A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: We can all be proud of these native sons

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Wednesday of last week, as we were perusing the Business section of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, our eye was caught by the headline “Bonuses paid Brown prior to collapse”, with a sub-head reading “Soddy-Daisy shuffle combined Ponzi scheme and tax fraud, trustee charges.”

We thought this might be an interesting item showing the ingenuity of some of the financial villains who prey on the ignorance and gullibility of so many of our brethrery and so further reading showed.

However, our interest in the article swiftly shifted completely by the time we had finished the second paragraph which read thusly: “In a 14-page complaint, bankruptcy trustee Jerry Farinash asked Judge John Cook for $11 million in punitive damages, and to confiscate all cash and property acquired through the scheme.”

Many of the readers may not immediately realize why we were struck by this simple sentence, but many others will recognize that the two good guys named in the sentence are both former Kingstonians, and products of Roane County High School.

Bankruptry Trustee Jerry Farinash is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Lynn Farinash, who at one time owned and operated Armour’s Department Store on Race Street and Judge John Cook is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Stan Cook and the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. John Bryson of Bryson Oil Company.

It is always pleasing to see news of Roane Countians who have used their locally acquired talents to help others. We invite our readers to submit names of others of our home-grown talents who are demonstrating that boys and girls from this county can make their mark, regardless of where their destiny has placed them.
Mentioning Roane County High brings to mind the recent news of our superintendent of schools’ marriage. Some raise an issue of nepotism, and possibly that is a legitimate issue, but we question whether it is a matter of serious concern.

As we had always understood it, the problem of nepotism was that of the person doing the hiring being related to the person being hired. If we understand this current situation, the spouse had already been hired as the employee before she became the spouse so that no nepotistic favouritism could have entered into her hiring, so the mere fact of the marriage would not seem to us to be the least bit problematic.

We admit that we may be prejudiced because one of the finest superintendents this county has ever had was married to a lady employed by the school system — we refer, of course, to Ed and Pearl Williams.

If Mr. and Mrs. Aytes do just half the job that Ed and Pearl did, we, the citizens and taxpayers, as well as the county’s students, will be fortunate, indeed.
As we told you last week, we had intended to write a bit about drones and daffodils, but did not have the space.

As to the daffodils, we had meant to expatiate upon the joys of seeing the first of these harbingers of spring and the promise they hold. However, the short delay of one week has allowed them to spring up all over the landscape, so that anything we might write about them would prove puny indeed compared to their colourful display, so we would only advise you to observe and enjoy, and start planning your garden.

In regard to the drones — there are two issues in regard to these flying machines.

The first is their use in seeking and destroying enemy forces. Here we fail to see any merit in the objections voiced against their use. They come as close as seems possible in pin-pointing the location of these enemy personnel and then destroying them. What’s wrong with that?

Well, the opponents claim that innocent bystanders have also been injured or killed. Maybe so, maybe not. The accounts we have heard or read seem to identify these “innocent bystanders” as being either friends, neighbors, or kinsmen of the target enemies.

In all too many instances, these appear to be cases of the old adage that “birds of a feather flock together,” and they should recognize the dangers inherent in their association.

There are also those who object that we have targeted and killed U.S. citizens, but the only ones who have been identified that we have heard or read of are the Islamist preacher and his son in Yemen.

The father devoted most of his efforts toward destroying this country and killing his fellow citizens, while hiding out in Yemen.

Had he wished to plead his citizenship, he could have gone to the U.S. Embassy and surrendered himself and received all the protections and guarantees afforded us all by the Constitution; however, he elected not to do this but to continue to utilize the electronic weaponry of the Internet, etc., to continue preaching jihad and recruiting new converts to al Qaeda-type organizations devoted to killing us all and destroying his country. In this argument, we would not think that men of reason would voluntarily elect to support this side — we certainly do not.

The second drone issue is the possibility of police acquisition of these instruments for use in surveillance or other police activities. Our position here is diametrically opposed to our support of their usage against our foreign enemies. Usage here is contrary to all manner of constitutional provisions and should not be allowed.

There are other, better, and cheaper means at the disposal of the police, and they should use them.
We were saddened to see the obituary for Lucille (Mrs. Hooper) Crass.

When we first entered public life, Lucille was a dominant figure in Republican politics. She and a few of her colleagues in the Roane Republican Women’s Club exercised a great deal more influence than would have been expected of a group of her gender at that time.

She was intelligent, resourceful, and responsible. It is a shame that there are so few of whom that can be said in this day and age. May she rest in peace.