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Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, short story writer, freelancer, and the founding editor and publisher of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of literary stories, essays and poems. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Michigan Journalism Fellowship, a Golden Presscard Award and the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize. He just finished a novel, "Oracle of the Orchid Lounge," set in his native Tennessee. Publishers or agents may inquire via email. His book of selected journalism, "Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes, the Best Writings About People" by Don Williams, is due a second printing. In 2007, he gave up his weekly column at the Knoxville News-Sentinel rather than see it cut back to every-other-week by editors who endorsed Bush-Cheney.
JFK's three, yes, cosmic, accomplishments
John F. Kennedy, murdered on this date fifty years ago, was more than a handsome young prince of some mythic Camelot who served 1,000 days. He was our greatest president.He gave us the moon. He saved us from nuclear doom. He launched the Whole Earth movement.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011(1 comments)
"Brisk, but with feeling'--my ET Hall of Fame remarks
On Oct. 20, I was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame, an honor I thought would never come my way, as my writings, tho popular, had been highly controversial in the region. I'd walked away from my column of 21 years at the Knoxville News-Sentinel rather than agree to stop writing about national issues. This was the elephant in the ballroom, last Thursday, and I felt I had to acknowledge it. Here's my speech.
Friday, May 6, 2011(11 comments)
Obama at Ground Zero--How Executing Osama bin Laden Brutalized Us All
And if we've come to this, applauding like chimps for acts of barbaric bloodletting that took place in front of the slaughtered man's 12-year-old daughter and others, then we are at ground zero on the evolutionary scale.
We shot the suspect in the heart and head, then threw his body in the sea. Tell me how this makes the past decade of needless war, lies, torture and waste any easier. To me it's just more of the same.
Why Obama's right on Libya but Bush was wrong on Iraq
Start with the lies. President Obama was forthright last night in telling Americans and the world why we must intervene in Libya. No one could doubt the evidence he used to build his case of opposing a bloodbath. The evidence was everywhere before our eyes. This was not true of Bush and Iraq. The reasons he concocted for going to war did not pass the sniff test.
Cheney-Bush still gushing toxic history into our world
In 2003 I wrote, "If George W. Bush had run for president on a platform of making the world uninhabitable for humankind, he could scarcely have done better at starting us down such a path." Even now oil gushes from a hole in the bottom of the sea, thanks to Bush, Cheney, Halliburton and BP.
Friday, June 18, 2010(3 comments)
Cheney-Bush Still Gushing Toxic History Into Our World
In his second administration--two wars and a million deaths later--Bush demoted Cheney, but by then it was too late. Cheney had unleashed forces that will haunt the world for decades if not centuries. Even now oil gushes from a hole in the bottom of the sea, thanks to Bush, Cheney, Halliburton and BP.
Obama and that old June, croon, spoon moon
It's astounding that Obama intends pulling the plug on President Bush's plans to return us to the moon by about 2020, with no cut in spending. I'm no Bush fan, but his moon plans were based on designing a program reminiscent of Apollo, which gave us damn near all the tools a space-faring nation needs to explore the entire solar system.
Celebrating My Country Within-A-Country
there were times when I didn't recognize my country anymore, and more than once when I've heard somebody say, "America, love it or leave it," I considered leaving.
Say No to a New Nuclear Bomb Plant
If you love our world, drop everything for ten minutes and visit http://www.Y12SWEIS.com. Leave a comment there telling the US government to get behind a vision embraced by unlikely bedfellows who have envisioned a nuclear-weapons-free future. Specifically, ask our politicos and bureaucrats to drop plans to build a ruinous new weapons complex in Oak Ridge, TN.
Thursday, November 5, 2009(1 comments)
On Obama's role in New Millennium Writings
Perhaps childishly, some of us looked to the new millennium as a time when humans would emerge from our planetary nursery and set aside childish things such as war, economic hooliganism and environmental abuse. Our species would graduate to embrace the shining chalice of our Whole Earth and drink deep her royal blue promise. It hasn't quite worked out that way.
Kennedys' dark tragedies never eclipsed their lofty lunar glow
Even as astronauts navigated their way toward the moon a quarter-million miles distant, JFK's younger brother Edward took a short drive toward a dark drink of water with a young woman not his wife. Mary Jo Kopechne drowned. The event robbed the moon of Kennedy luster, and Edward of any real chance at the presidency.
Our mountains are not for sale
Sen. Lamar Alexander's bill would halt the practice of blasting the tops off mountains to get the dirty coal. Miners threaten to boycott Tennessee tourist areas, such as the Great Smoky Mountains. To which I say, please do. We don't want you near our mountains.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009(3 comments)
Obama As Spock? Beam Me Up Scottie
Newsweek recently featured a cover story suggesting Obama must be a Vulcan. Let's hope not, at least not in director J.J. Abrams' dark film. In the Sixties, kids like me believed the Whole Earth as seen from space just might be our salvation. Star Trek was not only symbolic but catalytic of such change. Each Friday it offered new ways of understanding The Other. This movie embraces the dark side.
You say the New Deal didn't work? Prove it
The usual suspects declare that Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal didn't end the Great Depression. World War II ended the Great Depression, they cry in harmony, and so we shouldn't buy into President Obama's stimulus spending plan. But what was WWII if not the ultimate in spending, jobs and protectionism?
Terrorist in my home town 'with up so floating many bells down'
An out-of-work truckdriver brought a guitar case into a Unitarian church where I teach, pulled out a shotgun and shot eight people. He smiled as he pleaded guilty Monday to killing two and wounding six last summer because he hated liberals. Don't tell me our former president kept us free from terror.
Thursday, January 22, 2009(4 comments)
Obama as Savior? He'd better be
Our challenges are existential, not in some mysterious, intellectual way, but in the sense that our very existence--as a nation, a species, as individuals--has been put at risk. And it's been put at risk mostly by forces that have grown from the darkness inside our own hearts.
Just How Blessed Am I Anyhow this Thanksgiving?
Around Thanksgiving 2005 I gave a talk "On Moonwalkers and Tree Huggers" at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, a talk I wrapped up with the following life-altering advice....
At Last, Talking Heads Acknowledge Obama Won
What a relief. Maybe the media's been chastened for pretending the last two debates were draws, even when snap polling told all with eyes to see that Obama owned the first presidential and Joe Biden won the one and only vice-presidential debate.
Hillary Supercharges Convention with Electrifying Support for Obama
"I love you. I love you. I love," former President Bill Clinton mouthed toward Hillary shortly after she began speaking Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. And as she finished, many in the hall were chanting the mantra aloud. "We love you Hillary." Ah, what might've been.
Church shootings and candle lights vie beneath 'Bible black' skies
The sky was Bible black and ringing with thunder last night above Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in West Knoxville. You know it as the building where Jim D. Adkisson carried a shotgun inside a guitar case Sunday morning and shot nine people during a children's performance of the musical "Annie." None of the children were shot, but two adults later died.
On Barack Obama and 'the art of the possible'
You hung it all out there for your latest hero, Barack Hussein Obama. So how does he repay you? He does the utterly predictable thing and steps down off the pedestal you put him on.