Saturday, April 30, 2005

Technology in Public Education?

It only took us 20 years to take the overhead projector from the bowling alley to the classroom
Dr. Willard Dagget

United we stand

"Terrorist attacks can shake the foundation of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve."
President George W. Bush
September 11, 2001

Friday, April 29, 2005

What is Your title?

I located a quote from Former 4 term Congressman J.C. Watts R-Oklahoma. This quote should make you think.

"I'm a son of God. I'm also husband to Frankie, and I'm a father to my five kids. I don't need 'congressman' in front of my name to give me a sense of importance."

What is important in your life?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Sir Winston Churchill

Never give in! Never give in! Never! Never! Never! Never! In anything great or small, large or petty-never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Cat Years

When I attended my sons Middle School Open House in August 2004. His Science teacher shared that she opens class with zingers and stories. She shared the following article that is credited to have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on March 28, 1996. In locating it recently in my office, I am now faced with my son beginning a new chapter in his and my life. I hope you enjoy this and can see some truth in it - realizing that our kids are NOT real animals.

The Cat Years
San Francisco Chronicle March 28, 1996

I just realized that while children are dogs - loyal and affectionate- teen-agers are cats. It's so easy to be a dog owner. You feed it, train it, boss it around. It puts its head on your knee and gazes at you as if you were a Rembrandt painting. It bounds indoors with enthusiasm when you call it.

Then, around age 13, your adoring little puppy turns into a big old cat. When you tell it to come inside, it looks amazed, as if wondering who died and made you emperor. Instead of dogging your footsteps, it disappears. You won't see it again until it gets hungry- then it pauses on its sprint through the kitchen long enough to turn its nose up at whatever you're serving. When you reach out to ruffle its head, in that old affectionate gesture, it twists away from you, then gives you a blank stare, as if trying to remember where it has seen you before.

You, not realizing that the dog is now a cat, think something must be desperately wrong with it. It seems so antisocial, so distant, sort of depressed. It won't go on family outings.

Since you're the one who raised it, taught it to fetch and stay and sit on command, you assume that you did something wrong. Flooded with guilt and fear, you re-double your efforts to make your pet behave.

Only now you're dealing with a cat, so everything that worked before now produces the opposite of the desired result. Call it and it runs away. Tell it to sit, and it jumps on the counter. The more you go toward it, wringing your hands, the more it moves away.

Instead of continuing to act like a dog owner, you can learn to behave like a cat owner. Put a dish of food near the door, and let it come to you. But remember that a cat needs your help and affection too. Sit still, and it will come, seeking that warm, comforting lap it has not entirely forgotten. Be there to open the door for it.

One day, your grown-up child will walk into the kitchen, give you a big kiss and say, "You've been on your feet all day. Let me get those dishes for you." Then you'll realize your cat is a dog again.

Farragut High School Football Coach Eddie Courtney

Farragut High School Football Coach Eddie Courtney has a form of cancer in his chest. Coach Courtney stated that his future is clear because he knows that it is in God's hands. He will find out the specfics and the treatment at 11:15am tomorrow 4/28/05.

There are only a few men in todays world that I would feel comfortable giving my sons to daily for several months for football conditioning, coaching and leading. Coach Courtney is one of the few that I would never question, he is a man of integrity on and off the field.

An administrator once said to me and I have adopted this three prong test of a successful program is:

1) Do the athletes operate like a team - on and off the field?
2) Do the athletes actions on the field demonstrate that they have the knowledge of what they are doing, the X's and O's (plays)?
3) Is the Coach physically or verbally abusive to his athletes?

If the answer to 1 and 2 is Yes and to 3 No. Then it is a successful program.

I feel like being a high school football coach or an elected official are similar, in that you need to own a dog, because after a friday night game and on Saturday morning that dog riding in your truck will love you when everyone else in town wants you fired because the 15 - 18 year old kids didn't win because "you didn't coach them right." As a politician that dog will love you, when everyone else thinks that you are an idiot and anybody could do the job better. I don't own a dog, there are times that I wish I did.

Coach Courtney needs our prayers, as he said God is in control. Come friday night in September, October and November 2005. I will be supporting my team The Farragut High School Admirals and my coach Eddie Courtney.

Coach, You are the Best. We are with You and your family.

Mother Teresa

It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish - Mother Teresa

Pope John Paul II

A nation that kills its own children is a nation without hope - Pope John Paul II

Underage Alcohol Consumption in Knox County

My friend Dave Foulk, a longtime Knoxville News Reporter (Citadel Broadcasting - NewsTalk 99 and WIVK FM 107.7) has taken his thoughts about his eyewitness account on the death of a young student.

Holly Clancy a sophmore at Farragut High School was killed this past weekend in a traffic accident that was the result of underage alcohol consumption. The driver (another Farragut High School student and two others face charges in her death)

Adam Downen was killed several years ago on the weekend of his high school graduation. Adam was a student at Bearden High School. In the aftermath of Adam's death the Knoxville News-Sentinel had a large story covering our community's problem with underage alcohol consumption and adults that provide alcohol to our kids.

Adam's family along with the community have held the Adam Downen Race for Responsibility every year since Adam's death. Thousands of dollars have been raised for MADD, Adam's church youth group and other similar organizations.

How many kids must die, before we do something? As a community let's do something to stop these kids from leaving our community before they are supposed to.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Stephen Covey on Appearance and Assumptions

We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be. And our attitudes and behaviors grow out of these assumptions.

Stephen Covey
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Hand of God by Oswald W.S. McCall

Be under no illusion, you shall gather to yourself the images you love. As you go, the shapes, the lights, the shadows of the things you have preferred will come to you, yes, inveterately, inevitably as bees to their hive. And there in your mind and spirit they will leave with you their distilled essence, sweet as honey or bitter as gall, and you will grow unto their likeness because their nature will be in you.

As men see the color in the wave so shall men see in you the thing you have loved most. Out of your eyes will look the spirit you have chosen. In your smile and in your frown the years will speak.

You will not walk nor stand nor sit, nor will your hand move, but you will confess the one you serve, and upon your forehead will be written his name as by a revealing pen.

Cleverness may select skillful words to cast a veil about you, and circumspection may never sleep, yet will you not be hid. No.

As year adds to year, that face of yours, which once like an unwritten page, lay smooth in your baby crib, will take to itself lines, and still more lines, as the parchment of an old historian who jealously sets down all the story. And there, more deep than acids etch the steel, will grow the inscribed narrative of your mental habits, the emotions of your heart, your sense of conscience, your response to duty, what you think of your God and of your fellowmen and of yourself. It will all be there. For men become like that which they love, and the name thereof is written on their brow.

In July 2003 I attended a meeting where Freeman Hrabowski, President of UMBC presented a keynote address. He shared this from Oswald W.S. McCall.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Annie Moses Band

This evening I enjoyed a concert from the Annie Moses Band. This is a family of 5 performing siblings, (they have a 7 year old brother that does not currently perform with them) their mother and father also perform with them. The Band is rounded out by a bass player and a percussion player.

They will led you into Praise and Worship with thier unique sound and unbelievable talent. They were in concert at my home church, First Baptist Church of Concord. Check their website to hear audio clips and they will be back in East Tennessee soon. Cleveland and Charleston, TN at the end of May 2005.

Stay Tuned.

Changes to the Brian's Blog

Some changes for this forum are on the way. I will begin to post Motivational quotes and stories. There will be post about some curent musical artist(s) and current music. Posts that have an eternal difference.

I will post commentary on local stories when they merit. However, I want to make this blog a significant, positive forum.

School Lunch Task Force

Why do parents (whose children eat lunch at school) send emergency money with their children to school? So that in the event the lunch ticket has been completely used that the students have money to purchase their meals. Right?

Bluegrass Elementary School 5th grader Emily Williams had emergency money and desired to retrieve her money so as to purchase her meal, she was denied. At which time a Bluegrass staff member throws her lunch in the trash and gives her a bun, slice of cheese and an apple without a plate.

Emily was expected to eat her food off a table, where many students had eaten.

Mary Lou Henry, the Food Sevice Director of Knox County Schools, is credited with turning this department into a professional department that is in the "black". However, a meal is trown away, the student is giving additional food at no charge. All the while treating the student in an inhumane way.

And the School Board thinks that the only problem is what clothes the kids are wearing, while kids are having their lunch thrown away and treated in this manner, by supposedly responsible adults.

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Race to succeed Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, MD of Tennessee

The race to become the junior senator from Tennessee is beginning to move. There are only three candidates today that matter. The problem is the three are all running for the Republican nomination. They are listed in alphabetical order by last name for reasons to be explained in this post.

They are listed in alphabetical order by last name because as the Knox County GOP Chairman, I will NOT endorse, work or advocate for either candidate. They will wage active campaigns and I will be supportive of the party's choice. The candidate that is victorious will be a stronger candidate to take on Harold Ford, Jr. (the liberal Congressional member from Memphis with a notorious family connection)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

"mo po folks than rich folks"

Ron Littlefield is the new Mayor of Chattanooga. Mayor-Elect Littlefield was out spent two to one by River City Executive Ann Coulter. Mayor-Elect Littlefield was the subject of some terrible editorial cartoons and biased media reporting.

I believe that the real lesson here is that Dan Johnson (the third candidate for Mayor in March)decided to give his total support to Mr. Littlefield. They knocked on doors and campaigned the old fashioned way. Mr. Littlefield should bring Dan Johnson along. Ms. Coulter continued to run television commercials and operate like a Big Timer.

The quote "mo po folks than rich folks" in this story explains it all. Money and big-timers don't always get to legislate, because the big-timers come to be seen and forget to vote and do not get all their friends out to vote. While the real people "po folks" get out and vote, they call their friends and drive their friends to vote.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Democrat Governor and the TEA

Check out this story. Democrat Governor Bredesen is having a hard time selling his Pre-K program in the Senate. So, they are attempting to divert attention to the standardized testing program. It motivates the teacher union - teachers to oppose the TCAP testing. Teacher Unions typically oppose standardized testing because they do not like teachers being held accountable for test scores. They also will typically oppose merit pay for teachers, because they must represent the good, the bad -- everybody.

A Child's Future is too important to negiotiate with a Union.

Knox County School Board - Realistic or Pipe Dreams?

So much for the School Board and County Commission living in peaceful harmony. The School Board last night voted to request $32.0 million in new dollars. Last year they requested no money for a New West Knox County High School.

The County Mayor and a majority of Knox County Commisisoners ensured that revenue was achieved for a $40.0 million dollar West Knox County High School. The School Board took NO action on the proposed wheel tax or property tax increase, leaving the county commission to pay all of the political captial on the issue. All of this for the benefit of the students. While the board, superintendent and the teachers union hid behind the scene, fearful of the outcome.

They recieve the $40.0 million for the High School and now ask for $32.0 million in new revenue for the school system.

Is this a realistic request or a Pipe Dream?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Vice Mayor and Alderman Mike Haynes

I was reminded today that Alderman and Vice-Mayor Mike Haynes has been elected Alderman in both Ward I and Ward II. He garnered the most percentage of votes Tuesday in his re-election bid, leading the ticket.

It brings to mind that if there is a consensus builder in Farragut, that can heal the wounds between Farragut and Knox County, City of Knoxville, Knox County School System, Knoxville Utilities Board and Lenior City Utilities Board that Mike Haynes, just may be the man for the job.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Farragut re-elects Mayor, Vice-Mayor and a New Alderman

The Unofficial final returns are in. This election produced an incredible Farragut turnout. During the Early Voting period 1500 votes were cast. Election day produced 959 votes.

Here are the numbers:

Eddy Ford 1448 votes / 58.89% of the votes cast
Bill Johns 1011 votes / 41.11% of the votes cast

Alderman - Ward I

Ron Honken 424 votes / 38.76% of the votes cast
Tom Rosseel 670 votes / 61.24% of the votes cast

Alderman - Ward II

Vice-Mayor Mike Haynes 792 votes / 63.61% of the votes cast
Ron Rochelle 453 votes / 36.39% of the votes cast

A couple of interesting notes (from my perspective):

12o voters only voted in the Mayors race and not in the Alderman contest.

Vice-Mayor Mike Haynes is the most popularly elected official in the Town of Farragut. He has coattails that can benefit anyone that runs for elective office that encompasses the boundaries of the Town. He instantly becomes the go-to guy in Farragut.

A new comer Tom Rosseel is elected to an Alderman position (vacated by Connie Rutenbur) garnering a greater percentage than career incumbent Mayor Ford.

Stay Tuned

Knox County Republican Party

Check out our new and improved Knox County Republican Party website. We have updated the club information that has changed within the past year. The contact us link has been updated as well. Check the site regularly, as you can see, the club information will be posted on the site. We will be posting lots of local republican information.

Early Returns - Mayor Ford Re-elected

With the polls closing 40 minutes ago. Mayor Eddy Ford has a 62.80% margin of victory with Bill Johns garnering a 37.20% of the votes cast in Early Voting in the Mayors race.

Thomas Rosseel has garnered 58.54% while Ron Honken has recieved 41.46% of the Early Votes cast in the Alderman - Ward I race

Incumbent Vice Mayor and Alderman - Ward 2 is the largest vote-getter garnering 69.12% while his opponent Ron Rochelle has received 30.88% of the Early Votes cast.

Approximately 900 votes were cast today in the Town of Farragut. So if the results hold I suspect they will.

Congratulations to Mayor Ford, Vice Mayor Haynes and NEW Alderman Tom Rosseel.

Stay Tuned for final results.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Farragut Election - Bill Johns Support

I am back, after a much needed vacation. I will be posting on newsworthy items that are interesting. The Farragut election is underway. It appears that the Mayors election will be closer than the incumbent would like for it to be. Check the letters to the editor in the Farragut Press.