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Happy Thanksgiving!

By R. Neal, Thu, 2017/11/23 - 3:35pm

To you and yours. Who wants pie?

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Net neutrality may be coming to an end

By R. Neal, Wed, 2017/11/22 - 9:03am

NYT: FCC Plans Net Neutrality Repeal in a Victory for Telecoms

The Federal Communications Commission released a plan on Tuesday to dismantle landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the internet, clearing the way for internet service companies to charge users more to see certain content and to curb access to some websites.

The proposal, made by the F.C.C. chairman, Ajit Pai, is a sweeping repeal of rules put in place by the Obama administration. The rules prohibit high-speed internet service providers, or I.S.P.s, from stopping or slowing down the delivery of websites. They also prevent the companies from charging customers extra fees for high-quality streaming and other services.

The new rules would also prohibit states from enacting regulations to preserve net neutrality.

FCC chair Ajit Pai said "the FCC would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them."

Raise your hand if you have a choice of internet service providers in your local service area.

Here's how the end of net neutrality will change the internet

FCC's next step on net neutrality: Blocking the states

EFF: Net Neutrality

Counterpoint:

Who Should Pay for Netflix?

Cisco Visual Networking Index: "IP video traffic will be 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2021, up from 73 percent in 2016"

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Solar panels at John Tarleton Home

By jbr, Tue, 2017/11/21 - 10:23pm

What is the story behind the large grid of solar panels that are at John Tarleton Home?

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Mulvaney Expected to Run Watchdog Agency He Wanted to Kill

By jbr, Tue, 2017/11/21 - 3:03am

Mr. Mulvaney — who as a Republican congressman was the co-sponsor of legislation to shut down the consumer bureau — is expected to remain in his position at the Office of Management and Budget and oversee both agencies until a permanent director of the consumer agency is approved, said the official, who requested anonymity because the decision had not yet been made public.

Mulvaney Expected to Run Watchdog Agency He Wanted to Kill

The Dismal Future of Trump's Least Favorite Agency

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Call Corker & Alexander - Tax package is hideous

By Mike Knapp, Sun, 2017/11/19 - 6:15pm

Sen. Bob Corker (865) 637-4180
Sen. Lamar Alexander (865) 545-4253

The bill hideously redistributes upwards and is wildly unpopular.

From ITEP below -

The tax bill reported out of the Senate Finance Committee on Nov. 16 would raise taxes on at least 29 percent of Americans and cause the populations of 19 states to pay more in federal taxes in 2027 than they do today. The lowest-earning three-fifths of Americans would pay more on average in federal taxes, while the top 40 percent on average would receive a tax cut. The bill would increase the deficit because of the substantial tax breaks it would provide to the wealthy and to foreign investors who own stocks in American corporations and who would therefore benefit from the bill’s corporate tax cuts.

In 2027, the richest 1 percent of Americans would receive an average tax cut of more than $9,000 while the bottom three-fifths of income earners would face an average tax hike of $160. In some states, low- and middle-income earners would have larger average tax increases.

preview_DO7FumTXUAA3-hF.jpg_large.jpg

Image Source - Michael Linden, Fellow at Roosevelt Inst., Policy & Research Director at the Hub Project

From CBO below -

The Congressional Budget Office and JCT’s staff have analyzed the distributional effects of those changes in spending using income categories consistent with JCT’s analysis. In calendar year 2021, for example, those excluded amounts would total about $19 billion:
$18 billion less spending for Medicaid,
$4 billion less spending for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments,
$1 billion less spending for the Basic Health Program (BHP), and
$4 billion more spending for Medicare because of changes in payments to hospitals that serve a disproportionate share of low-income patients.

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The internet, explained

By R. Neal, Sun, 2017/11/19 - 5:31pm

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My Email drives me crazy

By bizgrrl, Sun, 2017/11/19 - 9:20am

Or, technology can drive me crazy.

For business I keep most, if not all, of my email correspondence. It's good to have a reference to past communications. For years we used Microsoft email clients, Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Live Mail. For quite a while we used Microsoft Exchange Email.

To make things simpler and cheaper we have moved our business email to Google Mail even though we are still using Windows Live Mail for personal emails.

It could be that I am just so familiar with Microsoft products, but I'm thinking Google still doesn't get it.

Trying to print an email the other day, it took three tries to get it right. The standard has been, Alt-F, P to print. I can only guess that the standards started with IBM and Microsoft and that Google doesn't want to go there. I could not find a Google menu for printing. I did find that you could Right-click and select print from that menu. But it doesn't print correctly, e.g. sentences didn't wrap so you are missing some text. I finally found a little tiny printer icon at the top, right of the email. Google Mail then has to open another browser page with the print options. Alrighty, then.

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Payday Alternative Loans

By jbr, Sat, 2017/11/18 - 10:45pm

Seems like good things that folks may not know about. How do folks that are susceptible to payday loans get this sort of information?

​PALs include specific consumer protection features:

Loan amounts between $200 to $1,000.
The borrower must be a member of the federal credit union for at least 1 month.
The term of the loan must range from 1 to 6 months.
The federal credit union can charge an application fee only in the amount needed to recoup the actual costs associated with processing the borrowers application, up to $20.
The PAL cannot be rolled over.

Some credit unions additionally offer free financial counseling services to their members.

Are there alternatives to payday loans?

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Gun carriers - please be careful

By bizgrrl, Fri, 2017/11/17 - 6:40am

It is becoming more apparent that people who frequently carry guns do not know any more about gun safety than people who have never touched a gun. Come on people, wake up, practice gun safety.

At a Tellico Plains, TN, church, a group had gathered for an early Thanksgiving luncheon. After the luncheon they started discussing guns in churches. A man proceeded to pull out his gun, telling the attendees he carries his gun everywhere.

According to the man, "With this loaded indicator, I can tell that it’s not loaded." The man then negligently shot himself and his wife.

The man is lucky he only shot people in his own family. However, the bullet entered "the left side of his wife's abdomen and exited the right side." If my husband negligently shot me I'd be whopping mad.

My advice, if someone starts showing his/her gun in a public setting, leave.

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DTV: "How to" enroll in the ACA Individual Market, Friday at 7:30 PM

By Doug Veum, Thu, 2017/11/16 - 10:05pm

Tune it to DTV on Friday evening at 7:30 PM and get the facts on how to enroll in the Affordable Care Act individual insurance market from ACA Enrollment experts Dr. Mary Headrick and Rich Hehighan.

Host John Stewart leads a 'how to' session on signing up for the ACA individual health insurance market that provides guidance on how to find the marketplace, how to read the information and more importantly how to get assistance from the ACA Navigators who really know the ins and outs of the enrollment.

Remember that enrollment ends early this year onDec 15 and also the individual mandate remains in effect for 2018.

You can watch the show on the CTV Knoxville web site (here)

or on the following cable channels:

Comcast Channel 12
Charter Channel 193
Wow! Channel 6
ATT U-verse Channel 99

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University of Tennessee student launches new ride share run by students

By jbr, Thu, 2017/11/16 - 4:54pm

"I used to get Uber drivers on game days, and they’re coming in from Atlanta or Chattanooga just to reap our money," said Cunningham, 20, a junior majoring in supply chain management. "So I wanted to create more of a local economy on campus as well as a better atmosphere for students to feel safer."

University of Tennessee student launches new ride share run by students

https://www.campuscarllc.com/index.php

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Medicare’s great by U.S. standards. Compared to others, not so much

By jbr, Wed, 2017/11/15 - 10:32pm

Researchers at the Commonwealth Fund interviewed nearly 23,000 people 65 and older in 11 countries to see what kind of medical care they get.

In most other rich countries with universal health care, people over 65 don’t have to pay at all to see a doctor. Not so in the U.S.

“We recommend that individuals budget around $400 a month for medical expenses in retirement,” said Doctor’s Choice founder Dr. John Luo.

Medicare’s great by U.S. standards. Compared to others, not so much

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Mark Harmon: Watergate-style plain speaking needed now

By B Harmon, Wed, 2017/11/15 - 4:23pm

Mark Harmon: Watergate-style plain speaking needed now

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Cohen calls for impeachment hearings

By R. Neal, Wed, 2017/11/15 - 12:15pm

Politico: "Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) told reporters that five Democrats have signed on to his resolution to introduce five articles of impeachment against the president.

The Democrats charge that Trump obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey; that he has violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause by continuing to frequent and profit from his businesses; and that he has undermined the federal judiciary and freedom of the press."

"We’re calling upon the House to begin impeachment hearings," Cohen said. "It’s not a call for a vote. It’s a call for hearings."

Six Democrats demand Trump impeachment hearings

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16,000 scientists sign dire warning to humanity over health of planet

By jbr, Wed, 2017/11/15 - 12:03pm

More than 16,000 scientists from 184 countries have published a second warning to humanity advising that we need to change our wicked ways to help the planet.

16,000 scientists sign dire warning to humanity over health of planet

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Lithium ion battery explosion at Orlando Airport causes panic

By bizgrrl, Wed, 2017/11/15 - 11:21am

Someone's backpack containing a camera with a lithium ion battery exploded and started smoking. Not knowing what caused the noise, some thinking it was a gunshot, people fled from the terminal

A security officer Ricado Perez — a 20-year army veteran, ran towards the bag, picked it up and placed it in a location away from people.

"When I picked up that bag, I did think, 'Yep, this is it," Perez told WESH 2. "And so I did what I had to do. It could've happened, but it didn't. So I live to do it again."

Lithium ion batteries are in cameras, cellphones, hoverboards, and more. How safe are they? Should they be allowed on planes? What would we do if they were not allowed? OMG!

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Tennessee Audit Finds Rampant Understaffing, Other Issues at Prisons

By jbr, Tue, 2017/11/14 - 11:24pm

What a mess

One of the largest private prison companies in the nation operates facilities in Tennessee that are grossly understaffed and haphazardly run — issues that may fuel inmate violence, according to a state audit released on Tuesday.

Tennessee Audit Finds Rampant Understaffing, Other Issues at Prisons

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GOP Plans to Repeal Obamacare Mandate for Health Coverage

By jbr, Tue, 2017/11/14 - 11:18pm

They just can't move on.

But ending the mandate would only save money because the CBO projects 13 million fewer people would have health insurance by 2027, meaning the government would spend less money subsidizing coverage through private insurance or Medicaid.

Premiums on the individual insurance market would also go up 10 percent as a result.

GOP Plans to Repeal Obamacare Mandate for Health Coverage

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"I Am Not Your Negro" film screening and discussion

By Janus, Tue, 2017/11/14 - 7:14pm


What: "I Am Not Your Negro" film screening and discussion
When: Saturday, December 2, 2017 - 2:00pm
Where: Sharon Lawson Room, Blount County Public Library

Blount County United Education Committee and Blount County Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) are pleased to present a free community screening and discussion of Raoul Peck's documentary "I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO.”

The film and discussion will take place in the Sharon Lawson Room of the Blount County Public Library on Saturday, December 2 from 2-5pm. Dr. Frances Henderson (Maryville College) and Rev. Laura Bogle (Foothills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship) will co-facilitate the discussion.

One of the most talked-about documentaries of recent years, “I Am Not Your Negro” is based on the work of author-activist James Baldwin and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. Baldwin’s writing changed American literature, and his life and work intersected with some of the most influential and divisive people in the Civil Rights Movement.

This Oscar-nominated documentary brings Baldwin’s voice vibrantly to life, encouraging renewed focus to the important racial history he wrote about. There will be two discussion sessions, one during an intermission and one after the film. Blount County United Education Committee and Blount County SURJ are co-sponsoring this event as part of our shared commitment to increasing public awareness of and action to eliminate racism in our community.

NOTE: This film is rated PG-13 for violent images (including scenes of beating, lynching and riots); for profanity (in a song during closing credits) and racist language; and for very brief nudity. The difficult subject matter is of clear cultural importance, but please consider very carefully whether to bring younger children to the film. Staff in the Children’s Library (865-982-0981) can help parents research the film’s content and ratings criteria.

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Some Republicans mad at Keurig

By bizgrrl, Tue, 2017/11/14 - 9:07am

Fans of Fox News host Sean Hannity were angry because coffee maker company Keurig stopped advertising on his show after he seemed to defend Republican U.S. Senate nominee Roy Moore against allegations that Moore had inappropriate sexual contact with a minor.

So these patriotic, conservative Hannity groupies were standing up for an accused child molester by destroying an expensive coffee maker they bought with their own money, a coffee maker that, it’s worth noting, many liberals don’t like because it uses small plastic pods that are bad for the environment.

Huh. What a country.

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