Sunday, November 30, 2008

Memorial Day by Vince Flynn

I just finished the sixth book of Vince Flynn. He has written and published 10. I am reading them in the order of their publication. First was Term Limits, then Transfer of Power, then The Third Option, then Separation of Power, then Executive Power and now this one Memorial Day.

CIA Super agent Mitch Rapp is at it again. This time he discovers a plot to attack America on her soil with a nuclear bomb or two. It is a fast paced read and the adventure takes you from the middle east and over half of our country.

This year, CBS films optioned for movie rights for Flynn's counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp, a character featured in eight of Flynn's nine best-selling novels. They have indicated that Mitch Rapp will be part of an action-thriller movie franchise. In addition, Simon & Schuster and Atria Books have also agreed to publish four of Flynn's books. The first will come out in 2010.

Now, on to Consent to Kill.

Hyams of Citadel Broadcasting & Hamilton of UT. Are they Classless?

The other day we posted about Jimmy Hyams and Mike Hamilton concerning the rumor of Lane Kiffin as the new head football coach at UT. We said then that neither could be believed. Now, after the actions of both. We are wondering if they actually worked in concert with one another to taint the final weekend of Phil Fulmer and the Fulmer family.

It did not go unnoticed that Hamilton was no where to be seen yesterday during the UT / KY football game. Hamilton was no where to be found when Fulmer ran through the T prior to the start of the ball game. Hamilton was no where to be found when Fulmer had his last interview on the field at the end of the game. Hamilton was no where to be found during the post game prayer. Hamilton was no where to be found when the Tennessee players carried Fulmer off the field.

Now, Hamilton is hiring a man named Lane Kiffin and I am willing to give Kiffin a chance, if and only if he does not hire Ed Orgeron. If he hires Orgeron, it will speak volumes about where the program is headed with Hamilton and Kiffin. Just go back and see how Orgeron did at Ole Miss. Not just wins and losses. But his players off field antics as well.

It is interesting to note that Hyams for the first time this morning has acknowledged that a hire of Ed Orgeron is a bad idea. Hyams has come to the thinking of Brian's Blog. However, his pre-mature exposure of the Lane Kiffin hiring in order to taint Phil Fulmer's last game and last weekend is deplorable and classless and if he did it in concert with Hamilton. That makes them both classless. But are we surprised?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Is the News Sentinel Lazy and/or Unethical?

In today's Knoxville News Sentinel and on their Go Vols Extra website this column from Marvin West appeared. West retired from Scripps Howard in the late 1990's. Mr. West was Sports Editor when the Sentinel was an honorable publication.

I find it interesting that this same column appeared on Sunday night November 23, 2008 on the Shopper News Now website and in their print edition on Monday November 24, 2008.

In the byline they list Marvin West Shopper News and mention at the end of the article his past affiliation with the Sentinel.

Now, the Shopper is an E.W. Scripps owned entity. However, the Editor's are separate. The News Sentinel with Jack McElroy and the Shopper with Sandra Clark. While I have issues with both in a head to head competition. McElroy comes up short.

Is the Sentinel so lazy that they waited three to four days to reprint a story from the Shopper? Is it ethical to re-print a story from a sister publication? If memory serves correctly Ms. Clark had her hand slapped and was forced to publicly apologize for lifting a photograph from the Sentinel a few years ago.

Inquiring minds need to know.

Not a Happy Thanksgiving for Former News Sentinel Employee

It appears that certain jobs earlier this month that were eliminated at the metal shed on the hill WERE NOT ELIMINATED! THEY WERE TRANSFERRED OVERSEAS!!

As a Brian's Blog team member, I was out in the community on the day before Thanksgiving and ran into someone that appeared gloomy. As I began talking to him and our conversation progressed, he told me he was recently laid off a few weeks ago as an employee in the graphics department of the Knox News Sentinel. He then went on to tell me that his position was outsourced overseas and that KNS outsources the work! He had worked there for at least two decades.

It appears our hard earned PILOT is not for jobs in Knoxville and Knox County. But it's for jobs overseas! Here is the press release. Please note they don't mention transferring jobs. It is sneaky but not sneaky enough for the Brian's Blog Team!

Today Knoxville Has Something To Be Thankful For

Yesterday at 4:00 p.m. the Knoxville radio station airwaves got a much needed change. This new entry into the Knoxville area radio station line up has been a long time coming. Thank You Journal Broadcasting Company. Now everybody change your preset buttons to Q93.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mike Hamilton Says Mike Hammond's Company are Liars

Here UT Athletic Director Mike Hamilton says that any source saying the Head Football Coach position having been offered to Lane Kiffin is NOT accurate information. That means that Hamilton is alleging County Commissioner Mike Hammond's company is NOT trustworthy. Because it was a Citadel Broadcasting text alert that informed Brian's Blog that this was the fact according to their sources.

So, can you believe a company with erroneous sources and a company that employs a guy that has bad sources? Or can you believe a guy that assures Jan Petersen it is all o.k. and a day or two later axes her husband? Neither one is real reliable.

However, Hamilton is NOT a politician like Hammond is. So, time will tell. We will report here when Mike Hamilton names his choice for Head Football Coach who was right and who was lying.

Thank God for Guns - Denny Crane

I love Denny Crane! Denny Crane is played by William Shatner on ABC's television series Boston Legal. Most all of my friends that get personal emails from me always see a Denny Crane quote within my signature line. A buddy of mine emailed me this video. I wish that we had seen this before the election. But it is still relevant today. As we prepare to give thanks tomorrow for this country, our family, friends, heath, freedom of religion maybe we ought to add our thankfulness for guns.

If you are offended, oh well.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mike Hammond Hits The Re-Do Button

This morning, Citadel Broadcasting Companies WOKI FM 98.7 began airing new Hammond voiceless commercials for Phillips Construction. Coincidence? Not likely. Since this post appeared on Brian's Blog this past Saturday. So, Hammond, Phillips Construction and/or Citadel Broadcasting hit a re-do button it appears. Not so easy. Not so fast. Not so simple. Once your conflicted, you are always conflicted.

Foster Arnett and the Clerk's Office Party on the Taxpayer's dime

Sources in and around the City County Building report that Foster Arnett authorized a party during business hours in the taxpayer's offices. It seems that Carolyn Heiskell, his Chief Deputy has unexpectedly decided to retire.

So, Foster got on the phone and invited friends, family and his County Clerk Cronies to come and eat cake and celebrate Carolyn's retirement.

Carolyn is a good person. She campaigned vigorously for Arnett. She told untold numbers of people how she had worked for 5 Knox County Clerk's and how she wanted Foster to be her next boss. It seems that from 9-1-2008 to 11-26-2008 as his Chief Deputy she has decided enough was enough. Time to go home and spend time with the husband and grand kids.

That Foster Arnett evidently ain't what he was cracked up to be.

Carolyn, you did good. Thank you for your years of service and 2010 ain't that far away to correct the problems and mistakes of 2008.

The Customer is Always Right...Except for the News Sentinel Customers

Since I was about 14 years old I have always worked. When I was a teenager, I would mow lawns, rake leaves and even had a newspaper delivery route using my bicycle. After school I worked in retail and then I became an Account Executive with a printing company and for more than 20 years I have worked as a Representative with two separate food companies. The one thing that has been consistent is that I have worked in a Customer Service oriented role. From the beginning I have always been taught and believe that the customer is always right. The Customer always comes First.

So, as I read the Sunday News Sentinel I was amazed that in his column, Jack McElroy would admit that the public reaction to the paper's redo was so negative. But I was completely shocked that he basically blew off the complaints when he said "I can't promise anything."

Many of the complaints are from women saying that they must now wait for the paper while their spouse reads their section first, because the Sentinel has combined their favorite section with the favorite section of their spouse. So, the Sentinel is contributing to marital discord? But, then again that would probably sell more papers so maybe there is a reason for their ignoring the customer complaints.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mike Hammond is Conflicted.

County Commissioner Mike Hammond serves on Knox County's Board of Zoning Appeals. A position that hears zoning appeals, variances by numerous individuals, developers and builders.

One of our sources alerted us to a radio commercial that is in heavy rotation on Citadel Broadcasting Companies WOKI FM 98.7 "The Oldies". So we listened and sure enough the infamous voice of Mike Hammond is the voice for a radio commercial for Phillips Construction. This is a conflict of interest, either real or perceived but in this case perception is reality.

Congratulations to Catholic. Good Job Admirals

Congratulations to Catholic for beating Austin East 45-0 and advancing another position closer to a state championship.

Farragut Admirals fell one game short losing to rival Ooltewah 14 -7. Good job by the Admirals in going as far as they did this year.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Burchett Bologna Lunch

Yes, I attended the Burchett bologna lunch. Thank you to the wonderful people at the News Sentinel for recognizing lowly little 'ole me as an attendee.

For those of you not familiar with the Phillips Auction bologna cutting it is the best political event. The bread is the freshest bread. the bologna and tomatoes are to die for. The chips are Lays chips. But the dessert is RC Cola and Chocolate Moon Pie.

Howard, Kenny, Brian and all the Phillips put on a spread. Richard and Lillian Bean are always fixtures at the event.

On a sad note, missing today was my old buddy Ralph Teague. Ralph passed away this summer, but he was there in spirit. As soon as I hit the door, standing there was Cindy Teague, aka Mrs. Ralph Teague. Hugging Cindy and checking on her were great.

The event itself as always was good. It's a long time until May 2010, the primary election for Knox County Mayor. There will be other candidates and other bologna cuttings.

The News Sentinel PILOT

On Monday at the Knox County Commission meeting, former Knox County Property Assessor and current employee of the Assessor's office John Whitehead spoke about the News Sentinel PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes). It is reported that he said You have seen on the Internet rumors that the Sentinel owes $1.0 million in property taxes. It is not that much. It is likely $25,000.00.

First of all the only place on the Internet that has talked about the News Sentinel PILOT is here at Brian's Blog. So it would have been better for him to name us. But that's o.k. Secondly, it was only about two weeks ago that current Knox County Property Assessor Phil Ballard told three of our sources that the bill is in the neighborhood of $1.5 million dollars.

Of course it is to all the politicians benefit not to irritate the News Sentinel as they buy their ink by the barrels. So, it was overheard in the back of the main assembly room that by the time this is all said and done, Knox County will likely be paying the News Sentinel $25,000.00

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dr. McIntyre is the Fresh Bold Leader Knox County Schools Needed

From 1999-2007 the Knox County Superintendent of Schools was led by lack luster leadership. Dr. McIntyre tonight at the school board workshop began his Legacy of Leadership. The legacy of leadership that we called for this morning.

His comments via the NBC affiliate television stations website were. "While federal student privacy laws really restrict what I can say publicly about the individual students, I will say administrative action has been taken in suspending several students from playing in Austin-East's game against Catholic High School on Friday evening," McIntyre said.

"Any relevant information that comes to light, of course, will be considered between now and Friday."

"While I'm not at liberty to identify any of the students, I will say that I personally informed the young men of this decision this afternoon."

Thank you, Dr. McIntyre!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dr. McIntyre’s Legacy of Leadership Begins TODAY!

Eight members of the Austin East High School football team have been arrested for shoplifting. The quotes from the Head Coach at Austin East are that this is not a school issue. That he has talked with the high school administration and the parents. What? You have got to be kidding me.

No word yet from Dr. Jim McIntyre or the Knox County Schools Central Office. From everything we have seen of Dr. McIntyre he is a stand up, take responsibility for your actions, we will correct the problem.

I believe in the end this incident and McIntyre’s handling of it will be the defining moment for his legacy of leadership with Knox County Schools. When athletes at any other Knox County high school have gotten into trouble in the past the coaches of those teams have suspended them.

When athletes have gotten into trouble at the University of Tennessee for off campus incidents there are penalties for their actions.

These students at Austin East have brought disgrace and dishonor to not only Austin East but to every Knox County public education student as a whole. They MUST be suspended from playing football for the remainder of this year. To allow them to play sends a message to EVERY student of public education in Knox County that the school district condones the behavior of violating the rules, the laws and at the end of the day that “Character Didn’t Count.”

A win on Friday night with players that have been arrested will forever taint the win and will send an unfavorable message about public education in Knox County. Monetary contributions to Knox County School PTA’s, Foundations and the like will likely suffer because of the school systems inaction.

The correct measure of disciplinary actions of Knox County today can prevent a similar incident from happening to these student athletes when they are in College. Dr. McIntyre needs to heed the advice of Barney Fife “Nip it, Nip it, Nip it in the bud.”

Help send the RIGHT message. Contact Dr. McIntyre by phone at 865-594-1620 or email and encourage him to make this HIS stand for establishing his Legacy of Leadership by forcing the players to be suspended for the rest of the year. After doing so call Austin East High School 865-594-3792 and ask for the Athletic Director or Principal and voice your views.

Here is the News Sentinel's story.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Knox County Schools Owes Backpay, Public Apology, Attorney Fees and Restoring This Man to His Status Prior to the Negative Press

In September 2007, the Knox County School system wronged an employee and now they owe former Halls High School teacher Corey DeHart back pay, his employment status renewed to its status prior to the public disclosure of an erroneous claim. They owe him Attorney fees. They owe the Halls community a public apology. An investigation needs to be launched in these constant leaking of erroneous claims on staff members. DeHart, Kim Kallenberg and the former Powell High School Principal DianePsihogios. Here is the story of the clearing of his name. The News Sentinel needs to stop sensationalizing stories like this and discontinuing the use of tabloid tactics when they receive these tips.

Dr. Jim McIntyre has to wonder why no one told him all these problems before hand.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More Questions on the News Sentinel's PILOT

Sources have informed us that the bond for the News Sentinel's PILOT, Payment In Lieu Of Taxes was $55 million. The appraisals for the News Sentinel is $16 million. This appraisal according to our sources include land, the metal shed on the hill, all equipment furnishings and supplies on the property. So, what happened to the other $39 million?

In addition, Don Parnell chairs the Knoxville Industrial Development Board (IDB) at the time Bill Lyons chaired the Board of KCDC. Lyons went on to the administration of the Mayor of the City of Knoxville in 2003. Parnell was a leader in Knox Charter Petition Group and Knox Accountability. The group that was successful in reducing the number of seats on County Commission. Any connection, there?

We are working to confirm other connections to the News Sentinel and parties involved in this issue. We are working to confirm that a sibling to one countywide elected official involved in this issue is employed at the News Sentinel.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Know Who Your Friends Are

The TIF/PILOT audit that is resulting in a the News Sentinel receiving a past due bill has been a contract with a firm TMA in Mt. Juliet, TN. The Knox County contract was signed in December last year. Commissioner Scott Moore started working on the idea of a TIF/PILOT audit six months before that.

He was talking with the representative yesterday about the audit and the auditor said, well I have been told that you are no longer a Commissioner. So I don't know what information that I can give you. Commissioner Moore said well, I am a Knox County citizen. Who told you that you shouldn't be talking to me? The auditor named two countywide elected officials. (Brian's Blog is embargoing the identities until a later date.)

Commissioner Moore will get the answers that he wants on Monday when the County Commission meets. He can and likely will address the auditor from the public podium during the Commission meeting.

Not So Fast, Knoxville

Today's news about the probable failure to finalize the sale of the Downtown Holiday Inn Select is interesting. It appears that the City of Knoxville may have celebrated the sale of the property too quickly, here and here. Either that or the ruling by Chancellor Fansler about the Convention Center hotel referendum was pre-mature, here and here.

A close friend and avid reader of Brian's Blog called us on the day of Chancellor Fansler's order and said "I bet Franklin Haney will stay." It seems that the Haney referendum (elected by a majority of the citizens of the City of Knoxville) is still alive and well.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What Is the News Sentinel Receiving a Past Due Tax Bill For?

There has been chatter (since we broke the story) about the Past Due Tax bill that the News Sentinel will be receiving for it's failure to comply with the PILOT, Payment In Lieu Of Taxes sweet heart deal. The property is not in the name of E.W. Scripps and/or the News Sentinel, is what some in our community has discovered.

We knew that, but failed to fully explain what the past due bill is for. According to our sources the Past Due bill is for taxes due on the value of the News Sentinel's "ME". This would be for the multi million dollar German made printing press, sales tax on the ink etc. etc.

After all the German made press is worth more than the metal shed on the hill that surrounds the press.

Here is another interesting note. the Knox County Charter prohibits Knox County from doing business with any entity that owes Knox County money. So, the foreclosure/auction/deed notices will have to be published elsewhere. And since the News Sentinel's parent company E. W. Scripps also owns the Shopper News, Metro Pulse and nearly every other weekly publication. Those publications will be left without necessary ad revenue. One of our sources indicated that it has become increasingly difficult for the News Sentinel to make the case for being "the" publication of general circulation for the government public notices as the Sentinel has increased its daily rate to 75 cents per copy and $2.00 for the Sunday paper. With this economy that keeps our Senior Citizens and low to median income citizens from being properly informed of the government public notices.

BREAKING NEWS: Moore Files Motion to Appeal Today

We scooped all media in Knoxville on November 7, 2008 with this announcement. We are scooping them all again at this moment. County Commissioner Scott Moore filed a motion to appeal the ouster suit ruling TODAY, November 12, 2008.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

News Sentinel to Receive a Past Due Tax Bill At The Big Metal Shed On the Hill

Sources in the City County Building indicate that the News Sentinel is set to receive a PAST DUE tax bill for $1,000,000.00 (Yes, One Million dollars.) Other sources indicate that the tax bill could be for $2,000,000.00 and up.

Knox County Property Assessor Phil Ballard by state statute can go back 10 years on the collection of property tax. But our sources indicate that he is only going back to 2003.

All of this due in part to the News Sentinel's failure to honor their part of the PILOT, Payment In Lieu of Taxes. Corporate welfare funded by the taxpayers.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Biden and Biden in the U.S. Senate?

Joe Biden was elected to another six year term in the U.S. Senate and was elected Vice President of the United States on November 4, 2008. When he takes office as Vice President, the Democrat Governor of Delaware Ruth Ann Minner must appoint a successor until the next election. She doesn't have to look far. It is likely that she will tap the state's Attorney General. That would be one Joseph Robinette "Beau" Biden III.

As Vice President Joe Biden will sit as President of the U.S. Senate. With Beau Biden as one of two Senators from Delaware. That sets up a Father / Son duo serving at the same time in the U.S. Senate.

Our early prediction is that it will be so.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Bill Phillips Is Not Scared To Ask The Questions.

Bill Phillips at the Monday School Board workshop asked questions about a recent news story. In this week's Shopper News, he has an ad with his remarks published. The questions that he ask need to be answered. Will the News Sentinel and Attorney Greg Issacs answer the questions or will they simply try to ignore the issue?

The content of the letter in the ad is below.

Dear Knox County Citizens,

I have some comments about some negative press reports that have caused our parents and community members to question our school system and the education and the safety that their children receive in Knox County.

Tuesday, October 28, Knoxville News Sentinel Reporter Jamie Satterfi eld reported in that publication a quote by Attorney Gregory P. Isaacs that the boy “was being transported to a sex offender treatment program at Halls High School when the alleged rape occurred.” Also Reporter Satterfield quoted in her article, “that Knox County Juvenile Court officials were worried about the supervision of an 18-year-old boy who was being transported on the bus to attend sex offender treatment classes at Halls High School.” The story went on to quote Isaacs as saying, “The 18-year-old male student was in therapy for a sex crime related matter and has been characterized as a sexual predator.”

On Wednesday, Knoxville News Sentinel Reporter, J.J. Stambaugh reported an email statement from Knox County Schools Director of Public Affairs Russ Oaks denying the existence of a sex offender treatment program at Halls or any other Knox County School. At 7:25 p.m., Reporter Stambaugh updated his story with a response from Attorney Isaacs saying, “That he had never
claimed the school system operated such a program.”

So, the questions that I would like to ask on behalf of the Knox County Citizens who have their children in our school system are, did the News Sentinel intentionally sensationalize this story with tabloid tactics in order to sell newspapers or did Attorney Isaacs use a false statement in order to bring the school system into a false light to spread fear among the parents and citizens who entrust their children to us every day? These questions must be asked.

The News Sentinel and Attorney Isaacs owe this community the answers. In a day when newspapers demand accountability, the community served by that newspaper must likewise expect responsible reporting and journalistic ethics.

Here is the link to the Bearden edition of the Shopper News. The questions are located in a letter on page A6. In the Ftn City/Halls/Gibbs edition the ad is on page A10. In the Powell edition it is located on page B4. In the Farragut edition the ad is on page All.

"Dean" Burchett - We Will NEVER Forget You! Rest In Peace

Charles "Dean" Burchett at age 85 passed on to his eternal reward today. He served for more than 40 years as dean of students at University of Tennessee - Knoxville. In June, he suffered a serious stroke. "Dean" Burchett was a U.S. Marine veteran of World War II fighting in the Pacific theater.

He and Mrs. Burchett (Joyce) I just can't call her anything other than Mrs. Burchett are the parents of our State Senator Tim Burchett.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Williams Talks About Brian Hornback A Lot

Go to about 2:00 in the video and hear Susan Richardson Williams and her imagination of Brian Hornback. No basis for fact. As a matter of fact, the County Commission replacements happened on January 31, 2007. Brian Hornback stepped down as Republican Chairman in mid March of 2007. Surely if Hornback had been the player that Williams imagined back then. Why was he never asked to give a deposition in any of the court cases.

For the record, Walter Wojnar was the first to term January 31, 2007 "Black Wednesday" and then the News Sentinel and everybody else has used the term since. Royalty checks will be rolling into Wojnar since the copyright and trademark of the term belong to him.

SRW Needs a Job. She Wants To Be Knox County's Election Administrator

Here is the link to the photo. Our multiple sources within the WBIR family have informed us that conversations overheard at the station reveal that SRW (Susan Richardson Williams) wants the job of Knox County Election Administrator. A position currently held by Greg Mackay.

With Republican control of the State House and Senate all county election commissions in Tennessee will have 3 Republican Election Commissioners and 2 Democrat Election Commissioners. Currently and for the last hundred or so years, the Democrats have controlled the House and Senate and have held 3 Democrat Election Commissioners and 2 Republican Election Commissioners and these 5 individuals select the Administrator of Elections.

Now, why would Williams need a job? Because she has not reappointed to the TVA board. She is no longer a University of Tennessee Trustee. When her term expired in 2007. She does have a Public Relations firm, SRW and Associates. But our sources in the Oak Ridge area have informed us that her firm has been losing clients rapidly.

Williams is a former Tennessee Republican Party Chair (many, many moons ago), more recently she served as Personnel Commissioner for Tennessee "Income Tax" Governor Don Sundquist. She recently lobbied Knox County Commission on behalf of a second place bidder for the mulch facility in Solway. She was unsuccessful in lobbying Commission on behalf of her client, KnoxAg. She has more recently lobbied Knox County Commission on behalf of Chad Tindell for a vacant General Sessions Judge position. Tindell backed out as a candidate prior to the selection.

Sources close to Williams indicate that her strategy is to get close to the "right" side of the party in order to gain some grassroots support. She has recently been appearing as a weekly co-host of The Voice. The Voice is a daily radio call in talk show hosted by Conservatives Lloyd Daugherty and Kelvin Moxley. Lloyd is Chairman of the Tennessee Conservative Union a group that it is rumored Williams once labeled as "two guys and a fax machine."

In addition, our sources within the WBIR family indicate that it was Williams, her self that set up the Brian Hornback comment regarding the Becky Ruppe loss on election night. She turned to another panelist and said make a comment about Brian Hornback's support of Ruppe.

A final note to set the record straight on the Ruppe race. We have been in contact with officials with the Tennessee Republican Party in asking if they have found an endorsement for Becky Ruppe on Brian's Blog. They say they have NOT. We did endorse Chad Faulkner, the Republican elected to the State House representing Campbell and Union County. We asked them for their thoughts on our coverage. They indicated to us that it was clear and that we disclosed that Becky Ruppe and I have been personal friends for over eight years and that the coverage of Brian's Blog while slanted were not endorsements and not a violation of party rules. They also concur with us that the position of Brian Hornback in regards to Republican politics and the non-partisan coverage of Brian's Blog are separate entities. We welcome friends giving constructive suggestions of the coverage of Brian's Blog. We also appreciate and celebrate our clean bill of health in 2008.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Charter Amendment #4 = Elected School Superintendent

For the past several years the topic of an elected School Superintendent has been a HOT topic. Karen Carson, a 2004 school board candidate said that the public wants appointed Superintendents. A certain school board member (not Carson) was exposed in May here for scaring and distributing misinformation about the bill that narrowly lost this past year. It took Boss Hogg and Joe Armstrong to delay the bill for a day or two to kill it.

This next year Boss Hogg will be sitting in a seat on the floor and Joe Armstrong will be less than forceful. When the Republicans take the House with a NEW Speaker of the House and the Senate with a responsible Lt. Governor an elected Superintendent bill will come out of committee. It will make it to the House and Senate floor and it will pass. It will then come back to Knox County and again 72.49% of the people will give us an elected Superintendent.

It will NOT matter what the State PTA says about the matter. It will be what the people say, after all let the people vote. Brian's Blog is currently investigating the State, and Knox County PTA for possible by-law violations. As an organization they are to remain non-partisan and the issue of an elected Superintendent is a Democrat -v- Republican issue and could jeopardize their state and county charters.

While I have disagreed with my friend Georgiana Vines at the News Sentinel from time to time. Yesterday, she recognized and reported the facts. Here is her report. Here specifically is what she said. "Citizens Committed to Save Our Right to Vote, which opposed both amendments, appealed to those who feel strongly that voters' rights should not decrease. Many in this group would continue having the school superintendent elected rather than appointed by the school board as mandated by state law."

That is a lot of good news from the effects of the NEW Republican control of Tennessee.

A New Blog In The Brian's Blog Family

Check out our newest blog addition to the family of blogs in the Brian's Blog family. It is entitled Coach Cut. It will feature stories about our beloved former TN Offensive Coordinator David Cutcliffe. It currently has three videos. But our intent is to make up for missing most of this Duke football season and start following Coach Cut through Recruiting, Spring Practice and into next football season. We will work as hard as possible to follow Duke from right here in Big Orange Country.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Is The KNS Clearly Violating Their Corporate Welfare Deal NOW?

We have covered the questions about the News Sentinel's PILOT - Payment In Lieu Of Taxes here, here, here and here. They then meet with all the new elected officials, individually to show them how the PILOT was not "real money."

We reported some weeks ago about some advertising positions being laid off, here is the story. Then KNS HR office warned each employee in a memo the next day to keep information within the "family". They then advertised the same employee positions which was clearly an effort to lay off higher paid employees and replace them with lower paid entry level employees.

Then we broke the story of the KNS raising the rack prices. That didn't help.

So, today they lay off 50 people. Read their Press Release here.

When the City of Knoxville gave them their PILOT, it was to provide highly paid long term jobs. Now they have reneged on their end of the deal. When is it that the News Sentinel pays the citizens back for the corporate welfare?

Maybe they are trying to eliminate our multiple sources within the News Sentinel "family". Time will tell if they got everyone of them or not.

Johnny Majors - My Tale Is Told

Johnny Majors was interviewed on Monday November 3, 2008 on WVLT Volunteer TV Channel 8. His Tale Was Told. Here is that interview.

Phil Fulmer's Press Conference - Monday November 3, 2008 5:00 P.M.

If Charter Amendment 3 Passed. School Board Races Could Become Interesting

If Knox County Charter Amendment #3 passed. It will result in Commission being reduced nearly in half, that could open up considerable interest in the 5 School Board seats that will be open in 2010. It is likely that the NEW Commission districts will mirror the school board districts, because with the current school board districts, the Knox County population is currently divided into nine equal districts. So, Thomas Deakins would have to move into the Sixth district or sit out from 2010 until 2012, when he would challenge Karen Carson for the Fifth District seat.

Why would there be interest in School Board seats. Because the Knox Charter Petition / Accountability people left the school board out of the amendment. That is the likely reason that Jim McClain and his former School Board members endorsed the plan. In addition, Laurens Tullock of Cornerstone Foundation through the foundation funded several junkets for School Board back when Jim McClain was a School Board member, but I digress.

The School Board is exempt from Term Limits. The School Board is exempt from Nepotism. The School Board is exempt from the Conflicts of Interest.

So, the five seats that are open in 2010 and the likely candidates for those seats are as follows.

First District - Former Commissioner Diane Jordan who is a former Knoxville City School Board Member. Current Commissioner Thomas "Tank" Strickland.

Fourth District - Former Commission appointees Elaine Davis and William Daniels, Current Commissioner Ed Shouse, Former Commissioner Bee Deselm and John Schmid.

Sixth District - Current Commissioner Greg "Lumpy" Lambert, Former Commission appointee Sharon Cawood.

Seventh District - Current Commissioner Scott Moore.

Ninth District - Current Commissioner Paul Pinkston, Mike Hammond, Former Commissioner Larry Clark or Former Commission appointee Tim Greene.

In 2012 the four School Board seats open and likely candidates are.

Second District - Current Commissioners Amy Broyles and Mark Harmon whichever loses the Commission seat in 2010.

Third District - Current Commissioner Rex "Tony" Norman, Former Commissioner Wanda Moody.

Fifth District - Current Commissioner Craig Leuthold, former Commission appointee Frank Leuthold, former School Board member Thomas Deakins (due to residency being shifted into the fifth district)

Eighth District - Current School Board member Bill Phillips likely will NOT face opposition.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Thomas Deakins Should Resign Immediately

UPDATE: If the calendar is not a pressing educational issue. What about the schools operatiing budget? What about the schools Cafeteria budget? What about the Great Schools Partnership budget? Are those pressing educational budgets? We think so. But evidently Mr. Deakins does not. He missed the April 28, 2008 meeting where the board voted on those three budgets.

Original Post: 11/5/08 6:46 p.m. Thomas Deakins at tonight's school board meeting stated that we should just pass the calendar and move onto more pressing educational issues. Cindy Buttry reminded him that without a calendar there is no educational process.

Thomas Deakins obviously has his plate full with his job (having missed critical board workshops and meetings), his large family and he should resign immediately to allow someone in the Sixth district that believes that all board agenda items are important to the educational process.

On motion of Bill Phillips, the calendar was postponed until the next scheduled board meeting.

R. Larry Smith Scared Out Of The Seventh District

Last night as it became apparent that Knox County Charter Amendment #3 had passed. R. Larry Smith began talking about how only 1 Commissioner would represent the Seventh District. Successful Powell business woman Lillian Williams encountered R. Larry as they were attending the same gathering. Sources indicate that Mrs. Williams informed Smith face to face that she intends to run and it is impossible for him to out work her. He said we will see. She reassured him that he would not be able to outwork her.

Sources indicate that Smith began calling developers today in seeking early commitments for funds to run for one of the two at large County Commission seats.

The Democrats Left the White House in 2001 and Last Night From Outer Space they....

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Moore Appeals

Sources close to County Commissioner Scott Moore indicate that he WILL appeal the ruling of the Special Judge.

WBIR Acknowledges Their Coverage Is Less Desireable Than Brian's Blog

We have been busy covering the National election here at the Brian's Blog offices. Two of our sources have called in to inform us that the white haired man on WBIR made reference to the coverage of Brian's Blog in the State Senate District 12 race. Susan Williams reportedly said clearly.

So to whomever the white haired man at WBIR is. We say thank you for acknowledging our work in covering the elections. Obviously something the crew at WBIR can't do, effectively.

BTW, White haired man at WBIR. Brian's Blog endorsed Chad Faulkner and he won. Thanks for your reference to our endorsement in that race.

The States That Didn't Matter in Electing President-Elect Obama

Puerto Rico
North Carolina

BHO Wins the Presidency

Vermont, Mass., Maryland, Illinois, District of Columbia, Conn, Maine, New Jersey, Delaware, New Hampshire, PA, New Mexico, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Virginia, CA and wins the Presidency.

Congrats to President-Elect Obama. Congrats to all of his followers and campaign volunteers.

Yager Beats Ruppe in TN Senate District 12

WECO of Wartburg has declared Yager the Winner of the State Senate District 12 contest. With WECO's announcement. Here at Brian's Blog we say Congratulations to Yager and Good Job to Morgan County Executive Becky Ruppe.

UPDATE 10:32 P.M.:
Yager 27.087
Ruppe 24,966

Update 10:00 P.M.:
Yager 25, 872
Ruppe 24,377

Original Post: 9:16 P.M.
Ruppe 10,655
Yager 9,817

Click here for live updates.

Faulkner Wins

One of our sources tell us that Chad Faulkner won the State Representative position representing Union and Campbell Counties. Word is the Brian's Blog endorsement put him over the top. Another one of Sheriff Tim's boys wins.


KY, W. VA, SC, OK, TENNESSEE, Ark, Georgia, Wyoming, No. Dakota, Louisiana, Texas, Utah, MS,

Knox County Charter Amendments

#1 and #2 Pass

#3 We are calling this one PASSED. Commission will be reduced to 11 from 19.


#5 PASSED BIG. This one led by one man team of John Emison. Is it similar to one man one vote? No, John gained over 50,000 votes with him.

Cedar Bluff Precincts on Charter Amendments

Election Day Numbers

#3 - Failed in a close vote 846 for to 937 against
#4 - Failed BIG 464 for to 1331 against
#5 Liquor by the drink - WON BIG 1398 for to 462 against

Lamar! Wins. Saxby WINS in Georgia, Jeff Sessions Wins in Alabama

all three Republican retentions in Senate.

Bad News in NH

Jeanne Shaheen beats John Sununu. Third Democrat Senate Seat gain.

Sad News in North Carolina. Good News in KY

Elizabeth Dole is one and done. Kay Hagan is the second Democrat Senate seat gain.

Mitch McConnell of Kentucky goes back. That is good news.

Congratulations to Mark Warner of VA

A Democrat that we like. Unfortunately for the GOP a Senate seat loss.

Breaking News: JSM, III Wins UT Student Exit Poll

Check the exit poll results, here.


If you haven't already voted during the early vote period. Do so today. You must go to the voting precinct that is listed on your voting registration card.

Former Tennessee Governor Winfield Dunn in announcing his candidacy for Governor in the early 1970's said. "Support me if you can. Oppose me if you must. But above all participate." I have often times cited his quote because we all MUST participate.

Monday, November 03, 2008

McCain Wins

John McCain won the Kid Vote at Lotts Elementary School today by a nearly two (600 plus votes for McCain) to one (300 plus votes for BHO) margin. Since the Presidential election of 1996, Lotts has been accurate on their Presidential selections. In 1996, it was Bill Clinton over Bob Dole. In 2000 it was George W. Bush over Al Gore. In 2004 it was George W. Bush over John Kerrey. The school opened in 1993, missing the 1992 election.

BREAKING NEWS: Fulmer is Out

Thanks to one of our sources JW for pointing us toward this story on ESPN, link here. The announcement is at 5 p.m..

He will NOT be back next year. But, will he continue for the next three games? We will see. How appropriate. Majors lost his job after losing to South Carolina and now Fulmer.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

As We Approach November 4, 2008 Let's Keep The Focus

Thanks to John Piper, Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mineapolis, Minnesota and Author of many resources including the book Don't Waste Your Life. He authored the following message about the election and how we Christians need to approach it. His ministry can be located, here.

Let Christians Vote As Though They Were Not Voting
By John Piper
October 22, 2008

Voting is like marrying and crying and laughing and buying. We should do it, but only as if we were not doing it. That’s because “the present form of this world is passing away” and, in God’s eyes, “the time has grown very short.” Here’s the way Paul puts it:

“The appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away” (
1 Corinthians 7:29-31).

Let’s take these one at a time and compare them to voting.

1. “Let those who have wives live as though they had none.”

This doesn’t mean move out of the house, don’t enjoy married love, and don’t call her Honey. Earlier in this chapter Paul says, “The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights” (
1 Corinthians 7:3). He also says to love her the way Christ loved the church, leading and providing and protecting (Ephesians 5:25-30).It means this: Marriage is momentary. It’s over at death, and there is no marriage in the resurrection. Wives and husbands are second priorities, not first. Christ is first. Marriage is for making much of him.

It means: If she is exquisitely desirable, beware of desiring her more than Christ. And if she is deeply disappointing, beware of being hurt too much. This is temporary—only a brief lifetime. Then comes the never-disappointing life which is life indeed.

So it is with voting. We should do it. But only as if we were not doing it. Its outcomes do not give us the greatest joy when they go our way, and they do not demoralize us when they don’t. Political life is for making much of Christ whether the world falls apart or holds together.

2. “Let those who mourn [do so] as though they were not mourning.”

Christians mourn with real, deep, painful mourning, especially over losses—loss of those we love, loss of health, loss of a dream. These losses hurt. We cry when we are hurt. But we cry as though not crying. We mourn knowing we have not lost something so valuable we cannot rejoice in our mourning. Our losses do not incapacitate us. They do not blind us to the possibility of a fruitful future serving Christ. The Lord gives and takes away. But he remains blessed. And we remain hopeful in our mourning.

So it is with voting. There are losses. We mourn. But not as those who have no hope. We vote and we lose, or we vote and we win. In either case, we win or lose as if we were not winning or losing. Our expectations and frustrations are modest. The best this world can offer is short and small. The worst it can offer has been predicted in the book of Revelation. And no vote will hold it back. In the short run, Christians lose (
Revelation 13:7). In the long run, we win (Revelation 21:4).

3. “Let those who rejoice [do so] as though they were not rejoicing.”

Christians rejoice in health (
James 5:13) and in sickness (James 1:2). There are a thousand good and perfect things that come down from God that call forth the feeling of happiness. Beautiful weather. Good friends who want to spend time with us. Delicious food and someone to share it with. A successful plan. A person helped by our efforts.

But none of these good and beautiful things can satisfy our soul. Even the best cannot replace what we were made for, namely, the full experience of the risen Christ (
John 17:24). Even fellowship with him here is not the final and best gift. There is more of him to have after we die (Philippians 1:21-23)—and even more after the resurrection. The best experiences here are foretastes. The best sights of glory are through a mirror dimly. The joy that rises from these previews does not and should not rise to the level of the hope of glory. These pleasures will one day be as though they were not. So we rejoice remembering this joy is a foretaste, and will be replaced by a vastly better joy.

So it is with voting. There are joys. The very act of voting is a joyful statement that we are not under a tyrant. And there may be happy victories. But the best government we get is a foreshadowing. Peace and justice are approximated now. They will be perfect when Christ comes. So our joy is modest. Our triumphs are short-lived—and shot through with imperfection. So we vote as though not voting.

4. “Let those who buy [do so] as though they had no goods.”

Let Christians keep on buying while this age lasts. Christianity is not withdrawal from business. We are involved, but as though not involved. Business simply does not have the weight in our hearts that it has for many. All our getting and all our having in this world is getting and having things that are not ultimately important. Our car, our house, our books, our computers, our heirlooms—we possess them with a loose grip. If they are taken away, we say that in a sense we did not have them. We are not here to possess. We are here to lay up treasures in heaven.
This world matters. But it is not ultimate. It is the stage for living in such a way to show that this world is not our God, but that Christ is our God. It is the stage for using the world to show that Christ is more precious than the world.

So it is with voting. We do not withdraw. We are involved—but as if not involved. Politics does not have ultimate weight for us. It is one more stage for acting out the truth that Christ, and not politics, is supreme.

5. “Let those who deal with the world [do so] as though they had no dealings with it.”

Christians should deal with the world. This world is here to be used. Dealt with. There is no avoiding it. Not to deal with it is to deal with it that way. Not to weed your garden is to cultivate a weedy garden. Not to wear a coat in Minnesota is to freeze—to deal with the cold that way. Not to stop when the light is red is to spend your money on fines or hospital bills and deal with the world that way. We must deal with the world.

But as we deal with it, we don’t give it our fullest attention. We don’t ascribe to the world the greatest status. There are unseen things that are vastly more precious than the world. We use the world without offering it our whole soul. We may work with all our might when dealing with the world, but the full passions of our heart will be attached to something higher—Godward purposes. We use the world, but not as an end in itself. It is a means. We deal with the world in order to make much of Christ.

So it is with voting. We deal with the system. We deal with the news. We deal with the candidates. We deal with the issues. But we deal with it all as if not dealing with it. It does not have our fullest attention. It is not the great thing in our lives. Christ is. And Christ will be ruling over his people with perfect supremacy no matter who is elected and no matter what government stands or falls. So we vote as though not voting.

By all means vote. But remember: “The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (
1 John 2:17).

Voting with you, as though not voting,
Pastor John