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Today's Opinions

  • Conservatives need to change extreme rhetoric

    The political climate in Washington changed briefly after the passage of a law to reopen government and extend the debt ceiling into 2014.
    Tea partyers stepped to the microphones to bemoan their failure with long faces, disappointment written all over them.
    Even U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz modified his strident tone and became less preachy.
    U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell actually smiled as he described what had transpired.

  • GUEST OPINION: Schools should spend less time on Halloween

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    Inside the First Amendment
    Principal Orlando Taylor believed he was doing the right thing last week when he sent a letter home announcing to parents that Halloween celebrations will be banned this year at Inglewood Elementary School.
    But Taylor underestimated how many parents in Towamencin Township, Pennsylvania are emotionally attached to the annual parties and parades featuring goblins, witches and ghosts.
    Outraged parents denounced the ban, calling it everything from ridiculous to un-American.

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Road to Hooters is paved with gravel

    Last Sunday, I was at Hooters.
    Yes, THAT Hooters.
    Trust me, it’s not a place I ever aspired to be.
    How I got there is a circuitous story, one involving three friends, a cascading creek and a winding dirt road through Cherokee National Forest.
    It began innocently enough.

    Stan (not his real name because he’s a bit embarrassed about what comes next), Russ (his real moniker; he’s unflappable) and I had planned to ride bicycles from the base of Little Citigo Creek most of the way up to Indian Boundary Lake.

  • Colon cancer checks should be earlier than age 50

    Mike Gibson’s article about Kevin McClure’s cancer brought back sad memories of my son’s bout with colon cancer.
    Unlike Mr. McClure’s, my son’s had advanced to stage 4 when he was accidentally diagnosed while being treated for a kidney stone attack.
    He died at 45 years old a little over a year ago.
    As Bill Williams of WBIR TV says in a public sevice announcement, colon cancer is a silent killer.
    Surgeons said the start of the cancer could have been active in my son as much as 10 years earlier.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: CEO pay steals from workers and stockholders

    In the past couple of years we have seen and heard many things from some of our Tea Party-type friends that have amazed us, but probably the most amazing thing yet was Marsha Blackburn’s complaint this past Sunday about the U.S. Senate not being in session on that day!

    Miss Marsha is, as you no doubt know, one of the members of Congress from a district in Middle Tennessee, one of the strongholds of the Church of Christ.

    We had always thought that that area was a member in good standing of the Bible Belt.

  • Stubborness is to blame for federal govt. shutdown

    And we thought North Korea was obstinate until U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz led the right wing of the Republican Party off the tracks.

    Stubborn as a Guinea fowl in the middle of a country road, he keeps making the same sounds and looking over his shoulder for his followers to see if they are still in lockstep with him.

    What happened to “regular order” in the House and Senate?

    Is this chaos a part of the new American exceptionalism some leaders like to crow about or just the new normal?

  • GUEST OPINION: Crazy free speech battles on campuses

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    Inside the First Amendment
    Robert Van Tuinen’s run-in with campus police would be a funny story — if it weren’t such a disturbing example of how freedom of speech is under assault on many American college and university campuses.
    As reported in The Daily Caller and elsewhere, Van Tuinen, a student at Modesto Junior College in California, was stopped from handing out copies of the Constitution on Sept. 17 – the 226th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution.

  • Maybe we should increase vigilance on NSA

    By LEE HAMILTON
    Center on Congress
    Washington is beginning to debate the proper extent of government eavesdropping powers in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA.

    It’s hardly as robust a discussion as it should be, but it’s a desperately needed start.

    The effort to monitor Americans’ communications has been going on for at least seven years, under two presidents.

    It constitutes an expansion of government power without precedent in the modern era.