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Jay Greeson

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III ruled fantasy sports is gambling and is illegal in the state.

Yes, his original opinion on this was directed at websites FanDuel and DraftKings, which offer daily fantasy sports games for a wide net of competitors across the globe.

Slatery is not alone. Several state AGs have made similar rulings, and in most cases, those decisions have been made to allow states time to figure out appropriate fees and regulations for the relatively new trend.

But Slatery's language was more broad. He said all fantasy sports betting is against the state gambling laws.

So, yes, if Aunt Edith has a two-year run in your NASCAR pool, well, she may soon be a wanted woman.

The language of the law — "Gambling is contrary to the public policy of this state and means risking anything of value for a profit whose return is to any degree contingent on chance, or any games of chance associated with casinos, including, but not limited to, slot machines, roulette wheels and the like" — apparently covers all fantasy leagues, too.

It doesn't cover the state lottery, which means that the state forbids gambling unless that gambling — like the state lottery — benefits the state.

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FILE - In this June 28, 2015 file photo, singer-songwriter Merle Haggard performs at the 2015 Big Barrel Country Music Festival in Dover, Del. Haggard has canceled his April concert dates as he recovers from a recurring bout of double pneumonia. The 78-year-old singer of hits like "Okie From Muskogee," ''Mama Tried" and "Workin' Man Blues" had also cancelled dates in February and March. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)

Good-bye to an icon

It was a sad Wednesday for lots of folks. Merle Haggard died on his 79th birthday. Dude was an icon. He had a 20-plus-year run in which every single he released reached the Top 10.

Think about that for a second.

He also may be on the short list of the most accomplished ex-convicts of all time. After seeing Johnny Cash in Folsom Prison — and talking with his friends on Death Row — Haggard turned to music to get away from his criminal ways.

The results were historic.

As for the connection between Merle and Johnny, and how they can't be duplicated today, that's really pretty clear. And sad.

For right or wrong, those guys were outlaws who could sing; the clowns today are singers who want us to believe they are outlaws.

You can fake singing way easier than you can fake hard. Merle and Johnny and the rest of those guys sang about lives we could recognize; the puppets of today are singing about lives Hollywood has scripted.

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In this Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015, photo, a pedestrian walks past a Gap store in Miami. Gap reports earnings on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Truth in advertising

The PC police have made another company uncomfortable and forced it to apologize for virtually nothing.

There was a story this week about the Gap clothing company.

Apparently Gap had a photograph of several kids in the company's new line of clothes, but of course that offended someone.

One of the taller girls had her elbow on a younger girl's head. The younger girl was black and some groups accused the company of something called "passive racism."

So, of course, Gap — like all major corporations being terrified of the "R" word — apologized and pulled the ad.

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A UTC student was asked to resign her student government association post after making pro-Trump chalk drawings on the ground.

Saturday's star

The good ol' U.S. Constitution is taking a beating of late.

Free speech is free unless a) it's in chalk and/or b) it does not meet the outlines of the politically correct morality mob plaguing our country.

So, in an effort to give equal space to differing opinions on the sissification of the college experience, here are two emails I received about the "intimidating" message of Trump 2016 in chalk at Emory University in Atlanta and here at UTC.

"Jay,

Frankly, I've never heard of you before. But after reading your opinion piece [READ: fact piece] today, I'm your newest fan.

Thanks for succinctly stating exactly what I have been scrambling to convey to myself and others since all of this "tolerance means agreeing with me" mess started.

No doubt our society is reaping the "first fruits" of having handed out first-place trophies to every winner, loser, and no-show on the T-ball team."

That reader and I share an opinion. The following reader and I, well, not so much:

"It's violence and bigotry we fear. To compare the Trump campaign of hate to the civil rights struggles (against lynching) proves you to be among the hate filled bigots who disgrace this community and our entire nation. Chalk, how ridiculous can you get? Shut up BIGOT!!! There are people more worthy than you who have no voice. Just shut your racist hate filled face!"

Freedom of speech.

It's glorious.

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress. com and 423-757-6343.

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