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Editorials

  • 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.

  • Taking a minute to speak out

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    What would you say if you got 60 seconds to speak to the world?

    At noon recently, on a hot and muggy day in the heart of Washington, D.C., the world heard everything from birthday wishes to a call to national action in education and housing to a reminder that developed nations need to pay attention to violence and poverty in small African nations.

  • GUEST OPINION: A look at the news with freedom’s eye

    By GENE POLICINSKI

    First Amendment Center

    The public furor and the televised flames that reached from Ferguson to Baltimore over the last 10 months have faded — for now — from the headlines.

    For some, though, consideration of what happened and how the news of those events was reported remains very much in mind — an aspect of First Amendment freedoms we don’t often consider.

  • GUEST OPINION: Love reporters, but hold them accountable

    By LEE HAMILTON

    Center on Congress

    A robust, inquisitive congressional oversight process should be capable of revealing what is too often hidden, but it’s not. We need journalists to do it.

    I have been involved in politics and policy-making for over 50 years, and as you can imagine, I hold strong feelings about reporters and the media.

    They’re not what you might think, however.

  • GUEST OPINION: Learning to be a citizen

    Solving problems in our democracy requires bringing different points of view together, talking face-to-face with others who may differ with you, and learning that these differences can exist without personal animosity.

    The question usually comes toward the end of a public meeting. Some knotty problem is being discussed, and someone in the audience will raise his or her hand and ask, “OK, so what can I do about it?”

    I love that question. Not because I’ve ever answered it to my satisfaction, but because it bespeaks such a constructive outlook.

  • GUEST OPINION: ‘Sometimes you got to think before you do it’

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Who would have thought that star Little Leaguer Mo’ne Davis could also throw a pretty good First Amendment “conceptual fastball” over the plate?

    Bloomsburg University sophomore first baseman Joey Casselberry, the team’s second-leading hitter this season, was tossed off the team by the public university for a tweet in which he called the 13-year-old Mo’ne a “slut” after reading that Disney was making a film about her Little League World Series experience.

    The tweet went “viral” and Casselberry was reprimanded, later apologizing profusely.