Publisher’s Positions

By Steve Hunley

Pure Politics

Last week was a momentous week for firsts. Joe Biden finally had something to say about the violent anti-Israel campus riots across the country, condemning what he admitted wasn’t a “peaceful protest.” “We are not an authoritarian nation where we silence or squash dissent,” Biden said at his press conference. That just isn’t true. College and university campuses have long been sites where those with conservative voices were silenced and dissent has regularly been squashed. It’s not fake news, but it certainly is old news.

“And moments like this, there are always those who rush in to score political points,” Biden said. “But this isn’t a moment for politics. It’s a moment for clarity.” As to be expected, Old Joe provided no clarity at all and his reading off his teleprompter was all about politics and nothing else. Why did it take so long for Biden to condemn the violence? Why hasn’t he made a statement about the violence against the civil rights of Jewish students? Why did he have to intertwine his statement with yet another mention of “Islamophobia?” That can be answered in a single word: MICHIGAN. Biden is attempting to appease the great majority of Americans who have been utterly appalled by the slaughter of Israeli citizens on October 7, as well as divert attention from the pro-Hamas demonstrators like Khymani James who is one of the leaders of the rioting at Columbia University. James stated, “I feel very comfortable, very comfortable calling for (Zionists) to die.” Evidently, James believes as a gay Black man, he is immune from making racist utterances, but his comment is undeniably worthy of any Nazi working at a concentration camp. “Be grateful that I’m not just going out and murdering Zionists,” James posted on social media.

Is it any wonder that some rioters across the country have been photographed giving the raised arm salute given by Nazis? It shouldn’t surprise a single soul.

Biden also finally acknowledged, “Destroying property is not a peaceful protest.” Wow. He had nothing to say during the summer of the Antifa riots when communities were being looted and buildings, including those owned by the federal government, were being burned.

Leftists and their media personalities have clutched their pearls and nearly fainted dead away when no less than Al Sharpton compared the college and university riots to January 6th. Yep, it wasn’t just me, or another conservative. Sharpton said Democrats were losing the “moral high ground” by refusing to admit the obvious.

The literature being distributed among the rioters is increasingly violent and calling for more violence. As this is written, one Jewish student had been beaten unconscious, and others harassed, intimidated and threatened.

As is typical with Joe Biden, he made his statement but didn’t really do anything. On his way out, he said he wouldn’t call in the National Guard. So, what was the purpose of his statement? It wasn’t leading with kindness and none of the people who claim to do that have any right to utter those words without having condemned violence against the Jewish people. It wasn’t basic human decency. If we rule out someone having left more cocaine in the White House, demonic possession, and adjusting his meds, that leaves only one thing: politics. Precisely what he said it wasn’t.


State Legislators Should Be Concerned With All Employees – Not Just Teachers

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs presented his budget last week and, as usual, he did a very good job in trying to address as many concerns as possible with a finite amount of money, something the federal government seems unable to do.

The General Assembly increased the starting salaries of teachers; now the starting salary for a new teacher is $47,000 in Knox County. It will be $51,000 for a teacher with a master’s degree. I understand there has been a dearth of students coming out of colleges and universities to be teachers. Still, legislators who supported the pay jump have no right to criticize the federal government for passing unfunded mandates, as they’ve done the same thing. As far as I can see, they didn’t send along the money to pay for the increased salaries.

What most Knox Countians don’t understand is that two entities of local government consume roughly 3/4 of the entire budget: the schools and Knox County Sheriff’s Office. Every other aspect of government is funded through the remaining one quarter of the budget. We have some very hard-working county employees who perform their jobs as well as their counterparts in the schools and the sheriff’s department, yet they always have to make do with less money. The City of Knoxville’s government’s budget is less than half that of Knox County, not because it is well managed – – – the city raises property taxes every three or four years and continues to spend – – – but has no schools and provides only police and fire protection and garbage pick-up.

There is some growing resentment on the part of those other county employees who work just as hard and do just as fine a job in offices that are of importance to our local community. State legislators should be more cognizant about passing unfunded mandates, no matter how good the case is. Increasing the cost of local government and straining the budget is simply another form of increasing taxes, especially during a time of high inflation. Of course, no employee, teacher, deputy, or regular county employee is going to receive the kind of raise that is higher than the current inflation. Nor will most people in the United States.