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Today's Opinions

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: It's tough saying goodbye to the neighborhood dog

    If you are a softie, like I am, don’t read this.

    OK, you’ve been warned.

    For the past four years or so, I have been lucky to have custody of my ridgetop community’s neighborhood dog.

    Jasmine, so I’m told, was dumped here  about 16 years ago as a puppy.

    I smile to imagine what that roly-poly golden ball of fur must have looked like then. She was lucky enough to find a home with a family that had children.

  • Impressions: Next time he feels roly-poly, it won’t involve layers

    The heat is on.
    Literally.
    Last weekend’s frosts convinced me to switch the HVAC system at the office over from “cool” to “heat.”
    I’m betting you did likewise at your home.
    Of course, I judiciously nudged the thermostats down a gnat’s eyelash under 65 Sunday morning — no need in running the heat when I was the only soul on my side of the building.
    While I’m a cool weather fan, many of my colleagues are not.

  • First Amendment study ought to be required reading

    The First Amendment is part of the U.S. Constitution.
    In Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, Jan. 1, 1802, he states the purpose of the First Amendment as: “Thus building a wall of separation between church and state.”
    In a related quote, James Madison said, “Every new and successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters is of importance.”

  • To save country, we must save the Constitution

    I trust my Roane County brothers and sisters realize what a privilege it is to read the profound words of Gerald Largen each Friday morning in our newspaper.
    I embrace Mr. Largen’s feelings about the signs that read, “SAVE AMERICA VOTE REPUBLICAN.”
    I saw those signs many places in my travels. Mr. Largen, please be advised that there is a wonderful sign across East Race Street from our courthouse which reads, “SAVE THE CONSTITUTION.” How nice would that be.

  • A nightmare – or an epiphany? You make the call

    Politics, politics, politics! Sound like a line from a movie entitled History of the World, Part Two?
    The political tides seem to ebb and flow without end and each wave of those demanding change seems higher and closer to the last wave.
    TV commentators suggest the American people are restive, unsatisfied with the slow pace of job growth and the level of income tax imposed on our investor class. Perhaps we should take a closer look at what the waves have just washed up on our shores.

  • Perhaps voting should only be done by informed

    Dear editor — you (and most others?) seem to have taken it for granted that everyone should vote, regardless of his or her readily demonstrable state of awareness or ignorance about the most basic subjects, issues or candidates.
    I believe we should all question the wisdom and effectiveness of that belief or advice.

  • Throw up your hands (or just throw up?)

    The water department mess in Rockwood has gotten messier — and just when we thought the city council there had turned the corner.
    Here’s a quick summary:
    After some members of the city council focused attention on municipal utility director Rod King, he filed suit against some of those same people, accusing them of meeting illegally to discuss his fate.
    Last week, the council approved a $75,000 settlement with King, contingent on his resignation. In between, there has been much finger pointing, teeth gnashing and even plenty of back biting.

  • A View from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen

    Last week we told you of the infamous Citizens United Supreme Court opinion which upheld the theory that spending money is the equivalent of speech, and that corporations have the same rights as real live human beings insofar as the First Amendment is concerned.
    We demonstrated that both concepts are foolish and without foundation in history, language, or law.
    We concluded with the promise to conclude on this topic this week, so there follows part two of our consideration of this matter: