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Columns

  • From the EDITOR’S Desk: Break the silence on suppressors

    Last year I wrote about why I thought the Tennessee General Assembly should pass a bill called “constitutional carry” that would have legalized carry of a firearm without a license.

    It’s not because I think everybody should be carrying a gun.

  • GOING with the FLO: Find a way to become informed, get involved

    By FLO CHARLES

    This past weekend, I listened to Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin’s urgency as he stressed the dangers we are facing today and how he feels that America has one last, best chance.

    God raised Donald Trump up for “such a time as this” just as he did Winston Churchill, by using him to save the world in World War II.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Almost all of us were white supremacists once

    Gentle reader, not quite a month has passed since we wrote bemoaning the growth of ignorance and the accompanying spread of efforts to “unknow” our real and actual history, and to foist off upon us an ersatz version of that history. We suppose that this is just another aspect of Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts”.

    We encountered such an effort to recite supposed history in a recent letter to the editor of the Knoxville News Sentinel (13 Sept.) wherein the correspondent writes:

  • GLIMPSES: Environmental debates predate us

    By MARK BANKER

    “What a difference a week makes.”

    That’s what our daughter, Tollie, said on Friday Sept. 15. She and Mason teach at Florida’s Hillsborough Community College and live in Riverview, a sprawling suburb on Tampa’s southeast side.

    For nearly 10 days, they watched Hurricane Irma advance and considered with great uncertainty its arrival in central Florida. From East Tennessee, we shared her roller coaster emotional ride as the storm pin balled an erratic course.

  • GOING with the FLO: Kudos to the Woodys for raising Ron right

    By FLO CHARLES

    Roane County is gifted with so many leaders of integrity. One office in particular is the County Executive, with Ron Woody being our present County Executive.

    It was my pleasure to attend the Roane County Tea Party and listen to the brilliancy of Ron Woody as information poured from him that he had accumulated throughout his career and the leadership skills he has developed. I couldn’t write them down fast enough.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Al Gore warned us as to what could happen

    As you have no doubt heard, Pauline and Albert Gore, Sr., raised their son, young Albert, Jr., to be a well-behaved young man, and we’re glad they did.

    The faculty and staff of the prep school to which young Al was sent, St. Albans School for Boys in Washington, taught him leadership, and to be self-disciplined, and self-controlled, and we’re glad they did.

    His comrades and compatriots taught young Al the precepts of good sportsmanship, deference and modesty; to be as good a loser as winner, and we’re glad they did.

  • GLIMPSES: U.S-Mexican tensions nothing new

    By MARK BANKER

    When I left Roane County in 1969, there were no Mexican restaurants here. When I returned 18 years later, there were a few. Today there are many - including several that are excellent.

    While many of us enjoy the food at these modest eateries, we are less certain about the folks who prepare and serve our meals. Indeed, they and their restaurants represent one of the most important developments in our region — and nation — in my lifetime.

  • GOING with the FLO: We’re draining the swamp for our veterans

    While tax reform and health care remain on the president’s agenda, he has kept his promise to our veterans.

    Secretary of Veterans Affairs David J. Shulkin, M.D., was approved by a bipartisan majority vote of 100 percent in the Senate.

    He is the only Trump cabinet member to receive unanimous confirmation in the Senate.

    It is the one area the Democrats lined up along the side of President Trump. Shulkin had served under President Obama and is now serving under President Trump.

  • GLIMPSES: Another Fort Sanders encounter draws little attention nationwide

    By MARK BANKER

    Mark Twain’s observation that “history does not repeat itself – but it rhymes” can help us better understand and appreciate events that unfolded on Knoxville’s Fort Sanders Hill on Aug. 26.

    Those incidents might, in turn, help us make sense of and qualify Twain’s puzzling message.

  • GOING with the FLO: Neighbor helping neighbor no better American role

    It is so inspiring to watch the people rush to rescue the flood victims in Houston; yet so painfully disturbing to see them come out to the boats and trucks with only what was on their backs or some with small white garbage bags of items and some carrying their pets.

    The fear and disbelief on the faces of the young and the old was so heartbreaking to me. They were obviously disoriented.

    Who wouldn’t be? They were leaving everything they held dear, and some were watching their homes and vehicles being submerged as they left.