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Columns

  • A VIEW FROM LICK SKILLET: Conservatives? Today’s Republicans aren’t

    Gentle reader; For some time now we have heard and read with increasing disquietude the claims of various Republican candidates for various offices to be “the Conservative Candidate”.

    But, upon considering these candidates’ platforms when running, and voting records when elected, we have become convinced that none of them are in fact true conservatives.

  • INSIDE the First AMENDMENT: Admit it: We need First Amendment

    You may think you love the First Amendment. You may get misty-eyed just thinking about it.

    It calls to mind Woodward and Bernstein unraveling the Watergate scandal, Dr. King leading the March on Washington, Voltaire proclaiming, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” (Voltaire didn’t actually say that, but he probably wouldn’t mind that you think he did.)

    But sooner or later, you will come across something that will make you wonder just what’s so great about freedom of speech.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Erin Go Braugh — Another Saint of Ireland

    Gentle reader: It being St. Patrick’s Day, we want to talk a bit about him, but also to tell you of another of Ireland’s (and Scotland’s) saints about whom you probably haven’t heard.

    But first we must correct a mistake from the column of 3 March kindly called to our attention by our neighbor, Don Matthews, in which we intended to write billions but instead wrote millions, as shown here:

  • From the EDITOR’S Desk: All we are saying is give Trump a chance

    I was proud to see that Tennessee residents turned out with great enthusiasm to greet our 45th president Donald Trump during his visit to Nashville this week.

    I also thought it was fitting that the president spoke at the Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson, a figure just as controversial in his time as Trump seems to be today.

    There have been a lot of comparisons of the personalities of Trump and Jackson, some of which have been discussed in depth by historian and Roane County News columnist Mark Banker.

  • OFF the CUFF: Practicing patience for April’s arrival

    If patience is indeed a virtue, I’m not terribly virtuous.

    I want what I want when I want it. It’s why I order light ice in my coffee at drive-thrus. I don’t want to wait for it to cool; I want to drink it now.

    The latest obstacle in my path to instant gratification comes in the form of Mother Nature and a giraffe gravid with calf.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: The sick usually aren’t to blame for being sick!

    As long-time readers know, the old curmudgeon is well and truly fixed in the status of octogenarianism, and as such he has had ample opportunity to observe the various vagaries of human nature, much of which he has come to understand and appreciate, but there is one aspect which not only puzzles him, but angers him, and that is the attitude so many of our fellows have toward sickness, those afflicted with illness or disability.

  • GLIMPSES: Happy birthday, Michael Dunn Center!

    In 1969, five Roane County families met to discuss the lack of services for their developmentally disabled children and grandchildren.

    Two years later, in March 1971, the group formally organized the Exceptional Children’s Day Care. C.R. Lay, grandfather of a young man with Down syndrome, spearheaded these early efforts. Eventually, the program took the name of Lay’s grandson.

  • GLIMPSES: When did ‘facts’ replace facts?

    By Mark Banker

    Whatever your take on the new presidential administration, give them credit. They have added a few new terms and renewed zest to our political discourse.

    Take, for example, Kellyanne Conway’s notion of “alternative facts” or the new president’s repeated tweets about “fake news” and the “enemy media.”

    These phrases echo the disparaging rhetoric about “political correctness” that became a rallying point for conservatives in recent years.

  • From the EDITOR’S Desk: What took you all so long?

    It’s now clear that of all the stories that will grace the pages of the Roane County News this year probably none will be more controversial than that of school consolidation.

    A couple of weeks ago, I would have given the honor of most controversial issue to the aquatic weed problem, which is either a problem or not a problem, depending on who you ask, but is certainly controversial.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Rachel (Mrs. J.C.) Parker: Gone but not forgotten

    Gentle reader, Thursday, 16 February, 2017, marked the end of an era as concerns Kingston, and Roane County for that matter, for that was the day that Rachel Parker died.