Today's Opinions

  • INSIDE the First AMENDMENT: What is ‘free speech’ on the web?

    Who can say what, on the Web?

    Twitter has raised questions anew with reports of a lifetime ban on tweets from conservative blogger Milo Yiannopoulos — reportedly after complaints that he engineered a wave of racist and sexist comments directed against comedian and actress Leslie Jones, who is co-starring in the latest “Ghostbusters” movie.

    Yiannopoulos is an editor on the conservative blog site Breitbart.com, whose posts frequently create controversy on the web.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: An Open Letter to the Citizens of Harriman

    Dear Harriman Citizens: Congratulations, dear citizens, each of you is about to become the proud owner of a lawsuit, each and every one of you.

    You did not ask to be, you didn’t know you were going to be, and you may not want to be, but you are.

  • INSIDE the First AMENDMENT: Reclaiming our common humanity

     Horrific events like the heartbreaking tragedy in Orlando — the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history — bring out the best and the worst in the American character.

    After Omar Mateen murdered 49 people and injured 53 others, many clergy who rarely, if ever, acknowledge the LGBT community in positive terms offered prayers for LGBT people — actually reciting the letters. This one, brief shining moment was both unprecedented and heartening.

  • From Austria to Oak Ridge: Changing the world with a secret

    I was born and spent my first 17 years in Vienna, Austria. My mother tongue was, of course, German, and my foreign languages consisted of two years of French and six years of Latin. No English!

    When I joined the American branch of my family in Philadelphia, Pa., at the age of 17, it didn’t take me too long to realize that I could not expect to ask any local gal for a date in German. So I had a powerful incentive to crash-learn the “new” language of English as fast as I could.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Uniforms don’t always produce uniformity

    Last week’s shooting by police, and of police, brought to the fore once again the nation’s seemingly never-ending trauma arising from the troubled relationship betwixt the negro and Caucasian races that has existed since the first days of the colonies in the early 1600s.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: The Bar as it was, Part XII, finishing the story

    Well, with Part XI of “The Bar as it Was”, concluding the tale of Roberts and Deatherage, I have just about finished the story of the active practicing bar as it existed at the time of my admission in 1959, however, there yet remains a small group of lawyers who earned their living through their skills as attorneys, but who did not engage in the private practice at that time.

  • YOUR LETTERS: FSA county committees a vital link to the USDA

    It’s that time of year again. The Farm Service Agency’s 2016 County Committee elections are underway. Your FSA county committees are a vital and direct link between our farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    I encourage all eligible farmers and ranchers, especially women, minorities and beginning farmers, to get involved by making a nomination and voting in this year’s county committee elections.

    This is a great podium for your concerns and opinions to be heard. Don’t miss this opportunity.

  • From the EDITOR’S Desk: Free power comes at a price

    I first saw Altamont Pass in 1982 when I was traveling through Northern California on the road from San Francisco up to the Sierras.

    As the road climbed higher through the golden-grass-covered hills, I was excited about the chance of seeing the Altamont Speedway where the infamous Rolling Stones free concert was held in December 1969.