Monday, February 27, 2006
This is HUGE HUGE News Soccer Fans!! This is the summer for the World Cup, held every four years, this year in Germany!! Rewind to 2002 when our men's team went all the way to the semi-final round (in Japan I think) and gave the U. S. so much to cheer about after 9/11! Remember in 1999 when Brandi Chastain tore off her shirt after the women won the World Cup with Mia Hamm, everyone's favorite?? This is soccer at it's best. The U. S. National (men's team) will come to our fair city (soon after Sasha and company) to play a friendly (a serious match but one that is not as serious as to count for anything) at the Coliseum. Expect mega huge stars like Landon Donovan, Josh Wolf, Eddie Pope and more. The game will be played against an as yet to be determined opponent on May 23rd at 6 pm at the Coliseum!! Wow! The next week, our guys will head to Germany for the whole enchilada.
Perfectly within his province as a critic (to bash the Olymics). But it is unsettling to ever hear anyone measure a sport's worth because of its racial profile? Do we accept the person who says the NBA is too black to watch? Can't we all get along, even if no one cares about the Nordic combined?
If this happens, all bets are off----Apple will adopt Windows as their operating system (OS) and Apple will officially move 100% into the entertainment world. They will be a purveyor of all things music and video, digital that is, and they will continually come out with neat little gadgets (hardware), and they will control and own the content. Of course, this is just my prediction, but it does not take a rocket scientist to see that the stars are aligning for Jobs and Co to get out of the OS business, and just do things where they can dominate, or , at least lead. It has to get in their craw that only 4-5% of the total computer world love and use their OS. On the other hand, I read where 70% of portable music digital players that are sold--are IPODS.
Let's hope this insanity over IPODs starts to subside, or at least, let's hope I'm wrong about all this.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
I woke up early on Sunday morning, brewed some java, and turned on HBO. The Diary of Anne Frank caught my attention. Although I was aware of the story behind Anne Frank, I have never read the book, seen the play, or watched the movie. No one else was up around my house, so I settled in and became captivated with the flick.
The movie was filmed in 1980, but the story will live forever as a true depiction of the German Jew haters of the 2nd World War, as well as the struggles inherent in hiding in a four room apartment for 2 years. The protagonist teenager, Anne Frank, kept a diary of her family's self-induced captivity above her father's office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. They were Jews hiding from the Germans and trying to wait out the war while avoiding capture.
Unfortunately, the Frank's and their friends were ratted out, and they all got sent to Auschwitz. They all die except the father Otto. He returned to Amsterdam, and eventually found and published the diary in memory of his daughter.
The movie is a stark reminder of the Holocaust, and of the barbaric behavoir of a regime that would send a 15 year old girl and thousands of other ordinary folk to prison camp in the 1940's for the "crime" of being a Jew. Auschwitz and the other gas chamber camps run by the Germans were the highest crimes committed by any regime during the 20th century.
I went to the Anne Frank Web site (link is above), and it filled in the blanks that the movie left out. How incredible for Anne Frank to sum up her life by saying she had a profound belief that people are basically good.
Here's a quote--
"It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.
It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more" - July 15,
What a courageous young girl and what a poignant story that reminds us all how real the Holocuast was and is. How incredible for our country to wait and wait and finally get sucked into World War 2, and then be seen as the nation that helped bring an end to the tyranny caused by Germany and Japan during this period.
I can't help but to compare and contrast this war with the war in Iraq. We were the aggressors in Iraq, not in WW 2. We were told that we would be liberators, and that people would dance in the streets of Baghdad upon our arrival, much in the same way the people of Europe reacted after D-Day. We were told that we would find mass quantities of chemical warfare items in Iraq. We were told that there would be no insurgency and that violence would end in Iraq. While many of the pronouncements by our government came true after WW2, I am sad to say that virtually none of them have come true during this war in Iraq.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Hopefully, you saw the women's finals last night in figure skating in Torino, sight of the 2006 Winter Olympics.
Sasha Cohen was just mesmerizing. I could not believe her inner fortitude after (what proved to be) her minor falls. Her grace and elegance on the ice were extraordinary.
This morning the media is highlighting her falls, and her disappointing silver medal. All I am reading and all I am hearing is how disastrous her entire long program turned out to be..
Excuse me, but did those big media types see the same performance that I saw? Yes, she hit the ice a couple of times, but that was very early in the 4 minute program. She completely and totally overcame those mishaps and put together an awe-inspiring performance. She deserved the silver much more than the Russian, who had no little artistry.
Can you believe the pressure packed environment in that ice rink last night? I really cannot think of any thing similar in amateur athletics. In an effort to compete under those circumstances, each skater must have composure and nerves of steel to pull off an artistic, elegant, and athletic peformance.
Sasha Cohen is my new favorite women's skater since Tara Lapinski. I've always admired Michelle Kwan, but never have had a connection with her through the t.v. set. Sasha just jumps out of the screen and steals your heart.
Lost in all the news about the port management snafu with the United Arab Emirates, the Dick Cheney hunting fall out, the Olympics, and my personal infatuation with the Tennessee Men's Basketball team, I now realize how badly things are going in Iraq. This is completely serious business about the sectarian fighting that has erupted surrounding the attempts at forming a new government in Iraq. Many people are now expecting a full blown civil war, something which Al Quaeda would love to see. This situation is very tenuous and tensions remain high, thus, a city wide curfew in Baghdad today, and probably for most of the weekend.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
What a special treat this winter has been. Although I have not blogged about it, the Winter Olympics has been great. It reminds me every 4 years of the finer things and finer sports that surround cold weather.
But the real surprise and the real treat has been the performance of the Vols Men's Basketball team. I'll bet we've watched more basketball this winter than the past 10 winters combined. Check out this article from the Knoxville News Sentinal about the stunning victory last night over the Gators.
Mark Burnett sees a complete revolution of how television is watched, particularly as broadband continues it's march across America, and as DVR's (aka TIVO devices) become commonplace in homes.
That is probably pretty much common sense. But what is fascinating to me is that Burnett is working his way towards the internet and will begin producing "shows" available only on AOL, and other huge portals.
And then he wants to take on newscasts for the web to produce news shows as they have never been produced.
This guy will be fun to watch in the coming years. Which begs the question--why is Katie Couric reportedly going to leave the Today Show and move to anchor the CBS evening news?
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Um, that would be Bill Frist. Get an issue that the general public knows nothing about, throw in a little terrorist scare, and voila, you've got a perfect opportunity for a politician to capitalize with headlines like this one in today's Tennessean.
Let me tell you, this port thing is the biggest political hooey that makes Washington---Washington, and that provides so much fodder for radio talk shows.
Our ports have been run by "foreign" companies for decades. The United Arab Emirates is not Saudi Arabia or Iran, or Iraq. These people know what they are doing, and besides it's a private company, not the government of UAE.
But, that's hard to explain, and Frist is looking to score some political points after all of his negative publicity lately.
You've read it here First---Frist will go nowhere in Presidential politics--UNLESS, as has been rumored---Cheney resigns, and Frist is named VIce President some time next year. The odds of that happening are 30/70 right now.
The "Elvis standard" is the length of time it takes the conspiracy theorists and the population at large to give it up, and to realize that their human icon is a mere mortal, and that, he or she has in fact, gone on to the Afterlife, hopefully Heaven. So, based upon the fact that Elvis died in 1978, and based upon the fact that it took about 20 years, or until 1998 for the Elvis sightings, and the "Elvis is still alive" propoganda to subside, we will continue to hear about Princess Diana stuff for another 10 years or so . There will be lawsuits, and the British press will hunt down every possible scenario of that night in Paris as well until about 2017. Again, based upon the Elvis standard---since Diana died in 1997---we've got a total of 20 years for similar articles to appear out and about. No one loved Princess Diana more than I (figuratively speaking). She is truly a Lady for the Ages. This article above is from the BBC. It seems now that they are still chasing after blame for photos taken the night of her untimely death. Rest in Peace Diana, we miss you.
One of the things we Mac fans love is the lack of virus makers out there. I'm not sure if that should be a verb or a noun--virus, or virus makers. Usually, people who love and buy Macs aren't part of the general population, ergo, we don't create computer diseases. It takes some lousy S-O-B to make a virus, so they don't just appear out of nowhere. Probably some IPOD dude out there that just discovered Macs in his teens or 20's who made this one... Anyway, I've always thought that it was the superior coding that the Mac OS guys had over the hole infested Windows OS. I may be wrong. In any event, this post above points to a virus with OSX out there somewhere. Stay protected!
Monday, February 20, 2006
Friday, February 17, 2006
“In the absence of any pressing news these days – other than Iran's nuclear weapons development crisis, the election of Hamas terrorists in Palestine, ongoing worldwide Muslim riots and killing in reaction to a cartoon, Al Gore's near sedition while speaking in Saudi Arabia, the turning over of our East Coast ports to be managed by a United Arab Emirates firm, the criminal leaking of vital NSA secrets to the New York Times, Mexican military incursions across our southern border, the Iraqi crisis, Congress's refusal to deal with the developing financial collapse of Social Security and Medicare, inter alia – the White House press corp has exploded in righteous fury over the question of the vice president's little shooting party last weekend.”
You see, when the beloved Grateful Dead leader died, early in the morning on Aug. 9, 1995, Yahoo's brain trust flew into action. According to Yahoo folklore, co-founder Jerry Yang and other top executives promptly got together and forever changed the philosophy of what had been a directory site.
"Jerry said, 'We've got to do something,'" Neil Budde, who has been Yahoo News' general manager since 2004, told me with a smile. Yahoo promptly constructed a page linking to the coverage of Garcia's death.
"That was the genesis of the full coverage of Yahoo News," Budde said.
LET's HOPE THIS ONE HAS LEGS WINTER WEATHER FANS
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NASHVILLE HAS ISSUED A HEAVY SNOW
WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 12 PM CST
SATURDAY. LIGHT SNOW WILL BEGIN TO SPREAD INTO MIDDLE TENNESSEE FROM THE WEST AND SOUTH BEFORE MIDNIGHT. AFTER MIDNIGHT...THE SNOW WILL BECOMEMORE WIDESPREAD AND HEAVIER. BEFORE THE SNOW TAPERS OFF SATURDAYAFTERNOON...2 TO 4 INCHES ACCUMULATION IS LIKELY IN MOST LOCATIONS.A HEAVY SNOW WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS AREEXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECASTTHAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS
SATURDAY...PRECIPITATION WILL BE ALL SNOW ACROSS THE NORTH HALF OF
THE MID STATE AND THE NORTHERN AND CENTRAL CUMBERLAND PLATEAU. ACROSS
SOUTHERN MIDDLE TN...THE PRECIPITATION WILL FALL AS A MIXTURE OF
RAIN...SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN.
TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED TO BE QUITE COLD ON SATURDAY AND HIGHS WILL
REMAIN IN THE MID 20S TO MID 30S THROUGHOUT THE DAY. THUS...SOME
ACCUMULATION OF ICE AND SNOW WILL BE POSSIBLE ACROSS MIDDLE TN
BEGINNING SATURDAY. LOWS SUNDAY MORNING WILL RANGE FROM THE LOW TEENS
TO LOW 20S.
AS IF THAT WAS NOT ENOUGH WINTER WEATHER...ANOTHER STORM SYSTEM
WILL SPREAD MOISTURE BACK ACROSS THE AREA SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND
SUNDAY NIGHT. AGAIN...A MIXTURE OF WINTRY PRECIPITATION WILL BE
POSSIBLE FOR THE MIDDLE PORTIONS OF THE VOLUNTEER STATE
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Quote from the article:
Apple has always said it was a hardware company, not a software company. Now with the cash cow iPod line, it can afford to drop expensive OS development and just make jazzy, high-margin Windows computers to finally get beyond that five-percent market share and compete directly with Dell, HP, and the stodgy Chinese makers.
Maybe we'll get something out of this system, but it's still a tough call.
MUCH COLDER AIRMASS FROM MONTANA (1056 MB HI) WILL SPILL INTO
MID STATE FRI INTO SAT. MEANWHILE...STALLED FRONT OVER GULF COAST
STATES COMBINED WITH DENSE COLD AIR WILL PROVIDE OVERRUNNING
SCENARIO LATE FRI NITE AND SAT. MODELS HAVE BEEN GETTING CONSISTENTLY
COLDER (AS SUSPECTED) AND AM MORE CONFIDENT FORECASTING WINTRY
TYPE PRECIP FOR FRI NITE AND SAT...ESPECIALLY N. GFS MORE GUNG-HO
WITH QPF AMOUNTS FRI NITE...BUT THIS LOOKS SUSPECT. SAT LOOKS LIKE
A LIGHT SNOW EVENT FOR MOST PART...MAYBE AN INCH OR 2.
AS FOR TEMPS...DID NOT STRAY MUCH FROM MAV NUMBERS.
AND IT DOESNT END THERE. AN INVERTED TROF STARTS TO TAKE SHAPE
ACROSS CWA SUN AND SUN NITE. CONSIDERING COLD AIR IN PLACE HAS NOT
HAD MUCH OF A CHANCE TO MODIFY...AND TO COME INTO BETTER AGREEMENT
WITH SURROUNDING OFFICES...WILL TREND TOWARD A MORE WINTRY
FORECAST FOR THESE PERIODS...BUT STILL KEEP THE 50% POPS.
It all sounds good for us winter weather fans, but the good stuff is going to be south of here. Monday may be our best chance. Stay tuned.
Well, Mac fans, better late than never, after a 6 week delay, they are on the way. I'll wait to hear from the folks that really put these things to the test to see how the new chips are performing. When it comes to this kind of stuff, I'm a follower, not a leader.
We can't be the only dog in this hunt. Maybe this will be the issue that brings our countries back together on the same American-European front.
Iran has the second largest reserves of oil in the world. They have 30% unemployment. Their economy is a disaster. Why would they spend billions of dollars on nuclear energy when clearly, they don't need it? They are up to no good, plain and simple.
I could not help but think about Reagan's influence on my life and this country. He was such a positive influence on my life--having been President at a time when the country had been in a major negative funk. Everyone was pretty much convinced that Japan was going to be the next economic superpower, we were fighting with Iran over the hostages, inflation was at 21%, and I was just at the age where I was paying attention to all of these things. All I wanted to do was to be a small businessman, get out of college and get on with life. This is no BS--Reagan gave me the confidence to go out into the world and to have faith in America. No other President in my lifetime has come close to reaching out and touching me personally with his speeches, dialect, policies, or personality. I hereby salute Ronald Wilson Reagan.
I was Downtown Rotary President on February 11th 2004 when ole' Ronnie moved into the great unknown, and left us here on earth for his journey to Heaven. There were about 300 people at Rotary that day, and I had the task of paying tribute to Reagan, and announcing his death, and holding a moment of silence. I pretty much choked up but got through it okay. He was just simply an inspiration and for some reason, and to this day, I don't really know why I feel so strongly about the man.
Reagan single handedly pulled the country out of the doldrums through his unique blend of wisdom, humor, and leadership with principles. Incredible. And I felt like I knew him, and only met the guy once in a long line of thousands of supporters. Take Care Ronnie. I miss you.
Education Reduces Alzheimer's Effects
Or this one
Alzheimer's disease progresses more rapidly in highly educated people
Here is key quote from the second article:
"A key question remains whether these effects are truly due to years of schooling or due to other factors related to education, such as wealth, occupation or lifestyle".
The "face" of Alzheimer's for me will always be Ronald Reagan. It pained me to watch his decline and I'll never ever forget that letter he wrote to the country before he slipped away to his ranch. Here it is--
I have recently been told that I am one of the millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer's disease.
Upon learning this news, Nancy and I had to decide whether as private citizens we would keep this a private matter or whether we would make this news known in a public way.
In the past, Nancy suffered from breast cancer and I had my cancer surgeries. We found through our open disclosures we were able to raise public awareness. We were happy that as a result many more people underwent testing.
They were treated in early stages and we were able to return to normal, healthy lives.
So now, we feel it is important to share it with you. In opening our hearts, we hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition. Perhaps it will encourage a clearer understanding of the individuals and families who are affected by it.
At the moment I feel just fine. I intend to live the remainder of the years God gives me on this earth doing the things I have always done. I will continue to share life's journey with my beloved Nancy and my family. I plan to enjoy the great outdoors and stay in touch with my friends and supporters.
Unfortunately, as Alzheimer's disease progresses, the family often bears a heavy burden. I only wish there was some way I could spare Nancy from this painful experience. When the time comes, I am confident that with your help she will face it with faith and courage.
In closing let me thank you, the American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your president. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future.
I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead.
Thank you, my friends. May God always bless you.
Sincerely, Ronald Reagan
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Monday, February 13, 2006
There could probably be an entire branch of the media that could look "behind" each and every story coming from Washington to fill up an entire web site or newspaper. I mean, instead of running "first run stories", or instead of making the "headlines", they could start a publication or internet site and just run the "story behind the story", or question every facet of every "first run" story.
Here are some examples of articles we are missing:
1. More coverage on how Cheney's press people came to the decision about how and when to release details of the hunting accident, and who was involved with the strategy. Focus more on the precise time line of events-
2. More coverage on the quails in south Texas, their breeding grounds, and their mating habits-
3. Get a local hunting angle by interviewing a local guide. Compare and contrast prices of buckshot in south Texas with other areas of the country. Show graphs and charts depicting the sales data relative to the time of year, and the different hunting seasons.
4. Research other Vice Presidents and their respective hunting interests. Discuss which Vice President became President and show which ones were hunters and which ones were not hunters. Play the hunting angle but extend into fishing. Before guns, determine research into trapping to cover the 19th century Vice Presidents as well.
5. Interview other people who have hunted at the Armstrong Ranch in South Texas. Get a tour of the ranch. Re-create the hunting accident with artistic intepretations. Do a time line and determine how many quails were killed during this hunt. Find out what happened to the quails. Work in a Dan Quayle angle.
And so, here we are in 2005 media coverage!
Sunday, February 12, 2006
"Spielberg certainly made the most superb movie; Peter was very pleased," Wendy Benchley told The Associated Press.
"But Peter kept telling people the book was fiction, it was a novel, and that he no more took responsibility for the fear of sharks than Mario Puzo took responsibility for the Mafia."
Okay, I blame it on Spielberg then.. By the way, I'm sorry Mr. Benchley passed away.
Here is another article from today, Shark frenzy closes Australian Beaches:
Blame it on human instinct, or blame it on the glorious great white shark from Jaws? Richard Dreyfus was never the same after that movie anyway.
I'm not sure where I'm going with this--other than, it was interesting seeing both of these articles in the same news day, a mere few posts apart on most major news wires.
"I've learned it's not about gold," she continued. "It's about the spirit of it. I have no regrets. I tried my hardest and if I don't win gold, it's OK. I've had a great career. I've been lucky. This is a sport and it is beautiful."
For Kwan, the ultimate dream will never come true. She'll never win Olympic gold, but her impact on the sport will last forever. Good bye and farewell to a great, great lady who ironically, has achieved so much more than Olympic Gold in her short life. She has achieved maturity beyond her years, a maturity about which most professional athletes have no clue.
Friday, February 10, 2006
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NASHVILLE HAS ISSUED A HEAVY SNOW
WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 AM CST
SATURDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.
$23 million for renovation of UT-Knoxville’s Ayers Hall
Thank you Governor. This building was a rat hole when I was up there in the early 80's. It looks nice from the road, but up close, it's in desperate need of updating and repair. I hope the legislature passes this part of the budget.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Zillow is aimed at generating profit from advertising and is not intended to put real estate agents out of work by letting home shoppers and sellers do their own research, according to Barton.
This quote was taken from an article about the new web site, Zillow.com
which launched this week. It's a new web site aimed towards the residential real estate market.
What they are trying to do is to create a site that gives people an idea of what a particular home is worth in markets all across the country.
The title of this post is--"their day is coming". That is in reference to real estate agents and the entire process of consumers paying 6% of the purchase price of a home to real estate agents, which, as the reader should know, is split 3% and 3% to the buying and selling agent.
Here is my question--Why is the commission still 6% when home prices have quintupled in the past 10 years? Has the work load of the real estate quintupled? Doubtful. It could be argued that their work load has decreased because of the internet. Oh sure, the advertising costs have increased for the agents to run a print ad in the newspaper---probably from $100 to $300, but the prices of homes have absolutely skyrocketed, so the commission of 6% is completely whacko in my opinion.
I do think the point of Zillow is to slowly erode the "worth" of real estate agents, and I do think there will be more sites in the future that chip away at the "tools" that previously were only known to agents. This will result in real estate agents, at the minimum, to decrease their commission rates to consumers.
Slowly but surely, consumers see the non commission based competitors creeping up--Red Rocket Realty is the only one that comes to mind right now. Most consumers can buy and/or sell a house now with the help of the internet.
Much in the same way discount brokers have taken over the buying and selling of equities in the stock market, I predict the same will happen in real estate in the next 10 years.
Just as full service stock brokers still have a place in the world of stock market trading, there will always be a place for full service real estate brokers as well. But, there is going to be a major shake out one day , and Zillow.com is just the beginning.
This is not original thinking, as I'm sure you've been exposed to this thought before. Why hasn't this happened sooner, might be the best "topic" to be posted.
Special Weather Statement from the National Weather Service:
AFTER A VERY WARM JANUARY...FEBRUARY IS TURNING OUT TO BE MUCH MORE WINTER-LIKE. A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL DEVELOP ALONG THE GULF COAST AND MOVE NORTHEAST FRIDAY. THIS SYSTEM HAS THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL...UP TO 4 INCHES OR MORE...OVER THE MID STATE FRIDAY NIGHT INTO SATURDAY.
Now, read this post from Jason, at nashvillewx.com, the news 2 weather blog:
For Nashville and points south, I think our surface temperatures will be stubborn and have a tough time falling below the freezing mark before midnight. Bear in mind, it can be above freezing and still snow (like Wednesday evening) but it's tough for the snow to stick when temperatures are in the middle 30s. In the higher elevations north and east of town, the change to snow should occur more quickly...and I expect slightly higher accumulations in those areas as a result. For the snow lovers, I do think just about everyone sees snow by early Saturday morning. My gut tells me that 4" is probably too high for Nashville, but possible in the higher elevations. For Music City and points south...at this point in time...let's shoot for around an inch or two, and see what happens over the next 24 hours.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
The U.S. base was targeted because the United States "is the leader of Europe and the leading infidel in the world," said Sher Mohammed, a 40-year-old farmer who suffered a gunshot wound while taking part in the demonstration in the city of Qalat.
"We believe in a free press," the president said. "We also recognize that with freedom comes responsibilities. With freedom comes the responsibility to be thoughtful about others."
I agree. Let's talk about Al Jazeera here and other press sources of Middle East populist anger. Why do they air comments, video, and audio from Al Quaeda? Do they not realize that this behavior is insensitive to Us(a)? Why do they ridicule and conduct violence over the Danish press for doing nothing more than airing their views (and cartoons) via freedom of the press? Oh, because of the sacred Koran? Is the Koran more sacred than human life? These people are imbedded in a culture thrown back to the Dark Ages. Their behavior is incredulous.
We are heading for a war between the 21st century and the 15th Century. I hope it is a cold war and not a nuclear war. I am an optimist by nature believe it or not. The only hope is for moderate Islamists to step up to the plate and lead. That is not happening. This is a slow burning fuse.
The seasons that are the most special are the ones that no one sees coming. (I'm speaking of positives here, not of #3 football rankings that lead to 5-6 seasons.)
I remember the 1985 Tennessee football team that slugged it's way to UT's first SEC Championship in 16 years. The year before, the Vols had finished with 8 wins, but there were no high expectations for '85. No one saw the championship, the blowout of Miami, and a #4 national ranking coming. That's why the '85 team, that didn't even win 10 games, is in most circles more beloved than the undefeated National Championship team of 1998.
I remember the 1991 Atlanta Braves. "From worst to first," Skip Caray screamed. A team of ne'er-do-wells that won and won and won... nip and tucking their way past the Dodgers for their first division title in nearly a decade. No Braves fans (were there Braves fans in '91?) saw that coming before the season.
I remember the 1995 baseball Vols. Helton, Trammell, Dickey. "The team of destiny is going to the field of dreams," Mike Keith yelled. It was a feel-good moment for the entire area... especially Knoxville, which had provided many of Rod Delmonico's stars.
Not only were those teams and their seasons unexpected successes, but they all had something else in common, too... they all served notice of more success to follow.
Tennessee's greatest football era in history has covered the 20 years since 1985. The Atlanta Braves still haven't lost a division title since 1991. The baseball Vols have now been to 3 College World Series in 10 seasons.
Add another team to the list: The 2005-2006 UT men's basketball team.
(note --in case you missed it--The Vols slammed KY last night at Rupp Arena--if you are keeping up, they are in sole possession of first place in the eastern division, with an 8-1 SEC record and a 17-3 overall record)
Here is yet another article that points to the possibility that they jumped the gun with the switch to Intel, which, in case you missed the post last week, can't even run the Adobe software yet.
"Let me ask you this. We have a blogging situation out in this country where people basically through their own ingenuity and their own wit are able to develop messages based on their own personal reporting and editing that they can send anywhere. They are their own editors. What happens when bloggers sending stuff out without even the institution of a newspaper or TV station behind them and that incites a riot? How do we avoid this?”
Chris, get a grip. Bloggers aren’t going to start riots unless all you mainstream media representatives get together to demonstrate against the truth.-- --Noel Sheppard from NewsBusters.com
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
From Gene Inger
This is more, as we see it; a clash between modernity in Islam and fundamentalism; as contrasted to a 'clash of cultures' between East and West. It may become that if all the fanatics like the Ayatollahs, and their quislings in Syria and even Iraq have their way. It's already almost impossible to stand-up for what is right, decent or tolerant in so many Islamic countries (by civilized standards); so governments kowtow basically to the mob, and you hear things like Pakistan refusing to allow doctors or hospitals to buy pharmaceuticals from any country where the cartoons were reprinted. Nonsense. They hurt themselves, and deprive their people; largely not the big drug companies.
We'll not have much more to say on this for now; other than the overtones of a world war emerging are there; that's what the Islamic extremists actually want, we're fairly convinced. It's going to be tough, but only the Islamic world can defuse this situation. The rhetoric from the Islamists won't allow the rest of the world to calm the issue very much; because they don't want it calmed, no matter what they may say to the media. They are agitators.
From Tom Porteous
Worse, Bush's State of the Union address marked a clear broadening of the war on terror. No longer does the U.S. government limit itself to speaking of a narrow war against terrorists, or a struggle against an "evil ideology" of Islamic extremism.
According to Bush, the West's opponent in a new global conflict that has replaced the Cold War is now "radical Islam"—the very political ideology to which increasingly large numbers of Muslims are committed, if the successes of radical Islamists in recent democratic elections in Palestine, Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon and Iran are any evidence.
As the furor over the cartoons shows, the further we go down this road, the more the "war on terror" will infect cultural outlooks and popular attitudes both in the West and in the Muslim world, poisoning relations between them. We must not allow a military and intelligence battle between a coalition of governments and a bunch of extremists and desperados to develop into a real conflict between cultures and peoples.
From Rhami Khouri
I nearly fell out of my car window Monday morning while traveling around several of the fine universities in North Carolina, when I read U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's statement on the Hamas election victory in Palestine. She stated: "I've asked why nobody saw it coming. It does say something about us not having a good enough pulse."
Good grief, Condoleezza, this is not about having or not having a good enough pulse. It's about the consequences of the last decade of Israeli and American policies toward the Palestinians in general, and the Islamist resistance movements in particular. This is not a time to persist in simplistic, counterproductive policies that will only further strengthen the forces of military resistance against the Israeli occupation, and wider Arab-Islamic political resistance against America 's blatantly pro-Israeli position.
To add a new dose of American perplexity and wonderment now to several existing layers of mistaken policies on Arab-Israeli peacemaking will be of no help to anyone. If Washington 's initial reaction is bewilderment at why it did not see this coming, and a reaffirmation of its policy of placing Israeli security above Palestinian security, then we are all in far more serious trouble than we can imagine. What is required now is a combination of honesty, independent analysis and composure that have long been missing in Washington's policies on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Thanks to my brotherly sources for sending me these articles from which to quote-
Torry Johnson is going to have to seriously think about going for the death penalty.
Now, I don't have time to look up the links, but it's time to find the killers of Marcia Trimble and Tabitha Tudors.
Monday, February 06, 2006
Of course, the major local media always seems to concentrate on the drug intake aspect of the (very minor portion of the) attendees, or, in the same vein (no pun intended) of the News of the Weird of how some people die at the event. The media will never give credit where credit is due. You've read it here on this site--Bonaroo is a cultural and economic phenomena--and I officially salute it's creators and management.
We were sitting in a restaurant in SteamBoat Springs, Colorado about 3 years ago and we were chatting up the server. She about flipped when she realized we lived about 60 miles from the Bonaroo event location. She had purchased her tickets on line (Which by the way, is the ONLY way to buy tickets--NO TICKETMASTER ALLOWED--which is another subject, but which it totally and completely a great idea)---but anyway, it's totally amazing what Bonaroo has accomplished in such a short amount of time.
It has become THE concert event for most 20's/30/s something (concert-going) people. It continues to draw as many people as they allow tickets to be sold.
Just last summer, we were at the airport a few days before the event, and there were tons of people picking up their back packs and their gear at the baggage claim area, obviously, not heading to local hotels. They were totally phsyched about heading down towards Manchester (we overheard these conversations), and they were renting cars, stopping by local restaurants, basically going by grocery stores, and doing most of their prep work here in Nashville. Quite an impact here locally.
Also last summer (pre-blogging), Sharon and I took our daughter, Rachel, to camp in Mentone, Alabama. We happened to be traveling around the second week of June. We stopped in Monteagle on the way back, and noticed a bunch of people at a local restaurant taking a break from Bonaroo. The interstate was packed and so was the town. Bonaroo impact is well known south of here.
All in all, it was a slow news day, and just thought I'd share these thought with you. If you want to look at who is playing this year, or if you would like to get up a group of people and go, here is where you need to click to read about Bonaroo.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Okay, I went off line for a few minutes to watch Mick and the Boys. My most favorite recent memory of a Super Bowl half time show was Bono's and U-2's tribute to America in 2002. Paul McCartney last year was pretty good. And now, ranked third in recent history....is the Stones. I do think they need to finally give it up. Start Me Up was never a great song, who knows what the second song was, and Satisfaction, was too long, too stale, and too redundant. The stage was cool with the tongue and the people in the middle. Ron Wood looked okay, and so did Charlie Watts. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger weren't necessarily over the hill as much as trying too hard to be actively entertaining. At one time in my life, I enjoyed these guys. True enough, I had the volume cranked this year and was hoping to be inspired, but I kept thinking--these guys were so good about 20 plus years ago---We were in college when the classic, classic album, Some Girls, was released. We played that album (and cassette) incessantly. Here we are 27 years later, and they are headlining America's Favorite Football Party. I'm just glad there was not a material malfunction, and I was just wondering--why couldn't we have Stevie Wonder at half time and Mick at the Pre Game Show? Stevie and company (despite microphone issues ) was superbly excellent before the game--the Stones were just not that good, sorry folks...Give them an "A" for persevering and for performing through the ages, but enough is enough. If you want to listen to a band that sounds just as great now as they did in the 1960-s, look no further than the MOODY BLUES !!!!!! Justin Hayward gets my vote for the rock star of the ages----and now, yes, the football game has been completed, no new memorable commercials were premiered in the second half, and the Steelers won the game.
You'd think the Tennessean would have had a follow up article on Sunday--somewhere, anywhere in the local, or front section. Again, not that I read the TNSN as much as I used to--- but this case sells papers. The Tennessean continues to baffle me.
Another week, another couple of wins for Bruce Pearl's Band of Believers. Ho-hum.
At 16-3, there's no question that this team is now in the NCAA Tournament (probably a 3 or 4 seed) barring a total collapse.
But at their current pace, a total collapse doesn't even seem like a remote possibility. This team, which has already maximized its potential, seems to be getting better as the season goes along.
The short bench, which had the potential for being a weakness, has proven to be just the opposite.
The fact that UT does not have a consistent scoring threat aside from CJ Watson and Chris Lofton has not hurt because a different player seems to step up in each game... when needed.
The fact that 6'4" Dane Bradshaw is the team's leading rebounder hasn't hurt, either. Don't get me wrong, the Vols' losses have come when they've shot poorly in games against tough post-dominated teams, but so far... there have only been 3 such games.
Now, after a heart-to-heart with Bruce Pearl, even Major Wingate, who had been a bit of a disappointment on the year, has begun to assert himself.
The 13th ranked Vols now face a tough stretch in their schedule. Four of their next five games will be played away from Thompson-Boling Arena:
Auburn (and one-time UT coaching candidate Jeff Lebo)
Friday, February 03, 2006
Driven by an urban tribal beat and awe-inspiring visuals, musicians, singers and dancers transform the arena into joyous frenzy .DELIRIUM is the quest for balance in a world that is increasingly out of sync with REALITY.
Joyous frenzy? Can you imagine you and your best 18,000 friends in a joyous frenzy together? Okay, Okay, who, exactly, is out of synch with reality? What has this marketing person been smoking?
WRAP AROUND CIRCULATION IS STRONGER AND WILL PULL DOWN MUCH COLDERAIR INTO NORTHWEST MIDDLE TENNESSEE AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND SPEEDS WILLINCREASE. TEMPERATURES PROFILES ARE COLD ENOUGH FOR CHANGE TO SNOWACROSS MOST OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE BY 04/12Z. THERE COULD BE SOME LIGHTSNOW ACCUMULATIONS IN NORTHWEST MIDDLE TENNESSEE TONIGHT...POSSIBLY
GETTING INTO THE NORTH/WEST METRO NASHVILLE AREA TOO.
00Z GFS80 AND 06Z NAM12 IN BETTER AGREEMENT WITH -8 TO -10 C H8 AIR
MOVING OVER MIDDLE TENNESSEE ON SATURDAY...WITH MORE MOISTURE
HANGING BACK NEAR THE TENNESSEE RIVER INTO THE AFTERNOON. SNOW
SHOWERS ARE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE INTO THE DAY...MAINLY NORTH
AND EAST MIDDLE TENNESSEE. THE NORTHERN CUMBERLAND PLATEAU COULDRECEIVE UP TO THREE INCHES OF SNOWFALL INTO SATURDAY NIGHT.
.LONG TERM (MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY)...COLD PATTERN CONTINUES AS ADVERTISED. THE NEXT CHANCE OFPRECIPITATION COMES SUNDAY NIGHT INTO MONDAY. MODELS SHOW LARGE
DIFFERENCES WITH TRACK OF SURFACE LOW ASSOCIATED WITH CLIPPER
SYSTEM...AND WILL CONTINUE CHANCE OF RAIN OR SNOW MOST AREAS. THENANOTHER SYSTEM WITH REINFORCING COLD AIR MAY BRING ANOTHER CHANCE OFSNOW TO THE REGION AT MIDWEEK.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
There is a significant 'flap' developing with OPEC, as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries today warned that President Bush’s proposal to reduce much US dependence on Middle Eastern oil could badly jeopardize needed investment in Gulf oil production and refining capacity. Gee, well they should have been accommodative to the needs of the United States in many aspects over recent years and appreciative of the sacrifices the U.S. made for them not only in the region, but in the Balkans too.
And, read the article too--Bruce Pearl actually went to see legendary coach Ray Mears, and asked his permission to bring back the Orange Sports Coat against Vanderbilt and Kentucky! How cool is that!!??
(note to all non UT Fans--Ray Mears used to wear an orange jacket to every Kentucky and Vanderbilt basketball games in the 60's and 70's, which would absolutely perturb those fans)!!
Fulmer declined to talk about specific players that spurned the Vols but spoke to the overall recruiting landscape at a press conference Wednesday evening.
"There's guys that just lie to you - flat lie to you," Fulmer said. "That goes back to upbringing."
The bad news for UT continued into the afternoon when Aleric Mullins from East Lake High in Wendell, N.C., signed with North Carolina. A source close to UT's program said Mullins told UT's coaches that he was committed to being a Vol during his Jan. 13 official visit.
"We certainly fought through some ups and downs as we fought the recruiting battles from a different position than we've been in since I've been a football coach," Fulmer said. "That's after a sub-par season, so that presented some challenges."
Sub par? How about disastrous?
Guess who was ranked number one this year--Our old nemesis--Florida!
about how advertising revenue continues to decline at the Tribune company's print newspapers. I'm sure they are scratching their heads wondering what to do. Look at your own habits. Do you read newspapers as much as you did, say, one, five, or ten years ago? I still subscribe to the Tennessean and the Wall Street Journal. Half the time one or both papers goes into the recycle bin having gone unread that day. The Sports section of the Tennessean is the only section worth reading anyway.
Here is one nugget from this article: Online revenue climbed 40% to $46 million, largely due to the improvement in classified help-wanted ads.. Times, they are a changin'.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Well, I think this is the best article about the whole speech, even though it was a post interview on his plane ride down to Nashville for this speech today at the Grand Ole Opry.
Let me tell you it was a fabulous State of the Union speech. I'll just comment on the energy section, and won't get sucked into the Hoover or Oreck section of Iraq, etc. Why in the world would anyone expect any type of governmental action on the price of oil? Is Exxon, or BP, or anyone for that matter taking advantage of the situation? Absolutely not! These guys are running their businesses, and they are having a hard time meeting supply with the demand. I have no problem with Exxon or any oil company making a bunch of money right now. Thank God they are in business and have the resources to get gasoline to the market. Put that in your pipe and smoke it !
What I loved about the President last night, and what I think hit a major home run in the State of the Union Speech was the comment on developing an alternative energy source to oil in "W"'s lifetime, and maybe even in the next 10 years or less. That would be awesomely cool if we could get away from depending on the rogue nations to supply our nation with oil--plus we would not have to deal with their own insecurities. We have to look beyond oil, and not short sighted goals such as drilling for oil in the Alaska or------raising the fuel efficiencies aka MPG's of cars. What good would all that do? We need to find another source of energy (as I opined in a previous post BEFORE the State of the Union speech). It's not rocket science....Oil gets us into trouble, because we are addicted to it---like a junkie on heroin.
In conclusion, I'm always proud to be an American, but I was especially proud of President Bush on Monday night. Yes, it's old news and I'm sorry for this late post, but he hit on all cylinders....ahem, one criticism...the $14 billion in program cuts last year was micro BS---in a trillion dollar budget, he should have cut $150 billion or more....George Bush likes big government to the point of it being his achilles heel.
As for the up and down on separate sections of the "isle". How could the Democrats applaud and make noise about NOT doing something about Social Security ? It was like, naaa naaa naaa naaaa naaa naaa (sung to hey, hey, hey, good bye)....How could they be proud of putting off inevitably more than likely, the plain and simple fact that social security is going broke, and has been going broke?
What original, unique idea have the Democrats come up with lately? Name one.