published Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Drop the war on drugs and other letters to the editors

Drop the war on drugs

Albert Einstein purportedly defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. This perfectly describes our country's drug policy. In his column of Feb. 12, David Cook is of two minds about legalizing drugs, saying correctly that legally selling drugs does not qualify the U.S. to be that shining beacon on the hill we all wish it to be, but his conclusion that we therefore should not legalize them is incorrect. Under present laws, extensive tax funds are used to pursue, capture, prosecute and incarcerate nonviolent drug users. This foolish program of proven failure should be scrapped, and all drugs should be legalized, taxed and rigidly controlled, and the funds diverted to education and other positive state needs, such as rehab for those who want it, cleaning our neighborhoods, promoting business and fighting poverty. Many adults can safely use drugs, and do (alcohol and tobacco are legal). The problem isn't drugs, it's addiction, and its cost to society. If you want to pay fewer taxes, drop the war on drugs. We know what doesn't work; it's time to try something else.

LISA J. SCOTT, Dayton, Tenn.


Corker's opinion means much here

Sen. Bob Corker last week shared his opinion that a VW vote for the union represented by UAW could be damaging to our community. The Times in its editorial Feb. 12 criticized Corker and other community leaders for weighing in on this subject. This is both hypocritical and disingenuous. Of course political and community leaders should give their opinion about a matter that could affect this community for years to come. The writer of the editorial knows that Corker loves this community; that he was influential in convincing VW to locate its plant in Chattanooga; that he as mayor energized this community with the waterfront development that boosted both our civic pride and reputation as a dynamic and progressive city; and that he as senator was intimately involved in the GM bailout that underscored the role of the UAW in the collapse of the auto industry. Furthermore, your newspaper obviously doesn't eschew the opinions of politicians from outside the state: sharing the page with your editorial were two op-ed pieces, endorsing the UAW, written by a congressman from Kentucky and a former secretary of labor, currently at the University of California Berkeley. We should be grateful we have leaders in Tennessee willing to take a stand in doing what they feel is in the best interest of all of us.

PAT AND NINA BROCK, Lookout Mountain, Tenn.


In support of Perkins

During my tenure as sheriff of Dade County, Ga., my office started the D.A.R.E. program in an effort to educate and inform students on the dangers of illegal drug use. It was during this time Perry Perkins called my office offering to help. Two hurdles we faced were funding and activities for the students. Through Perry's strong leadership and work with several local police agencies, we were able to provide activities for our students while at the same time raise funds for the program. These activities included rollerskating parties, swimming and other events at the YMCA. These events became the largest source of revenue for our program. It wasn't just Dade County students who benefited, but several Hamilton County schools were also involved. Perry worked for many years with me and my staff in the program. He consistently showed superior leadership and a deep concern for the students and their future. Obviously I don't live in District 7, but for those who do and want a commissioner with integrity, dedication and proven leadership, Perry is the candidate to choose. He will make a difference.

PHIL STREET, retired Dade County Sheriff


Give kids a break

Several weeks ago, I wrote a letter stating my displeasure with some Alabama fans. This time, in all fairness, I am stating my displeasure with my favorite -- Auburn. According to ESPN, a young man from Auburn High School who chose Alabama over Auburn is being harassed by some Auburn fans. This is unacceptable to those of us who would like for all fans to show respect to everyone.

MARGIE MERRITT, Ringgold, Ga.


Obamacare and employment

The editorial "Obamacare Frees Up Jobs" was a tortured spin of word hash. The author surmises from the CBO report that people who are working now to help pay for insurance will be able to cut their hours because the government is helping them pay for it. They have to work just to keep insurance ... so supplement them and they do not have to work as many hours. Get help buying food, and be able to work less hours. Get home heating assistance and be able to work less hours. Get a free cellphone and be able to work less hours. Is all of this a good thing? Where does it stop? And remember, none of this assistance is counted as income ... so the "poor" stay poor. I would like a new vehicle, can the government help me so I can spend more time with my family? I was raised to understand that you worked to get the items you needed, and care for your family. Give me the necessities, and why work? And to Paul Krugman, CBO says in 10 years there will still be 30 million uninsured. So you sign up for Obamacare and help the numbers.

JACK N. CALLAHAN, Cleveland, Tenn.


Support our own colleges

It bothers me that Gov. Haslam is advertising on television for WGU -- a private online university. Tennessee has an online university that is administered by the Tennessee Board of Regents. Regents Online Campus Collaborative is supported by Tennessee tax dollars and is available through the Regents' universities, community colleges, and Tennessee colleges for Applied Technology. Further, the governor has authorized WGU to accept Tennessee lottery scholarships. When the lottery was being passed, it was proposed as a means to provide funding for scholarships to state-supported, post-secondary institutions. Why would the governor see the need to advertise for WGU? Would it be that Tom Ingram is the CEO of WGU? Follow the money.

THOMAS SMITH, Oak Ridge, Tenn.

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wallyworld said...

Yes, Pat and Nina Brock, the brain washed citizens of this area are continually fooled by this fool we sent to Washington. What Corker did for Chattanooga could effect the whole south. (Reuters) Volkswagen's top labor representative threatened on Wednesday to try to block further investments by the German carmaker in the southern United States if its workers there are not unionized.

Workers at VW's factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, last Friday voted against representation by the United Auto Workers union (UAW), rejecting efforts by VW representatives to set up a German-style works council at the plant.

Thanks a lot Bob.

February 20, 2014 at 7:07 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Corker has proved that he is easily led by GOP extremists. We thought he would be independent and intelligent. Sad to say, he's been captured by the crazies. He even opposes a UN treaty that assures human rights to the disabled even though it is already US law. Does he forget that many of our disabled are military veterans who were injured defending America?

February 20, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.

You libs like bitching about the vote. They voted the way they wanted, they're happy. Leave 'em be. It's a great to place to work, VW chose to build a plant in Chattanooga, provide jobs for thousands, and invest in the community. Be glad.

Oh, I know, you know what's best for them, and they don't know what they're doing. Typical arrogant lib view.

VW's "top labor representative "does not run VW. I know you libs think workers run a company, but that's not true.

You libs get so angry when someone thinks independently. THEY - DID - NOT - WANT - TO - BELONG -TO- THE- UAW. THEY - REJECTED - THEM.

Corker will be just fine, you gloom and doom loonies. Hilarious how you libs bitch about "extremists" when you're party, the Democrat Party, is being led by a lawless lefty who has his long bony fingers in ever aspect of our lives. Wacko Party of Shiela Jackson Lee, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, etc., etc.,......

February 20, 2014 at 10:10 a.m.

Now what we're seeing in the looney led state of Colorado are more people driving under the influence of pot. " The problem isn't drugs, it's addiction" Huh? Any drug that impairs you, causes you to lose touch with reality and hurts your ability to do the things you need to do in your daily life, is dangersous. We already have enough people walking around stoned, now they have the green light to do it as often as they can, and out in the open. Big triumph! This "bread and circuses" approach by liberals dulls us so that they can get away with things. Social Media, entertainment, sports, drugs, and schools that push and anti-American and socialist agenda are killing us.

February 20, 2014 at 10:30 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Zableed, care to show us the source of your information that more people in Colorado are driving under the influence of pot? I have been following the news of pot legalization in Colorado closely and I haven't seen anything yet that even mentions stoned driving statistics. Even if it's true, the spike is probably negligible and will taper off. Right after prohibition was repealed, back in the 30s, there was a slight rise in the number of drunk-driving and public drunkenness incidents but they eventually leveled off to pretty much the same number as when Prohibition was enforced.

February 20, 2014 at 4:24 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

And how does keeping pot illegal fit in with your notion of small government that you're always whining about being too big and intrusive? Let me make sure I have this right: when it comes to guns, which many people obviously use recklessly and nefariously, you think the government over-regulates and more people should be allowed to carry them wherever they go. But when it comes to pot, which does not kill anybody and has in fact been proven to have many curative effects, you think that it should remain illegal and people should not even be given a choice. So...you "government-is-too-big" whiners don't really want small government at all - you just want a government that does your bidding, especially when it comes to your opposition to things like abortion, pot, public education, safety net programs, health care, and gay rights.

February 20, 2014 at 4:49 p.m.
TheCommander said...

Corker "loves this city so much that is was willing to offer up our tax base to VW and build crony capitalist public/private partnerships to develop a waterfront to make us a "progressive" city.

Funny thing Corker never ran as a progressive, but he certainly is one. Corker, Haslam, Watson, etc... spent $587 million of taxpayer money on a foreign corporation that will be here less than ten years (the length of time it was in western PA before they pulled up stakes). Redevelopment schemes benefit Corker and well connected developers who get to get rich at our expense and create risky developments that look so pretty but ultimately are not economically viable. The result of government directed growth is debt which turns us into Stockton, CA.

Corker is no Carnegie. Carnegie spent his own money to help society, not ours!

February 21, 2014 at 6:27 p.m.
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