Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

December 11, 2012

Random Thoughts: A little of this and that for 12-12-12

CROSSVILLE — So today is another Wednesday, but numerically it is special because today is 12-12-12, and the column is a bit of this and that.

'Tis the season to be jolly, but what is the meaning of jolly? Webster defines it as full of merriment and good spirits; fun-loving; gay. Could that be the reason that daily I find stacks of letters from charities asking me to respond with a jolly big check? Many are from organizations I have never heard of.

Thanks to the Better Business Bureau for their accredited charities division. Annually they take a full newspaper page to list the names of well over 300 organizations they have approved as being OK to support.

We have many local charities doing good work. It seems more sensible to give our hard earned money to our own community.

***

On Nov. 14 Random Thoughts told about the pharmacist who created Vicks VapoRub. This week, the December issue of North Carolina’s Our State magazine arrived in my mail box. What a surprise I found inside.

Titled “The Father of Vicks,” I found a five-page story which included a large picture of pharmacist Lunsford Richardson. Greensboro, NC’s, Historical Museum has an exhibit of Richardson’ life and an assortment of the different bottles and jars that held Vicks over the years. Jimmy Tomlin’s story concluded, “Richardson will never be a household name, but his salve has held that status for more than a century – and may do so for the next hundred years.”

***

The headline “Georgia city takes on utility over right of eminent domain” brought back a painful memory. My favorite aunt married a farmer who owned a large amount of land on a quiet country road. A very old log cabin remained there.

All went well for years until the government decided that was just the  place to store army tanks. Negotiating was tried and failed. Eminent domain, the power of the state to take private property for public use with payment of compensation to the owner, was invoked. The land was condemned and only the family’s bitter feelings remained.

The history of eminent domain is clouded but it was first mentioned in the 17th century. It is used in countries world-wide. The fifth amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, “nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation,” but it only applied federally. Soon states had their own procedures.

My encyclopedia discusses eminent domain and the question of compensation with the words, just, taken, public use and quick-taking, all in quotation marks to emphasize their importance.

Courts determined the fairness of all those above words for a long time. Eventually legislatures were given that responsibility, except for “just compensation,” which remained to be determined by the court.

Television’s 60 Minutes featured eminent domain in February 2009. They interviewed people who had their land taken for the “public good.” One couple had been forced out so an expensive property which would produce more taxes could be built. Another lost their home because the area was declared blighted even though it was a very normal neighborhood.

At that time a team of lawyers had documented that in a five-year period there had been 10,000 cases across the country of the government taking property by eminent domain. 

***

One last thought on Pearl Harbor came to mind when I learned a sailor survivor has worked for over 20 years to identify the many unidentified who perished. On my trip to Hawaii, our group was bussed through Punchbowl cemetery. Suddenly one woman screamed, “Stop.” She saw a gravestone bearing her uncle’s name. After 33 years, the family had never been told he was buried there.

***

May 12-12-12 be good to you!   

• • •

Dorothy Copus Brush is a Fairfield Glade resident and Crossville Chronicle staffwriter whose column is published each Wednesday. She may be reached at dcb1@frontiernet.net.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • 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

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice