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A Refreshing Knapp – Year's top raises questions (Jan. 27, 2016)

Who Picks the Most Important Events for the Past Year?
1.] “Nationwide, 1125 people killed by police.” The report failed to mention that 142 police officers were killed in the line of duty, nor the fact that Chicago led the nation with 470 homicides in 2015, or more than 2,900 civilians had shot one another, or innocent bystanders – in Chicago alone. This dubious distinction of having the most homicides of all U.S. cities in 2015 wasn’t really something to brag about as Chicago was followed so closely by Saint Lewis and Memphis, that these statistics hardly mattered.
2.] “$517m in global ticket sales during the opening weekend of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” earned the film a record, second only to Jurassic World’s opening weekend earlier in 2015. On Sunday, the film jetted ahead of Jurassic World and reached $1bn at the global box office in a record 12 days.”
Good grief! Are ticket sales for a movie that important? Or the 365 things the Kardashians did in 2015 more important than the 4.4 million Syrian Refugees fleeing their war torn nation?
Gwyneth Paltrow’s controversial choice of foods that $29 worth of food stamps would buy for a week (avocadoes, romaine lettuce, limes, garlic, cilantro, etc.) and the Kardashian antics ranked above the refugee crises, and also above the 3,123 US-led airstrikes against ISIS. Of course the fact that same sex marriage is legal in all 50 states topped nearly everything.
This isn’t an original saying, but, “Are we living in a world gone mad?” where movies and comments by celebrities, and controversial issues are more important than local, national, and international affairs – the actual happenings and threats to the “real world?”
Politics were in the top ten list somewhere. ‘Remember a movie released in 1973 called “Charlottes’ Web?” shortly after the movies’ release there was an election in a South American country; a man running for mayor of a town was beaten by a celebrity pig. If I recall right, it was named Wilber, the main cartoon character in Charlottes’ Webb. The mayoral candidate committed suicide being so dejected by the contempt for his country’s politics.
Hopefully we haven’t reached that point yet. Though I’m a little cynical about politics, I don’t think I would vote for a pig – but the way candidates root around to dig up dirt on one another leaves you wondering. News of politics is about controversy, not truly about important issues. I won’t rave on about that, though I do pray that the leaders we elect to lead us—do the job we expected them to do when we cast our vote.
On a lighter note…around Unicoi County some good things were happening.
Outside of our school’s athletes bringing home some impressive trophies this year; Carter Powers, a junior at UCHS was named

the state’s student council president during the Tennessee Association of Student Council convention. To see our own students excel in athletics and academics are definitely a source of county pride.
Also, there are a lot of good friends and neighbors in the county; they comprise churches and local civic groups, like the Kiwanis Club of Erwin, the county’s Rotary and Ruritan Clubs, Care and Share, and other like-minded organizations. Some poor, desperate folks couldn’t live without that help.
The toy drives, and needy children being treated to a shopping trip, which you’ve seen on local TV during the Christmas season, gives the impression that these organizations only help during that time of year. But those churches, civic organizations, and plain ole friends and neighbors help the needy throughout the year.
Next year, I would like for you and I to have a hand in choosing the most important events. People that set behind a desk determining what will bring in the highest news ratings are the ones that determine what we read in the paper, see on TV, or hear on the radio. If you ask me, we could tell them a thing or two about what’s important, and what’s not. – And that news is not all bad. There really is good news out there that needs to be told. Some say you can go to church and hear it.