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Learning to despise the haters

A burning cross in my front yard, and being labeled a communist on the front page of their national publication: these were the results of my first encounter with the Ku Klux five decades ago. As events unfolded recently in Charlottesville, and closer to home in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro, my Klan interaction came flooding back. […]

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Health Care: Is Expecting Reason Unreasonable?

I couldn’t tell if it was an admonition or a threat when Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s told his GOP cohorts that if they didn’t pass some version of the health care bill, they would……OMG!…..have to work with the Democrats to reach a solution. For some perspective, let’s not lose sight of the fact […]

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How Sen. Henry made me a political hypocrite

It was a sweltering August day seven summers ago when my loyalty and allegiance to esteemed state Sen. Douglas Henry (a friend of four decades and a marvelous mentor to many), momentarily turned me from a person of steadfast conviction into a bit of a political hypocrite. This story actually began in early 2009 when […]

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The Last Straw?

Was Donald Trump’s election victory America’s “last straw?” The idiom “last straw” comes from the 19th century English proverb: “The final straw that broke the camel’s back.” My answer: I think not. While as many as half of American voters feared this astounding upset, I don’t believe that we have quite reached our limits. Look […]

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Metro School Board: Do You Really Believe Anyone Wants to Work for You?

A message to Metro School Board members: To coin a phrase from that highly regarded 20th century philosopher Groucho Marx, “I wouldn’t hire someone who would come to work for me.” Groucho’s reference was to not belonging to a club that would have him as a member. His words came instantly to mind while assessing […]

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It’s the vibe, man. Bonnaroo a hit with this generationally challenged guy

The vibe. The people. Oh, and some music, too. Those three sentences summarize my visit as a novice to Bonnaroo on Friday the 13th. It seemed to be my lucky day, even though I might have been one of the very few attendees who had already been drawing Social Security for a while. Taking advantage […]

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Higher education cuts hurt families

To most of us, $19 million is a whole lot of money; it’s certainly much more than the oft-referenced cost of a cup of coffee. But, that’s the specific amount sliced from Tennessee’s allocation to public higher education institutions for the fiscal year beginning on July 1. While the governor was forced to reduce his […]

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Amp is a start for city that needs mass transit

Have you ever pondered the origin of the term “doubleheader”? Surprisingly, it was hatched in reference to a transit need. During the late 19th century, as New York City baseball teams began scheduling two games for the price of a single admission on the same day, train operators coined the phrase. Why? Because they had […]

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Major shifts underway in the way Tennessee education and government operate

“Some people have 15 years of experience; some have one year’s experience 15 times.” That’s a maxim which I learned decades ago, which accurately reflects the paradigm shift taking place in the way Tennessee state government and our public education system now operates. Laws have already gone into effect this summer radically altering the state’s […]

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Dick Barry: Part of the Tennessee History he loved

Grey was the overwhelming, predominant hair color amidst the mostly male crowd gathered recently to celebrate the life of our mutual, just-departed friend, William L. (Dick) Barry of Lexington, TN. Appropriately, we congregated in the House of Representatives chamber, where Dick served two distinguished terms as Speaker (1961-65). We all sat captivated by Dick’s commanding […]

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