Lead the leaders for soldiers' return
There is an often-run television advertisement soliciting funds for the "Wounded Warrior Project" featuring Trace Adkins singing the words "say a prayer for peace." Supporting our wounded soldiers is a national imperative. For those who pray for peace, it is important to be vigilant for the answer should it be delivered.
There is no nation or peoples in the whole world threatening invasion of our shores. We possess the greatest military forces on the planet and they remain ever ready to repel any threat against our homeland. We are at peace within our nation yet our soldiers are fighting on foreign land in the wars of others.
It is easy to pray. Perhaps it is not so easy accepting the answer or recognizing the answer when it is given. As a people we should accept the peace we enjoy in our homeland, give thanks for it and demand action from our elected officials. In America, elected officials are not the leaders. It is we the people who must lead those we elect to office in the return of our soldiers who have been too long in harm's way.
DAN C. JOHNSON
Many questions face electorate
With the announcement of Wisconsin's Paul Ryan as Romney's running mate, the Republican Party has drawn a clear line in the sand. Will Democrats re-elect Barack Obama for four more years of popular, but growing, federal deficits, or will Republicans elect a president who will pursue responsible reductions in the federal largesse? The answer to this question may be found in several complex issues.
Will recipients of the federal dole actively support continuity for these programs? Will conservatives risk federal reductions, knowing some reductions will impact them? Will Republicans acknowledge the significance of this line in the sand, or will they waffle on issues, fearful of losing undecided voters? Will conservative Christians actively support Romney's candidacy, despite concerns about his Mormon faith? Will the tea party support Romney's candidacy, despite the risk of additional taxes? Do Americans believe the danger of financial chaos is real?
Last, and most critical, can both parties desist from the rhetoric of extremist hyperbole and focus on the real issues at stake?
Billions of dollars, and millions of effort hours, will be expended in the coming months to resolve this question. The voters will choose our future!
GEORGE W. DAVENPORT JR., Signal Mountain
County needs 'war on rape'
Why is Hamilton County so light on rape? Tennessee law 39-13-527 says that sexual battery by an authority figure is unlawful sexual contact with a victim 13 years of age or older but less than 18 and that the defendant had supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim or parental/custodial authority, and used the authority to accomplish the sexual contact.
With this, I am perplexed by Judge Stern's sentence of only four years' probation for a foster care father, Richard Batson, who was 41 when he raped his 16-year-old foster daughter. Stern could have sentenced Batson to 12 years in prison.
Terms like "molestation," "statutory rape" and "consensual" are misleading. There is only one word for adults who have sex with a minor child, and it's "rape." Sex with a minor is always rape, even when it is not considered "forcible."
We spend millions on the "war on drugs," but what our children really need is for our prosecutors and judges to have a "war on rape" and put rapists away for as long as legally possible to prevent more rapes, regardless if their minister comes to court or however much rapists cry.
ANGELIA STINNETT, Hixson
Romney taking wrong turns
I was stunned and distressed with the stand that Gov. Mitt Romney has taken on two key issues. This will cost him support and many votes. I am referring to the Boy Scouts and Chick-fil-A issues. The issue with Chick-fil-A was a violation of Dan Cathy's free speech. He has also been denied the right of free enterprise. This will not gain Gov. Romney support from the liberals and will lose the support of conservatives.
In 2010, it was the conservatives who put the Republicans in charge of the House. Sadly, they haven't done much with it. Last week in Texas, Ted Cruz clinched the Republican nomination for the Senate race because of ultra-conservative support. In Missouri, Todd Akin won the Republican Senate primary for the same reason.
I support Gov. Romney. I even donated a small amount to his campaign, but he has taken a wrong turn and I fear it will cost him the election. I may be wrong, but I am guessing he is taking some bad advice from someone. Gov. Romney is a Mormon, and I don't believe this is their philosophy.
Why reward child against prayers?
Recently, a child of 12 was given a cash award for her letter against prayers that were being led by the County Commission. It was given by a foundation also against this. How very sad!
In this world of chaos, trouble and confusion, it is alarming that someone so young would take such an opinion, much less be rewarded for it. I will pray for her!
Erlanger ER efficient, polite
I recently had my first experience with Erlanger's emergency room on July 3. I usually go to Memorial North Park.
I was extremely impressed with Erlanger (being an old ER nurse myself).
There were three large male nurses running the desk. They were efficient, polite and kept the families informed of what was going on. They had the patents in and out without an all-day wait. Most impressive. They treated us kindly.
GAIL BUTTRAM, R.N.
Romney and Ryan for just the rich
As a Republican who has voted in every election since Richard Nixon, as a Christian and a senior, I cannot vote for Mitt Romney because of his Mormon religion.
Paul Ryan talks about fiscal responsibility, yet under President Bush, he voted for two wars and Medicare Part D, with no way to pay for them. Rep. Ryan has been in Washington since his 20s -- he is not a Midwesterner as he claims. He also voted for every spending bill under President Bush, yet he voted against President Obama's jobs bill which would have put 2 million to 3 million people back to work.
Paul Ryan wants to do away with Medicare and give every senior a $2,000 voucher to try and buy health insurance with. Who is going to insure seniors like myself with a $2,000 voucher? The only people Romney and Ryan are for are rich people. The Ryan budget adds $5 trillion to he deficit over 10 years.
Romney/Ryan are bad for seniors -- very, very scary!
MIKE BARKER, Ringgold, Ga.
Election director gets unfair abuse
Theresa Snyder, Rhea County election administrator, does her job well, fairly and empathetically for each citizen, all of us! Theresa Snyder should be applauded, for "just doing her job." She has gone "above and beyond" to protect our rights as citizens, yours and mine, Republican or Democrat. The past primary election, she literally put her livelihood, life and principles on the line to provide a fair and legal election. This was not just for the candidates, it was for all citizens of Rhea County. Our county election administrator had her life threatened and employees were verbally abused, threatened with arrest, disrupted doing their work, and all other types of bullying which continues by disgruntled "citizens" of our county.
If you love your country, want to see our freedoms continue and our government survive, come out and participate in your chosen party, educate yourself, express yourself and work for the betterment of our United States government.
PHYLLIS R. GATTO, Dayton, Tenn.