Well, I've tried to get y'all to read Homestar Runner (where you can also find Strong Bad's emails), but it looks like you're too late. Homestar has lost his domain hosting!
A new brawl may be brewing at city hall, this time between council members over the issue of MLG&W candidates. Memphis City Councilwoman Carol Chumney invited all of the utility's presidential candidates to come to a town hall meeting she's hosting Saturday. But Councilman Tom Marshall asked her to withdraw those invitations. In a letter Marshall tells Chumney he fears she would "compromise the selection procedure," saying a hearing like this is "outside the council's due process of consideration.What can we do about this woman? Her ham-handed efforts to preen and look like a leader are just digging her hole deeper and deeper. Is she tone deaf to the upset? Is she that blindly self-centered and ambitious? Is she such a slave to her "grind" (in the scholastic sense) that all she can do is follow an obviously failing game plan?
A brand new football arena to replace the aging Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium would be an exciting new addition to the growing array of Memphis sports venues, but the timing is not right.And yet, the paper argued just a few days ago to let the Pyramid sit empty so that the Memphis Tigers could move to the FedExForum, a move that will be more costly to the City. Besides, I don't think "growing" is the word when we'll have one new Forum and deprecate two venues subsequently, the Pyramid and the Liberty Bowl.
Unless the Liberty Bowl is too unstable structurally to ensure public safety, taxpayers shouldn't be expected to pay for another sports facility at a time of tight dollars and pressing public needs.And why not? The paper could do as they did before and get behind a big, big push to at least fix it up properly. They've done this before, after all....
The stadium could benefit from a substantial fix-up, but the money and political support may not be present for anything beyond basic repairs.
The stadium is home to the University of Memphis Tigers, the Liberty Bowl and the Southern Heritage Classic football games. But the facility that opened in 1965 has lost its glow.The Liberty Bowl is old, but not unsalvageable. And the Pyramid was poorly designed from the start, with bad acoustics, cramped seating and too-high stairs. Should we scrap it, too? Oh...wait....
Fans sit on seats without backs, locker rooms are small and, without a press room, post-game interviews sometimes are held in a tent. Sky boxes, concession stands and the field need work.
Limited renovations in recent years produced new bench seats, a better scoreboard and new paint. But more comfortable seating would mean a costly restructuring of the seating area.
A $50,000 consulting engineers' study on stadium options should be released in the next few days, but officials are guarded.It's interesting that the paper is getting out in front of the study's release rather than waiting. Maybe they have an advance copy?
Pete Aviotti, special assistant to Mayor Willie Herenton, said last week that it may make better financial sense to demolish and rebuild than to renovate. A major overhaul could cost $50 million, while a new arena could push the cost to $125 million or more.
Aviotti didn't endorse either option. Neither did City Council members, though some warned that inaction would lead to more decay.I can't believe I'm siding with Rickey Peete, but there you go. He's right. Depending on the details in the report, at least a holding action is required, though I argue we should save and upgrade the whole damn thing. I'm tired of seeing huge public capital outlays being tossed aside for the next flashy thing, regardless of need or purpose and without much care for the old. It's nearly criminal.
Councilman Rickey Peete suggested spending $4 million to $5 million for minimal repairs if the work would buy a few more years of use. Others await the engineering report.
It should be noted that the University of Tennessee's Neyland Stadium, one of the largest stadiums in the country, has seen 16 renovations since 1921, according to the school's web site. Renovations apparently have served UT well, since there are enough seats for 104,079 fans.Chris does a better job of looking at the Neyland comparison than I could, so be sure you've read his post. But the reason the Pyramid is now going empty is because it was abandoned for the new Forum! And that happened because your paper bought wholesale into the promotion of the thing, to the point of demonising and dismissing those who opposed the Forum! The Commercial Appeal was so wildly and blatantly partisan it was disgusting. It was an abdication of their responsibility to the public for the sake of money and access. Plain and simple. The Forum was also unpopular, many questioned the need, many questioned the spending with a fine Pyramid next door, but the Commercial Appeal steamrollered right over that.
By comparison, the 62,380-seat Liberty Bowl has been twice renovated since it was built, according to the university.
Major costs for a renovated or new stadium seem to be out of step with public sympathies. Public funds built The Pyramid, now only 13 years old and begging for new tenants.
Public money is paying most of the $250 million cost of the FedEx Forum, and public money, through sales-tax rebates, has helped finance AutoZone Park, the Memphis Redbirds' home.Slightly diffeent animals here. Sales-tax rebates can be voided; I can choose how much I spend at AutoZone Park And I don't recall many wanting to save Tim McCarver stadium, though you could make that argument. It's wasn't in as good condition as the Liberty Bowl is now. An upgrade would have been more comprehensive than the Liberty Bowl, to the point where all realised that starting over was a better deal.
The city has a general obligation bond debt of more than $900 million, and city property taxes are likely to be increased this year to meet government costs.And we were facing tax increases when the Forum was proposed, but that didn't stop the paper. The Commercial Appeal could be doing investigative work into the expenses of government, how our money is being used and on what, but I don't often see that happen. What they usually do is wait for the District Attorney, State Comptroller, police, Sheriffs Office or some other agency to announce a problem. It would be nice to see them initiate some fact-finding into our government some time.
More money is needed to improve schools, fight crime and fix roads and streets. The city announced late last week that almost $14 million will be required for necessary lighting and landscaping improvements around the FedExForum.The headline on that story only mentions $10.x million. You had to go deeper into the story for the other $3.x million. Clever bit of redirecting there.
Taxpayer pockets in Memphis seem to be about empty. The third option for the Liberty Bowl looks like the most reasonable at this time: Fix the most glaring health and safety needs and press on."Press on" to where? This is what I was hinting at earlier.
While West says permit carriers haven’t committed felonies, according to the Department of Safety 133 permits were revoked last year for various requirement violations, said Beth Denton, DOS spokesperson. More than 155,000 Tennesseans possess permits, she said.No felonies? So what's the problem? And only 133 revocations? That's not even one-tenth of one percent! Again, what's the problem?
Sen. David Fowler, R-Signal Mountain, wants to limit the legislation's impact to the Memphis area and have the Department of Human Services issue a report after two years saying how effective it is "before we extend this cost to everyone across the state."Ouch! The facts hurt, don't they?
Several day care operators have complained in recent years that costly state mandates are driving them out of business.
Fowler said no child had died on a day care van in his area of Southeast Tennessee.
Nonetheless, the agency has begun the process of creating the procedures and policies to conduct such a targeted draft in case military officials ask Congress to authorize it and the lawmakers agree to such a request.I wasn't aware of any health care draft. Has anyone had experience of this they can relate?
"Talking to the manpower folks at the Department of Defense and others, what came up was that nobody foresees a need for a large conventional draft such as we had in Vietnam," said Richard Flahavan, a spokesman for the Selective Service System. "But they thought that if we have any kind of a draft, it will probably be a special skills draft."
Flahavan said Selective Service planning for a possible draft of linguists and computer experts began last fall after Pentagon personnel officials said the military needed more people with skills in those areas.
A targeted registration and draft "is strictly in the planning stage," he said, adding that "the whole thing is driven by what appears to be the more pressing and relevant need today" -- the deficit in language and computer experts.
The spokesman said it could take about two years to "to have all the kinks worked out."
The agency already has a special system to register and draft health care personnel ages 20 to 44 in more than 60 specialties if necessary in a crisis. According to Flahavan, the agency will expand this system to be able to rapidly register and draft computer specialists and linguists, should the need ever arise. But he stressed that the agency has received no request from the Pentagon to do so.
This week's Memphis Flyer cover story, about sex in the South, plays up "passion parties," the Tupperware and Mary Kay of the 21st century. While doing reading on another story below, I noticed that another alt-weekly, this one in Spokane, Washington, had a "passion parties" cover story as well! What a coincidence, huh?Thanks to getting into the Commercial Appeal's Friday CA Eye column, I got a comment visit from the Flyer's own Editor, Bruce VanWyngarden:
Well...no. This is much more common than you think. If one newspaper gets an idea that plays out really well, it will always get picked up by other papers equally eager to retain or build circulation. I'm not gonna search for links, but there are national organisations for different kinds of newspapers and they all have sections which highlight just these kinds of successful story ideas.
It's also the basis for the blogosphere. When someone makes a great post, or uncovers something really interesting, then other bloggers instantly pick it up. Soon, it's all over the place. It becomes a "meme" in blogosphere terminology.
Just ask Instapundit's many readers.
Mike,Let me first of all apologise for seeming to imply that there was a direct connection between the two. Sloppy writing on my part. I wear all the hats on this site, do it in my spare time, and crank it out, so I sometimes know what I mean but don't write what I mean.
Well, actually, yes. Our stories came out the same week but they were totally different in focus, tone, length, etc. I've never even seen the Spokane paper, nor am I aware of a website where alties "share" story ideas. Not to say, it doesn't happen that one paper borrows an idea from another. But it didn't happen in this case. Promise.
Back in the previous world, print had sources. You knew where the newspaper office was and stalked into it with a challenge, or perhaps a cane or a horsewhip; those who considered newspaper editors too inferior socially for a proper duel simply beat them. William Coleman, editor of the New-York Evening Post, was paralyzed from the waist down from a caning. Joseph Charless of the Missouri Gazette was assaulted, spat at, and shot at, and had his office burned down; then the editor of the rival Inquirer waylaid him on the street and beat him severely with a cudgel....Of course, Memphis is the town that ran Ida B. Wells out on a rail, under threat of death, for what she wrote in her newspaper. Still, it does make one nostaglic for the days of "battling newspapers," when they came with points of view and strong stands, instead of the faux neutrality and impartiality of today's bland breed.
The two brothers who edited the Richmond Examiner in the early nineteenth century both died in duels. Edgar Allan Poe challenged one of the paper's later editors, John Daniel, but showed up too drunk to shoot. Later Daniel disagreed with the editor of the Whig over the aesthetic merits of a particular public statue; they fired and missed.
'Rancorous' was the word for Daniel. A contemporary wrote, 'His pen combines the qualities of the scimitar of Saladin and the battle-axe of Coeur de Leon.' He believed that any sheet of paper not covered with abuse of high officials was a piece of paper wasted, and he enjoyed the repercussions. Wounded in the right arm, he had to fire with his left in subsequent duels.
He abused Northerners and Southerners impartially and called the Confederate treasurer a reckless gambler unfit for his office. The treasurer called him out and Daniel took a ball in his thigh. While he was recovering, the paper was in other hands and everyone missed his fiery touch.
Editors wielded their powers with a fine, free hand, restrained only by the possibility of getting shot at, if that was indeed a restraint; some seemed quite anxious to be targets at dawn. Perhaps duels boosted circulation. James Callender of the Richmond Recorder, rejected for a postmaster's job by President Jefferson, printed a story claiming that Jefferson had had an affair with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings. He offered absolutely no evidence of any kind and seems to have invented it himself, but all the other Federalist papers whooped and leaped on the story. (Later Callender got so drunk he fell into the James River and drowned in three feet of water.) When asked, Jefferson, not the dueling type, said it was too silly to answer. Probably he hadn't read it. He only read Richmond's Enquirer.
Brian Camenker of the Article 8 Alliance - a group of several hundred activists named for the Massachusetts Constitution provision that holds ``the people have a right . . . to cause their public officer to return to private life'' - says a legislative recall makes more sense than constitutional amendments that have been tying the State House in knots.Bravo! I hope they succeed, not to punish gays but to punish judges and justices who disconnect from the society in which they serve.
``It's the intended remedy when justices do not properly interpret the law,'' said Camenker. ``We cannot credibly call ourselves a democracy when our most basic laws can be undone by four unelected, appointed officials.''
"I feel so strongly about the Iraqi war and not wanting to be a part of it that whatever the consequences, so be it," Hinzman said.Those consequences?
Hinzman knows if he returns to the United States he will be arrested and sent to jail. If convicted at a military court-martial of deserting in a time of war, he could face lethal injection.No soldier has been executed since WWII for deserting, but you can see the seriousness.
His decision to join the Army, he said, was an effort to provide some structure to his life and to get money to attend college. He admits now he was naive about what he would be doing. "I don't want to come off as having no idea as what the Army was about," he said. "I was just totally ignorant about what it takes to make a person a killer."I'm sure that every soldier who served in the European theater during World War Two will be happy to hear he was a "premeditated murderer."
Although he had dabbled in meditation and Buddhism, Hinzman said his views about nonviolence did not crystallize until after he arrived at Fort Bragg in August 2001 and began attending meetings at the Quaker House in Fayetteville with his wife, Nga Nguyen, who was born in Laos to Vietnamese parents.
In August 2002, Hinzman applied for conscientious objector status. He was not interested in getting out of the Army, but in performing some noncombat role. In fact, he said, he enjoyed Army life.
"I've never felt as close to a group of people as I did when I was in the Army," he said.
When his unit, the 2nd Battalion of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, received orders for Afghanistan several months later, Hinzman said he had no problem going.
"I just didn't want to go in a combat role," he said.
He was required to carry an M-4 rifle wherever he went, and admitted to his superiors that he would use it if his unit or the camp came under attack. In his mind there was a significant difference between offensive actions and defending his home and friends.
"It's premeditated murder as opposed to having your house broken into," he said.
But that admission, he believes, led to the denial of his conscientious objector application. When his unit returned to Fort Bragg after eight months in Afghanistan, he knew it was only a matter of time before it would be sent to Iraq.I'm sure he does.
Those orders came on Dec. 20, 2003, and by Jan. 1 he had made up his mind to go to Canada.
He said he has no doubts now, and no regrets. He is not encouraging others to join him, but said of his decision: "I'm confident what I've done is the right thing for me."
Hinzman and the others are a very small group ? one that isn't expected to grow significantly. In fact, Pentagon figures show that the desertion rates have dropped over the past three years.Which is the whole point I want to make. Aside from issues of false sympathy, the article is comparing apples and oranges. The Vietnam era Army was a draft force. Today's Army is all-volunteeer, which changes things pretty dramatically. I don't have any sympathy for someone who signs up for the Army, goes through months of training, and is then surprised to find out they may have to kill someone! Or someone like Hinzman who claims his only duty is to the Constitution, forgetting he also has a duty to his superior and commanding officers, and the civilian politicians who set the policy and orders they must follow.
"Most of our soldiers want to serve. They volunteered for this," Army spokeswoman Andrea Takash said.
Sprint built the car parks a 10-minute walk from the office buildings.Just listen to this company executive on the sound science they used as their basis:
Inside, Sprint asked the architects to make the staircases airy and inviting.
The company wants people to use them, so by contrast it has made the lifts slow and small....
Sprint says this experiment shows that if you give employees a nudge, they will take more exercise and so lose weight.
It is good for company profits and for the health of the staff, of course.
"If you're overweight, you probably have a higher level of absenteeism or you get more fatigued during the day, perhaps you have a lower concentration span," says Ms Davis.Catch the "you/we" usages there? They know what's best for you!
"We all know when we do exercise we have a higher energy level, we're more focused and we're not sick as often," she adds.
"Walking over from the parking garage sucks," said one disgruntled employee.Architects design what clients want. Architects have philosophies behind their design processes. It's what distinguishes them from each other. But I fear about this kind of "social engineering" being so explicitly catered to. Especially when other human factors will be subordinated to technology needs, the geography of the site, cost management, etc. Some concerns are over-emphasised and others are blithely ignored.
"It's not bad," says another, "unless it's 110 degrees outside or below freezing and raining and cold."
Back in Kansas, Sprint's campus is surrounded by six-lane highways.Yeah, that makes me feel better....
In a culture where the car is king architecture can only do so much.
The challenge nationwide is to get Americans back on their feet.
...[T]he opposition left took between 49 and 50 per cent of the vote and control of 21 of 23 regions.Yup, another slim Socialist victory in Europe. And an explicit call to spend more on the public sector. You can count on France to speak loudly and to assiduously avoid meaningful action on the terrorism front.
Mr Chirac's right polled between 37 and 38 per cent, the interior ministry announced. It was the first test of the government’s public support since the 2002 election.
Turnout was high, with about two-thirds of the country's nearly 42 million voters casting ballots, the ministry said....
The leader of the triumphant Socialists, Francois Hollande, said a mere ministerial shuffle would not be enough, "no matter how big it is". Instead, he said the government must keep its hands off the public sector.
Aside from the left, Chirac's government faced pressure from the far-right National Front. It polled between 13 and 14 per cent of votes.