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Today's Opinions

  • GUEST OPINION: 1st Amendment rode with Civil Rights effort

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Assembly and petition are the “quiet freedoms” among the five rights set out in the First Amendment.
    Speech, press and religion are more often – or at least, more obviously – in the headlines. But during Black History Month, in February, the quiet kids on this corner of the constitutional block deserve at least as much attention as their better-known brethren.

  • A blueprint for building a better Congress

    By LEE H. HAMILTON
    A few weeks ago, the survey firm Public Policy Polling made headlines when it released a poll comparing Congress’s standing to a variety of unloved things.
    Respondents did prefer our national legislature to the ebola virus, but otherwise the news was grim: Americans, the survey suggested, have a lower opinion of Congress than of head lice, Genghis Khan, used-car salesmen and root canals.
    I’ll admit it: I chuckled, though I don’t really agree.
    Having experienced both, I put Congress well ahead of root canals.

  • Free speech and the right to be crass

    By KEN PAULSON
    President, First Amendment Center
    One measure of our freedom is how foolish we’re allowed to be in exercising our rights.
    Case in point: Joseph W. Resovsky of Columbia Station, Ohio, decided to provoke some people with a grossly insensitive post on his Facebook page referring to the shooting of schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn.: “I’m so happy someone shot up all those little (expletives). Viva la school shootings!!!!”

  • GUEST OPINION: Free speech and the right to be crass

    By KEN PAULSON
    President, First Amendment Center
    One measure of our freedom is how foolish we’re allowed to be in exercising our rights.

    Case in point: Joseph W. Resovsky of Columbia Station, Ohio, decided to provoke some people with a grossly insensitive post on his Facebook page referring to the shooting of schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn.: “I’m so happy someone shot up all those little (expletives). Viva la school shootings!!!!”

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Still seeking your winter storm survival stories

    By the time you read this, you’ll know whether predictions for a big ice storm Friday were accurate or a bust.
    I’d be just fine if those forecasts were nothing more than false alarms, but I do feel a little excitement all the same.
    I don’t want to be in the cold with lines down and power out.
    Still, there’s beauty even in the deadliness of an ice-glazed landscape.
    My sister lives in Lexington, Ky., where damage from an ice storm a few years ago is still apparant in trees that were ripped apart under the weight of the ice.

  • County chief apologizes to Blair community

    By RON WOODY
    Roane County Executive
    The closing of the Blair Convenience Center noted at the Roane County Commission meeting in January showed my lack of political experience and knowledge of politics.

    Prior to the Blair Convenience Center’s closing, our office reviewed reports, evaluated service, studied the financial impacts and discussed the closure of the Blair Convenience Center for more than a year with our commission.

    No maliciousness was intended to any individuals or groups in the Blair community.

  • Clinton garners respect; McCain, Paul, not so much

    “If I had been President I would have relieved you of your post!” retired Congressman Ron Paul’s son, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Benghazi, Libya.

    Some Americans might agree with the always-clairvoyant younger Paul’s rant, but I suspect many more Americans wish Ron had been able to teach his son some respect for his superiors.

  • GUEST OPINION: We can’t trust government to police itself

    Editor’s note: This column was written to educate during Public Notice Week in Tennessee. Many government agencies want to keep from having to publish important public notices in newspapers. The following makes the case of what citizens stand to lose if that were to happen.
     

    By JIM ZACHARY
    Tennessee Transparancy Project
    Any battle to remove required government public notices from newspapers is an assault on government transparency.

    Compromising government transparency is a full-out assault on the citizens of Tennessee.