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Editorials

  • Budget time needs full attention

    Now is the time county and city governments are cobbling together their budgets for the upcoming fiscal year.
    This difficult work is taking place in difficult economic times.
    Grants are harder to come by, state and federal funding is being cut back, and yet, state and federal governments continue to add more requirements for local governments to live up to.
    Local governments also have to deal with the unrealistic expectations by some residents to have Cadillac services at a Kia price tag.

  • Atheists, the First Amendment and equal treatment

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    In case you missed it, on May 5, the president of the United States called the nation to prayer — just as past presidents have done on the first Thursday of every May since 1952.
    Mandated by Congress, the National Day of Prayer was marked this year by events around the country, many of which were organized by the National Day of Prayer Task Force, an evangelical Christian group that maintains the self-described “official site” on the Web for celebrating the day.

  • Celebrate World Press Freedom Day

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Thanks to the First Amendment, I’m free to write these words — and you’re free to read them.
    But for about 84 percent of the approximately 6.9 billion people with whom we share this planet, that’s not the case. They live in nations where the press is only “partly” free from government control or criminal intimidation, or not free at all.

  • What’s next for America now that bin Laden is gone?

    Public Enemy No. 1 for America and for much of the rest of the world is dead.
    Osama bin Laden was killed in his compound in Pakistan by a Navy Seals team, putting an end to his lengthy, personal reign of terror.
    We’ll still have more terrorists to deal with. Killing one man, no matter how high he ranks, will not put an end to hatred, cruelty and misunderstanding.
    For all the death and destruction bin Laden has left in his wake, it strikes us that his worst blow to America was what he did to us as a people.

  • Freedom going viral is potential trouble for dictators

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    More than 2 billion people across the globe have Internet access and there are some 5 billion mobile-phone subscriptions, according to the 2010 Human Rights Report released this month by the U.S. Department of State.

  • College officials, police denounce legislators’ gun plan

    Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan was speaking out, expressing his concern for the safety of students, faculty and staff on college campuses if a bill being discussed in the legislature to allow guns on public campuses is passed.
    Morgan has joined the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro, and numerous other presidents, faculty, staff and students of Tennessee’s public higher education institutions in opposing the bills.

  • School wars over religion heating up

    By Charles C. Haynes
    First Amendment Center
    Just when First Amendment principles seem to be working in public education, new fights over student religious speech threaten to reignite culture-war battles in schools across the country.

  • College officials, police denounce legislators’ gun plan

    Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan was speaking out, expressing his concern for the safety of students, faculty and staff on college campuses if a bill being discussed in the legislature to allow guns on public campuses is passed.
    Morgan has joined the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro, and numerous other presidents, faculty, staff and students of Tennessee’s public higher education institutions in opposing the bills.

  • Hopeful signs buoy nation's free press

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Maybe it's the influence of springtime, but with the change of seasons there seem to be positive signs of a renewal of spirit in the nation's free press.
    In a meeting of the nation's top news editors in San Diego, and at a panel discussion at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., experts this week expressed new hopes about the future of journalism — citing new technology and new approaches to funding news operations.

  • HUB board makes the right call on new warehouse

    We were pleased to see Chairman Gary Goff and other members of the Harriman Utility Board shoot down plans for a fancy-shmancy $17 million warehouse.
    Even if, as proposed, the utility could have received grants to pay for most of what some were calling the “Taj Mahal” warehouse, that’s  still ratepayers’ hard-earned money that could go for much more needed items in this tough economy.