published Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Pam’s Points: On patience, accountability, leadership and respect

Connie Rogers, from Decherd, Tenn., browses wares at Steve Jordan's booth on the property of Herman Henry along U.S. Hwy. 127 in Walden, Tenn., during the world's longest yard sale Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013.
Connie Rogers, from Decherd, Tenn., browses wares at Steve Jordan's booth on the property of Herman Henry along U.S. Hwy. 127 in Walden, Tenn., during the world's longest yard sale Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013.
Photo by Doug Strickland /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Yard sale is like a filibuster on wheels

Be warned: The World’s Longest Yard Sale is on again along U.S. 127.

It’s four days of junk masquerading as antiques and stretching for 690 miles from Addison, Mich., to Gadsden, Ala.

If you must travel over Signal Mountain or into Dunlap, Tenn. — both part of the route — just think of it politically: It’s like a filibuster on wheels.

You must either make up your mind to take a different route or decide to compromise: Go with the flow and go junking. This is the sale’s 26th year.

Congress may move faster.

Public hospital, public accountability

Erlanger’s new CEO was politicking in front of the Hamilton County Commission on Thursday — laying the groundwork to restructure the public hospital into a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Kevin Spiegel told commissioners he wanted to keep the county leaders in the loop and tell them he has been talking with legislators in a renewed effort to get the hospital restructured so it can “better compete” with other area hospitals. He also told them he wants to seek funding from a $70 million pool of federal money set aside for safety-net hospitals, and he said he has suggested the current Erlanger board be “grandfathered in” to new legislation and be self perpetuating so the hospital does not appear unstable.

A previous attempt to restructure Erlanger’s governing body died at the hands of county commissioners last March, despite the plan passing the state’s House and Senate and being signed by the governor. That first revamp effort failed because the private act needed six votes from the county commission. It didn’t even get a motion.

The county commission appoints some of the board members, and contributes $1.5 million a year to the hospital to help offset the cost of indigent care. Hospital officials said Erlanger provided $85 million in uncompensated care last year.

Commissioners — and lawmakers — should proceed carefully.

Currently, the hospital’s board by law must meet publicly. As a restructured, nonprofit hospital, that would not be the case.

The Pope’s example of leadership

Pope Francis made headlines and some peace this week when he uttered a phrase that more of us should say about many, many things.

“Who am I to judge?”

The comment was about the sexual orientation of priests.

“We shouldn’t marginalize people for this. They must be integrated into society,” the pope said in a long interview with reporters aboard his plane as he returned from a papal trip. “If someone is gay and he searchers for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?”

So many people comment in hateful ways in letters, tweets, Facebook posts, making moral judgments on the sexual orientation, race and faith of others. And those comments inflame still more hate and malcontent.

A person’s actions certainly may be fair game for criticism, but his or her race, faith, gayness or straightness should not be.

Pope Francis is showing himself to be not just a spiritual figurehead, but also a real leader with this message and example of tolerance.

Zach Wamp nailed it

Former Republican U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp showed far more respect to the president and to the people of Chattanooga who he once represented than the current band of Republican Tennessee officials who didn’t attend Barack Obama’s visit here.

Wamp attended as a special guest. His successor, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann declined to attend, as did Sen. Lamar Alexander, Sen. Bob Corker and Gov. Bill Haslam.

Wamp told a reporter: “We need some kind of grand bargain,” adding that he thinks the president is trying to stimulate jobs and is proposing a fair deal.

“This excessive polarization is a cancer … We have got to come together as a people,” said Wamp, who now runs his consulting business in Chattanooga, Zach Wamp Consulting.

“The leadership in Congress right now is less than satisfactory,” Wamp said.

That’s an understatement.

Wamp understands that simple respect allows discourse and compromise.

12
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Facts said...

This is directed to the firing of Mr. Drew Johnson. I offer my respect to this paper for holding its editors to standards in place for other writers.

Years ago, I had a dear friend who worked at the paper. His frequent complaint was the "re-writing" of the headlines to stories he authored.

If an editor refuses to follow a business' policies, soon, disruption happens among other employees. This applies to any other leader in any other business.

Sadly, Mr. Johnson's side of the story is making Chattanooga look like a backward big town. I agreed with him about 60% of the time, but he is proving he should never be trusted with a position of authority or leadership ever again.

He's acting, sadly, like the President he frequently criticized.

August 2, 2013 at 9:36 a.m.
soakya said...

apparently it was a policy that was just changed. if an opinion writer doesn't have control over the entire piece then its not an opinion piece.

What is the purpose of the editorial opinion pieces. I thought it was so the opinion writers would have the freedom to voice their opinion without fear of disciplinary actions especially the fear of losing one's job from the owners of the paper. if i'm mistaken I apologize.

we need to be careful of what we applaud

August 2, 2013 at 10:45 a.m.
Facts said...

So, I suppose my personal friend was untruthful when he explained to me the policy that was in effect about six years ago?

Never let facts get in the way of protecting a political interest.

August 2, 2013 at 11:37 a.m.
soakya said...

When did hearsay become fact? The truth will come out and we will see if indeed you let facts stand in the way of a political interest.

August 2, 2013 at 11:47 a.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Still waiting on Sohn to explain why she repeated the falsehood on Zimmerman using racial slurs prior to the shooting, and not only that, but "using them all the while." That would be accountability.

August 2, 2013 at noon
Facts said...

Not "hearsay." And not surprised. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/20...

August 2, 2013 at 4:03 p.m.
Stewwie said...

I wonder how many people canceled their subscriptions simply because of Johnson. Either the TFP didn't do their homework on Johnson before hiring him, or they somewhat naively didn't expect how the readership would respond to his crazy editorial pieces. Either way, I don't think the TFP ever anticipated Drew being as immature as he is. This immaturity is reflected not only in his apparent unwillingness to follow simple, reasonable orders from the boss, but also in his reasoning for some of the views that he holds (i.e. "Cuss words shouldn't matter"). Really, Drew?

August 2, 2013 at 4:56 p.m.
conservative said...

"A person’s actions certainly may be fair game for criticism, but his or her race, faith, gayness or straightness should not be"

Yes, a persons race should not be criticized. However, a person's faith can sometimes be justly criticized and certainly homosexual behavior should always be criticized.

This writer like all Liberal writers often criticize the moral standards of Christians and Conservatives especially regarding issues of sexual perversion such as homosexuality and abortion and property rights and Constitutional rights.

This writer is a hypocrite plain and simple.

August 2, 2013 at 7:26 p.m.
soakya said...

information relayed from a personal friend on a anonymous forum is not hearsay?? Really?

Sadly it's not Mr. Johnson that that's making Chattanooga and Cleveland backwards. It's the elected officials and NGO's. Mr. Johnson does not represent Chattanooga he represents himself.

August 2, 2013 at 8:25 p.m.
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