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Columns

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Educational mismanagement — top to bottom

    Well, Gentle Reader, this week let us discuss education and the sad fact that sometimes the very folks we have placed in charge of the education of our young are themselves sadly lacking in the basic skills of clear thinking, sound reasoning, and basic factual knowledge.

    This unhappy happenstance occurs at all levels, sad to say, running from the ivied halls of academe to the basic neighborhood institutions of kindergarten upwards.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: GOP-ruled Tennessee, third most corrupt state?

    Last week we pointed out how the Republican Party’s unification behind their apostle of adultery and abortion, Dr. Scott DesJarlais, their candidate for re-election as congressman from the Fourth Congressional District of Tennessee must perforce result in the party itself being henceforth labeled, not the pro-life party of family values, but instead the party of Adultery and Abortion.

  • Protecting your right to know

    By FRANK GIBSON
    TPA Public Policy Director
    When governments create or authorize state and local agencies to create new programs, they typically require some measure of public disclosure as a form of public oversight and to make agencies accountable.

    As far back as 1789, during the first American Congress, that accountability has come in the form of public notices in independently published newspapers. Actions of the Congress were ordered to be published in three separate newspapers to ensure wide circulation.

  • The Balancing act of governing

    By RON WOODY
    Roane County Executive
    As citizens, we often ask — and even demand — certain services of our government and then are reluctant when it comes to paying for them.

    Your local government is the government closest to the people, and this government, whether it be a county or a city, often struggles with balancing the funding requirements of one group of citizens’ needs or desires with other groups’ needs and desires. All this pushing and pulling could be called lobbying.

  • First Amendment has leading role

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Who knew the 45 words of the First Amendment came with buttered popcorn?

    Entering 2014, it’s safe to say that none of us could have envisioned that one of the year’s biggest global collisions between freedom of expression and tyrannical suppression of speech would revolve around a lightweight movie comedy, “The Interview.”

    What lessons does “The Interview” have for all of us?

  • Planning our future: Changing government by research, study, and analysis

    By RON WOODY
    Roane County Executive
    This is the first in a series of article about your local government.

    In 1973, Mike Hayes, a new teacher at Midway Junior and Senior High School assigned our seventh-grade class a civics project to create a city on a poster board.  

    Each of us had to name our city, and I chose the name “Tomorrowville.”

    The purpose of the project was not to have a creative drawing but to think through a process of planning and simple civil engineering.  

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: ‘Solid South’ promises painful future

    In the days of our youth, there were two expressions that one quite frequently heard, one was “The Solid South”, and the other was,” The South Will Rise Again!”

  • OFF the CUFF: Rep. Fincher, we deserve to hear from you

    I was incensed when I saw the headline Saturday afternoon.

    “GOP staffer posts, apologizes,” it said. “Obama daughters showed no class at turkey pardon.”

    How disgusting, I thought. Who would go after children? No class, indeed.

    Then I read the article and became outraged. Not only was this a staffer, this was a communications director.

    An experienced communications director. And the part that made me angriest: her employer was one of Tennessee’s own.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: What we ate, and how we fixed it, way back then

    Gentle reader, in this season of Thanksgiving, marked by indulgence, even over indulgence in eating, we thought it might be a good time to remark upon some of the items which Americans consumed in an earlier day which are virtually, if not completely, unknown to the modern American, and how we fixed our food back then.

  • GUEST OPINION: College — where religious freedom goes to die

    In the Orwellian world of many college and university campuses, all faiths are welcome — but some faiths are more welcome than others.

    Just this month, for example, California State University “derecognized” InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, an evangelical student organization with more than 900 chapters at colleges and universities across the country.