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Today's Opinions

  • Does silence equal death on gay bullying?

    By CHARLES HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    Culture wars are returning to school this fall as conflicts over what to say — or not to say — about homosexuality escalate across the country.

    After a spate of high-profile news stories about gay teen suicides (nationwide, six in September alone), school officials are caught in the crossfire in the fight over how to address the anti-gay bullying that has been implicated in some of the deaths.

  • Dispelling myths about work, intellectual disabilities

    By JIM HENRY
    Special to Roane County News
    The ability to shape your own destiny is what sets America apart.

    To be able to pursue the American Dream while performing your chosen vocation is a privilege that many people take for granted. The Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and our community partners support approximately 8,000 Tennesseans with intellectual disabilities to live, work and to be a part of their communities.

  • History repeats itself when people allow it to

    I read your guest opinion piece “U.S. turned guns on WWI vets in 1932” with interest but not with suprise.
    In the 1920s, coal miners in West Virginia banded together and formed a union.

    Soon after, they went on strike for better wages, working conditions and living conditions.

    The miners and families lived in company housing and had to buy what they needed from the company store.

    Often, their paychecks didn’t cover what they owed.

    If a miner became sick or died, his family was immediately ejected from the house so a healthy worker and family could be moved in.

  • Items wanted to keep people in need warm, sheltered

    The Clothes Closet in Rockwood is in need of winter clothing for children and adults, blankets and heaters — any kind — quilts, a kitchen stove, washer and dryer, a queen-size bed frame and some sheetrock to repair broken sheetrock and funding to serve needy families in Roane County.

    We serve all of Roane County, and all items and services are free to the client.

    All workers are volunteers who can be reached at 354-4227 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    All items must be clean and in good wearable or workable condition and can be on hangers, in bags or boxes.

  • Yard sale mistake has woman hoping for honest customer

    Last Saturday, Oct. 22, my daughter and I had a yard sale at my house in Kingston.

    As I was trying to add up another person’s purchases a man walked up said this has 25 cents but I’ll give you 30 cents and handed me 3 dimes.

    I said OK.

    As he stared to walk off, I realized he was holding my binoculars, and I said I can’t believe I put 25 cents on those — they are good binoculars.

    A few seconds later my daughter walked up, and I told her what had happened, and she said “You didn’t, you had $25 on that.”

  • Assembly rights have limits that may be tested

    By KEN PAULSON
    First Amendment Center
    The First Amendment’s guarantee of the right of assembly doesn’t necessarily include a right to camp out.

    “The Constitution doesn’t protect tents,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said recently, as Occupy Wall Street protesters continued their month-long vigil at Zuccotti Park. “It protects speech and assembly.”
    Bloomberg has it right, although the quasi-private nature of this particular park complicates things a bit.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Life was over the top at Cumberland Gap

    Most people in these parts are familiar with the history of Cumberland Gap and its importance as a route to open up frontier country.
    My history with Cumberland Gap is personal — I lived there for several years in my 20s. I loved it, especially around this time of year.
    On crisp autumn days, I could look out the kitchen window in my second-story apartment and see the people — tiny in the distance —on the Pinnacle Overlook at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.

  • A View from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen: What hath the great god GOP wrought?

    As you know, knowledgeable reader, the Republican Party finally achieved their goal of complete control of the legislature last year.

    This control was supposed to have numerous glorious consequences too numerous to enumerate, but, in short, we were to have entered a new golden age; an age in which miracles would be so numerous as to be commonplace.

    Had the victors in this power play been folks of outstanding statesmanship, or sense, or perception, possibly the outcome might have been as advertised.