Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


October 15, 2012

STUMPTALK: We’re all better off now

CROSSVILLE — Oh yeah, says who? Who in their right mind thinks that today’s economy is rosier than four years ago when the national debt under Obama jumped from $10T to a staggering $17T? Who thinks that an unemployment rate that climbed from 5.8 percent four years ago to double-digits and has hung above 8 percent ever since Obama became president represents a healthy economic picture? Consumer goods from eggs to milk to gasoline have gone up while incomes have continuously dropped the last four years. Under Obama millions have more slipped into poverty while millions more went on food stamps. The economy is key to everything, to national defense and in fact to domestic tranquility.

As bad as the economic picture is, foreign policy today is even scarier. The war in Afghanistan has grown more dangerous ever since Obama announced a withdrawal date. You don’t write a timetable for war until you either win or lose it. The Middle East is on fire and Obama lit the fuse by naively cheer leading the “Arab Spring” without the slightest idea who would fill the vacuum. If only, he says, we got rid of those awful dictators democracy would automatically flower in the region. Sure Egypt’s Mubarak was brutal and had no respect for civil rights but with his leadership reasonable stability and peace was maintained in the region for over fifty years. Deposing of despotism must be a careful process lest you get something worst, i.e., the USSR and Iran. In America, it took 13 years, the “Decade of Controversy” to go from the Declaration of Independence, to convince the folks that self governance was a good idea to electing our first president. Now Mohamed Morsi of the Muslin Brotherhood rules Egypt and on his first day declared Jihad against Israel and the United States. And guess what. Obama can’t decide whether Egypt is our ally or enemy.

Obama said the other day in another of his “divide and conquer” speeches, “We must quit these wars so we can cut defense spending and apply that to the deficit and building a strong middle-class.” He refuses to lead on abolishing that silly “Sequestration” law congress passed because it is too lazy to pass a budget as required by law. While brush-wars spread the globe, this law automatically cuts our military preparedness to a new low, which Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said would be a disaster. No Mr. President, your idea would be a prescription for another 9/11.

Actually, all the talk about comparing today with four years ago is not completely accurate. We would have to go back eleven years to a time when we enjoyed economic sanity and had the strongest military in the world. The world looked up the America as the beacon of liberty. Today, the world perceives an ineffective Obama and is exploiting our weakness. Our friends trust us less and our enemies fear us less than four years ago. On C-SPAN this Sunday, former comptroller David Walker and Ross Perot discussed this very subject. Walker stated we very much need to bring back those times eleven years ago; that we desperately need policy reform, tax reform, Immigration reform, campaign reform, regulation reform and a host of others, but stressed that none of this would happen until the first three words of the Constitution, “We the People,” came alive. Perot says that on our current course of gutting the military, he worries that we are approaching a time when another developing country could overtake a weak America and become our ruler.

• • •

Stumptalk is published weekly in the Crossville Chronicle. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. To contact Stumptalk, email coordinator Phil Billington at

Text Only
  • Lion and the Lamb: Our war on women

    Jimmy Carter, who was president from 1977 to 1981, has had quite an impressive career as an author. His first book was published in 1975, and he has now written a total of 37 books, 23 of them after his presidency. He has set a high example for other past presidents, especially those who would like to find ways of being as beneficial to their nation as possible in the days after their retirement.

    April 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: "Selfie" destruction

    Technology continues to profoundly impact our daily lives, from the Heartbleed Bug that put hundreds of thousands of websites at risk of compromising customer usernames and passwords, to the little light that tries to tell me I'm about to run out of gas. Technology also impacts our language, with new words being created to describe the latest gizmo, gadget or trend.

    April 21, 2014

  • Stumptalk: It depends on what you mean

    A writer’s headline asks, “Do we really believe in democracy?” To which I answer, “What do you mean by democracy?

    April 21, 2014

  • 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

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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