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Today's Opinions

  • 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?

  • GUEST OPINION: Color ban yet another lesson on freedom

    By DAVID L. HUDSON Jr.
    First Amendment Center
    East St. Louis, Ill., has a gang problem.

    It may now have a constitutional problem as well.

    Last week, Mayor Alvin Parks imposed a host of restrictions designed to curtail youth violence in his city. Among the most controversial — and likely unconstitutional — of the new rules is a ban on the wearing of royal blue or bright red clothing by men — regardless of their age. The colors are associated with gangs.

  • Ever wonder where your property tax dollars go?

    By RON WOODY
    Roane County Executive
    In October of each year, your county and city governments sends out the annual property tax bills.

    As citizens and property-tax payers, we generally hate to see these bills and often think, “what benefits do we receive for these taxes?”

    This column will deal primarily with the property tax levy for the county government; however, before we address the property tax we will try to address an overview of the county budget as a whole.

  • Bigotry against women still an ongoing battle

    As a past participant in the Roane County legal system due to the murder of my daughter 16 years ago, I feel nothing has changed.

    In fact, I feel things have moved backwards to the dark ages.          

    This summer, when Judge Eugene Eblen gave Shawn Smoot — charged with first-degree murder in the death of Brooke Nicole Morris — an opportunity to leave jail on bail, it was indeed a slap in the face of all those past and future women who have and will be murdered in Roane County.  

  • GUEST OPINION: To criminalize blasphemy not the right choice

    By KEN PAULSON
    First Amendment Center
    Criminalizing blasphemy is critical to protecting global peace, the head of the Arab league told the U.N. Security Council yesterday.

    “If the international community has criminalized bodily harm, it must just as well criminalize psychological and spiritual harm,” Nabil Elaraby said. “The League of Arab States calls for the development of an international framework which is binding … in order to confront insulting religions and ensuring that religious faith and its symbols are respected.”

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: Wise folks will use their heads and vote for Headrick

    When writing for publication, there are sad stories, and there are happy stories, and on rare occasions there are stories that are both sad and happy at the same time.

    The story of the death of William D. Patterson is one of these: It is, of course, sad for those of us who are left behind when a loved one leaves us, but it is happy when one realizes that this object of our affectionate regard is no longer subject to the ills and unpleasantness that befalls most of us in old age.