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 My ninth grade civics teacher (also 11th grade history teacher), Burl Johnson, was also a county commissioner and deeply patriotic. This was in the ‘80s, when - as had been true for well … more
It is early 1984, and I am sitting across the board from one of the top-rated women chess players in the state. Susan Smathers was a high school student just like me, and she was intimidating. I … more
About 20 years ago, I wrote a novel about our local Confederate guerrilla, Champ Ferguson. Champ was a divisive character in both history and historical memory (how groups remember something). At his … more
I will upset some people with this article, but I will try to be plain. Some states have been banning books from schools. One book mentioned in the ban, “Are You There God? It’s Me, … more
Recently, Troy Smith has devoted his column to discussing how our brains perceive situations differently based on life experiences. He also showed different movies and television series that … more
In recent weeks I’ve talked about “Falling Down,” “Breaking Bad,” and the American Dream. I’ve done this in context of getting a finger on the pulse of … more
 In about one week’s time, there have been FOUR national news stories about people making simple mistakes and being shot by paranoid people with guns. In St. Louis, a black teenager with a … more
Last week I asked State Representative Paul Sherrell to set the record straight. Thursday night, I received a call from Representative Sherrell. He told me that he had been unable to contact anyone … more
I have explained that I do not advocate for the Republican Party. Neither am I an advocate for the Democratic Party as Troy Smith is. I have my opinions and encourage you to think for yourself. I … more
Recently, I wrote about Michael Douglas’s character in “Falling Down,” William Foster. Foster was a middle-class engineer who had followed all the rules throughout his life, but, … more
 Last week, I said that using this column to teach a class would be boring, but I do not want to leave the topic of political terms too quickly. After reading this series, you should have the … more
On March 19, I heard yet another interview with science journalist David McRaney, whose book, “How Minds Change,” has been in the news a lot the last couple of years. His book, and his … more
 I recently heard someone say, “Tennessee is currently the most anti-gay state in America, as judged y legislative activity.” I’m not sure if that is true, but, if not, we have … more
Someone mentioned to me that my articles sometimes confuse her. She told me that sometimes I sound like a Republican and sometimes a Democrat, sometimes a conservative, and sometimes a liberal. So, I … more
I want to begin this column by acknowledging John Gottlied’s statement last week that, despite our many disagreements, he is never attacking me personally because he believes I am a good man … more
 I am writing this on the second anniversary of my beginning this column. I still have a lot to say, and the world keeps giving me more every week, but I thought this would be an appropriate … more
I am writing this entry as a response to a statement Troy Smith has made a couple of times since I have been writing my column, but I believe this is something that we all should consider. Troy has … more
 Education is a long and complicated discussion this country needs to have. This country has some excellent educators, and it has some dangerous people posing as educators. Fortunately, our … more
 My apologies for going AWOL last week. It is an incredibly busy time at work, and I couldn’t find time to write a column. This week, I want to respond to a couple of things my friend, … more
 I had intended to submit an article on the State of the Union address and the Republican response. Instead, I will just summarize that fact checkers (Breitbart, USA Today, CNN, Fox,…) … more
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