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Editorials

  • From the EDITOR’S Desk: Transportation plus, but traffic lacking

    Last week I started the Leadership Roane County program. During the first session our class conducted an exercise to help evaluate the various factors and issues, both positive and negative, that might influence the future of our county.

    The exercise was based on SWOT, an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

    We broke out in teams to conduct the assessments. Despite the diversity of our class, the results were remarkably similar from each team.

  • INSIDE the First AMENDMENT: What is ‘free speech’ on the web?

    Who can say what, on the Web?

    Twitter has raised questions anew with reports of a lifetime ban on tweets from conservative blogger Milo Yiannopoulos — reportedly after complaints that he engineered a wave of racist and sexist comments directed against comedian and actress Leslie Jones, who is co-starring in the latest “Ghostbusters” movie.

    Yiannopoulos is an editor on the conservative blog site Breitbart.com, whose posts frequently create controversy on the web.

  • INSIDE the First AMENDMENT: Reclaiming our common humanity

     Horrific events like the heartbreaking tragedy in Orlando — the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history — bring out the best and the worst in the American character.

    After Omar Mateen murdered 49 people and injured 53 others, many clergy who rarely, if ever, acknowledge the LGBT community in positive terms offered prayers for LGBT people — actually reciting the letters. This one, brief shining moment was both unprecedented and heartening.

  • From the EDITOR’S Desk: Free power comes at a price

    I first saw Altamont Pass in 1982 when I was traveling through Northern California on the road from San Francisco up to the Sierras.

    As the road climbed higher through the golden-grass-covered hills, I was excited about the chance of seeing the Altamont Speedway where the infamous Rolling Stones free concert was held in December 1969.

  • GUEST OPINION: Some thoughts to make the president better

    By LEE HAMILTON
    Center on Congress
    Before the ins and outs of the 2016 presidential contest become a preoccupation for many of us, it seems a good time to step back and look at the office of the presidency for which so many candidates are vying.

    The presidency inherited by whoever wins next November will be substantially changed from the position his or her predecessors occupied a few decades ago.

    The president is now the chief — and sometimes the sole — actor in American government.

  • To vegan or not to vegan, and giant debt of cable giant

    The author of your letter of Feb. 17 has written a thinly veiled call to a vegan diet.

    Using Lent as a smokescreen, she cleverly insinuates that animal torture is widespread without sinking to use the term “mule skinner.”

    Is it cruel to ride a donkey? Who rode donkeys (asses) in the Bible?

    Today I saw a TV ad from a group wanting to defend such attacks against farmers and farming. I cannot see a stampede — no pun intended — toward a vegan diet or the general use of phony manufactured fake supermarket meats and phony veggies.

  • GLIMPSES from a Teacher Historian 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.

    The irregularity of this column is not due to a dearth of deserving topics.

  • GLIMPSES: A second American Revolution?

    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.

  • $10,000 for council tablets waste of money

    The Harriman City Council is considering forking over $10,000 for computer tablets to get electronic versions of agendas and other documents involving city business. (See story in today's Roane County News)

    Our response?

    OUCH!

    Has it not been drummed into our — and their — heads that these are tight budget times?

  • GUEST OPINION: Congress may finally be on the right path

    By LEE HAMILTON
    Center on Congress
    There have been encouraging signs on Capitol Hill of late that Congress’s long slide into irrelevance may be slowing.

    Agreements on Medicare reimbursements in both houses, and on Iran, No Child Left Behind, Pacific trade and other issues in various committees this spring led to a chorus of relieved approval both in Washington and in the press.