Tim Chavez, a columnist for "The Tennessean" featured my blog in his column for today, regarding the idea that more discussion is needed for TennCare and my recent post about the Hamblen Democrat Party chairman Joe Moore daring to hold that very debate on the Hamblen Democrat blog.
Like more and more readers are discovering, having a Cup of Joe is always eye-opening.
Chavez has been a frequent critic of Governor Bredesen, though after the governor appeared on my radio talk show several times and our numerous follow-up discussions, I found him to be an extremely intelligent and responsive elected representative. He simply inherited a gigantic mess after eight years of irresponsible actions by the 1990s-era state legislature and former governor, Don Sundquist -- though the Bushies made him a chairman of a federal committee probing for changes to Medicare. That appointment makes zero sense.
In another column by Chavez from September 23, he notes the most vile comments regarding TennCare have come from conservatives: "Critical e-mails about my columns seeking relief for the suffering and now even deaths of disenrolled or cut back TennCare recipients have mostly come from conservatives. One reader wrote: Don't interfere with the cycle of life; people have to die."
Health care is not only a major problem in Tennessee, it is consuming the contents of everyone's wallets nationwide. And it is not an issue about which political party to blame. Too many lobbyists and lawyers are making a fortune by clouding the issues and obscuring public thought.
As I have said many, many times - the public discussion on issues in government has been cut off at the ankles here in the 21st century. The radio show I hosted on WMTN-AM was a wide-open forum for all kinds of discussion and debatewith bothe lected and appointed officials in Morristown and surrounding communities, and the listeners in East Tennessee made it an enormous success. That was until May of this year, when a new owner bought the station and yanked me off the air in mid-sentence, though this owner never once bothered to talk with me about my show or it's future goals -- all I know of this owner is he is named Fink. Really. Fink.
As of October of this year, Fink successfully dismantled the station and moved his sales staff back to his Sevierville offices -- voices silenced in Morristown and job done.
Statewide and nationwide, residents must have open and free discussion about issues or we will all suffer by its absence. I never thought I would live to see so much repressed speech and abridged rights to voice opinion in America. And the more you are intimidated into silence, the worse it will become.