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Today's Opinions

  • Thanks for work making the road a bit smoother

    We give special thanks to Charles Sherrill. Two days after Christmas he graded a tenth of a mile on Bournemouth Drive near Rockwood in Roane County.

    Sharon M. Brown Rockwood

  • It took teamwork to pull off first tournament

    The first annual Clinch Valley Invitational Basketball Tournament was a huge success.

    Sixteen teams competed in the tournament that spanned three days.

    This event would not have been possible without the efforts of several people in the Rockwood community.

    We would like to thank the many parents, sponsors, area churches, volunteers and Rockwood Middle School faculty members for all of their hard work.

    Without them, this tournament would not have been possible.

  • GUEST OPINION: Religion vs. government battles ahead

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    Let’s start the New Year with a conundrum as old as the Republic: When religious convictions clash with secular laws, how far should government go to accommodate religious claims of conscience?

    From Colonial conflicts over the refusal of Quakers to take up arms to the more recent refusal of Jehovah’s Witnesses to salute the flag, American history is replete with robust arguments over the limits of “free exercise of religion” as guaranteed by the First Amendment.

  • Former congressman laments divisions

    Ordinarily, the start of a new Congress is a time for optimism.

    Fresh faces and a purposeful spirit combine to get Congress off to a hope-filled start.

    Yet Capitol Hill right now is far from optimistic. That’s because last year’s session, with its distressing end by the edge of the fiscal cliff, left the new Congress confronting head on all the challenges that should have been resolved but weren’t: getting spending and the deficit under control, spurring economic growth, and reforming the tax code.

  • Trust in God over government at heart of gun fight

    Columnist Gerald Largen is correct that an assault gun ban will not prevent the recurrence of school violence.

    The question then becomes what force drives the demand for a ban?

    The only purpose fulfilled by having an assault rifle ban is to prevent people from having a gun that could stop the unjust and illegal use of government force when they come to take life, liberty or freedom from the people.

  • Gillum speaks on guns, debt and McConnell

    Can you imagine using the proposed trillion-dollar platinum coin to determine the first possession of the Super Bowl Game?

    I suggest the designer create the coin with the likeness of Alfred E. Newman of MAD Magazine fame on the “heads” side, and the “tails” side could be stamped with a portrait of the rear end of a donkey.

    If this happens I’m thinking of making a coin of cardboard and declaring a value that would allow me to trade it for a nice place in the south of France.

  • GUEST OPINION: Recognizing a civil rights landmark

    By DAVID L. HUDSON Jr.
    First Amendment Center
    Fifty years ago — on Jan. 14, 1963 — the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a Virginia law that was being used to quash the work of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

    The court ruled in NAACP v. Button that the First Amendment protected the group’s efforts to solicit plaintiffs to challenge segregation policies.

    The state of Virginia had passed a law expanding the definition of the improper solicitation of legal or professional business.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Which do you serve, America or Israel?

    Gentle reader, public discourse in this great republic may be approaching a crisis point, and if not, a boiling point.

    This state of affairs arises from the President’s action in attempting to fill certain cabinet vacancies, especially the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency.

    He has named long-time C.I.A. operative John Brennan to head that agency, and former Republican Senator from Nebraska, Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense.