Jun 27 2023
09:01 am

Interesting investigation by Reuters. More than 100 US politicians are direct descendants to slave holders.

Included are living Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, Governors and Legislators.

From Tennessee:
Sens Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty
US Reps Tim Burchett, John Rose, and former Rep Jim Cooper
Gov Bill Lee

Reuters did try to get a comment from each of the 118 political elite. Of the TN descendants of slaveholders, only Jim Cooper gave comment.

Take from this what you will. We can't change what our ancestors did, but we can't ignore it either.

Dec 16 2017
10:21 am

Apparently, the 2019 Budget draft from the CDC was returned for correction. The CDC was given a list of banned words this administration does not want to see in budget requests. Those words include

  • vulnerable
  • entitlement
  • diversity
  • transgender
  • fetus
  • evidence-based
  • science-based

Some of these words were given verbally and some of these words/phrases were given alternate wording.
Considering the work the CDC does, how can one justify banning the above words?

Sep 25 2017
09:13 am
By: CE Petro

On Sunday, Politico reported that Jared Kushner, among other aides, has been using his private email along side his official White House email account, to conduct WH business.


The use of personal email accounts in the Trump White House has been somewhat common, even though the president has been a harsh critic of Clinton’s private email habits, frequently leading “lock her up” chants as he traveled across the country on the campaign trail.

“It was an incredibly effective attack,” said Evan Siegfried, a GOP consultant. “He did a great job of injecting the emails into the mainstream.”

Trying to figure out the glaring double standard here.

Feb 22 2017
02:56 pm
By: CE Petro

I was checking in on some news and blogs and noticed Kevin Drum at Mojo posted the Washington Post had a message for Donald Trump.

So, I went to WaPo myself, and sure enough, there it was. Here's my snipping of today's front page:
WAPO Message.PNG

Jul 3 2015
09:02 pm

For the past year I've been submitting spit tests and tracing my previously unknown family tree. What I have learned in the past year has been nothing short of amazing, including, my maternal grandfathers line is Colonial American. So, this 4th of July feels a little closer to home to me, than it has in the past.

I've lost count of the ancestors that participated during the Revolutionary War, there were many.

And, a recently realized to me, husband of a 1st cousin 8x removed (his second wife) was not only a signer of the Declaration of Independence, he was a law teacher and mentor to Thomas Jefferson, part of the 2nd Continental Congress, opponent of slavery, among many many other accomplishments. So I offer a very special, belated, thank you to cousin George Wythe this 4th of July.

(too bad my 8th great grand uncle didn't share George's beliefs)

Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe 4th!

Apr 22 2015
06:08 pm
By: CE Petro

A few weeks ago Mr P was going to trim back the large bush outside our bathroom window, but, that was not going to happen. A Mama Cardinal was in the process of building a nest. Mrs. Cardinal promptly finished her nest and started sitting on some eggs.

Since Mrs. Cardinal was rather skittish, we tried to leave her in peace, but after some recent storms, and me checking on her to make sure she was still sitting on her eggs, she seems to have gotten a little bit used to me. At least she doesn't try to bolt from the nest so quickly as she used to.

I was out this morning and when I got home, as has been my habit, I went to the bathroom to check on Mrs Cardinal. She wasn't in her nest, nor could I see into the nest. I was a little worried, but not too worried. I checked in a few hours later and there were two little beaks, wide open, peaking up from the depths of the nest!


Mar 30 2015
08:46 am
By: CE Petro

My family are visiting from NYS this week. I'm having the time of my life with the Grands! My daughter-in-law would like to see a sunrise (not from the porch). So, I'm coming here to ask where in Knoxville and surrounding area are the best places to see the sunrise?


Jan 19 2015
07:30 pm

Just Wow!

Although, I have to say that my absolute favorite sermon by MLK is The Drum Major Instinct.

Jan 7 2015
08:36 pm

For those of you that need to wear prescription eyewear, and your insurance does not cover vision, I came across this article that might be of some help.

Well, after you get over the sticker-shock on the (up to) 500% mark-ups. But, the important part:

This has begun to change over the last few years. A knowledge-is-power, power-to-the-people, Web-driven DIY wave is rocking the optical industry's very foundations. Dozens of companies now sell prescription glasses online, frames and lenses included, for as little as $7.95.

Just wanted to post this in case some reader (or someone they know) needs new glasses and doesn't have vision coverage or an extra $300+ sitting around.

Dec 18 2014
11:53 pm

The melting pot, known as the US, is more melted together than we thought. But geneticists are finding surprising patterns.

In the United States, almost no one can trace their ancestry back to just one place. And for many, the past may hold some surprises, according to a new study. Researchers have found that a significant percentage of African-Americans, European Americans, and Latinos carry ancestry from outside their self-identified ethnicity. The average African-American genome, for example, is nearly a quarter European, and almost 4% of European Americans carry African ancestry.

I have tested at 23andMe partly to prove kindship to a potential maternal relative I found and partly to know my ancestry, and yes, my "spit test" is used for research. I found that my ancestry composition pretty closely followed the paper trail I had built for my maternal side, and I was able to determine most of my paternal heritage partly from what didn't match my maternal paper trail and mostly because I had a close match to someone (at 26% shared DNA) that was not on my maternal side, but that person hasn't be able to accept that DNA doesn't lie).

But, I digress. One of the things this study found was genetic patterns in the 3 largest ethnic groups were different depending on which state a family lived.

The new study adds an unprecedented level of detail to patterns that had been noticed in previous, more general studies. For example, the 23andMe data reveals that the proportion of different ancestries, even within one self-identified ethnic group, vary significantly by state. Latinos with the highest proportion of African ancestry (about 20%) are from Louisiana, followed by states such as Georgia, North Carolina, New York, and Pennsylvania. In Tennessee and Kentucky, Latinos tend to have high proportions of European ancestry. And in the Southwest, where states share a border with Mexico, Latinos tend to have higher proportions of Native American ancestry.

A lot of a states history can be found in ones genetic ancestry. But, the bottom line is racial lines are getting blurred, irregardless of ones self described ethnicity. While this is truly a great melting pot, one problem we will see is that doctors will have no choice but to consider the whole person in their genetic glory and not ethnic categories.

Do go check out the full study, it really is fascinating.

Sep 15 2014
05:20 pm

I'm looking for some help! Please!!!

I've been searching for a lost family member, but have hit a massive brick wall. Even a purchased "person" report only yielded old information (old meaning 2005 and older), and misleading information (they have an unrelated person listed as a related person). I've found some old professional licenses, that have expired but nothing recent (although at this point they
would be retired).

I've tried many of the techniques from Daniel Russell, and come up empty.

I'm sure I'm just missing something, but can't put a finger on what I'm missing. If anyone has ANY ideas please throw them at me!

Aug 2 2014
07:50 am
By: CE Petro

As I was traveling along Middlebrook Pike yesterday, I noticed a few hand-painted signs had popped up among all the other candidate signs along the "right-of-ways". Actually, the sign-writer seems to have targeted StaceyX signs that are not clustered with all the other campaign signs.

While I was in the left lane I got the best shot possible while waiting at a red light.

The other sign, same message, was much larger and just behind one of StaceyX's signs, visible while traveling east on Middlebrook Pike. (both signs that I saw were matched sized for size)

Jul 16 2014
07:49 am

I've been doing some genealogy searching the past couple of weeks, into a part of my family I've only recently learned about. So, one of the things I've been doing is searching old obituaries to trace the family members, when I came across an article about what one man willed his wife. (scroll to the bottom of the page)

The headline:
East New Yorker Wills Wife $2 for Rope to Hang Herself

No, that's not my family, but it was a coffee-spewing moment to read that headline.

Can't make this shit up...

There are numerous multinational companies that are not paying their taxes in the US, to the tune of over $700 Billion (yes, that's a B). Deferral is a lovely (to corporations and multinational companies) little tax dodge that allows these companies to not pay their US taxes until they "bring the money home." In the meantime, these same companies/corporations are heavily lobbying Congress for lower taxes. (PS the 35% tax rate is not quite 35%, it's 35% MINUS the taxes paid to other countries)


Apr 29 2014
08:23 pm

Some say No. At least for community journalism.

Cobb’s business decision is a good move for the town and one that reflects a particular area where newspapers can and — when given the opportunity — do succeed. But because small-town dailies and weeklies can still turn a profit, many of these once family-owned businesses get sold only to end up as links in a corporate chain where the bottom line rules.

Locally owned newspapers tend to be more responsive to readers and allow them to stay connected to the ownership, said Mike Jenner, the Houston Harte chair in journalism at the University of Missouri.

“You see the publisher or owner in the checkout line at the store,” Jenner said, “or walking on the street or at the Rotary Club meeting.”

Stan Schwartz, communication director for the National Newspaper Association, agreed, saying a local owner “means vested ownership.”


Mar 20 2014
04:18 pm

I was rather dismayed today when I got a link to this Seattle Times article on how Cancer Centers are being excluded by some exchanges.

In all, only four of 19 nationally recognized comprehensive cancer centers that responded to AP's survey said patients have access through all the insurance companies in their state exchange.

I'm sorry, but this is a big problem. For years, insurance companies denied coverage to cancer patients. Now this. Another way insurance companies have found to deny treatment to cancer patients.

It should not be up to each individual signing up for health insurance to research to find out if a cancer center accepts insurance bought on the Exchange. What about folks signing up on the Exchanges that have not yet been diagnosed with cancer? How do those folks know to do the extra research? They don't.

So, what does one insurance company say about this?

In a statement, Anthem said its network was based on research involving thousands of consumers and businesses. "What we learned was that people are willing to make trade-offs in order to have access to affordable health care," the company said. "Our provider networks reflect this."


PS -- (link...)

Mar 8 2014
07:18 pm
By: CE Petro

Does anyone here keep bees? My neighbors hive died this winter during the cold snap. I kind of remember something about grants for new colonies or something along those lines.

Anyway, I''m just trying to help them out trying to find an avenue for them to get a low-cost (or no-cost) new colony.

Feb 28 2014
09:33 am

Al Madrigal tackles the states that have not expanded Medicaid (just in case you missed it).

Feb 20 2014
08:10 pm

I was floored by Tom DeLay's response, that the "Constitution was written by God, based on biblical principals" on Matthew Hagee's show, The Difference. (I realize it's a very religious show, & that Hagee is considered a pastor)

But, I can't help wondering if any local news outlets have the chutzpah to ask folks on the street (or by poll on their site) the burning question, "Who wrote the US Constitution?" I'd love to see the answers.


Feb 1 2014
10:59 am

I almost missed this. The Guardian reports that two Norwegian politicians have nominated Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Socialist Left party politicians Baard Vegar Solhjell, a former environment minister, and Snorre Valen said the public debate and policy changes in the wake of Snowden's whistleblowing had "contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order".

I would argue that we haven't seen enough change, based on what Snowden has leaked. But, it did open our eyes into the dark recesses of the NSA and our (the US) spying policies. I hope his nomination is given serious thought.

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

    State News

    Wire Reports

    Lost Medicaid Funding

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

    Search and Archives