Concentrate on today's events
The Washington Post could not wait to report a Romney incident that happened 45 years ago. So much so that in their haste they didn't even get the facts correct. I am waiting for a report from them about Obama's high school days when he, by his own words in his book, the last two years of high school used drugs enthusiastically, drank beer and skipped school often. Our own paper on the left had to report about Romney, but nothing about Obama and his drug use and drinking.
With the economy in the tank, millions still unemployed and on food stamps, I would think the media could report on the important issues of today, not what happened 45 years ago. I'm sure most of us have done things in high school we aren't real proud of. Obama is leading us into a socialist, Marxist country if he gets another four years. Is that what we want for our country?
Editorials now thought provoking
It's so nice to see the Free Press side of the op-ed section sound intelligent. Though I still get a chuckle at the commentary (and wonder why former Clinton 1996 campaign manager Dick Morris is still there), the arguments made seem less strident. In fact, they have become more thought provoking rather than merely laughably entertaining.
Editorial fails to aid community
Having lived in Hamilton County 50 years, serving its children as a pediatrician for more than 30, "Obesity Charades" was appalling (editorial, May 12).
Obesity is devastating, often starting in childhood. Scientific evidence shows the most effective remedy is learning a healthy lifestyle in childhood. A key place to learn that lesson is in school, where many children eat two meals daily. School is an ideal setting to cultivate nutrition with group reinforcement of the pleasure of healthy foods in the right amounts.
Given the serious nature of obesity and its health risks, we need the intelligence and wholehearted support of the community to spare our children, no matter their race, ethnicity or economic circumstance (it strikes all), the ravages of obesity.
The editorial is unintelligent and heartless. It confuses a political agenda, freedom from government control, with an educational mission that strives to give our children a very basic freedom: freedom from disease.
Our children need help. The editorial refuses help, pivoting instead to an unrelated, racist, classist diatribe against poor children and Hispanic/black children born out of wedlock.
Finally, it ignores the $190 billion burden imposed annually by the obesity epidemic.
Help this community and its children. Eat well.
BRENT MORRIS, M.D., Signal Mountain
Some follow God some of the time
I was surprised by the front page article (May 14) on "Gay marriage not voters' only concern" by Pauline Arrillaga. It looks a lot like the pieces of silver referred to in the Bible leading up to Jesus' death.
We will follow God as long as it does not interfere with our making money or our lifestyle. Sounds like fair-weather Christians to me.
JOHN BATY, Henegar, Ala.
Let gay people love and marry
The Free Press (editorial, May 11) would impose by false analogy a rigid comparison of dinnerware with people. I wish they would stop forcing dinnerware roles onto the public. My granny uses a fork to clean out her toenails.
So the gay marriage debate will heat up again thanks to the executive office. The "God is love" crowd will quote their Scriptures; the "God is vengeance" crowd will quote theirs, too.
We know the latter all too well. The fiery rhetoric of condemnation combined with biblical passages defended slavery, Jim Crow, women's oppression and race hatred. They condemned interracial dating and marriage, so are we surprised that they will condemn gay marriage?
America is a city on a hill, not a purity code from a temple. Ironically, that image was established by the "God is vengeance" crowd, but it was first spoken by a "God is love" preacher. America offers liberty for law-abiding citizens who are free to choose whom they love just as they choose what they do, but none can choose what biology makes attractive.
Gay people love. Let them marry. They are people, not spoons.
BREANNA BOLTEN, Dunlap, Tenn.
Address all aspects of gang problem
With gangs running rampant in Chattanooga, I have heard a tremendous amount about gang suppression and very little about prevention and intervention. While I agree that gang-elated crimes should be punished, I think we need to focus on prevention and intervention as well. For every gang member in custody, there are several more on the streets. I know the thought is that examples are being made of these incarcerated gangsters, but the truth is gangs are recruiting new members on a regular basis. They are not afraid of law enforcement or the consequences of being in a gang.
While in custody there needs to be more done to intervene and prevent these young men from returning to gang life. There also need to be prevention services placed in at-risk areas. The youth in these communities need to be offered opportunities to fill their time with productive activities. There are several programs that have been effective in other states that Chattanooga could implement.
These communities also need to be empowered to say enough is enough. Until all aspects of the gang problem are addressed, we will continue to have a problem.
Work together to keep us safe
In response to the gentleman who wrote that Republicans are "mean as snakes," I would like to respond.
• 1. I am an alumni of the CIA, '77, the finest culinary college in the world. In my career of 37 years, in every large hotel I worked, I underwent not only a background check, but a drug test, i.e., "if you have nothing to hide, what is the big deal?" The recipients for welfare should be proud to take tests to prove that they need assistance.
• 2. Concerning torture, i.e., waterboarding; what about the 2,977 innocent people who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001? Whether we want to admit it or not, we are at war. There are groups in the world that are obsessed about slaughtering U.S. citizens. As a veteran, the first rule of war is "there aren't any rules."
• 3. The wiretapping by President George W. Bush, along with the military intelligence, brought Osama bin Laden to his death. True, we have not had a catastrophe like 9/11 since, but we cannot rest. Both parties have to work together to keep us safe.
BENJAMIN W. SUTTON, Hiawassee, Ga.
Make Norton your choice for judge
David Norton and I have been friends and neighbors for over 20 years. I can say that his honesty, integrity and qualifications for the position of General Sessions Court judge are beyond question.
David has served as assistant Hamilton County attorney and city of Soddy-Daisy judge for 29 and 28 years, respectively. He most certainly qualifies for the position he seeks. The fact is that David had to give up both of these positions to become the interim Sessions Court judge, filling the remaining term left open by the unfortunate passing of Bob Moon. This was a major decision on David's part and clearly demonstrates his desire to become a part of this court. One more fact: David was chosen to fill this interim position. That, to me, is an absolute statement of trust.
On Aug. 2, I ask you to vote for David Norton. This would be a vote well cast.
AL HOCKERT, Hixson