Traffic cameras did a lot of good
I have lived in Red Bank for about 76 years and can remember when there were no sidewalks. You would step into Bolton's Barber Shop or Morton's Pharmacy from the dirt shoulder of Highway 27. I have seen a lot of change, most good.
I would like to commend a "traffic officer," which won't be with us much longer. "Officer" Traffic Camera monitored three intersections at once. It was on duty 24/7 and never missed a day, and I believe it did a lot of good.
However, a lot of people and the Red Bank City Commission felt otherwise. They say out-of-town customers feared it and wouldn't come into our city to patronize our businesses.
I hope there won't be any reason to regret this move. I believe it was the bypass that hurt our local businesses and potential businesses and not the traffic cameras.
Also I hope that a lot of drivers won't go back to their old habits by speeding up to beat the red light. This can cause terrible consequences. A small aside is the loss of revenue, a million dollars. This isn't a reflection against our fine city officers.
JIM RICE, Red Bank
Read Constitution for real meaning
This is to address two items of socialist/atheist drivel published recently in this paper.
Item No. 1: "... Remember, church and state are separate." Not! Here is the Constitution's entire reference to religion: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." That's it. Read the Constitution. Government can't create a state religion, and it can't keep anyone from praying, etc. in schools. The term "separation of church and state" arose because Thomas Jefferson said the government should keep its mitts off religion.
Item No. 2: "... What is a militia today? It is our National Guard ..." Not! The militia, then as now, is all who value freedom from oppression. "Well regulated" in the 18th century meant being able to maintain, load and fire a musket. The creation of the National Guard did not dissolve the militia today any more than did the presence of the King's Army then. The militia is you and me, the last line of defense against a tyrannical government. The National Guard is merely an extension of the government. Remember, the Second Amendment begins, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state ..."
FRANK LANDRETH, Spring City, Tenn.
Egypt's democracy not what was hoped
The United States was hopeful that uprise in Egypt would end tyrannical dictatorship, starting a new era of democracy and freedom. The democracy the U.S. advocated seems to be failure and disappointment.
Egyptian tyranny hasn't been eliminated; its form has changed. The new constitution approved. Those opposed are blamed for violation of allegiance toward President Morsi. The opposing minority believes the aim of Morsi is to emulate Islam's first three generation Muslims in Arabia, which is inquest to transform society.
Morsi supporters expect a more strict Islamic society through holy struggle, Jihad, against un-Islamic lifestyle of the citizens, establishing strict role of Sharia for comprehensive understanding and guidance of Islamic life. They believe it is not a choice between democracy and Islam. "What matters is that governess is Islamic and law adheres to Sharia. It should be what comes to us from Allah."
I believe Islamic law limits civil rights and freedom of minorities. Islamic cultural and religious values are designed, dictatorial and repressive. Someday, Egyptians will come around to the American style of democracy. In the meantime, let's hope that Allah will guide them to rule all the citizens of the country with liberty and justice for all.
AMOS TAJ, Ooltewah
Democrats need to stop the insanity
Where are the Truman and JFK Democrats? I know many are dead. But I believe most of my Democrat friends are hard-working Americans with strong moral values. Obama, Pelosi and Reid are leading future generations into debt slavery that is unimaginable!
Our national debt is currently $16.4 trillion and rising at a rate of $4 billion a day. The Federal Reserve is printing money like Monopoly. We can't continue to spend 40 percent more than the tax collected. The rich are paying their fair share -- and more. They are the ones creating the jobs where my Democrat friends work.
Harry Reid has not produced a budget in the Senate since April 2009. Every Obama budget has been unanimously rejected in the Senate. What is their response? Raise the debt ceiling! Where is the mainstream media? Until our Democrat friends stand up and say "It's time to live within our means" to their party, we are doomed. We are at a fiscal and moral cliff! I plead with my Democrat friends to wake up! It's time we hold Republican and Democrat feet to the fire! Stop the insanity.
ANITA KOHLIN, Soddy-Daisy
Don't rezone if there's no demand
In 2009 we fought against the rezoning of land at the edge of our Lake Hills neighborhood for speculative development. Though it was on a smaller scale, our neighborhood association faced the same issues as the neighborhoods that back up to the 190 acres along Highway 153.
The landowner, developer and even City Council members tried to convince us that if we didn't support that development, "something worse" would go in its place. Our opposition continued in order to preserve the character of our neighborhood and our property value.
Those with the power to rezone are obligated to balance the rights of landowners to turn a handsome profit with the rights of the abutting property owners to protect their investment. Rezoning for a future purpose for which there is not current demand is irresponsible, and we're glad the City Council then recognized that reality. Now, we can only hope that they will vote against speculative development again on Jan. 8.
Today, the land in our old neighborhood remains R-1 and the neighborhood stands ready to work with a developer on something that is mutually acceptable and not speculative. Hixson residents seek that opportunity, too.
JEFF STRICKLAND, Hixson
New approach needed for safety
A multipronged approach will be necessary if we are serious in preventing future school massacres. The NICS (National Institute of Criminal Background Check System) needs to be overhauled so that mental-health records find their way into the database. Gun magazine capacity needs to be limited. Bars need to be placed on school room first-floor windows preventing access. All scheduled ingress and egress should be through bullet-resistant doors, similar to those employed on commercial airliners, and should be electronically operated by an individual with real-time video and audio access to the outside.
A single armed security guard should be present at the time of all scheduled door openings. All remaining doors will open outward only after a fire alarm is sounded. If these measures prove inadequate, then it may be necessary once again to follow airline pilot precedent, asking teachers and principals to voluntarily obtain hand gun training and subsequent carry permits. Such individuals would undergo FBI-scrutinized background checks as well as limited psychological testing. Their loaded firearm would remain secured within their desk if not on their person. Handgun trigger combination locks, can be fitted to a revolver handle and can be disengaged in seconds as necessary without need of a key.
MICHAEL JAMES ZEMA