Blog Posts

Liz Cheney’s fall from grace may be the most ironic thing ever

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a couple dozen times: Politics and hypocrisy are strange bedfellows. Any of us who toe ideological lines have some hypocrisy in us — regardless of who you are, which party you ascribe to, or how partisan or non-partisan you may be. For example, I’m opposed to the increased interference and regulations of “Big Government,” yet I’m also opposed to abortion-on-demand and favor government regulations to restrict abortions. That’s hypocrisy. In American politics,

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Yes, the Civil War was about slavery

This is a subject that came up in a Facebook discussion about the famous Ken Burns documentary, and I felt compelled to expand on my views a little bit — compelled because I was once one of those who blindly subscribed to the so-called “Lost Cause” theory that attempts to explain the South’s cause as noble and just. Except “blindly” really isn’t the right word, because I wasn’t exactly blind. I subscribed to the Lost Cause theory because that’s what

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Using teen’s death for an agenda

USA Today ranks the three worst jobs in America as 1.) Taxi Driver, 2.) Logger, and 3.) Newspaper Reporter, in that order. Police Officer doesn’t appear anywhere on the list of 25 Worst Jobs in America. I’m not sure how. If you needed any clearer indication that law enforcement officers in America are under attack, see the Ma’Khia Bryant incident in Ohio. On the same day that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of 2nd degree murder

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They have to leave their neighborhood to play their home games because it’s unsafe. Yet it’s where they have to return to at night.

This sort of put the troubles in the East Knoxville community around Austin-East High School into perspective for me. Last night, Scott High and Austin-East played a softball double-header at Caswell Park in East Knoxville. The park (which was once the home of the Smokies before they moved to Kodak) is where A-E is playing their home games this season. In light of the recent spate of violence in the vicinity of Austin-East, opposing coaches are understandably reluctant to take

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The deception of the press reaches an all-time high

As a newspaper editor and a journalist for more than 20 years, I’m highly critical of the press. I believe we owe it to not only our readers but perhaps more importantly our profession and the integrity of journalism in general to closely examine the work we’re producing for hints of bias and partiality. By “we,” I truly mean we. I am human, and I make my fair share of mistakes, just like everyone else. It’s impossible to completely remove

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Tennessee TV station falls victim to cougar hoax

There’s nothing more embarrassing in journalism than being spectacularly wrong. Trust me, I know. I’ve been there, done that…maybe should’ve had a t-shirt made. A Chattanooga TV station is likely figuring that out today, after apparently falling victim to a hoax about a cougar being spotted in Tennessee. The station, WDEF Channel 12 in Chattanooga, posted a story Wednesday, claiming that a cougar had been spotted in the Falling Water area, which is just off U.S. Hwy. 27 north of

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Pray without ceasing: Lessons taught us by Thessalonians 5

OpenBible with bright sunset in the background. Close-up. Horizontal shot.

“Pray without ceasing.” It is one of the most familiar verses of the Bible. It comes from 1 Thessalonians 5:17, but you know the words even if you don’t know the chapter and verse. They’re so common in American vernacular that they almost take on a secular form of their own. They’re applied throughout our culture, used as inspiration that to turn to God is to find a solution for hardships and troubles. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 is so popular that

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Exploring the ghost camp

I never expected it to take me 20 years to get back. After 20 years, I wasn’t even sure I could find my way back — at least not without the aid of a map (which I deplore; I’m a man, after all). As I bounced my Jeep across a couple hundred thousand potholes on Overton County backroads, that thought crossed my mind — that it had taken me 20 years to come back even though I live less than

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Vols program is worse off than most think, and Phillip Fulmer deserves more credit for that than most give

I’ll warn you at the outset that I am a recovering Tennessee football fanatic. I haven’t burned by Vols gear, and don’t intend to. You aren’t going to hear me saying heretic things like, “I’m rooting for Alabama.” You can still find me plugged in to ESPN on fall Saturday afternoons. But I’m recovering in the sense that I no longer have the passion for Tennessee football that I once had. It’s a passion that began when I was a

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The history of Garrett: Tracing the lineage from medieval Europe to Tennessee

From left to right are Lewis Alexander Garrett (1868-1932), his father John Perry Garrett (1836-1912), and his great-grandfather Elijah "Caleb" Garrett Sr. (1777-1855).

The descendants of Lewis Alexander Garrett (1868-1932) — which include Maude A. Garrett, Warren Omar Garrett, Elza Oral Garrett, Henry Clayton Garrett, Serina Bell Garrett, William Theodore Garrett, Denver Elmer Garrett, Myrtle Alice Garrett Voiles, Velma Ann Garrett Duncan, Lloyd Albert Garrett, Herman Alexander Garrett and Virgie Leo Garrett — are an unmistakably Appalachian clan. They’re deeply entrenched along the remote northern Cumberland Plateau and they are mostly un-wealthy. It seems odd that such an Appalachian family would have direct

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Tennessee, king of the buyout, is paying Phillip Fulmer $1.4 million to fire him

Phillip Fulmer is in his third year as the University of Tennessee's athletics director.

Life is good if you’re Phillip Fulmer. I mean, it’s not $900,000-per-year good. But it’s $450,000-per-year good. And that’s pretty good when you’re sitting around doing nothing. It was revealed Wednesday that the University of Tennessee and Fulmer are nearing an agreement on Fulmer’s “separation package” as he prepares to retire from his post as the Vols’ athletics director. The terms: 50% of his current salary for the duration of his contract. That’s $450,000 per year for the next three

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Revisiting one of Scott County’s most notorious murders

Brenda Lawson was scared. It was late in the night of May 29, 1970. She and her husband, Robert, were sitting in their 1965 Pontiac Tempest, in a darkened Norma driveway. Not just any driveway; they were at the home of Dr. D.T. Chambers. The elderly doctor was one of Norma’s most prominent citizens, and his two-story brick home with stately white columns was the most prominent residence in the fading lumber community. Brenda and Robert didn’t want to be

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