published Friday, September 20th, 2013

Get serious about guns and other letters to the editors

Get serious about guns

Gun violence has become an epidemic across the nation. Every day throughout the day, there is news to inform viewers of yet another horrific crime involving a gun.

Yes, even in Chattanooga, Tenn., a place where you least expect such terrible acts of violence, we witness gun violence against our citizens.

According to the Center for American Progress, in Tennessee, an aggravated assault with a firearm occurs almost hourly. Almost twice as many people were killed with guns in Tennessee 2001-2010, than were killed in combat in both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Yet the National Rifle Association had been generous financially to federal officeholders from Tennessee who protected the status quo.

President Obama has taken measures to introduce 11 common sense measures, including providing incentives for schools to hire school resource officers, etc.

We encourage all citizens to support our president’s proposal to reduce gun violence. We don’t want to take guns away, just reduce the violence and save a precious life.


Keep Westside a quality community

As a retired president of JDF, an industrial waste hauler that served Chattanooga manufacturers for more than 40 years, including several in the Westside community, I am opposed to the city’s effort to subsidize manufacturing on public land and thereby destroy the Avondale community, whose quality of life has already been reduced by the Chattanooga Housing Authority’s abandonment of the Harriet Tubman housing complex.

If the mayor’s plan to put a manufacturer on the Tubman site occurs, Avondale residents will be forced to tolerate increased truck and auto traffic and endure the racket of trains on new tracks. They will be forced to live in conditions like those that existed in the Westside’s shotgun house-society where Finley Stadium stands.

The Westside’s southern end has a huge industrial site that is already cleared for construction and, being bordered by Interstate 24 and the Tennessee River with railroad spurs, is ideally sited for manufacturing, plus it is served by CARTA.

The City of Chattanooga abounds in available industrial sites and lacks a trained labor force. The mayor’s $1 million should be used to train the city’s neglected and undereducated youth for jobs that pay a living wage with optimal benefit packages.


Guy Bilyeu will be missed

Chattanooga has lost a true hero with the death of Guy Bilyeu. He took the reins at the Humane Educational Society and proved that when a leader leads from the heart, miracles do happen. He took over the directorship of the HES when it had nearly hit rock bottom. But by igniting those around him with his incredible vision and tireless energy, within a very short period of time our shelter was winning national recognition — for doing things right! The citizens of our community and especially the animals have lost a true advocate and champion for animal rights. Guy, you will be missed!


Meat inspections are insufficient

According to the lead story in a recent edition of the Washington Post, the meat inspection program that USDA plans to roll out in meat and poultry plants nationwide has repeatedly failed to stop production of contaminated meat. The program allows meat producers to increase the speed of processing lines and replace USDA safety inspectors with their own employees. But plants operating under this program have experienced some of the worst health and safety violations that include failure to remove fecal matter and partly digested food, according to USDA inspector general. These contaminants may contain complex strains of deadly E. coli and listeria.

Traditionally, USDA has catered more to the interests and profitability of the meat industry than health and safety concerns of American consumers. Consumer interests come into play only when large numbers of us get sick. Having the USDA protect consumers is like asking the fox to guard the chicken house. The Obama administration must reallocate responsibility for consumer safety to the Food and Drug administration. In the meantime, each of us must assume responsibility for our own safety by switching to the rich variety of plant-based meats offered in local supermarkets.


Let diplomacy work in Syria

I have been following the news about Syria and really enjoyed your article on Thursday, Sept. 5, “Actors in Syria seem Miscast.” I feel the article was very well written.

I feel that sending air strikes to Syria will not really solve the problem, although I do understand that the president is under pressure to keep face with the rest of the world and we have to remain strong. I think dealing with Syria in this way will cause problems with the countries that support Syria. I believe an air strike would just lead to bigger problems that the United States is not necessarily prepared to deal with. I also understand the need to protect human rights, but I believe we really need to think about this before we jump in head first.

BRITTNI JAMES, Collegedale, Tenn.

Republicans should let reforms implode

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives has voted several times to defund the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to no avail because the bill never reaches a vote in the Democratic-controlled senate. If the Republican house was wise, they would do well to let the bloated, unworkable bill proceed and let the Democrats (including President Obama, Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi) stew in their own juices when the voters realize what has been done to them.


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anniebelle said...

Dale Yoder, I see you've been fed the lies about The Affordable Care Act along with the rest of your uninformed party. This is a poll, "not from the Onion", but is typical of your perspective. Apparently if it's called the Affordable Care Act, Republicans support it.

(TPM) Republicans like the 2010 health care law better when it's called by its proper name -- the Affordable Care Act -- instead of Obamacare, according to a new Fox News poll.

Republican support for the law jumped eight percent, from 14 percent for Obamacare to 22 percent for the Affordable Care Act, when pollsters revised the question's language.

When this bill is in full force, it will be like Medicare, how did we ever live in a country that did not provide health care for its most vulnerable.

September 20, 2013 at 5:40 a.m.
degage said...

Anniebelle, I would like an affordable care act if it was really affordable. When this Bill is in full swing we will know if it is, not before. I hope for the sake of our youth that it is.

September 20, 2013 at 6:30 a.m.
anniebelle said...

Ruthie Hereford - to cull the herd, we need more stories like this instead of innocents being shot up by these wild west gun toters. There's a story out of Michigan where two gun owners got involved in a case of road rage, and ended up shooting and killing each other.

Two drivers are dead after a road rage incident escalated into a shootout. The incident happened around 6:45p.m. Wednesday on M-66 near Steele Street. Witnesses tell WZZM 13 a one driver was following another driver too closely. The first driver pulled into a car wash parking lot and the other driver followed them into the parking lot.

Witnesses say the driver of the following car fired shots, and the first driver returned fire. Both drivers were shot and killed. Authorities say both men, ages 43 and 56, had licenses to carry concealed weapons.

Now, will they both receive a Darwin Award?

September 20, 2013 at 6:37 a.m.
anniebelle said...

degage, this should lift your spirits about affordable health care. For millions, insurance will cost less than $100/month

(USA Today) About 6.4 million Americans eligible to buy insurance through the new health exchanges will pay $100 or less a month in premiums because of tax subsidies, according to a Department of Health and Human Services report to be released Tuesday and obtained by USA TODAY.

The report by the HHS office for planning and evaluation said the lower premiums would primarily apply to insurance customers who buy what are called "silver" plans on the exchanges that open Oct. 1.

September 20, 2013 at 6:41 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Dale Yoder, the main reason that Republicans are working so frenziedly to overturn the ACA is because they know that once it finally is set in motion it will not only NOT implode but will most likely succeed in a way that will make it impossible to even raise their voices against it, let alone do away with it. It will then become an asset as a campaign tool in the next election for any Democrat and an albatross for Republicans.

Obamacare is far from perfect (single payer, or Medicare for all, would have been more practical and cost effective) but at least it is a step in the right direction. I find it puzzling and troubling how so many of you wing-nuts who hate the very thought of an attempt to insure the millions of uninsured Americans can be so smug and indifferent to the plight of those less fortunate than you. You keep blathering about how America has the best, most technologically advanced medical treatment in the world, which might be true, but when we have one of the worst systems for delivering it equitably, then there is something seriously flawed with our system and it needs to change.

I have yet to see or hear any proposals by the Republicans and anti-Obamacare crowd what to put in place if they should repeal it. All they/you care about is making sure that you have your slice of the pie and to hell with anybody who is left out. You like to excuse your indifference by pretending that the uninsured are simply lazy or stupid and therefore deserve to be left out in the cold anyway. But you know that's not true. Health insurance is something that any sane, practical person wants more than anything to have, but the cost, as it is, is simply much too expensive for so many people.

Like it or not, Obamacare is here to stay. It will most likely undergo some tweaks and revisions in the future, but it will not implode. Get used to it.

September 20, 2013 at 12:04 p.m.
LibDem said...

anniebelle, The neat thing is that Republicans have branded Affordable Care as "Obamacare". For many future generations, national health care will carry the name of a Democratic President.

September 20, 2013 at 2:31 p.m.
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