I happened to be a face in the crowd late Thursday afternoon when just the visual presence of about 100 people who I know share a deep love for our Chattanooga gave me assurance that they, too, have just about had enough. I was sitting next to a longtime friend when I told Arch Howell, as I surveyed the crowd, it had been awhile since I’ve found myself in the midst of so many ‘good people.’ He, also a son of the South (we are both Ole Miss boys), knew exactly what “had enough” and “good people” meant in our habit of talking Dixie. He also has seen ‘with his own eyes’ what happens when people of the same heart finally get ‘put out’ with the left-thinking foolishness that is showing signs of ruining what generations upon generations have instilled in our area with their Biblical values, their patriots’ character, and their deep family-born principles.
My gracious goodness, the distaste and rancor now seen as universal among the gentle is spreading worse than kudzu weed. It is even quicker to root. We’ve found our public schools steadily deteriorating, where insolence, cheating, and even criminal behavior doesn’t so much as get a teenager sent to the principal’s office. Disrespect for teachers, the smell of marijuana in the restrooms, and daily absences are now the new norm in not just the inner city but in quite nearly every middle and high school beyond. We have elementary schools where teacher turnover is over 30 a year due to psychotic leaders, egotistical bullies who fake ‘supervising,’ and what is said to be reverse-discrimination, as if you can believe that after our Department of Education’s revelation that a black person cannot be prejudiced.
We have the homeless defecating in sidewalk planting pots, a downtown where not one person on either the City Council or the Hamilton County Commission dares to walk alone, even at 11 a.m., on any given morning. We have allowed parking, of all things, to become such a greed-driven cancer it has just become a serious threat to our Main Street revival. It is a given that our ‘urban planners’ are far more adept at ruining our city than fostering one’s growth. Here’s a dandy example of urbanism: With last month’s blessing of the parking meters everywhere in the newest Land of Low-hanging Fruit, walk the length of Main Street and count the parking spaces allocated to “the minute bandits” versus the greed-driven lack of loading zones.
Next, count the small shops and restaurants. The difference between the loading zones and the meters is unexplainable, right? Now look at the difference between the loading zones and the small shops. Let’s call that unforgivable. If the little guy can’t stock his shelves, his customers can’t park, and his cries fall hollow, it is time to push the reset button on those idiotic liberal types who are, in fact, best known as The Legion of the Miserable.
One more task before the lesson: Look at the last five years in new restaurant/bar licenses on just Market and Broad, from MLK to the Aquarium. Now compare that long impressive list to the short list that is today’s menu. Do you wonder what happened to those places? The ever-wispy RiverCity crowd knows exactly what happened. They helped create the Frankenstein. Do we even need to bother with the lesson?
Now that crowd of RiverCity lulus has just birthed a ‘business district’ of sorts where everybody in that part of the zip code will be forced to pay a ransom to get services that as a taxpayer they have been promised but that have been ignored. Jim Coppinger is a fine county mayor, a good man, but the time of buddy-buddy committee appointments has had far worse than “an adverse reaction” on the lives of those most affected. The North Shore district is even worse because some moron still believes you can stuff a size 11 foot into a size 7 shoe. The so-called Urban Design Institute has ruined so much in our town I am convinced it is a farce and should become… er, institutionalized, right? The Planning Commission is as repulsive to day-to-day Hamilton County people who live in reality as an off-color joke. Is there overgrowth in Ooltewah and Collegedale? The botched sewers in Dallas Bay? It is as repulsive as the Seven Deadly Sins.
Think about an alternative. What if little voices who haven’t been heard at City Hall for nearly eight years would have a voice and a forum based on one precept – what is the right thing to do? I believe in my heart-of-hearts HamiltonPAC will vet the right people to do the right thing because it’s real simple: the council, the commission and the mayors will be held accountable. The trick is getting ‘good’ people elected where they can get things done and vilifying those who have no business in the public sector.
Great mercy, don’t you see the head of the snake? Our “liberal elite” are still in such a politically-correct fog they are unable to see we are marching in lockstep with Chicago, Detroit and Memphis – all Chattanooga’s soulmates on the FBI’s list of “The Ten Most Dangerous Cities” in America.
Not one person can dispute Chattanooga is also by far the smallest -- yet every bit as stinky -- as the biggest in the “Top Ten” of that other appalling list -- “The Worst Run Cities in America.” That is why well over 100 community leaders, each handpicked by invitation, met Thursday at The Mountain City Club to begin what will be known as the Hamilton PAC. Yes, that’s Political Action Committee, and, yes, checks were written by many, right then and there. It is the express hope of the “good people,” most certainly representing the overwhelming wishes of the community, that HamiltonPAC will fund concerted efforts to defend or replace our key leadership with “red” politicians instead of those ‘blue’ ones.
The conservatives among those who love our city have now ‘had enough’ of the black-on-black shootings, the schools’ frivolous inequity, inequality and other leftist experiments that don’t do one thing to educate children. The bogus “white privilege” nonsense is another excuse for stupidity but, in Chattanooga, we earned four straight days of embarrassment on the national news and a cover in Newsweek. But, wait … what’s this? … our school district just enabled a million-dollar heist in the form of … what? … skin cream?
The only thing worse is that our current political leaders will not do one thing to rebuke those at the school’s Central Office who enabled such a crime and, true to form, not any will be sent to the principal’s office. You see, that’s because it might hint – horror of horrors -- of racism. According to court records, some of those who absconded with $954,000 are black, which absolutely makes not one whit of a difference, but ‘racist’ is now a “catch all” term for any person of authority who is not black who charges a black with any malfeasance.
Now we find the RiverCity “business district” scam; it is nothing but an invention of the lame brains – the parking component is still there. The panhandlers who block your path, the homeless who “just want to talk,” and the tourist bureau’s zest to point the unwary to Coolidge Park at night – where a thrill is a guarantee – are still the worst part of the already doomed package. The hucksters at City Hall, working so feverishly on Patten Parkway (?), have the spottiest record since five years before Chief John Ross nosed up his canoe at Ross's Landing. The downward spiral of Chattanooga is in direct relation with a City Council that railroaded a Police Review Committee on a year when we are headed for a record for black-on-black shootings. Hello?
Yeah, when I read about the shooting death of Clayton Mason this week – such a vivid and glorious star on our horizon – and then thought of the black pastors who are protesting an arrest by Sheriff Jim Hammond’s officer of a modern-day Barabbas, I reached for my nausea pills. Yessir, we have major reasons to prove the liberals among us must be replaced in every area of decision. Oh, I know the HamiltonPAC will not be perfect; we realize it cannot be due to the undeniable fact each one of us is different. But the victory comes when ‘good people’ find faith in the understanding that is why we are all alike.
Please! I openly dare the City Council and the Hamilton County Commission to hold a joint meeting, hear the people, and then just try to run for re-election. That's the goal of HamiltonPAC and hereby be advised; if a liberal politician wants to give it a run, they better be able to substantially prove a servant’s heart because the ‘good people’ that includes blacks, Hispanics and whites, rich, poor, thick, or thin – are now entering the game. Heed these words – be better or be gone.
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Now, there is work to be done. If you have any interest in the conservative non-profit Hamilton Flourishing or HamiltonPAC, please send inquiries to Doug Daugherty at www.HamiltonFlourishing.org or in writing to 820 Broad Street, Suite 202; Chattanooga, Tn. 37402.