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 [ Text Menu: Today's Stack of Stuff | Audio | About Ralph | Contact Ralph | Ralph Rant! ]October 1, 2014 

Stay tuned! Ralph will soon be adding the topics for today.

Check out the top 10 topics from last week.
 Obama urges world to unite against ISIS
  President Obama urged world leaders gathered in New York for the United National General Assembly to join an international coalition against Islamic extremism. "The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force," Obama said. "So the United States of America will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death." Obama delivered the 39-minute speech while the U.S., with some Arab allies, conducted another round of bombing at ISIS targets inside Syria and Iraq. Despite the U.S. appeals, the scope and longevity of his coalition to fight Islamic State remained unclear. Major European allies—France, the U.K. and Germany, so far all have declined to send their aircraft into Syrian airspace, in part, because of the lack of U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing the use of such force. And, in part because of a lack of U.S. follow through the last time they pledged to support bombing in Syria. The address was a stark contrast to last year, when Obama used the U.N. platform to articulate a sweeping vision for the Middle East that involved brokering a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, ending the civil war in Syria and reaching an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program. All of those problems are worse now than a year ago. In the speech, Obama took a swipe at Israel over the collapse of peace talks, saying the failure of negotiations is "something worthy of reflection within Israel," Mr. Obama said. And, since all of his speeches to or in other countries have to include a paragraph that highlights America’s faults, he appeared to compare ISIS to the Missouri police officer who shot an unarmed teen, in a case that remains unsolved – saying it was clear to the world that "we have our own racial and ethnic tensions."
  Wall Street Journal: Obama Presses World to Act Against Islamic State    

 Natives attack health workers battling Ebola
  Attacks on health care workers are hindering efforts to control West Africa's Ebola outbreak. In the latest incident, a Red Cross team was attacked while collecting bodies believed to be infected with Ebola in southeastern Guinea. Family members of the dead attack the six volunteers and vandalized their cars. A crowd went to the regional health office, where they threw rocks at the building. The attack is the most recent in a series that have plagued teams working to bury bodies safely, provide information about Ebola and disinfect public places. The most shocking was the abduction and killing last week in Guinea of eight people, health workers educating people about Ebola and the journalists accompanying them. Resistance to efforts to control the disease spring from outright denials that Ebola exists to fears that the very people sent to combat it are in fact carriers. In April, Doctors Without Borders briefly pulled out its team from the Guinean town of Macenta after their clinic was stoned. In Liberia, the homes of some of the infected have been attacked. Last week, Red Cross workers were threatened in Sierra Leone. The disease is so new to those affected and so lethal that many people fear all outsiders associated with Ebola, even if they are coming to help. Red Cross team attacked while burying Ebola dead    

 Apple pulls latest iOS software to fix major problems
  Apple has removed an update of its new iOS mobile software after users reported major problems of the latest version of its operating system for iPhones and iPads. Apple released the first update of its new iOS 8 operating system earlier on Wednesday with the goal of fixing various bugs in the software that had cropped up after its introduction a week ago. Shortly after the update's release, some users complained that the new version disabled the ability to make phone calls and unlock devices. The update was released to correct problems with access to photos from the photo library and unexpected cellular data usage when receiving text messages. An Apple spokeswoman said in a statement, “We have received reports of an issue with the iOS 8.0.1 update. We are actively investigating these reports and will provide information as quickly as we can. In the meantime we have pulled back the iOS 8.0.1 update.”
  Wall Street Journal: Apple Pulls iOS Software Update    

 Technology allows lenders to disable cars
  The New York times reports today on a new technology is bringing Big Brother into the lives of people with bad credit scores, allowing lenders to disable cars when borrowers get behind in their payments. Before they can drive off the lot, about one in four subprime borrowers must have their car outfitted with a so-called starter interrupt device, which allows lenders to remotely disable the ignition. Using the GPS technology on the devices, the lenders can also track the cars’ location and movements. The Times reports: The devices, which have been installed in about two million vehicles, are helping feed the subprime boom by enabling more high-risk borrowers to get loans. But there is a big catch. By simply clicking a mouse or tapping a smartphone, lenders retain the ultimate control. Borrowers must stay current with their payments, or lose access to their vehicle. As the ignition devices proliferate, so have complaints from troubled borrowers, many of whom are finding that credit comes at a steep price to their privacy and, at times, their dignity – or their safety. Some borrowers say their cars were disabled when they were only a few days behind on their payments, leaving them stranded in dangerous neighborhoods. Others said their cars were shut down while idling at stoplights. Some described how they could not take their children to school or to doctor’s appointments. One woman in Nevada said her car was shut down while she was driving on the freeway. Lenders and manufacturers of the technology say borrowers consent to having these devices installed in their cars. And without them, they say, millions of Americans might not qualify for a car loan at all. Most lenders insist that they exercise caution when disabling vehicles and that the devices enable them to extend more credit.
  New York Times: Miss a Payment? Good Luck Moving That Car    

 Common Core loses support of Tennessee teachers
  Support for Common Core among Tennessee teachers has dropped sharply in the last year, according to a new survey. Just 39 percent of teachers responding to the survey believe that teaching to the standards will improve student learning — compared with 60 percent who said the same last year. The new 2014 survey, conducted by a group led by Vanderbilt University and released Wednesday found 56 percent of the 27,000 Tennessee teachers who responded want to abandon the standards. Only 31 percent want to proceed, and 13 percent would prefer to delay their implementation. Gov. Bill Haslam fought off an attempt by Tea Party conservatives to rescind Common Core last year and last week called for a “full vetting” of the standards. He plans to seek public input ahead of the next legislative session.
  The Tennessean: Common Core losing support of Tennessee teachers, survey finds    

 Register: departure won't stop reform plan
  Nashville’s Director of Schools plans to move ahead with his reform plans, many of which would kick in under his replacement next year. After telling the school board Tuesday night that he will leave at the end of this school year, Dr. Jesse Register said he doesn’t want the announcement to stop work on improving failing schools. Register said he will continue to hold meetings with parents in East Nashville to discuss how to improve low performing schools. School district spokesman Joe Bass said in an email to me Wednesday, “His announcement last night has absolutely no impact on the plan for low performing schools. He is still focused on getting that done, in addition to the other efforts on the table like expanding pre-K and completing implementation of our strategic plan.” A few weeks before announcing that he’s leaving, Register proposed a school choice plan that would allow parents of students in the low-performing East zone to choose a different school for their child, including charter schools that agree to participate. That would not start until next year, when a new Director of Schools will have taken over.
  Newschannel 5: Register Says Retirement Won’t Affect MNPS Work To Be Done    

 FAA to approves first commercial drone use
  In a major decision likely to pave the way for more commercial drone flights, (The Washington Post reports) the Federal Aviation Administration is planning to announce Thursday that it will permit Hollywood filmmakers to operate drones on movie sets in populated area. The FAA has long enforced a de facto ban on the use of drones for commercial purposes. But under a 2012 law passed by Congress, the agency is developing rules that will eventually legalize the practice and allow drones of all sizes to operate in the national airspace. The decision to allow several movie-making companies to use drones is the first time that businesses will be able to operate the aircraft in populated areas. The FAA has been reviewing applications since May from seven video-production firms that want to use camera-equipped drones on movie sets instead of regular helicopters or airplanes, which are more costly to operate. The cinematic flights would “occur over private or controlled-access property,” and drones would stay at least 100 feet away from people not part of the production crews, according to the applications. The applications have received strong backing from a plethora of industries that are lobbying for permission to fly drones of their own, including real estate agents, agribusiness interests and oil-production companies.
  Washington Post: FAA said to be planning to let filmmakers operate drones in populated areas    

 2nd round of airstrikes targest ISIS oil assets
  The U.S. and Arab allies launched a second major wave of airstrikes in Syria Wednesday, targeting mobile oil refineries controlled by Islamic State, according to the Pentagon. U.S. officials said the latest airstrikes aimed at cutting off a key source of income for Islamic State forces, which smuggle oil from captured Syrian infrastructure and sell it on the black market -- earning more than $2 million a day to finance their operations in Iraq and Syria. The defense department says the modular refineries produce between 300 and 500 barrels of refined oil a day, and that initial indications were that the strikes against them were successful. Unfortunately, moderate opponents of President Bashar al-Assad's regime see the airstrikes as detrimental to their fight, presenting another challenge for the U.S. and our allies—how to weaken the enemy without alienating the Western-backed Syrian opposition. In addition to the Syria strikes, the U.S. also announced two new airstrikes in Iraq. Those strikes, southeast of Irbil, destroyed what U.S. officials described as a fighting position set up by Islamic State.
  Wall Street Journal: U.S., Allies Target Islamic State Oil Assets    

 U.S. led strikes hit more ISIS oil fields
  The U.S.-led coalition bombed oil installations and other facilities in territory controlled by ISIS in eastern Syria for a second consecutive day today. The raids aim to cripple one of the militants' primary sources of cash — black market oil sales that the U.S. says earn up to $2 million a day. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes overnight and early Friday hit two oil producing areas, and the headquarters of the Islamic State group in the town of Mayadeen. The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists inside Syria, said there were reports of casualties in the strikes, but did not have concrete figures. US-led strikes hit IS group oil sites for 2nd day    

 Ginsburg resists pressure from left to resign
  Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is pushing back against suggestions that she retire soon, saying President Barack Obama would be unable to get a justice like her through the Senate even if she did. “Who do you think President Obama could appoint at this very day, given the boundaries that we have?” the 81-year-old justice told Elle Magazine in an interview excerpt released Tuesday. “[A]nybody who thinks that if I step down, Obama could appoint someone like me, they’re misguided,” said Ginsburg, later adding that she can “do the job full steam.” Tuesday’s excerpt focused largely on Ginsburg’s disappointment with its rulings on women’s issues. Ginsburg singled out a particular justice. “To be frank, it’s one person who made the difference: Justice [Anthony] Kennedy,” she said, observing that since Roe v. Wade, Kennedy has been largely responsible for the upholding of several abortion restrictions. Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Why I can’t resign now    

Lamar dodges amnesty question
  July 28, 2014 - The audio version of a Ralph Rant by the same name.
Rafael Cruz to rally Nashville Tea party crows
  July 16, 2014 - Pastor Rafael Cruz, father of Sen. Ted Cruz, prepares for his starring role in the Nashville Tea Party "We the people" rally.
Laura Ingraham to stump for Carr in Nashville
  July 16, 2014 - National talk show host Laura Ingraham discusses why she's coming to Nashville next week to stump for Joe Carr in his race against Lamar Alexander.
Carr defends Haslam against 'lying' charge
  April 4, 2014 - Rep. Joe Carr to VW. If you have proof Haslam has gone "all Sopranos' on you, have the courage to come forth yourself.
'Minimum'is not 'living'
  March 27, 2014 - This is for those who believe they are "stuck" in a minimum wage job, and think a higher minimum wage is the solution.
What is a free market?
  March 17, 2014 - Everyone talks about the free market, but exactly what is it?
Organized business v. Common Core Opponents
  March 17, 2014 - Here's my analysis of the campaign by organized business to protect Common Core.
Rep. Mathew Hill updates fight to repeal Common Core
  March 14, 2014 - Rep. Mathew Hill (R-Jonesborough)discusses the floor fight in the Tennessee House over Common Core, and where the fight goes next.
Looney defends Common Core
  March 14, 2014 - Williamson County School Supt. Dr. Mike Looney defends Common Core, even as he professes ambivalence about the program. He begins by answering that some central planning of the economy, and education, is beneficial.
Womick leads 'war on core'
  Mar. 11, 2014 - Rep. Rick Womick (R-Rutherford Co.) takes questions about his effort to repeal the Common Core education standards - with Common Core supporter Mark Hill, chief policy officer with the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, joining the discussion about half-way through the program.
Mr. Obama, tear down these walls
  Jan. 31, 2014 - Here's a "reenactment" of my rally rant on the occasion of President Obama's visit to Nashville.
Carr accuses Lamar of protecting Obamacare
  Jan. 24, 2014 - State Rep. Joe Carr, running for U.S. Senate against Lamar Alexander, accuses the senior senator from Tennessee of siding with the defenders of Obamacare.
Sen. Stacy Campfield - Is Lamar in trouble
  Dec. 4, 2013 - State Sen. Stacy Campfield of Knoxville discusses why he thinks Sen. Lamar Alexander is running scared.
Matheny seeks 'vertical' ammunition industry in Tennessee
  Nov. 26, 2013 - Rep. Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma) discusses the heightened Congressional interest in the problem of terrorists coming to the U.S. through our refugee program. He also introduces the prospect of recruiting a "vertical" ammunition industry in the state, to "guarantee ammunition to Tennesseans for generations to come."
RNC plots to squeeze out South
  Nov. 5, 2013 - A Daily Beast report makes it sound like the RNC is trying to squeeze Southern voters out of the presidential selection process. Listen and see if this makes sense to you.
Lamar ad - what he should have said
  Nov. 15, 2013 - A few people wanted to hear this again.
Matheny leads refugee cost investigation
  Oct. 2, 2013 - Rep. Judd Matheny of Tullahoma, chairman of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee, discusses the fiscal, security and federalism issues surrounding a large population of refugees from war-torn Muslim countries.
Black, Blackburn balk at Obamacare defunding plan
  Sept. 13, 2013 - Middle Tennessee Rep. Diane Black and Marsha Blackburn are not on board with a "shutdown showdown" with President Obama over funding for Obamacare.
Taxation Townhall highlight
  April 12, 2010 - Author, historian William Federer was a big hit at our Taxation Townhall Meeting on April 9th, 2010 . Here's his 3-minute lesson on the history of concentrated power. [I'm re-posting by popular demand.]
Obama v. Obama - on red lines
  Sept. 4, 2013 - No need to elaborate.
Gowdy says public, media needed for scandal justice
  Sept. 3, 2013 - South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy, a former prosecutor, discusses the Obama administration scandals and Obama's plan to bomb Syria. He strongly suggests Congress needs more compelling witnesses and media interest for justice to be served in the scandals - and he's very skeptical of a national interest in Syria sufficient to put American lives at risk.
DeMint argues for Obamacare defunding plan
  Aug. 9, 2013 - Jim DeMint, president of the Heritage Foundation, in the first of two live interviews, argues the plan to defund Obamacare is the last, best chance and only workable plan to stop or repeal the President's signature healthcare law, which DeMint believes is uniquely destructive to America.
Heritage Action locks horns with Corker
  Aug. 7, 2013 - Heritage Action spokesman Dan Holler rebuts Sen. Bob Corker's position that efforts to defund Obamacare are "silly" and "political."
Corker dismisses Obamacare defunding effor as political
  Aug. 7. 2013 - Sen. Bob Corker called into the program Weds. morning and continued the running debate over efforts to defund Obamacare.
The AMP - an experiment in public transporation
  Aug 3, 2013 - A Nashville's Morning News report and analysis on the issues involving a proposed Bus rapid transit system, The AMP, which would dramatically effect traffic and business on one of Nashville's busiest city streets. And that's just the beginning. [long download][runs 23 minutes]
Ralph Rant: Get to the 'top' of this
  May 22, 2013 - To preserve the Republic, Republicans in Congress cannot stop until they get, not "to the bottom of this," but "to the top of this."
ABC Analyst: IRS decision goes close to Obama
  May 21, 2013 - ABC political analyst Trey Hardin talks about his blunt assestment of the origin of the IRS scandal. “I can say with a very strong degree of certainty that people very close to the president not only knew but authorized that,” said Hardin, and much more.
Opponents rise against BRT
  May 15, 2013 - In this premeditated Ralph Rant, I break the news of a new group that has formed to oppose Nashvill'e planned Bus Rapid Transit on West End Ave.
Rick Williams, BRT opponent, speaks out
  May 15, 2013 - Rick Williams is a member of the steering committee for TNResponsibleTransit, the group opposing the planned Nashville Bus Rapid Transit on West End Avenue. You can reach him at This is the group's debut media interview - in its new campaign to stop BRT.
Tennessee Tea Party leaders respond to IRS scandal
  May 13, 2013 - Ben Cunningham, founder of the Nashville Tea Party and Mark West, President of the Chattanooga Tea Party, respond to the IG report that busts the IRS for targeting Tea Party Groups for harassment in 2011, prior to the 2012 election.
Sen. Rand Paul on guns, immigration, taxes
  April 18, 2013 - U.S. Sen. Rand Paul discusses the failed gun bill, the immigration reform bill ahead, and the right strategy on taxes.
Leahy launches 'The Real Conservative National Committee'
  April 4, 2014 - Author, Breitbart correspondent and tea party activist Michal Patrick Leahy discusses a new organization formed to improve the ground game needed to help elect more conserative candidates to Congress, starting in 2014 with the GOP primary for U.S. Senate
Alexander on coal regs - Round 2
  June 14, 2012 - Sen. Alexander returns to respond to some of the reaction to his stand on new coal plant regulations.
Alexander defends coal regulations, says he will run again
  June 13, 2012 - Sen. Lamar Alexander defends his stand in favor of new coal plant regulations - explains why he belives Medicaid is to blame for higher college tuition - and says he intends to run for reelection in 2014.
Exclusive: The first hand account of "The Last Man to Die"
  May 11, 2012 - A 92-year-old Cookeville, TN WWII veteran solves a 67-year secret behind one of the most famous WWII photographs.

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Ralph Bristol is a 30-year veteran of radio and TV broadcasting. He is a US Air Force veteran and holds a BS degree from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Ralph was a radio and TV reporter, anchor and news director in Missouri and Illinois before joining WORD Radio in Greenville/Spartanburg, SC in 1995.

In the spring of 2007, Supertalk 99.7 WWTN beckoned Ralph to Nashville. Ralph defies political labels, and has no partisan loyalties, but can best be described as a libertarian/conservative. Ralph writes and speaks extensively on education, tax and economic issues. In his spare time, Ralph terrorizes golf courses, invents useful things with sharp tools and dead wood, and entertains audiences with irreverent humor and contrarian insight. Invite him to speak to your group at your own risk.