published Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Make UTC area safe for everyone

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Make UTC area safe for everyone

As a senior at UTC, I have been talking to other students about the recent death of Chattanooga police officer Sgt. Tim Chapin.

As students, we should feel safe and comfortable in our learning environment. UTC could use this current topic as a way to emphasize the importance of our safety to the student body. We do not want to constantly be looking over our shoulders in fear, which is why the university could do more to ensure student safety on campus.

It would also be helpful for students to understand how to keep incidents like the recent shooting away from UTC. Safety on campus should be of top priority and should concern not only the students, but the faculty as well.

KATIE LEWIS

Push to cut costs hits justice system

In reference to the Free Press editorial “An avoidable tragedy” (April 6), it reminds me what Popeye used to say, “That’s all I can stands. I can’t stand’s no more.”

The hypocrisy of the editorial is beyond me. The last sentence said “truth in sentencing” might have averted a tragedy. Why do you think judges and DAs plea down cases, pardon and parole boards release prisoners early? All of the above are under pressure to cut cost no matter what.

The reason prisons are overcrowded isn’t because we put so many in prison; it’s because we let so many out early. The justice system wasn’t meant to be cost-effective; it was meant to be a deterrence. Cuts made or shortcuts taken have a price to pay. Some cuts make themselves known very soon, others take time to play out.

If we truly want our cities to be safe for us and our children, we need to fund the system adequately so that everyone knows that we are serious, e.g. the justice system and most importantly the criminal element. If this is done there will be a time when cuts can be made, maybe! Our safety shouldn’t have a price tag on it.

BENJAMIN E. LONG

Apison, Tenn.

Treatment of writer from officers rude

I greatly appreciate your coverage of Sgt. Tim Chapin’s tragic death. It is lamentable that such things happen.

I was born in Chattanooga and am related to a former Chattanooga police officer (now deceased).

I believe your coverage of Sgt. Chapin was done not only with a great deal of sensitivity, but also compassion, honor, integrity and grace.

Therefore, I was extremely disappointed to learn some of his colleagues treated your journalist to unsigned, ugly emails. Since officers are often targets of disrespect, I would have thought they’d be the last to treat anyone else that way.

EDNA BOGUE

Henegar, Ala.

Why ask for money when you can work

Since moving to Chattanooga last fall as a UTC student, I have been asked for money five times by complete strangers.

However, what these people do not know is that my family is probably poorer than they are. I have had to work at several different jobs and rely on government grants to pay for my college education and to live on.

I have never once begged anyone for money. I just do not see why I should give my money to people just like myself, especially because there are so many government aid services for them.

One afternoon, I was asked for money by a fellow young person. I almost turned around and asked him for money, because there was no reason for him to not have a job.

I have had to work since my senior year in high school when my single mother lost her job, and by now I have almost finished my college degree as well. So why should anyone else get my money when they have the same opportunities that I had?

ANDY ARNOLD

Recent discoveries challenge evolution

The “Theory of Evolution” is seriously challenged with recent discoveries!

Paleontology (study of life forms in Geologic periods), has convincingly demonstrated that animal life was created in a very short period of time in the Cambrian Period (i.e., “Cambrian Explosion”).

According to Cambridge University (England) Paleobiologist Simon Morris: “The Cambrian Explosion demonstrates ... the abrupt appearance of animals.” Intermediate life forms have never been discovered! Almost all of the animal phylum now known appeared abruptly in the Cambrian period! A discovery in China provides the greatest proof yet that life appeared so quickly, that paleontology is having to re-think the gradual development of life theory to explain it! Paleontologist Stephen Gould has pointed out: “Nothing distressed [Darwin] more than the Cambrian Explosion.”

DNA research has demonstrated that the information needed to create human cells must follow a hyper-specific instruction set imbedded in the DNA gene. Life could not have originated by the right chemicals mixing at just the right temperature in a pre-biotic soup. Why? Even the simplest cell requires matter, energy and information! Cells can only be assembled with the blueprint found in the DNA! This is the DNA enigma: how did the complex DNA instruction set develop?

CHUCK STEVENS

Hixson

Too many won’t join the military

These days, America doesn’t know its military and the United States military doesn’t know America.

When I came back from Vietnam in 1966, I came home. Everybody was talking about war or was at least concerned.

Sure, people were protesting, burning draft cards, etc. At least they were talking about it. They were interested in knowing what was going on.

Nowadays, nobody gives a darn anymore, because about 80 percent of the men don’t have the guts to join the military. They have it made in this wonderful country of ours. Let someone else do their fighting for them.

I love to hear the many reasons these men give — why they don’t join the military. I even talk to men who were of age back in 1962-73. I laugh at most of their silly reasons why they didn’t join.

I just thought it was about time someone said something about it. I know that it is not going to help any, but I just had to say it.

GENE CROZIER

East Ridge

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lkeithlu said...

Geeez, Mr. Stevens-go learn some science instead of visiting Creationist websites and trotting out their old, discredited canards. BioGenesis is not evolution, and in spite of your quote (mine) of Gould's taken out of context, the Cambrian was neither an "explosion" nor does it produce any problem for Evolution. There is no evidence that anyone can produce the refutes Evolution. None. Zip.

April 16, 2011 at 8:41 a.m.
Leaf said...

Gene, thanks for your service in Vietnam, but I think you're making a bad assumption. There are plenty of reasons besides lack of courage why a person wouldn't join the military. And not everyone who joins the military is courageous.

April 16, 2011 at 1:05 p.m.
eyesWIDEopen said...

@BENJAMIN E. LONG. Wrong! The reason prisons are overcrowded has nothing to do with early release as much as it has to do with the mass incarceration of non-violent citizens. A non-violenct citizen behind on childsupport chance receiving equal or more time than someone charged and convicted of domestic assault. In fact, the individual in the domestic assault case might receive no jail time and have his or her record expunged, depending upon who that individual is.

@GENE CROZIER, you're wrong too. Right up there with Benjamin. The problem isn't that too many aren't serving in the military. The problem is those who are normally the ones willing to serve en masse can't due to when America was going through that mass incarceration period. Whereas in the past it wasn't unusual for America to recruit citizens right out of the jails and prisons to serve in the military in today's climate, having even a minor criminal record can disqualify an individual from serving his or her country. In today's American climate of mass incarceration, with so many being arrested for any and every offense, it's at the point that one can expect to be arrested at some point and time in his or her lifetime in this country.

April 16, 2011 at 2:24 p.m.
rolando said...

Can't say as I blame today's youth for doing something other than military service, Mr Crozier.

After 20-odd years active ending in the 80s, I find no comparison with those days and these. Service in a war-zone overseas was fairly predictable -- one tour and home. Vietnam was the beginning of the change...the draft was ended and the all-volunteer force began. Tours became repeat up to today's essentially back-to-back remote duty fighting our three wars.

Evidently the only reason we are getting quality troops today is out of deep loyalty to the US -- mostly from the South and the Heartland -- or for the bennies; college, salary, etc.

Today, I find I cannot, in all due conscience, recommend military service to anyone. Once upon a time, it was broadening to serve overseas and see how other peoples lived and how great we had it here...but that was then. It also developed character and leadership skills among other things. But, again, that was then.

Above all, it taught us how to survive under deep stress, depending on each other, forming lasting bonds, and gaining something better than self. Thank God, we apparently still have that among our troops...

A trip to The Wall still brings tears and sorrow for our war dead. And I never served in Vietnam. It wasn't necewssary. Thanks, mate.

April 20, 2011 at 2 p.m.
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