Today's Opinions

  • Boyd unfairly put before firing squad over paddling

    I would like to respond to the suspension and public ridicule that Susan Boyd has to face in the Morgan County School System.

    First, Boyd is a professional who has worked for 27 years in the public school systems of Tennessee, including Roane County.

    There are no past incidences of problems with discipline.

    Second, if Morgan County did not believe in corporal punishment, why was there a board policy permitting it?

  • GUEST OPINION: Color ban yet another lesson on freedom

    First Amendment Center
    East St. Louis, Ill., has a gang problem.

    It may now have a constitutional problem as well.

    Last week, Mayor Alvin Parks imposed a host of restrictions designed to curtail youth violence in his city. Among the most controversial — and likely unconstitutional — of the new rules is a ban on the wearing of royal blue or bright red clothing by men — regardless of their age. The colors are associated with gangs.

  • Ever wonder where your property tax dollars go?

    Roane County Executive
    In October of each year, your county and city governments sends out the annual property tax bills.

    As citizens and property-tax payers, we generally hate to see these bills and often think, “what benefits do we receive for these taxes?”

    This column will deal primarily with the property tax levy for the county government; however, before we address the property tax we will try to address an overview of the county budget as a whole.

  • Bigotry against women still an ongoing battle

    As a past participant in the Roane County legal system due to the murder of my daughter 16 years ago, I feel nothing has changed.

    In fact, I feel things have moved backwards to the dark ages.          

    This summer, when Judge Eugene Eblen gave Shawn Smoot — charged with first-degree murder in the death of Brooke Nicole Morris — an opportunity to leave jail on bail, it was indeed a slap in the face of all those past and future women who have and will be murdered in Roane County.  

  • GUEST OPINION: To criminalize blasphemy not the right choice

    First Amendment Center
    Criminalizing blasphemy is critical to protecting global peace, the head of the Arab league told the U.N. Security Council yesterday.

    “If the international community has criminalized bodily harm, it must just as well criminalize psychological and spiritual harm,” Nabil Elaraby said. “The League of Arab States calls for the development of an international framework which is binding … in order to confront insulting religions and ensuring that religious faith and its symbols are respected.”

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: Wise folks will use their heads and vote for Headrick

    When writing for publication, there are sad stories, and there are happy stories, and on rare occasions there are stories that are both sad and happy at the same time.

    The story of the death of William D. Patterson is one of these: It is, of course, sad for those of us who are left behind when a loved one leaves us, but it is happy when one realizes that this object of our affectionate regard is no longer subject to the ills and unpleasantness that befalls most of us in old age.

  • Science fiction gets involved in voter ID issue

    It is no longer science fiction.

    A parallel universe does exist and the proof comes from the Democratic National Convention itself — and the unions in the form of gasp, choke “photo identification.”

    In the parallel universe, the Democratic National Convention required members of state delegations to present “approved” photo ID in order to enter the shrine of happiness and joy to vote to include the word “God” in its platform and took three votes to get a yes!

  • OUR OPINION: Transparency a requirement for democracy

    This week the Texas Supreme Court upheld the state’s Open Meetings Law, ruling against a group of city council members who argued that limiting their discussion of public business to open meetings violated their own rights to free speech.

    It was an important ruling, because, unlike Tennessee, Texas law holds criminal penalties for those who violate Open Meetings Law.

    “Transparency is furthered by allowing the public to have access to government decision making,” the court said. In other words, in a democracy, voters need to be in on the discussion and debate