"And they're supposed to have a nuanced understanding of history because nuance is the only way you get from 'A dude was executed for being a spy against our nation" to "But he's a hell of a Tennessean.'"
Er, not nuanced enough. Sorry to indulge a pet peeve, but I seem to recall that one of the core issues involved in the Late Unpleasantness was precisely *where one's loyalty lay.* Whether the United States was a nation or a mere confederation was the issue over which the Union and the Confederacy first came to blows. Of course slavery was at the root of it; that was why the South seceded. I'm not trying to apologize for what I consider a pretty nasty movement. But it was nasty because it was launched to preserve slavery, not because it showed "disloyalty" to a Union that lots of people still referred to as "These United States." Those demonstrators (and Doug Henry) would insist that Sam Davis was loyal to what he was supposed to have been loyal to; his nation. It just wasn't *your* nation, or mine.
God, what a shock. I was actually sitting beside him at a table last week with a group of people connected with the Martha O'Bryan Center talking about Nashville's educational needs; we were comparing our infirmities, but were in general agreement that they were minor. We shared a common passion for the South; for me his great work (certainly in heft) was his wonderful *Speak Now Against the Day,* his massive history of southern liberalism prior to the civil rights era. He was an eloquent and insightful observer of a region in tumult; his journalism is a record of, and monument to, its dramatic transformation in the late twentieth century. Those of us who care about the place are much the poorer.
Er, exactly what does it mean to talk about the "costs of charter schools"? Are their costs per student higher than we see in the public schools? It's unclear to me just how charter schools are a burden on public-school funds except insofar as they simply reduce available funds for the rest of the system. But it's not as if they aren't providing education services to students themselves--students that MNPS would otherwise have to pay to educate. I guess I'd like to see more analysis here; what are the trade-offs?
You're pointing to a problem that seems to be pandemic among public-policy people of both parties: They tend to assume liquid labor markets in which the only variable is "human capital" investment. But in rural and small-town Tennessee (and the South in general) family and community are your social safety net. Most public-policy types, on the other hand, are people who themselves rely heavily on their own human capital, identify strongly with their careers, and routinely move great distances for self-advancement. I study southern economic development issues, and a couple of years ago got to spend some time at a think-tank in North Carolina dealing with these issues. One of my colleagues was an economist at UNC-Chapel Hill who had studied, among other places, an economically devastated old mill town called Spindale (famous in some circles as the home of WNCW). His view was that people should just up and leave. I kept telling him what you're saying: that people aren't just productive modules, that in fact most people value jobs as a means to support the other things they value (family, community), not (like us) as their source of identity. His trump card, of course, was the question, "What's the alternative?" I haven't figured that one out yet myself.
A source who has no direct involvement in the case says he "believes" this to be true? And Allyn considers this solid enough to report? If these are the journalistic standards we can expect going forward, this could get ugly, indeed.
Er, apples and oranges. You cite a statewide poll showing Lugar popular with *all* voters in Indiana in 2010; Lamar!'s poll shows him heavily popular among *Republican* voters. Lugar made his Senatorial rep in foreign relations, a sure way to lose touch with the voters back home; Lamar!, with his money base in Belle Meade and his Tom Ingram-fueled PR machine, has been careful not to do that. Finally, there's a reason why there's no Senator Mourdock.
This news is especially remarkable when one considers that Buffett is generally bullish on newspapers--though, true to form, he prefers strong, small-to-medium local newapapers that are well embedded in their communities and thus have wide "economic moats." I doubt the *Tennessean* would qualify if it were available for a stand-alone purchase; Buffett likes firms that are already well managed, not salvage jobs.
All Comments »
The SouthComm Set
The City Paper |
LEO Weekly |
Medical News Papers
All contents © 1995-2013
City Press LLC, 210 12th Ave. S., Ste. 100, Nashville, TN 37203. (615) 244-7989.
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of City Press LLC,
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.
Powered by Foundation