Have you seen Tim Kelly's TV ad for his mayoral campaign?

It's about 20-30 seconds of a waterfall and the sounds of nature, and then a voice reads and words appear: "Kelly for Mayor."

That's it.

And you know what? Mother Nature sounds pretty nice. In this head-pounding political environment in which we have been subjected to a barrage of TV and radio advertisements filled with outlandish statements, half-truths and innuendo, serene is fine by me.

I don't live in the city or have a vote for Chattanooga mayor, but in terms of ad-effectiveness, kudos.


Man, can we just get to 2022 already?

A historic week — and not in a good way.

Let's see, five dead after domestic terrorists — encouraged by the president — stormed the Capitol. A raging pandemic that is producing tragic numbers in terms of cases and deaths on a weekly basis. The Cleveland Browns in the playoffs.

Man, as we optimistically turned the calendar pages, 2021 looked 2020 dead in the eye and said, "Yeah, you think you're bad, watch this."


Read all about it

The headlines across U.S. newspapers were filled with similar phrases of insurrection, mob, storming and various forms of "Trump-incited" as a modifier.

Worse still was the global picture captured by the headlines. The British newspaper "i" offered "Anarchy in the USA" and the Times in the same country had "U.S. Capitol Under Siege." Le Monde in France had "Enough is Enough" about the Trump-fueled riots. The German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung had what translates to "Republicans in Shock."

And those were our allies.

As for Russia, the government-owned Rossiyskaya Gazeta, used 'Chaos' on its online coverage that featured a lead quote from Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of Russia's committee on international affairs, that read "American democracy was limping on both legs and the United States lost the right to impose a course on other countries," according to various news outlets.

Wait, it gets worse. The People's Daily in China, which is like a middle school paper being called "Students Make the Rules" offered an online headline that said "Chinese netizens jeer riot in U.S. Capitol as 'Karma,' say bubbles of democracy and freedom have burst."


A start to answers

The divide in our politics is undeniable. But here's an old idea that could well apply to our new-age issues.

Term limits. Lots of folks like me have maintained that we do in fact have term limits — they are called elections. Every two years, every four years or every six years.

But, perhaps now is the time to seriously consider — and support — Republican state Rep. Chris Todd's idea to have Tennessee join other states in pushing for congressional term limits.

A recent poll of registered voters in the Volunteer State showed 78% support terms limits. I'm not sure the "sun rising in the East" and "biscuits > rolls" would do that much better in Tennessee.

Heck look around. Chuck Fleischmann's been in Washington a decade — yes, really, 10 years — and what is his hallmark accomplishment? I'll wait.

Big picture, terms limits would ideally push our leaders to focus on doing their job rather than finding ways to keep their job.

And that's true — both on the state and the federal level right Rep. Todd?


Obit observations

There are several things that catch my eye when I scan through the obits of the TFP.

There is the number of nicknames a person has, their age, their life summaries, their jobs and now more than ever, announcements with humor and zip.

And then there are those who have such a huge impact — be it family, as a volunteer or a professional.

And in the case of Mable "Mae Mae" Virginia Williams, well, her circle of influence is bigger than five of Barnum and Bailey's big tops.

Williams died a week ago. She was 84. She will be laid to rest at the Chattanooga National Cemetery

In addition to being the director of the Church of Jesus day care and the hundreds if not thousands of kids she impacted, how about Mae Mae's family, which included six kids, 26 grandkids, 23 great-grandkids and 41 great-great-grandkids?

Now that's almost 100 lives, people, not counting spouses.

May they find peace knowing Mae Mae's reach was so impactful.

Contact Jay Greeson at

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Jay Greeson