Which is it: Oil or electric?
An "open letter" to the president of the United States:
Not many weeks ago, Mr. President, you were advocating Americans drive electric powered automobiles. You even went so far as to allow a sizable tax credit to anyone who will purchase such an automobile.
Now you have just met with the heads of several American automobile manufacturers and have pressured them into producing automobiles which will average 52 mpg by the year 2025
You simultaneously expressed concern about the amount of oil being imported from the OPEC nations. So which is it, Mr. President, electric cars or cars which will continue to be powered by oil?
And, if you are so concerned about the quantity of oil being imported, why not permit our own oil companies to drill for oil in the continental United States? This would accomplish two things: significantly reduce oil importation and, most importantly, cut in half what Americans are paying for gasoline.
This would reduce the jobless rate, free up millions of dollars for Americans to spend on food, clothing, vacations, etc., and greatly improve our economy.
I do not profess to be as well educated as you, Mr. President, but I think I am blessed with good old American common sense.
Red-light camera system beneficial
I am a visitor to the area and was caught red-handed running a red light in Red Bank.
I understand that some are upset about the camera system that detects runners and then tickets them. I must disagree.
The system is efficient and works to prevent a major cause of accidents. So, to Red Bank I say, "I did it, you caught me, and the check is in the mail."
Fancy diploma not always needed
I don't know Rick Smith, Hamilton County Schools superintendent. Nevertheless, I've followed the dissent over his lack of a doctorate. Education has insulated and ensured itself from extinction by insisting that everyone who lacks its self-anointed, self-bestowed piece of paper isn't qualified to teach or lead. Self-policing/self-certification is rarely objective.
After three pathetic, attempts, my principal finally got his Ph.D. His promotion from assistant principal required that accomplishment, and it was a shame to knock him out of the job, his doctoral committee stated.
I left industry to teach and had to take education certification courses. An all-day, two-week class was "taught" by a Ph.D. at a major university. Day one he lectured, assigned our project and adjourned, never to be seen again. Daily we met in class, signed the roll sheet and were dismissed. I made a B; I learned and earned zilch.
I left teaching because of education's "reluctance" to allow me to teach my printing/graphics students all the skills they needed to work productively in that field in the real world.
Smith may fail miserably as a superintendent. I seriously doubt his lack of the fancy diploma and an academic robe with stripes will be the reasons.
Citizens need a debt limit
I have written to each of my U.S. legislators (Dr. Scott DesJarlais, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker) to ask one simple question. What percentage of a citizen's income do you feel the government is entitled to?
This includes all taxes federal, state and local, including but not limited to federal income, state income, sales, county property, city property, fuel, inheritance and excise.
To date, I have not received a single reply. To me, this implies the only limit is whatever they can extract and spend. Once again, we're being asked (told) we need to raise the debt limit. What about our debt limit?
Who's going to make the rules?
Mass unemployment, debt crisis, health care all share common roots.
What people in this country need to understand is we elect leaders who are beholden to corporations and Wall Street for campaign contributions that keep them in power, their jobs. Therefore, their first allegiance is to their donors, not you and me.
Mussolini once said, "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power." A fascist state is much like the Wild West, where the guy with the biggest gun, influence, rules.
Far too many people think the "free market" is the answer to everything. That is a fallacy! What they fail to understand is the "free market," like the Wild West, is where those with the biggest wallets, you guessed it -- the corporations, CEOs and the super wealthy -- make all the rules, and those rules are rigged in their favor.
As David Cay Johnston said in his book, "Free Lunch," "Everything has rules!" The question is: Who's going to make these rules, our elected representatives or private corporations?
Mass unemployment, the debt crisis, expensive health care; all of it stems from this flawed thinking.
It's time to come down out of the clouds of denial for a reality check!
It's hard to juggle several things
In answer to the query (Times Free Press, Sunday, July 31) as to why drivers in Chattanooga do not use turn signals, I would like to offer this simple explanation:
Hominoids only have two hands, and if one is on the steering wheel and the other is wrapped around a cell phone, how are we supposed to use a turn signal?
What's next for voter ID?
During a recent visit to a Chattanooga tax office, their security software would not accept my retired military ID card.
I was told it would also not accept passports or any U.S. government-issued IDs, only a Tennessee driver's license.
Does that foreshadow my effort to vote in future elections?
I am an American citizen and have never been challenged at a poll or when filing an absentee ballot during my 21-year military career and 21-year foreign service career.
However, as a senior citizen, that may no longer be true.
I may have to arrive at the polls with my driver's license, retired military ID, tourist and canceled diplomatic passports. Suffice it to say, even that might not be enough.
Perhaps I also will be required to show my cable bill or a canceled check. I don't need a picture ID to pay my income tax. Why should I need one to vote.
My Social Security number card and voter registration card should be acceptable. If picture IDs will be required for all future elections, then we need to seriously revisit the idea of a national ID card. The re-emergence of poll taxes and Jim Crow laws is self-evident.
Age is a factor in hunt for job
I recently applied for a minimum-wage job.
I had to call for instructions on how to apply, then do a one-hour online application.
During that application, I was informed that I must agree to a "fair arbitration panel," agree to a drug test, agree to be investigated, and agree to have my credit pulled.
My problem is I have effected many positive changes in our great city as well as had some higher paid jobs. I showed up for the interview and was informed that there were many "qualified" applicants and they may ask me for a second interview with the manager.
I was not even being interviewed by anyone who had a hiring capacity.
Second problem: I am 60 -- I have been an activist for the greater good in my life, somewhat of a consumer advocate, and sometimes with an attitude. It has been difficult to hold back the attitude since I have been interviewed in the fast food, home improvement industry, and just about everybody else the last two years. Who would have thought that an entry-level, minimum-wage job would be so hard to get.
It is the age, and that makes me angry. It is too bad things are the way they are.