published Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Letters to the Editor

Teachers critic should effect change

To the writer of Sunday's rant who denigrated the entire profession of educators by calling all teachers "mediocre" and "lazy," I suggest you think more critically about the world around you. Are there not mediocre and lazy doctors, lawyers and carpenters? Perhaps the writer believes that teachers are the laziest and most mediocre of all.

Also, you imply that teachers complain about being "overworked and underpaid." Again, you assume that only someone who wishes to be "lazy" and irresponsible would want to be a teacher. Then, these same below-average professionals have the audacity to suggest that they need more money. You neglect the concept that someone may want to be a teacher because it is a noble calling, a job that brings satisfaction beyond a paycheck.

The writer of this rant obviously believes that our education system has problems. If so, I suggest that he become the change he wishes to see in the world. Read a book instead of watching television, tutor a child who is struggling in school, or have an in-depth conversation with someone that is not based on stereotypes and hearsay. Best of all, stop insulting teachers, the people who can solve these problems.


* * * * *

Law should ban harmful leaks

The emergence of WikiLeaks over the past five years has Americans asking, "Is national security safe with Internet sites leaking governmental secrets?"

Wikileaks is an informational website founded by Julian Assange in 2006 that "leaks" governmental secrets. The site released over 90,000 classified documents about the Afghanistan war, including footage of U.S. air strikes in 2007, which showed U.S. bombs incidentally killing Iraqi journalists. This caused quite a stir in world news and put a large target on the back of the U.S. military.

Incidents like this show that sites such as WikiLeaks can affect national security in a negative manner.

There have been numerous charges made against Assange and WikiLeaks, but none have held up, mostly due to the First Amendment.

The situation has in a way solved itself with Julian Assange facing plenty of jail time due to rape charges that have surfaced from WikiLeaks employees.

Although free speech should never be suppressed by the government, there should be a law passed that will limit documents that can be released by sites such as WikiLeaks that can potentially harm U.S. troops or civilians.


* * * * *

Police conduct is appreciated

Open letter to the Chattanooga Police Department:

Occupy Chattanooga would like to recognize the courteous and respectful way in which the Chattanooga Police Department has dealt with our occupiers.

It is a testament to the Chattanooga Police and the city of Chattanooga at large that citizens here can feel free to exercise their First Amendment rights without fear.

Our purpose here is not to provoke anyone, but to inform the people of our grievances against the government, through the constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech.

We look forward to working closely with those in authority now and in the future. We are all the 99 percent.

PAUL ELLIOTT, Occupy Chattanooga

* * * * *

Dreams help deal with difficult things

Do you still have nightmares about being swept away in a tornado? There might just be a reason.

While many of Chattanooga's homes were damaged by the tornados of last year, their minds might have been damaged as well. These scarred people now are losing sleep over something that they thought they had gotten over. People often use dreams to cope with traumatic situations that they have so desperately tried to push into the subconscience.

Dreams have many different purposes, and dealing with difficult things is just one of them. Dreams are your unconscious mind's ways of communicating with your waking mind. Paying attention to your dreams is going to help you understand your wants, needs, desires and fears. The more someone looks into the dreams from last night they will have a better understanding of the days that have past. So while you might not want to deal with the painful memories of the destructive tornado in your waking life, the subconscious mind will take control and make you deal with it in another way.


* * * * *

More help needed to treat scoliosis

Anyone who watches "Grey's Anatomy" may remember a fiery patient named Heather. Why would this one patient among hundreds stand out? Because Heather was contorted forward 90 degrees due to severe scoliosis, or unnatural curvature of the spine.

Most Americans remain unaware of scoliosis, yet 3 in every 100 adolescents are diagnosed. Mild scoliosis can cause constant pain and discomfort. Severe cases often experience complications such as lung malfunction due to structural misalignment.

After 30 years, medical treatment is still lacking for scoliosis. Little has progressed for minor curves, which are the majority of cases. In three decades, treatment has gone from plaster jackets to bracing. Like going from bread to sliced bread, it is not that different. Surgical advancements have gained ground for severe cases, correcting 80 percent of a curve, but surgery only helps severe become mild.

We need to raise awareness and push for successful treatments for all levels of scoliosis and hopefully find a cure to prematurely stop scoliosis, freeing children from a lifetime of pain.

Heather may have found help in experimental surgery performed by Shepard, but not everyone has access to the finances or a personal McDreamy.

Learn more and support scoliosis treatment research at


* * * * *

Protesters deny rights of others

America, enough is enough. To let a bunch of America-hating freeloaders disrupt private businesses is a disgrace.

They want their rights but do not consider the rights of others.

Who feeds and finances this bunch that does not work and disrupts others from working?

We can stand by and let a bunch of liberals take our freedoms away or speak out about how you feel. Too much has been sacrificed for our freedom to let a bunch that doesn't even know why they are protesting to cause the trouble they are causing.

If they really cared, they would be protesting the wealthy media tycoons in our nation. The law needs to stop this situation before people get hurt.

If the people in Washington would quit worrying about their next golf game or big party bash, maybe they could find time to run the country.


* * * * *

Downtown banners bright and colorful

I completely disagreed with Sunday's letter bashing the new downtown banners.

Chattanooga does happen downtown.

Who doesn't want to support and be a part of an ad that says Chattanooga loves the people making it all happen?

Chattanooga is unique because where else do you see your friends and neighbors' faces on a banner or sign when you drive down the street.

And they are plenty bright and colorful, too!


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LibDem said...

I'm afraid, Mr. Gaston, your problem may be that annnoying Constitution.

November 10, 2011 at 1:06 p.m.
Livn4life said...

Wow for a Lib to admit there is a Constitution is pretty amazing. Oh...yeah it is to prove some point he/she wants to make.

November 10, 2011 at 1:50 p.m.
librul said...

There's a Constitution? I though George W. Bush and his minions got rid of that thing. I guess they got too preoccupied with cutting taxes on the rich while running the economy off a cliff.

November 10, 2011 at 4:21 p.m.
ToHoldNothing said...

It's not un-American to want your rights, but like the religious right and evangelicals, there is indeed a problem when you only focus on your rights as opposed to others'. The Constitution, particularly the 14th Amendment, is very valuable to protecting both the majority and minority in their acting on their rights within reason.

November 11, 2011 at 1:09 a.m.
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