Today's Opinions

  • Put civility back in free speech options for 2014


    First Amendment Center

    The First Amendment protects our freedom to say and write just about anything we want — but that doesn’t mean we ought to, particularly in public life.

    The difference rests between “can” and “should.”

    Our nation’s founders were no strangers to rude, callous and raucous debate in public life and to vicious commentary, even by today’s “anything goes” online standards.

  • Oncology waiting room — where hope drips slowly

    The last day of the year found me in an impromptu meeting of a strange organization; one that requires no regular meetings or any other standards that identify such public bodies.

    I found myself in the midst of a Waiting Room Society.

    There was no formal structure except, perhaps, for the glass window prominently positioned in the center of the large waiting room.

  • REACH met goals thanks to efforts of many who helped

    On behalf of the Operation REACH Board of Directors, I want to express our appreciation and thanks to the thousands of people throughout Roane County who helped make our 38th year a success.

    If you are a county deputy, policeman, or fireman under the leadership of the sheriff, police chiefs or fire chiefs, both city and county, who took up money at roadblocks for our program, we are grateful.

    For those businesses and individuals who mailed money in to us, we are grateful.

  • Policinski right on, but freedom’s cost can be expensive

    Gene Policinski’s “basic course on the First Amendment” in last Friday’s edition is right on. There are, or could be, consequences associated with trying to exercise any of your constitutional rights. The Second
    Amendment says you have the right to bear arms.

    But first you have to complete a firearms safety course and pay the state a license fee to exercise your constitutional right. If you don’t pay that fee, your right is gone and you could be put in prison.

  • REU needs to show where ‘gift’ is spent

    I always check my wattage when I get my electric bill, and I have no problem with this.

    But I need Rockwood Electric Utility’s accountability for the $1 charge for “Helping Others.”

    I have no problem with giving $1 to help others with their electric bill.

    But I need more information about where my dollar goes, and I’m sure that other REU users want this information as well.

    Please give all your customers a spread sheet to show where our dollars go.  Thank you!

    Jayne R. Jackson

  • Thanks for unexpected gift at restaurant

    My wife, Eileen, and I went to the Cancun Restaurant Dec. 24 for lunch.

    We selected a table not far from a woman who was finishing her meal.

    When we finished, our payment was refused.

    We were told, “That woman paid your bill.”

    What an unexpected, pleasant gift!  

    It lifted our spirits.  

    Our thanks to her and to all who do such things.

    Eileen and Dave Manzano

  • GUEST OPINION: Kid’s speech on religion gets it right, despite adults

    First Amendment Center
    When children speak the truth, adults often squirm and shut them up.

    That’s apparently what happened to Zachary Golob-Drake last week after he delivered a speech entitled “In the Name of Religion” to his fifth grade class in Tampa, Fla.

    The teacher initially applauded Zachary’s speech, awarding him first prize and an opportunity to compete to represent his school at the regional 4-H Tropicana Public Speech Contest.

    But school officials had second thoughts.

  • Judge offers words of thanks, wisdom

    Beginning last January, after experiencing some pain and fever, I began seeing a urologist, which led to out-patient hospital procedures.

    After testing and continuing confirmation, it was the doctor’s opinion and that of other urologists that I had a kidney performing at 15 percent or less, and that the kidney should be removed.