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Today's Opinions

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: Advances foster consequences

    By Mark Banker

    Recent revelations suggest that Britain-based voter profiling firm Cambridge Analytica used infor-mation from Facebook in its at-tempt to influence at least 50 million voters in the 2016 presidential election.

    If reports that the Trump campaign paid the firm $6 million for their services are true, special counsel Robert Mueller will, no doubt, consider if this effort aided and abetted alleged Russian meddling in the election.

  • Put $68 million decision before We The Voters

    Last Friday our newspaper reported on the $68 million new high school.

    One must know that Roane County is a group of “hollers.” Rockwood is a “holler.” Harriman is a “holler” and Oliver Springs is a “holler.”

    I know graduates of Harriman, Kingston and Rockwood high schools. I do not know an Oliver Springs graduate. These all agree that never the twain should meet. Each of these communities has its own personality.

  • Going with the Flo: The right needs to protect our rights before we’re left

    Friday is what is called, “Good Friday” and is the example of what Jesus did after he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane – not My will but Thine be done.

    Jesus was our example of dying to self. Our country exists because many gave up their desires and left their homes and loved ones to sacrifice so that we could have a free county.

  • 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.