Presidents' Day Reflections

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The third Monday of February is known as Presidents Day in the United States. In the beginning, the day was intended to celebrate the birthday of the first president of our country, George Washington. Today we use it to commemorate all 45 Presidents of the United States. 

I would be remiss if I failed to mention that we do not celebrate the legislative branch or judicial branch, but only the executive branch of our government. As our second president John Adams remarked, “In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.” Our various branches of government have often poked fun of one another. 

Presidents, as we well know, are not immune from criticism. Jimmy Carter said about his time as president since he left office, “My esteem in this country has gone up substantially. It is very nice now when people wave at me, they use all their fingers.” 

Somehow over the years, since we now have almost full and immediate access to information on public figures, including presidents, our respect for the office of president is in decline. It used to be said, you do not have to respect the man, but you do have to respect the office. Somehow, I think this maxim has fallen by the wayside. 

Historians and our history books often reinterpret our presidents in a new light, or try to view them in the prism of modern society. Knowingly misrepresenting our history constitutes intellectual harassment according to Michael Rosenbaum. Historical negationism which is watering down history to make something politically correct is dangerous. Utilizing revisionism or misrepresenting a former president’s true political position is inappropriate at best and Orwellian at worst. 

For example, many presidents have had their race, ethnicity and even sexual orientation debated. And religion is almost universally questioned, when the faith issue is brought up. Our former leaders, or at least their very being, are no longer accepted at face value. 

Lyndon Johnson made an astute observation by pointing out that the “presidency has made every man who occupied it, no matter how small, bigger than he was; and no matter how big, not big enough for its demands.” Nobody is born to be President of the United States, and the on-the job-training is unlike any other endeavor the office holder is likely to face. 

Perhaps we can simply honor all of our presidents, and give the nastiness of modern politics a much needed day off. We cannot deny that the ugliness of politics today is offensive to our own dignity and self-worth. Everyone elected as a public servant is entitled to a basic level of human decency. It is important that we remind ourselves of this fact on this President’s Day. 

J.C. Bowman
Executive Director of Professional Educators of Tennessee, a non-partisan teacher association headquartered in Nashville



Stories That Chokes Me Up

I've struggled over the years to come to grips with my personality flaws. Ask anybody who knows me, I have more than several. The one in particular that we will address today, ladies and gentlemens, is my propensity to tear up way too quickly. I'm the guy who chokes up every time that pitiful rain soaked teddy bear crawls over to the curb and dies in that tracking device commercial. ... (click for more)

The National Zombie League

NFL players are similar to zombies. They are playing football carelessly, they are not thinking about what consequences they may have to face. NFL players are taking so many colossal hits, that when a player get injured, fans are almost like “it’s, alright it’s normal.” Injuries are becoming directly related with football. However, there are still players that believe that the NFL ... (click for more)

Home In Alton Park Damaged By Fire Friday Morning

No injuries were reported in connection with a house fire in Alton Park Friday morning. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm around  8:30 a.m.  and responded to 4020 Highland Ave. with five fire companies. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, one of the residents of the house was concerned this his wife might still be inside. The firefighters ... (click for more)

Pedestrian Struck And Severely Injured In East Ridge Thursday Night

The East Ridge Police Department is investigating a motor vehicle collision involving a pedestrian being struck  at 5300 Ringgold Road on Thursday around  10 p.m. Officers arrived and found that East Ridge resident Dale Henderson had been struck by a vehicle and was suffering from severe injuries. It appears he attempted to cross Ringgold Road in front ... (click for more)

Undefeated Soddy Daisy Wrestlers Roll Past Improved Ooltewah

Wrestling is one of those sports where peaking is a process.  All coaches hope their guys reach their full potential in February when the post-season tournaments take place. So it’s hard to really put a finger on who’s who and what’s what in mid December, but the Soddy Daisy Trojans are headed in the right direction and the Ooltewah Owls are making wonderful progress as ... (click for more)

Prep Wrestling; Bradley Central, CCS, McCallie Have Tournaments This Weekend

Area wrestling fans have plenty of excellent wrestling to choose from this weekend as Bradley Central and McCallie tournaments are today and Saturday while the Charger Invitational at Chattanooga Christian is all day Saturday. Bradley Central  (27th Annual) Friday Start Time: 5 p.m. Saturday Semifinals: 10 a.m. Finals: 3 p.m. 2x Defending ... (click for more)