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 [ Text Menu: Today's Stack of Stuff | Audio | About Ralph | Contact Ralph | Ralph Rant! ]October 23, 2014 
Top Headline!
 
Air bag recall message: 'don't let passengers sit in front seat'
  The U.S. government is now urging owners of nearly 8 million cars and trucks to have the air bags repaired because of potential danger to drivers and passengers. The government's auto safety agency says that inflator mechanisms in the air bags can rupture, causing metal fragments to fly out when the bags are deployed. Safety advocates say at least four people have died from the problem, which they claim could affect more than 20 million cars nationwide. On Wednesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration added 3.1 million vehicles to an initial warning covering 4.7 million cars and SUVs. Car owners might have difficulty determining if their vehicle is equipped with the potentially dangerous air bags. The warning covers certain models made by BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota. The NHTSA urged people to use its website to see if their cars are affected - but a feature allowing people to check for recalls by vehicle identification number malfunctioned Monday night and still wasn't working late Wednesday. On Monday, Toyota issued a recall covering passenger air bags in 247,000 older model vehicles. The recall covers vehicles only in areas that have high absolute humidity. GM and Toyota each told customers not to let anyone sit in the front passenger seat until repairs are made.

wsmv.com: Government ups air bag warning to 7.8M vehicles
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Terrorist kills 1 on Canadian Parliament Hill
  Addressing his nation from an undisclosed location, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper last night said "We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated," as he described the perpetrator of a "brutal and violent" attack on the Parliament complex in Ottawa a "terrorist." A soldier and the alleged terrorist died in the attack. The shooting inside Canada's capital by a 32-year-old man who recently converted to Islam and changed his name to Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, came just two days after a deadly hit-and-run terror attack targeting soldiers in Quebec by a man the Prime Minister referred to as an "ISIL-inspired terrorist." That killer, also identified as a convert to Islam, had been on the radar of federal investigators, who feared he had jihadist ambitions and seized his passport when he tried to travel to Turkey. Court records that appear to be Bibeu’s (formerly Michael Joseph Hall) show that he had a long rap sheet, with a string of convictions for assault, robbery, drug and weapons offenses, and other crimes. The Islamic State (or ISIS or ISIL), has called for reprisals against Canada and other Western countries that have joined the U.S.-led air campaign against the terror group in Iraq and Syria. The first shots rang out just before 10 a.m., when a guard at the National War Monument was fatally shot. The gunman next ran into the Parliament Hill building, where one MP reported hearing as many as 30 shots fired and a sergeant at arms was later credited with shooting the suspect dead. In the following moments and hours, Royal Canadian Mounted Police converged on the scene, more shots were reported less than a mile away near a mall and officials told Ottawa residents to barricade themselves in their homes as they searched for more possible gunmen. Police said as many as two other gunmen may have taken part in the attacks. By late in the evening, the cordon around Parliament was lifted and police said there was no longer any threat to the public in the area.

Fox News: Canadian Prime Minister calls 'brutal and violent' Parliament attack terrorism
 
US to track everyone arriving from Ebola nations for 3 weeks
  All travelers who come into the U.S. from three Ebola-stricken West African nations will now be monitored for three weeks, the latest step by federal officials to keep the disease from spreading in the U.S. Starting Monday, anyone traveling from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will have to report in with health officials daily and take their temperature twice a day. The measure applies not only to visitors from those countries but also returning American aid workers, federal health employees and journalists. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the new step Wednesday. Passengers currently get screened and temperature checks before they leave West Africa and again when they arrive in the United States. The Obama administration has resisted increasing pressure to ban visitors from the three countries at the center of the Ebola outbreak. Instead, passenger screening was put in place at 5 key U.S. airports. That was tightened Tuesday to funnel everyone coming from those countries through those airports so all are checked. According to an Associated Press-GfK poll released Wednesday, Americans are worried about Ebola spreading here, and most say the government hasn't done enough to prevent that from happening. The poll found 9 out of 10 people think it's very necessary to tighten screening procedures.

myway.com: US to track everyone coming from Ebola nations
 
GOP claims early vote lead milestone in Iowa
  Republicans are claiming that more registered Republicans than registered Democrats have cast a ballot during early voting in Iowa for the first time in a modern-day election. A GOP report states that as of Wednesday, the cumulative number of registered Republican early and absentee voting returns surpassed those of the Democrats by 305 ballots. The Wednesday numbers were the first time the GOP has led in Iowa in modern early voting history, according to Republicans. According to the memo, at this point in 2010 the Democrats led in early and absentee voting returns by 16,426 ballots. In 2008, they led by 56,908. The GOP said in the report that the party has been engaging in a concentrated effort to increase its number of early voters this year.

Fox News: Republicans lead Dems in early votes cast in Iowa for first time, GOP says
 
USAID watchdog accused of being lapdog
  Washington Post and U.S. Senate investigations accuse the acting Inspector General for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) of being more of a lapdog than a watchdog. Some whistleblowers in the office have accused acting Inspector General Michael G. Carroll of deleting much of a critical report about a USAID operation in Egypt. The operation ended badly, with the arrest of 43 workers who were secretly (and probably illegally) hired by USAID to set up pro-democracy programs in the country – and the paying of $4.6 million in ransom, referred to as “bail” to release the workers. Some auditors, who spoke to the Post on condition of anonymity, said Carroll did not want to create controversy for USAID as he awaited Senate confirmation to become the permanent inspector general. Yesterday, Carroll withdrew his nomination, which had been pending for 16 months. He told his staff he plans to stay on as deputy inspector general.

Washington Post: Whistleblowers say USAID’s IG removed critical details from public reports
 
Haslam orders year-long Common Core review
  Gov. Bill Haslam laid out a process Wednesday for Tennesseans to review and comment on Common Core in Tennessee, adding detail to what he has said will be a “full vetting” of the controversial academic standards. Haslam plans to produce recommended changes to Tennessee’s standards by the end of next year, pushing the time-line well past the next legislative session. The governor’s office plans to launch a new state-operated web site soon that will allow the public to review each of the state’s Common Core standards and say what they like and don’t like. The Southern Regional Education Board is to collect data in the spring and have the program reviewed by Tennessee educators. Haslam will also ask the Tennessee State Board of Education to appoint two eight-member committees of educators and representatives of higher education institutions to review Common Core math and reading standards, which have been phased into Tennessee classrooms since 2010. The state board has already selected members for both of those committees as well as three advisory teams that will work under them.

The Tennessean: Haslam pushes Common Core review to after 2015 session
 
Police arrest teen for murder at Columbia, TN Papa John's
  Columbia, TN police have arrested a career criminal teenager for the murder of a Papa John’s employee Monday night. Police say 17-year-old Darious A. Fitzpatrick was the gunman who shot and killed 22-year-old Gordon Schaffer before fleeing. Schaffer was working at the Columbia Papa John’s around 10 p.m. Monday when two masked men barged in and robbed him at gunpoint. Fitzpatrick is in custody facing charges of first-degree murder, felony murder, especially aggravated robbery, two counts of aggravated robbery, using a gun as a felon, using a stolen gun, and three counts of using a gun during a felony. Police also charged Fitzpatrick with stealing cash at gunpoint from two local Dollar Generals this month. He had previously been convicted of the aggravated robbery of Cash Express in Columbia in 2013. The investigation is ongoing, and police expect to make more arrests in the case.

The Tennessean: Arrest made in deadly Papa John’s shooting
 
Air bag recall message: 'don't let passengers sit in front seat'
  The U.S. government is now urging owners of nearly 8 million cars and trucks to have the air bags repaired because of potential danger to drivers and passengers. The government's auto safety agency says that inflator mechanisms in the air bags can rupture, causing metal fragments to fly out when the bags are deployed. Safety advocates say at least four people have died from the problem, which they claim could affect more than 20 million cars nationwide. On Wednesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration added 3.1 million vehicles to an initial warning covering 4.7 million cars and SUVs. Car owners might have difficulty determining if their vehicle is equipped with the potentially dangerous air bags. The warning covers certain models made by BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota. The NHTSA urged people to use its website to see if their cars are affected - but a feature allowing people to check for recalls by vehicle identification number malfunctioned Monday night and still wasn't working late Wednesday. On Monday, Toyota issued a recall covering passenger air bags in 247,000 older model vehicles. The recall covers vehicles only in areas that have high absolute humidity. GM and Toyota each told customers not to let anyone sit in the front passenger seat until repairs are made.

wsmv.com: Government ups air bag warning to 7.8M vehicles
 
What if we default on debt to China?
  I routinely hear comments from a cross-section of Americans who share a similar sentiment – screw the Chinese. The “screw the Chinese” alliance also notes that we the people have racked up trillions of dollars of debt, and that the Chinese own a disproportionate share of that debt. So why not just default on debt owed to the Chinese, and wipe it off our books? While most of that sounds tempting on many levels, it would almost certainly backfire financially on taxpayers expecting to get rid of some of their burden.

ralphbristol.com: Screw the Chinese? Financial and moral considerations
 
Royals tie series 1-1 with 7-2 win over SF
  The Royals exploded for five runs in the sixth inning Wednesday night, slugging their way to a 7-2 victory over San Francisco and evening the best of seven World Series at one game apiece. The Giants tied a World Series record by using five pitchers in the sixth inning. Game 3 is Friday night, when Kansas City travels to the city by the bay.

Fox News: Royals ride big sixth inning to Game 2 win, even World Series
 
Rookie to start at QB for Titans
  Rumor has it rookie Zach Mettenberger will get the first start of his NFL career Sunday for the Tennessee Titans against the Houston Texans at LP Field. Multiple reports indicated head coach Ken Whisenhunt was going with the 6th round pick from LSU. In the preseason, Mettenberger threw for 659 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

wkrn.com: Zach Mettenberger to start for Tennessee Titans
 
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 TNResponsibleTransit@gmail.com. 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.

Click here to see view the albums in Ralph's photo gallery.


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.