published Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Letters to the Editor

Progressive polls have their agenda

When I read your Feb. 8 front-page feature on the church and the latest federal government ruling regarding women's health care coverage, red flags went up at the reported 58 percent of Catholics who agree with the plan.

On investigating the source, Public Religion Research Institute, I find that it is a "bipartisan" partner of the "bipartisan" Brookings Institute, and that its board of directors is made up of Eastern and San Francisco theologians, not one of whom is Catholic or conservative evangelical. Where is the even-handedness?

Polls show what the pollsters hope to show. Certainly progressive polls would have the agenda of arriving at statistics that support the wisdom of government over the Church.

MARTHA AKIN, Hixson

* * * * *

Haynes has values that we need

I am writing to encourage the voters of the 3rd District to vote for a friend whom I have known almost since we moved to Chattanooga 27 years ago.

That person is Marty Haynes.

Marty and I have attended church together, had our children play ball together and work together for our community. Marty has been actively involved in civic affairs in our district and very noticeably involved in the education system, specifically as it relates to Hixson High School.

Marty is a family man and is very devoted to his sons, David and Miller. My oldest son and David were college mates at Bryan College.

Marty represents the values and kind of leadership we need in government today. I do not personally know his opponent. Therefore none of my comments should be construed as negative toward Commissioner McClure.

I just know that Marty will represent the people of our district and will be open to their voice and will make that voice heard at the commission level.

With that I encourage the voters of the 3rd District to vote for Marty Haynes for commissioner in District 3.

WILLIAM C. MATHENEY

* * * * *

Put Chickamauga on the map again

Chickamauga, Ga. -- the next Helen, Ga.?

Rumor has it that Walker County has received grants to finally give Chickamauga the recognition it deserves. The largest amount of casualties in a one-day battle occurred here during the Civil War playing a significant part in our lives, our freedom.

Many have not even heard of Chickamauga.

No longer a secret, the plans are to develop whitewater river-rafting in the area. Three launch sites have been proposed at the present mills.

Land values will soar and history will repeat itself of a bustling town full of shops and desires.

The completion goal is 2014, according to the local Realtor in town.

Helen, Ga., has retained its charm, rich in history, but shares its town through tourism. Time will tell if it is boom or bust for Chickamauga.

Personally, I am jumping on the bandwagon. I believe the possibilities are endless.

STEPHEN A. THOMPSON, Rock Spring, Ga.

* * * * *

Obama's policies taking free choice

What is the point of responding to "Letters to the Editor" that consistently berate and demean the Republican Party and anyone whose political opinions differ from their own?

Maybe the reason you don't see as many letters that respond with the traditional American point of view is because no one takes these unfounded and often hate-filled opinions seriously.

A case in point would be the Jan. 28 letter regarding the metaphor between the recent sinking of the Costa Concordia and President Barack Obama and how he has steadied our "ship of state." What a shame that this writer chose to politicize such a tragedy where people needlessly lost their lives. Many (if not all) of the Republicans/conservatives who are maligned in this letter are just as concerned about the future of our country and feel that we are headed in the wrong direction.

Our independence and free choice is slowly disappearing as a result of President Obama's policies and his vision for the future. The common goal for all of us should be the desire to leave our country in better shape than it is now for the sake of our children and future generations.

RICK AND BECKY BARRY, Signal Mountain

* * * * *

Anderson views won't be missed

I'm sure there will be many letters to the editor in the coming days that talk of how great Lee Anderson is and how important he was to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. However, this is not one of those letters.

I will not miss his outrageous editorials touting his far right views. I dare say bigoted views as well.

Like Coach Joe Paterno, Lee Anderson stayed in his job about 20 years too long.

Maybe now I can actually read a little of the right side of the editorial pages. If only Steve Barrett would retire with Mr. Anderson.

PAT HAGAN

* * * * *

Verify Obama's pipeline remarks

Re: "Obama just wants new pipeline route," regarding the letter to the editor in the Feb. 6 edition.

The writer claims Obama just wants a different route and only 6,000 jobs would be created.

According to Sen. Bob Corker's office, the administration has not said they would approve the pipeline if it was rerouted, and the pipeline would create approximately 20,000 direct construction jobs and many more in a support criteria.

If the writer could provide more specific proof of the president saying this, it would be great news because we would love to get this pipeline started.

MARY FRICKE, Spring City, Tenn.

* * * * *

Urgency remains for blood donations

About one month ago, I sent my letter in response to an urgent appeal for blood donors by Blood Assurance. I hoped and expected that by now the blood supply situation would improve.

I was, however, told by a friend that the urgency remains.

Chattanooga and the region served by Blood Assurance has been blessed by donors who have really served their extended community well.

But at any given time a shortage of product can occur. We all can succumb to complacency, however briefly. Each of us needs to be reminded that the need is on-going and even continuous at times.

Please call Blood Assurance to set a donation appointment and time.

HARRY GELLER

* * * * *

Ruling confuses equal protection

The California nonsense continues. Judges upheld the Walker ruling striking down Proposition 8 even though it reflected a misunderstanding of the concept of equal protection under the law.

Equal protection under the law does not mean law cannot discriminate. Indeed, discrimination between violators and non-violators is the essence of law.

Equal protection means the relevant law should be applied to violators without regard to irrelevant characteristics. For instance, someone accused of homicide should be found guilty only if his or her actions constitute homicide, regardless of his or her other attributes, such as gender, race, or creed, not included in the definition of homicide.

However, equal protection does not mean that a law cannot be passed against homicide, nor does it mean that California cannot pass a law against same-sex marriage.

In the absurd case in which judges upheld Walker's ruling, they missed another basic flaw. Two same-sex couples claimed their treatment since the passage of Proposition 8 violated the equal protection clause because they were not treated like other couples. However, since Proposition 8 passed, California law no longer defined them as couples; therefore, they had no standing to sue for equal protection under laws regarding couples.

DR. BRIAN HALE, Red Bank

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Ozzy87 said...

Dr. Hale is comparing apples to eggplants. Homicide or murder harms someone. How does marriage equality physically harm anyone? Massachusetts passed marriage equality laws several years ago. Guess what? No fireballs raining down from above, no plague of locusts, etc. They have one of the lowest divorce rates in the entire nation. And yes, it was legal for gay and lesbians to get married in CA. for a short time. Prop H8 did not void those marriages. The 14th Amendment states that the burden of proof lies on ones wanting to deny equal access. The state has to show a clear and compelling interest in reasoning why gay and lesbians are denied a fundemental civil right (see Loving VS Virginia).

February 11, 2012 at 8:02 a.m.
moon4kat said...

In what field did Brian Hale obtain his doctorate? It certainly wasn't in law, or logic. He equates committing homicide with making a life-long commitment to a loved one.
Equal protection under the law means that all people are allowed to love whom they choose, and to have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities that go with a secular marriage. A church doesn't have to "bless" the couple to conclude that government cannot justly deny these folks the right to form the same kind of union allowed heterosexuals.

February 11, 2012 at 10:08 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

I agree with you completely, Pat Hagan. Unfortunately there are too many others where this conservative relic came from. I'm sure that someone else of his ideological ilk will be churning out the same right wing drivel. Anyway, we will still have the pseudo-intellectual hubris of Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams to contend with. And of course, there is Barrett - the good little church boy who writes like he never questioned anything his conservative elders, his scout leaders, and his Sunday school teachers taught him.

February 11, 2012 at 8:51 p.m.
Plato said...

MARY FRICKE - The state of Nebraska approved a propose rerouting of the Keystone Pipeline as offered by the builders in mid November last year. The original plan would have allowed for the pipeline to be built across ecologically fragile Sandhills aquifer where it could have contaminated drinking water in 8 states.

The new route, like any other pipeline project, will require an environmental impact study which is currently underway. Most experts believe that the approval process should now be shortened and final approval to build the pipeline can be obtained sometime later this year. Also the 20,000 job estimate you cite is from the industry. Neutral studies that have been done by the government have suggested more like 6,000 jobs most of which will be temporary in nature.

Unfortunately the Keystone Pipeline has been politicized and demagogued to the point that most people do not understand what actually occurred.

February 11, 2012 at 9:21 p.m.
acerigger said...

Mr. Hagan,Lee Anderson, and the FreePress side of this newspaper are nothing more than "copy and paste" sock puppets for the Republican National Committee(RNC).It saves them from having to actually think!

February 11, 2012 at 10:13 p.m.
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