published Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Letters to the Editor

You've got to be kidding about Crip

I got your paper and hit on your article (May 13) about a young man. Heck, everybody loves a kid pulling himself up by the bootstraps, and so do I.

Everything was going well until I read your last two paragraphs! As you state, the young man is a "documented ... Crip leader and faces 12 charges ... (who was) placed on house arrest to give him a chance to graduate ...". That doesn't sound so swell, if you ask me. But wait, it gets better. He's been accepted into a couple of community colleges "but hopes to join the Navy." This is a guy I should pin my hopes on or trust to serve our country as a sailor? Twelve charges, Crip leader and house arrest, really?

I'm a retired Marine in my late 50s and I may be a tad cynical but you have got to be kidding me!

DOUGLAS M. FARLEY, Reliance, Tenn.

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Too many alerts abuse radio system

If your sleep comes at a premium, don't buy a weather radio with an automatic alert. The NOAA weather alert system is routinely abused during the early morning hours by "Amber Alerts" that undermine the very purpose for which weather radios are marketed to the consumer.

With our recent weather history of thunderstorms and tornadoes, any alert issued should be for weather- related warnings just as the system was originally intended.

Law enforcement divisions are abusing this system because some mama's rebellious 15-year-old has run off with some daddy's defiant 16-year-old who's decided to joy ride from Tennessee toward Georgia down I-75 in Uncle Joe's stolen SUV, at 3:30 in the morning.

When citizens keep losing sleep because their weather radio keeps crying wolf, they will turn them off at night because they are tired of being awakened by "Amber Alerts" that keep disrupting their sleep. This creates a dangerous breech of confidence in a system that has been balled and chained by law. Let TV and FM stations handle the "Amber Alerts," and let's all rest easy.

CHARLIE WALL III, Chickamauga, Ga.

* * * * *

Norton's record commands respect

Beyond casting my vote, I rarely take the time to become personally involved in the election process unless I happen to know a particular candidate personally.

I have had the privilege of knowing Judge David Norton for the past five years as a friend, fellow church member and trusted adviser. David has an impeccable resume and a track record of devoted public service that has spanned the better part of 30 years. However, I look for more than just professional and educational qualifications when it comes to someone serving in a position where the futures of those both guilty and innocent are involved. He or she must possess consistency of character, public integrity and personal humility to command the respect worthy of such a position. Those of us who know David well will affirm that he possesses those traits in abundance.

I was honored to be present when David was sworn in to fill the position left vacant following Judge Bob Moon's heartbreaking departure from us earlier this year. I respectfully appeal to all voters to join me on Aug. 2 in voting to keep David Norton in that position.


* * * * *

Get government out of personal lives

A frequently heard political battle cry is "Get the government off our backs." The most personal, intimate aspects of our lives are who we like, love, or marry. We can't reason ourselves in or out of love.

For the government to tell us only man and woman can marry is the ultimate invasion of privacy, and also an impossibility. It is biologically and psychologically simplistic to believe that people are divided into the neat dichotomy "men and women."

People can be physically male or female, but psychologically the reverse or somewhere in between.

As the intrusive law states now, we would have to have medical personnel and psychologists at every courthouse to determine who was who and what was what.

Nature comes in many variations the world over that have zero relationship to religion or politics.

Gender, identity and sexuality are very complex, and the government has no business messing with these most private and personal aspects of our lives. Why not grant the freedom to marry whoever people are in love with?

Some people object to promiscuity among homosexuals. So why object to marriage?

Yes, let's get the government off our backs and out of our very personal lives.


* * * * *

Health-plan pledge just empty rhetoric

When the Obama administration's health-care financing plan was signed into law, President Obama and Congress promised that funds under the new law would not cover abortions.

This has now been proved to be empty rhetoric.

Why? Because the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has mandated that under the health- care law, private health insurance plans must over the "full range of FDA approved contraception -- in which category HHS explicitly included he abortion-inducing drug ella.

This mandate includes a so-called "religious employer exemption," yet the exemption is so narrowly defined that most religious schools, colleges, hospitals and charitable organizations serving the public do not qualify. Even an expanded definition of "religious employer" would fail to protect non-religiously affiliated organizations, individuals and even religiously affiliated health insurers whose pro-life consciences are nonetheless violated.

This is an unprecedented attack on the freedom of conscience of millions of Americans, eviscerating their freedom of choice to purchase private insurance that does not violate their ethical, moral or religious objections. I hope all readers will contact their elected representatives in Washington, D.C., and voice outrage over this anti-life mandate.


* * * * *

Democrats' 'war' isn't the answer

Much has been written recently by Democrats seeking to invoke the Jesus commands from the Bible to care for the poor as evidence of Republicans' moral bankruptcy. It's quite amusing how Democrats lean on biblical authority when it suits their social justice argument and claim the Bible is unreliable and outdated when it suits their argument (for example, gay marriage).

The argument operates under a false premise: that Republicans' desire to cut government spending means that nothing will be done for the poor. The true argument is this: Democrats believe that the government is responsible for caring and providing for the poor in this country. Republicans believe that government is the least efficient and compassionate method of caring for the poor. Let's pose a question as proof. What is the longest war in U.S. history? Answer: the war on poverty.

ALEX FORDNEY, Rossville, Ga.

* * * * *

Mayfield takes a fresh approach

I have watched with interest Scottie Mayfield's late entry into the 3rd District congressional race. He already has been interviewed, poked and prodded more than any of the other candidates. Now they're attacking him for not debating.

I am 48 years old, and I have never attended a political debate and never will. I suspect I am like most of the other people in our district. We have real lives and real work to do. The media wants to stand these poor candidates up on a stage so then they can upstage them with "gotcha" questions, when in fact the real issue facing our country is spending. If we don't get it under control, our nation is not going to exist as we have known it, and our kids will not do better than we have done.

I believe a businessman has a better chance of fixing this problem than a lawyer or a politician. Mayfield has taken a fresh approach. He is not doing things the way politicians do them. That in and of itself is refreshing.


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.

KEN AND DIANE FRISCHE, according to Ron Paul, he would induce abortions with a shot of estrogen.

That is just one of many ways to induce an abortion. You cannot ban all such drugs, and like it or not, it will happen. Maybe you should support more use of contraceptives instead. Use of them doors prevent abortions far more effectively.

As for the religious freedom farce, no religion should get to dictate to anybody how they live without that person's consent. Since these religions want to employ people in this country, they live by the rules we set based on objective non-religious grounds. Their religion cannot be used as a club against the rest of us. Otherwise I demand a refund of every tax dollar I've paid that has been spent on the wars I don't want. Yeah, no it going to happen, is it?

If your conscience tells you that birth control or an abortion offends you, don't avail yourself of them. But don't coerce the rest of us in the name of your own freedom.

ALEX FORDNEY, and yet I hear the Republicans complain that the poor have refrigerators, ACs, cell phones and more.

Besides, non-governmental means had centuries to rectify poverty. Did it wipe it out? No.

The success of the war on poverty is measured in small victories, not large. You wil never notice those successes because you'll never know about them. But it's been less costly than the War on Drugs or the War on Terror.

Can we end those boondoggles?

May 16, 2012 at 12:35 a.m.
Livn4life said...

The government will NEVER EVER EVER fix the problem of poverty. Never is the word I used in case you missed it. If that was possible there would have been no poor people whatsoever in the Soviet Union where the government lorded and hoarded over everything. Just go now and look at those "taken care of" by the government all those years. Better still, ask some of the people who lived in that government dominated disaster. The government will NEVER be able to do what politicians claim it can do. Anyone who can't see that just can't see period.

May 16, 2012 at 6:57 a.m.
kkemerait said...

Dear Livn4life,

Even if that statement is true, which I'm not so sure about, what are you trying to say...that since we can't eliminate poverty, that we shouldn't even bother to try?

May 16, 2012 at 10:51 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I agree that the government cannot eliminate poverty, but people in the richest country on earth should not lack for health care, eat canned dog food, go hungry or have to choose between medications or utilities.

May 16, 2012 at 11:06 a.m.
mona1000 said...

The Chattanooga City Council members want $50,000 for consulting fees! Are they out of their minds? What are they consulting about? Listen to the public, they will tell you for free! They want $45,000 for meetings! Since when did meetings cost $45,000, are they service Maine Lobster? That breaks down to $3,750 per meeting (1 per month), outragious! Whatever happened to coffee and danish? They want $13,515 for travel! Where do they plan on going, how are they going and where? A phone call, fax, or email could do the trick if they want to know how other towns are dealing with gangs, etc. Every one of those board members need a lesson on economics. Please tell these people to quit sitting on their brains. I would love to be a member of their board, they would not last long!

May 16, 2012 at 12:58 p.m.

Livn4life, as flawed and misguided as the authoritarian government of the Soviet Union was, they managed to improve things considerably from what they started with. Perhaps if they hadn't focused on exporting their money into fruitless wars abroad they would have done better.

Of course, they were corrupt, so what do you expect?

There's a reason why the real idea is a government that is answerable to the people as a whole, not just a few. Watch out when that happens. And no, the solution is not an impotent government unless all people have equivalent power.

May 16, 2012 at 11:43 p.m.
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