Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


March 10, 2009



Dim blue of early morning shines into the living room

while you flip through television channels.

Quiet is the house,

with muffled sounds from flashy music videos on MTV,

celebrity gossip on VH1;

long  infomercials,

bright cartoons...

passing, passing mindlessly, through...

and then you stop...

two farmers lying in the grass


crushing sunflowers,

amidst overturned baskets of tomatoes and cucumbers;

a news reporter's voice saying these Iraqis were shot by soldiers

while they were watering their fields.

Still half-awake, but caught by the contrast of previous channels,

you feel uneasy.

So different is this from previous channels.

You piece together this news and your memory...

Iraq war, started when? Oh, yes, graduating from eighth grade then... it's still going on?

Over time

more news—

an 80-year old and his brother arrested;

a woman's husband taken from their home;

more soldiers sent to Iraq;

children asleep when their house is razed;

interrogators taking three men away,

stripped naked, they wait for more than a week, either standing or on their knees,

bound hand and foot,

bags over their heads..

—images not from Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down or Glory

Hollywood glitz and glamour

can't compare to what's going on around the globe—

Battle casualties,

road stops;

home searches;


families broken apart

constant fear;

long term effects—



side effects of depleted uranium and other weapons;



That quiet morning

cushioned in a soft sofa amidst a

fortress of pillows,

so different from what a morning must be like in Iraq.

Diverted for a time

only to be caught

with an onslaught of anger, guilt, despair

at how different life is here and across the globe...

This is not how I want the world to be;

governments and business

caring nothing about life,

nothing about freedom,

nothing about what happens to the earth, water, air...

How can we watch TV carelessly,

when switching from a music video

to a bomb explosion in a village street?

How is it that we can take another country's oil,

use it,

waste it, even

kill people for it?

How will this world be for the children and grandchildren who inherit it?

I ask worried,


as war still rages on.

Text Only
  • veteran GARY'S WORLD: Thank our veterans this weekend A tremendous opportunity presents itself in our community this weekend — an opportunity to honor those who served in the Vietnam War. Personally, after attending last year's first Welcome Home celebration, I wouldn't want to miss this. It was an emotional event for both Vietnam veterans and ordinary citizens. It was a great way to commemorate Vietnam Veterans Day in Tennessee, March 29.

    March 27, 2009 1 Photo

  • antique RANDOM THOUGHTS: "Antiques Roadshow" comes to Tennessee If you are one of the 10 million who watch each episode of the “Antiques Roadshow” mark your calendar. The three upcoming Mondays, March 30, April 6 and April 13, were all taped in Chattanooga last July.

    March 24, 2009 1 Photo

  • LION AND THE LAMB: An open letter to Sharon Baier I was happy to read your well-written article, printed in last week's Chronicle. It makes a strong case, in the story of Al and Jennifer, that "To make money, you have to spend money." That misguided couple thought that they ought to cut down on their purchase of supplies, to save money. They did so, week after week, until they lost their business.

    March 24, 2009

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Veterans storm the Hill When young men and women risk their lives and sacrifice both physical and mental health for their country, a grateful country should at least provide them with shelter, food, and health care. But there is a lot of hypocrisy between what some windbag says on Veterans Day and what the country actually does for veterans.

    March 24, 2009

  • child crying THEREFORE I AM: Kids stress out parents? Well, duh! This just in: According to an expert, children can add stress and strain to a marriage. In other news, further expert studies have indicated that the sky is in fact blue, Paris Hilton is a tad spoiled, peanut butter and chocolate taste great together, and the Middle East has issues. Thank goodness we have experts to tell us these things.

    March 23, 2009 1 Photo

  • shackles INSIDE THE FIRST AMENDMENT: With shekels come shackles When President Obama launched his faith-based initiative at the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 5, he promised not only to sustain the Bush administration’s signature domestic program — but to expand it.

    March 19, 2009 1 Photo

  • loneranger THEREFORE I AM: Jim Croce and I will keep you safe and sound My philosophy of life is simple: When in doubt, follow the advice of a dead folk-rock star. I always found Jim Croce to be particularly handy in this capacity. Don’t tug on Superman’s cape. Don’t spit into the wind. Don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger, and regardless of how badly you may want to, do not, under any circumstances, mess around with Jim.

    March 16, 2009 1 Photo

  • STUMPTALK: Stimulating a war on prosperity and freedom Near Bush’s sunset, Treasury Secretary Paulson and Fed chairman Bernanke terrified the nation with “the sky’s falling and America is doomed” unless the government steps in with new regulations, institutional takeovers and massive lending.

    March 16, 2009

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Thoughts on bringing a recession to heel Responding to the recent full-throated baying of conservative “economic watchdogs,” I slogged into the swamp of their icon Adam Smith’s murky tome, “The Wealth of Nations,” to see if they had finally treed anything of value.

    March 10, 2009

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Reality Dim blue of early morning shines into the living room

    while you flip through television channels.

    March 10, 2009

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