A Very Sad Day

Just got news that a co-worker was fatally injured in a motorcycle accident this morning on Alcoa Highway. This hasn’t been confirmed by a news source yet, and a name has not been released.

It is quite a shock to us here, and horrible news. He was a really great guy, and I’m not just saying that. Always smiling, always friendly, always cracking jokes and making our job more enjoyable. In addition to working with him, I was lucky enough to get to share a few meals and laughs with him. I can honestly say I’ve never heard one negative thing about him from anyone. He will be sorely missed here.

It is sad when anyone passes, but it is even worse when that person is young and full of life.

Condolences to his family.

UPDATE

News sources aren’t reporting it, but it has been announced at work. A truly sad day.

Not in Keeping, But…

ThumbsuckerThere’s no way I could not post a picture of the little one to be. We have a video too, which we were able to get onto a DVD, but I don’t have a way to rip the video into .avi at home. Hopefully I can get that done soon.

My Buddy at the Klan Rally

Yesterday a friend of mine posted on his MySpace blog a story about attending a KKK rally in Newport, TN a few years ago on MLK Day. My buddy isn’t a KKK supporter in any way. He was there more for the circus atmosphere than anything. As he says, it is fun to see stupid people doing stupid things.

His post describes how the Klan chose Newport because the town was unable to pass restriction on them in time to prevent the issuance of a permit. The rally ended up being relegated to a small area near the courthouse surrounded by the police for the Klan’s protection. Apparently, it was difficult to hear the spout any of their nonsense from outside the barricades due to the drumming of the hippies who’d gathered to protest the protest, or whatever.

I was thinking about the many levels of injustice that were present in this situation, and how one of the biggest benefits of free speech was probably never even intended. Free speech gives absolute idiots the opportunity to expose themselves for what they really are.

I’m too lazy to look it up, but I believe it was Mark Twain who said, “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

All of the cities and towns that “successfully” blocked the Klan denied their citizens the opportunity to find out what they believe and decide for themselves. The hippies that drummed them out of earshot did the same, and became an annoyance in and of themselves.

Wouldn’t a better approach be to have someone with an opposing view (and the courage to espouse it without hiding their identity) present a different set of ideas? Are we afraid that people are so ignorant that they can no longer tell a good idea from a bad one?

Possible Sunshine Law Violations in Knox County

Why freedom of the press works.

Basically, the Knoxville News Sentinel is sueing the Knox County Commission over the (aleged) backroom deals that occurred during the appointment of several replacements for term-limited commissioners.

The proposed agreement will force the Commission to hold the meeting again.  All appointments would be void and have to be repeated.

With the outcry against what happened here causing the commotion it did, the results should be very interesting.  Stay tuned!

A New School…Hooray?

The News Sentinel has an article about the new Gibbs Elementary School today–citing it as a great thing for our community.  Uh…okay.

Don’t get me wrong…I’m aware that the people in my community, state, and nation can benefit infinitely by being educated.  I definitely see the social and economic benefits I can personally reap from living in an environment where everyone is educated.  I’ll even go so far to commit my own resources towards the education of the masses.

And because I believe strongly in these things…

I don’t like being FORCED to contribute an education system wraught with inefficiencies.

I don’t like being FORCED to contribute to an education system that is already failing. (See the State published results of its own test–Cs aren’t good enough, especially when you are in control of the test).

I don’t like being FORCED to contribute to an education system that does not allow parents to choose for their children which school/curriculum is best for their child.

I don’t like being FORCED to contribute to a system that is being held hostage by unions.

I don’t like being FORCED to contribute to a system that caters to the meaty part of the bell curve, pushing those who are either gifted or challenged to the middle.

It’s a nice story that fourth graders think their new school is cool, but all the new gyms and big cafeterias in the world do not fix the problems I’ve enumerated.

Leviathon on the Right

This book has some potential.

I especially like the phrase “big government Republican”…that used to be called a Democrat.

Reagan made a pretty big impression on me when I was a kid with the “we’re from the governement, we’re here to help” line.  His party is hardly recognizable at this point.

Roth IRAs Are a Bad Idea

Okay, I don’t really believe that, but this post brings up some reasonable points.  The most important point is that if we ever do change our tax structure over to a value added tax, any Roth contributions would be double taxed.  Not holding my breath hoping that will happen any time soon, but it’s something to consider.