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Columns

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: We could use a Baker again

    By Mark Banker

    Episodes of the popular 1970s sitcom “All in the Family” began with Archie and Edith Bunker singing at a piano.

    In not-so-melodious lyrics, the Bunkers conveyed deep, widely shared anxieties about changes that transformed American life in the middle third of the 20th century.

    Like almost all of us, the Bunkers were susceptible to nostalgia. Selective memories of idyllic by-gone days have long offered a haven from history’s inexorable, dimly understood changes and their ever-traumatic effects.

  • Going with the Flo: How a village atheist became our greatest leader

    The first Republican Party was started by 30 anti-slavery Democrats who no longer felt at home in their own party because they were against slavery.

    In 1864, the Republican Party called for a Constitutional Amendment to permanently ban slavery. Abraham Lincoln ran on this anti-slavery platform and got elected.

    The Constitutional Amendment passed, and Lincoln signed it. He didn’t have to. No president ever had signed an amendment, but Lincoln wanted to sign it, because he wanted the world to know that he hated slavery and wanted it to end.

  • A View From Lick Skillet: What has Creswell got against our culture?

    Gentle Reader, by this time you doubtless know of the incipient revolution taking place in your county government.

    We have often heard of a proverbial tail wagging a proverbial dog. Well, our county has produced a multi-tailed dog to wag our little dog. However, we fear, it’s beginning to look more like the ancient goddess Medusa’s head with its multiple snakes.

  • Going with the Flo: Norma Jean delivers joy at Bradbury yard sales

    By Flo Charles

    This past weekend, Bradbury Methodist Church had its usual yard sale directed by Norma Jean Hensley, wife of Sam Hensley.

    For several years now, these yard sales have been a part of this church on a hill with its light shining like a beacon for all around.

  • A View From Lick Skillet: Why we need the guns. Cowards as cops we don’t

    Gentle reader, the recent school shooting in Florida has brought up once again two matters which one can only hope will be resolved before they grow worse.

    The first is the continued ignorance or misunderstanding of the Second Amendment to our great Constitution, one of the ten amendments to that noble document commonly called the Bill of Rights.

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: Stooping to such reaps rewards

    History often surprises and disappoints those who seek simple lessons from it. One reason for this is that few observers grasp the unintended consequences of historical events.

    To appreciate this, one need only consider how the American Civil War spurred the nation’s emergence as an industrial super power or how World War II accelerated advances for women and African Americans.

  • A View From Lick Skillet: Trump is right protecting steel and aluminum

    Gentle reader, over the years that we have been writing this column, there have been a few times when we have felt a dearth of topics from the preceding week’s news events out of which to select a subject upon which to expound.

    This past week has not been one of those. No, indeed we have been inundated, flooded, overcome, overwhelmed, well-nigh buried with potential topics since we last commented on national affairs, our last two having focused on local or historical matters primarily.

  • Going with the Flo: America’s Pastor was a beacon of integrity

    By Flo Charles

    After 60 years of ministry, Billy Graham’s body was buried Friday, March 2, after the House and Senate both agreed to allow his body to lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol rotunda.

    He is only the fourth citizen to have such an honor. A simple pine box with a cross on top was chosen as a powerful reminder of his simple life; yet he met with every president since World War II, Queen Elizabeth and the beggar on the streets.

  • Going with the Flo: We are one nation under God under his divine order

    By FLO CHARLES

    Leaving the FISA memos chaos in Washington for now to our All-Powerful God, Who can reveal anything covered up, let me clarify: Never was it implied or meant that we should obey man rather than God.

    We obey God-appointed authorities because God instructs us to in His Word. No one is higher than God Almighty!

    We are a nation under God — under His divine order. We answer to Him for our decisions and for those of our country, and so do our leaders.

  • GLIMPSES from a Teacher Historian: Constitution rife with controversy

    By MARK BANKER

    Guns and Russian meddling in our elections now hold center stage in the ever-changing American news cycle. But roots of these current controversies run deep in our Republic. Indeed, rhetoric from all sides of our ongoing debates draw from a common source — the United States Constitution.