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Today's Opinions

  • GUEST OPINION: More on media and government secrets

    By Gene Policinski, First Amendment Center
    Will the government ever do it — charge a reporter under the Espionage Act with endangering national security for disclosing classified information?

    No journalist ever has been prosecuted for receiving and writing about such leaked information. Two recent controversies raised questions of how far the Department of Justice officials might go in investigations of such “leaks.”

    But President Obama clearly stepped back from taking the issue to any constitutional cliff.

  • LETTER: Bigots wrongly think they can speak for us

    No, racism isn’t dead. It isn’t even sleeping. It is hiding behind closed   doors of houses built with cow’s dung.  It is just as strong and ugly, and it raises its head to announce things, opinions and people it will not tolerate.

    What arrogance to make personal decisions for someone else because their own fragile senses are offended.

    A cereal company had the audacity to include a mixed-race couple with a child in their commercial.

    The cow’s dung house exploded with anger and indignation.

  • LETTER: School-shooting security increase is unnecessary

    Should we raise taxes and spend huge amounts of money on beefed up security in our schools — NO!

    Here’s why:

    Since 2000 the United States has averaged 2.46 school shootings per year, including shootings where no one, including students, were injured or only the shooter died (suicide).

    The chances of any particular K-12 school in the United States experiencing a shooting incident in any given year is approximately 1 in 53,925.

  • Congressional investigations must be done right

    By Lee H. Hamilton, Center on Congress
    By my count, 11 separate Washington investigations are looking into the three big issues besetting the Obama Administration right now: Benghazi, IRS targeting of Tea Party groups, and the Justice Department’s pursuit of national security leaks to Associated Press reporters.

    That’s a lot of scrutinizing by any measure.

     Don’t get me wrong.

  • Doesn’t agree that ash spill not a health danger

    I would like to be complimentary about the TVA inspector general’s report on the recovery from the coal ash disaster, but I am still concerned about the impact of the coal ash spill on human health.

    It is not correct to say that no one was killed as a result of the coal ash spill.
    A worker died during the cleanup, and another has a broken back.

    With all due respect, it is misleading to imply that the information presented to date is a thorough consideration of the impact of the coal fly ash spill on the health and well-being of people who live(d) in the area.

  • Important to keep judicial selections nonpartisan, stable

    If Amendment 2 is not passed, Tennessee will have no system for selecting judges.

    The previous merit-based Tennessee plan process for selecting and evaluating appellate judges and justices was not renewed by the legislature during its 108th General Assembly, with final sunset effective June 30, 2013.

    Current judicial selection is occurring under Gov. Bill Haslam’s Executive Order of Oct. 17, 2013; it will expire Nov. 5. No system will be in place after Nov. 5.

  • GUEST OPINION: Students fight censorship of history by schools

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Dozens of Colorado high school students decided recently to demand a complete education about American history — and they had to walk out of class to make their point.

    According to reports in The Denver Post and the Los Angeles Times, students at nine high schools in Denver suburbs have left classes at times “to protest what they see as the school board’s attempt to censor advanced history curriculum.”

  • Top official lost his wallet; is glad for locals’ honesty

    It is truly a blessing to live in a small town and community.

    I want to say thank you to an unidentified lady who found and turned in my wallet to staff at the Kingston Food City.

    On Sunday, after a long day traveling, my wallet either fell out of my car or I left it outside the Food City while retrieving a newspaper.

    On the way home, I noticed that my wallet was missing and immediately called Food City. The staff said a lady who knew me turned in the wallet and they placed it in their safe.