published Sunday, May 19th, 2013

Grammar lesson on 'whoever' and other letters to the ediotrs

Grammar lesson on 'whoever'

In a recent column, "The Commencement Address: A Reality Speech," Ron Hart tries to make a point that students aren't learning. To help him make this point he quotes a girl as having written, "I will be suing whoever is responsible for me getting this low grade." He then goes on to make fun of her for not knowing enough to have written whomever.

This time the joke is on Mr. Hart. What he apparently did not know is that whoever is actually the correct pronoun in this context. The girl was right! It is functioning as the subject of a noun clause. This noun clause is actually the direct object in that sentence, receiving the action of the "suing."

There is, however, a grammatical error he did not mention in the sentence. Me should be my -- possessive case before a gerund. I am normally not a grammar Nazi, but this time I felt it was warranted.


Know who our enemy is

President George W. Bush once said, “Our war is not with Islam.” Perhaps he wanted to be politically correct. In fact, Islam’s war is with American infidels, Christians, Jews and anyone who does not call upon the name of Allah.

Muslims believe Islam has been granted the truth. It is incumbent religious duty established in the Quaran and the tradition of all Muslims to bring Islam to all humanity, therefore Muslims must strive, fight and kill nonbelievers in the name of Allah. In the Quaran 8:12, Allah says, “I will instill terror into the hearts of the infidels, strike off their heads, and strike off all their finger tips.” The heinous acts Muslims commit are supported by their holy book. All Muslims take their religion literally and seriously. The Tsarnaev brothers, Boston bombers, were increasingly submerged in Islamic teachings, which embittered them toward the country that gave them asylum and free lunch.

American democracy protects the religious and ethnic minorities to the point that in modern parlance, sometimes, truth is less important than political correctness. Let’s not kid ourselves. We must be honest with ourselves and know who our enemy is.

AMOS TAJ, Ooltewah

Some preachers aren’t preachers

Any man who calls himself a preacher and marries two men or women is no preacher.

God said it is an abomination. If God said it two million years ago, it still is.

Another thing, these men and boys that go around with their pants down almost below their rear ends should be put in jail until they learn to dress properly.


Birchwood building can be useful

The article written by Kevin Hardy about Birchwood School and its community was thoughtfully and insightfully presented. Kevin captured the pride and long history of the families who have kept the area connected. He shared a glimpse of the loyalty that binds each to his neighbor and to the school that has served as the center for community activities for generations. The loss of the school is felt deeply by old and young alike. Over 650 supporters attended the closing celebration that commemorated the history and traditions of the school.

It is the fervent wish of all those living in Birchwood to retain the use of the beautiful old building as a center for its citizens. The school’s full-sized gymnasium, lunchroom, tennis courts, track and other features make it an ideal place to offer community activities. Services, such as those offered by the Health Department in the original industrial arts building, are needed. Head Start or other early childhood interventions are desperately lacking and could move seamlessly into the school.

Birchwood was one of the early settlements in our area. Its dignity and sense of community have remained intact. Thank you, Mr. Hardy, for sharing the story.


Marriage equality already exists

A recent letter to the editor says “the time has come” for “marriage equality.” But marriage equality already exists. Any person, whether gay, lesbian, bisexual or straight, can get legally married in any of the 50 states. Although common restrictions apply concerning the ages, kinship, and genders of the interested parties, there is no restriction on sexual orientation.

For instance, a straight man is prohibited from marrying his brother to become his insurance beneficiary, just as a homosexual is prohibited from marrying his or her same-sex partner for tax or insurance purposes.

The fact that most homosexuals choose not to marry, under the restrictions that apply to everyone, doesn’t insinuate inequity any more than it does for a social organization that wants to be treated as a church by the IRS but chooses not to conform to the definition of a church.

The rejection of marriage as it has been known from time immemorial demonstrates that the agitations over “marriage equality” are not about equal access; it is about redefining the institution for special interests — like Bill Gates proposing that “nonprofit organization” be redefined so that he and Microsoft could enjoy the same tax benefits as Rick Warren and Saddleback.


Tea party invites scrutiny on itself

Recently there has been a big flap from the tea party for “being unfairly scrutinized” by the IRS for tax- exempt status. No wonder! I applaud the IRS for simply doing its job. Just think, if I behaved like the tea party I would expect scrutiny as well.

What I mean is that the tea party makes a cottage industry of not only bad-mouthing our government, but also trumpeting their fervent desire not to pay any taxes. Fringes even talk about wanting to “take up arms,” wanting to separate from the union and require all Americans to adhere to their religious dictates.

Tea party: When you shout anti-government oaths, any reasonable person would expect you to be checked more closely. You invited it on yourselves. Don’t blame the IRS.


Don’t interfere in state tax issue

Our senators and many articles seem to confuse sales and use tax — probably to make the Marketplace Fairness Act seem to be fair and more acceptable. The existing Tennessee use tax is really an import tax calculated at the same rate as sales tax. Tennesseans who buy items out of state whether online or at retail stores are subject to paying use tax when the item is shipped or brought into Tennessee.

U.S. senators represent their state, so it is understandable that they favor increased state tax income. U.S. representatives represent the people, so they should determine what is best overall for all of the people they represent. I don’t recall seeing what gives the federal government the right to interfere in a state tax-collection issue.

The “leveling the playing field” for “brick and mortar stores” vs. online sellers is mostly a distraction since in many cases buying online is cheaper before taxes, more convenient or the only option.

A good newspaper article would be to summarize the Tennessee sales and use tax laws and to explain why the use tax does not violate Article I, section 9 or 10 of the U.S. Constitution.

AL C. GRIST JR., Signal Mountain

Tea party’s worst fears confirmed

Oh, my dear tea party friends, what have things come to? Your worst fears and suspicions have been confirmed; the most fearsome instrument of your hated federal government, the Internal Revenue Service, has its eye on you. Apparently they may think that calling the president a foreign-born socialist does not constitute “social welfare.” I am so ashamed. Recently I wrote this newspaper and ridiculed your right-wing humor and paranoia; actually saying that there was a fine line between them.

Thank goodness that note has gone unpublished (talk about bad timing!). I have come to realize that even as a liberal, we have much in common; I too am an aging crank. If I may, there is an old aphorism that gave me some comfort, but not much help, during my trying last couple of years with a “most respected” corporation: “Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean that they are not after you.”


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anniebelle said...

Sounds like David Cooke needs to move to Iran if that's the kind of government he really wants. Byron Chapman -- in a real democracy, these haters that call themselves 'patriots', 'tea-partiers', would be drawn and quartered in the town square for their un-American, inciting to riot and murder tactics they use to get their moronic base fired up, but no we have to see their aiders and abettors on here every day and across the country. What they're advocating is treason. All they want is to destroy our government, no more, no less.

May 19, 2013 at 6:46 a.m.
klifnotes said...

re: Another thing, these men and boys that go around with their pants down almost below their rear ends should be put in jail until they learn to dress properly. DAVID COOKE, East Ridge

Do you feel the same, Mr. Cooke, for the girls who walk around with their tits bulging out of their halters and the butt cheeks hanging from their shorts? Or are you too busy looking? LOL

May 19, 2013 at 9:14 a.m.
ToHoldNothing said...

AMOS TAJ-I honestly think all Muslims are not the same, likewise as I don't generalize all Christians. The holy books of both faiths could be argued to advocate fairly bad things, yet either by ignorance or erudition, Christians do not tend to behave this way; at least not to that extreme. Our enemy is extremism, not any particular group that may have practitioners of it

REGIS NICOLL-Evidently you have a simplistic, if not childish, definition of equality. Just because a law has a notion of equality, but also separates people from the same acknowledgement of the law because of an unnecessary discrimination, doesn't mean it is actually equitable for all relevant parties.

Gay people are not disqualified from marriage because a heteronormative definition of the term prohibits them from participation. Marriage is larger than the majority's commonly ill educated and sometimes willfully ignorant knowledge of the practice. It's about commitment, fidelity, and the encouragement thereof. Gay people can do this just as much as straight people. Family is incidental to it and families can be more than those who are related by blood, as I imagine you'd agree with.

Marriage equality demands true fairness, not a segregated notion that has no basis in reality beyond a short sighted and even bigoted idea of what relationships recognized by the state should be.

May 19, 2013 at 9:40 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

AMOS TAJ-I honestly think all Muslims are not the same, likewise as I don't generalize all Christians. The holy books of both faiths could be argued to advocate fairly bad things, yet either by ignorance or erudition, Christians do not tend to behave this way; at least not to that extreme. Our enemy is extremism, not any particular group that may have practitioners of it

Extremism is more a cultural than religious thing, and any culture that tends towards clannish and violent ways will use any religion to justify what they do. It is coincidence that right now, from our perspective, Islam in the Middle East seems to represent this, but Christians took their turn and still do in areas of the world where Christianity was introduced to an already existing tribal conflict. Paganism, Shinto, Judaism, all have had their role to play in different periods in history and in different parts of the world.

May 19, 2013 at 9:56 a.m.
ToHoldNothing said...

Could we say that it's subcultures that encourage extremism more than a culture at large, perhaps?

May 19, 2013 at 10:09 a.m.
klifnotes said...

THN "Could we say that it's subcultures that encourage extremism more than a culture at large, perhaps?"

Actually, having lived a very long time, perhaps too long for some, I've watched human nature at its very best and at its most devlish, evil and darkest over the years to come to the conclusion that extremism are both combinations of subculture and culture at large, consciously or subconsciously, coming together to commit evil, inhumane acts. Culture at large are usually complicit or operate behind the scenes then sit back prentending innocent, as they watch the sparks fly. After the dust settles culture at large ride in on their great stallions preaching love, peace and how we all should come together and get along with our fellow man, when they knew they were the instigators all along.

May 19, 2013 at 11:50 a.m.
Plato said...

AMOS TAJ - Just as Al Quida and other radical groups have hijacked the Muslim faith, so has the KKK hijacked the Christian faith, adopting it's symbol, the cross, and using verses of the bible to justify their violence. The KKK is responsible for 4743 known lynchings - more deaths then 9-11 and all others by Al Quida in the US combined - plus countless other acts of violence over the course of 100 plus years.

The truth is only a tiny percentage of Muslims or Christians participate in or support violent organizations, but religions can be manipulated into a recruitment tool for the gullible and desperate.

Letters like yours only spawn more hatred, distrust and yes violence.

May 19, 2013 at 12:29 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Excellent comment, Richard Daugherty. Normally I think it's snooty to point out someone else's grammatical mistakes, but in this case you are certainly justified. What Mr. Hart did is typical of the wingnuts, not just about grammar but life in general. They're quick to point out the flaws of lefties but most of the time what they perceive as flaws are not flaws but reality. It's just that they can't recognize truth, even when it slaps them in the face. Nine times out of ten what they're ridiculing or lambasting is something that doesn't exist in the first place. They are attuned to their own "reality." They have wandered so far out in right field that they're not even within the boundaries of the game any more. They stand on the other side of the foul line, lost in their own game, with their own set of rules.

May 19, 2013 at 1:10 p.m.
chet123 said...





May 22, 2013 at 11:06 a.m.
chet123 said...


May 22, 2013 at 11:08 a.m.
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