published Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Letters to the Editors

Men are needed in children's lives

For generations, we have been imprisoning black males for petty crimes.

Marijuana being the number one reason for incarceration today. By taking one out of the equation, instead of having two parents, we are left with a female to tend to all of the care and work. It is extremely hard to be a single parent, and no one can make it on minimum wage pay unless there are two people in the family working.

We put the father in prison and then we turn around and blame the women and the children for the misdeeds they are doing.

It escalates into children who are left to fend for themselves and disobey their mother because they have no father in their life. Even if these men wanted to be in their child's life they are not allowed.

Young men grow up thinking that is the way it is. It should not be that way. The young men need respect, they need love, they need mentors -- both black and white.

They need training for jobs and they need apprenticeship programs.

Why should they grow up like this? Stop putting their fathers in prison. They grow up angry and hateful. Wouldn't you?

PENNY FURMAN

Cleveland, Tenn.



Pierce best choice for Red Bank job

The Red Bank city commissioners have the opportunity to vote for one of the four candidates to fill the open spot they have.

One of the candidates meets or exceeds all of the requirements that they set for a person to qualify for the job. This is Eddie Pierce, who lives in the district, who has lived in Red bank for 17 years, graduated from Red Bank High School, along with his family owned and operated the Red Bank Athletic Shop for 32 years.

He has supported Red Bank sports of all kinds, grass cutter football, Dixie Youth baseball, and Red Bank High School's sports.

We have known Eddie for at least 40 years. He is an upstanding member of the Red Bank community, a member of the Red Bank Cumberland Presbyterian Church, has held many leadership positions in the church and has been a businessman for 32 years.

He is the best man for this job and we would appreciate all of the commissioners voting for Eddie Pierce.

JAMES AND HELEN LaMANCE



Business not office qualification

Small business has become an icon. Every political candidate begins his campaign with "I am a businessman" as his qualification for office. Most of them hate government and claim to be Christians.

Business is purely self-seeking. Their one aim is to make as much money for themselves as possible however they can. Business is necessary but not as a form of government. Businessmen dislike government because it interferes with their profits by protecting the public against predators.

The Bible says to honor the king, pray for your rulers, obey the laws and care for the less fortunate.

The preamble to the Constitution says, "... the people ... in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare ... ."

A government is not a business, it is a union established for the welfare of all citizens.

Should being a businessman qualify one for public office? You be the judge.

EDNA TAYLOR



Paterno's legacy colored by greed

I am sorry that Joe Paterno passed away because he has left his family behind and by all accounts was a decent man who tried to do things the right way.

But there is something that I can't ever forget about. It's just like the way I remember Woody Hayes at Ohio State. The only image I can see is him punching Charlie Bowden of Clemson in the throat. The last thing I will remember about Joe Pa is that he had to know what was going on, but he was too preoccupied with getting the most wins, and having more than Bobby Bowden, who by the way would still be coaching now if his win/loss record were better.

Now we know why the athletic director tried to force Joe Pa to retire in 2005. He was enamored with the record just like politicians are with power, and millionaires are with money. They are never satisfied no matter how much of it they have.

Greed is a terrible thing when you will sacrifice anything to get it, and it cost Paterno his legacy.

RONNIE HORTON



'Riding' now just a business venture

I want to thank the Chambliss family for the beautiful Reflection Riding Land Trust they so graciously gave to us to enjoy.

For many years and in every season, I have walked the paths of this garden.

It soothed my soul and allowed my imagination to wander. I admire the wooden signage and marveled at the many plants and trees. I could feel the love the elder Chamblisses must have had for this place. It's a love I share.

I was furious, then saddened, that the name was changed to Chattanooga Arboretum.

A new metal sign has been erected, and many events will be planned. The Walden Pond of Chattanooga has turned into a business venture. How sad.

Thank you, John and Margaret Chambliss. You are heroes to me. I understand your Reflection Riding, and I will silently thank you as I walk your paths.

It will always be Reflection Riding to me, a perfect name for a perfect place.

REBA SMITH

St. Elmo



National debt very destructive

I don't believe there are many U.S. citizens who are aware of how huge our national debt is, how fast it is growing and how destructive it is to this country's future.

Federal fiscal figures are too huge to understand, so let's reduce it to a simple taxpayer's budget.

1. Annual salary: $21,700.

2. Money spent: $38,200.

3. New debt: $16,500.

4. Credit card balance: $152,000.

What would your bank say if you asked them to borrow money to pay the interest on your debt?

With this being an election year, I have several additional questions for all politicians running.

1. Why do both political parties just mean bigger government?

2. What if our right to bear arms only applied to the government?

3. Who owns our income -- you or the government?

Last question: What is the beginning of the end for any nation? As someone has said, it's when half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they worked for. Vote!

E. LEE GERALDSON

Harrison



Don't favor one religion over others

I see some of our state legislators are again trying to blur the separation of church and state.

I would have no problem with the Ten Commandments being posted on public property as long as the five tenets of Isalm, a fat happy Buddha and a Hindu Shiva god with seven arms were placed next to it.

Otherwise I will ask the ACLU to file suit when they try again to favor one religion over another.

ROBERT PALMER



Treat causes to tame gangs

Youth violence is a challenge for our city.

Every week, scores of children are shot or assaulted on our streets.

I attended a recent meeting held by the NAACP and the mayor of Chattanooga's anti-gang unit staff. Their policing and anti-violence community-based strategy is wrong-headed. They don't see these youth violence acts as a disease or epidemic, but only as criminal behavior.

As a man with a B.S. degree in criminal justice from UTC, I will share with you and city government that the cure lies not with haphazard treatment of the symptoms, but should be focused more on the targeted scientific treatment of the causes.

The citizens of Chattanooga should not see violence solely as episodic criminal behavior, but as a public health issue to be treated like other diseases and combated like other seemingly intractable problems of drugs.

The city approach should be a lesson of science itself. Criminal justice research into the relationship between brain development and human behavior provides a better understanding of the causes of youth violence and offers hope that evidence based interventions, eventually, can change destructive behaviors.

CHESTER

HEATHINGTON

11
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.

EDNA TAYLOR, but just think if it were, they could close off some pesky expensive states or throw out some citizens!

E. LEE GERALDSON, but what would your bank say if you asked for an extension on your line of credit to buy more products to sell? What if you had a massive amount of collateral to offer? What if you were Brain Capital setting up a leveraged buyout? Be live it or not, a country isn't a person any more than it is a business. You are correct that people won't work if somebody else reaps too much of the fruits of it. That's why the wealth concentration is a bad thing. Or did you not consider things from the other side?

You could also say that the uber-wealthy expect us to do the work for them while they lead lives of leisure.

ROBERT PALMER, the Invisible Pink Unicorn demands a golden hoof print.

January 29, 2012 at 1:10 a.m.
riverman said...

Congratulations to Penny Furman for actually having a dumber letter than Edna Taylor. The problem in the black community is the sperm donors and the welfare brood mares who hook up and have no interest in raising a child, not the sperm donor being arrested for marijuana possession.

Once again Penny and Edna show that a democracy(or in our case a representive republic) is not necessarily the best form of government.

January 29, 2012 at 8:42 a.m.
Haiku said...

awwwh! but riverboy, doesn't the white community suffer the same inflictions? America's inner city, which makes up a large population of the nation's poor and black, just makes easier prey when arrest quotas are needed.

Take the heroin epidemic that's been raging through middle class, upper middle classed and wealthy white America for decades. Long before the crack craze. But America doesn't want to harm its middle and upper and wealthy classes through mass incarceration. The nation doesn't even want to harm its poor white rural citizens overly much. Far too long, minorities, especially black minorities, have been considered dispensible in America. Where as, middle class and up, and to some degree poor whites, are to be protected. After slavery and the end of segregation, at least on paper, there just isn't much use for blacks in America anymore. America can no longer use them for free labor. Then whe segregation and those inequalities in the work place were done away with, America could no longer use them for cheap labor either. So what's America to do with to do with all those coloreds demanding fair and equal treatment. Solution! Lock'em up in private prisons and continue to make money off them!!

January 29, 2012 at 11:03 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Thank you, Penny Furman and Edna Taylor, for having the courage to write intelligent, thoughtful letters to the editor, despite the likelihood of facing personal attacks by the likes of "riverman."

January 29, 2012 at noon
riverman said...

Moonkat, if you think those letters are intelligent then you are even dumber than I thought you were. And no Haiku the white community doesn't suffer the same inflictions as the black community. It's bad enough that 3 out of every 10 babies in the white community are born to single mothers. It is a national tragedy that SEVEN out of every 10 babies in the black community are born to single mothers.

January 29, 2012 at 2:59 p.m.

You aren't going to help them differently by race, are you?

Why would it make a difference?

January 29, 2012 at 3:49 p.m.
Rick said...

For generations, we have been imprisoning black & white males (and females) for petty crimes such as drug dealing, robberies, home invasions and murder. Single women are forced to have the babies of these men and then are powerless in teaching the children right from wrong and making them obey. The women are also powerless in obtaining anything except a minimum wage job. It is extremely hard to be a single parent with just minimum wage, public housing, welfare, food stamps, and tenncare. It escalates into children who are left to fend for themselves, banned from getting a education or job training. How can anyone not love and respect anyone with a radio blasting rap music, pants down to the knees, gang member and long criminal record? Why should they grow up like this? Stop putting their fathers in prison and expecting them to work for a living and obey laws like everyone else. And Penny stop smoking that marijuana and pulling the race card.

January 29, 2012 at 7:07 p.m.
Lr103 said...

If middle classed an wealthy America had been equally targeted as poor white and black America have for decades, believe me when I tell you middle classed and wealthy white America would have crashed and burned sooner. Poor whites, blacks and browns are naturally survivalist. That alone has allowed them to hang in there and continue for as long as they have, despite a system that targets them.

America should do away with its private prison industrual complex. That may make the stockholders angry, and they'll have to go out and find something else to invest their money in, but it will be a humane thing to do.

Presently, the federal government is spending billions monthly on privately runned and incompentently operated immigration detention centers all across America. The business has become so lucrative that they're cropping up all across America. They look like the gulags and concentration camps of yesteryear. Beatings, killings and rapes are are the same or worst as those that took place in those gulags and concentration camps not all that long ago. Check it out.

America's federal government spends billions upon billions of those tax payer dollars conservatives are always screaming about to lock people, when a fraction of that could be spent on job training skills to retaining the family structure that's helped America to survive and thrive for centuries. One can only guess who's mostly heavily invested in those newly immigration detention centers? All I can say is it ain't the liberals. ;->

January 29, 2012 at 8:22 p.m.
Rick said...

LR103 many or most wealthy Americans started out as poor and worked to get where they are at. There is no law requiring poor people to stay poor. Prisons can be closed when there are no more criminals and immigration detention centers can be closed when there are no more illegal immigrants. How do you teach job skills to someone does not want to work and family structure to someone who does not want to learn preferring the gangster criminal life and hanging out on the street? LR103 you seem to want to punish people who work hard and reward people who don't.

January 29, 2012 at 10:22 p.m.

Keep believing that myth Rick, there might be many, in the individual sense, but not in the aggregate, and certainly not most.

Prisons won't be closed because there's money to be made, so what will happen is more crimes will be invented. Same with the"illegal immigrants" who aren't coming because they're hated, but because they want jobs, and you know who is interested in that and why.

And most small businesses do fail, so you know what? People work hard and don't get rewarded. That has nothing to do with any action by society or government. If reward went by level of effort, then you'd be surprised how much would go to those you probably despise right now.

January 29, 2012 at 10:56 p.m.
Lr103 said...

America has come to rely so heavily on its private prison industry for profit that if everyone started behaving this very moment and there were no crimes being committied, America would make behaving a crime.

The problem isn't necessarily that Americans are more criminally proned. The problem is that America has made most every act in the country a crime. Did you know the average American going about his or her natural routine commit at least three felonies a day? That's something to think about. That implies, that from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep at night, you've already committed at least three felonies. We're all criminals, according to today's standards in America. And if ever America should enforce those laws across the board, you'll likely get caught up in the mix too.

And btw--don't get so caught up on the word gansta. There are far more crimes being committed than by some gangsta(we all know here what you're referring to when you use the term). The term has sadly come to target a certain segment of America's population. Similar terms were used in Nazi Germany to single out a certain segment of the German population too without first openly admitting it was actually a certain segment of German's population they intended to go after. History ain't your enemy. History is your friends. One of its main purpose is to keep "civilized" people from repeating past horrors they took part in inflicting on others.

January 30, 2012 at 10:06 a.m.
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