Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


October 16, 2012

LION AND THE LAMB: Coming into the home stretch

CROSSVILLE — We’re now in the home stretch of our nation’s political campaign. Unfortunately, this column has to be written before the last presidential debate takes place on October 16. But several things have become clearer as the campaign has progressed.

This election will have an important impact on our national home in a number of ways. If one party wins, there will be a strong effort to privatize social security, health care, and various social welfare programs as well as to reduce the size of the federal government and its regulatory power over the corporations. There will also be a strong effort to continue the low taxation rate of the richest citizens on the belief that their wealth helps create jobs.

Both parties, unfortunately, are committed to support for a steadily increasing military budget and continuing subservience to the Wall Street banks and corporations that have been at the heart of our economic troubles and the recipients of continuing help and protection. This will leave less resources available for rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and supporting our educational, health care, and social welfare programs.

It’s lamentable that many crucial issues have been left off the agenda of our campaign debates and public discussion. For example, the drone has become Obama’s chief weapon, terrorizing whole populations in a context of permanent war. Obama’s Department of Justice has argued against granting habeas corpus rights to detainees. It has invoked the Espionage Act against whistleblowers and carried on surveillance beyond that of previous administrations.

Both parties have failed to address the role played by money in our politics, the growing inequality and deepening economic problems in our nation, and the anxieties of a fearful population that often erupts against minorities, Muslims, and immigrants.

Almost completely overlooked has been the threat of global warming. Harvard’s Center for Health and the Global Environment issued a report in 2005 that focused on two “climate change futures”: one resulting from gradual change, and the other from a “slippage of ice sheets from Antarctica to Greenland, accelerated thawing of permafrost with release of large quantities of methane.” The report predicted that as storms and other disruptions become more frequent, they would “overwhelm the adaptive capacities of even developed nations, large areas and sectors would become uninsurable, major investments collapse, and markets crash.” A new book, “Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet,” by Bill McKibben spells out this predicted scenario.

With our planetary home now under threat, we ought to be engaged in a serious national conversation about our nation’s highest values, priorities, and goals, and how we might live with all our fellow residents in a peaceful and constructive way on this planet. An agenda set by our nation’s wealthy individuals and corporations will no longer do. It’s time for a home stretch by the 99 percent. Hopefully we’ll have some leaders to help jump-start this conversation.

• • •

This column is sponsored by Cumberland Countians for Peace and Justice and dedicated by the local writers to the theme that the lion and the lamb can and must learn to live together and grow in their relationship toward one another to ensure a better world. Opinions expressed in “Lion and the Lamb” columns are not necessarily those of the Crossville Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. For more information, contact Ted Braun, editor, at 277-5135.

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
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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