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Today's Opinions

  • Nuts & Bolts by Terri Likens: Letters to the editor — why some do not run

    We love hearing from our readers, especially when they express their opinions in a letter to the editor.
    But now and then we get letters that, for one reason or another, we cannot run.
    A recent example was one criticizing the tax assessor and her office.
    A major reason this letter did not run was it was written by another person who has openly expressed running for the tax assessor’s office.

  • Salute the Bill of Rights and save on legal bills

    By KEN PAULSON
    First Amendment Center
    Here we go again.
    In a familiar legal skirmish, a judge has once again told a local government that it has to remove a Ten Commandments monument from public grounds because it violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
    Senior District Judge Maurice Paul ordered Dixie County, Fla., officials to remove the monument from the grounds of the courthouse in Cross City.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: A trudge to the mountaintop — the long way up

    My 17-pound pack, filled with water, lunch and rain gear, felt downright light as I plodded 9 miles uphill to the top of Mount LeConte.

    After all, several years ago I was in failing health and my own weight was about double what it is now.

    I could not have imagined then, while recovering from thyroid cancer and its complications, that I would be able to tackle this peak — my own personal Mount Everest of the Smokies.

  • A view from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen: Please define ‘Gross Domestic Product’ of U.S.

    As the regular reader of this column knows, we try to keep such readers abreast of important issues and developments in our government.
    One such development about which much has been said and written is the proposed “Balanced Budget Amendment;” but despite all the talk and writing, little specific has been told or written about just exactly what this Amendment would entail, if adopted.

    So that you, gentle reader, would know this, we print herewith the exact language of the Amendment, as proposed:

  • Bipartisan effort on budget mess is appreciated

    We were pleased to see that Lamar Alexander, the U.S. senator from Tennessee, was one of a handful of elected officials working in a bipartisan fashion to end the national budget standoff that has been threatening to crumble our economy.
    These are shaky economic times, and while blancing the budget sounds good, cutting spending and programs now could easily send our situation into the kind of crash that could wreak worldwide disaster.
    Alexander and his “Gang of Six” senators are to be commended for putting the American people ahead of political lines.

  • IMPRESSIONS by Johnny Teglas: Send in vacation photos holding the RC News!

    Beating the heat … that seems to be a goal everyone’s trying to achieve these days.
    With most of the country in the grips of what many are calling a “deep fryer,” it seems as if record highs are being registered pretty much daily.
    While we’ve not been hit by triple digits as have many from the Southwest to the Midwest yet (and hopefully won’t), the combination of mid 90s and upper 60s dew points here in the Tennessee Valley have combined for some seriously steamy days.

  • The Garden Gate by Ellen Probert Williamson: Vegetable blooms a promise of tomorrow's bounty

    All vegetable plants must have flowers in order to produce their fruits, although most farmers and vegetable gardeners don’t pay much attention to them, being intent upon the vegetables to come.
    The flowers are just the means to an end. But vegetable flowers are all very pretty and can be surprisingly effective in flower arrangements.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: It's nice to pretend the good guys always win

    “You know what today is?” my mother asked in a recent phone call.

    “I do,” I replied without hesitation.

    She didn’t have to ask.

    I needed no reminder that July 11 was the fifth anniversary of my father’s death from cancer.

    I try not to dwell on the pain of his last days and the suffering which he handled with dignity.

    Instead, I try to focus on my fondest memories of him.