Don't hold breath in an election year
Now let me think out loud. We still have boots on the ground in Iraq. Our brave men and women are still in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, Iran, Egypt and Colombia sacrificing their lives. The cartels in Mexico, China and Russia are sneaking up once again. Unemployment is back up to 8.2 percent. There have been 154 suicides amongst veterans year-to-date, which is greater than the casualties in the Afghanistan war. Serious leaks are coming from somewhere high up, putting our allies in serious life-or-death situations.
Our president, with a slip of the tongue, says that the private sector is doing fine. Again, he says we killed Bin Laden. Let's give credit where credit is due. It was the military intelligence that brought success (and a bipartisan effort). But, everyday, front-page news is gay marriage, gay pride month in the military, banning public prayer, free contraception, 32-ounce soft drinks, and continuing to blame the Bush administration for our woes.
I consider myself an educated person, but I'm missing something here. Oh, wait, it's an election year -- duh! Brilliant idea -- why don't both parties start thinking about "we the people"? Still standing by, but not holding my breath.
BEN SUTTON, Hiawassee, Ga.
Sisk shows commitment
I will vote for Gary Sisk for Catoosa County sheriff because of the program he gave to the Seniors Group at St. Gerard's Church. He alerted us to the scams targeting senior citizens, answered our questions and reminded us that "if it's too good to be true, it probably is."
I never thought I would be targeted and found myself prepared when my daughter called to warn me that other family members had received calls stating that my grandson (who serves in the Army, stationed in Germany) had been injured and money needed to be sent immediately for his medical care. Luckily, the scam did not work on our family and no one lost money to these criminals.
I appreciate Gary Sisk and the commitment he's made to care for all our citizens and making Catoosa County a safer place for all of us. Please vote for Gary on July 31.
SUE McGOFF, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.
Spend money more wisely
Four more months of political psycho-babble on the tube, the radio and the roads. The millions of dollars spent on this could be better spent building schools, hospitals and roads. Need I say more?
WILLIAM J. BURTON, Cleveland, Tenn.
Strong integrity puts Starnes on top
I strongly urge the citizens of Hamilton County to vote for Gary Starnes on Aug. 2 for General Sessions Court judge.
Most of us are aware of Gary's qualifications to be a judge.
I want to share my thoughts on the Gary Starnes my family has known for over 20 years.
I met Gary when his daughter, Christina, played on my softball team. Not long after we started, I got to know Gary pretty well. (You do that when you're coaching someone's 5-year-old kid.)
It didn't take long for me to see that he was not only a great person, but also pretty knowledgeable about the game, so I asked him to help me coach the team. It was the greatest time I ever had. Gary, his wife Carol, and Christina are all wonderful people. His whole family is!
In these days of all the corruption we see and hear about involving our elected officials, it's time to elect someone with tremendous integrity and moral beliefs. That person is Gary Starnes.
Vote for him as General Sessions Court judge.
BILL FAIRBANKS, Soddy-Daisy
Single-payer plan cuts middleman
The use of the word "tax" by Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts allows citizens and candidates to revisit the U.S. National Health Care Act, HR676. By the substitution of "tax" for "mandate," the single payer national health care insurance can be rationally deliberated as a math problem and answer to a moral question. Is health care a human right?
Eliminating co-pay and premiums shelled out to insurance companies by employees and employers would streamline the financial management of the medical industry.
Single payer is not socialized medicine like the Veterans Administration. It is a moral math problem that solves the financial crisis that bankrupts people, hospitals and governments. The word "tax" allows a studied transformation of the health-care system. Some in Congress want to save the insurance industry, but single payer ensures the doctor-patient relationship without the insurance middleman.
The word "tax" creates an equitable solution for business and citizen to make the U.S. health care system smart capitalism by eliminating waste. Whoever solves this calculus problem should receive the Nobel Prize in economics for rerouting the $400 billion wasted in the present system.
A single-payer system run by professional accountants, not lobbyists, will make medical care better.
KEMMER ANDERSON, Signal Mountain
Baptists owe apology to women
I commend the Southern Baptist Convention on its recent election of an African-American as its president. I hope this represents true change, not just an exercise in tokenism.
When the Southern delegations walked out of the Baptist Convention in Augusta, Ga., in 1845, they believed certain Scriptural passages, when taken literally, supported their views on slavery. Today, Baptists seem just as sure about what the Bible says about women's role in the church. This view, I might add, also is shared by the nation's largest Christian denomination.
Although they differ radically on such things as salvation, apostolic succession and the authority of the church, Baptists and Roman Catholics share a remarkably similar mind set. One believes in an infallible Scripture, the other in an infallible papacy.
To their everlasting credit, after 140 years Southern Baptists apologized to African-Americans for their former pronouncements on slavery. But will it take them another 140 years to apologize to women for denying them full participation in the church?
It took the Catholic Church almost 400 years to apologize for persecuting Galileo for proving the earth revolved around the sun. Finally, I wonder if fundamentalists will ever reconcile with Darwin.
GEORGE B. REED JR., Ringgold, Ga.
Norton is most qualified to serve
We've all seen the throng of yard signs for candidates running for General Sessions judge. This race isn't about who has the most signs and billboards, or who can show up the most times at Riverbend to shake hands. This race is about who is most qualified to serve the people of Hamilton County. That person is David Norton.
One Sessions judge candidate wants the public to believe that he's already been elected. His picture sitting behind a judge's bench is deceptive and misleading, as well as his blue signs saying General Sessions judge under his name but not elect or vote for.
Judge Norton has been a Soddy-Daisy judge for the past 27 years and now Sessions judge. Ask the police officers, attorneys and other court officials who work with Judge Norton on a daily basis about his knowledge of the law and his judicial temperament.
He may not be the flashiest candidate or show up at the most public events to campaign, but is the most experienced in the types of law tried in General Sessions Court. Vote David Norton on Aug. 2.
MARK SCHMISSRAUTER, Soddy-Daisy