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Columns

  • Going With the Flo:Trump honors his pledge by pushing for a border wall

    By Flo Charles

    Through all my years of public service to organizations and the Republican Party, I am still learning to watch the company I keep.

    My stepfather repeatedly warned me, “Your friends are like elevators; they can take you up or take you down.”

    It is the same with politics. Candidates will promise whatever necessary to get the votes and contributions, then renege on their promises and use their newfound positions to wipe you out if you resist their control and influence.

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: Hoping for progress in Roane

    By Mark Banker

    Now that children have sent their “wish lists” to Santa, many of the rest of us are contemplating New Year’s resolutions.

    Still others will dismiss both of these uniquely seasonal obsessions as naïve.

    Since my perennial resolution is to venture as close to cynicism as I can yet not succumb to its cancerous snare, I will err on the side of optimism as we close out 2018.

    Whatever one makes of my rose-colored views, they are firmly rooted in good and fruitful soil.

  • Going With the Flo: God’s Word tells us to support our President

    By Flo Charles

    Writing about President Trump again wasn’t my intention; now it seems necessary!

    I support our President because God’s Word says to!

    God is Sovereign - we are responsible.

    In Deuteronomy 6, God promises to cast all our enemies from before us, if we do what is right and good.

    Supporting our president is doing what is right and good. It’s obedience to God’s authority!

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: Common goals unite opposites

    Last week, opinion-editorial pages from an array of newspapers and web-sites offered advice to readers who hoped to avoid heated debates with kin and others about politics and other controversial matters as they ate their Thanksgiving meal.

    If we six “Banker Boys” had reconvened last Thursday, perhaps that advice might have been helpful. But, in my brothers’ absence, unpleasant discourse was not an issue in our household.

  • Going With the Flo: Christians staying home is why Right lost the House

    By Flo Charles

    The greatest problem in America is spiritual apathy.

    Too many Christians didn’t care enough to get involved, but helped push our nation to the edge of the abyss.

    Christians could have prevented this, but stayed home during midterms and didn’t vote.

    Therefore, the House was lost!

    The average midterm turnout since 2010 for people who identify as Protestants (Evangelicals) averaged 55 percent.

    This midterm, 47 percent of people who identify themselves as Protestant voted.

  • THE VIEW FROM HERE: A lesson in tobacco

    By SHELIA SITZLAR

    Many years ago, I had a supervisor at work named Andy. He was a displaced Yankee, having been transferred here from Chicago.

    Andy was a good guy and he worked hard to fit in, but his mouth betrayed him to any local.

    He just didn’t talk “right” and try as he may, he never mastered our beautiful East Tennessee twang, so every time he spoke, his displaced (or misplaced) status as a Yankee was confirmed.

  • Going With the Flo: Nationalism is having pride, putting U.S. first

    The Florida voting chaos of dishonesty and outright lies by those in charge reminds me of the words of Karl Marx, “Take away the heritage of a people and they are easily persuaded.”

    Rebellion against authority permeates our land.

    They rehearse the phrase, “All votes count,” but ignore the fact that all illegal votes should not count. More deception!

    Our Founding Fathers believed that the faith and character of every individual elected to office was vital to the future of our nation.

  • A View From Lick Skillet: Donald John - he has a problem, how bad is it?

    Gentle reader, hard as it may be to believe, it is still some two months until we reach the half way mark of the current administration of Donald John Trump. So, more than two years yet remain until that administration by law comes to an end. Considering the turmoil, chaos, and disgraceful happenings that have already occurred, can you imagine what lies in wait for us?

    Mayhap a benevolent Deity will provide relief to the Republic. One can only hope.

  • THE VIEW FROM HERE: One Soldier, One War

    By SHELIA SITZLAR

    “Never underestimate the cruelty one human being can exact on another.”

    Charles Jennings,

    Former Army Staff Sargent, my father

    It was a long way from the red clay of North Georgia to the Rhine River in Germany for my father.

    To an 18-year-old boy who had never been much past the county line, it was almost unfathomable that any place on Earth could be so far away or so far removed from all that he believed.

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: Polarization hurts all

    By Mark Banker

    In the days since I last shared thoughts in this space, our nation has experienced a wave of sobering events.

    A spate of pipe bombs, several mass shootings, and hotly contested mid-term elections remind us that anger, polarization and paralysis persist and imperil our individual and collective well-being.

    In past columns, I have suggested we might consider these ongoing afflictions as responses to the bewildering economic, cultural, and technological changes that accompany modernity.