Sat
Feb 17 2018
07:05 pm
By: WhitesCreek

bennet

Sat
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

(link...)

Before this is over, I expect we will find that the Russians had a direct hole drilled in Flo Charles' brain.

Tennessee mentioned as target of misinformation campaign:

"The indictment points to one account titled Tennessee GOP (@TEN_GOP), which gained over 100,000 followers yet had no affiliation with the actual state political party."

RNeal at KnoxViews has the story

Tue
Feb 13 2018
07:41 pm
Two jets, a helicopter with "Mercedes Benz styling," and a $6.5 million salary prompt complaints.

(link...)

Tue
Feb 13 2018
08:46 am

Bredesen 47 Blackburn 45

Pretty amusing to read between the lines:

The poll conducted by Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies is overweighted with Republicans and indicates that a generic Republican would be preferred over a Democrat, and that President Donald Trump retains a strong approval rating. The takeaway, Politico says, is that “Blackburn is in for a tough race” even in a heavily Republican state like Tennessee.

Looks like even Republicans just don't like Marsha Blackburn.

(link...)

Tue
Feb 13 2018
08:26 am

The short version of Trump's Federal Budget proposal is "destroy everything good about America and give the money to my friends."

Here's the long version in which he eliminates all federal funding for the NASA Office of Education, National Endowment for the Arts, 5 Earth Science Missions, NASA's WFIRST satelite, & The Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Trump also proposes to sell off the TVA Power grid and the Dulles International airport.

(link...)

We've had a lot of rain and some streams will continue to rise for a few hours. Here is a cool list of water level and flow gauges for Tennessee, listed by county.

Whites Creek is certainly big high water at this moment.

(link...)

Fri
Feb 9 2018
04:55 pm

Between 2.5 and 4 inches are forecast for Saturday and Sunday.

Widespread flooding is possible.

Do NOT drive through running water.

How does this happen?

A former senior manager for the Tennessee Valley Authority, recruited by an operative for the Chinese government seeking to buy information on American nuclear information, will avoid any time in prison for his activity, reports the News Sentinel.

Chief U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan on Thursday turned aside a bid by federal prosecutors to have nuclear scientist Ching Ning Guey, 63, imprisoned and instead sentenced the former TVA executive to a three-year probationary term.

Varlan was the judge in the TVA ash disaster case who decided that, while TVA was definitely at fault, they could not under the law be made to pay for the damages they caused.

(link...)

Rockwood Mayor and School Board member, Brillo Miller, was quoted in a Damon Lawrence article where the School Board was discussing teacher pay...

“I know some people have been critical of us saying that we pay our teachers too much – that’s part of our problem,” Board Member Mike “Brillo” Miller said. “Well I’m guilty, and I will continue to be guilty to vote to increase their pay.”

...“For someone to be critical of what these educators make, again I’ll say it, it’s just stupidity,” he said.

I thought that was a bit harsh at first but then Brillo is passionate about our schools and is a paragon of personal service to his town, our schools, and Roane County, and I figure he is entitled to a bit of hyperbole. Then...Right on cue a letter writer attacks Roane County teachers in general and Brillo personally.

"It is truly a shame that the city of Rockwood, in its 150-year history, does not have anyone to name a sports complex after."

This is why we can't have nice things in Roane County. When someone such as Mayor Miller, who has served and still serves our county in an unpaid position and has contributed in ways and efforts vastly beyond most citizens, and the Roane County News allows someone, not to intelligently disagree with them, but to attack them on a personal level, it has to be frustrating and painful. After consideration I think Mayor Miller might be correct in his choice of words, and to be fair, was calling the criticism stupidity, not the criticizer. That is a world of difference from the personal attacks of the letter writer.

Apparently the letter writer is jealous of Mayor Miller having had a sports complex named for him. Perhaps the Rockwood city fathers and mothers could ease the writers personal feelings of inadequacy by naming one of the toilets at the Brillo Miller Sports Complex after the writer allowing him to flush away his bile and saving the rest of us from having to deal with it.

OK, look...I poke fun at the letter writer but there is a serious point here...

We have to get past personal attacks in our discussions. We have to base our arguments on facts and reason. When someone veers away from facts and into the land of personal attacks, it should tell us their position is not justifiable.

Could Trump look any guiltier?

The dossier on the President, whether true or false, could subject him to blackmail by foreign powers. The FBI was correct in telling the President about the threat, even if "salacious and unverified."

If there is anything shocking in the Nunes memo, it can be found in its faulty reasoning, writing and sourcing. The American public needs to know the "totality of circumstances" presented to the FISA judge in order to fairly evaluate the conduct of the DOJ and the FBI.

(link...)

Fri
Feb 2 2018
08:08 pm

School Closed Due to Illness

Roane County Schools TN will be closed Monday (02.05.18) and Tuesday (02.06.18) due to increased illness of staff and students.

(link...)

If Trump didn't collude with Russia to win the Presidency why is he fighting so hard to stop an investigation that would clear him?

So this is what a partisan witch hunt really looks like. [...] Reports suggest that the three-and-a-half-page document — produced by the staff of Representative Devin Nunes (R-White House), who somehow still leads the House Intelligence Committee despite his own record of shilling for President Trump, and who is supposed to be recused from these matters — has nothing to do with truth or accountability. Rather, it appears to be misleading propaganda from people who are terrified by the Russia investigation and determined to derail it by any means necessary. [...]

There’s so much deception and obfuscation going on here that it’s hard to know where to start.

MOUNT ROOSEVELT WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA ROADS CLOSED DUE TO ILLEGAL DUMPING

TWRA has closed all access area roads on Mt. Roosevelt Wildlife Management Area (WMA) due to illegal dumping. Hunters can still access the area by foot and TWRA will reopen roads for the spring turkey hunting season. The area was previously closed in 2016 for the same reason.
Approximately 10 tons of waste including tires, gas tanks, building materials and household waste has been dumped on the area over the past several years. It has cost the agency over $120,000.00 to remove this waste. TWRA crews have cleared the majority. However, due to the type of trash illegally dumped, the agency has also used contractual services.
The WMA is under heavy surveillance and wildlife officers are investigating any leads. TWRA ask anyone with information regarding illegal dumping to call the TWRA Region III office at: 931-484-9571

Thu
Feb 1 2018
04:48 pm

Lenoir City and Loudon schools will be closed Friday due to flu.

(link...)

Well, that was a waste of America's time.

Andrea Mitchell: "One lie on top of another."

Charles Pierce: "The only interesting thing about this speech is what an utter crock of s*** it is."

Michael Bloomberg: "Utterly terrifying warmongering....Trump determined to strike North Korea."

Reaction to Stormy Daniels on Jimmy Kimmel: Akward at best. It's obvious it's true. She got paid and can;t say that. Trump has ridiculously low standards. Painful as it was, it was less so than Trump's SOTU monologue. I genuinely felt sorry for the members of Congress who had to sit through that.

Tue
Jan 30 2018
06:00 pm

I guess it was just too crowded over there on the alt-Right side of the teeter totter...

(link...)

Tue
Jan 30 2018
04:37 pm

From our "TVA Loves Us More Than WE can Know" Dept.:

The Tennessee Valley Authority is shifting more of the cost of its electricity from industrial to residential customers, keeping power rates relatively stable for homeowners while giving the biggest businesses in the Valley rate reductions of 20 percent or more over the past six years, according to a new study of TVA rates.

A review of government rate information by Synapse Energy Economics found that TVA has shifted more than $1.4 billion from industry to homeowners and commercial customers from 2011 to 2016, costing the typical homeowner in Chattanooga an extra $164 a year in electricity costs.

(link...)

Tue
Jan 30 2018
08:57 am

It's about time!

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase on Tuesday announced plans to partner on ways to cut health-care costs and improve services for U.S. employees.

The idea is to create a company that would be "free from profit-making incentives."

News of the deal slammed suppliers in the industry including CVS, United Health and Aetna.

(link...)

Mon
Jan 29 2018
10:53 am

Humphrey notes a newspaper poll which has Bredesen trailing Blackburn in the Senate race by a significant margin. It's not until you read the metrics of the poll that you realize that, among other things, they questioned twice as many R's as D's and significantly under valued the response of minorities. When you adjust for actual voter turnout this is a very close race.

It's going to be interesting to see if there is enough Koch PAC money to defeat the best Tennessee governor of this century. It will take a manufactured false narrative to do it and that means lots of cash. Will Tennessee choose the widely popular ex governor who earned a physics degree from Harvard or the home economics major from Mississippi State?

Let's see...For some reason the personal problems of a teacher are front page news, along with a husband kidnapping his wife. The good news is the Second Coming Type announcement of Rockwood's 200 year celebration and a lovely photo of a young dancer.

It's Monday in Roane County, I guess. Oh, and they apparently forgot that Roane County was stupidly gerrymandered into split representation in the state House and left out the candidates for 31st District.

(link...)

Mon
Jan 29 2018
08:09 am

Way back in the last century, Dagger CEO Joe Pulliam was the impetus for a community based cleanup of Watts Barr Lake. Trash removal events were and still are common on paddleable rivers and streams and I'm proud to note that the lake clean up still happens every year. I'm sad to note that they still get a mountain of trash every time. We can do better.

American Rivers is a national organization that works to protect the waters of the United States, waters that our American life is built around. They promote and sponsor river cleanups around the country and have found that there are certain types of trash that make up the bulk of what we see destroying the beauty and cleanliness of our water. You might be surprised at number one...

(link...)

Sun
Jan 28 2018
07:14 pm

Russian bots are polluting social media like you would have no idea how much! Even RoneViews.com has gotten hundreds of membership requests like this one with a Russian email host and address:

stuarte88881@mail.ru

The moral of this story is "Google is your friend!...Fact Check everything!" (Especially if it's on the Roane County News Op-Ed page)

Fri
Jan 26 2018
10:33 am

In her bilious op-ed today Flo Charles makes so many false statements that I'm having trouble counting them for the over under contest. Let's go with her big whopper for starters:

A classified, four-page memo may be made public soon confirming that the Obama Administration spied on the Trump campaign. This memo details the FISA abuses and the way the information was obtained by the Trump haters in the FBI.

Look...There is no classified four page memo!

So we have the Nixonian dirty trick of claiming you have a "secret memo" that proves the FBI was after Trump for no good reason. But the memo was actually written by Republicans:

According to Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, "a profoundly misleading set of talking points drafted by Republican staff attacking the FBI and its handling of the investigation," which references "classified materials that most of the Republican Intelligence Committee members were forced to acknowledge they have never read." One of those talking points, it appears, involves an accusation reported by Politico that one Trump foreign-policy aide was “inappropriately” surveilled during the campaign, in a misuse of FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act).

(link...)

The "secret memo" is being hyped by Sean Hannity on Fox News as if it contained classified information. It doesn't. But Russian bots have been hyping that meme to gullible people on social media.

Flo Charles has bought into that hook line and sinker...Unless Flo is a Russian agent herself?

Why does the Roane County News let itself be used for such transparent propaganda instigated by the enemies of America?

Thu
Jan 25 2018
09:52 am

I suspect we will see some sort of rah rah drivel on our local newspaper op-ed page touting Trump's masterful handling of the Democratic budget crises. Of course Trump was excluded from participation and spent the weekend watching TV and tweeting. I expect this because we were told how Trump "masterfully handled" the North Korea situation, which is amazing since North Korea continues to dominate the nuclear news with the CDC considering posting information on how to survive a nuclear strike, (changed it at the last minute to a flu preparedness session after some public uproar).

I wonder if we'll hear how Trump's affair with a porn star is fake news, or why his son in law can't get a security clearance because he is hanging out with a Chinese agent who happens to be Rupert Murdoch's ex wife and Vladimir Putins girlfriend?

(link...)

What's the over and under on how many overtly false statements we'll see in tomorrow's Roane County News op-eds?

Tue
Jan 23 2018
09:46 pm

DAMASCUS ROAD BLUEGRASS GOSPEL MUSIC of Kodak, Tennessee coming to the Princess February 3rd at 7PM!

With special guests: Kelsey Cate from Nashville, TN Tanner Kirby from Kodak, TN
WHERE: The PRINCESS Theatre Harriman, TN
WHEN: Sat. February 3, 2018 @ 7pm
ADMISSION: $10.00 at the door

Proceeds benefit the Roane County Cancer Society

Ending Net Neutrality was a move to allow corporations to censor the internet. This is just as important as the concept of Freedom of the Press. Call them out on this!

(link...)

Tue
Jan 23 2018
08:37 am

The opioid industry works hand in hand with the for profit prison industry to keep us enslaved. It's no secret that when the Tennessee legislature considered a proposal to let Tennesseans vote on legalized recreational cannabis they received huge payments from Big Pharma and Prison Corporations. We pay their salaries and lobbyists pay their campaign costs. We pay our taxes and they work for corporations. One time a couple of hundred years ago we had a revolution in this country over just such a thing. It was called...

"Taxation Without Representation!"

So why is this germane to Haslam's plan to fight opioids? Well it isn't an actual plan, just more cost to taxpayers for things we've been doing that haven't worked.

Educating children, making overdose-reversing drugs available to all state troopers and adding hundreds of prison beds to treat those fighting opioid addiction are part of Gov. Bill Haslam and legislative leaders' comprehensive $30 million proposal to combat the epidemic.

What has worked? Tight control over opioid prescriptions and legalized cannabis. Did you know this?...

One in four adults who are given an opioid prescription will become addicted. This very day, three people will die in Tennessee from opioid overdose.

Opioid use has dropped significantly in states with legal cannabis.

But until we take back control of our government from lobbyists we will never solve this problem.

(link...)

Mon
Jan 22 2018
02:46 pm
By: WhitesCreek

Surprisingly, with last year's march having 4-5000 participants, I was not expecting the event to be as large or to see as many people from Roane County as I did. The crowd size, as estimated by Knoxville police, was over 14,000! That is by far the largest group ever assembled for a cause in Knoxville.

march

My other photos are here: (link...)

A good piece from "Inside of Knoxville" from a first hand report is Here: (link...)

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.