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Columns

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Dr. Carson’s common sense & On being eighty
  • INSIDE the First AMENDMENT: Pope Francis reawakens American ideal

    At a cultural moment when celebrity trumps character in America, it took a humble priest from Argentina to remind us of the better angels of our nature — and of the kind of nation we must aspire to build in the 21st century.

    Pope Francis arrived in our public square as a self-described migrant, and for a refreshing week his message of compassion and justice drowned out the divisive, ugly, sometimes hateful rhetoric of this political season.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Happy Birthday Nell Willis — 90 & counting

    In his well-nigh eight decades of observation and experience, the old curmudgeon has encountered many things, some bizarre, some humourous, some wise, and some outrageous, but to the best of his recollection, none has been more outrageous at first glance than the proposal to charge a fee or tax for the public to look at the public records of this state.

  • Kingston tax hike not a decision made easily

    By DAVID L. BOLLING

    For Roane County News

    In the weeks to come, the Mayor and City Council will be considering the city of Kingston’s budget for the upcoming year.

    Due to delays with the county reappraisal, we’re obviously addressing this much later than normal.

    While there is always much to consider in a budget, the basic question before us this year is very simple: Will we raise taxes or will we cut positions?

    There simply aren’t any options beyond that.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Will Bill get government out of government?

    As this is written, we know not what the next steps will be in the case of the Kentucky official who has been refusing to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples, claiming that to do so would violate her religious principles.

    There seems to be a lot of that going around these days, with folks claiming that their religious principles are endangered by baking wedding cakes, or providing flowers for wedding ceremonies, etc., etc.

  • Reflections on political correctness

    Author’s note: The following three premises are essential to this column: 1) None of us see the past or present with absolute clarity; 2) Each of us has the capacity for glimpses of informed insight that draw from and reflect our personal values; and 3) Cordial, forthright exchange of those insights enhances our mutual well being.

    Last week’s column offered my final thoughts about the Civil War and its legacies.

  • GLIMPSES: The Civil War left lasting impacts and legacies for East Tennessee

    By MARK BANKER

    Author’s note: The following three premises are essential to this column: 1) None of us see the past or present with absolute clarity; 2) Each of us has the capacity for glimpses of informed insight that draw from and reflect our personal values; and 3) Cordial, forthright exchange of those insights enhances our mutual well being.

    My last two columns explored consequences of the Civil War yet failed to mention the war’s impact on the locale most dear to the majority of my readers.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Jeb is right, Politico is wrong on James K. Polk

    A few weeks ago, before we got involved in several other issues, we read in the News Sentinel (issue of 28 July, page 10A), in the obituary section, an article on the life and death of Ralph Griffith in Asheville, N. C. at age 91.

  • Aug. 17 Harriman Happenings

    Those who attended womens’ ministry service in Knoxville last Tuesday were Mary Hickey (great soloist), Julia Harris, Ceola Lawrence, Virginia Childress, Marie Frazier, Rosa Osborn, Virginia Hickman, Carolyn Griffin, Carolyn Clemmons, Gloria Ward and Louise Warmley, who gave the memorial.

    The general theme was “Refocusing our missions.”

    The Rev. Margaret Mack presided. Guest speaker was Minister Ruby Winton.

    She gave a great message.

    Henrietta Caldwell is the president. Elder Dr. Joe B. Maddox is moderator.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: McClatchy polls on slavery as Civil War cause

    Regular readers will recall that last month we did a couple of columns devoted to the question of whether the civil war was fought to free the slaves.

    Evidently we were not the only one to be troubled by some of the commentary put forth about this question, inasmuch as the News Sentinel of Sunday, 9 August, on page 6A ran a six column wide article by Samantha Ehlinger of McClatchy Washington Bureau (TNS) with the headline “Did slavery cause Civil War? Many don’t think so.”