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Today's Opinions

  • OUR OPINION: $585 bags are like gold toilets ­to taxpayers

    We’ve long been a supporter of good, well-compensated teachers.

    However, we share every taxpayer’s distaste for wasteful adminstrative spending.

    That’s why we’re utterly disgusted with Roane County Schools’ plan to buy two fine Italian leather briefcases at $585 each to shuttle mail to the central office.

    Schools Director Gary Aytes seemed untroubled by the potential expense.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Character of Dr. Muhammad Morsi is discussed

    As promised last week, we will give some details about Dr. Muhammad Morsi, principally about a visit paid him by the author of Mullahs, Merchants, and Militants, by Stephen J. Glain, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2004. Mr. Glain is a former Wall Street Journal Middle East correspondent. His meeting with Morsi is set out in his book on pages 268 to 275. It took place primarily at Dr. Morsi’s office at Zaqaziq University.

  • OFF the CUFF: Discovery of a Star-Spangled nightmare

    Do you know the words to The National Anthem?

    I’ll give you a hint: It starts with, “O! Say, can you see ...?”

    Francis Scott Key’s poetic response to America’s victory at Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 is officially known as “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It was officially designated as our national anthem by congressional resolution signed by President Herbert Hoover in 1931.

    In my youth, learning the lyrics to this iconic bit of history was akin to learning the Pledge of Allegiance.

    I thought that was the case nationwide.

    Apparently not. At least, not nowadays.

  • No excuse for Paula Deen’s words, actions

    It is with fear and trepidation that I seek to express disagreement with one so intelligent and full of knowledge as the honorable gentleman from Lick Skillet.

    It is extremely unsettling to realize that one such as he could be so wrong about so important a subject.

    I speak of his article in which he excuses Paula Deen for her inexcusable words and actions. I point out that her sponsors who made money working with her would not have given up that money without more reason than a word spoken 30 years ago.

  • Largen reminds that not all were mean and cruel

    Amen, Gerald! I seldom read more than one or two paragraphs of Mr. Largen’s column since, by then, my stomach has turned, and I can’t continue.

    Yes, I am a Republican of long standing. The column in the July 5 paper caught my attention, and I read it through to the end.

    I am 74 years old, and I grew up in the time Mr. Largen wrote about. I never, and none of my family, would have deliberately hurt or offended anyone black or white.

  • GUEST OPINION: Is Congress ready to step up support for a shield law?

    Editor’s note: This column was first published in USA Today on May 21.

    By KEN PAULSON
    First Amendment Center
    Suddenly, freedom of the press is very, very popular.

    In the wake of revelations that the Justice Department had subpoenaed the phone records of Associated Press reporters, many members of Congress were quick to share their outrage.

    “The First Amendment is first for a reason,” said Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner. “If the Obama administration is going after reporters’ phone records, they better have a damned good explanation.”

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Grief burns fiercely as Arizona wildfire

    I once lived at the base of Mingus Mountain in central Arizona.
    Mingus separated the folks of Cottonwood, where I lived, from our friends and neighbors to the south in Prescott.
    Both sides of that rugged, broad-shouldered mountain were beautiful. We didn’t share the Sonoran Desert landscape that defines Phoenix and Tucson. There was no saguaro cactus pointing this way and that.

    This was high desert, with grasslands, scrub oaks and deeply scented forests of juniper and pinion pine.
    Summers are tricky in these parts.

  • A View from Lick Skillet: Closure of Airport Road brings memories

    It appears from reports emanating from South Africa that the life of Nelson Mandela is probably nearing its end.

    Considering the awful mistreatment to which he was subjected in his younger years, including imprisonment on Robin Island for over two decades, it is a wonder that he has survived into his nineties, but this shows that the strength of his body is almost as great as the strength of his mind, his spirit, and his integrity.