published Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Fear government bosses, not corporate ones — and more letters to the editors

Fear government bosses, not corporate ones

The last sentence of the July 1 Times editorial, "When Faith Steps on Health," was an absolute hoot!

In it, the editor asks, "Really, Americans, do you want your corporate bosses telling you how to live your life during your off time?"

What bothers the editor, I believe, is that she feels that telling us how to live is the government's prerogative.

With the phrase, "public servant" having long ago become an oxymoron, I propose that thinking Americans should fear their government bosses far, far more than their corporate bosses.

If I'm displeased with my corporate boss, I can quit; if I displease him, I risk being fired. If I'm displeased with government, well, that's tough; if I displease the government, I risk arrest.

As for the entire editorial, many of us feel abortion is murder and want the freedom to not be complicit in it.

Now, I'm heading to Hobby Lobby to spend some money.

JEFF EPPERSON


Columnist criticized for his naivete

Per usual, David Cook's liberal paean to Richard Bennett is incredibly naive and borders on the foolish.

For those who don't recall, Richard Bennett was about to receive over $300,000 of city money for the Violence Reduction Initiative when he was caught in a car with a woman other than his wife. Open alcohol containers of tequila and beer, marijuana and hydrocodone were also found.

Cook asks us to suspend rational thought and accept the word of a convicted criminal that he "didn't even know the marijuana was in the car."

David, have you ever heard the expression "once a con always a con?" A con once told me that.

Did you expect him to man up and tell the truth?

According to Cook, Bennett's "work" is messy, complex and important; I agree it is messy to explain all this away. It requires a complex story that is ultimately very important to Richard Bennett in its outcome.

Cook seems to imply we should accept this facile explanation on its face and just give him the money and pretend that he is really a good boy, after all.

JIM HOWARD


Americans asleep while country suffers

America and Congress: Wake up. We are losing our freedom, day by day, mandate by mandate.

Now our leader is going to bypass Congress and mandate his own laws.

Where is the Congress we elected to protect our freedom? They are sleeping and getting paid for it.

Where is our Constitution? We Americans are sleeping too, and the pay we are getting is a generation of children that will never know the America that I once knew.

This is not from a book, but from my heart. Please Americans, wake up before it's too late. The alarm clock is going off. Do you hear it?

JAMES ROSE, Signal Mountain


Expand Medicaid to help everyone

When I think of our nation as a whole, I see many seeming differences, in culture, creed, beliefs. Then I see everyone together as a unity of humanity that sees success or struggle.

It looks like the differences create many problems. People put labels on each other when they all require the basics: air, water, food.

This is why I am hoping that Tennessee accepts Medicaid expansion because it is designed to help children, the elderly, the disabled, veterans and also hospitals. If we turn a blind eye to the less fortunate, we are failing as human beings and as religious beings.

I notice that if wars create deficits, that seems to be OK, but one-third of our people being shut out is not OK to me.

Our economy is being harmed by greedy businesses that create more suffering for many Americans.

I don't think an elite group of lawmakers should take advantage of lobby money for themselves and block legislation that helps others get an education, obtain a job, regulate banks, or keep our air and water safe.

MARY WIER


Bush/Cheney to blame for deficits, wars

Mike Chambers' rant on June 24 is another example of a Republican with memory loss and a skewed point to make.

In blaming our $17 trillion national debt and care of our veterans on left leaners, he joins the multitudes of conservatives who conveniently forget about the $8 trillion in debt run up during the Bush/Cheney administration, when, after inheriting $200 billion surpluses the previous two years, they were quickly turned into $500 billion yearly deficits, plus the cost of fighting two wars on the credit card.

And it took two female reporters from The Washington Post in 2007, six years after 9/11 and four years after invading Iraq over lies and hand-picked information, to reveal the squalid conditions and deplorable treatment of our wounded soldiers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center under the noses of Bush and Cheney.

Only then was it revealed that Cheney had not been a frequent visitor at Walter Reed during this time. But Cheney did find time to attend NASCAR races. I guess he had priorities.

If it's blame Republicans want to place, just look in your mirrors, if you dare.

ALLAN BAGGETT, Trion, Ga.


Contraception, birth control not the same

Almost all the discussion about the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case misses a more fundamental, simplifying and religiously neutral point.

The Constitution nowhere gives our national government the power to regulate the content of employer-sponsored health insurance coverage, the overreaching Affordable Care Act notwithstanding.

Furthermore, comments about this case frequently but incorrectly interchangeably use contraception and birth control. Among the latter are methods opposed by Hobby Lobby that act after conception has occurred.

Regardless of one's position (I support Hobby Lobby), intellectual honesty precludes blurring this distinction.

Two historical notes: When my wife and I married nearly 46 years ago, birth control pills were not a tax-deductible medical expense, as a call to the IRS informed me. When I rejoined the UTC faculty 29 years ago, the university did not offer a vision plan. But we survived both these "deprivations."

JAMES W. HIESTAND

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LibDem said...

As a liberal, I tend to support the right of a closely held (family owned) corporation to exercise its political agenda as long as it does not harm its employees. In the matter of family planning, I think secular organizations like Planned Parenthood (which I support) can fill the breach. Hobby Lobby can ride the semantics train but as long as they are providing health insurance and good wages, we probably should hold our noses and not push this.

July 10, 2014 at 12:11 p.m.
Plato said...

MARY WIER wrote:

". . . .I am hoping that Tennessee accepts Medicaid expansion because it is designed to help children, the elderly, the disabled, veterans and also hospitals. If we turn a blind eye to the less fortunate, we are failing as human beings and as religious beings."

Right decision, wrong argument. We definitely need Medicaid expansion but the groups you site are for the most part covered by other forms of health care coverage. The group that will benefit from Medicaid Expansion are working folks whose employers do not provide a medical plan, and who cannot afford it on their own, yet make just enough over the poverty line not be to covered by TennCare as it is now.

It's only the governor's obstinance that is keeping our state from benefiting from money that it's citizens have already sent to Washington.

July 10, 2014 at 12:24 p.m.
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