burning and shooting of six people during a sectarian attack at a Sunni mosque.

On to the next manufactured crisis...

Topics:
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Thu
Jan 4 2007
02:56 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Nancy Pelosi was just elected Speaker of the House, 233 to 202. It's a historic day for America. The First 100 Hours begins next Tuesday...

Topics:
31
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Thu
Jan 4 2007
02:15 pm

There's been a brewing controversy about animal control in Blount County. It seems the County Commission and our new County Mayor did not see the need for animal control, sheltering strays, and wasteful stuff like that.

So the County canceled their animal control contract with the City of Maryville, which took in nearly 2500 strays last year from the County. (1600 were euthanized. Spay and neuter, people!) A community group is calling for citizens to contact the County Mayor and County Commissioners directly whenever they have a stray animal issue.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports today that the County Mayor wants citizens to be patient, saying "To urge folks to call us when we are already doing our dead-level best to solve a situation we did not create simply takes valuable time to give answers already provided time and again."

So if you see a stray animal or have some other animal control problem, do not call the Blount County Mayor's office at (865) 273-5700 or the Blount County Commission office at (865) 273-5830.

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Thu
Jan 4 2007
02:05 pm

CNN is reporting the resignation of White House Counsel Harriet Miers. No mention of any desire to spend more time with family . . . yet. Bush says he has "reluctantly" accepted.

Topics:
29
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Thu
Jan 4 2007
01:54 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

How y'all doin'? Hope your New Year is off to a great start. Ours is improving.

Continued...

Topics:
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Thu
Jan 4 2007
01:38 pm

Try not to be as embarrassing as Dr. Frist was.

Senate Committee assignments: Energy, Foreign Relations, Aging, and Small Business.

28
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Thu
Jan 4 2007
11:32 am

Lohse, a social work master’s student at Southern Connecticut State University, says he has proven what many progressives have probably suspected for years: a direct link between mental illness and support for President Bush.
...
Lohse says the trend isn’t unique to Bush: A 1977 study by Frumkin & Ibrahim found psychiatric patients preferred Nixon over McGovern in the 1972 election.

Ha! What more need be said? The inmates are running the asylum!

Hat tip to "Rolling Stone" Dec. 28, 2006 print edition.

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Per talk radio, emergency responders have gotten several reports of loud noises and tremors in and around Knox County this evening. Thus far there has not been a confirmation of any earthquake activity.

Developing . . . .

UPDATE: Yes, an earthquake rocked south Knoxville. Make sure your dishes are intact.

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