Friday, April 27, 2007


Brief Impressions from the Clown Show in South Carolina

A few brief impressions on the Democrats' debate in South Carolina last night:

Enough talk about Democrats. I don't want to start the weekend on a bad note.

UPDATE: Sharon Cobb (not surprisingly) has a different take on last night than I did. She thinks Clinton did well. I do agree that Hillary acted presidential - and just like her ex-President husband lied like only lying liars can.

Since Sharon ranked her participants, I will do so in kind:

1) Joe Biden
2) John Edwards
3) Barack Obama
4) Chris Dodd
5) Hillary Clinton
6) Bill Richardson
7) Dennis Kucinich
8) Mike Gravel

It should be noted that the only reason that Richardson is not last is due to Kucinich and Gravel being included in the debates, and I believe that it is international law that those two loons have to be last in everything they do. Richardson certainly deserved to be last, but I would hate to violate any instruments of international law...

UPDATE II - Maybe I got it wrong. Wizbang - certainly no friend of Sharon and her liberal buds - gave Hillary the win, too, because she didn't make any mistakes. Wizbang's probably right in that respect, but I was going on this debate only, not the big picture. Maybe we're talking apples and oranges here. Gotta love this zinger, though:

"Gravel is establishing himself as the Al Sharpton of this cycle. He funny, absurd, and doesn't care what anyone thinks. Of course, he's also an idiot, so expect the Democrats to include him in most of the debates."

Good stuff.

LiberalPro was agitated by Hillary's Iraq lie, which shows that even some liberals just want her to tell the truth on the subject and move on.

Funny thing - a lot of the liberal bloggers are disappointed in Obama's performance because he said nothing. Well, that's Obama, folks. He's done nothing, and he's not going to do anything in the rest of this campaign, either. If Hillary screws up (and there's probably a 50% chance of that happening), then Barack is their nominee by default. The only way he wins is by treading water and being the rock star candidate of the Democratic field.

Of course, I'm citing LiberalPro here and he liked Mike Gravel's performance. Heck, he even thought that Gravel was sane. Geesh...

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Thursday, April 26, 2007


Reminder: Knox County Lincoln Day is next Saturday

Just a reminder that the Knox County Lincoln Day Dinner is set for next Saturday, May 5th. The keynote speaker is Senator Richard Burr (which, in the run-up to 2008, is a bit disappointing, but more on that later). I predict a great time and a great turnout.

Tickets are $30 apiece, which is a bit high but not bad when compared to the Statesmen Dinner in Nashville in June. The $280 per head that the TN GOP is asking for that is too steep for me, and I've had three Republican lawyers (yes, there are at least three of us) tell me the same thing this week. But I digress...

You can pick up your tickets for the Knox County Lincoln Day from GOP Headquarters, or, if you want to help out the gals down at the 4th Circuit Clerk's office in the City-County Building, you can purchase your tickets at their office (enter through the main door, travel over the walkway, take a left and they are on the left). See Jennifer - she's the one I bought my tickets from.

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Another Day, Another Ron Paul Post

Yesterday's post on Ron Paul got several readers emotionally driven (as seen in the Comments, some of which were a bit too saucy on the language for publication). Jay Bush even posted a rebuttal over at his site.

Well, today I was e-mailed this column of why Ron Paul is the man that Christian conservatives should be supporting for the White House, so it just made sense to link to it here.

It's almost like the Ron Paul that Lawrence Vance, A.C. Kleinheider, and Barry Goldwater, Jr. trumpet is a completely different entity than the person Jay Bush derides, who sounds more like the old Libertarian candidates that trumpeted pot for everyone and turned themselves blue as campaign stunts.

Jay and I don't disagree much, but I think I'm more willing to give Paul a chance as a third-party candidate if Rudy McRomney is the GOP nominee.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Ron Paul on Government as a Security System

Jay Bush, who is as sure a conservative as they come, wrote yesterday in the fascinating (and well-behaved) comments thread from this post over at Volunteer Voters that Ron Paul was "a total whackjob."

Perhaps I am starting to lose my mind, because I've found what Dr. Paul has to say over the past few months quite on point.

Here is Dr. Paul's latest piece, a reaction to the Virginia Tech killings, from You be the judge.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Tennessee's Own Drudge Report?

Bill Newsome has created a new Tennessee news source, Newsome News. If you check it out (and you should), you'll notice some striking stylistic similarities to the Drudge Report.

It will be interesting to see if Newsome News takes off the way that Drudge did. There are certainly some media holes in this state - particularly in Middle and East Tennessee outside of Knoxville and Chattanooga - that could use more exposure to media in the rest of Tennessee.

Good luck to Bill in this new venture. It could certainly help with the dissemination of news across the state.

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New Rules

Since I was my normal insomniac self last night, I caught the end of Bill Maher's "New Rules" from his "Real Time" show on HBO. While I won't put the YouTube clip on here for some content, there were a few good jokes.

When speaking against regulations that allow the blind to hunt, Maher said:

"There's a name for someone with no vision that fancies himself a hunter - Mitt Romney."

On Fred Thompson:

"New Rule - Fred Thompson must run for President. I don't know what he stands for and I don't care. I just want to see how all of these social conservatives deal with his hot trophy wife. She's 25 years his junior, dresses like Britney Spears, and every time Thompson sees her, his penis goes (sound clip - the noise from "Law & Order")."

I won't speak for all social conservatives, but I have no problem with Mrs. Thompson. Jeri has worked hard for the cause during her time at the Senate Republican Conference, the RNC, and Verner Liipfert (a D.C. political consulting firm). I feel very comfortable having someone as First Lady who knows the political animal and how this game is played. Jeri will get more exposure due to her beauty, but I doubt that the other candidates want us to focus on their wives (especially McCain and Guiliani).

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Dr. Baldwin's Speech to the Constitution Party

A reader e-mailed me this interesting text from Dr. Chuck Baldwin's speech at the National Committee Meeting of the Constitution Party. It's quite an interesting read.

Dr. Baldwin is the pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida, and was the Vice Presidential nominee for the Constitution Party in 2004. The man has never been shy about speaking his mind.

I found the speech on the Net here. Conservatives curious about what the Constitution Party stands for should give it a close read.

As I have told the GOP leadership time and time again - nominate Guiliani, McCain, or Romney, and I'll do more than just link to the Constitution Party. I'll be voting with them.

MORE: In perusing the Constitution Party website, I noticed a presidential preference poll. Guess who's leading?

Yep, it's A.C. Kleinheider's favorite (but not David Oatney's), Ron Paul. He's quite a bit out in front of the second-place nominee, Tom Tancredo.

I just want to see some actual organization on the part of the Constitution Party. Get on the ballots while hitting the grassroots and netroots first. Start polling in the margins that can get your candidates involved in the debates. Then can you start to make some noise at the ballot box.

I haven't seen this in the past from the Constitution Party. If a Ron Paul/Alan Keyes ticket (who, quite frankly, would be two heavy-hitters for the CP) were available, would the organization and campaign strategies follow?

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Sunday, April 22, 2007


A Monumental Announcement

(Earlier this week, I hinted that a major announcement would occur within the week. For those hoping for Fred Thompson news, sorry to disappoint.)

Many people - judges, activists, even a Knoxville News-Sentinel reporter this week alone - have asked me what my next move is politically.

Honestly, I have no idea.

The reason for that admission is that I have my focus elsewhere.

Since all of the major friends and family have been notified this weekend, I guess I should let the cat out of the bag.

(OK, so this is my nephew, but you get the idea.)

On Tuesday of this past week, Angela and I learned that we are pregnant for the first time.

Our due date looks to be Christmas Eve, 2007.

This weekend has consisted of trip to Ridgewood BBQ in Bluff City to tell my parents and to Demos' in Nashville to break the good news to Angela's family.

This is my focus now. Political office will probably have to wait.



Marriage Column Worth Reading in the NYT

Tyler Cohen, a professor of economics at George Mason University and blogger at Marginal Revolution, has an interesting read that was (shockingly) carried in April 19th's New York Times. The column deals with how economics relates to marriage, with divorce being a major factor in marriage's financial success and the financial ruin of divorcees.

This is no conservative read, mind you. For instance, Cohen states early on that:

"The evidence suggests that married people — especially married men — are better off than the unmarried. But this doesn’t mean that everyone should marry, or that no one should divorce. Sometimes a marriage no longer makes sense, or it didn’t make sense in the first place."

Certainly not out of the Ed Wheat or James Dobson playbook, for sure.

Nonetheless, there are some interesting nuggets in this column, such as:

"In fact, the divorce rate for married couples peaked in the United States in 1979, when it was 22.8 per thousand married couples per year. Since then it has continued to decline, reaching 16.7 divorces per thousand married couples in 2005."

And this little gem:

"Often, earlier approaches to marriage were based on the idea of a division of labor; the man would earn the income and the woman would take care of the household. But as female earning power increases, this arrangement makes less sense. Men and women are more likely to pair off on the basis of similar education, similar interests and similar tastes in consumption. In other words, modern marriage is more fun."

More fun, huh?

Well, I guess that leads to my next post...



Kingsport Joins Knoxville in Unconstitutional Red-light Program

We all know that the Knoxville City Council is against the U.S. Constitution. After all, they don't believe in the confrontation clause, instead believing that it's OK to farm out police duties to cameras in an ill-conceived attempt to raise revenue.

(As an aside, I don't care what political party you belong to - you won't get my vote as an incumbent running for Knoxville City Council. Heck, I'll donate money to your opponents, incumbents.)

Now it seems that the oh-so-knowledgeable politicians in Kingsport have also decided to sell their citizens and their safety down the road to RedFlex in an attempt to tax their residents in the name of filling the city coffers.

One can only hope that the citizenry rises up and ends this ridiculous program. Perhaps it's time to start digging into the contracts of these cities with RedFlex, the financing of RedFlex, and even the personal finances of the councilmen and councilwomen who push these programs against the will of their constituents.

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"The Rep" Gets Some Prime Ink

Nice article in Sundays Tennessean about Stacey Campfield.

While Stacey may be taking it on the chin right now as his bills are shredded by a do-nothing Democratic majority in the Tennessee House, he is positioning himself as a leader of the conservative movement in this state. Articles like this do nothing but cement Stacey as one of our leaders.

Like the saying goes, you can't buy that kind of publicity.

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Friday, April 20, 2007


Winkler Gets Manslaughter

Yeah, I'm really surprised at this one. I don't tend to follow too many of these public trials (because I have enough of those on my own), but I did manage to keep up with this Tennessee melodrama.

The disjunct story offered up by the defense (that it was an accidental shooting that was supposed to stop the supposedly abusive preacher husband) was completely untenable and straight out of a "Law & Order" episode. How the jury didn't see anything but a murderer in Mary Winkler...

Well, I guess it goes to show that you never know how a case is going to come out when it goes to a jury of twelve.



"Too Much Tolerance"

Patrick Buchanan has an interesting wrap-up of the Virginia Tech massacre, dealing with the shooter, the media, and how our colleges have no more sense of community than our country does these days.

Well worth the read, in my opinion.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007


Turns for the Better

What a day Wednesday was!

A victory for the cause of life at the U.S. Supreme Court.

A victory for the cause of civil rights in the Tennessee House.

A victory for conservatives who want Fred Thompson as their Republican nominee in 2008.

That's more good news that one can rightfully expect in a week. However, I feel that there is more good to come out of this week. Just call me Carnac the Magnificent...

Let's have some happy music to celebrate, folks, as we say goodbye to the barbaric procedure known popularly as partial-birth abortion (and maybe our first step towards the end of Roe)!

MORE: Well, the clip makes me a bit sad due to Orbison's death. I still miss Roy.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007


2008 Candidates Weak on Firearms Rights

AP Reporter Calvin Woodward authored an extreme Leftist piece on gun control that shows the bias I would expect from an AP reporter. (How bad was it? Well, I had to properly sanitize my monitor afterwards.)

However, there are a few gems in this Leftist diatribe. Woodward briefly summarizes the pro-gun control records of announced 2008 candidates - the records that they have been running from thus far on the campaign trail.

On Guiliani:

His emphasis on state-by-state solutions to gun control in the GOP primaries contrasts with his past enthusiasm for a federal mandate to register handgun owners — an even stiffer requirement than registering guns.

On Romney and Guiliani:

Giuliani, as New York mayor and former Senate candidate, and Mitt Romney, as Massachusetts governor, supported the federal ban on assault-type weapons, background checks on gun purchases and other restrictions reviled by many gun-rights advocates.

On McCain:

McCain has a long record of voting for gun rights in the Senate but changed some of his views, sponsoring legislation to support the gun show restrictions he once opposed.

On Clinton:

The other New Yorker in this race, Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, also supported proposals for state-issued photo gun licenses, as well as a national registry for handgun sales, in positions laid out for crime-weary New Yorkers in 2000.

On Edwards:

And Democratic candidate John Edwards, despite recently highlighting his boyhood outings hunting birds, rabbits and deer as well as his respect for gun ownership rights, backed his party's main gun control measures when he was in the Senate.

On Obama:

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, as a state lawmaker in the 1990s, supported a ban on semiautomatic weapons and tougher state restrictions on firearms.

But my real hope is that the Democratic candidates listen to their special interest groups on this issue. Please follow the advise of Third Way policy specialist James Kessler:

"I don't think that a candidate will be punished for supporting gun safety measures this time around."

Yes, Hillary, Barack, and John, listen to James. Support gun control. Put on trigger locks for the cameras ala Parris Glendenning. Try to balance your support for taking the "self" our of "self-defense" while standing in full camo after a hunting photo op. Attack the NRA, GOA, and other pro-Second Amendment groups.

Do that, and watch your chances at the White House evaporate in 2008.

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AFA Poll Quite Revealing

I just took a gander at the American Family Association's Internet straw poll. I'm not that surprised that Fred Thompson is winning the poll. What I am surprised about is the margin.

To have a candidate field of 13 and still pull over 38% of the evangelical vote is incredible - especially when second place is held by Newt Gingrich (who, like Thompson, hasn't spent a dime in this race as an official candidate) at just north of 14%.

As I've been telling the RNC for months on end - the Religious Right does not like your slate of actual candidates. This poll, where over 50% of the respondents voted for non-announced candidates in April of the primary run-up, supports that notion.

Of course, I'm not going crazy over any Internet poll. They are what they are. However, it is reassuring that the Fred Thompson movement is well beyond the borders of the Volunteer State.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Tax Day Cometh

It was a very sad day yesterday, as we had to mail our tax check into the IRS. Actually, we had to mail in two checks - one for 2006's tax burden and one quarterly check for my 1st Quarter revenues in 2007. Talk about a double whammy!
If you haven't gotten around to filing those 1040's yet this year, go visit my friends (and fellow conservatives) Virginia and Harold Mann at Liberty Tax Services in Knoxville. They can help you out with filing an extension while they assist you in preparing your taxes. They have several locations around Knox County (Virginia works primarily out of the office on Chapman Highway, only a hop, skip, and a jump away from my office in South Knoxville).
Good luck, fellow Americans. I hope that Uncle Sam's taxes don't cut too deep.



VPI Aftermath

Everyone and their brother has posted about the Virginia Tech tragedy that beset this nation yesterday.

As per norm, everyone is also looking to pass blame, as well. Some blame the guns. However, if this sociopath (and, noted, I am making an assumption in labeling him such) had an Internet connection, desire, and some common materials found around any small town in the United States, he could have made a bomb that would have resulted in the loss of many more lives.

Others (like the "criminal psychologist" that was raving on CNN last night) blamed movies, video games and the like. Yes, that's a bizarre take on this particular set of circumstances, I must admit...

Still others blame Virginia Tech's reaction, which was poor at best. From the initial stories and maps (as pointed out by A.C.), it appears that their inability to deal with the circumstances certainly catalyzed the amount of carnage.

However, the best article I have found dealing with the real culprit here can be found by Art Moore over at WorldNetDaily. Art looked to history. Not the history that dealt with Columbine. Not the history of Kent State. No, Moore points to the commonwealth's General Assembly which, just one short year ago, laid to rest a bill that could have effectively ended the siege. The quote of Virginia Tech's spokesmen, which was against the bill that would have allowed students in the open-carry commonwealth to have been able to protect themselves by allowing carry on campus, makes the administration at Virginia Tech look foolish:

"I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus," the Virginia Tech spokesman said.


Of course, it is unlikely that students or faculty who were allowed to carry on campus could have prevented all of the death that occurred yesterday at VPI. However, we could only be talking about a few deaths and not 33. I'm sure that the dozens of parents who would be able to hug their son or daughter this weekend would have thought that a relevant piece of legislation.

It's time that state legislators everywhere be held accountable for their actions and inactions in cases that are directly on-point like this. Quit fighting over honoring Justin Timberlake or introducing dozens of bills to deal with illegal immigration in the hopes that none of them that would effectuate change ever pass. This is aimed at both parties - both Republican and Democrat. Take your job seriously. Check your ego at the door. Start serving your state. People's lives are depending on it.

MORE: Matthew Clarke and Paul Craig Roberts have columns along a similar line over at Roberts was a former Virginia Tech professor before becoming the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Ronald Reagan.

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Monday, April 16, 2007


Learning Through Ignorance

Instapundit has the following observation regarding downloads on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN):

Indeed. My Libel in the Blogosphere paper has moved up over 160 places -- from 1069 to 902 -- in the SSRN rankings since the Katherine Coble / JL Kirk / King & Ballow affair broke out.

That's interesting, indeed. I suppose it goes to show that some people - probably some of the larger law firms - don't want to get caught up in the same problem that King & Ballow did.

I suppose that's a good thing - that learning and understanding are coming out of this whole ordeal. I guess if no one gets damaged (and I'm thinking of Kat Coble here, not JL Kirk & Associates), then we have the spread of knowledge as a gained consequence of this episode.

Or am I being too optimistic for a Monday?

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Friday, April 13, 2007


Fred Thompson T-Shirts

It's pay day for most of y'all, so you might be interested in knowing that Grassroots Voter has some Fred Thompson 2008 T-shirts for sale.

Just thought I'd pass that along. I suppose that you could wear them to the Fred Thompson rally on April 28th in Cookeville.

As of today, I'm not sure that I will be there, as I may have a family commitment for that weekend. If that falls through, though, I look forward to seeing many of you there.



Corker's Stem Cell Vote

A.C. is all in a tizzy over Bob Corker's vote in the Senate against the government's funding of embryonic stem cell research. A.C. goes into why Corker was on the wrong side, citing Sean Braisted, a Democrat, as evidence supporting why the Republican from Tennessee was wrong.

I couldn't be more proud of Bob Corker right now. Want to know why? Because when Bob Corker won my support back in August of 2006, he looked me in the eye and told me that he was going to vote against embryonic stem cell research. He told me how he came to that conclusion, the research he performed and the visits that he made to leaders on both sides of the issue, including scientific labs.

Bob Corker voted like he said he was going to vote. Whining about it now indicates that you wanted a flip-flopper or a liar in the Senate. Bob Corker - so far - appears to be neither.

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GAP comes to The University of Tennessee

Tennessee Journalist has the story of the Center for Bioethical Reform's Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) and its recent visit to The University of Tennessee.

It's an interesting article, but what really caught my interest were the comments of the journalism majors at the conclusion of the article. One has to see the irony in future journalists - whose very occupation is dependent upon the First Amendment - believing that someone they disagree with on an issue shouldn't have the right to freely assemble, freely speak about their views and beliefs, and freely express those beliefs through the staffing of an exhibit.

Yeah, those girls are going to fit right in with the anti-First Amendment establishment. Maybe they could get a job at King & Ballow or JL Kirk & Associates.

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Buchanan On Imus

Patrick Buchanan breaks down the Imus farce for WorldNetDaily, and writes in part:

"The issue here is not the word Imus used. The issue is who Imus is – a white man, who used a term about black women only black folks are permitted to use with impunity and immunity.

Whatever Imus' sins, no one deserves to have Al Sharpton – hero of the Tawana Brawley hoax, resolute defender of the fake rape charge against half a dozen innocent guys, which ruined lives – sit in moral judgment upon them."

Although they have been the source of much ridicule in this instance from several white conservative commentators, the real winners from the downfall of Don Imus (of whom I have never been a fan) are those who have a material interest in dividing America - those like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Those men and women would be out of work, powerless, and rudderless in a united America, an America where ethnicity is seen as "American" and all other labels are secondary, at best.

I have no love for Imus, but the chasm between the races in America just got a little wider. Thus, I'm saddened by the whole affair, because the bad guys won this round.



It's Friday - Get Happy, People!

I don't know about y'all, but I've had a pretty daggone good week. A few good results in court, a few that weren't as bad as they could have been, good relations with colleagues, and I actually got to blog some.

That said, we're apparently in for a few gullywashers this weekend. How's a person to keep the good vibrations heading into what might be a less than stellar weekend?

I'm going with music videos. (Hey, at least they'll add some pep to my step.) If none of the following get you in a good mood, you might be clinically depressed come Monday.

Our first video is a favorite of Knoxville attorney Jason Sams. If you see him around town, make sure to ask him to sing you a verse Cowboy Troy-style.

Our next video is dedicated to Nashville blogger Sharon Cobb. I always enjoy her music-related posts, and George Harrison somewhat overlaps both of our tastes (I believe). I remember this song from my youth, and it was one of the first music videos that I really enjoyed, probably because I admired its simplicity. And it has a squirrel playing a pipe. Who couldn't like that?

Finally, I'm including "Read My Mind" by The Killers. Why? Because I want to, and I don't have tickets to their sold-out concert at the Ryman on April 23rd.

Now don't you feel better?


Thursday, April 12, 2007


ETSU Students Vote Down Football

Good for ETSU students in standing up for themselves. The administration wanted the students to take the brunt of additional funding so that the Bucs could once again have football. Alas, the students voted the resolution down by nearly a 20-point margin.

When I was at ETSU, the football teams there represented nothing good about the university - and that was when we were a winning program. It was thuggery at its worst, and my understanding from some of those still in Johnson City is that campus crime has dipped since the football team was disbanded a few years back. Heck, there was a reason that they called Davis Apartments (which was the athletic dorm back in the day) "The Rock."

My readers know I am a tremendous football fan. Well, I attended two games while at ETSU - TWO. Both were homecoming games, and neither conflicted with a UT home game. Yes, even with very little monetary funds at the time, I would have rather paid for a scalped ticket at Neyland than a free ticket at the Mini-Dome. Now that's a bad state of affairs for a penny pincher like myself.

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Break-ups can be Ugly

From Imus in the Morning, May 2006:

"My friend is running for the Senate in Tennessee.... If there's a God in heaven, he'll be elected." - Don Imus

From Imus in the Morning, April 12, 2007:

"Harold Ford, Jr. has been disgraceful in his lack of support. I endured death threats to endorse him...It's unfortunate that he has no courage." - Don Imus

Which, of course, was in response to this from late yesterday:

"I don't want to be viewed as piling on right now because Don Imus is a good friend and a decent man. However, he did a reprehensible thing." - Harold Ford, Jr.

Of course, this comment might have been an ironic premonition of the event that led to the break-up:

"I do not think of Tennessee as a Southern state. That probably sounds stupid, but -- and I do not think of white people or black people, or anybody else in Tennessee as being -- what's the word I want? Not racist..." - Don Imus (Imus in the Morning, October 26, 2006).

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Tennessee GOP Gets a Facelift

The website for the Tennessee Republican Party has received a much-needed facelift.

Check it out here.

Also, remember that Blount County has its Lincoln Day Dinner tonight at William Blount High School. The event starts at 6:00 P.M. I do not plan to attend (not sure why I would drive to Maryville to hear Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale speak), but I'm sure a good time will be had by all.

Future Posting Note: I plan to write about why I'm not thrilled with the Knox County Lincoln Day Dinner in the next few days. I'll be attending (the VOLConwife says I have to) on the evening of May 5th, but I'm not pleased on several different levels.

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Latest Ron Paul Column Addresses the Federal Reserve

Here's the latest column from Presidential Candidate and Congressman from Texas, Dr. Ron Paul:

The Federal Reserve Monopoly over Money

April 9, 2007

Recently I had the opportunity to question Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke when he appeared before the congressional Joint Economic committee. The topic that morning was the state of the American economy, and many of my colleagues raised questions about how the Fed might better "regulate" things to ease fears of an economic downturn. The tenor of my colleagues' questions suggested that Mr. Bernanke's job is nothing less than to run the U.S. economy, like some kind of Soviet central planner.

Certainly it’s true that Mr. Bernanke can drastically affect the economy at the drop of a hat, simply by making decisions about the money supply and interest rates. But why do members of Congress assume this is good? Why do we accept without objection that a small group of people on the Federal Reserve Board wields so much power over our economic well-being? Is centralized, monopoly control over our money even compatible with a supposedly free-market economy?

Few Americans give much thought to the Federal Reserve System or monetary policy in general. But even as they strive to earn a living, and hopefully save or invest for the future, Congress and the Federal Reserve Bank are working insidiously against them. Day by day, every dollar you have is being devalued.

The greatest threat facing America today is not terrorism, or foreign economic competition, or illegal immigration. The greatest threat facing America today is the disastrous fiscal policies of our own government, marked by shameless deficit spending and Federal Reserve currency devaluation. It is this one-two punch-- Congress spending more than it can tax or borrow, and the Fed printing money to make up the difference-- that threatens to impoverish us by further destroying the value of our dollars.

The Fed’s inflationary policies hurt older people the most. Older people generally rely on fixed incomes from pensions and Social Security, along with their savings. Inflation destroys the buying power of their fixed incomes, while low interest rates reduce any income from savings. So while Fed policies encourage younger people to overborrow because interest rates are so low, they also punish thrifty older people who saved for retirement.

The financial press sometimes criticizes Federal Reserve policy, but the validity of the fiat system itself is never challenged. Both political parties want the Fed to print more money, either to support social spending or military adventurism. Politicians want the printing presses to run faster and create more credit, so that the economy will be healed like magic- or so they believe.

Fiat dollars allow us to live beyond our means, but only for so long. History shows that when the destruction of monetary value becomes rampant, nearly everyone suffers and the economic and political structure becomes unstable. Spendthrift politicians may love a system that generates more and more money for their special interest projects, but the rest of us have good reason to be concerned about our monetary system and the future value of our dollars.



An Ill-Conceived Demand Letter

Everyone is watching Kat Coble's drama involving the employment firm (and potential shakedown artists) JL Kirk & Associates, who apparently retained the law firm of King & Ballow in an effort to get Kat to take down a post of hers about a professional encounter with JL Kirk. First, Kat posted this comment. Then she received the certified letter. Then Kat posted the letter. Pay attention to the comments, because they are coming fast and furious, which tends to happen when Instapundit, Bill Hobbs, Professor Bainbridge, Captain's Quarters, and nearly every other blog takes notice.

While I love Hobbs' treatment of the story, the best post may be from Bob Krumm, who made sure that JL Kirk & Associates and King & Ballow will always be linked with this story via Internet searches with the words "scam," "fraud," "rip-off," and "con."

In any case, this is a real blunder by King & Ballow. Yes, the practice of issuing demand letters as a way of getting what a client wants without having to resort to actual litigation is widely used. However, you can't treat every case the same. You need to know when something is going to be attractive to media - local, state, or (in this case) global. This goes for civil suits (as the one being threatened against Kat), criminal suits, and even juvenile cases (because the media can request access on certain hearings there, too). If this case is going to make the media take notice (taking into account that mainstream sources oftentimes are agitated to action by bloggers), then you have to be perfect in your actions.

King & Ballow were not perfect here. Not by a long shot. They ignored the relevant federal caselaw regarding libel, opinions as free speech, truth as an absolute defense, and 1st Amendment litigation in general. And surely they knew (or should have known) that Kat would take this public. Anyone familiar with Kat's writings (and you have to assume that the associate who wrote this letter at King & Ballow would be so familiar, having referred to specific posts of the blog) knows that she doesn't take crap from anyone. They should have known that she would expand this conflict, and the public relations blowback against JL Kirk and King & Ballow would be more than significant.

However, the real culprit here is JL Kirk & Associates. They should have let sleeping dogs lie. I oftentimes read Kat's blog, but I didn't recall the particular post about her and her husband's experiences with the agency. The limited effects of her post would have gone away. Not now, though. We'll all remember this. They made the primary blunder in politics - never expand a conflict that you can't control. And looking at the blogosphere (83 blog hits on Technorati as of 7:34 A.M.), this story is about to spin out of control into the mainstream media.

Will JL Kirk do the smart thing and have King & Ballow draft up a retraction of their demand letter? Will they apologize to Kat? That would probably be the best thing to do, as it could minimize the damage. However, egos being what they are, that probably won't happen. Of course, the worst thing to do would be to file suit. I don't know how deep JL Kirk's pockets are, but I dare say that the economic ramifications of such a maneuver could sink their entire ship.

An aside: it just occurred to me that Senator Jamie Woodson's proposed bill from earlier in the year might have altered Kat's free speech rights in this case. I guess that just goes to show how bad of a bill that would have been. (Woodson pulled the bill after certain bloggers made a big deal about it, blaming its language on a third year law student.)

UPDATE: Welcome all Instapundit and Fark readers (who are traversing from Bob Krumm's site)! Feel free to look around while you're here.

Bill Hobbs, Professor Reynolds, Volunteer Voters, and Jay Bush have some updates. As many are saying, it is certainly in JL Kirk's best interests to quash this controversy and move on. A blogospheric legal defense fund is certainly a possibility to assist Kat Coble, and with the Media Bloggers Association getting involved, this would not be a case of David versus Goliath in the courtroom in terms of finances.

As SayUncle so poignantly put it: "In other news, don’t send bloggers stuff that makes you look like an asshat. They tend to blog about it."

Like I said (but Uncle said more colorfully), let sleeping dogs lie...

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007


An Inconvenient Truth

Last night, I finally got around to watching Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. I had rented it at Blockbuster because I had a free movie pass and figured it might be good for a laugh, at the very least.

It was actually worse than I expected. I certainly expected poor science. After all, turning to a former-English-major-turned-Government-major-turned-Divinity-school-dropout-turned-Law-school-dropout for data in the hard sciences is probably not the best idea of finding a credible source. The poor science was there, of course; at many times, Gore was downright misleading.

What I didn't expect was that the focus of the film was in no way global warming or the greenhouse effect or even the environment. No, the focus was Al Gore. This movie was all about Al Gore - period. Anyone who didn't see it this way is kidding themselves. (For more, see James Bowman's review in The American Spectator, who pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter.)

But - thank God that Al invented the Internet. Because of that, I was able to find two excellent restatements that refute his little movie.

William Robert Johnston's Falsehoods in Gore's An Inconvenient Truth

The Real "Inconvenient Truth" (by

Both of the sites above contain actual science - while blowing holes in Gore's skewed arguments - that people schooled in the sciences can understand. (Admittedly, some of it is not for those who avoided science courses like the plague in college, mind you.)

So, what's the answer? Just listen to the scientists? And if so, which ones? My preference is those who aren't seeking grant money, for starters. Despite Gore's claim that this is solely a moral issue, this is also a political issue, for sure. The problems are that its the politicians that should be getting lectured, not giving the lectures (see the Kerry vs. Gingrich debate yesterday for clear examples of this), and that no one can agree on who the unbiased experts on this subject are. In fact, is anyone free of the taint of money and political favors on the issue to the point that the powers that be can step back and agree that this particular expert or that particular expert is an unbiased source whose studies and opinions should be given additional weight on the subject?
We are dealing with a very limited data set and trying to make sweeping conclusions based upon that data. This is a tough exercise no matter how you slice it, whether dealing with the global warming phenomenon, special evolution, or the behavior of species limited by a phenotypic bottleneck.
One truth that pertains to both science and law - it's usually not a bad thing to admit that you don't know if the truth is that you don't know. I don't know if this is a natural variation, if it's short-term in nature, or if the problem is even fixable. (Gore surely doesn't comment on the last element there - can we do anything about this, Al?) I admit that I don't know, which, oddly enough, might be a good place to start.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Fred Thompson - A Composition of Awesomeness

From Frank J. at IMAO:

"If you took Chuck Norris, Jack Bauer, Optimus Prime, a .50 caliber Desert Eagle, a samurai sword, nachos, the lobby scene from the move Matrix, the computer game Doom, and a DVD set of the complete A-Team series and somehow took all their awesomeness and compressed into one thing, you'd still only have something half as awesome as what Fred Thompson flushes down the toilet after taking a crap."

* That one goes out to the Palmetto Prosecutor, Ryan Holloway, who I am sure agrees with that statement word for word.



Pelosi - Providing Comfort to the Enemy?

Chief Deputy Republican Whip Eric Cantor is taking Speaker Pelosi to task for her recent trip to Syria, and he wants pressure applied to the Speaker by members of her own Party to justify the visit.

Powerline (via our brethren from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, The Conservative Edge) has a nice round-up of reactions to Pelosi's taxpayer-funded junket to our enemies in Syria. Needless to say, not many people are pleased with Pelosi's latest aerial mishap.

I really don't care for a special investigation of the Speaker on this one. That seems more of a waste of taxpayer dollars than debating honoring Justin Timberlake. I would settle for a ban on all taxpayer-funded travel by Members of Congress to foreign countries. They aren't in charge of foreign policy, anyhow, so why do Members (and former Members - Carol Mosely-Braun, Harold Ford, Jr. jump out in this context) feel the need to jet all over the world at our expense?



Alert for Knox County YR's

I received word this afternoon that the Knox County Young Republicans will be meeting at the Calhoun's on Bearden Hill this evening and not at the Green Hill's Grill as previously announced. Apparently, there's a busted water line over at Green Hill's, and that necessitated the move west.

I probably won't be there (as per norm), as I have had one long day in court and have to continue discovery in an infamous Blount County case that may or may not be heading to trial.

Just thought I would pass along the info.


Monday, April 09, 2007


More Like Global Freezing...

Note to the editors of the Knoxville News-Sentinel:

The next time that you decide to run with a story about a scientific claim that a great deal of your readers are at best highly skeptical of as your lead story on the front page of your Sunday edition, make sure that it isn't anecdotally contradicted by circumstances that day.

In other words, who was the genius who ran with the global warming piece on the morning of 23 degree morning temperatures that garnered a new record low for Knoxville?

Seriously. People know that it isn't normally this cold in mid-April. Your choice of stories strikes at your credibility across the board. And surely you saw this coming - your forecast is usually on page B2.

It starts to come down to the age old question: who are you going to trust - me or your lying eyes?

But in this case, it's - who are you going to trust - the journalists or your freezing fanny?




So have you checked out the new Lamar Alexander website?

It's really quite good - for a beginning. I understand that more content is coming.

The video on the index page is interesting and plays to several of Lamar's strengths - his ability to tell a story, his musical talents, and his consistent optimism. It's also strong on brutally honest in parts, which is refreshing in this age of politics. I've posted this video below.

Everyone knows that I worked for Ed Bryant in 2002 in his primary run against Lamar. However, what many tend to ignore is that I put that rigorous primary in the rear view mirror shortly thereafter to help Lamar in the 2002 general election. I did that because I was talked off of my angry cliff by Ed (through his vision of what was good for America) and by Lamar (through the optimism that I mentioned earlier).

Lamar has been good for Tennessee during his time as Senator. I'm glad to know that he will be running for reelection next year, and I look forward to another six years thereafter of his excellent representation.

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Sunday, April 08, 2007


Happy Easter

"... After three days, I will rise again."

- Matthew 27:63


Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Ron Paul on the 2008 Budget

Some interesting thoughts on the 2008 budget by Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul on

Paul raises an excellent point on the lack of knowledge that the vast majority of Americans have regarding the budget. Even those who pay attention to such things as congressional budget battles still fall into the liberal trap of labeling some budget items as "discretionary" and other entitlement items as "mandatory." Isn't the point of a budget to delineate what is "mandatory?" If you come in with categories already determined, isn't spending almost assured of increasing beyond the rate of inflation every year?

Public knowledge is a tough item to improve on any appreciable level, as David Oatney showed in his column about taxes here in Tennessee yesterday.

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Monday, April 02, 2007


Fred Thompson - All Day, Every Day

People who know me will take this to heart, because I don't like to get behind phantom candidacies and the like.

After speaking with several people close to the situation, I am convinced that Tennessee's own, Fred Thompson, will be a candidate for President of the United States.

I expect that we will hear something official within the next 5 weeks.

You can mark me down, along with Bill Frist, Zach Wamp, David Davis, Lamar Alexander, and the long list of other Tennesseans who believe that Fred will rejoin the fray for 2008.

I've gone so far as to order bumper stickers from Again, those who know me will see this as a level of my confidence that Fred will be a candidate.

I was wrong. A.C. at Volunteer Voters, Mike Silence - several of us were wrong. While several of us wanted Fred in (well, not A.C., who OD'd on Abramson Hater-aid), so many of us didn't think it would come to fruition. After all I have heard over the past week, I'm glad to say that I was wrong.

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Opening Day

In 2005, I attended over 40 games affiliated with Major League Baseball, both at the major league level and at the minor league level.

In 2006, I didn't attend even one. I decided that if MLB was going to celebrate the noted cheater Barry Bonds, then it could do so without me.

Today, as the 2007 season begins, I have hope that MLB will do the right thing and not celebrate Bonds and his juiced accomplishments. I don't care how many home runs Bonds comes up with through his illegally found medications; Hank Aaron is the home run king, with Ruth second and Mays third. Bonds isn't even in the conversation because it appears that at least half of his home run total was the product of pharmaceuticals.

I may make it to some MLB games this year. We'll see how they react after Bonds hits a few dingers in April.

I hope they shun him. They should. He's sullied the reputation of America's pastime.


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