America, a land of many opportunities, has both real and perceived problems in communication between the have’s and the have-not’s. As citizens of this great country, we must never forget the trials and tribulations our ancestors witnessed as they worked to carve out our heritage. Many worked in the fields while others were viewed as “privileged” to work in the homes of their owners.
One might believe I am only referring to the plight of the blacks. That is far from the truth. Throughout the history of the United States, there were servants of all ethnicities and both genders.
I make this statement as a prelude for my response to Leaf Chronicle editorial (12.31.07). The editorial addressed the division of funds generated by the Tennessee Lottery to fund the HOPE Scholarship program. The apparent position of the writer was that anyone who can not maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average doesn’t deserve a chance to achieve a college education. Let me remind that writer that there have been presidents of this country who had less than a 3.0 GPA, and some who had no formal education at all.
Imagine living in a country where children are ripped away from their parents, never to see them again, left alone to fend for themselves without any support. Imagine living in a country where women are raped but are afraid to call the police for fear that they will be arrested. Imagine living in a country where men are arbitrarily pulled over by the police, arrested, held in squalid detention facilities for months and then deported far from their homes, friends, jobs and families. Imagine what it is like to be an immigrant worker living in America.
The crackdown on undocumented workers has taken a frightening turn in the past several months. Perhaps the most heinous expression of this crackdown is the fear that it has instilled in immigrant women. «Read the rest of this article»
In our better moments we wish to be better listeners. Reaching such a goal, though, requires discipline, patience, understanding and practice. In such endeavors, there will also inevitably be failures, times when we review a conversation and kick ourselves for missing the opportunity to be better communicators.
One avenue to becoming a better listener is to employ a system identified in psychology as reflective listening. It continues to be popular in teaching parents an effective means of communicating with children. It is also an invaluable technique for building bridges of communication. It is indispensable in teaching relational skills in college. It is used by progressive business brokers too. Even the military appreciate reflective listening. While in the Army I taught NCOs and officers the intricacies of this skill. Yes, even in such an autocratic system there is a place for listening. «Read the rest of this article»
On the heels of a stunning production of Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet, HD Live from the Met will launch the New Year with an international high definition broadcast of Englebert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel on January 1, 2008. The curtain rises promptly at noon in two Nashville Regal Theaters: Green Hills and Opry Mills.
The Clarksville, Tennessee City Council met yesterday in an executive session that was led by Mayor pro tem Barbara Johnson. The meeting covered a variety of topics ranging from flood plain issues, zoning and even touched on eminent domain while not specifically addressing the recent blight declaration controversy. Some agenda items did not generate discussion and these are not covered in this report.
To view the full agenda, please see: The City Council’s agenda page.
On the Road in America is an occasional column of thoughts, ideas and observations from my travels.
When I first moved to Clarksville four years ago, I was initially fascinated with the immense geographic area of the city. It was an “urban sprawl” that included an explosion of multiple housing developments. It looked, for the most part, like the bedroom communities of exploding around New England’s major cities. Sort of. But less well planned.
In fact, the photo of downtown Northampton (above left) looks a lot like Franklin Street with the exception of the width of the Main Street, which is large enough for multiple lanes of traffic, angle parking on both side of the street, and in the winter, mountains of snow plowed into the middle of the road until the bucket loaders roll in and haul it all to the river. Just around the corner is Smith College, perhaps a tad larger than APSU, but not much. Crosswalks are located on every block and motorist beware: you will be ticketed for failing to yield to pedestrian right of way everywhere in the city. People walk, bike and bus everywhere in this city.
Another look at the “blight” debate: videotape of Property Rights Coalition Forum at the train station
Last weekoffered you, our readers, the complete content of the Dec. 14 HOPE-sponsored meeting to review the “blight” designation applied to downtown Clarksville via Ordinance 73-2005-06.
That first meeting was called in response to a City Council voted that placed two square miles, and 1800 homes and business under a “blighted property” designation to facilitate a Downtown Redevelopment Plan. It is the largest “blanket blighting” in the country and has raised the ire of virtually all the homeowners and many of the businesspeople who reside in or own property in that area. In addition to the start of a postcard and petition drive, the Coalition called for a repeal of the new ordinance, which many property owners say “blindsided” them, signs have also been popping up as a show of protest. The City Council is planning a forum to respond to citizen concerns but have not yet announced a date, time, place, or list of speakers.
Today we present a second tape, this one of the Dec. 17 Clarksville Property Rights Coalition meeting held at the historic L&N Train Station in the heart of what is quickly becoming referred to as “Blightsville” USA.
Last week the United States Senate passed the Omnibus Spending Bill, which included an appropriation of $70 billion for Iraq, showing that the Senate is once again out of touch with the basic values of the American people. According to a December 13th Gallup survey, Americans say that the war in Iraq is their number one concern, yet this past week the US Senate voted to “stay the course” and handed the President everything he wanted with respect to the war in Iraq.
American’s are highly skeptical about the notion of progress in Iraq, with only 11% polling responding that they are “pleased” with the results of the war. Yet Americans seem resigned to the fact that US troops are going to remain in Iraq. The simple fact is that the United States cannot afford to continue this war. In addition to the complete lack of international support for Bush’s folly, the middle class can no longer afford to pay for the war. The national debt is at an all time high of $9.1 trillion dollars and Congress has appropriated another $580 billion dollars in military spending, far in excess of the actual amount of appropriations needed to defend the national security . «Read the rest of this article»
The staff and writers at
wish all our readers the happiest of holidays
as you celebrate the spirit of Christmas.
Our family has celebrated and observed the Holy Season of Advent and Christmas in Korea, Vietnam and Germany while on active duty. As a chaplain, I conducted worship services and sang in cantata, the message of hope for this season.Even in Vietnam, our special ecumenical choir on Christmas Eve sang for the Vietnamese at the 91st Evac Hospital. Catholics and Protestants merged their talents in this presentation, which gave a boost to everyone’s morale as we made the most of the occasion so far from homes and families. I can say it was a time of joy and sadness for all of us. To appreciate the season, though, we have each other. «Read the rest of this article»
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