published Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

The Right Response: Thoughts on TVA, terrorism and Obama


Recent Free Press editorials have tackled some controversial topics and ruffled a few feathers. Here are some of my favorite reactions to, and questions about, our editorials, along with my responses. To submit a question for a future “Right Response” column, email me at:, or send a tweet to: @Drews_Views.

— Drew Johnson

The editorial claiming that people shouldn't worry about being injured or killed by terrorists is reckless, to say the least.

Reckless? Ha!

Reckless is an editorial that says not to worry about heart disease, cancer, strokes or other afflictions that kill hundreds of thousands of Americans a year. Reckless is encouraging people to drive drunk, pick a fight with a UFC champion or pull a gun on a cop.

It is not reckless to state the truth, which is that neither you nor a loved one is likely to die in a terrorist attack.

Is it reckless to say that Americans shouldn't worry about dying from falling out of bed, tripping on a throw rug or battling a vicious case of diarrhea? No. Because the potential of dying from any of those things is so rare and so unlikely, it's not even worth thinking about. But each of those things have killed more Americans over the last decade than domestic terrorism.

Government officials should worry a little less about terrorism, too. If they did, we'd live in a freer, more enjoyable society.

The idea of privatizing TVA is ludicrous from a conservative perspective. TVA is so far in debt that taxpayers will likely lose money by selling it.

Even selling TVA at a loss would be a more free market, conservative policy decision than continuing government ownership of an electric monopoly.

I cringe at the thought of TVA's nuclear program being in the hands of "private enterprise."

Are you talking about the same TVA that is responsible for spilling a billion gallons of wet coal ash that that polluted 300 acres in Kingston, Tenn., less than five years ago? Are you talking about the same TVA where it was a man faked nuclear reaction inspection records? Are you talking about the same TVA that exposed workers to radioactive contamination as a result of "deliberate misconduct" by a contractor, the same TVA that shuttered a nuclear power plant because it was not constructed under the parameters of the blueprints and the same TVA that has received a number of violations from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for everything from inept management to faulty machinery?

There are 65 commercially operating nuclear power plants in America, only three of them are managed by the TVA. Many of the non-TVA plants have far better histories of safety and compliance than the TVA facilities.

The real question is why does anyone trust the inefficient and often inept bureaucracy at the TVA more than a private enterprise?

How dare you say that Obama is a "socialist" by "any historical definition."

I dared to say it because it is true. The Merriam-Webster definition of "socialist" is one who advocates the "collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods." Not only has Obama failed to reduce government involvement in the means of production and distribution of goods, but he has expanded government's role, as evidenced by Obamacare (specifically the scheme's involvement in the insurance industry) and the GM bailout.

Further, the American Socialist Party has historically advocated the lending or giving of money to states and municipalities for the purpose of carrying on public works, which Obama encouraged through the stimulus. The Socialist Party has also demanded increasing income taxes on the wealthy, expanding federal ownership of land and growing the number of Americans on food stamps, all of which Obama has overseen.

In fairness, as I pointed out in a November editorial, "Almost every member of Congress, governor and major political figure in the United States today is a socialist" by any historical definition.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
gjuster said...

You left out economic fascist for Obama and the rest of DC - R and D. They believe in public/private partnerships with the big corporations. Government working together with big business - driving the small entrepreneur out of business - guaranteeing no competition.

May 1, 2013 at 3:28 p.m.
charivara said...

For a historically challenged ideologue, citing "any historical definition" is hysterical. Let’s cite the historical precedent which would make Drew a devotee of that first antisocialist, Cain. Unregulated private enterprise, as championed by front men like Johnson, have been an unmitigated disaster for workers and society in general throughout history. Nothing is perfect in this world but anyone with an ounce of common sense and a speck of human empathy and only a cursory knowledge of the past would choose the imperfection of democratic government --which conservatives are working very hard to undermine--oversight over the self serving greed of profit-above-all uncontrolled corporations. If government today is inefficient it is largely because conservatives have conspired to make it so. When has a conservative proposal ever benefited anyone besides the already rich and powerful? If regulated free enterprise is socialism, bring it on.

May 1, 2013 at 11:55 p.m.
jesse said...

How about we just eliminate the terms lib. and conser. and just lump them all in the term "corrupt"?

The ONLY honest pol. on the horizon(and the jury ain't in on her yet) is Liz Warren!It may just be that she ain't been in D.C. long enough to realize where the $$$ beez at!!

May 2, 2013 at 1:26 p.m.
gjuster said...

Jesse -

Can't agree with you on Liz Warren - in my opinion she was corrupt long before she won her seat. More importantly, I like the picture you use for your avatar

May 2, 2013 at 5:49 p.m.
charivara said...

gjuster. Oooh, you have an opinion. Got any facts?

May 3, 2013 at 12:38 p.m.
timbo said...

charivara.....why don't you just admit that Obama and democrats are promoting socialism? Republicans are guilty of the same thing just not to the same extent.

Are you ashamed of being a socialist?

Your wrong, true democracy is a disaster. Hitler, Mussolini, Ho Chi Min, etc. etc. Democracy can be an absolute disaster. Especially the kind that you advocate.

We don't have a democracy. We have a democratically elected representative republic. We are protected from you and Obama with the Bill of Rights that sets us apart from almost all democracies.

Your use of language has given your perspective away. Your comments about the "workers" show you are a socialist.

May 3, 2013 at 2:54 p.m.
charivara said...

timbo. Your post is pure gibberish. You've not been taking your medication, have you?

May 3, 2013 at 5:54 p.m.
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