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Today's Opinions

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Nerdy Laureate ponders on artifacts

    At the top of the stairs in my uncle’s house, a dusty bobcat once stood guard.
    It was stuffed — taxidermied — its lips drawn back in a frozen snarl, and its big feet braced for a fight it had already lost.
    In my growing-up years, this silent siren had the power to draw me and my cousins in fascination en masse up the staircase — and, when we were alone with it, to repel us in fear.
    Bobcats still exist in the wild, although I have never seen one.
    Some creatures simply are no more.

  • Nurture children, head off bullies for better place for all

    Recently, a program aired on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” about a family who lost a 10-year-old child to suicide related to bullying.

    The family has started an organization called, “Stand Together.”

    That’s a great idea but I hope it will be more than a slogan. I hope that all reasonable people will take it to heart and actually stand up for another human being if they witness behavior which they know is wrong.

    When we see another person being bullied, intimidated, or harassed, we should do something!

  • Will our situation in Iraq revert to what happened in Iran?

    Listening to the evening television newscast left me with mixed feelings about our exodus from Iraq.

    Nine years of combat that began with the so-called “Shock and Awe” bombardment, the ground campaign and the years of bloody battles to neutralize the remaining opposition have finally resulted in a national election and a quasi government for Iraq.

    The last of our combat troops are loading up and pulling out for Christmas in the United States, leaving only 17,000 CIA, FBI and embassy staff scattered around Iraq in so-called U.S. Embassy compounds.

  • Avoid the pinch of holiday gift-buying

    With just a few shopping days left until Christmas, the malls are full of last minute shoppers looking for just the perfect gift — or maybe any gift — for the special people on their list.

  • To report, journalists must observe

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    I wonder if news magnate Michael Bloomberg really would agree with alter ego New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the nuts and bolts of a free press.

    Bloomberg, the mayoral version, was quoted in recent news reports as saying journalists weren’t justified in complaining about being blocked from witnessing the Nov. 15 police removal of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators from an encampment in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: ’Tis the season to be busy, fa-la-lal-la-la ....

    It seems we’re all busy people, but for me, this past week has been a full-tilt blur.
    Let me summarize — if I can remember it all:
    • Monday: Three newspaper meetings (a fourth was canceled), a quick run to the dermatologist in Knoxville for a look at a sun-damaged spot on my nose and then a CASA race committee meeting after work, followed by a post-sundown walk with the yahoos (my dogs).

  • Technology Center has happy secret you should know

    I recently donated a computer to the Tennessee Technology Center in Roane County.  

    I met with Sheila Hicks, the business office secretary for the school, who informed me that Tennessee Technology had a full cosmetology department where they do hair color ($10), manicures ($6), pedicures ($9), facials ($6), haircuts ($6) — and the list goes on.   

    Both men and women in the community are encouraged to come in and benefit from their services.

  • A View from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen: Would God’s Chosen People act like this?

    Sad to say, gentle reader, the party may well be over — the TEA Party that is.

    Yes, according to an item sent out by the McClatchy Newspapers wire service, a ... “report from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press released Tuesday [last] showed support for the tea party dropping nationwide, with more Americans viewing the movement unfavorably. The view of the Republican Party in the 60 districts represented by members of the House Tea Party Caucus has also suffered.”