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Today's Opinions

  • 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.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: We are all subject to the standards of our times

    Jon Meacham, a nationally known journalist with deep-rooted ties to Chattanooga, who has turned to the role of biographer, notably a widely praised life of fellow Tennessean Andrew Jackson, has just recently released his latest effort which is about our third president, Thomas Jefferson.

    John Seigenthaler, long-time editor of the Nashville Tennessean, had Meacham as a guest on his PBS programme, A Word on Words, this past weekend to discuss this new book.

  • Swift apology wanted for Largen’s tea party attack

    My usual policy regarding Gerald Largen’s columns is to ignore them as a waste of time and a danger to healthy brain cells, but when he attacks me or my Roane County Tea Party associates directly, as he did last Friday, I reluctantly wade into his ramblings.

    The silver lining in this whole IRS debacle has been the fact that some people who had formerly put complete trust in the righteousness of an all-powerful central government have had their eyes opened to what happens in the real world when real people are given too much power over their fellow citizens.  

  • GUEST OPINION: Legislative prayers are a murky situation

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    When the U.S. Supreme Court declared legislative prayers constitutional 30 years ago, the justices sent a convoluted message to legislatures, city councils and other government bodies:

    You may open your sessions with prayer, a tradition that dates back to the founding of the Republic.  But don’t exploit the prayer opportunity “to proselytize or advance any one, or to disparage any other, faith or belief.” (Marsh v. Chambers, 1983)

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Early rising better than slow to sleep

    At this point in my life, sleep usually comes easily.
    I’ve not always been so lucky.
    During much of the 1990s, I worked at The Associated Press in Chicago, a busy, 24-7 news bureau.
    There, employees with families tended to get regular, daytime schedules.
    I was one of a handful of single employees who was tossed about the schedule to fill in around them.
    My shift, if it could be called that, changed dramatically from week to week. I worked overnights, weekends, started shifts at 6 a.m. and then, later in the week, 5 p.m.

  • Leadership view depends on your own direction

    The conciliatory effects of the presidential oval office meetings with Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham have disappeared like fog at sunrise.

    A new chill has settled over their relationships as our most vocal war POW/hero accuses President Obama of a failure to lead.

    What he is failing to notice is that the president is leading in the opposite direction McCain currently advocates, and away from continual war — not into the Syrian civil war quicksand.

    How could entering another proxy war in the Middle East help the United States?

  • GUEST OPINION: Freedom to report requires another freedom

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Freedom to report the news requires the freedom to gather it.

    In the months ahead, that basic concept — so central to the First Amendment’s protection of a free press — will also be at the heart of the ongoing debate over how far government officials may go in pursuit of those responsible for “leaking” classified information to journalists.

  • GUEST OPINION: Graduation prayer fights a lost cause

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    School officials in Lake City, Arkansas have come up with a novel solution to the fight over prayer at graduation:
    No prayer, no graduation.

    On May 6, the school board voted to cancel sixth-grade graduation at Lake City’s two elementary schools.

    The action came soon after the district received a complaint letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation objecting to prayers at previous graduations.

    Rather than drop the prayers, the district opted to drop the entire ceremony.