incoming (2006-52)

Minimum Progress

Accolades for Tennessee Stage Co.

Sign at the Dotted Line

Al-Qaeda Victory?

considering mind you, to raise the minimum wage only a miserly 70 cents. Never mind that it hasn't been raised in nearly 10 years. The proposal says that in two years it will go up to $7.20, still not a living wage 10 years ago. We need to insure that working Americans get a living wage, and today that means more like $12 to $14 per hour. Adam Smith, the revolutionary-era economist, said that workers should be paid more than they need so that they can spend some of their income creatively in the economy. He said this would create a wealthy nation and today we are. But that wealth is not fairly distributed, which is why Smith also said that taxes were required so that "the indolence and vanity of the rich" can be made to contribute to "the relief of the poor." In Wealth of Nations he wrote: "The subjects of every state ought to contribute toward the support of the government in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state.” Clearly Adam Smith supported a progressive tax system but not on wages. He felt it was the profits, the wealth that accrued at the top of the economy that needed to be taxed and redistributed to those who created the wealth by their labor and for alleviating the damage done extracting the materials for production. People used to know what fair was.  

Howard Switzer

Accolades for Tennessee Stage Co.

It has been exactly no surprise to me that Tom has turned TSC into East Tennessee's pre-eminent regional theater, and I have no doubt that what he's accomplished to this point is only the faintest shadow of what's to come. Tom's inventiveness as an actor was always what he least realized about himself. What he did finally come to see was that his vision of TSC was sufficient to the task of driving the company forward into the 21st century, as vital and progressive as when we conceived it over sandwiches at that little Greek deli in High Point, N.C., back in 1989. I believe in my heart that Tom was just waiting for the set of circumstances that would give him the opportunity that Tennessee Stage Company represented. His acumen as an actor and artist has always been broad enough to accommodate such diverse experiments as a new play series, a classics repertory, Shakespeare in the Park (if I have a legacy at TSC, that is it), and Young Actors' programs. The fact that East Tennessee has been receptive to the eclectic menu that TSC presents is purely a testament to Tom's personal vision and his rather remarkable lack of ego in bringing that vision to life.

I had a serious illness in '95 that seriously impaired my memory. As a result, I don't have all the details of what must have been a magical time in Knoxville, back when we were attempting to breathe life into TSC, merely a concept at that time. Most of what I know has been told to me by other people who witnessed those labor pains. But what I do know is that Tom has managed, against the same long odds that all new theater companies face, to establish and maintain a credible, vital, progressive theatre that juggles several minor miracles at once: conservator of the rich history of theater, patron of new plays and new ideas, and provocateur of those minor heresies that turn stale plays into living, breathing examples of modern theatre reborn. For my part of what has become Tennessee Stage Company, I want only to say this: Thanks, Tom. What you have accomplished is far, far more than the sum of its parts.

Steve Patrick

Sign at the Dotted Line

Geoff Trowbridge

Al-Qaeda Victory?

The weakness of American will is revealed again. The Democratic pounding the message of Iraq every moment up to the election fell right into the hands of the terrorists. Future escalation of strikes against American interests is extremely likely.

Communist dictator Hugo Chavez makes a public announcement of rejoicing in the Democratic victory and their perceived plans. The United States is to become the laughing stock of the world.

And it is not only the Democrats. The Republicans did not help themselves. There was corruption in the legislature where Republicans had to vacate their office as well the gross immorality of one of their own. It is hard to claim the moral high ground when affairs such as these are made public. 

But these Republican issues were resolved to the point these legislatures were forced from office. The Democrats would not let it go. They constantly pounded the airwaves regarding these resolved failures.

Meanwhile the emboldened Al-Qaeda leaders vowed that their fighters would never rest until they have reached Jerusalem and destroyed the White House.

Earl Barnett

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