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Today's Opinions

  • Misusing religion to bash for votes

    By Charles C. Haynes
    First Amendment Center
    Thomas Jefferson may be an iconic Founder today, but in the 1800 presidential campaign he was widely condemned for being an “atheist in religion and a fanatic in politics” who (it was rumored) had a secret plan to confiscate all the Bibles in the land.
    Sad truth be told, rumors, smears and nasty debates over the religious affiliation, or lack thereof, of candidates for office have marred American political campaigns since the early days of the Republic.

  • The triumph of trash over respectful social restraint

    Gentle reader, not for the first time, we call your attention to the French expression “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.”
    This is usually translated as “The more things change, the more they are the same.”
    This truism was brought to mind once again as we have been reading a book detailing the life of Henry Temple, Second Viscount Palmerston, 1739-1802.
    He was the father of the Third Viscount Palmerston, 1784-1865, who was Queen Victoria’s Foreign Secretary for 15 years and twice her Prime Minister.

  • A view from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen

    Gentle reader, not for the first time, we call your attention to the French expression “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.”
    This is usually translated as “The more things change, the more they are the same.”
    This truism was brought to mind once again as we have been reading a book detailing the life of Henry Temple, Second Viscount Palmerston, 1739-1802.
    He was the father of the Third Viscount Palmerston, 1784-1865, who was Queen Victoria’s Foreign Secretary for 15 years and twice her Prime Minister.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: And now you know

    I’m celebrating an important one-year anniversary on Oct. 26. And in a way, many of you regular readers have been a part of it.
    I’ve lost more than 140 pounds since my highest post-thyroid cancer weight, when steroids and other complications left me swollen, stiff-jointed and moon-faced.
    I told you of my cancer then, almost three years ago, because it felt important for me to do so. Cancer is so often whispered about, but by openly talking about it, I felt I was confronting an enemy head on.

  • Nice to be a part of Chilean miner rescue effort

    Many of us talk about being proud to be Americans.
    I hope most of us felt that way for our role in helping the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for months, get back to their loved ones.
    In a real-life story of nearly epic proportions, the miners were trapped for 69 days in the copper and gold mine near Santiago.
    Americans were a big part of that rescue through NASA.

  • IMPRESSIONS: Do you feel a sudden urge to scratch?

    I recall a little rhyme my sister and I would exchange after our parents banished us from the living room at bedtime.
    She taught it to me when we were Air Force brats sharing twin beds in the same room at various bases across the globe.
    When we finally settled into a house Daddy built in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia, we continued the nightly passage before saying our prayers from separate rooms.

  • A little more communication would be great

    We have been in Roane County a little less than a year and have already had the unfortunate misfortune of having to use the medical services here.
    I have found all of the physicians to be very attentive, concerned, professional and more than competent.
    The problem comes in getting to see them. My family has three primary care doctors, two in the same practice and one in a completely different office. 
    I think the staff in both offices trained together because the attitude is the same — indifference.

  • Humane Society event will have you howling

    The Roane County Animal Shelter and Humane Society of Roane County Rescue Team are hosting a Hoot-n-Howl Festival Fundraiser at the Kingston City Park, Oct. 23, 1-6 p.m.
    There will be fun for all. For $5 you can get an Indian taco or hot dog and chili, drink and dessert included. 
    For an entry fee of $2 you can enter the pet costume contest or the pet/owner look-alike contest.
    Lots of pumpkins will be available for painting, and there will be a silent auction, raffle and helium balloons.