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Today's Opinions

  • Man’s complaints about co-worker not protected

    By DAVID L. HUDSON Jr.
    First Amendment Center
    A former garbage-truck driver for the city of Franklin, Tenn., had no First Amendment right to report the allegedly violent conduct of his co-worker, a federal judge has ruled.
    Ruben B. Pruitt Jr. worked as a driver/operator for Franklin’s Solid Waste Department.
    In June 2010, while working with his partner, who is identified in court documents only as Mr. Allocco, Pruitt contended that Allocco flew into a violent rage and began beating the side of the truck.

  • Don’t allow feds to cut important PBS funding

    Holy cow! 
    This is serious, folks! 
    If Mitt Romney wins the election, he promises to cut federal funding for  Public Broadcasting System. He said so at the debate with a gleeful smile, as if to say, “I’m the decider! I’m gonna fire Big Bird!  You can’t stop me!”
    Think about it, folks. 
    PBS gives quality journalism, great arts programming, educational shows for children and adults, and the support PBS receives (0.012 percent) represents only a tiny sliver of the federal budget.

  • Heritage gala was successful thanks to these people

    Roane County Heritage Commission’s  2012 Gala was a huge success, and we want to thank all the businesses and individuals who contributed to that success.
    This gala was the first one to take place in the remodeled second-floor courtroom.
    Our sponsors include B&W Y-12, Diversified Scientific Services, Oak Ridge Utility District, Roane County Visitors Bureau, UCOR, AT&T, Capstan Tennessee, Griffin Insurance Agency, Holston Gasses, Roane Medical Center, The Rogers Group, Walmart, Kimble Chase, and Citizens National Bank.

  • Ignorance over religion comes with hefty price

    By CHARLES HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    In Judge Joseph Sheeran’s courtroom, religious literacy is seen as an antidote to intolerance and hate.
    Last week, the Michigan judge gave Delane Bell two years’ probation for attacking two men Bell thought were Muslims. But the judge conditioned the sentence on Bell’s completing a 10-page paper on Hinduism, the actual faith of the assault victims.

  • Autumn morning triggers spider senses

    I was sitting in my living room the other morning, gazing out at the fog that softened my ridge-top neighborhood. Suddenly, a bit of motion caught my eye, shaking me out of the morning mist that had also overtaken my brain.

    A garden spider, golden orb or writing spider, as some people call them, dropped gingerly into one of my azalea bushes, then rose again, placing an anchor line for a more complex structure just out of view.

    A lot of people don’t like spiders, but I’m not one of them. 

    If I had time, I could watch them all day.

  • Congress has forgotten how to oversee the balance

    By LEE H. HAMILTON
    Center on Congress
    You’ve likely never heard of William Natcher, which would have been just fine with him.

    Natcher spent four decades in Congress representing the area around Bowling Green, Ky., and for the most part the national press ignored him, just as he ignored them.

    He didn’t have time for burnishing his public image; he was what is known on Capitol Hill as “a work horse, not a show horse.”

  • Local vets should help out county animal shelter

    I am concerned about the Roane County Animal Shelter.

    The staff there are caring people, but they can’t find one veterinarian to volunteer just an hour or so a week to make sure that the dogs are not sick.

    Puppies carry parvo virus, and it can spread to the other dogs.

    I think if a vet could check on the dogs, then more of these wonderful animals would be adopted.

  • 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?