published Saturday, September 14th, 2013

Corridor K could take 25 years and other letters to the editors

Corridor K could take 25 years

With all the recent rain, last week's rock slide in the Ocoee was no surprise, and neither was the reaction: A few people shouting that we need to build Corridor K and build it now. They're asking for a new billion-dollar highway through your public lands, and east Tennessee's most precious forests, mountains, and streams.

But ignore those environmental costs for a moment and focus on the financial. Tennessee doesn't have $1 billion to replace a 9-mile stretch of highway that carries fewer than 7,000 vehicles a day. Even if we did, TDOT says a bypass couldn't be built for another 12 to 25 years. Want Corridor K for your commute? You'll be retired before it opens to traffic.

But Tennessee does have enough money to fix the existing highway. Before a federal earmark ran out, Tennessee accumulated over $270 million, enough to fix the road's safety problems and, according to TDOT, to mitigate all significant rockfall hazards. TDOT recently committed $10 million in state funds to make some small improvements. That's a fine start, but let's use our federal money to fix the road now, instead of waiting for a bypass that may never happen.

MELANIE MAYES, Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Words from a non-believer

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed your article of July 30 on atheists.

I have always referred to myself as a non-believer, never having liked the word atheist. It sounds too medieval, like an antihistamine or something.

While being raised in he Baptist church, the doubting started at the age of 17 after reading on other religions as well as evolution. Family and friends wanted to know how I could question Christianity and the Bible. My reply was always the same. "The Bible is a good book, but cannot be totally believed. You say evolution only a theory by one person (not true). On the other hand, the Bible was written over hundreds of years by hundreds of people. If nothing else, read Greek, Roman and Norse mythology. They're no more nor less provable than the christian Bible. In fact, Aesop's Fables provide a wealth of stories based on good logic.

Over the last 50 years, I have asked but a half-dozen questions of Christians concerning their beliefs, from devout lay persons to ministers, some with doctorates. Never have these questions been answered with any satisfaction.


President appears out of his league

In my many decades of observing the political scene, I have never seen a more incoherent foreign policy than that displayed in the present administration's relations with Syria. It is a farrago of missteps, about-faces, misplaced machismo, and contradiction among the president and his advisers.

The people who have the right to be most disappointed are Obama's ideological followers. He has totally repudiated the principles on which he campaigned in 2008: He promised he would end ground combat overseas save when attacked, bring the troops home, close Gitmo, stop being the world's policeman and the world's yenta. In short he would repeal the belief in American exceptionalism. It must be disconcerting for these followers to see Obama don the uniform and rattle the saber. Barack "Old Fuss and Feathers" Obama is about as comfortable in this role as Michael Dukakis was in his cameo as a tank driver.

What we are seeing is the gradual revelation of what animates President Obama. It is not ideology, though that is the foundation. It is sheer political expedience in every situation.


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conservative said...

Mr. Jim Parrish, God used men to write his revelation of Himself to mankind and it was not hundreds. The result was not any different than when a business owner dictates a letter to his secretary.

You obviously believe your theory of evolution proves the word of God wrong (the stupidity of that belief boggles my mind)but you nor anyone else has not, nor ever will prove wrong or refute one word of God.

You for some reason have dumb blind faith that you are right and God is wrong.

BTW, you noted that you are troubled by the word Atheist and you should be but consider that you are also a heathen and an antichrist as well.

Like everyone else in the world you have a sin problem that only faith in Jesus Christ can deliver you from eternal damnation.

To be blunt, You either trust some blind fool who writes to deceive you and others or you trust the word of God

September 14, 2013 at 7:16 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

You for some reason have dumb blind faith that you are right and God is wrong.

How much error can you pack into one sentence? Atheists don't "believe God is wrong". They don't believe any gods are real.

September 14, 2013 at 7:59 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Conservative wrote: "To be blunt, You either trust some blind fool who writes to deceive you and others or you trust the word of God."

Here's some of the people Conservative asks you to trust. See if you can spot Conservative in this video (he may be in drag so look close).

Not responsible if you hurt yourself laughing,

September 14, 2013 at 9:26 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Might want to check that "Holy Water" you'll be sprinkled, drink, dunked or splattered with tomorrow. Particularly dangerous for babies, sick and elderly.

Seems Gawd likes a little e.coli in his "Magic Soup," because you never know who's pooped in the waters of eternal life.

With all that money Gawd's raking in you'd think he could afford chlorine.

September 14, 2013 at 8:59 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

the word atheist has a negative connotation only because its very definition is one of being "against" something, in this case against theism, particularly monotheism, which IMO is a good thing to be against. But most atheists I know are actually very positive in their outlook - PRO-knowledge and reason and ANTI-ignorance and superstition. I myself don't ever describe myself as an atheist except in religious debates or when someone asks me point-blank about my religious beliefs. When I lived outside the Bible belt, in more cosmopolitan cities, the word itself seldom came up and I hardly ever felt compelled to describe myself thusly. It's only here in the Bible belt where Christian fundamentalists are so prevalent and in-your-face that we atheists feel it necessary to counter the BS of their injurious, irrational beliefs that they keep proclaiming.

It probably won't happen in my lifetime but I hope that the day won't be too far coming when we will get out of this dark cloud of lingering religious superstition and immaturity and another golden age of reason enters in, and the very term "Bible belt" will be a thing of the past and looked upon with as much derision as the Inquisition and the witch-burning days of yore.

September 15, 2013 at 1:24 p.m.
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