Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Nativity of the Lord


In the 5199th year of the creation of the world, from the time when in the beginning God created heaven and earth.

From the flood, the 2957th year.

From the birth of Abraham our father, the 2015th year.

From Moses and the going-out of the people of Israel from Egypt, the 1510th year.

From the anointing of David as king, the 1032nd year.

In the 65th week according to the prophecy of Daniel.

In the 194th Olympiad.

From the founding of the city of Rome, the 752nd year.

In the 42nd year of the rule of Octavian Augustus, when the whole world was at peace.

In the sixth age of the world.

JESUS CHRIST, the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, desiring to sanctify the world by His most merciful coming, having been conceived by the Holy Ghost, and nine months having passed since His conception, was born in Bethlehem of Judah of the Virgin Mary, HAVING BECOME MAN.


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Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve, 1860

Those of you who are complaining about Christmas this year feeling a little glum might feel more blessed when you consider the mood of trepidation that gripped East Tennesseans 150 years ago on Christmas Eve of 1860:

A lot of folks didn't know the big fancy Christmases that we do today, but one has to imagine that people tried to be in holiday mood as much as they could, for the tension in the country and in the community was rising, and neighbors could surely feel it in the air. Outside the major cities of Knoxville and Chattanooga, much of East Tennessee was still isolated from the rest of the State and the country. Those who paid enough attention to what was happening were as worried about whether there would be peace on their front porch tomorrow as they were about the "peace on Earth" so many speak of during Christmastime. In our own day and time we read and hear of civil wars and social and ethnic tensions in far away lands. Perhaps we might learn about the slow-simmering cauldron that would eventually become the Balkan Wars of the 1990's. On Christmas Eve of 1860, the cauldron was bubbling in East Tennessee-not in a land far away.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

The New Sheriff In Town

There's a new Sheriff in town in Newport and Cocke County:

Knoxville News Sentinel's Natalie Neysa Alund has a very good article and interview with Cocke County's zealous new reforming Sheriff, Armando Fontes. In the nearly four months that Fontes has been in office, he's fired a deputy who was allowing marijuana to be grown in his home, and according to a Fontes quote in the Knoxville paper, whose lengthy series on Cocke County corruption chronicles the misdeeds of its public officials in great detail, Fontes has told county Sheriff's deputies "You're gonna do your job or you're gonna learn the phrase, 'Do you want fries with that?' " Cocke County needs someone like Sheriff Fontes, if for no other reason than to clean up a Sheriff's Department with a reputation not for turning a blind eye to criminal activity, but actively engaging in it. Fontes' hypothesis about his election-that the good people in Cocke County showed up to vote and have had enough of their community's nasty reputation-and they'd rather not carry it deep into the 21st Century.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Haslam Picks Henry

Bill Haslam has appointed a life-long disability advocate to lead the Department of Intellectual Disabilities:

Henry spent much of his career in the General Assembly advocating for the rights and the dignity of people with developmental disabilities, and he himself has a child who has a developmental disability. It is worth noting that Henry took up the mantle of disability advocacy at a time (1980, upon his election to the State House) when so many people were still blissfully unaware of the nature of many intellectual and other disabilities and were still hesitant to see people with disabilities participating in the larger society.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Workin' On A Building

Jefferson Countians deserve value for their education dollar:

As has been written in this space before, no one who has seen the state of affairs in Jefferson County schools-especially at the high school-believes that we can go on without anything being done to improve school structures. However, because that money is coming from the budget of a county that is already cash-strapped and will, as a result of bonds to fund school building projects, go deeper into debt, it is right that the county and the school board need to work together and determine what the most important building project is and fund that one first, funding the additional projects on a pay-as-you-go basis.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Tax Incentive Transparency

Republicans in the General Assembly are asking for more transparency regarding corporate tax breaks:

Lawmakers have become frustrated that they have been asked to vote on proposed business tax incentives without being given an understanding of how those benefits were supposed to be properly utilized. Some members have reportedly told the press that they would like greater disclosure about how special incentives meant to attract business to Tennessee could be used before agreeing to them.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

A few thoughts on the Fourth Sunday of Advent.

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