Mar 17 2018
07:48 am

Our legislature continues voting to use our tax money to subsidize AT$T, Comcast, Charter in providing us with lousy internet service at ridiculous prices.

America, alone among developed nations, never thought of basic telecommunications services as a public service, to be built and controlled by the government. Instead, we have traditionally relied on private companies to serve all Americans at a reasonable cost. In the past, in order to keep the price of local telephone services low and to ensure that everyone in rural areas had communications service, the federal government imposed fees on long-distance telephone service, to subsidize service for low-income and rural customers.

Now, following an astounding wave of consolidation and deregulation, we have the worst of both worlds: mostly unregulated private monopolists, selling expensive, mostly second-class data services to the rich and looking to the state to pay them to provide internet access services to everyone else.


Guess who was the deciding vote in committee this week!

Mar 16 2018
01:18 pm

Here is the wording of the resolution TN Republicans refused to consider:

A RESOLUTION to denounce and oppose white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups and their actions.

WHEREAS, recent tragic events have proven that white nationalism and neo-Nazism remain very real threats to social and racial progress; and

WHEREAS, throughout the course of our nation's history, white nationalism has promoted intimidation and violent repression of individuals solely on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion, and immigration status; and

WHEREAS, today, white nationalism has attempted to reinvent itself, self-identifying as the "Alt-Right," yet their present-day rhetoric and terrorism conjure painful memories of ournation's past; and

WHEREAS, while free speech and assembly are bedrock values for Americans, whitenationalist and neo-Nazi groups promote agendas that are in irreconcilable conflict with our nation's foundational principles of liberty and justice for all; and

WHEREAS, white nationalism and neo-Nazism are continuing to grow as menaces to societal order that seek to reignite social animosities, reverse improvements in race relations, divide the nation, and foment hatred, classism, anti-Semitism, and ethnic eradication; and
WHEREAS, the white nationalist and neo-Nazi message of racial and social intolerance has led to senseless acts of violence that continue to terrorize members of ethnic, racial, and religious minority communities; now, therefore,


I'm very pleased to note that Roane County does not have a policy allowing corporal punishment.

The report also found that for the schools that used corporal punishment for students with and without disabilities, about 80 percent used corporal punishment at a higher rate for students with disabilities in all three reporting years.

Update: Greenbrier, Arkansas administers beatings to two students who participated in the walkout!

My kid and two other students walked out of their rural, very conservative, public school for 17 minutes today. They were given two punishment options. They chose corporal punishment. This generation is not playing around. #walkout

1:06 PM - 14 Mar 2018


Mar 15 2018
08:35 am

A Show and Sell-out to the opioid industry...

There are still lots of exemptions, like for people who’ve just had major surgery and anyone who has already been on opioids for more than three months. That was one of several objections listed by Sen. Joey Hensley of Hohenwald.

“We’re not even dealing with the chronic pain patients,” he said. “That’s where most of the drugs get on the street, is a chronic pain patient, and we’re exempting all of them.”


U.S. Rep. Diane Black, who is running for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, has missed 29 of the 101 votes taken on the House floor so far this year – more than any other member of the Tennessee congressional delegation, reports The Tennessean. Runner-up in missed votes – 11 — is Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who is running for the U.S. Senate.


This type of removal is usually reserved for executives caught thieving or spying, maybe?

Mr. McEntee wasn’t as well known as the others, but had been a constant presence at Mr. Trump’s side for the past three years. He made sure Mr. Trump had markers to sign autographs, delivered messages to him in the White House residence and, over the weekend, ensured that the clocks in the White House residence were adjusted for daylight-saving time.

It’s not going to be great for morale,” one White House official said about Mr. McEntee’s departure.

Mr. McEntee was removed from the White House grounds on Monday afternoon without being allowed to collect his belongings, a White House official said. He left without his jacket, a second White House official said.


Mar 12 2018
09:10 am

This is beyond ridiculous. Remember that Kent Calfee voted against the unanimous resolution of the Roane County Commission to kill this in the House. We don't know how Senator Yeager voted but we'll find out.

People, rural Morgan County has fiber internet. Why doesn't Roane County?

No testifiers opposed the bill and none of the members offered comments in opposition to the bill or gave reasons for their votes other than Sen. Nicely. Members voted against advancing the bill with 3 yeas and 4 nays. In the end, the Committee let down rural folks in Tennessee and chose to vote to preserve the telephone and cable monopolies. We hope rural Tennesseans were watching and remember moments like this the next time they go to the voting booth.

So there are at least four State Senators who work for AT$T, Comcast, and Charter and not for the citizens in their District.


Roane County Commissioner Steve Kelley may have been the first openly atheist elected official in the great state of Tennessee. I have long been an adherent to the idea that "By their acts they are known" identifies Christians, rather than the professing of belief in the supernatural Father Son and Ghost. Through that lens Steve was as Christian as anybody. But somehow we will run across folks who loudly proclaim that it is belief, or the protestation thereof, that makes a Christian. I'm not of that sect.

The Constitution of the Great State of Tennessee plainly states that atheists elected to office in Tennessee can't hold office in Tennessee, not because of their religion but because of their lack of religion. This not only puts the Constitution of Tennessee at odds with the Constitution of the United States of America, but at odds with precedent and good sense.

Enter the scene of Tennessee politics, Gayle Gordon. Gayle Jordan is running for the District 14 seat in the Senate of the State of Tennessee. With strong values centering around the issues of Healthcare and Insure TN, Education, Veterans' Rights, Roads, and Religious Freedom. She's a mother and a grandmother. She also holds a law degree. I really wish we could talk one of our local extraordinary Roane County women into to followig Gayle's lead and run for Tennessee House of Representatives.

Wouldn't that be something! Steve Kelley would be proud.


Mar 11 2018
09:19 am

Here’s what we found: At least 187 Trump political appointees have been federal lobbyists, and despite President Trump’s campaign pledge to “drain the swamp,” many are now overseeing the industries they once lobbied on behalf of. We’ve also discovered ethics waivers that allow Trump staffers to work on subjects in which they have financial conflicts of interest.


Mar 10 2018
11:10 am

“...That slavery and involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, are forever prohibited in this state..."

Can we just get rid of that altogether or is there some reason we should be able to buy and sell convicts?


Mar 9 2018
06:58 pm

We have such amazing biodiversity in Tennessee. It's also amazing how little most people know about it.



It will be a music filled night on May the 11th at the Princess Theatre in Harriman, when Delbert McClinton, Larry Raspberry, and Crawdaddy Jones take the stage!

This full bill is available for one $39.50 ticket. They are going fast so act now!

See the Princess Blog for more information on each artist.

Get tickets at Delbert Tickets or in Harriman at Duff Subaru and the Roane Street Grill.

Tennessee has double the national rate of kids caught bringing a gun or possessing one at school, state Education Commissioner Candice McQueen told the opening session of Gov. Bill Haslam's working group on school safety on Thursday. At the same time, the state currently has just 865 school resource officers


Mar 8 2018
06:48 pm

In anticipation of Flo Charles' foam at the mouth column in the Roane County News tomorrow, which will no doubt ask us to bow down to God's appointed president Donald Trump, we find out he has another name and that several other "actresses" have pictures he sent to Stormy Daniels.

Only in America would a pornstar be suing the President to let her tell the story of her relationship with him. At least three other "actresses" want to tell their stories too.

“What do you want?” he(Trump) asked her, according to Drake. “How much?”

A second phone call came with an actual cash offer.

“I received another call from Donald, or a male calling on his behalf offering me $10,000,” she said. “I declined once again, and once more gave as an excuse that I had to return to Los Angeles for work.


Mar 8 2018
09:25 am

80% of Americans want bump stocks, such as the ones used to kill 58 people and wound 851 in the Las Vegas Concert massacre, banned. The NRA is paying TN Republicans to keep that from happening, so there!

Well said at

The Princess Theatre Foundation is hosting it's 5th Annual Multi-County Talent and Art Show at the Princess Theatre, on March 22, 2018 at 6 pm. The program will feature students in elementary through high school. Participants will have the opportunity to showcase their individual or group talent in vocal, instrumental, dance, drama, art, and literature categories.

To sign up, copy and paste the forms on the Princess blog, and email them to

Mar 5 2018
08:17 am

All of those pretty white trees blooming in everyone's yard are Bradford Pears. They are far worse than kudzu. They are horribly invasive with the offspring being the Callery Pear with 4 inch thorns on it. They can spread to farm land and can reduce land values by well over half, since they can't be mowed down to kill them.

What to do? Cut them down and immediately paint the fresh stump with glyphosphate (Roundup) at 40% concentration or higher.

These are dangerous trees and need to be eliminated.

Because of the cross pollination problem, pear trees have now proliferated exponentially across our environment. And, to make matters worse, the evil offspring has reverted to the ancient Chinese Callery pears which form impenetrable thorny thickets that choke out the life out of pines, dogwoods, maples, redbuds, oaks, hickories, etc.


Rick Gates...Former Senior Advisor Trump Campaign

General MICHAEL FLYNN...Trump's former national security adviser

GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS... former Trump campaign aide

Richard "Ricky" Pinedo pleaded guilty to using stolen identities to set up bank accounts that were then used by the Russians

ALEX VAN DER ZWAAN...The 33-year-old attorney pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his interactions with Gates

Coming soon: Hope Hicks? Jared Kushner?

Feb 28 2018
08:52 am
By: WhitesCreek

When you grow a conscience it has to be fed continuously with words and deeds. You cannot be intermittently strong and weak. Say what you will, Trump is a consistent piece of self aggrandizing slime. Bob Corker had moments of courage when he would emerge from his hideout under the bed.

TN-Sen: After two embarrassing weeks, Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker's team confirmed that he would not run for re-election after all. Corker had announced back in September that he would retire, and Rep. Marsha Blackburn quickly emerged as the clear frontrunner in the GOP primary to succeed him. Corker took advantage of his retirement to get into fights with Donald Trump, though he still remained a loyal vote for him. Corker notably called the White House "an adult day care center" and suggested that Trump's recklessness could put the country "on the path to World War III," and Trump fired back by labeling the senator "Liddle Bob Corker."​

From Daily Kos

Feb 27 2018
09:25 am

From the Knox News Sentinel:

Tennessee now ranked angriest state in nation

Natalie Allison


After compiling a variety of data sources, WalletHub has released its list of the most sinful states in America — and Tennessee made it to the top 10.

The financial help website says the Volunteer State is the sixth most sinful state overall, but is ranked No. 1 in “anger and hatred” in a breakdown of specific sins.

In addition to anger and hatred, the study ranked states for jealousy, excesses and vice, greed, lust, vanity and laziness.

Tennessee was ranked third worst for excesses and vice and was in the nation’s top 20 ranking for almost all of the other sin categories examined.


While I am not a fan of the proposed project in Crab Orchard TN, I am not opposed to wind power. Each project needs sound evaluation to see how it would affect the community and frankly, there are places where turbines harm birds and the view shed. This is just ridiculous, however!

Among other things there are these particular killers:

This broad definition of "construction" includes asking for permit so you have to have permit to apply for permit.

It makes it illegal to plan for a project without a permit but you obviously can't get permit without a plan, etc. It makes it illegal to study the feasibility of a project

The Sierra Club has a rundown

Feb 26 2018
12:34 pm

Feb 25 2018
07:17 pm

John Dean thinks so...

Mueller is throwing everything he can against Manafort, including Gates who can nail him. Increasingly it appears Manafort is the link to Russian collusion. If Gates can testify that Manafort was acting with Trump’s blessings, it’s the end of his presidency.


Feb 25 2018
08:48 am

The air heats up, it can hold more moisture. Heat is energy and storms get stronger. We pay the price.

Global warming plays an important role in causing heavier downpours
An increase in heavy downpours (exceeding the 99th percentile) has been documented across every region of the contiguous U.S. since 1958 (Figure 3), and this increase has been partially attributed to the increase in atmospheric moisture due to human-caused global warming. Every degree Centigrade that the air warms up increases the amount of water vapor the air can hold by 7%, due to increased evaporation from the oceans. Thus, record-breaking atmospheric moisture and the resultant major flooding--like the situation observed over the central U.S. this week--are something we will see a lot more of as the climate continues to warm in coming decades.


Tennessee Smart Yards Gives You the Information You Need to Make a Difference

The Tennessee Yards & Neighborhoods program encourages homeowners to be part of the solution to Tennessee's water quality problems by adopting environmentally sound landscaping practices that are more in line with the natural water cycle. Your yard will absorb stormwater slowly, which, as it percolates downward, is cleansed naturally of toxins. The types of plantings you select will better endure the heat and dry spells and require less irrigation. In essence, you will:

Reduce the need for pesticides in your landscape
Conserve and protect water resources
Recycle and reduce organic wastes going to the landfill
Save energy


Feb 23 2018
07:45 am

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has estimated that about 30 percent of the state's streams are of such poor water quality that they cannot support a healthy population of fish and other aquatic wildlife, and almost 40 percent are not fit for human recreation. That means that many of our streams are not fit for our children to play in and that we can no longer catch the fish that our grandparents did. It also translates into higher utility bills, with more resources going towards water treatment.

So why is our legislature eliminating controls on one of the worst polluters in our state?


We all know the answer to that. Our legislators represent MONEY not people.

Feb 22 2018
09:34 am

Steve Kelley was a good person, a great County Commissioner and a friend. He will be sorely missed.


This is horrible and shows what prostitutes our legislators have become.

The Sierra Club projects that the number of permitted farms will drop from 332 today to 32 if the bill passes with its current amendment.

What that means is that 300 farms that are now regulated as to how much pig and chicken excrement can run off into our drinking water will no longer be regulated and can do as they please.


Feb 17 2018
07:05 pm
By: WhitesCreek


Feb 17 2018
06:01 pm

We saw this spotted salamander this morning. There are several different egg masses in this pool with chorus frogs doing their part. I may be a surrogate father.

spotted salamander


Eco Warriors and Politics

Science and Stuff

Lost Medicaid Funding

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