Dennis Norwood: Mr. President, Put Down Your Fiddle. Rome Is Burning

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
It would appear as if our president has all but given up - not only on his presidency - but on governing at all. With crisis after crisis at every turn there is no late night candle burning in the White House. Instead that candle is lighting the way for a series of fundraising events.

This, my friends, scares me. Not as a Republican or Democrat, but as an American. Mr. Obama's predecessors, whether from either party, never let this be the norm. When the world was in turmoil, they were there in the Oval Office doing what they could to ensure first, that America was taken care of and, secondly, that our allies were receiving all they needed from Uncle Sam.

To think that the holder of the most powerful office in the world is out filling the coffers of his political party while these events are happening is like Nero fiddling while Rome burns. It leaves me with a very uneasy feeling. This, coupled with his plan to draw our military back to troop levels we haven't seen in more than a few decades, does not bode well for American interests.

We have planned for those decades with the very real possibility that we might be called upon to fight a conflict across three different geographic areas. With a depleted military we will not be able to do this. I know some say that we do not need to be the world's policeman. But, if not us, then who? Isolationism does not make for a defense; 9/11 showed us just how our enemies can bring the fight to our shores. If we allow our enemies to inflict damage or, even worse, to bring down our allies, we will soon find ourself alone in our belief of freedom and democratic ideals.

Our southern border has become a sieve with illegals, now of all ages, pouring through. Instead of shoring up and defending this border our present administration has opened it up, providing aid and solace to all, even proven gang members.

Our Office of Homeland Security has even denied members of Congress and the press the opportunity to inspect these aid stations. Where, Mr. President, is the transparency you promised?

Our economic system is sagging with the requirements this administration has placed on it with its practice of open borders. We continue to provide free services to the estimated 15 million illegals already within our borders. At what point will our economy finally buckle under? This is where I think candidate for the Republican primary in the 3rd Tennessee Congressional District Weston Wamp has it figured out.

We're never going to bus that many people back across the border, but we shouldn't grant them citizenship, either. Mr. Wamp's plan to put them on the tax roles makes great sense. Not only does it let them help pay for their upkeep, it boosts our economy at the same time.  Thank goodness that the Canadians are happy at home.

Our longtime ally, Israel, finds itself under arms again. Not at its own choosing, but because it was forced to do so by Hamas. One only needs to review history to see that pulling Israel's chain never goes well for those who attempt it. However, the United States should be making overtures to let the world know that we back our longtime friend.

Here in our own country we see accounts every day that show how badly the Affordable Care Act is not working. Families are losing their health insurance and rates are skyrocketing while here in the Tennessee Valley our own BlueCross BlueShield is asking for a 19 percent increase. Our country needs a plan to ensure every member of every family has access to health insurance. However, voting to repeal it 40 times without offering a viable alternative is not the answer.

We'll save the IRS debacle for another day.

Mr. President, Rome is burning. Put down your fiddle.

(You can reach Dennis at or on Twitter at @DennisENorwood. These are his views and not necessarily those of the

Roy Exum: Cometh ‘The Black Dog’

I am one of 350 million people in the world who suffers from clinical depression. The doctors trace it back to my first decade of the 21 st century when constant surgeries and infections knocked me loopy but the more I have found, I believe I am more like Sir Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln and pro football star Terry Bradshaw – I think I have had it all my life. Today it ... (click for more)

Send Your Opinions To

We welcome your opinions at Email to . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

City Council To Consider Policy That Job Applicants Would Not Have To Reveal Criminal Records

The City Council on Tuesday night will consider a policy that city job applicants would not have to reveal their criminal past. Councilman Yusuf Hakeem cited problems those with felony records have in securing employment. The policy would go into effect by the first of the year. The resolution says: WHEREAS, the City of Chattanooga (the "City") is committed ... (click for more)

City Considering Measure That Would Require City Employees To Be Tennessee Residents

The City Council is considering an ordinance that would require city employees to be residents of the state of Tennessee. The city has employees who live in North Georgia and North Alabama and that is allowed.  If the ordinance is approved by the City Council, it still would need to be okayed by a majority of city voters in an election. The measure will be considered ... (click for more)

Alcoa Ends Notre Dame's Season With 42-2 Setback

ALCOA -- It's hard to get past the cold hard facts. Notre Dame's Fighting Irish football team had another outstanding season, but it ended the same way as last year with a semifinal loss to the Alcoa Tornadoes. It wasn't as close as last year's 28-19 defeat as Alcoa gave up a safety in its first possession before scoring 42 straight points, winning for the 10th straight week ... (click for more)

Heights Point Guard Alexander Commits To Florida

Hamilton Heights point guard Shai Alexander, who scored 18 points in the Hawks’ win over Central Park on Tuesday, made a recruiting trip to the University of Florida on Wednesday and announced Friday that he has made a non-binding verbal to coach Mike White’s Gators. Alexander later Friday night scored 12 points and dished out five assists in helping the Hawks post a 66-51 ... (click for more)