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Columns

  • 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.

  • Looseleaf laureate: Put down that cake and let’s dance

    Weddings have become anything-goes affairs these days. I guess that’s as it should be.

    I attended a fine outdoor ceremony at the Chattanooga Nature Center recently. Guests wore everything from dresses and coats and ties to blue jeans, hiking sandals and untucked shirts.

    And bug spray. Our hosts were thoughtful enough to provide plenty of DEET-infused repellants.

  • Congressional investigations must be done right

    By Lee H. Hamilton, Center on Congress
    By my count, 11 separate Washington investigations are looking into the three big issues besetting the Obama Administration right now: Benghazi, IRS targeting of Tea Party groups, and the Justice Department’s pursuit of national security leaks to Associated Press reporters.

    That’s a lot of scrutinizing by any measure.

     Don’t get me wrong.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: We are all subject to the standards of our times

    Jon Meacham, a nationally known journalist with deep-rooted ties to Chattanooga, who has turned to the role of biographer, notably a widely praised life of fellow Tennessean Andrew Jackson, has just recently released his latest effort which is about our third president, Thomas Jefferson.

    John Seigenthaler, long-time editor of the Nashville Tennessean, had Meacham as a guest on his PBS programme, A Word on Words, this past weekend to discuss this new book.

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Early rising better than slow to sleep

    At this point in my life, sleep usually comes easily.
    I’ve not always been so lucky.
    During much of the 1990s, I worked at The Associated Press in Chicago, a busy, 24-7 news bureau.
    There, employees with families tended to get regular, daytime schedules.
    I was one of a handful of single employees who was tossed about the schedule to fill in around them.
    My shift, if it could be called that, changed dramatically from week to week. I worked overnights, weekends, started shifts at 6 a.m. and then, later in the week, 5 p.m.

  • Trouble with Congress includes constituents

    By LEE H. HAMILTON
    Center on Congress
    When two senators recently got into a spat over whether the Boston Marathon bombings were being politicized, the news was everywhere within minutes.
    Reams of commentary quickly followed. In the maneuvering over gun-control legislation, every twist and turn was instantly reported and then endlessly debated.

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Spring bling not to be taken for granted

    Look outside.
    Chances are, you’ll see plenty of green. Delicate greens, deep mossy greens, even yellow-green chartreuses.
    No other color is as easy on the eye and calming to the spirit.
    The spring transformation never ceases to amaze me.
    Spring got a late start this year, but now we are fully into the richness of the season. We should pause to appreciate it.
    Some of us take for granted the emerald paradise spring provides for us every year.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: It’s time to protect and defend America

    There is said to be an ancient Chinese curse that says: “May you live in interesting times!”

    You may well think that that ancient Chinaman had our times in mind, for interesting they are, and many would think that enduring them qualifies as a curse

    There is one aspect which we think curse-like, and that is that they are highly disputatious times, in which almost nothing in public life exists which is not vehemently disputed.

    You say a thing is good; I say that thing is bad. And so it goes, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.