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Today's Opinions

  • A true patriot is one who exercises freedom to vote

    This year, we’ve read some loud definitions of who is a patriot and who is not. Quietly, I will submit that I see myself as a steadfast supporter of our democracy.

    My father taught his four daughters about “good government” around the kitchen table. We learned that to criticize the government was to criticize ourselves, for in a democracy that works, “WE, the people, are the government.”

  • Don’t be fooled — a pig is a pig no matter the name

    The coming April Fool’s Day reminds us how the meat, egg and dairy industries play us for fools every day.

    The meat industry has developed a whole dictionary designed to fool unwary consumers. The flesh of pigs is called “pork” or “bacon” to fool viewers of “Charlotte’s Web” into eating it. Killing of stunned animals for food is labeled “humane.” And, cesspools of pig waste that spill into our drinking water supplies during hurricanes are named “lagoons.”

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: We could use a Baker again

    By Mark Banker

    Episodes of the popular 1970s sitcom “All in the Family” began with Archie and Edith Bunker singing at a piano.

    In not-so-melodious lyrics, the Bunkers conveyed deep, widely shared anxieties about changes that transformed American life in the middle third of the 20th century.

    Like almost all of us, the Bunkers were susceptible to nostalgia. Selective memories of idyllic by-gone days have long offered a haven from history’s inexorable, dimly understood changes and their ever-traumatic effects.

  • A better life for our children should be the ultimate goal

    I recently wrote to a Roane Alliance member regarding the K-14 education model. I cautioned that the suggestion of a needed “culture change” for Roane County might be as helpful to the citizenry as “pouring gasoline on a fire”.

    Little did I know my gasoline analogy would be so quickly expressed in Gerald Largen’s March 23 opinion article, “What has Creswell got against our culture?”.

  • ‘Gentle Reader’ says it’s time to set record straight

    In response to Gerald Largen’s “What has Creswell Got Against Our Culture?”:

    In true response to Mr. Largen’s column in last Friday’s paper, my first response is that I am generally what Mr. Largen referred to as a “Gentle Reader.” I usually allow opinions to stand on their own, and I fully understand we live in a time and place where there are many reasons for people to take sides and square off against one another. I usually would not be the person to reply and pretty much let people live and let live.

  • Going with the Flo: How a village atheist became our greatest leader

    The first Republican Party was started by 30 anti-slavery Democrats who no longer felt at home in their own party because they were against slavery.

    In 1864, the Republican Party called for a Constitutional Amendment to permanently ban slavery. Abraham Lincoln ran on this anti-slavery platform and got elected.

    The Constitutional Amendment passed, and Lincoln signed it. He didn’t have to. No president ever had signed an amendment, but Lincoln wanted to sign it, because he wanted the world to know that he hated slavery and wanted it to end.

  • A View From Lick Skillet: What has Creswell got against our culture?

    Gentle Reader, by this time you doubtless know of the incipient revolution taking place in your county government.

    We have often heard of a proverbial tail wagging a proverbial dog. Well, our county has produced a multi-tailed dog to wag our little dog. However, we fear, it’s beginning to look more like the ancient goddess Medusa’s head with its multiple snakes.

  • Mega disgusted with board’s talk of mega school

    I am thoroughly disgusted that our school board thinks that a large consolidated school for Kingston, Rockwood and Harriman is going to help our education program in Roane County.

    I read Gerald Largen’s Feb. 22 column, “A View from Lick Skillet.” He titled it, “Mega School Invites Mega Troubles.”

    It is an appropriate title and on spot for what the school board is trying to do. Mr. Largen wrote about some very real considerations when voting for a new, larger school.