A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Al Gore warned us as to what could happen

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By Gerald Largen

As you have no doubt heard, Pauline and Albert Gore, Sr., raised their son, young Albert, Jr., to be a well-behaved young man, and we’re glad they did.

The faculty and staff of the prep school to which young Al was sent, St. Albans School for Boys in Washington, taught him leadership, and to be self-disciplined, and self-controlled, and we’re glad they did.

His comrades and compatriots taught young Al the precepts of good sportsmanship, deference and modesty; to be as good a loser as winner, and we’re glad they did.

In short, his entire life experience taught Al Gore, Jr. to be modest, self-effacing, self-controlled — in short, a gentleman, and we’re glad it did.

But, friends, there have been times when we have just longed to see this calm, controlled, gentleman break free of the bonds of his up-bringing and let loose with an unrestrained explosion expressing his true feelings, and this is one of those times.

When Al Gore was still a congressman from Middle Tennessee’s Fourth Congressional District, he began to preach the gospel of environmental concern.

After he became Tennessee’s Junior Senator, with a wider stage and bigger platform, he became more vigorous and more specific in his warnings of the dangers that awaited us if we did not cease and desist our mistreatment of our planet; he warned us of the oncoming global warming and its consequences, including the increasing virulence of ocean born storms, such as hurricanes, originating in increasingly warmer waters, a position which he continued to expound and strengthen during the eight years he was Vice President.

Had he become President, he would have no doubt exercised the powers of that august office to promote efforts to protect the planet and those of us who inhabit that planet. But, thanks to the “hanging chad”, and other elector shenanigans wrought by the Floridians, aided and abetted by the Texans, he was denied the presidency, despite having won the majority of the popular votes.

Since the onslaught of Hurricane Harvey and his sister Hurricane Irma, numerous climatologists have opined that much of the destructive attributes of these two storms are a consequence of the global warming that has raised the temperature of the oceans sufficiently to affect the creation of the Hurricanes and their destructive features.

This is just exactly what Al Gore, Jr. warned us about, which warning was by and large ignored, and drowned out by the jeers and cat-calls of the right-wing denyers of global warming and climate change, especially in the Republican Party.

So, don’t you just know that in his heart of hearts, Al would really like to turn to these whining Florida and Texas politicians and say “I told you this would happen. Why didn’t you listen, and why didn’t you take the actions I told you about that would have kept this from being the disaster that it has turned out to be?”

But he’s too well-bred, and too much of a gentleman, and we suppose that in the end we’re glad of that too.

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As this is written, we understand that the President’s Commission on Election Fraud is meeting under the chairmanship of Vice President Pence.

We assume that, although it has not been stated specifically, that the commission is mainly concerned with elections that were won through fraud.

And once you analyze it, it becomes apparent that since Republicans have won the majority of recent elections, obviously they, the Republicans are the ones who have practiced most of the fraud, thus all we can say is: — “Go Get ‘Em!”.

* * *

We can’t help but wonder, when is the School Board going to publicize the student test score results that Knox County and others have already done? We didn’t miss them did we?

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Once again the great minds of the Roane County Establishment, as they have done from time to time in the past, have roused themselves from their usual lethargy and heard about this business of consolidation of schools.

Why? says the leader of these latter day Rip van Winkles, can’t we get in on this new-fangled idea of school consolidation? His fellow intellectual dwarfs, rubbing the sleep from their eyes and yawning, mumble, ‘’Yes, why can’t we?”

Now, most all of the rest of the world tried school consolidation years ago, and knows that such school consolidation was an idea that looked good on paper, but didn’t work out too well with actual consolidated schools, with actual consolidated student bodies.

Some of these consolidated schools have in fact split. We need look no further than our neighboring county, Cumberland County, which hitherto had a single high school, but not too long ago decided it would be better to have two high schools rather than one, and proceeded to build, not another bigger consolidated high school, but rather a second high school and now operates the two separate high schools rather than their former single consolidated high school.

A lot of folks would say that the Cumberland County Establishment has done a much better job running their county than has the Roane County Establishment; Cumberland County has certainly grown and prospered in recent years.

We suspect that if that county had been the recipient of a forty-or-so million dollar windfall from TVA as our county was, it would have been utilized in a far different fashion than that chosen by our Establishment Leadership.

To be fair, it is not only in the matter of schools that the Roane County Establishment has proven itself to be behind the times, and always playing “catch-up” to bring our county into a status that was up-to-date twenty or thirty years ago.

Virtually every advancement into the modern age has been brought about by outside forces, and often these outside efforts have been successfully thwarted by the Establishment.

To name two or three examples:

There was the offer of locating of the first Japanese automobile manufacturing plant to locate in Roane County. Lost to Smyrna.

Then there was the effort to locate a crystal growing operation in the early days of computer chips which would have located here but was stymied because of banking interest opposition (They were going to bank with the Mellon Bank). Lost to Puerto Rico.

And of a more questionable nature, but one warranting further investigation and potential ancillary developments, was the Coal Gasification project.

The people behind the project had several other interests which with a more cordial reception might well have produced one, or more alternative projects.

There have been several other opportunities, including potentially one with Hewlett-Packard, but these should be sufficient to illustrate our point.

But, this progressive Roane County Establishment continues pell-mell with its backward progress by planning to subject its students and its taxpayers to an outdated, outmoded, ill-suited regressive school plan of consolidation; an idea whose time has come and gone.

If our Roane County Establishment had any sense they would let it Rest in Peace.

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this column do not reflect the views of this newspaper.