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Today's Opinions

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Remembering Nellie Alkire Ward, Part One

    As we promised last week, we begin the portion of our recollections of “characters” related to those of the female persuasion, and as we indicated then, we choose to begin this part of the series with Mrs. R. H. Ward, nee Nelle Alkire. Mrs. Ward’s story will require more space than we have available in a single column, so the following is Part One, to be followed by one or more parts in subsequent issues.
    ******

  • You can’t make this stuff up, and, well, you shouldn’t

    By GENE POLICINSKI

    First Amendment Center

    You can’t make this kind of thing up.

    On the very day America’s top real news anchor gets suspended for telling fake news, the nation’s leading anchor of a mock news program tells us he’s leaving his job — really.

    Brian Williams got tossed Tuesday from “NBC Nightly News” for six months without pay for misstating the facts about facing enemy fire in a helicopter in Iraq in 2003.

  • Dick Hettrick and his legacies of good work

    By MARK T. BANKER

    Author’s note: The following three premises are essential to this column.

    1) None of us sees the past or present with absolute clarity; 2) Each of us has the capacity for glimpses of informed insight that draw from and reflect our personal values; and 3) Cordial, forthright exchange of those insights enhances our mutual well being.

  • GLIMPSES: Remembering the Civil War — lessons and legacies

    By MARK T. BANKER
    Author’s note: The following three premises are essential to this column.
    1) None of us sees the past or present with absolute clarity; 2) Each of us has the capacity for glimpses of informed insight that draw from and reflect our personal values; and 3) Cordial, forthright exchange of those insights enhances our mutual well being.

    At the end of 2014, editor Terri Likens and I discussed restarting my  “occasional” column in the Roane County News.

  • GUEST OPINION: Experts give 2014 a barely passing grade of C-minus

    By LEE HAMILTON
    Center on Congress
    For the second straight year, a group of academic experts who were asked to evaluate Congress’s performance gave the institution a barely passing grade of C-minus.

    “This is a dismal assessment,” said Indiana University political scientist Edward G. Carmines, director of Research for the Center on Congress at Indiana University.

    The C-minus grade for 2014 is the same mediocre mark the institution earned in 2013.

  • If they call or email, they’re not the IRS

    Friends, the IRS will never call nor email you about taxes or penalties you may owe.

    I saw that line time and again over the summer, when the Internal Revenue Service sent out an almost-continuous stream of press releases warning taxpayers about schemes in which swindlers attempt to separate law-abiding citizens from their hard-earned dollars by evoking the name that sends chills through most Americans.

    I’m now glad I did.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: ‘Characters’ continued: Dr. Neal’s O.R. history

    Today, gentle reader, we begin the second in our series of brief recollections of extraordinary characters we have been lucky enough to encounter in our lifetime, which we began a couple of weeks ago with some paragraphs about the late Joe Posey.

  • See you soon, football

    “Sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes ... well, he eats.”

    Out of all of the random life lessons the Coen Brothers snuck into cult-classic “The Big Lebowski,” that one line by The Stranger, played by Sam Elliot, may be the most significant.

    After the confetti cleared Sunday night at University of Phoenix Stadium, one thing was clear. The Seattle Seahawks ate — although some might say they choked — the bar, bringing an unwelcomed end to football season.