Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


April 25, 2012

We the People: What to tell your graduate

CROSSVILLE — If you often wonder what this world is coming to, a peephole to the future is nearer than you may realize. Pick a clear night before you put your computer to sleep and check the NASA Human Space Flight Schedule on the Internet. You’ll find exact dates and times when the International Space Station passes through our part of the night sky.

If you have genuine concerns about how your family will fare among the coming generations, look upward and locate the space station and be awed as it crosses the sky — a celestial sojourner on an intrepid mission. The space station is among the beginning steps toward other worlds. If your immediate descendants are not acquiring skills for a world packed with new ideas, then they may be among those who will find the most the promising doors of the future closed to them.

The space laboratory is being built by men and women of great courage and trained minds. It is assembled from parts that are boosted there by astonishing chemical power. It orbits in a transition zone, impelled by its own momentum to travel fast enough to break even with gravity and not fall back to earth. It is not going beyond its present path, but the fact that it is there at all is magical to most inhabitants of earth. We must find ways to go farther, and we shall, with new technology. Our children—and theirs—will find new ways to explore. Jobs will spin off all that.

There are opportunities so magical than we can’t imagine them, and stunning sights in places that most humans think are impossible to reach. Reactionaries will do what they can to stop anyone from going there. But this is no time to turn back to the past. We cannot leave human progress in the hand of whatever god we follow or in the hands of those who hate government.

Will our descendants be leashed to earthbound corporations and politicians who see no way to pay for the trip ahead? Will our leaders only coast in orbit and wait for the old days to return? Most of the major inventions in the last two centuries came from the U.S. We were a beacon for discovery, construction, freedom and compassion. But our leaders are now encrusted with fleas and lichens and cannot move without lucre from the corporations holding the moneybags. We are failing our innovators because we value quick and easy money more than we respect sound and hard-earned knowledge. We must replace political hacks with statesmen and stateswomen.

If we can’t learn to say, “Yes we can! How do we begin?” then we may be in the terminal orbit for our country. Too many leaders sit with their hands folded across fat bellies and grumble and wonder what the stock market will do tomorrow. World religions pretend to be the moral forces of the universe but don’t agree on much except their universal need to get rid of each other. We the People are better than our backward leaders. War is obsolete. Outrage is useless. It’s time to take bold steps of progress instead of cringing in fear before challenges our own ancestors would have overcome long ago. Remember Columbus? He didn’t tell Queen Isabella that the limit of the known world was too far and the risks were too great. He cast off the mooring lines and hoisted sail, not knowing for certain if he might sail off the edge, but he sailed, game on!

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
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show 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 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