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Editorials

  • OUR OPINION: It’s time to pare down to one big Christmas parade

    Nearly a decade ago, an economic report showed that Knoxville had fallen behind similar-sized regional cities, such as Chattanooga and Lexington, Ky., in part, because of leaders’ clannishness.

    Instead of working together for the good of the city, leaders then were trying to stake out their own little piece of the pie for their own communities or interests

    That situation has improved, and with it, so have Knoxville’s economy and attractiveness.

    We raise this point because we fear the same is true in Roane County.

  • GUEST OPINION:What a free press meant when JFK assassinated

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    Inside the First Amendment
    The commemoration on Nov. 22 of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is also a reminder — a stark and somber one, to be sure — of journalism as some call it: “The first draft of history.”

    From the time that three shots were fired in Dallas at the presidential motorcade on Nov. 22, 1963, that “first draft” of reporting about the tragedy reached Americans in a manner unique in history.

  • GUEST OPINION: Anti-semitism rears ugly head, poisons society

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    Inside the First Amendment
    Americans have long needed a wake-up call about pernicious anti-Semitism that still poisons our society — and last week we got one.

    On the eve of the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht — the violent anti-Jewish pogroms that took place in Germany on November 9 and 10, 1938 — The New York Times published a chilling account of pervasive anti-Semitism in Pine Bush Central School District, located in a rural area 90 miles north of New York City.

  • GUEST OPINION: Privacy issues taking new sets of twists, turns

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    Inside the First Amendment

    Strictly speaking, privacy is not a First Amendment issue. It’s not one of the five freedoms protected by the amendment’s 45 words, and in some cases it even works in opposition to the practical application of those freedoms.

  • GUEST OPINION: Return of student newspapers is a class act

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    Inside the First Amendment
    When does a blatant, criminal act of outright theft produce a good result — and an educational experience as well — in terms of the First Amendment?

    Apparently, such good result came about at Concordia College, a liberal arts college of 2,500 students, in Moorhead, Minn., just across the Red River from Fargo, N.D.

    Even though as a private school it’s not subject to those 45 words in the manner of a public institution, administrators clearly stand behind a free press.

  • GUEST OPINION: Schools should spend less time on Halloween

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    Inside the First Amendment
    Principal Orlando Taylor believed he was doing the right thing last week when he sent a letter home announcing to parents that Halloween celebrations will be banned this year at Inglewood Elementary School.
    But Taylor underestimated how many parents in Towamencin Township, Pennsylvania are emotionally attached to the annual parties and parades featuring goblins, witches and ghosts.
    Outraged parents denounced the ban, calling it everything from ridiculous to un-American.

  • GUEST OPINION: Crazy free speech battles on campuses

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    Inside the First Amendment
    Robert Van Tuinen’s run-in with campus police would be a funny story — if it weren’t such a disturbing example of how freedom of speech is under assault on many American college and university campuses.
    As reported in The Daily Caller and elsewhere, Van Tuinen, a student at Modesto Junior College in California, was stopped from handing out copies of the Constitution on Sept. 17 – the 226th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution.

  • GUEST OPINION: Shield law may have unintended consequences

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    Inside the First Amendment
    We’re all facing a tough decision by Congress later this year — and it’s not about the federal budget or national health care policy.

    A question that ultimately will affect us all involves a bill with the innocuous name “Free Flow of Information Act.”

  • GUEST OPINION: Stills honored for free speech through music

    By KEN PAULSON
    First Amendment Center
    In the 221 years since ratification of the Bill of Rights, Americans have had the right to speak out. And sing out.

    In recognition of the power of free speech set to music, the First Amendment Center and the Americana Music Association join together each year to honor a prominent musician who has used his or her music to contribute to the markeplace of ideas.  

  • GUEST OPINION: When God-talk by children is protected speech

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    If you ask a class of fifth-graders to write about someone they “look up to,” don’t be shocked when at least one of them decides to write about God.

    That’s exactly what happened in Millington, Tenn., earlier this month when 10-year-old Erin selected God as her idol because, as she explained, “He is the reason I am on this earth.”