published Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Letters to the Editor

Thanks to coalition staff and partners

Regarding the article, "First Baptist Church of Chattanooga helps to find housing," (Jan. 16), thank you to Barry Kidwell and the Mustard Tree Ministry, the First Baptist Church, and the partner churches for the compassion and generosity extended to people who are in need in Chattanooga.

Thank you to the Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition's partner agencies who have provided medical care, mental health support, temporary shelter until housing was located, food, and financial assistance for the former residents of Cameron Hill.

Thank you to local landlords who were willing to give people second chances to achieve new goals that were previously out of reach.

In addition, I would like to recognize the tireless efforts of the Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition staff who worked to coordinate community efforts and link people living on Cameron Hill to housing and essential services. Dedicated staff members assessed the needs of the people experiencing homelessness, linked them to community-based services, negotiated with landlords, and provided support to volunteers.

Each person at the Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition went over and above their usual job responsibilities to make this a successful endeavor. Our hope is that we have helped to permanently end homelessness for the former residents of the Hill.

MARY SIMONS, Executive Director, Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition

* * * * *

Writer inadvertently makes point for ID

In reference to a letter (Jan. 14) about the inconvenience the writer endured in having her Tennessee ID changed, she stated "I will vote against any lawmaker who voted this into law."

The funny thing is that she made the point completely for the ID law. Apparently, the writer feels strongly enough about her right to vote that she took the necessary steps to protect it, and I applaud her for that. However, what she doesn't realize is that we no longer live in Mayberry and there are people who will steal your right to vote just as quickly as they will steal your car, purse or identity.

Now, when she shows up at the poll with her law-mandated picture ID, the poll workers will know that she is who she claims to be and someone isn't just trying to steal her vote. Just think, without that card, some shifty Republican could easily falsify a voter's registration card, show up at the poll before you and vote in your place. Wouldn't it be terrible if your vote went for a Republican?


* * * * *

Another close election on tap

In spite of President Obama's dismal three-year performance in office and the dreadful harm that he has done to our country, it will probably be another close election in November.

However, what is most frightening is that those among us who elected him in 2008 will vote for him again in November, regardless, or vote for another failure or someone worse, if that is possible in 2016.


* * * * *

Tighten requisites to get a voter ID

There's been some complaining about the new Tennessee (and other states) voter ID law, with some claiming this law is unconstitutional because voting is a right, not a privilege like driving a car.

Yet I don't remember shrieks of outrage by the these same people over the same use of governmental power to restrict other constitutional rights like our Second Amendment right to arm ourselves or to "bear arms." In Tennessee, to exercise your Second Amendment rights outside of your home, you must pay to take a class, pass a test, a background check and have a photo ID made. The process is expensive and onerous and yet apparently fully legal and constitutional.

Which got me to thinking: instead of loosening up the requirements for our Second Amendment rights, maybe we should tighten up voter requirements even further and that is you must pay to take a class, pass a test and a background check, pay for an ID card, wait a few weeks and then and only then will you receive your voter ID card. Sounds fair to me -- if gun owners are licensed and restricted, voters should be too. After all what's more potent, the ballot or the bullet?

JOHN CORBETT, Sewanee, Tenn.

* * * * *

Comments put officers in danger

Sheriff Jim Hammond should apologize to the county he represents for his comments to the Brainerd Kiwanis Club regarding gang members: "... run them out of town, put them in jail or send them to the funeral home."

If our only response to the crime that has infiltrated our communities is blind hatred and legalized violence, then we have no interest in actually solving our social ills. His statement only reminds us that we are not that far removed from our wretched past that condoned public lynchings.

Certainly those who commit crimes need to be prosecuted, but to use these comments only endangers our dedicated police officers while also making them into a legalized death squad. We need to seek real solutions to solving the problem in a more sane and professional manner.

Gang violence has its roots in poverty, broken homes and joblessness. These youth could be part of the enormous potential of Hamilton County. We should and must be able to come together as a community and find a solution to this problem; one that recognizes the solution is to treat the disease, not the symptoms.

REV. KENNETH LOVE, Executive Director, Hamilton County Democratic Party

* * * * *

Put Chik-fil-A in perspective

The Free Press editorial (Jan. 16) that concerns Chik-fil-A was written to imply that Christian mores were responsible for the chain's good fortune.

Christian mores may have had some influence, but that is impossible to quantify or prove. The editor would be more responsible if he notes that Chik-fil-A's success also may be a function of the unique franchise agreement, the excellent customer service and the good chicken sandwiches it serves.

The editor should also be more exacting when he writes that "Chik-fil-A bested its competitors despite foregoing Sunday revenue." In fact, the measurement in which Chik-fil-A excelled was average sales per restaurant in the fast-food industry. Not total sales. Not total volume. Not total customers.

In order to put this in perspective, one needs to understand that other chains have many more restaurants than does Chik-fil-A, so comparing per-store sales is not a very good indication of anything at all. This is another example in which statistics are quoted to suit one's prejudices.

If I opened two BBQ joints, I would have a chain of restaurants. And my average sales per restaurant would not be comparable to McDonald's or Burger King or even Chik-fil-A.


Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
riverman said...

That's all we need is a black minister as Executive Director of the local Democrats. Uh, no, Reverend Love, Sheriff Hammond's words don't put his officers in danger, it is the gang bangers in your community that do.

January 19, 2012 at 8:37 a.m.

JOHN CORBETT, if you don't remember the shrieks of outrage over any firearms regulation whatsoever, then I suggest you get on the NRA mailing list. They'll send you regular correspondence telling you how your rights are "threatened" in various ways.

RANDY LYONS, you inadvertently made the point against Photo ID, by pointing out that people will steal your identity. In which case, they can doll up a photo ID of some kind at the local Kinko's. Even Mayberry has one of those now.

JEFF BRIERE, depends where you opened them, how good your BBQ was, and you might do quite well!
In which case, photo ID didn't help at all, did it?

January 19, 2012 at 9:48 a.m.
Legend said...

Randy Lions should read the truth about voter ID fraud:

The trend throughout the United States is to enact new laws that will make photo IDs a prerequisite for participating in the democratic process. Proponents of voter ID laws use voting in lieu of dead people as the main example of fraud, while opponents point out that there is no evidence of widespread fraud and significant evidence that such laws make it more difficult for students and those in lower-income brackets to vote. Lawmakers in South Carolina used the accusation that 957 dead people voted in the "recent elections" as proof of the need for voter ID laws—a claim the New York Times' Andrew Rosenthal points out is very poorly supported. (The Justice Department has blocked the measure in South Carolina, so voters on Saturday will not need a photo ID to vote.)

But surely by accident, O'Keefe has actually given use some extremely valuable data about the cost-benefit of trying to vote on behalf of a cadaver. Of the handful of people O'Keefe sent into voting centers to vote as dead people, at least one was recognized as being an imposter. It is unclear how much trouble he or the rest of Project Veritas will end up in since they did not actually cast the ballots they obtained; TPM reports that merely obtaining the ballots fraudulently could violate federal law as well, even if no voting took place. Project Veritas refused to tell me how many people participated in their stunt, but I can be extremely conservative and say that voting for a dead person carries at least a 1 in 100 risk of being recognized and possibly ending up in legal trouble.

January 20, 2012 at 5:45 p.m.
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