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Columns

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: Has Chambliss unwittingly spilled NSA beans?

    On This Week with George Stephanopoulis, Sunday, 28 July, 2013, Georgia Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss was asked by the interlocutor whether he would be surprised to learn that National Security Agency (NSA) people had listened in on telephone conversations.

  • OFF the CUFF: Discovery of a Star-Spangled nightmare

    Do you know the words to The National Anthem?

    I’ll give you a hint: It starts with, “O! Say, can you see ...?”

    Francis Scott Key’s poetic response to America’s victory at Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 is officially known as “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It was officially designated as our national anthem by congressional resolution signed by President Herbert Hoover in 1931.

    In my youth, learning the lyrics to this iconic bit of history was akin to learning the Pledge of Allegiance.

    I thought that was the case nationwide.

    Apparently not. At least, not nowadays.

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Grief burns fiercely as Arizona wildfire

    I once lived at the base of Mingus Mountain in central Arizona.
    Mingus separated the folks of Cottonwood, where I lived, from our friends and neighbors to the south in Prescott.
    Both sides of that rugged, broad-shouldered mountain were beautiful. We didn’t share the Sonoran Desert landscape that defines Phoenix and Tucson. There was no saguaro cactus pointing this way and that.

    This was high desert, with grasslands, scrub oaks and deeply scented forests of juniper and pinion pine.
    Summers are tricky in these parts.

  • A View from Lick Skillet: Closure of Airport Road brings memories

    It appears from reports emanating from South Africa that the life of Nelson Mandela is probably nearing its end.

    Considering the awful mistreatment to which he was subjected in his younger years, including imprisonment on Robin Island for over two decades, it is a wonder that he has survived into his nineties, but this shows that the strength of his body is almost as great as the strength of his mind, his spirit, and his integrity.

  • GUEST COLUMN: Director of schools issues first-year report

    By GARY AYTES
    Roane County Schools director
    The State Report Card was released this spring, so it is a good time to update our citizens on the status of Roane County Schools.
    The report card shows academic improvement and also shows many areas for growth. 
    Our greatest improvement was in math, where we received an A in value-added scores and a B in achievement. 
    Our goal this year will be to maintain the A and improve our achievement score. 

  • Ken Yager: No need to go far for relaxation

    By KEN YAGER
    12th District State Senator
    There is a state park within an hour’s drive of just about anywhere in Tennessee. 
    Several of these state parks are located in the 12th Senatorial District, including Indian Mountain in Jellico, Cove Lake in Caryville, Frozen Head in Wartburg, Norris Dam in Lake City, Cumberland Trail in Caryville and Pickett in Jamestown, as well as the Alvin C. York Historic Park in Pall Mall. 
    In fact, the 12th District may have more state parks located in it than any other.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Edward Snowden may have done us a favor

    The Constitution of the United States, Article 3, Section 3, Sub-section 1, says: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or, in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

  • Looseleaf laureate: Potential sometimes outshines reality

    June already has been hot, stormy and steamy, but it is difficult for me to think of it as anything but a gentle month.

    The perfume of honeysuckle fills the air. The lawn is a pliable expanse of green and not yet the brittle brown patch that can come later. Gardens – whether floral or vegetable – aren’t yet at their full potential, but their promise, at this point, is solid.

    June sets the tone for summer.

    I rarely take June vacations, but I love spending time in June planning them.

  • Torture is torture: It’s both illegal and wrong

    By DAVID P. GUSHEE
    & WILLIAM S. SESSIONS
    Twenty-five years ago, President Ronald Reagan vigorously championed U.S. ratification of the international Convention Against Torture, which he signed on April 18, 1988.

    Reagan acclaimed it as having marked a significant step in the development of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Shouldn't the Tea Party apologize to Obama?

    Ah, gentle reader, it appears that, not for the first time, and probably not for the last, we have succeeded in irritating, if not downright outraging, Mrs. Linda Wimberley, who identifies herself as secretary/vice treasurer of the RCTP, which we assume stands for the Roane County Tea Party.

    This lady’s ire has been roused, her equilibrium has been disestablished, her feelings have been hurt — in short, she’s mad as hell.