Race relations, weather and traffic

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Just two quick responses to some of the reactions about columns published last Friday by David Melson and myself over the drinking problems in our community:

"Using the race card means you are dealing from the bottom of the deck."

"You know you are over the target when you start taking heavy flack."

During a column at the first of the year, I wrote about how many are using "culture" as an excuse to explain away just about any type of human failing or misbehavior. I really hope we aren't going to get into this argument when it comes to issues of concern, but I'm betting that we will.


On a related topic, here's an interesting comment out of Georgia last Friday.

The Chattanooga Times-Free Press ran a story about how Hispanics were being urged to take a day off from work or school to protest a bill in that state's legislature that would deny some state benefits to illegal immigrants and penalize companies with undocumented workers on payroll.

Flyers were being passed around in Spanish, calling for the boycott of stores and the walk-out. The comment came from State Sen. Chip Rogers, who wrote the legislation that is backed by a large percentage of Georgia's population.

"If people want to protest their right to violate the law, I consider that strange," he said. "But they certainly have the right to do so."

Like I said: Interesting comment.


The Weather Channel needs to start living up to its name.

Last week, we had some of the season's first violent weather roll into the area. All the Nashville stations cut into local programing to give up-to-the-minute data on a possible tornado that blew into southern Bedford County and other areas.

By the time the storm got to Tullahoma, they were able to break down exactly where the cloud rotation was headed and its location at that very instant.

Such as right over my home.

My hat is off to the local stations for their coverage ... but for the channel which is supposed to specialize in this type of thing, not so much.

Later that evening, another cell moved through the area and dumped torrential rain upon us along with thunder and lightning. But instead of giving us live coverage of the storm, they were airing "It Can Happen Tomorrow," a show about just how bad the weather can get with plenty of footage of horrific disasters and survivor stories.

Excuse me, it's all very entertaining, but during times of severe weather, I don't want to know what Can Happen Tomorrow, I want to know what's bearing down on me right now.

If I want to know what Can Happen Tomorrow, I'll check the Weather on the 8's.


I wrote a column some time back telling folks to slow down and stop passing traffic on a double line.

It was apparently ignored.

This writer has had three more close calls this past week due to Bedford County drivers who are seemingly ecstatic that NASCAR season is upon us once again.

One incident was actually in the parking lot of a local restaurant where someone was trying to win the Nextel Cup for the category called Getting In Line at the Drive Thru Before Everyone Else.

The other two happened on Fairfield Pike and Highway 41A going toward Tullahoma, in which some maniac flew up into my rear view mirror, stayed on my rear bumper while swerving all over the road and then raced around me at the first opportunity, nearly colliding with oncoming traffic.

Which leads to this question: Are you people really trying to kill yourselves?

If so, I can recommend a lot more effective ways of dispatching yourself to the hereafter while not endangering the rest of us. It's quick, relatively painless and doesn't leave such an awful mess.

Yes, this is a pet peeve of mine, but it goes along with the profession. Once you've seen the guts of some young person scraped off a guardrail and their blood hosed off the street because they thought that it wouldn't happen to them ... well that sort of thing stays with you.

I'm tired of saying "not another one" when this happens and seeing all those young lives snuffed out. Slow down, people.