published Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Time to rethink military draft and other letters to the editors

Time to rethink military draft

Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, China, North Korea, Libya, Syria, North Africa, Egypt, Somalia — the list goes on. Let’s face it, we live in a very vile world!

We cannot continue sending our troops in our all-volunteer military on multiple deployments. It is not right, and simply not fair. Where is the pride in and accountability to one’s country? I believe we should reinstate our selective service system so the majority must serve; not just remain fair-weather citizens post 9-11-01.

Our commander-in-chief (who is not a veteran) advocates peace through diplomacy and reducing our military budget; a policy for a perfect world. In reality, there are people out there who want to slaughter us. We must have a military so powerful that no country would dare to approach us.

BENJAMIN W. SUTTON, Hiawassee, Ga.

City’s actions are unethical

I have owned and operated Park Place Restaurant in Fort Oglethorpe for over 21 years. I am appalled at the recent controversial actions of the elected city officials on March 22. These very unpopular and most unethical decisions of our mayor and portion of our council in forcing the resignation of the city manager, and subsequent firing of two loyal, long-term city employees, was a gross abuse and misuse of power. These despicable actions were not for the betterment of this city, but for the advancement of mayoral control, feeding his obsession for power, driven by jealousy and greed.

I have written a letter requesting the attorney general of Georgia to perform a thorough investigation into the actions taken by our elected officials. I pray that the attorney general of Georgia steps forward and becomes a champion of justice by rescuing this city from the tyrannical dictatorship mentality that it now operates under.

JACK GOODLET, Fort Oglethorpe

Assessments should be fair

I just got my statement from the assessor, Bill Bennett, for my new property taxes. Did he come by my house? Did he do “comps’’ like real estate agents do to see what the neighboring property was selling for? Did he take into consideration the Fannie Mae/Freddy Mac debacle and the depressed market?

I paid $15,000 less than my neighbor for my house in Manchester Park. She painted her house and put a roof on it. After the market went south, she had to move because of her business. She lost $40,000-$50,000.

What planet is Bill Bennett living on? I can make an appointment to challenge it. Does that make sense? Isn’t it the local governments’ job to be fair and equitable without challenge?

After the city raised taxes before the recession, I think it would be in order for us to reassess the taxes after that debacle. Otherwise, there will be many more rental properties and people defaulting on their loans.


Against? It’s selfish, mean

Same-sex marriage? Gun rights? Abortion? Immigration reform? If there’s a dispute, let’s err on the side of kindness. Too often, if we think we have the power to enforce our will on others in a bigoted kind of way, we flex our muscles and do it. Makes us feel righteous and powerful. In the old days, public opinion was against giving women the right to vote, against mixed-race marriage, against giving black people equal rights, and against letting women have control of their own reproductive rights. Against, against, against.

One by one, these bastions of inequality have fallen, and we have become a kinder nation. Now comes marriage between gays. Allowing everyone the same rights to marriage doesn’t diminish heterosexual marriage or affect it in the least. To do otherwise is just selfish and mean.

About guns: Why do you even want to own one? Machismo? For protection (you say), or to kill an innocent animal or bird? Why gun ownership is unregulated is the same reason cigarettes are, the all powerful NRA and tobacco lobbies, and money is at the root of it. Because of that, thousands of Americans die every year.

What would Jesus do? Be kind.


Glass Street area used to be vibrant

Speaking of Glass Street: I remember as a boy we had two banks, A post office, eight full-service gas stations, three large grocery stores, three drug stores, four clothing stores, a large five-and-dime, a bakery, a coal yard, a lumber company, a saddlery, two hardware stores, two barber shops, two restaurants, an ice house, two used car lots, two theaters, three ice cream parlors, a dentist, two grammar schools, a junior high school, a furniture store, a Masonic temple, three churches, a thrift store, two auto parts stores, a Henley’s beer joint and three full-time bootleggers.

There were no parking meters, and we never saw a policeman. Our water bills came very three months and were less than $2. A bus was 5 cents, phone 5 cents, gas 23 cents, pack of smokes 23 cents, ice cream was 10 cents and rolling papers, a penny a pack.

I’m happy to hear we hope to revive my old neighborhood when East Chattanooga was a little self-contained city.

A grocery store, post office and a drug store would be a good start.


About 4,000 died at Chickamauga

Your fyi Chattanooga insert is a very nice magazine. Thank you for producing it and distributing it for free. Unfortunately the piece about the battle of Chickamauga by Tim Omarzu contains a glaring but common mistake. There were 34,000 total (combined) casualties at the battle, but that figure includes killed, wounded and captured. “Only” about 4,000 actually died, not the 34,000 as stated in the article.


Foster Grandparent group earns thanks

The Foster Grandparent Program is a federal grant program authorized under the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973. It is a part of Senior Corps and is funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service. It is sponsored locally by the Chattanooga Department of Human Services and provides volunteer opportunities to qualified seniors who are 55 or older.

We currently have more than 100 volunteers who serve at least 20 hours a week, partnering with 41 nonprofit agencies, working with children who have documented special and exceptional needs and require one-on-one mentoring.

As we approach National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 21-27, we want to express our gratitude to our volunteers for their service and compassion for children. We encourage members of the community to send letters of appreciation if their lives, or the lives of their children, have been touched by a foster grandparent. Letters may be sent to the following address:

Foster Grandparent Program, Department of Human Services, 501 W. 12th St., Chattanooga TN 37402.

This amazing group of volunteers continues to strengthen our communities and build bridges across generations by extending a helping hand to children in need. Please join us in saying “Thank you!”

BILLIE WRIGHT, Director, Foster Grandparent Program

GOP capitulating on immigration

Looks like the “Gang-of-Eight” is marching lockstep to the Obama administration’s immigration directive: Grant quick amnesty to all 12 million illegals here in this country, so that they may be recruited as Democratic voters, effectively ending all future Republican opposition. It’s called “Probationary Legal Status,” and Sens. Shummer, McCain and Graham have “come to a basic agreement,” which always turns out to be complete Republican capitulation.

My question to legalized immigrants is simple. If you waited between the standard five to eight years to complete the extensive proper application, testing, paperwork, approval and validation to finally become a legal U.S. citizen, why are you not absolutely enraged? All you had to do was sneak over the border and you would have gotten free health care, free education, food stamps etc. All that is required is to vote the straight liberal Democrat ticket. Account paid in full.

So, once again, the Republican Party has sold its supporters down the river, just so they won’t be pilloried by the liberal media. Welcome to one-party rule. Disgusting.


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Lr103 said...

Responding to: I believe we should reinstate our selective service system so the majority must serve

Unfortunately, Mr. Sutton, since the 1980s America has gone through such a high period of mass incarceration of its citizens that most Americans no longer qualify or would be accepted for military service. Unlike Vietnam, Korea, World War II and all wars prior, where the military actually recruited high school dropouts and went into jails and prisons to recruit, todays military no longer accepts high school dropouts or Americans with a criminal record. Something as simple as unpaid court fines can disqualify Americans from being accepted for military service.

April 7, 2013 at 3:57 a.m.
anniebelle said...

Mr. Bergen, I suggest you learn some facts and some English before you show your ignorance and bigotry for all to see. The DemocratIC party has never insinuated there would be no waiting period, no proper applications, testing, paperwork, approval and validation, blah, blah, blah, to finally become a legal U.S. citizen.

As the nation's attention turns back to the fractured debate over immigration, it might be helpful to remember that in 1986, Ronald Reagan signed a SWEEPING immigration reform bill into law. The law granted amnesty to nearly 3 million illegal immigrants, yet was largely considered unsuccessful because the strict sanctions on employers were stripped out of the bill for passage. Alan Simpson (R-Wyoming) says the amnesty provision actually saved the act from being a total loss. "It's not perfect, but 2.9 million people came forward. If you can bring one person out of an exploited relationship, that's good enough for me." Nowadays, conservative commentators like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh often invoke the former president as a champion of the conservative agenda. Sean Hannity of Fox News even has a regular segment called "What Would Reagan Do?" Simpson, however, sees a different person in the president he called a "dear friend." Reagan "knew that it was not right for people to be abused," Simpson says. "Anybody who's here illegally is going to be abused in some way, either financially [or] physically. They have no rights."

April 7, 2013 at 5:35 a.m.
LibDem said...

Obviously, Mr. ENGEL, the best way to reduce taxes is for the government to hire several hundred people to examine properties.

April 7, 2013 at 8:38 a.m.
Plato said...

Regarding the draft, I think that every able bodied citizen should give a couple of years in public service to the country, either military or other service.

The benefit of the draft would be that everyone would have some flesh in the game. Had this been the case we would not have had the long protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as the public simply would not have stood for it.

The military much prefers the all volunteer force becasue volunteers are much more motivated and trainable then conscripts, but OTOH we have to have some fairness and shared sacrifice as well.

April 7, 2013 at 10:32 a.m.
Lr103 said...

Even if the Draft returned, Plato, many Americans would remain inelligible to serve due to arrests and a criminal history. Beginning in the 1980s to present America began mass incarceration of some of its most elligible citizens who were the most likely to to sign up for military service. Today, America's enemies would more qualify to join America's military than the average American citizen. Greed, changing military rules, and the prison pipeline have basically killed off any potential military recruits. America basically shot itself in the foot on this issue.

April 7, 2013 at noon
Plato said...

^There are 3 million people incarcerated in the US, that's male & female of all ages, out of a population of 300 million that's 1%. That's not really going to impact the number of draft eligible people that much IMO.

I think the number of obese and physically unfit individuals is probable a bigger issue but that's fixable.

You should recheck your facts, I think you're off by several million.

April 7, 2013 at 11:06 p.m.
Lr103 said...

That 3 million only speaks to presently incarcerated. How many of that 300 million population have criminal records who are not presently incarcerated? A criminal record is still a criminal record even if you're no longer in prison or jail. A prison or jail record will prevent an individual from being eligible for military service. Then there's the precentage of population who have unpaid accumulated court fines which makes them ineligible until the fines are paid, which many can't afford. There are a host of other issues that would quickly subtract away from that 300 million. How many of that 300 million are underage, elderly, sick, frail? See, when you consider all the other factors that 300 million begins to quickly diminish the number of citizens eligible to serve. The point is, if America wants able bodied men and women to serve in military America needs to stop the mass incarceration of its primarily abeled bodied male and female population.

April 8, 2013 at 4:57 a.m.

In response to: Against? It’s selfish, mean What would Jesus do? Well, He has made it very clear what He does against behavior He labels sin and abomination. Same Sex Marriage is NOT Marriage. Marriage = 1 Man plus 1 Woman. Also homosexual sex is the overwhelming leading reason for HIV/AIDS infections. This could potentially bankrupt our country due to the entitlements to which homosexuals with HIV/AIDS finally revert. And things are getting much worse within the homosexual community due to the Mutations with HIV/AIDS. Just take a look at this Center For Disease Control Article/Study of March 2013:Of the 18,144 viral samples analyzed, 2932 (16.2%) carried 4788 mutations conferring resistance to one of more drugs in the first three antiretroviral classes. Rates of virus conferring resistance to one, two, and three antiretroviral classes were 13.6%, 2.1%, and 0.5%. Nonnucleoside mutations were most prevalent (8.1%), followed by nucleoside mutations (6.7%) and protease inhibitor mutations (4.5%). The CDC team classified 3904 people as recently infected and 11,953 as having long-standing infection. TDR prevalence was significantly higher in recently infected people than in people with long-standing infection for any antiretroviral class. Because most people in the survey had long-standing infection, some resistance mutations they acquired when infected probably faded to undetectable levels by the time of sampling. Prevalence of mutations conferring resistance to any class rose from 15.0% in 2007 to 16.7% in 2010, but the resulting 1.0% estimated annual percentage change stopped short of statistical significance (P = 0.06). Prevalence of mutations to a single class rose from 12.6% in 2007 to 14.3% in 2010, and the resulting 4.3% estimated annual percentage change was statistically significant (P = 0.01). Prevalence of nonnucleoside-related mutations jumped from 7.1% in 2007 to 8.6% in 2010 to yield a 5.2% estimated annual percentage change (P = 0.03). Over the same period, prevalence of nucleoside-related mutations and protease inhibitor mutations remained largely unchanged (6.3% to 6.1% for nucleosides and 4.7% to 4.8% for protease inhibitors).The most prevalent mutations were K103N for nonnucleosides (71.8%), M41L for nucleosides (24.8%), and L90M for protease inhibitors (29.5%). That last findings struck resistance expert Daniel Kuritzkes (Harvard) as curious because the protease inhibitors associated with this mutation--nelfinavir and saquinavir--were seeing little use by 2007. Prevalence of the tenofovir-related K65R mutation measured only 0.5% in this analysis. The CDC's David Kim, who presented the findings, raised the prospect that transmission of this mutation could swell if people use tenofovir/emtricitabine preexposure prophylaxis incorrectly.

April 8, 2013 at 11:20 p.m.
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