Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


December 4, 2012

We the People: Leavin' on a jet plane?

CROSSVILLE — “America — Love it or leave it!” We recall that old refrain of the Vietnam era. Now it’s conservatives threatening to leave in droves after the president’s re-election. JetBlue has offered to help with a free round-trip(?!) plane ticket for 1,006 international travelers as a consolation prize for those whose candidate lost.

Consider some choices. Maybe you fear a more “leftist” America. Canada is close and speaks the same language — but is lousy with “socialized” medicine. Don’t even consider Northern Europe. Southern Europe might be attractive, if you like to keep your money under a mattress.

Disgusted with America’s hedonistic ways? How about Saudi Arabia, where religion (Islam) is the law of the land? Homosexuality and Hollywood-style depravity are severely punished. Teaching evolution is outlawed in academia. Could be the place for you. Just be prepared for separation of the sexes in public — can’t be too careful. And women, you will need an escort every time you leave the house.

Are you tired of government intervention? Haiti or Somalia may be a good fit. No government, everything privatized. What could go wrong?

So leave if you must. Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?

Or you might secede. Folks in most states have started petitions. It’s not a new idea. Southern states tried it in the 1860s, and some liberals threatened to pull out during the Bush II era. Libertarian darling Ron Paul of Texas approves secession, saying there’s nothing “treasonous or unpatriotic about wanting a federal government that is more responsive to the people it represents." (Isn’t that what elections are for?)

The “onerous” federal government offers help for secessionists with a website for applying and a mechanism for consideration. If red states are successful in seceding they would get most of the obese Americans with their elevated health care bills, a vast majority of all US mosquitoes, tornadoes and hurricanes. The blue states would be left with a large percentage of America's venture capital and tax revenue, control of the country's fresh water, and about 90% of the nation's fresh fruit, high tech industry and most of the low sulfur coal.

You won’t get much official support for your petition. Governor Haslam has weighed in saying that he doesn’t think secession is "a valid option for Tennessee." Even secession-threatening governor Rick Perry has come out against Texas returning to a republic, although some have suggested that we allow Texas to exit and let the disgruntled move there.

It seems a shame to leave now that the economy is recovering, unemployment falling, the auto industry growing and the stock market improving.  Charitable giving is increasing. People are optimistic and shopping — Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday all posted gains.

We still have big, but solvable problems. We need everyone to engage, sharing good ideas to continue American’s recovery. If you must go (apologies to Sondheim) we know a plane you can get on. But consider staying. For most of us, it’s still the country we love.

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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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