The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.


                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.







"Instant Karma's Gonna Get You"

by JC Bowman

More than likely it's gonna knock you right on the head.  I do agree it is time to get yourself together.  What are you talking about?  Welcome Barry Graham to Cleveland, Tennessee. Graham is the new editor at the Bradley News Weekly.  If ever the statement is true, it is now:  One step forward, two steps back. 

It is going to be interesting to sit back and watch what transpires, how the city will embrace or reject this Scotsman, and Zen teacher.  Will he be the wise sage ala Phil Jackson of the community or beat a hasty retreat to his home "between a mental hospital, a sewage plant and an American Indian burial ground" a beaten man?  I do not know, but he would probably be an interesting chap to talk to, but probably not live with permanently. 

I am reminded of the Old Kung Fu TV Series, where Master Kan says to the Young Caine: "Quickly as you can, snatch the pebble from my hand." Young Caine tries to do so and fails.  Then Master Kan, states the line most of us between the age of 40 and 50 can repeat, "When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave."  I always wondered about that line, and it perplexed me to this day, did Kan just want Caine to leave because he was tired of him?  Or did Caine really develop the skills necessary to snatch that pebble?  I guess I will never know, Grasshopper. 

Which brings me the next point: What in the world were you thinking of?  What on earth are you tryin' to do?  The BNW had made tremendous strides moving toward the political center with Tiana Hubbard on staff, now they are apparently taking a strong shift completely left of left.  At least Matthew Melton remains--- he may be in a position for a pay raise now.  I really hope Susan Shelton clutches the reigns tight or you may be seeing the last throes of the Bradley News Weekly, and it will not be Ralph Creel's fault.  I am not sure if Susan reviewed the works, but here are a couple of convenient website links for interested readers: Personal Blog:
and of course his website at:, his spiritual Blog at:  and The Buddha Way at:

The question is will Barry Graham change the Bradley News Weekly or will the Bradley News Weekly change Barry Graham?  If his websites are up

J C Bowman

-J. C. Bowman, a native of Cleveland, is a well informed and outspoken conservative educator.  He is Director for the Center for Education Innovation at Florida State University. Prior to this, he served as the Director for the Florida Department of Education Choice Office and as the Chief Policy Analyst of the Education Policy Unit for Florida Governor Jeb Bush.


after this article I guess we may have an indicator.  But, it sounds as if he understands change is inevitable regardless, since he doubts his own existence.  His point of course is "Not only can we not exist after we die - we don't really exist during our lives," he would embrace the change.  As he writes on his site:  "You can't put your hand in the same river twice. It has the same name, but it's not the same water."  Huh?  Better get yourself together darlin' and join the human race. 

One of my favorite Barry Graham comments was from October 10, 2004: "Anyone who fails to vote, or votes for anyone other than Kerry, thereby helping put Bush back in the White House, should consider the tens of millions of people their decision will harm - children who will be denied an education, women who will be denied reproductive rights, all those who will continue to be denied healthcare, all those who will continue to be denied a living wage, all those who will continue to be denied access to affordable medicines, all those who will continue to be killed in a manufactured war (including soldiers who are not being provided with effective body armor), and those Americans who will be imprisoned (under the Patriot Act) without charges or access to counsel. And this is to say nothing of the continued denial of science, the continued environmental carnage."  Somebody should explain the three branches of government to him, as well as that the American President is not a King with absolute power.     

Yep, he is going to feel right at home in Cleveland, unless they show the movie The Beast and he offers commentary, which Graham added on October 22, 2004:  "I hadn't heard of it before, but I'm glad to see that a film-maker is actually addressing something that there has been very little discussion about: the fact that there is almost no evidence that Jesus Christ actually existed."  So, see I knew that was coming.  If we don't exist, then Jesus didn't exist.  How in the world you gonna see, laughin' at fools like me? 

Who in the hell d'you think you are? A super star? Well, right you are. There is no doubt that the new editor at the Bradley News Weekly is a very well informed, intelligent writer. He has an incredible literary background. But I suspect, Democrats in Cleveland will question Mr. Graham, if comments like these from his November 5, 2004 Blog make it into the BNW: "Newsweek reports that, in a phone conversation, Bill Clinton advised Kerry to support local bans on gay marriage. Kerry listened respectfully, then told his staff he would never do that. If he were the expedient whore that Clinton is, he might be headed for the White House. While I have a lot of disagreement with Kerry - he's much too right-wing for me - my respect for him has been immense ever since the first debate."  Better recognize your brothers, everyone you meet.

Why in the world are we here? Reading through Sensei Grahams work, I am sure the Scotsman, Buddhist has struggled with his illusory nature of his own existence and asked himself this very question.  Who hasn't?  I was wondering if Mr. Graham will be able to communicate better than he did on February 9th, 2005 while discussing a panel discussion of religious writing at UTC.  After all Lee University is a fixture in the community, will he describe them as "scripture-spewing yahoos?" While I found the term offensive, especially from a humble Buddhist monk, his description of the crowd at UTC got my attention: "Instead, these were people who were actually able to think (and if you wonder why I'm presenting that as unusual, then you don't live in Tennessee)."

That was followed by his post on February 15, 2005, which I repeat verbatim:

"The only two things that mean anything to me are loving you and leaving Tennessee" - Robert Earl Kean A writer I correspond with asked me in an email how I can tolerate living in the south, especially since I've made no secret of my disgust at the ignorance that is the primary value here.  The answer is that, despite my feelings about southern society, I love my life here. This is due in no small part to the fact that I'm such a hermit. While I find the denizens of Tennessee quite depressing, I don't have to deal with them very often. Living out of town, by the woods, I have more animals for company than people. Since the average possum seems better educated and more cosmopolitan (and has better manners) than the average Tennesseean, this suits me well. (Note to southerners: If you send me hate mail, I'll just correct your spelling and grammar.) I love my house and its surroundings, and I love a few people within driving distance. So, ironically, I have a very happy life in a part of the country so backward I wouldn't advise anyone else to live in it. I get to live the way I want to live. I've been known to go for days, and sometimes weeks, without having any face-to-face contact with anyone but Amy, four cats, and a multitude of birds, fish, frogs, possums, raccoons, deer, groundhogs, lizards and insects. When I get a craving for civilization I can drive to Atlanta, about 130 miles away, and I can spend time there, or get on a plane to somewhere that people believe in evolution."

So, I am quite sure the new editor of the Bradley News Weekly will be welcomed with open arms to a community that he cares for, in a country that he loves.  If the feeling is not reciprocated do not take it personal, as he described his neighbors in Chattanooga this way:  "This is not because the people of Atlanta really look great, but rather because I'm used to Chattanooga, which is the Planet of the Apes. The fine folk of Tennessee combine bad diet, a fondness for nicotine and an aversion to exercise to give themselves a look that makes anyone who's ever eaten a vegetable or run a few miles seem like a model." 

With all due respect to William Wordsworth, Newman, thou should'st be living at this hour. The Weekly has need of thee...Well we all shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun. Somewhere Chris Newton is smiling and thinking maybe he can get another positive article out of it.  Who knows I might get mentioned in a book.  
--J. C. Bowman is a public policy analyst who resides in Tallahassee, Florida.
He can be reached by email at: