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This article can be filed under the “be careful what you wish for” heading. The row between the Franklin Main Street Program and many of the downtown merchants is unfortunate, but predictable. A few years back, merchants were enthusiastic about reconstituting the Main Street Program that had fallen by the wayside. I didn't share that optimism. The downtown merchants were and are, capable of making their own individual and collective decisions for promoting their businesses. Creating a government entity creates an additional barrier to entrepreneurial flexibility. At the time, I argued that if we were having difficulties promoting joint business ventures, why did we think a layer of bureaucracy would solve that problem?

Theoretically, the Main Street Program should be working to improve the business climate and in the process - make itself obsolete. What are the odds of any government program working toward its own demise?


The FCC has on the table a policy that would resurrect broad censorship rules – very similar to those that were revoked in 1987 because of their chilling effect on free speech and the television press.

The proposed new Localism, Balance and Diversity Doctrine could eventually also affect news on the Internet. The FCC has already begun transferring the broadcast spectrum used by local television to the Internet to make it the nation’s primary communications platform, and the agency has already started to regulate the Internet.


In October 2011, six entrepreneurs from Franklin attended a conference in Asheville. The conference was an AdvantageWest initiative highlighting “ways for entrepreneurs and community leaders to focus efforts on strategic goals which ultimately keep the ‘wealth at home.’ Industry representatives and successful business owners explained their experiences with the common pursuit of growing a ‘local economy.’”

The conference and the objective were legitimate, and the attendees came away inspired to implement what they had learned. And thus, Venture Local Franklin was born.


If the top spy in the world can be snooped on, do the rest of us have any hope of avoiding the watchful eye of Big Brother? The saga of ex-CIA director, General David Petraeus’ downfall has many facets. His marital infidelity may grab the headlines, but the intelligence community turning cannibalistic is particularly interesting.

Back in the day, circa 1950s, the CIA was headed by Allen Dulles who was reported to have had a multitude of liaisons with the ladies. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover who used the Bureau as a personal pooper scooper to get dirt on people, never went after Dulles. Dulles enjoyed the company of women but Hoover liked to dress like one, so there was probably a Mexican standoff in place.


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