Protected: When Worlds Collide: Tony & Mike

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Posted in Education, Sewanee, Tennessee, Uncategorized

And another to my state rep

Dear Representative Rudder,

Trust me, I understand that it’s hurtful to see your political position ridiculed as “cult-like” in an editorial in the Washington Post and likened to “mind control” on CNN. You must sympathize with those of us whose feelings were hurt hearing similarly scurrilous things said about Obama on Fox News a few years ago. But it’s another thing altogether to decide that those entire organizations should be condemned for those opinions as “fake news” by a branch of the Tennessee government. Surely you understand that chief among “the rights that our veterans paid for with their blood” (as your resolution concludes) is the freedom of the press from governmental control? Please, I ask you to think better of it, and remove your name from this hasty and bad-natured resolution.
Chris McDonough
Sewanee, TN
Here’s the story:


A Tennessee lawmaker has introduced an amendment to a resolution that would recognize CNN and the Washington Post “as fake news” that is “part of the media wing of the Democratic party”.

The amendment read: “We recognize that fake news outlets suggest ideas without directly making accusations so that they can claim innocence from their ivory towers.”

Republican state representative Micah Van Huss of Jonesboro introduced the measure Tuesday at the state’s capital. According to local station WREG, it amends a previous joint house resolution filed last month.

The resolution cites instances throughout 2019 in which the Post staff or CNN personalities referred to Donald Trump’s supporters as a cult or “cult-like”.

It said: “We condemn them for denigrating our citizens and implying that they are weak-minded followers instead of people exercising their rights that our veterans paid for with their blood.”

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Oh the fun Lamar and I have

Part of my continuing correspondence with Senator Alexander.

Dear Senator Alexander,

On Meet the Press (Sun Feb 2, 2020), you remarked, “If a call like that gets you an impeachment, I would think he would think twice before he did it again.”

If by “it” you mean “flagrantly interfere in governmental affairs for his own political ends,” you would think he would think twice, wouldn’t you? After all, you would, and I would. But would he?

So yesterday (Tue Feb 11, 2020), the President flagrantly interfered in the sentencing recommendation for this buddy Roger Stone, leading to the resignation of the four career prosecutors, a situation which a former DOJ official has called “a break-glass-in-case-of-fire moment for the Justice Dept.”

I would think you would think he did “it” again without thinking twice, wouldn’t you?

Yours sincerely,
Chris McDonough

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Letter to Sen. Alexander re Bolton

Dear Senator Alexander,

The information from John Bolton’s forthcoming book reported in the New York Times and elsewhere makes the compelling case that the Senate MUST call him as a witness in the Senate’s ongoing impeachment trial of President Trump.
It may be necessary to call others as well, but you owe it to the nation to hear from Bolton before you cast your vote. 

Look, I understand that all of this seems like some kind of political game, and that Democrats are simply looking to further their political agenda while Republicans preserve their own. I am certain that, on a personal level, you think Donald Trump is a distasteful boor who should not be holding the highest office in the land but, somehow, managed it, and so the democratic process needs to be respected.
But the impeachment is part of that democratic process, too, and it deserves to be respected as well. You know Bolton is not a liberal, not a Never-Trumper, not a shill of the Democratic Party. You ought to listen to him.
Please, be a Profile in Courage.
Yours sincerely,
Christopher M. McDonough
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go figure

“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”–Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations


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Goodbye, dogwood

81696119_10100179965265408_6017978183675019264_oA sad tale. In order to bring in fiber optic cable, quite a few trees in town have needed to be removed, including our beloved dogwood by the roadside. In its time, the dogwood had held up Christmas lights in its branches, as well as a See Rock City birdhouse.

The blue X appeared several weeks ago and today was the unfortunate day. A green door hanger indicating that some of our trees would be trimmed or removed came a few weeks earlier. I almost threw it away, thinking it was an ad. But in fact, it was a notice, like a call from a doctor with bad news.

The trucks showed up last week. I had heard a loud sound outside, like an airplane flying too low, but it was in fact the sounds of buzzsaws and the chipper. Then they pulled up in front of our house, but it was late so they decided to come back the following day.

“It’s like watching a pet get put down,” Kelly said. As it happened, we were away when the cutting and chipping took place the next morning. When we came back, there was a pretty little stump, all that’s left of our pretty little tree. 

Some other folks in town wrote on Facebook that they had not realized their trees would be cut down until they arrived home to see them gone. I don’t like what happened, but I can’t say I didn’t have advance notice. That doesn’t make it any easier, of course. I guess losing our trees are the price we pay for progress?

Postscript. My friend Bob Benson’s letter to the Sewanee Mountain Messenger from October:
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Posted in Family, Sewanee, Trees & Flowers | 2 Comments

Me and stuff in the USSR 1984

When I was a student in November of 1984, I visited Moscow and Leningrad. I happened to come across a photo of me in Red Square and thought I ought to put it up, so I could find it again.


Also, I recall visiting the Museum of the Great October Socialist Revolution and actually found the pamphlet, so here’s a few photos of that.

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