• Playing the fool

    Many are familiar with Shakespeare’s King Henry V, or at least the St. Crispin’s speech.
    Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh both played Henry in film versions of the play.
    King Henry V is actually the conclusion of the Herniad — a four-part series of historical plays. Of the plays I read when I took a Shakespeare class in college, those four were my favorite.


    Every family seems to have their own terms of endearment — maybe a special nickname or a shorten form of your first name.
    At any rate, one of the ties that bind in any family are names that tend to stick for no apparent reason.
    My children are working hard on a few for my husband.
    We have what we call “blue lights and kisses,” right before my husband leaves for work.

  • GOVERNOR: ‘Get movin’ Tennessee’

    Tennessee ranks 39th in health — which is slightly healthier than we’ve been in the past.But there is still a lot of work to be done. Earlier this month, I was excited to launch “Healthier Tennessee,” an initiative focused on encouraging Tennesseans to become more physically active to develop better eating habits and to avoid tobacco use.  

  • On the inside looking out

    Last week, the LaFollette Press published a story about the controversial snake-handling practices of Pentecostal pastor Andrew Hamblin and his congregation at Tabernacle Church of God (“Snake Salvation,” Aug. 8).

  • DRIVERS BEWARE: Insurance priceless in event of accident: 1 in 4 not carrying coverage in state

    It is true that the law requires all drivers to have a certain amount of insurance coverage to pay for harms and injuries they cause in an accident.  In Tennessee, the law says we all have to have a minimum of $25,000 per person injured, up to $50,000 per accident. Unfortunately, not everyone has insurance.  
    According to the latest figures from the Insurance Research Institute, 24 percent of Tennessee drivers have no insurance.  

  • BETH'S BYTES: Accidentally on purpose: How I became a journalist

     I became a reporter accidentally on purpose. 

    To me, it seems accidental, but that’s because I thought I had other plans. 

    Really. After a few summers of ER reruns when I was a kid, I was going to be a trauma physician, but then I realized I don’t have the tolerance for blood, guts and other bodily fluids. These days, I get my thrill from the couch with a blanket and my ER DVDs. 

  • Looking ahead

    When I was about 7, I watched Saved by the Bell with my older sister. The 90s sitcom made adolescence seem like so much fun. And the teenage characters looked like the coolest people I could meet. At the time, I didn’t realize the show wasn’t the most accurate portrayal of high school.
    I spent a lot of my time as a child wanting to be a teenager. For me, the next phase of life represented a place where I would be able to experience more fun and joy.
    Then I became a teenager. Those years weren’t miserable. But I didn’t go to Bayside either.

  • LETTER's FROM THE NEST: How to catch a goat

    Charles Dickens once wrote: “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”
    This is true, especially when you are running around a goat pen for hours on end to no avail.
    There is a point in which you just have to wipe away the tears and sweat and just laugh—or so I am told—because this has never happened to me.
    But allow me to share with you—in case of emergency—the best way to catch a goat:

  • O’ BIG BROTHER: Where art thou?

    “Instead of being adversaries to government power [the Washington, D.C media] are servants to it and mouthpieces for it.”
    So said the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald who broke the story of Edward Snowden’s disclosure of NSA spying on the American people, after Greenwald’s confrontation with Meet the Press’s David Gregory.
    Greenwald needn’t have limited his observation to the D.C. media. Plenty of reporters and cable-news talking heads are playing the same role in the NSA drama.

  • Our Founding Fathers: July 4 most important day in nation’s history

    Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay–it’s Independence Day. Martina McBride may not have been talking about the Fourth of July, but the song is applicable on our national day of celebration.
    As a conservative, I believe July 4 is the most important day in our country’s history.  
    Yes, we will always remember 9-11, D-Day, Pearl Harbor Day, Memorial Day and many other significant days we commemorate, but without Independence Day, there is no America.  
    There is no land of the free.  
    There is no home of the brave.