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Today's Opinions

  • GUEST OPINION: In public schools, when should holy day be holidays?

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    The school board in Montgomery County, Md. ignited a national debate earlier this month by voting to eliminate the names of Christian and Jewish religious holidays on the school calendar – while still planning to close schools on those days.

    The board’s action was in response to the local Muslim community’s longstanding request to add at least one Muslim holiday to the list of days when the district’s schools would close.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: What we ate, and how we fixed it, way back then

    Gentle reader, in this season of Thanksgiving, marked by indulgence, even over indulgence in eating, we thought it might be a good time to remark upon some of the items which Americans consumed in an earlier day which are virtually, if not completely, unknown to the modern American, and how we fixed our food back then.

  • Forgo the turkey, says resident, and sleep easier

    Next week, President Obama will pardon two turkeys to promote the turkey industry.

    Every one of us can exercise that same pardon power by choosing a nonviolent Thanksgiving observance. It’s a most fitting way to give thanks for our own life, health, and happiness.

    The 240 million turkeys killed in the U.S. this year have nothing to give thanks for. They are raised in crowded sheds filled with toxic fumes. Their beaks and toes are severed.

  • Close the border, once and for all, resident declares

    Just a few days after a sweeping victory by the Republican Party in the House and Senate, President Obama, with the stroke of a pen, neutered Congress again. There was nothing hidden in his agenda. In one simple executive order he granted a form of amnesty to his new “priority minority,” while at the same time abruptly ending any celebration by the GOP.

    U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann’s victories were silenced.

  • Ridge View kids present touching program for vets

    I would like to commend the students, teachers and staff at Ridge View Elementary School for their outstanding and eye-misting tribute to veterans on Nov. 11.

    A special salute to Nancy Lydic, who, through the multi-faceted aspects of music, beautifully expressed the uniqueness of our founding documents that birthed the greatest nation on Earth.

    While we were recognized for their defense, it is they who are the definitive bulwark of their preservation.

  • Drumbeats of war good only for war machine makers

    Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham’s relative silence indicates that, for now, Obama’s entry into the dogfight in Syria and Iraq has placated their insatiable need for armed conflict.

    Do the rumblings in the background, like thunder in the distance, warn of an impending storm of demands for boots on the ground by the rightist owners of stock in war machinery manufacturers?

    While predictions of yet another 10-year war seem to raise no real public concern, we must ask: Where are the protesters, the peaceniks, the isolationists now?

  • Honor veterans by giving them health benefits

    This Veterans Day, we honored those who serve and have served our country.

    Veterans put their lives on the line to protect our independence, our freedom, and all the rights we hold dear. Now is the time to fight for them by ensuring they have access to health coverage.

    Nationally, one in 10 veterans are without health insurance and do not use Veterans Administration healthcare.

    Nearly a million veterans and their spouses have incomes low enough to qualify for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

  • Roane County hits admirable goal in literacy effort

    Thank you, Roane County, for demonstrating that you value early childhood literacy.  

    We now have 80 percent of Roane’s children, from birth to age 5, enrolled in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.  This has been the  “stretch goal” since the Roane County affiliate was founded 10 years ago.