Thursday, May 31, 2007

1972....2007 Some Media Never Change

Edmund Muskie won the New Hampshire Democrat Primary in 1972. Muskie lost the Democrat nomination to George McGovern and the country re-elected President Richard Nixon in one of the biggest landslide election victories in the U.S. garnering over 60% of the popular vote. Nixon carried 49 of the 50 states, losing only in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

However, William Loeb the newspaper Publisher of the Manchester Union Leader had printed a forged letter that attacked Muskie and Muskie's wife, Jane. In response Muskie said. "First, to say to Mr. Loeb whose the publisher of this paper that he has lied about me. Second to say to you the people of Manchester whom he has insulted, he has lied to you about me. Thirdly, that by attacking me by attacking my wife he has proved himself to be a gutless coward."

1972 to 2007, not much has changed with some members of the print media. Most of our papers in Knoxville are reputable but you know the old saying "one bad apple can ruin a whole bushel."

Here are some additional unrelated quotes made by Muskie.

“Looking at yourself through the media is like looking at one of those rippled mirrors in an amusement park.”

“Too often in the past, members of Congress have won re-election with a two-part strategy: Talk like Scrooge on the campaign trail. Vote like Santa Claus on the Senate floor.”

"You have the God-given right to kick the government around - don't hesitate to do so."

"Do not speak unless you can improve the silence."

The National Spelling Bee

Instead of watching sitcoms or just anything on TV, I watched the National Spelling Bee on ABC. The final 15 became 1 beginning at 8 p.m. Of the 15 many were home schooled or Charter schooled. Brian's Blog will do some research on the 15 and see how many are actual public school students.

It was the best two hours of TV that I have watched in a long time. You just feel so bad for the kids that miss it by one letter and seeing the disappointment in the kids eyes as the bell rings.

This is evidence that there is a hope and a future for our country.

My only claim to fame was being the fourth grade representative in my elementary school's spelling bee.

Now all of you Brian Hornback critics can begin to laugh and question the IQ of the entire fourth grade of my elementary school.

Blinded By The Right

I have just completed reading the 2002 book "Blinded By The Right." The book written by David Brock. Brock was most famous for his book "The Real Anita Hill."

In this book he takes the reader behind the scenes of the Conservative movement that hounded Clinton for his 8 years in the White House. The book is a good read especially for those that observed the Clinton years.

Brock is currently President and CEO of Media Matters. The website of Media Matters is located here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fred Thompson

Well, the news was BIG about BIG FRED THOMPSON today. I received a call from Amelia Daniels at WATE and sat down for an interview and within an hour or so Gordon Boyd of Volunteer TV and I sat down to talk about BIG FRED THOMPSON.

It is Great that the movement toward forming an Exploratory Committee is in the immediate future.

The WATE video is located, here.

The Volunteer TV story is located here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Upcoming 2008 Knox County Elections

There will be 6 countywide positions on the ballot in February (Primary ballot) and August (General ballot) 2008. The positions are:

Sheriff - Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones is expected to be a candidate.

Law Director - Knox County Law Director John Owings is expected to be a candidate.

Register of Deeds - Knox County Register of Deeds Sherry Witt is expected to be a candidate. Sherry Witt has a website. It is located, here.

Property Assessor - Knox County Property Assessor John Whitehead is term - limited and is ineligible to serve. County Commissioner Phil Ballard is expected to be a candidate.

County Clerk - Knox County Clerk Billy Tindell is not expected to be a candidate. Republican candidates expected to be candidates are County Commission Chairman Scott "Scoobie" Moore, Former County Commissioner Mike McMillian and former City of Knoxville Police Department Spokesman Foster Arnett, Jr. Democrat candidate expected to be a candidate is County Clerk Deputy George Stooksbury.

Trustee - Knox County Trustee Fred Sisk is expected to be one of several Republican candidates in running for this position. Other rumored Republican candidates are former County Commissioner John Griess, former County Commissioner Larry Stephens, Government Relations Representative for St. Mary's Steve Hill. Probable Democrat candidate for Trustee is current School Board Member Robert Bratton.

Knox County Commission Meets Today

The Knox County Commission meets today. One item on the agenda is approval of the Knox County budget. With questions being raised about some travel pay for some county employees, Brian's Blog does not feel confident that the budget will pass today. Brian's Blog is confident that there will be an additional budget workshop/hearing and that a budget will pass in June.

One addition to the budget talk today will be an item proposed by Commissioner Greg Lambert and Commissioner Lee Tramel. This is in response to the double murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.

Christian-Newsom Rapid Response Reward Fund

We propose that this Commission establish a reward fund in remembrance of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. This fund will be an account that the Sheriff and/or Police Chief can draw on quickly to offer Reward money when they believe that there is a possibilty of finding victims alive.

Rewards offered from this fund will have time limits. This fund will be to offer Reward Money in the crucial hours and days immediately after a crime when there is no time to raise traditional Reward money. After a period of time if the Reward money is not claimed these Reward Offerings will sunset. The fact that these Rewards sunset may also persuade witnesses to come forward quickly when the money is availed and when the victim has a better chance of being found alive.

If Law Enforcement had this tool when Channon Christians vehicle was first found officers could have gone door to door in the area offering the Reward and may have gotten a lead that may have changed the outcome. The time between when the vehicle was found and when fingerprint evidence (that took time to analyze) led them to the crime scene would have been when this type of Reward could have been useful. This fund would not be something that would work in every case but it would be a tool that would be available when needed.

We propose that we start this fund with $20,000.00 (enough for 4 $5,000.00 Rewards) and encourage our friends in the private sector to contribute as well.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Happy Memorial Day

This video is a tribute to the reason for our Holiday weekend. In honor of the Holiday and our troops, I will refrain from rising on top of the soap box.

Honor Our Troops on this weekend and every day.

This video is authored by a 15 year old Lizzie Palmer. The young shall lead them.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Senator McCain Taking To The Demo's

"While Senator Obama's two years in the U.S. Senate certainly entitle him to vote against funding our troops, my service and experience combined with conversations with military leaders on the ground in Iraq lead me to believe that we must give this new strategy a chance to succeed because the consequences of failure would be catastrophic to our nation's security.

"By the way, Senator Obama, it's a 'flak' jacket, not a 'flack' jacket."

News-Sentinel Breaks News About Chairman Moore

In an effort to allow Knoxville's MSM (Main Stream Media) to Break some political news stories. Brian's Blog has been sitting on this one for a week or so.

Knox County Commission Chairman Scott Moore ("Scoobie" to his friends, his not so nice friends call him other names) has announced his intention to run for the Knox County Clerk's position. Scoobie is the first to formally announce.

Former County Commissioner Mike McMillian and Former City of Knoxville guy Foster Arnett, Jr. have been attending Republican club meetings beginning to check the waters.

Newt Gingrich Liberty University Commencement Address May 19, 2007

One week ago today Newt Gingrich gave the Commencement Address at Liberty University. This was 3 days following Dr. Falwell's Going Home and 3 days before his funeral.

Newt Gingrich, Liberty University Lynchburg, VA: Jerry Falwell, Jr., Jonathan Falwell, Dr. Godwin, Provost Rist, members of the Board, faculty, administrators, distinguished guests, and, most of all, the Graduating Class of 2007. As I look out upon you I am deeply grateful to Dr. Falwell for inviting me to come and bear witness to our need to rediscover God in America. It is in response to his call that I ask you to hear this witness.

We gather on a day like no other in the history of Liberty University. We gather to honor the Class of 2007. Congratulations, one and all! You have worked for years to arrive at this day, and you and your parents can take justifiable pride in all of your achievements. But as we celebrate, we are all mindful of the seat of honor that is empty this beautiful Spring morning.

Dr. Jerry Falwell, our dear friend, has been called home to be with the Lord.

With heavy heart, I offer my condolences to Macel, his wife of 49 years; to his three children, Jerry Jr., Jonathan, and Jeannie; to his eight grandchildren; to his many, many friends, including the students and graduates assembled here; and to this institution, which he founded, nurtured, and guided for nearly four decades.

When we consider Dr. Falwell’s many achievements, we can confidently say, as was written two thousand years ago by Matthew: Well done, good and faithful servant, well done. And as friends and family gather this week to bid Jerry farewell, let us trust in the Lord that, some glorious day, we shall see him once more, and as Revelation reminds us, God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes

"My heart," Jerry once said, "was burning to serve Christ ... I knew nothing would ever be the same again."

He was never the same again—and neither were we.

The image of a heart, enflamed with a desire to serve God, calls to mind the words of our Lord at the Sermon on the Mount: "Do not light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, that it may give light to the whole house".

Jerry Falwell was a man of courage. A servant leader of God, he lived his faith without hesitation or fear. Not once did he consider lighting a lamp, and hiding it under a bushel. No: he placed his lamp upon a stand, where it gave light to the whole house.

One of Dr. Falwell’s favorite scripture verses was from the second chapter of Habakkuk: “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

And what a vision it was …and remains for Liberty. A Christian institution of education providing preschool, kindergarten, elementary, high school, liberal arts university, graduate schools, seminary, law school, engineering school, and medical school.

The engineering school starts this fall and the medical school in five years.

And today, Liberty graduates its first fifty students of law.

The vision of Dr. Falwell was more than he could accomplish in his lifetime. We know that he had much more planned for Liberty, but like him we can be confident in the scriptures’ promise that though the vision is for His appointed time, it will surely come.

All his life, Dr. Jerry Falwell bore witness to the Truth, secure in the promise that the Truth will make us free.

A man of deep wisdom, he understood something quite profound, something that too many people today would rather not acknowledge. What he understood was the deep resonance between the demands of his faith and the demands of his nation. He saw that as the Bible requires Christians to bear witness to the Truth, so too does the Declaration of Independence require Americans to bear witness to certain self-evident truths.

To be sure, the Truth of the Bible is not identical with the truths of the Declaration. But the two orders of truth do overlap, and where they overlap, they powerfully reinforce each other. Indeed, the Declaration assumes many of the central teachings of the Bible.

When our Declaration of Independence asserts “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”, it makes some key assumptions.

It assumes that God is sovereign over the universe.

It assumes that God created man.

And it assumes that man must obey an order of justice which God Himself has instituted.
That order of justice requires all men to honor each other's natural rights, because these rights are the unalienable endowment of the Almighty. When someone violates the rights of another they are not merely breaking the law. They are violating God’s grant of protection. These are the truths of the Declaration of Independence, and they reflect the Truth of the Bible.

They are truths to which we must bear witness. They are the lamps which we must keep alight before our neighbors and before the world. These are the lamps which must be kept upon their stands.

We have relied upon these truths in our times of crisis; they have been the lights that guided us through our darkest hours.

In one of the America’s most difficult periods, as the nation plunged headlong towards civil war, Abraham Lincoln recalled the basic assertion of the Declaration, that "nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows."

82 years later, while the flames of war spread across Europe and the Pacific, President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote that "Our modern democratic way of life has its deepest roots in our great common religious tradition, which for ages past has taught to civilized mankind the dignity of the human being, his equality before God, and his responsibility in the making of a better and fairer world."

FDR, the greatest Democratic President of the 20th century, believed in good and evil and believed his generation faced a war between Christianity and paganism.

President Roosevelt understood how hard it can be to defeat evil. On D-Day, the 6th of June, 1944 as hundreds of thousands of young Americans risked their lives to defeat evil, FDR went on national radio to lead the nation in prayer.

He said these words in prayer and I take the time to recite them in their entirety today and invite all to listen in prayerful reflection as we consider our own young Americans – our sons and daughters, our neighbors in harm’s way around the world. Listen how FDR spoke of the Greatest Generation as it launched its mightiest battle:

“My Fellow Americans:

“Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

“And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

“Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

“Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

“They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

“They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest -- until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

“For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

“Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

“And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them -- help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

“Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

“Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

“And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

“And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keeness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment -- let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

“With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

“Thy will be done, Almighty God.


Since our schools so often fail to teach the full nature of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, it would be in the spirit of Dr. Falwell’s lifetime work to ask that every radio station on June 6, D-Day, to play the full national radio prayer of FDR and remind Americans that we can be united in the face of evil, we can seek God’s guidance for America, we can support our young men and women in uniform who risk their lives, and we can be determined to defeat evil.

That project would be a living extension of Jerry Falwell’s commitment to ensure that all Americans understood that we are a nation founded and sustained by our Creator.
FDR knew this truth, as did Lincoln and Washington before him.

In our hours of desperation, both as individuals and as a country we return to our founding truths, time and again.

Even today, these truths continue to sustain and guide us. In this age we face the irreconcilable wing of Islam, an enemy who does not believe that God created all men equal by right. According to their evil ideology, the Islamist believes that justice is only owed to fellow Islamists—while the rest of humanity (even fellow Muslims) has no rights.

The American believes that all men and women —all—have equal rights, because that is the will of the Almighty and it is God that endows them. Indeed, we believe that no person stamped in the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, degraded, and imbruted by its fellows.

Just as with the Nazis and the Communists, darkness is again falling across the earth, and it is again the calling of America to light her moral lamps, and place them out, for all the nations to see.

Today, however, we face an additional difficulty. We are accustomed to having the truths of the Declaration challenged from without.

But what is new, is that for the first time in our history, those truths are now being challenged from within. A growing culture of radical secularism declares that the nation cannot publicly profess the truths on which it was founded. We are told that our public schools cannot invoke the Creator, nor proclaim the natural law, nor profess the God-given equality of human rights.
In hostility to American history, the radical secularist insists that religious belief is inherently divisive, and that public debate can only proceed on secular terms when religious belief is excluded.

In this contorted logic, the public square becomes more welcoming to the extent that it strips away and banishes all religious symbols and language.

Unfortunately, these false principles of secular absolutism have deeply penetrated the legal establishment. It is called upon to justify all sorts of judicial destruction. In New Jersey, school officials prevented a student from reading to the class his favorite story, because it came from the Bible. In Pennsylvania, a teacher's assistant was suspended because she wore a necklace with a cross. And in California, the nation's most persistent secularist has renewed his crusade to strike the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.

To his great credit, Rev. Falwell decided to step forward publicly and counter the outrageous intolerance of the secular absolutists. This was a difficult decision. Early in his ministry, Rev. Falwell was reluctant to be involved with politics. But he changed his mind. He later explained that “I never thought the government would go so far afield…I misjudged the quality of government we have.”

Jerry Falwell’s heart "was burning to serve Christ” in this way. And because of his courage, America is not the same.

When Ronald Reagan spoke of a shining city on a hill, we know it was the servant leaders of God, and God’s people whom they served, who were among the brightest beacons, not only here on Liberty mountain but across the land.

Look around you and you know that they shine brightly today.

Drawing strength from this institution and others like it, and most especially from the life model of Dr. Jerry Falwell and other servant leaders, they will shine still brighter tomorrow.

Jerry Falwell understood that the relentless efforts to drive God from public life would inevitably affect our respect for life itself. It would pressure believers to hide their lamps beneath a bushel. Jerry refused. He would not be passive. He would not be ashamed. He would not be cowed. Instead, he would bear witness. And he would act on those convictions.
And he was absolutely correct to do so. For three reasons.

First of all, because basic fairness demands that religious believers deserve a chance to be heard. This is a democracy. We are supposed to invite all persons and all parties to the public debate. It is wrong to single out those who believe in God for discrimination. Yet today it is impossible to miss the discrimination against religious believers.

We often hear the need to celebrate free secular and artistic expression—but rarely for religious expression.

Too often, the courts have been biased against religious believers. This anti-religious bias must end.

Second, we would all benefit from reflecting on the wisdom of the Founding Fathers. The Founders considered religion a great benefit to society. They had a very straightforward belief that the purpose of government was the protection of liberty, and that the maintenance of liberty inevitably required virtue among its citizens. The “pursuit of Happiness” was actually a Scottish enlightenment phrase meaning virtue and wisdom.

And if virtue was to survive in the American experiment, it would require “true religion”, which was that religion which cultivates the virtues necessary to the protection of liberty.

Implicit within this vision of the Founding Fathers is a pluralistic sensibility. Any true religion would be therefore deserving of the respect of the government, which would include the freedom to express in public the moral principles of such a true religion.

Constitutional self-government requires personal self-government; the more the government can rely on its citizens, the less it will need to govern them because they will govern themselves.
This belief that religion was an indispensable support of republican government was to be found throughout the founding generation.

Its strongest and best statement is to be found in George Washington's "Farewell Address". He said:

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens."

Washington's words are as true today as they were 210 years ago.

We must recognize that the benefits of these indispensable supports cited by Washington accrue to Americans not just of one particular faith, but of all faiths, and all people of goodwill, religious or not. Washington and the other Founding Fathers feared that the weakening of these religious supports would undermine the very republican institutions under which all Americans find their liberties.

It is in this tradition that I wrote Rediscovering God in America to outline the truth of Washington’s words as evidenced in the monuments and buildings of Washington.

Finally, speaking personally, as a Christian to fellow Christians, we must bear witness to these truths because we have been commanded to do so. We possess a treasure of great worth, one which we have been instructed to share with the world. We cannot hide our lamps, because we have been instructed by God not to hide our lamps. Let us firmly resolve to put them upon a stand, and let them burn brightly, a gift from God for all the world to see.

Dr. Falwell knew this truth in his bones. Just two weeks ago, he preached: "God is sovereign. Feelings of powerlessness can lead to despair. But, remember that an all-powerful God loves you and will never forsake you. Give your problems to Him, over and over again, and gain His peace over the situations that trouble your soul."

Dr. Falwell refused to put his lamp beneath a bushel, and because of that, he was often unfairly caricatured. Though he faced tribulation, he remained of good cheer. His students often heard him say: “You do not determine a man’s greatness by his talent or wealth, as the world does, but rather by what it takes to discourage him.”

Through it all, Jerry Falwell put his trust in the Lord. Despite all obstacles, he persevered and was not discouraged.

If you seek a monument to that perseverance, look around you. Look around this stadium, across this campus, and in this city. Look at the thousands of people gathered here beside you, look at this magnificent institution of learning, look at the churches filled with worshippers. They are a living testimony and a lasting legacy to the perseverance and courage of a single man, whose heart was burning to serve Christ. And this nation will not be the same.

We gather here, today, the beneficiaries of this man of God. We go forth from here, guardians of a great truth: that great accomplishments are possible with God’s help. Class of 2007: this is your charge. Be worthy of the institution from which you have graduated. Advance the work that has been so well begun. Lead by serving. Be not afraid. Both the life of faith and the life of citizenship require courage, perseverance, and good cheer. But above all, they require action.
Carry out Dr. Falwell’s dream of creating a better America and a better world and remember always that while you live in the world, you are not of the world.

Therefore, members of the Class of 2007, as you step forward to receive your degrees, I ask you to resolve yourself to give, and never count the cost; to fight, and never heed the wounds; to labor, and never seek reward. Trust that your strength shall be renewed; that you shall be lifted as with eagles’ wings; that you shall run, and not grow weary. And together with the thousands here assembled and the millions across the country touched by this University and its founder, let us resolve to follow the charge of the Gospels and the example of Dr. Jerry Falwell, to light our lamps, and place them upon a stand, that all the world may see.

Thank You.

Senator John McCain Taking to "Hil" and "Bama"

This morning, U.S. Senator John McCain issued the following statement on Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Barack Obama's votes against emergency funding for our troops in harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan:

"I was very disappointed to see Senator Obama and Senator Clinton embrace the policy of surrender by voting against funds to support our brave men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"This vote may win favor with MoveOn and liberal primary voters, but it's the equivalent of waving a white flag to al Qaeda."

Marketing Quote

"Marketing is not something you do to people, it’s something you do for people. Marketing is the service of helping people make the best possible decision." — George Silverman

California Continues to Degrade Traditional Marriage

This story from World Net Daily details the aggressive assault on the traditional family. California state Senate continues its promotion of gay marriage.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Is It Good To Be Controversial? Yes, It Is.

Here is a video of a portion of Rev. Jerry Falwell's funeral held this afternoon. Remarks made by Franklin Graham about the "Controversial" Jerry Falwell.

When you are right, It is good to be Controversial.

I'm Going Home

Charles Billingsley sang "I'm Going Home" at the funeral of Rev. Jerry Falwell this afternoon. This is AWESOME.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

E.W. Scripps is Discriminatory in Selection of Interns

UPDATE III: A Brian's Blog source confirmed early this morning that the Editor has informed the powers that be that she will accept applications from South Doyle High School. An email to the Publisher was sent this morning seeking clarification and attempting to see if Farragut would be included as well. No response from the Publisher on Farragut nearly 8 hours after the request.

It is anticipated that E.W. Scripps will notify Farragut High School at 12:01 p.m. on Friday after all students have left for the summer and then the Editor will say they attempted to get applications and no one applied.

Is the action of opening up the appplication process for South Doyle and not Farragut within 3 hours of the Publisher's official response an act of insubordination by the Editor?

By the way, the argument that Farragut and South Doyle are not in the distribution area is weak as all E.W. Scripps publications are online and accessed by the students in Farragut and South Doyle.

UPDATE II: The response from the E.W. Scripps Publisher is far more professional than from the Editor. He has a tough job managing the Editor. However his explanation for his Editor's actions are that the publication is not distributed in the Farragut area.

So, Brian's Blog is encouraging Home School and Private School students from the Farragut area to apply who will then file reports to Brian's Blog every Wednesday on the activities of internship program.

UPDATE: Brian's Blog has emailed two questions to Bruce Hartmann, E.W. Scripps Publisher and to the Editor of the weekly publication. The initial response that I have received from the Editor is "Tell Arms he forgot South-Doyle. -- s." So, I have asked the questions again.

Check out The E.W. Scripps Company Statement of Policy on Ethics and Professional Conduct. Pay particular attention to the Equal Employment Policy section.

Original Post: The E.W. Scripps weekly newspaper publication has an ad in this weeks edition. Here is the text that is interesting.

Seeking applications from rising sophomores and juniors from:
Austin-East Magnet High – 2
Bearden High – 2
Carter High – 2
Central High – 2
Fulton High – 2
Gibbs High – 2
Halls High – 2
Karns High – 2
Powell High – 2
Union County High – 2
West High – 2
Alternative, home school, private school – 2

What is so interesting? You ask. It list 11 of Knox County's 12 High Schools, it list an out of county High School and even an opportunity for Alternative, home school, or private school interns. Who does it leave out? Who does it discriminate against? Farragut High School students.

Now why would E.W. Scripps Company allow one of its subsidiaries to discriminate? I am not sure that E.W. Scripps Company is aware that they have individuals within their operational management that is willfully, knowingly, arrogantly discriminating against students that attend one particular school within its geography.

There are some valid reasons for not allowing students from Farragut to apply for a summer internship at the E.W. Scripps weekly newspaper publication.

1) It would double the IQ of the entire group.
2) Management has an anti - Farragut bias. (Don't take our word for it read their comments on a local blog forum)
3) Management realizes they could not answer questions that would asked by two interns from Farragut.
4) Farragut students are already interning at reputable newspapers of record.
5) The "offices" (Knox County's last two phone booths) are not big enough for two more interns, this summer.

This list will continue to grow. Feel free to submit your reasons why a subsidiary of E.W. Scripps is discriminatory against the kids of Farragut.

A UT Survey of Blogs and Blog Users

Check this out. I did it and it would be interesting to see the results at the end, even if we don't see the results, there is honor in having partcipated.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Knoxville Reporter Contributes to a Commissioner Breaching the County's Ethics?

Larry Van Guilder of E.W. Scripps weekly owned paper has an interesting story this week about how he wanted some Commissioner's input on the County Mayor's proposed budget. So, he was granted an interview with Commissioner Sharon Cawood and Commissioner Lumpy Lambert.

In the story the reporter says "Before the meeting with Cawood and Lambert could take place, we received a fax at the office notifying us that the "media is invited" to Sharon Cawood's office." Now one would assume that means the County Commission office or maybe a home office of Sharon Cawood's where she would perform her duties as Commissisoner. But no the reporter continues at the conclusion of his story "And I almost forgot to mention that Lambert who always goes armed was packing heat when he showed up at the juvenile justice center for our interview." The Juvenile Justice Center? Commissioner Sharon Cawood during the day works as a Supervisor in the Juvenile Court Clerk's office. Certainly, she can take comp time and off the clock time for Commission duties during the day but Commission duties during the day on the clock for the citizens in the Juvenile Court Clerk's operation.

Is it a violation of County's personnel policy and the County's Ethics policy to use the Juvenile Court Clerk's office for Commission duties? Brian's Blog will certainly be looking into the issue. Surely the reporter did not demand a meeting during work hours. Which would have allowed Commissioner Cawood to arrange a meeting at an off site location after 4:30 P.M.

As for this comment that the reporter made in the story. "(On my word of honor, I swear that no "deliberations" took place at the meeting.)" What the reporter does not understand is that one of his subsidiaries (News-Sentinel) of his parent company E.W. Scripps has sued the County Commission. So, why he doesn't believe they deliberated had one Commissioner said something that convinced the other and that impacts a vote on the budget. Then that would be a violation of the Sunshine Law.

As for Commission Chairman Scott Moore not meeting with the reporter. If something is printed in his article attributed to Chairman Moore and his colleagues read the article and that influences their position than they have all violated the Sunshine Law.

Why Will The National Media Not Cover This Story?

Thanks to Brian's Blog reader Roy for sending this link. Michelle Malkin over on Hot Air has a video asking the question. Why is the National MSM (Main Stream Media) not covering this Knoxville, TN story? Michelle cites several reasons. Why do you think they are not covering it?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Shrek the Third

This afternoon the Brian's Blog wife and I took our two youngest kids to Regal Entertainment Group's Pinnacle Stadium 18 at Turkey Creek to see Shrek the Third.

It is as fun and enjoyable as Shrek and Shrek 2. It is a great escape to laugh and have a good time. I am not going to give away the story line. There is some good life quotes and life stories hidden in the story.

The movie is worth paying for a movie ticket even on the second day of the release. The theater was full.

Of course going to the movies at Regal's Pinnacle Stadium 18 is always an event and is always enjoyable.

Check out the Shrek the Third website with a Preview, here.

Gretchen Wilson

Yesterday I purchased the third album of Gretchen Wilson. She is an amazing talent. Yesterday I loaded into onto my ipod and have listened to the entire CD ("album" for those of you over 35) at least 7 times since purchasing it yesterday.

Of course if you have been around Brian's Blog any amount of time you will know that I am a fan of Gretchen Wilson. Not for her entry into Country Music (Redneck Woman) which I liked but her diverse talent on songs like "When I Think About Cheatin'" Her lesser known song "Pocahontas Proud" that details her life and mission to make her hometown proud on her first CD project.

Her second CD project "All Jacked Up" included great songs like the title cut "All Jacked Up", "Rebel Child", "Not Bad For A Bartender" her song that irked the Democrat Tennesse Attorney General "Skoal Ring" and then the song with Merle Haggard "Politically Uncorrect".
This CD project is as Good as the other two projects. Of course the title cut "One of the Boys", the duet with Big & Rich's John Rich on "Come To Bed", the fast songs are really Great. "You Don't Have To Go Home", "There's A Place In The Whiskey", "If You Want A Mother", "There Goes The Neighborhood", and "Good Ole Boy" The slower songs are equally as good demonstrating her unique qualities "The Girl I Am", "Heaven Help Me", "Pain Killer" and "To Tell You The Truth."

This CD is a Fabulous buy for any Country music fan.

Friday, May 18, 2007

John Fulkerson Karns Football Coach Headed to Georgia

Former Karns Head Football Coach John Fulkerson has been recruited, accepted a position and is relocating to the State of Georgia. He will be teaching and Coaching football there.

It is a Great move for him, because the State of Georgia pays a much better salary than Knox County and Tennessee, so there is a mighty hefty pay raise in his immediate future.

So, here's to a good guy that has invested 25 plus years to teaching and coaching young men and women. He taught and coached at Farragut High School before moving into the Head Coaching position at Karns and for the first time in the history of Karns, they had a winning football program.

In the words of my friend Chuck James. Under John Fulkerson "Karns Football became something other than the place for the band to perform."

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tabloid Hit Piece on the County Mayor Refuted

Did you see the hit piece that the tabloid tried to put on the County Mayor on April 30, 2007.

Brian's Blog has recently reviewed the information presented by the tabloid reporter Larry Van Guider and here are the facts.

In the story it was reported that "Figures in the chart cover the period from June 30, 2004, until April 24, 2007" This would cover Fiscal Years 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. Certainly the reporter and tabloid wants you to believe that the County Mayor spent $523,857.00 tax payer dollars this year. That is not true. Individually, over four fiscal years the amount is $130,964.25

Now where did this money go?

Knox County Schools and Educational entities received $127,065.00 over 4 fiscal years is $31,766.25 per year. This is the equivalent of one beginning teacher position. However, it was spread out over the entire County and returned multiple dollars in results.

Youth Recreation Organizations received $84,350.00 over 4 fiscal years is $21,087.50 per year. Certainly promotion of a healthy lifestyle filled with exercise and interaction with your peers is part of a Great American Community.

The Boys and Girls Club received $5,900.00 over 4 fiscal years is $1,475.00 per year. Certainly the Boys and Girls Clubs have produced many great citizens in our community and have kept young men and women from getting into mischief and these dollars are beneficial for a greater community.

Boy Scout Troops received $2,400.00 over 4 fiscal years is $600.00 per year. Certainly, the Boy Scouts organization teaches our young men how to survive in this world, how to live as a responsible citizen and be productive team members within a group of your peers and within your family.

Certainly this hit piece in retrospect begs to question what problems does the tabloid have with Schools and Educational Entities, Youth Recreational Organizations, the Boys and Girls Club and the Boy Scouts of America?
This money is money well spent.

As for the remaining dollars that went to organizations like United Way, Child and Family, Disabled American Veterans it amounted to approximately $76,035 a year over the 4 fiscal years. Spread throughout Knox County it amounts to about $4,002 per Commission district.

This is your tax dollars coming back to serve you. It could fund another government bureaucrat with benefits instead it comes back to directly serve you within your community/neighborhood. This is government that is responsive to your needs and serves you.

It begs to question. What would the tabloid and its writer Larry Van Guider want to use your tax dollars for? A hand out for the tabloid newspaper in North Knox County?

No other media in Knoxville has touched this story because the casual observer can see that this is nothing more than an attempted tabloid hit.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

In Light of the Recent Underage Alcohol Consumption

On April 27, 2005 Brian's Blog posted this post. The story and the question are as still as relevant today as it was two years ago.

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.

Pictured to the right is Adam Downen, a fatality victim of a May 21, 2000 vehicle accident that involved underage alcohol consumption. The 7th annual Adam Downen Race for Responsibility was held on April 21, 2007.

Jerry Falwell Remembered by Pastor Rod Parsley

Dr. Jerry Falwell inspired America with his moral conviction and spiritual outreach. His death this week saddened our hearts; but, I know heaven will surely welcome him. The world has lost a devoted, faithful Christian role model, yet we should rejoice in the fact that at this very moment he is home with his Father.

Others may eulogize Jerry Falwell the conservative, but I'll praise Jerry Falwell the pastor and the person. I am forever thankful for the Christian leadership Dr. Falwell provided throughout his life. Please join me in prayer for the loving family Dr. Falwell left to cherish his memory.

He was a wonderful husband and father. He and his wife, Macel, would have celebrated their 50th anniversary next year. I'm praying for her and their three children, Jerry, Jonathan and Jeannie, and their eight grandchildren. He deeply loved them.

In the end, that's one of the ways you measure a man - by his relationship with his family.

I'm proud I was part of his extended family - the Family of God. I appreciate the way he reached out to me and encouraged me to reach out to future generations of Christian leaders as well.

This Friday, I will receive an honorary doctorate of humanities from one of Dr. Falwell's most prominent legacies, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. It saddens me that I will not receive it from him in person, because he was both a gracious friend to me and a patient teacher. My hope is that someday I would be proven worthy of the greatness of the man who honored me with his blessing and his friendship.

Pastor Rod Parsley

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Academy of Country Music Awards

The following winners were awarded trophies from the Academy.

George Strait "Give it away" for Song of the Year.
Carrie Underwood "Same Heart" Album of the Year.
Rodney Atkins - New Male Vocalist (Well deserved and a real East Tennessean at that)
Little Big Town - New Duo Vocal Group
Miranda Lambert - New Female Vocalist
George Strait - "Give it away" Single recorded song of the year
Brad Paisley - Male Vocalist
Rascal Flatts - Vocal Group
Brooks & Dunn - Vocal Duo **
Carrie Underwood - Female Vocalist
Kenny Chesney - Entertainer of the Year (another real East Tennessean)

Most memorable performances from this evening. Carrie Underwood with the performance of "Wasted", Taylor Swift with the performance of "When you think of Tim McGraw" and Rascal Flatts with the performance of "He ain't the leaving kind"

The only award that I completely disagree with is the 13th or 14th straight awarding of Vocal Duo to Brooks & Dunn. They are good and I have seen them perform in live concert. However, this year's top vocal duo in my humble opinion is Sugarland.

Richard Land’s Comments Upon The Death Of Jerry Falwell

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — “A true giant of the faith has gone on to his heavenly reward,” said Richard Land, president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. “Our grief at our loss of his witness, energy and giftedness for the kingdom is mitigated by the fact that he is now with his Savior for eternity. Dr. Falwell’s home-going leaves an enormous gap in the leadership ranks of evangelical Christianity in America and around the world. He will be greatly missed. Our hearts and prayers go out to his church members and the entire Liberty family, including professors, alumni and students, as well as his immediate family. We pray for them in this time of loss, as well as our loss of this true giant of the faith.”

The website of The Ethics & Religious Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention is found here. Richard Land's Bio is located here.

Liberty University Press Release on Falwell's Going Home

Falwell, Founder of Liberty University, Dies
Date: May 15, 2007
Contact: Dr. Ronald S. Godwin, 434-582-7600

LYNCHBURG, Va. — The Rev. Jerry Falwell, Founder and Chancellor of Liberty University and Founder and Pastor of the historic Thomas Road Baptist Church, died today. He was 73.

Rev. Falwell was found unconscious in his office around 11:30 a.m., by members of his staff and received immediate resuscitation efforts there, again in the ambulance and at Lynchburg General Hospital.

He was officially pronounced dead at 12:40 p.m.

Rev. Falwell’s family, including his wife Macel and sons Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Jonathan Falwell, were with him at the hospital at the time of his death.

Ministry officials called a special 2:00 p.m. meeting in the Thomas Road Baptist Church auditorium and on less than an hours notice over 6,000 faculty, staff, students and church members attended the announcement of the passing of their Pastor and Chancellor.

Rev. Falwell established the Thomas Road Baptist Church in 1956 where he pastored for over 50 years. He founded Liberty University in 1971 and oversaw its rise to prominence as the largest evangelical University in America.

Tonight Provides So Much Activity On The Calendar

O.k. Here are the options.

1) Academy of Country Music Awards on CBS at 8:00 p.m
2) Republican Presidential Candidate Debate on Fox at 9:00 p.m.
3) Knox County One Question at Bearden High School from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
4) Aftermath of the death of Rev. Jerry Falwell.
I will not attend the Knox County One Question as it's relevance to our everyday life is minimal and will solve and will create nothing but talk and a wasted two hours of time.

The organizers of One Question do not want input from Farragut, Hardin Valley, Karns or Powell as there is no input meeting near these four heavily populated Republican communities.

An anti-Republican bias from One Question?

Jerry Falwell Has Died - Pray for his Family and the Extended Falwell Family

Update: It is confirmed that Rev. Falwell has passed. It is a sad day here on earth. But a joyous time for Rev. Falwell as he reached his heavenly reward. Pray for the family and the family of Thomas Road Baptist Church and Liberty University and the extended family of the Southern Baptist Church.

Original Post: Fox News is reporting that Rev. Jerry Falwell was found unconscious this morning and has been sent to the hospital in "gravely serious" condition.

It has also been reported though not confirmed that Rev. Falwell may have passed.

Please pray for Rev. Falwell and his family. When his time comes it will be a joyous home going.

Rev. Falwell's trail blazing many years ago with the founding of the Moral Majority gave many of us young people a voice and a light of direction for involvement in the political process.

I will post more on his public influence that help shape and guide me in the future.

Halls Has It......NOT

William Blount beat Halls 10 - 0. It is hard for a few Red Devil's to sustain itself from a group of Governor's.

My apologies to Mr. Halls, Ted Hatfield.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Knox County One Question and West Knox Republican Club

Over in Halls, they had the first Knox County One Question meeting. Word back to me is that about 50 people attended. The primary focus was metropolitan government, county commission district lines redrawn and schools fully funded.

I attended the West Knox Republican Club meeting. 1) It was closer to the Brian's Blog compound than Halls, even though last night it felt like the compound was located in a war zone. 2) The people at the West Knox Club would be more to my liking, probably. However, I am not going to blog about the West Knox meeting, I am hoping that KTB will blog about it as KTB was in attendance and can probably report on it better than I can. I will assure you it was a better meeting for the money of the two meetings held tonight.

You Think

they want any public input?

UPDATE: Volunteer TV WVLT Channel 8 (Cable Channel 5) is reporting there will be one public input meeting.

Stupid Teacher Action Brings 500k Lawsuit

This morning World Net Daily is reporting the following story. A substitute teacher showed the movie Brokeback Mountain to her class and now the Chicago Board of Education faces a $500,000.00 lawsuit. The lawsuit is being brought by a 12 year old girl because she was traumatized by the showing of the movie.

"What happens in Ms. Buford's class stays in Ms. Buford's class," is what the substitute teacher told eighth-grade students at Ashburn Community Elementary School after showing the R-rated movie, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court.

Obviously, NOT.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

E.W. Scripps Owned Knoxville News-Sentinel Gets It Wrong

UPDATE: 7:52 p.m. I have received a message from News-Sentinel management stating that they would look into it. I would like to say. I do not believe that the legitimate E.W. Scripps Knoxville News-Sentinel would intentionally get it wrong. I am sure it was an honest oversight on a proofreader's part. This misinformation may have been given to the News-Sentinel by Knox County One Question or from the Howard Baker Center.

E.W. Scripps only owns one paper that employs one reporter (tabloid girl) and one editor (tabloid editor girl) that intentionally writes a story not based on facts but instead based on a predetermined bias against a person That bias is based on the subjects (person they are writing about) belief, status or area of residence within the greater community.

Original Post: Today, on Page B5 E.W. Scripps owned Knoxville News-Sentinel reduces the term of Attorney General, Public Defender and all Judges terms to 4 years. They identify that all of these positions serve an 8 year term. However, they report that their next Election Year is 2010.

They were all elected or re-elected in 2006 meaning that a 8 year term is 2014 and a 4 year term is 2010. The fact is that these positions will be up for election/re-election in 2014. E.W. Scripps owned Knoxville News-Sentinel got it WRONG.

If they get this simple factual story wrong, what complicated stories do they get wrong? Are their tabloid sisters beginning to rub off on them?

This Explains A Great Deal

Tabloid Reporter Is Using a Hidden Language?

UPDATE: May 14, 2007 5:10 p.m. The tabloid obviously reads Brian's Blog the coded language has been removed. Congratulations. Brian's Blog is happy to be of assistance.

A reporter (Larry Van Guider) over at Knoxville's only tabloid is implementing a new code language in his column.

Does this mean that there will now be a tabloid boy? Time will tell.

Here is an example from his coded column language appearing today on the tabloid website:

Tried Ambien, Lunesta and “Old Granddad” with no relief? I’ve got your cure. It’s called Knox County’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2008, and you don’t even need a prescription. You can pick it up – free of charge –

Happy Mothers Day

Today, is the day. Mother's Day 2007. I feel very fortunate to have a Wife that is a wonderful Mother to our 3 children. 19 years of marriage, we are certainly up against the odds on that one. I feel fortunate to have my Mother and Mother in law and one of my grandmother's still living.

I am a better person for the 4 ladies that today influence my life. I may not always be the best husband, son, grandson or son in law. But I am better because of the ladies in my life.

With that said. I was blessed to have had my other grandmother in my life until the early 1980's. I was blessed to have been influenced by my wife's two grandmothers. One of my wife's grandmother's was known as Nana and a special woman she was. Not only did she place a high priority on her family but also the many young peoples lives that she touched at Carter Elementary, there she instilled a love of reading in many kids lives and her influence is in those lives today.

I am a blessed man. I only hope that I can honor the blessing that God has given me and honor the people that he has put into my life in an adequate manner.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

West Knox Republican Club Meeting

The West Knoxville Republican Club will meet this Monday, May 14, 2007 at the Copper Cellar Restaurant located on Kingston Pike (near West Town Mall) Please arrive for dinner at 6:00 p.m. The Meeting is from 7:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. The Speaker is from 7:15: p.m. - 7:45 p.m.

The Speaker this month is Scott Moore, Chairman of Knox County Commission he will be speaking about the Knox County Commission.

Most Popular Names of Babies

Thanks to the Tennessean for this story today. On Friday the Social Security Administration revealed the most popular names being used in Tennessee and the Nation. Obviously, with Voluntarily Conservative and his VolCon wife expecting a December 24th birth. Maybe this will serve as a Public Service Announcement to them. BTW, There is always Peyton (boy or girl) after Peyton Manning. (oh, I forgot VolCon is a Bears fan) Then there is always Brian.

Ladies always go first.

Tennessee girls:
1. Madison
2. Emma
3. Emily
4. Hannah
5. Abigail
6. Olivia
7. Sarah
8. Chloe
9. Alexis
10. Anna

Girls in U.S.:
1. Emily
2. Emma
3. Madison
4. Isabella
5. Ava
6. Abigail
7. Olivia
8. Hannah
9. Sophia
10. Samantha

Tennessee boys:
1. William
2. Jacob
3. Joshua
4. Ethan
5. James
6. Christopher
7. Michael
8. Noah
9. Elijah
10. Andrew

Boys in U.S.:
1. Jacob
2. Michael
3. Joshua
4. Ethan
5. Matthew
6. Daniel
7. Christopher
8. Andrew
9. Anthony
10. William


Democrat State Senator Haynes Whines at a Legislative Breakfast

Democrat State Senator Haynes in this speech at a Legislative Breakfast says that in the State Senate, Democrats can't pass gas. I assume when he is talking about a fellow Democrat as she and that Senator Jim Kyle wanted to kick her out of the caucus. They are referring to the courageous State Senator Rosalind Kurita.

Democrats in Tennessee want individuals in their party that will march in lockstep and will drink the Kool - aid on demand. Thankfully, there is one Democrat thinker in the State Senate that doesn't have to share the one brain that the 15 State Senators in Nashville have to share. Senator Kurita has her own brain.

PEFA - Is It Only In and For Knox County? It is Your Tax Dollars Part II

The first Brian's Blog post about PEFA was about a week ago. It is here. Since that time (this week has been busy) I have talked with Mark Donaldson the Executive Director of the MPC. (Metropolitan Planning Commission)

In the individual PEFA studies for Knox County and Loudon County. The recommendations of new school construction or the recommendations of no or limited additional school construction are recommendations of the PBA (Public Building Authority) not PEFA as the reports would indicate.

The PEFA reports really appear to be a marketing tool for the Knoxville/Knox County PBA.

I asked Mr. Donaldson if the rumor were accurate about PEFA getting ready to conduct a study in Sullivan County, TN. He said there had been some discussion but no commitment to date, due to travel considerations to Sullivan County as it is a couple of hours away from Knoxville/Knox County.

Mr. Donaldson really appears to be a knowledgeable, transparent leader of the MPC organization. In a world filled with government bureaucrats that are not transparent. It is refreshing to see one.

Impact Fees - Town of Farragut Meeting

Thanks to Pamela Treacy for this heads up. There will be a community meeting on Wednesday May 16, 2007 at 6:30 p.m. at the Town of Farragut Town Hall. The meeting will be on impact fees.

Duncan Associates prepared a study in October 2006 for the Town of Farragut entitled Impact Fee Study Roads and Parks. If you would like to see the study, it is located, here.

In my 4 years of service on the Knox County School Board and during the many High School Rezoning community forums many citizens have asked about impact fees and have voiced support for them.

If there is a groundswell of support, then show up and support our neighbors in Farragut.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Trustee Sisk

If you have followed the story that Brian's Blog broke the day before Knoxville's daily newspaper covered it about Trustee Sisk. The story has to do with the Trustee not agreeing to a hiring freeze. His reason for opposing the hiring freeze in the Sentinel was the need to hire part timers in the event that his staff would have to assist Senior Citizens with the tax freeze exemption.

Two problems with his explanation on this issue. 1) Part timers are not a party to the county wide hiring freeze. Only full time positions are covered in any hiring freeze. 2) The only time when the Senior Citizens would need to apply and be covered for the tax freeze is when there is a property tax increase.

Brian's Blog covered the story two days prior to the Mayor's budget address and the Knoxville News - Sentinel one day before.

So, obviously Trustee Sisk believed that there would be a property tax increase as did 50% of the City County Building and all the MSM (Main Steam Media)

Put It In On The Calendar...If You Dare.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007
5 to 7 pm
Cedar Bluff Holiday Inn Select
Piccadeli Area
304 Cedar Bluff Road

Please come celebrate the opening of the West Side Shopper News West Knox County's Newest Publication A community newspaper for the communities we live in.

R.S.V.P. to 692-1537 or

Brian's Blog Note: This is exactly as the invitation is written. No periods. No Punctuation.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale and the State of the Community Address

Brian's Blog will be posting throughout the evening about Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale and the Knox County State of the Community address held today. However, there will be a short delay as it is necessary to reduce the size of plant life on the property of Brian's Blog (known as mowing the yard, in great community places like Vestal, Tuckahoe and Bluegrass)

There were three County Commissioners that did not attend the State of the Community address. The ever liberal Second District Commissioner Mark Harmon, the wife of former Commissioner and current Knox County Bailiff Mark Cawood. She is current Supervisor of Knox County Juvenile Court Clerk the only female of the Commission. Sixth District Commissioner Sharon Cawood. Also lacking in attendance was recently appointed 9th District Commissioner Tim Greene.

Also missing from the Mayor's Community address was "I ain't gonna keep from hiring more employees" Trustee Fred Sisk. However, several Trustee employees attended the State of the Community.

Brian's Blog Prediction for Wednesday May 9, 2007

UPDATE: 5:01 p.m. Brian's Blog was Right, Correct however you define accuracy. When others like tabloid girl, tabloid editor girl and the several posters over at the blog forum KnoxViews write it, it is not always accurate. However, when you read it at Brian's Blog it is reliable and it is fair and balanced.

Original Post 5:56:00 a.m. Based on conversations with sources in and near Knox County Government Brian's Blog is predicting that at today's State of the Community address there will be NO property tax increase proposed.

The State of the Community will be held at 11:00 a.m. today in the Federal Courthouse Courtyard across Main Street from the City-County Building.

The funding of the budget without a tax increase will make Mayor Ragsdale a hero in spite of Trustee Sisk's inability to play as a team member and part of an integral member of the greater team.

Trustee Sisk is holding out for the need to hire part timers for a supposedly Senior citizen tax freeze. The question is will he hire part-timers to fill in for his employees while they go out and raise campaign funds and campaign for their boss?

Just a question. Brian's Blog doesn't know the answer and is unwilling to attempt to answer it.

Knox County Young Republicans Blogger Forum Last Night

Last night the Young Republicans of Knoxville had their monthly meeting at the Green Hills Grille. The meeting began at 6:30 p.m. The program was a Blogger forum. The Blogger's present were Terry Frank, Mike Faulk, Rob Huddleston and Brian Hornback of Brian's Blog.

Each blogger was asked about their blog, anything in particular about their blog, anything memorable, what is the political future of blogs and then questions were asked of each blogger about Presidential candidates Rudy Guilani, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Fred Dalton Thompson.

It was an informative meeting and was well attended by the Young Republicans. Check out the Knoxville YR website here and get involved. They are growing and sustaining a good core membership.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Knox County Trustee Refuses To Cooperate

UPDATE: May 9, 2007 5:11 a.m. In today's Knoxville News - Sentinel, Reporter Rebecca Ferrar details and gets comment from Tustee Sisk on his unwillingness to be cooperative and his unwillingness to run an efficient office.

Sources have informed Brian's Blog that Knox County Mayor Ragsdale and his staff have met with all Knox County Officeholders and have requested that they place a hiring freeze on their staffs due to the Mandatory funding of the Sheriffs Department Pension Plan that the voters approved last fall.

All Officeholders have agreed to a hiring freeze in their departments in an effort to be cooperative and responsible in reducing the risk to the taxpayers in needing to increase the revenue through increased taxes with the exception of Knox County Trustee Fred Sisk.

Trustee Sisk is blazing new trails in refusing to implement the hiring freeze that every other Officeholder has agreed to.

Come on Trustee Sisk. Don't be the one leader attempting to bloat the office of Trustee while every other office in Knox County has implemented a hiring freeze. Republicans are for smaller government. RINO's (Republicans In Name Only) are for large bloated bureaucracies.

I Understand!

I don't agree with Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor and his extra martial affair that consumed the tabloid media in San Francisco, this is and was a personal and family matter. I don't agree with his position on allowing the unity of marriage of same sex couples.

However, I do like, understand and appreciate his actions in this you tube video where he continues to ignore one reporter over and over.

Certainly, the tabloid girl and tabloid editor girl should be receiving the same cold shoulder from every public official and newsmaker in East Tennessee .

Could This Have Been Caused By The Construction Of The Hardin Valley High School?

Breaking News this evening from KnoxNews. Pellissippi Parkway is closed southbound with the exception of the shoulder as long as that holds up. Read the Breaking News, here.

The question is: Did this occur due to the construction of Hardin Valley High School? What is the proposed bus route? and is it safe?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

2007 Knox County Lincoln Day Dinner

Photo Courtesy of Knox GOP Office Manager Suzanne Dewar

Last night The Knox County Republican Party held its annual Lincoln Day Dinner. Dinner was at 7:30 p.m. at Rothchilds Catering and Conference Center on Kingston Pike. The program began at 8:15 p.m.

The first two ladies that I saw are the two most dedicated workers for the KnoxGOP, Suzanne Dewar and Jo Catlett. Thanks to Suzanne for sharing a few of her photographs. I have given her credit on the three that are posted here. They were at teh doors working hard as always.

It was Great seeing my friends, County Commission Chairman Scott Moore and City Councilman Joe Bailey as I entered the dinner. Also near the door were Trustee Fred Sisk, Register of Deeds Sherry Witt, General Sessions Judge Geoff Emery, Chancellor John Weaver, Ruthie Kulhman, candidate for County Commission District 4, Foster Arnett, Jr, potential candidate for County Clerk, City Councilman Steve Hall, State Representative Stacey Campfield.

Once in the dinner County Commissioners Lee Tramel, Richard Cate, Charles "Chuck" Bolus, Phil Ballard. County Commission candidate Ed Shouse, Property Assessor John Whitehead, former Register of Deeds Steve Hall, General Sessions Judge Andy Jackson.

John Owings and Sherry Witt were the dinner Co-Chairs, all Knox County Republican Elected Officials were the hosts. Rev. Phil Nelson, Pastor of Missions at First Baptist, Concord gave the invocation. John Owings is an active member of First Baptist, Concord. The Pasttime Quartet sand the National Anthem. Dwight Van De Vate and his wife Tracy representing Mayor Mike and Claudia Ragsdale introduced all elected officials including KnoxGOP Chair Irene McCrary.

I then introduced all former Knox County Republican Party Chairmen and ladies, including my friend former 1st Vice Chair of the Hawkins County GOP, Mike Faulk. My primary job was to present the 2006 GOP club of the Year award. The award has been presented every year since 1993. This year it was given to the Concord-Farragut Club. In 2006, the club had a debate between the three candidates for the United States Senate, they always participate in the Farragut Fourth of July parade, they raise money to support Republican candidates. Former President Cynthia McMillian and Current President Bill Johns were unable to attend so the award was presented to Concord-Farragut Republican Club members Suzanne Dewar and Commissioner Craig Leuthold.

Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Dewar

Congressman Jimmy Duncan spoke and gave an inspiring talk and introduced Senator Alexander. Senator Alexander spoke and as always gave an enlightening speech, his announcement that he would be running for re-election was met with applause. But when he said that his job is to continue taking Tennessee to D.C. he was met with loud approval from the audience. He then introduced United States Senator Richard Burr.

Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Dewar

Senator Burr was elected to Congress in 1994. Which made him one of the members of Speaker Newt Gingrich's Contract with America. Senator Burr bragged on Congressman Duncan, Wamp and freshmen David Davis of TN's First District. Senator Burr thanked the First and Second Congressional districts for giving George W. Bush a large enough vote in 2000 not to elect Al Gore as President.

He talked about the new Democrat leadership in the House. How they offered a transparent government during the 2006 campaign. However, they have offered NO amendments on the floor. They have had limited debate on the floor when they said they would have unlimited debate. In the first 4 months they have had 33 closure votes, during the same 4 moth period when Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist began leading the Senate there were only 5 closure votes.

Senator Burr said as Republicans We lost, plain and simple. He said as Republicans we are as committed just not today. We will make double the phone calls just not today, we will contribute more dollars just not today. We have to commit ourselves and commit ourselves TODAY.

As a party we lost our way. However, we can not win because of their (Nancy Pelosi led Demo's) mistakes. We must return to the party of Bold ideas. He told the story of someone asking Helen Keller is there anything worse that could have happened to you other than losing your sight and she said yes, if I lost my vision.

In the last election cycle instead of bold legislation - we hid from them (Nancy Pelosi Demo's) because we were scared. It is all about grassroots. We are the party of bold ideas.

With the Energy Crisis - When we sit here held hostage by events in the middle east, we do nothing. Instead we have the plan and solution for the energy crisis.

Education was a Democrat issue until Lamar came along. President George W. Bush talked about improvements and had a bold idea. Only 70% of high school kids graduate on time meaning that 30% of our kids will not have the skills to compete for the jobs we create. We always hear about what we do wrong and never about what we do right.

He ended his remarks by challenging Knox County. With a County and a Party that holds so many elected seats in the local government it is going to be up to you to help us compete for the votes and the election victories.

Senator Burr was warmly received by those in attendance.

What was in the infamous goodies bag? The white bag was provided by John Owings with his name and Knox County Law Director printed in green on the bag. John Owings also supplied a white stress ball that looks like a golf ball with John Owings Law Director printed on the ball. Knox County's Register of Deeds Sherry Witt supplied a white printed in red shopping list pad. Knox County Trustee Fred Sisk had a blue card with his name and position printed in white and on the back had the 2007 University of Tennessee football schedule. Ruthie Kulhman candidate for County Commission in the Fourth District had a purple chip clip with white letters that had her name and County Commission District 4 printed on them. She also has her website address printed on the clip. (This should be mandatory, always include your website address) Last but not least Sheriff Jimmy J.J. Jones had a nice blue and red ink pen with Jimmy J.J. Jones Knox County Sheriff printed in white.

Attendees of the dinner were wearing black with yellow star stickers that said Jimmy J.J. Jones Sheriff and also green stickers with white lettering that said John Owings Law Director.

It was a Great evening and everyone had a good time.

The food at Rothchilds was exceptional as always. Nathan and Susan Rothchild always have Superior food, Fantastic service and 100% hospitable. Thanks Susan and Nathan!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

If It Bleeds, It Leads

I have just finished reading the book If It Bleeds, It Leads An Anatomy of Television News written by Matthew R. Kerbel.

This book was published in 2000. It breaks down specific news stories that appeared in local and national television news reports between 1997 -1999. The extensive Notes section at the end of the book, documents all sources and when the reports ran. The compilation of the book is intriguing as it begins at 4:00 p.m. and runs to 6:29:59 with ad breaks, teasers and station identification.

This book along with two previously read books make up the Brian's Blog mandatory reading for anyone that is currently holding public office or considering running for public office. Anyone that be may the focus of news reporting in the future should read these three books before exposing you and your family and friends lives to this adventure.

I wish I had read all three prior to running for elective office in 2000 and before having served as an elected official from 2000-2004. It would have really helped to have read them before serving as Knox County Republican Party Chairman from 2005-2007.

Although the two previous books, I did read while serving as GOP Chairman and the two books helped me in not putting up and in countering the two tabloid girls over in North Knox County.

By the way, let there be no confusion on what a tabloid girl or tabloid editor girl is. It has nothing to do with the size of the paper they print their paper on. It has to do with a National Enquirer/Jerry Springer style -vs- the Oprah Winfrey style. The tabloid girl and tabloid editor girl use the National Enquirer/Jerry Springer style while others like the Fountain City Focus are reputable Oprah Winfrey style publications. I digress.

The Brian's Blog compilation are 1) Bias 2) Arrogance and 3) If It Bleeds, It Leads.

There they are, check them out and you will have the information that will expose the media in each City and Town, State, Region and in our Country.

President Fred Thompson Speaks

Republican Fred Thompson spoke last night in Orange County, CA. His prepared remarks are posted on the two blogs (that are part of the Brian's Blog family) that promote the candidacy of one Fred Dalton Thompson.

Visit Fred2008 or Draft Fred Thompson 2008. It is the time for the Bright Shining City on the Hill, it is time for Americans to have that optimism and enthusiasm that once every American felt. It is time for the New Morning in America.

It is time for President Fred Dalton Thompson.

The Saturday Word Of The Day

This morning I was spending some time in the office. I happened upon a scripture reference and I immediately grabbed the nearest Bible and re-read The Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5.

There is a verse that I hadn't really noticed in Christ teaching on the Mount.

That is the Great thing about the Bible, you can find something new each time you read a certain passage. I have read the Sermon on the Mount hundreds if not thousands of times during my life. But today verse 11 jumped out.

(from the NIV) Matthew 5:11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me."

Friday, May 04, 2007

PEFA - Is It Only In and For Knox County? It is Your Tax Dollars

Brian's Blog has obtained a copy of a PEFA study that was performed for the Loudon County Mayor and County Commission.

The numbers that PEFA projects about the Loudon County/Lenior City School Systems are as in question as the numbers for Knox County.

Brian's Blog will be going through this report which is nearly twice the size of the Knox County study to see how the two reports compare and contrast.

The question is this. Should PEFA, which is made up of Knox County taxpayer funded employees be doing assessments and projections on school districts outside Knox County?

Brian's Blog has heard that this Loudon project is in fact NOT a PEFA project as it did not involve Knox County School employee members of PEFA. We will confirm that next week.

The cost of this assessment in Loudon was in the neighborhood of $55,000.00 Loudon County Schools were required to pay for half of the cost of the study they didn't request and a study they say where the information is flawed.

Stay Tuned.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Huckabee and Brownback Did Good Propelling Themselves to Front Runner Status

Huckabee and Brownback earned the right to stand with Rudy, Romney and McCain. They are the top 5 at this point with these candidates in the debate tonight.


With Clinton in the White House. "It means we are back on defense with the terrorist."

O.K. McCain Just Lost Me

I supported McCain in the 2000 Primary. For those of you that read the Metro Pulse interview and didn't catch that, go back and read it again.

However, McCain just said that he believes in evolution. But as a concession he said that when he hikes the grand canyon he believes there is a God.

But the problem Senator. Is that you just said you believe in Evolution. You may have just lost me.

United States Senator Sam Brownback

When liberal Matthews brings up a few Republicans with problems. Great job on reminding matthews about teh Democrat LA. Rep. Jefferson and the deep freezer of cash.

Former Wisconsin Governor and Secretary Tommy Thompson

Great job with his resume. First Governor to move Welfare to Work. Has broad base appeal to Demos and Conservatives.

Former Virginia Governor James Gilmore

Gilmore shows no loyalty. Stand up for your friends even if they are Karl Rove.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee

On changing the Constitution that would allow folks like California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to run and be elected President.

"After I serve as President for eight years, Yes."

On Abortion:

"We are a culture of life. When a hiker goes missing on Mt. Hood we move heaven and earth to find them. When miners get trapped in a mine we rescue them."

Great point Governor Huckabee.

America must hang its head in shame for not protecting the defenseless lif ein the mothers womb.

On Grading President Bush and the War.

"I do not know where you went to school. But in Arkansas we didn't get our grades until the course was over."

United States Senator John McCain

We will hunt him down, bring him to justice and I will take him to the Gates of Hell.

On Age

“I may not be the youngest candidate in this race, but I’m the most prepared.” a Reagan quote from 1984 against Mondale

Check Out this Week's Metro Pulse, Online and Print

The second week of their new and improved website. It looks good, Metro Pulse. But in addition this week is the Republican issue. Yes, believe it or not a Republican issue.

It has an in depth article about Fred Dalton Thompson, our next President.

However, Leslie Wylie has an "interview" with the three best Republicans in Knox County. The attractive and good looking Chair of the Knox County Young Republicans Stephanie Hundley, the intelligent 1st Vice Chair of the Knox County Republican Party Corey Johns and then there is me.

Stephanie, Corey and I are trying to get our schedules together to do some Metro Pulse signings. I just don't know if we can get it done or not with our busy schedules. However, I would venture to say that all three are likely to be at this Saturday's Lincoln Day Dinner. More on that later.

Have fun and enjoy. I had fun coming up with my answers. Hopefully, no one will be offended except for the Democrats. They can be offended, that is O.K.

Leslie did a great job, she and the Metro Pulse have moved up in the Brian's Blog media rankings.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

School Board Meeting - Board Discussion and Final Votes

back to main motion. Cindy Butry is demanding a division of the questions. A Vote on the division will be required. A recess is taken to seek the opinion of the Law Director.

Citing Superintendent Mullins Memo of today. There will be two votes with items B, C and D the Collective Motion of the Rezoning as one vote and item A Exception to Sibling Attendance will be the second vote. Motion by Buttry and seconded by Bratton to divide.

A spells out the sibling grandfathering policy. All students in grades 6-12 in 2008/2009 will have the option to grandfather to the high school they are currently zoned to.

The Vote on the division of the questions passes with 6 vote in support and 3 in opposition.

Anderson Y
Kincannon N
Buttry Y
Murphy N
Carson N
Deakins Y
Stooksbury Y
Williams Y
Bratton Y

Now the vote on the Superintendent's Rezoning Recommendation. Dr. Murphy asked if this is the vote. Some discussion ensues between Bratton and Murphy about amendments. Dr. Murphy said this process has been going on for years. The Board Chair at the time looked at 50 parcels of property. Hardin Valley is the best choice for the high school. Dr. Murphy said we have to vote on a systematic plan. There is an exception transfer policy. I will ask the Superintendent to look at that policy and set it up on an as needs basis.

Robert Bratton said we said we would look at pockets of population. I have been with this government for over a decade and asked about a transfer and it was denied. I said I would look at transfers and it was approved.

Sam Anderson said that voting on grandfathering is very specific. The Superintendent should have the ability to change it. I don't want to limit him. I will vote for the rezoning. After all the work that we put into this, we need to vote on it.

The vote on the rezoning passes with 5 in support and 4 in opposition.

Anderson Y
Kincannon Y
Buttry N
Murphy Y
Carson Y
Deakins N
Stooksbury N
Williams Y
Bratton N

The vote on Grandfathering Siblings passes unanimously with 9 board members casting votes in support.

Anderson Y
Kincannon Y
Buttry Y
Murphy Y
Carson Y
Deakins Y
Stooksbury Y
Williams Y
Bratton Y

School Board Meeting - Board Discussion and Amendment Vote

back to main motion Thomas Deakins stated that if the Superintendent's plan passes. I want to met with you and let's look at taking a greater percentage from the Farragut school zone.

Indya Kincannon presents amendment to keep the Spring Hill community in the Fulton zone. Seconded by Dr. Murphy. She didn't bring a map "in order to save trees." The board members were informed on Monday night that any board member making an amendment this evening have it reduced to writing with a map.

Bratton and Kincannon have a discussion of what is free and reduced at A-E 78% Fulton 64%. Is it a negative racial impact. Anderson says No. Anderson said that A-E is 85% Africian-American 15% White. Spring Hill is 50/50.

Kincannon informs the board that the 4 schools that are in good standing are Farragut, Powell, Gibbs and Bearden. Robert Bratton explained to Mrs. Kincannon that at the community meeting at Fulton High School which is the only high school in her district that she informed the community that Knox County has 8 failing High Schools.

Mike Winstead of Knox County Schools explained the difference between a targeted school according to NCLB and a failing school according to NCLB. NCLB is the Federal No Child Left Behind Program.

Jim Williams responding to Indya Kincannon that Gibbs is losing students and Carter is losing students. Gibbs is growing and Carter is Not.

The Amendment failed with 3 in favor and 6 in opposition.

Anderson N
Kincannon Y
Buttry N
Murphy N
Carson Y
Deakins N
Stooksbury N
Williams N
Bratton Y