Tag Archives | Tennessee

Authorities Seize 55 Diseased Poisonous Snakes From Tennessee Pastor

snakesShould we be concerned about charismatic religious leaders hoarding doomsday arsenals of deadly reptiles? Via WBIR-TV:

All of the snakes that were confiscated from a serpent-handling pastor in Campbell County have now been euthanized.

TWRA seized 55 poisonous snakes from Andrew Hamlin in November. He handled the snakes as part of worship services at the Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollette. Hamlin was cited for having animal dangerous to humans, but a grand jury did not indict him on criminal charges.

The confiscated snakes were taken to the Knoxville Zoo, but were in such poor condition, they could not be saved. According to Michael Ogle, Curator of Herpetology at the Knoxville Zoo, “The 14 remaining snakes are highly suspected of being infected with the same pathogens that have proven fatal for the other snakes brought to us.”

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Burners Invade the Bible-Belt!

The repressive, racist, red-state culture of the Bible-Belt has been invaded by Burners!  Apparently, it’s no longer just a west coast phenomenon. The Burner subculture, along with its unique form of totally participatory, commerce-free weekend camping festivals, can now be found even in the darkest corners of the former Confederacy.  Within half a decade, events like Transformus, Alchemy, and Euphoria (held this past weekend near Dalton, GA) have brought the culture and philosophy of Burning Man to the part of the country where, arguably, it is most needed.  And the people down here really seem to enjoy it!

Hell, I’m a thirty-year-old veteran Disinfonaut, and I still enjoyed it.  At least when I was smart enough to get my tickets early …  Two out of three of these festivals, all official Burning Man Regional events, each sold out within hours.  My friends and I were so bummed out that we couldn’t go, that we decide to throw a couple of Burn events on our own.  Below, you will find a brief guide to Burner events in the South that are currently not sold out.  It is a short list, so if you know of others, please add a link into the comments section of this post.… Read the rest

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The U.S. Government’s Top-Secret Town

Via A Continuous Lean, an entrancing glimpse of life inside a city, created as part of the Manhattan Project, with a secret purpose. Imagine if your sunny suburban daily existence served merely as a front for the real action occurring in your town:

In 1942, the government acquired 70,000 acres in Eastern Tennessee and established Oak Ridge…developed for the sole purpose of separating uranium for the Manhattan Project. The completely planned community was designed by the architecture firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, and had a population of more than 70,000 people. Due to the sensitive nature of the work at Oak Ridge, the entire town was fenced in with armed guards. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge office recently started to digitize its archival photos and share them through Flickr.

Oak_Ridge

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Tennesseans Evolved Thumbs After All

Courtesy of Brandt Hardin

Courtesy of Brandt Hardin

People think Tennesseans are remarkably stupid. Like the late Bill Hicks, who continually mocked my state during his comedy routines. “In many parts of our troubled world, people are yelling ‘Revolution!’” he ranted. “In Tennessee they’re yelling ‘Evolution! We want our thumbs!!‘” Whenever Tool or A Perfect Circle would come to town, singer Maynard Keenan always asked Tennessee audiences to put their thumbs in the air. As we held our opposable digits over our heads, Keenan came with the punch line: “Just making sure you have them.” What can I say? Stereotypes are hilarious.

So it is without resentment that this Tennessean wishes Charles Darwin a happy 203rd birthday today. I would love to celebrate with a heapin’ helpin’ of chilled monkey brains, but ’round these parts that would require cannibalizing the locals.

Despite the creationists’ best efforts, Darwin’s theory of natural selection reigns as the unifying concept in biology, and continues to give wider context to such disparate fields as ecology, epidemiology, and psychology.… Read the rest

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Is Fire Protection a Right or a Privilege?

FirefightingYou might have heard about this Tennessee couple lost their home as firefighters watched. John McQuaid asks in Forbes:

As tax revenues have fallen over the past three years of recession, and austerity became the default policy of local governments, the public sector has been steadily hemorrhaging employees and cutting back on services. This is kind of a shadow recession, its effects lagging behind the first and putting a drag on the recovery. Most of us get by on a patchwork of public and private services, with overlapping responsibilities: the fire department (paid for with tax revenues, usually) will put out the fire, while most homeowners have insurance to pay for the damages. These days, both the public and private ends of this arrangement are fraying badly, and gaps are opening up. As the story notes, this is the second time firefighters in South Fulton have let a house burn because the owner didn’t pay the $75 fee.

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Tennessee Becomes First State With TSA Checkpoints On Highway

Terrorists can't afford airline tickets these days, so the TSA is adjusting to stay one step ahead. Tennessee News Press reports:
“People generally associate the TSA with airport security…but now we have moved on to other forms of transportation, such as highways, buses and railways,” said Kevin McCarthy, TSA federal security director for West Tennessee. They are randomly inspecting vehicles on highways in Tennessee.
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Tennessee Makes Posting Offensive Pictures Online Illegal

Anthony WeinerTimothy B. Lee writes on ars technica:

A new Tennessee law makes it a crime to “transmit or display an image” online that is likely to “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress” to someone who sees it. Violations can get you almost a year in jail time or up to $2500 in fines.

The Tennessee legislature has been busy updating its laws for the Internet age, and not always for the better. Last week we reported on a bill that updated Tennessee’s theft-of-service laws to include “subscription entertainment services” like Netflix.

The ban on distressing images, which was signed by Gov. Bill Haslam last week, is also an update to existing law. Tennessee law already made it a crime to make phone calls, send emails, or otherwise communicate directly with someone in a manner the sender “reasonably should know” would “cause emotional distress” to the recipient. If the communciation lacked a “legitimate purpose,” the sender faced jail time.

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Tyson Foods Revokes Activist Chicken Farmer’s License To Raise Chickens; Farmer Sues & Loses Appeal in U.S. Supreme Court

TysonFoodsMark Sherman reports on the AP via Yahoo News:

The Supreme Court on Monday turned down an appeal from a former Tennessee poultry farmer who sued Tyson Farms after losing his contract to raise their chickens.

The justices did not comment in turning away Alton Terry, who said Tyson cut him off because he helped organize area farmers and complained about the company’s practices. Lower courts had previously dismissed the lawsuit.

Terry, essentially, argued that he lost his contract to raise chickens on his 12-acre farm, because he squawked too much.

Terry was a poultry farmer who brought together a group of area farmers and told them they had the right to complain about Tyson’s practices. He also raised concerns directly with Tyson, among the world’s largest meat companies.

Terry says Tyson and other big companies have too much sway over farmers, and federal courts also have bowed to agribusiness interests by setting too high a standard for the farmers to succeed in court.

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Save The Date: Jesus Returns May 21, 2011!

Jesus Is BackBob Smietana writes in the Tennessean:
That's the message on 40 billboards around Nashville, proclaiming May 21, 2011, as the date of the Rapture. Billboards are up in eight other U.S. cities, too. Fans of Family Radio Inc., a nationwide Christian network, paid for the billboards. Family Radio's founder, Harold Camping, predicted the May date for the Rapture. Their message is simple — "He Is Coming Again" — and their aim is to get unbelievers to turn around quickly. But critics say the billboards are a waste of time, one more failed attempt to predict the end of the world.
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No Pay, No Spray: Firefighters Let Tennessee Home Burn Because Homeowner ‘Forgot’ to Pay $75 Fee

Photo Courtesty of punkpatriot on Etsy

Photo courtesy of punkpatriot on Etsy

I saw the man in question, Gene Cranick, interviewed on Countdown with Keith Olbermann earlier in the week. Seems a bit insane to not just collect the fee (plus some penalty) after putting out the fire. Via MSNBC:

Firefighters in rural Tennessee let a home burn to the ground last week because the homeowner hadn’t paid a $75 fee. Gene Cranick of Obion County and his family lost all of their possessions in the Sept. 29 fire, along with three dogs and a cat.

“They could have been saved if they had put water on it, but they didn’t do it,” Cranick told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann. The fire started when the Cranicks’ grandson was burning trash near the family home. As it grew out of control, the Cranicks called 911, but the fire department from the nearby city of South Fulton would not respond.

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