incoming (2007-09)

In the only county in America where Anna Nicole isn't the top story, it amazes me (and obviously many more of our citizens) just what happened, how it happened and the fact that it hasn't broken any laws. Who writes these laws that allowed this fiasco (choosing your own replacement) to happen? It can only be the politicians and lawyers who run this burg. Or their relatives.

What to do? I hear screams of nepotism, spoils system and even "incestuous relationship" (out of the mouth of departing commissioner John Schmid) in describing the process of replacing our county commissioners. And we thought our elections were entertaining! Can we do anything? Feeling sorry for Mayor Mike is obligatory, but is he not legally handcuffed? Can this mess be straightened out in our lifetimes?

We could dig up Cas Walker and let him beat them all up, but that wouldn't be a 21st century answer. It would put us back into our "Billy Bob" mode. Then again, have we ever left? That's not the answer, although it could be used as a back-up if all else fails.

I have a solution.

First, we need to let our fearless leaders know that we are serious. We could get some of Knox County's rabble-rousers to lead us in protest. Citizens like Sam Venable, Leslie Wylie and John Adams could stand up on the street corners and lead a protest against our local government. We could march on the City County building and show our unity in force.

But the real solution must come from within. I propose a meeting of all the politicians and all of the lawyers in Knox County. Bring them together at the City County building to work out a solution. They could see the peaceful protestors outside and realize that a change must come. Then, it will be up to their integrity and civic duty to come up with an answer to this problem.

Do I think this will work? Of course not. They will stand around telling tales of how many relatives they have on the payroll or how many hours they billed this week while on the golf co urse.

Outside, the real solution will take place. Those of us looking for better leadership can line up against the City County building and start pushing. One good shove and that sucker would tumble down the hillside into the river. Our troublemakers would be gone, floating South to the great unknown... or Alabama, whichever comes first.

Then we could start over again.

Municipalities rarely get a mulligan, but surely we could do a better job with a fresh start.

Woody English


While Saddam was unquestionably a brutal tyrant, he was a secular tyrant, and women were in fact able to attend school and hold professional positions when he was in charge. It is only now, after President George W. Bush's overthrow of the secular Sunni regime, that the mullahs in Iraq have become empowered.

And once the majority Shia take over the country--the unavoidable eventual outcome of President George W. Bush's Iraq adventure--women almost certainly will be forced to live behind the chador and under a very harsh version of Sharia law, as they must in Iran. Of course, former U.S. Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith has revealed that, prior to ordering the invasion of Iraq, President George W. Bush was unaware that there even were two major sects of Islam.

Even though it's "hard work," as he has himself admitted, I'd have to agree that President George W. Bush is doing a heckuva job.

Stan Ivester

Vegging Out

David Jenkins, professor of nutrition and metabolism at the University of Toronto: "The evidence is pretty strong that vegans, who eat no animal products, have the best cardiovascular health profile and the lowest cholesterol levels."

Dr. William C. Roberts, editor-in-chief of The American Journal of Cardiology : "A vegetarian diet is the least expensive and safest means of achieving the plaque-preventing LDL [low-density lipoprotein cholesterol] goal."  

Dr. William Castelli, director of the Framingham Heart Study: "Vegetarians have the best diet. They have the lowest rates of coronary disease of any group in the country... they have a fraction of our heart attack rate and they have only 40 percent of our cancer rate."  

Be heart smart: Call 1-888-VEG-FOOD or visit for a free vegetarian starter kit, including delicious heart-healthy recipes, nutritional advice, and cooking and shopping tips.

Heather Moore

More Music Than Meets the Page

We of the classical music persuasion rehearse long hours year in and year out to bring great music to East Tennessee, yet we are seldom (if ever) reviewed by your paper. It would be nice to open the "Music Issue" of Metro Pulse and find ourselves included there.

Tina Inge Bentrup

To Be Quite Frank

He also wrote, "You see, Red State America doesn't really have access to the major newspapers, the Internet or the cable chat shows that discuss Rudy's problems with conservatives ad nauseum." I generally like Mr. Cagle's pieces, but that comment is just idiotic. To think that people don't have access to these things is ridiculous. Granted, most rural dwellers probably don't subscribe to the Times . But even out in the deepest, reddest, countriest parts of America, you can see more satellite dishes than working automobiles. Even for those who don't get cable and Internet, you can learn about Giuliani (and all the presidential hopefuls) on broadcast network TV and radio for free. And if someone is so deep in the holler that they don't get TV or radio, my guess is that person might not get out to vote at all. 

Trevor J. Cox

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