Today's Opinions

  • You can change the tone of politics

    Center of Congress
    The election of 2012 has called attention to how difficult it is for Americans to talk reasonably with one another about public policy challenges.

    Our civic dialogue — how we sort through issues and reason with one another — is too often lamentable.

    We live in a politically divided country. Congress, which ought to serve as the forum where politicians of diverse views find common ground, is instead driven by ideological disagreements.

  • It’s what’s under the river that really worries him

    The U.S. government keeps a lot of secrets it doesn’t want you to know about.

    Inadvertently, I read some declassified material I obtained from a fellow who worked in a nuclear byproduct dump.

    It had some horrifying details about the nuclear pollution in Watts Bar Lake  and the Tennessee River.

    It seems as though there were releases of strontium 90, cesium and, I think, tritium. Some have 6,000-year half lives.The main concentration is right out in the bend at Kingston City Park.

  • Post-election stench drifting by, writer says

    The Republican Party took careful aim at their target while the Tea Party acted as spotters with Mitch McConnell and Rush Limbaugh acting as forward observers.

    They took the “fire” signal from Karl Rove, relayed it to Romney who promptly shot himself in the foot, and there is no wonder!

    The way he was dancing around from position to position was like a bee in a flower pot!

  • GUEST OPINION: Cross-media ownership likely to widen soon

    First Amendment Center
    Cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations has long been strictly regulated, but that may be about to change.

    The Los Angeles Times reports that the Federal Communications Commission is expected to approve a proposal that would permit ownership of both a newspaper and major television and radio station in the nation’s 20 largest markets.

    The idea behind the limitation was to prevent a single media entity from dominating the free flow of information to a community.

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Elections not as tasty now

    I’ll never forget the first election I covered.
    I was a poor reporter, barely making more than minimum wage and trying to get by on it.
    Ground zero for election coverage was the courthouse in Pineville, Ky., and Election Day was the highlight of my professional calendar.
    The county clerk’s office — and many other contributors — brought in a feast of casseroles, meats, side dishes, snacks and desserts and shared willingly with all.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Whither the divided house of Republicans?

    Well, Gentle Reader, the old curmudgeon need not feel embarrassed by his prognostications that Barack Obama would be re-elected, inasmuch as he has been.

    Possibly even more impressive than the President’s win, is the fact that the Senate is firmly in control of the Democrats.

    The most perilous aspect of the election results is probably the retention of control of the House of Representatives by the Republicans.

    How did the Republican losses come about?

  • Roane County lags on free books for children program

    Recently, Tennessee’s First Lady, Crissy Haslam honored McMinn County Imagination Library as the top ranking program in the state with regards to the percentage of children enrolled in this early childhood literacy program.  

    Fully 89 percent of McMinn County’s children, from birth to age 5, are receiving free books every month.  

    McMinn Imagination Library volunteers have done a great job reaching their children.
    Roane County’s enrollment is 64 percent.  

  • GUEST OPINION: Look to the First Amendment to know the Second

    First Amendment Center
    The First Amendment right to freedom of speech and the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms are usually related only by their proximity in the Bill of Rights.

    But the connection actually runs much deeper. Courts are using standards from First Amendment law and applying them in Second Amendment cases.

    The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals just did this in its Oct. 25 decision in National Rifle Association v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.