Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


January 7, 2014

WE THE PEOPLE: Not a year to knuckle under

CROSSVILLE — They’ll come pouring like pixies and trolls and gremlins out of the woodwork and from under the political rock piles―the boys and girls running for office in 2014. A few will be dithering about running for president in 2016. They are the silly survivors of the most worthless House ever, one known for spouting talk-show madness and radical lies.

They say they “know what the American people want” but they didn’t even pass minor gun control measures the polls indicate that over half of the voters want.

And how do they arrive at the conclusion that birth control products are bad for young women but erectile dysfunction pills are good for old men?

And when it comes to people they represent, the voting districts have been redrawn under their direction according to the skin color of residents and not by obvious geographical lines, nor those that ensure justice or convenience for voters.

They loudly proclaim that “all men are created equal” as it says in the preamble to our Constitution. But most of them are more intent on inflating their own “equality” than on fixing anyone else’s inequality. When they think about equality they must be particularly fond of other founding anomalies―especially those passages that did not give women the right to vote or the part that gave slaves only a fractional value of their owners.

Why is it so important to them to post the Ten Commandments everywhere while looking for new places to send young men and women to die (in direct violation of Commandment 6)? Killing is killing.

And, be sure to ask those “wannabees” to explain why the Wall Street one-percenters at the top have almost no limits on the millions they can skim for themselves and why the 1-percenters feel entitled to not be taxed more for anything. Ask those candidates why they support people who claim to be job-makers but have no evidence that raising the minimum wage for the bottom one percent of American workers would kill jobs. Ask them to explain why so much money is still gushing upward to provide luxuries for stockowners and not trickling down for bread and jobs to people who plant and clean and weld.

Why are so many of right-wingers pushing the idea that we are not a democracy but a republic? Most of us just want a government that works. Hating Franklin D. Roosevelt and looking under every bush for imaginary socialists are not big concerns of We the People.

So, if you have a chance to shake hands with a candidate, they will likely tell you how hard they will work for you. It’s a good idea to take note of the softness of the hand you shake and decide if it belongs to someone who is acquainted with really hard work of any kind. Cutting food stamps for children and denying unemployment insurance to long-term unemployed citizens does not qualify as hard work.

Many of our forebearers paid dearly for our freedoms. We have a responsibility to them and to ourselves to keep those freedoms strong and not surrender to a temporary siege by self-righteous oligarchs who believe that democracy is a dud that should be repealed. We the people have too much going for us to submit to that in this world full of new hope and new opportunities.

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  • LION AND THE LAMB: Four ways to demonstrate opposition

    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

    April 15, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Is it (new) party time?

    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

  • TIDBITS: I found it at the library

    I have such fond memories of going to my local library as a child, searching through shelf after shelf and finding a book that would make me a Little Princess in World War II England, or bring me along as Nancy Drew solved the Secret in the Old Attic.

    April 14, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: The reason words have meaning

    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Do we really believe in democracy?

    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

  • We the People: Public education or business opportunity?

    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

  • GARY'S WORLD: The chance to speak your mind

    Are you tired of hearing people complain about the way things are run in Cumberland County? Or, do you like the way the county government is run and operated in our beautiful county?
    Are you happy with the way things are, or would you like some change?

    April 3, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Digging beneath the headlines

    Our media have been focusing on two important events that have taken place overseas during the last several weeks.

    April 1, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: SNAP, health and work

    A recent letter from Representative Diane Black to me states that she voted for the farm bill (with $8 million in Food Stamp (SNAP) benefit cuts) because she, like me, is a supporter of food stamp benefits for Tennessee families who qualify. That’s a lot of families, as most recipients are families with children and the elderly. Now, recall that there was already a major cut to the food stamp program back in the fall. But for some Republicans, that was not enough.

    April 1, 2014

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