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A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Bravely done, Liz Holiway, we’re proud of you

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By Gerald Largen

We have several topics we wish to touch on briefly today, but it is most orderly to address the long running topic, or soap opera, of Dr. Scott DesJarlais.

We have in the past called attention to the fact that this man’s conduct while bearing the official designation of Republican Representative in the Congress serves to besmirch the reputation of the Grand Old Party almost as much as that of the doctor himself.

It has been plain that he presents himself as the duly elected Republican from the 4th district.

Thus we have been puzzled at the attitude of the leaders of the GOP in this state for keeping mum in the face of universally condemned activities by this fellow.

We would have thought that those who genuinely care for the future of this important component of our two party system would have striven from the beginning to at least distance the party from this miscreant, if not outright condemn him and his activities.

But no. It could well be the silence of the tomb emanating from Alexander, Corker, Haslam, Ramsey, and Harwell insofar as Rep. DesJarlais is concerned.

Ditto for all the other GOP leaders — until now.

We are proud to know that our own Roane Countian, Elizabeth (Mrs. Charles) Holiway, the Republican Committeewoman from this district, has bravely taken the bit between her teeth and openly denounced the congressman and his misconduct.
Bravo Liz! You do us all proud.
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Mentioning, as we have in the preceding paragraphs, a point of local pride, we are finally able to get around to another situation which we hope bodes well for the future of this county, and that is the selection of two local men to head our two principal educational institutions in the county: Roane State Community College and the Roane County School System.

For the first time of which we are aware, local men are now, simultaneously, the leaders of these two educational institutions, Chris Whaley at the college, and Gary Aytes at the county school system.

We congratulate both these educational leaders for their attainment of these distinguished positions, but even stronger we congratulate the people of Roane County for having the good fortune to have selected such appropriate leaders to guide the educational attainments of our youngsters.

Heretofore, ever since the founding of Roane State, its guidance has been placed in the hands of persons with no ties to the county, or even to the area, with the result that to a large extent the power structure in Oak Ridge has come to represent Roane State in the eyes of much of the state.

Chris Whaley is a Roane Countian, and we have faith that he will exert his considerable talents to maintaining our college as a Roane County institution.

Similarly, Gary Aytes knows the Roane County School System inside and out.

Unlike the last incumbent, his “learning curve” about this institution is well established and he can guide the system toward the goal of producing the best educated students possible.

Instead of looking backwards, as we have been forced to do by recent performance, to the days when Roane County High, and Harriman High were both outstanding launching pads for their graduates, followed closely behind by Rockwood High, all as measured by test results, college admissions, professional achievements, etc.: now, it is fervently hoped, we can once again regard high academic achievement as not only possible, but expected.

We look forward to the School Board and the County Commission both doing their utmost to see that Mr. Aytes has the tools at his command to achieve this goal.
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As the government considers what course to take to resolve the “fiscal cliff” problem, we have heard, and expect to hear further, the Republican mantra about not taxing the rich because they are the “job creators!”

We don’t know about you, gentle reader, but we grow weary of this foolish statement.

It is especially galling that this phrase comes trippingly from the tongues of the very folks whose chosen spokesperson, Willard “Mitt” Romney is a living proof that there is no merit whatsoever to the proposition that the rich ought to be left untaxed so that they will have money with which to create jobs for the rest of us.

Consider: 1. Mitt Romney is rich, very rich, almost excessively rich; 2. Mitt Romney by his own admission pays no more than 14% tax rate; 3. Thus Mitt Romney has been left with at least 86% of his large income to do with as he chose;

4. If true, the Republican proposition about the rich being job creators if left with low taxes would lead one to expect the said Mitt Romney to have used a good deal of this 86% of his wealthy income to create jobs, wouldn’t one?

5. However, instead of using his untaxed wealth to create jobs here in the USA, by his own admission, he has not only not used it to create jobs here, but he hasn’t even left the money in the country so that it would be available for banks to lend or entrepreneurs to borrow, but instead he has squirreled away his excess millions in those infamous foreign hideaways for ill gotten gains — Swiss bank accounts, with their secrecy, and Cayman Islands accounts for notorious investment schemes.

If all the special taxation benefits Mitt Romney has enjoyed has ever resulted in a single U. S. citizen having a job, we have never heard about it, and during the recent campaign you can rest assured that if there were any such individual, he or she would have been featured in one or more political ads, been paraded before the press for interviews, and held a featured spot at the Republican Convention.

We saw none of this for the simple reason that no such job was ever created, nor will it be unless Mitt, or any of his fellow millionaires sees where he or she can add to their fortune by creating such a job. But, as a matter of friendly advice, don’t hold your breath expecting to see any such job creation from this crowd.
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Finally, had anyone told us just a few years ago that in the Year of Our Lord 2012, we would hear that tens of thousands of our fellow citizens were clamouring to secede from the Union, we would have suggested calling for the men in the white coats.

After all, if ever a national issue was ever more firmly and finally decided than that of secession, we do not know what it might be other than the right of the former 13 colonies to be free and independent of the British Empire.

Now, if these latter day secessionists want to argue whether a bloody war was the best way of resolving either of these two questions, fine, but to debate their finality is just plain stupid.

But then the first shot in this new secessionism was, if we recall aright, fired by the governor of Texas. So, what can you expect? And if Texas wants to leave, we are prepared to bid them farewell, Godspeed, so long, and adios!