Our Duties To Question And To Debate

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

We find ourselves in an extraordinary period where our inalienable rights and liberties have been temporarily curtailed. In particular, of the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the latter two have been curtailed with an aim to preserve the life of more citizens.

We can and should question and debate the boundaries of these restrictions and be unhampered to advocate against any portion of them that we believe are unnecessary. This is especially true when decisions are made by executive authority rather than by our elected deliberative bodies. I saw written somewhere online words to the effect of “extraordinary restrictions should come with extraordinarily clear justification.” Whether you agree with that proposition (I do), more generally citizens of all stripes have a right to express their opinions. I have noted before that Tennessee’s founding principles take some of the strongest stances towards liberty rather than obedience, consent rather than dictation, and trust of the individual.

Others in our community and nation have voiced their concerns over how to balance the lives of those at high risk with the lives, rights, and futures of all citizens. I consider that discussion very worthwhile, and at no point should that debate be unwelcome. When we consider the balance of present and future lives, I implore us to also remember the citizens of the past. To secure our liberties and build our country, so many of the past sacrificed greatly, in dangerous jobs, deferred dreams, and of course giving their lives in battle. In light of their sacrifice, I argue that we have a moral duty to question, debate, and dissent. I advise those of you in the thick of this debate to consider if your words and actions honor the purpose of the sacrifices of those who came before us. Only you can decide the answer, but please be sure to ask yourself the question.

Finally, a word to our executive officials and those advising them: no one envies your job right now in these uncertain times. Nonetheless, you cannot afford to forget that you do not speak to us, you speak for us.

David Kelman


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Opinion

Remember The Role Of Kim White And Erskine Oglesby In The BID - And Response

Kim White and Erskine Oglesby, mayoral candidates in the upcoming City of Chattanooga mayoral race, engaged in and promoted an increase in the expense of owning property and in owning and operating a business in the city’s downtown area. I n 2018, while President and CEO of the River City Company, Kim White and Erskine Oglesby as a board member of the River City Company, promoted, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: “Where’s The POD At?”

The state of Tennessee has been allotted “about 80,000” doses of COVID vaccine a week for the entire state since the first ‘public” vaccinations began roughly three weeks ago, this according to Bill Christian, a spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Health. But –wait! -- as of Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim 656,550 doses have been distributed ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Lee Tells General Assembly "It's Time To Intervene For Our Kids

Saying the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions for schools, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee told members of the General Assembly, "It's time to intervene for our kids." The governor spoke at the opening of a joint convention on education that he called. His remarks as prepared for delivery are: Thank you Lt. Governor McNally and Speaker Sexton, Speaker Pro-Tem ... (click for more)

2 Men, 21, 40, Shot In Separate Incidents Monday Evening

Two men were shot in separate incidents on Monday evening and showed up at a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. At approximately 8:41 p.m. Monday, Chattanooga Police were dispatched on a report of shots fired in the area of Olive Street and Roanoke Avenue. While en route, officers were advised that a 40-year-old man had arrived at a local hospital by private vehicle ... (click for more)

Sports

Chattanooga FC Looking For More Success With Familiar Faces For 2021 Season

By any standard, the Chattanooga Football Club had about as successful a season as one could have hoped for in the topsy-turvy year that was 2020. As the top side in their conference, CFC won the Independent Cup in the shortened preseason, and then made it midway through the NISA playoffs after the regular season. While COVID-19 forced the team and league to shut down for several ... (click for more)

Chattanoogan Bill Akers Outshined The Babe In September Of 1930

The Major League Baseball season is the longest of any pro sport in America, and it has been this way for over 100 years. Each season has hot streaks and slumps, masterful pitching performances and demotions to the bullpen. On any given day, the unknown ballplayer can become a hero. On September 13, 1930, Detroit Tigers rookie shortstop and Chattanoogan Bill Akers didn’t just outduel ... (click for more)