History, set straight
I noticed a letter in the Times Free Press op-ed page that was critical of the U.S. Navy operations off the coast of Lebanon. The writer's claim of "highly inaccurate guns afloat" that killed civilians is itself inaccurate.
I served as a gunner's mate aboard USS Julius A. Furer during the time referenced by the writer. Our ship was part of a battery of ships that included the battleship New Jersey. We provided naval gunfire support for the Marines who were engaged with the Syrian-backed militias in the Bekaa Valley. Even in 1982, the 16-inch guns of the Jersey and the 5-inch guns of our ship were highly accurate.
The naval operations were a result of Israel's invasion into Lebanon necessitated by the PLO acts of aggression into northern Israel. Our Marines were on the ground to prevent Syrian intrusion.
The 1982-83 mission was not one of terror as implied by the letter author. Rather, it was a just mission to stop terror. I know. I was there.
ROBIN FLORES, Chattanooga
Christianity and guns
While I honor a recent letter writer's desire to emulate Jesus in all things, it seems to me that she is the one who must deal with a conundrum regarding guns. Specifically, in Luke 22:36, Jesus directs any follower who does not own a sword to "sell his garment and buy one."
I am a Christian, own several guns (swords), and never once have felt that owning the means to protect my home and family constituted a conundrum. I certainly respect your decision to remain unarmed, but this Christian will be keeping his guns.
G. PATRICK BRYANT, Chattanooga
Public safety is at risk
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is still expanding the list of retailers carrying meat unfit for human consumption to Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and 970 locations in California alone. About 8.7 million pounds were shipped all through 2013 by Rancho Feeding Corp. of Petaluma, Calif.
The recall comes in the wake of USDA's new "inspection" program that allows the meat industry to increase speed of processing lines and replace federal inspectors with plant employees. According to the USDA inspector general, this has resulted in partial failure to remove fecal matter, undigested food and other contaminants that may contain deadly E. coli and listeria bacteria.
Traditionally, the USDA has catered more to the interests and profitability of the meat industry than health and safety 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 henhouse.
The Obama administration should reallocate responsibility for all food safety to the Food and Drug Administration. In the meantime, each of us can assume responsibility for our own safety by switching to the rich variety of soy-based meat products offered by our favorite supermarket.
TRISTAN BELL, Chattanooga
U.S government and education
I was never in favor of the federal government being involved in public school education. We don't need or want the Department of Education; that job should be left to each individual state.
The idea that the federal government can be trusted to shape the young minds of our children is frightening. They have proven they are unable to run our country. What makes them think they are capable of running our public school system?
Those of you who are old enough remember that the school systems in prewar Germany, Japan, China, North Korea and the Soviet Union were tightly controlled, and some still are, on what they are taught, and how to think. No free thinking was allowed, or off you went to re-education camps or worse!
Sorry, I don't want my grandchildren being told how and what to think or what to eat. I want them to learn the correct things they will need to succeed, not what the government thinks they will need. I hope this great state will take back control of our education system and save her children from the bungling bureaucrats.
R. DE MARS Crossville, Tenn.
Go home, Mr. King
Lo and behold, I opened up the business section in the Times Free Press to find that Bob King and his union goons are still in town, whining about their loss in the VW election. They're still "outraged" about comments made by Tennessee politicians Bob Corker and Bill Haslam, who denounced the UAW.
Funny, I didn't see any mention about their buddy, politician-in-chief Obama, and his commentary coming out in favor of their cause. I guess it's OK for Obama to comment but not the folks who actually represent the people of Tennessee.
My advice to Mr. King is to pack your bags and go back to Detroit. Nobody in the South is interested in your "help."
STEVE BERNTHAL, Blairsville, Ga.
The consequences of homosexuality
One recent letter writer said Jesus never addressed homosexuality. It is so offensive to God that even the angels speak it not. But it was addressed many times in other books. I do know a lot of people who have overcome it.
Jesus said God made one man and one woman for each other. There is no such thing as a marriage between two of the same sex.
I'm 81 years old and in all the books I've read, including the Bible which I have read many times and studied, I've never read of a nation that [accepted] this lifestyle and survived. Everyone was destroyed and carried into another country.
The people of Chattanooga know the truth. Why our pastors are not speaking out, I don't know. The Book says: In the last days these things will happen. For those who keep the faith, and we have many in Chattanooga, hang on to what you have and pray for those who are being led astray.
Be careful, the deceivers are out there.
ROBERT C. LONG, Hixson
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