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Today's Opinions

  • Free-speech issues abound on Internet

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Freedom of speech might logically seem to apply the same way whether the speech takes place on the street corner or on the Internet.
    But that basic First Amendment premise is as yet unsettled in our new Web world. An intricate set of laws and judicial opinions on free speech and defamation has evolved over several centuries, from a system that existed mainly to protect the elite from criticism to one that enables anyone to seek compensation for what they see as unfair damage to their reputation.

  • IMPRESSIONS by Johnny Teglas: Help for libraries is good for all of us

    Back in the day … long before I met the “boss,” got into the information business and then started having children, I had hours to burn.
    Outside of weekend camping trips with buds, some shade-tree mechanic work on my old mini-bike and homework projects, I had a special passion.
    I suppose what it really boiled down to was my tendency to choose to escape from the humdrum of every day life.
    I liked to read.
    And I often could be found wearing out my library card at
    C. Bascom Slemp Memorial Library.

  • Smoky’s death may not have been in vain

    We loved a solid gray cat named Smoky. Just a cat, you may say, just another cat. But he became a family member about nine years ago.
    He’d been in a fight for his life. His left eye was swollen with infection. He was a mess and skinny.
    Doug, my husband, took him to the vet and had him fixed up and “fixed.”
    On May 11, Smoky wanted out, and as usual, Doug called out to me, “‘Smokes’ is out.”

  • Easter event a success thanks to these donors

    Harriman Fire Deportment held its annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 23.
    More than 300 participants entered this year. This event would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of the Harriman firefighters and the many sponsors who make it happen.
    We wish to thank the following sponsors who made this event a big success:

  • Watch what you do with wrecker companies

    I recently had a vehicle accident on Interstate 40 around the area of the Roane County Industrial Park. My car was towed to a local wrecker and used car sales company.
    I asked the tow-truck driver about paying him then. He stated “Don’t worry about it; the insurance company will pay for it.”
     I sent another wrecker service to pick up the car at the request of my car insurance rep to have the car towed to my house.

  • Discussion, not closed doors, may better serve official

    By GENE POICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has a complaint about a news report by an Atlanta TV station, but his objections likely would be better served by an open debate than a closed door.
    A reporter and photographer from WAGA-TV, a Fox network station, were refused entry May 13 into Deal’s office for the signing of a controversial immigration bill. A day earlier, the station had reported on an investigation involving Deal’s election campaign and a fundraising company linked to the governor’s daughter-in-law.

  • An apology to some, but not all on foodstamps

    I sincerely apologize for harping on food stamp recipients in my last letter.
    Obviously there are plenty of over-weight children in America who have never benefited from food stamps.
    What disturbs me is how much heavier children are now compared to 40 or 50 years ago.
    My title for the piece was “Are We There Yet.” It was meant to be a humorous comparison between now and way back then.
    Having said that, I am glad it has inspired some debate on the issue of over-weight children.

  • Graduation at church means more conflict

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    Like thousands of other public school students across the country, seniors in Irving, Texas, will graduate from high school next month — although in Irving they’ll go to church to get their diplomas.
    The venue is the Potter House, a megachurch led by Bishop T.D. Jakes, site of Irving commencements since 2004.
    But this year’s ceremony will be the last mixing of secular and sacred during graduation in the Dallas-area school district.