Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


September 24, 2013

We the People: Putinitis and Progress

CROSSVILLE — Success or a failure in the Syrian mess rests on the shoulders of our first black president. If the process he started with Russia succeeds, President Obama will be praised despite the constant critics who were nagging him to do something. When he made a plan to stop the gassing his critics behaved like grade-school bullies who had found another thing to whine about.

And where was the United Nations? Its job is not to hang back and suck its bureaucratic thumb in its world’s headquarters in New York City (an imposing structure sucking in some $7 billion a year for its black hole of bureaucratic peacekeeping). The U.N. building is now undergoing an expensive renovation. Dozing it off into the East River could be a wiser investment.

And where are the conservative hawks who took us to war in Iraq over imaginary weapons of mass destruction? The House of Representatives now claims to be on the side of the American people in opposing the President’s proposed strike on Syria to discourage the use of poison gas. The House is much less eager to follow the will of the people in other matters (health care, immigration and equal rights to name a few). What we have here is the spread of Putinitis. Russian President Putin does not like the U.S. so he votes against anything the U.S. proposes to the U.N. Putinitis causes people in power to be obstinate (right or wrong) just because they can.

It’s too early to judge our failure or success in the Middle East. It’s unlikely that military action against Syria would clarify the issue. But that does not mean that nothing should be done about the madman of Damascus. Whacking Syria would have unintended consequences. Syria is a geopolitical tar baby. The outcome would be very uncertain, but we are one of a few nations with a leader who has the guts and the tools at his disposal for proper whacking.

We are on the road to energy independence if we throw off the chains of Arab oil. We could wash our hands in our own crude oil and leave it all behind. The Middle East has an affinity for religious violence. We might gather up some of our plentiful assault rifles and hand guns and ship them to the Middle East and let them fight out their religious wars. But we would need to warn them that if they use weapons for mass destruction we will make large parking lots of their major cities. Isn’t that why, after all, we have so many nuclear weapons?

More war of any kind is insane. But war is only a slightly better choice than blockading Syria and starving the populace until Assad leaves or becomes toast. Unfortunately, Americans might not have the stomach for daily television images of thousands of ragged children and starving grandmothers holding out their empty food bowls because of the barbaric flatulence of the devil of Damascus.

Right-wing ideologues, victims of Putinitis, point fingers everywhere except at themselves while deepening the feathers in their own nests. Putinitis produces few statesmen and stateswomen. They will be a rarity so long as those who prevail in our elections hold Rush Limbaugh’s inanities in higher esteem than the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson is gone, and Limbaugh is a self-proclaimed Quixote riding a two-headed blind elephant. The right wing needs to let our President do his job. Even Putin says “dah” at least once a year.


Text Only
  • 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
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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