11th Annual FRANKLIN FOLK FESTIVAL :: Saturday, July 19 from 9am - 4pm in Historic Downtown Franklin

- published 3/27 (Larry) - unpublished ?

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Opinion

The young boy was having a hard way to go as he played his father in foosball. Finally, the lad exclaimed, "That's not fair!" Apparently, he expected to face an equally skilled opponent and the fact that his father had game experience as well as superior hand and eye coordination, constituted an "unfair" advantage.

The boy's definition of “fair” is not all that uncommon and that's part of the reason I limit my use of the word. Fairness and equality are elusive and elastic concepts, often times meaning quite different things to different people. Our national identity is framed by the words in the Declaration of Independence that states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal ...” It's well and good to claim that equality is “self-evident” because you would be hard pressed to actually prove it. Also, at the time Thomas Jefferson penned those words, I don't think he was thinking about slaves and Native Americans, let alone the other half of the population – women.

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While it may be months before the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy can be fully resolved, Americans cannot afford to lose sight of the very real and pressing issues that threaten to derail the nation.

What follows is an overview of the major issues that both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, despite their respective billion dollar war chests, have failed to mention during their extensive campaign trail stumping and televised debates. These are issues that aren’t going away anytime soon. Indeed, unless we take a proactive approach to the problems that loom large before us, especially as they relate to America’s ongoing transformation into a police state, we may find that they are here to stay.

 

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For those hoping to better understand how and why we arrived at this dismal point in our nation’s history, where individual freedoms, privacy and human dignity have been sacrificed to the gods of security, expediency and corpocracy, look no farther than America’s public schools.

Once looked to as the starting place for imparting principles of freedom and democracy to future generations, America’s classrooms are becoming little more than breeding grounds for compliant citizens. The moment young people walk into school, they increasingly find themselves under constant surveillance: they are photographed, fingerprinted, scanned, x-rayed, sniffed and snooped on.

Add to this the epidemic of arresting schoolchildren and treating them as if they are dangerous criminals, and you have the makings of a perfect citizenry for our emerging police state—one that can be easily cowed, controlled, and directed.

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On any given week, an estimated 100 million people shop at Walmart, or about a third of the American population. That number is set to tick upward with the advent of Franklin's Walmart Super Center. Like children waiting for Christmas morning, the anticipation continues to rise. For others, the outlook is more of a Walmart Scrooge, with a bah humbug point of view. For some, Walmart is too big/successful to patronize - the evil empire of retail. With annual gross revenue over $400 billion which exceeds many nations GDP, it's understandable why Walmart is despised by some as the Goliath among the David-sized competitors.

There has never been a time when it's been easy for the smalltime operator. The failure rate for new small businesses has always been high, even before Walmart arrived on the scene. The last century saw the emergence of the supermarket and the shopping mall as well as the critics who opposed their existence. These entities created a paradigm shift in the market place.

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published: 10/18/2013
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