Don't target the innocent
Requiring Tennesseans to obtain a prescription from a doctor to gain access to cold medicine would unfairly burden patients with higher medical costs and limited choices while failing to address the underlying meth problem.
A better solution to the methamphetamine problem would be to pursue a solution that respects the rights of individuals and their freedom to access safe and effective cold and allergy medicine. Lawmakers should focus on ways to enhance Tennessee's NPLEx system so that more criminals are caught and more law enforcement officials are comfortable with the technology. A good place to start would be to fully enforce the meth offender block list in real time and implement reasonable pseudoephedrine purchasing limits and tougher penalties for those who buy those products illegally.
Tennesseans deserve anti-meth solutions that target meth criminals, not law-abiding consumers.
TORI VENABLE, Franklin, Tenn.
Political scare tactics
It is distressing to find socialism and communism so frequently and wrongfully used as scare and smear tactics to support political propaganda. No better example of this can be found than the demagogic claim of Marxism by Rush Limbaugh in taking exception to the plea of Pope Francis that society should seek to correct disparity in increasing wealth and poverty in a free market economy. That this is happening is a matter of fact. According to Marriner Eccles, a former chairman of the Federal Reserve and himself, at the time, a rich Republican banker, "trickle down economics helps mostly those providing the trickle." During the Depression, Eccles promoted a war on poverty and unemployment. This being the case, Limbaugh, if being consistent in his criticism of the pope, would label Eccles a Marxist! No connection can be found in what Pope Francis has expressed and Marxism. Without doubt, Limbaugh's absurd attack on the Holy Father in implying he is a Marxist will be recorded as one of the outrages of the last year. All followers of Jesus and others who share the pope's concerns should insist on remedies within our economic system to alleviate the plight of the poor.
JOHN BRATTON, Sewanee, Tenn.
Climate change and taxes
Once again the climate maniacs are out to pull the wool over the heads of the unsuspecting. Even Obama wants to give his environmentalists more to keep them firmly in his camp, this time a $1 billion pay-off. Of course the "enlightened" ones ignore facts such as "Antarctic Sea ice has grown for a second straight year, baffling scientists seeking to understand why this ice is expanding rather than shrinking in a warming world." The whole environmental wacko movement isn't based on the environment, but on controlling people. An exhaustive U.N. report that claimed with 95 percent certainty that humans are responsible for global warming left out data that for the last 15 years the planet has stopped warming, because it did not fit with the climate change agenda it wanted to advance. Their true agenda is to squeeze money from U.S. taxpayers.
WILLIAM GODSEY, Crossville, Tenn.
Please buy a vowel
When actors on TV make short commercials asking us to watch their shows, they invariably refer to this city as CHATT-NOOGA! I find this extremely irritating! They are undoubtedly reading from a script, and the word undoubtedly has an "a" in the middle. Why on earth, when you are trying to bring in viewers, would you risk annoying them by mispronouncing the name of the city they live in. Two of the worst offenders are Patricia Heaton, who appears on "The Middle," and good old Dr. Oz, who has advice and solutions for almost everything except how to pronounce CHATT-A-NOOGA! CAROLYN R. McCRARY, HIXSON
Clear the air at Riverbend
Good for CVS Caremark! They will stop selling the No. 1 preventable cause of death: cigarettes. It's a smart move. Smoking is in great decline. The risks of exposure to second-hand smoke (yes, even outdoors) is known. Every exposure causes some harm. But changing community norms is difficult. Isn't it time for corporate sponsors of Riverbend and health-concerned board members to speak up and make the festival healthier for nonsmoking attendees, 80 percent of the total? Officials have been saying "we're ahead" and "making progress" while little has changed. Limiting smoking to designated areas away from the public is not too much to ask of smokers. (This is already required at all kinds of events.) Area health organizations have worked for years, with organizers receiving promises of progress but minimal positive action. It took notice from the Tennessee Attorney General to stop tobacco product samples from being distributed at Riverbend several years ago. Tobacco smoke prevents some with disabilities from even attending. For them, breathing smoke can create a medical emergency. (There are over 4,000 chemicals and products of combustion in this mix.) Festivalgoers, let decision-makers know how you feel about clearing the air at Riverbend. It's just the right thing to do.
KEVIN LUSK, chairman, Tobacco-Free Chattanooga
Walk your way to good health
I read the article, "Childhood Obesity Worsens in Tennessee," in the Chattanooga Times Free Press on March 2, 2014. The data released by the CDC indicates that in Tennessee childhood obesity is not declining but rather is on the rise. While this is not the outcome advocates for child health would hope for, there is good news. Organizations like the one I represent, The Safe Routes to School National Partnership, spread the word about the many benefits of walking and bicycling. The mission of the organization is to advance safe walking and bicycling to and from schools, and in daily life, to improve the health and well-being of America's children and to foster the creation of livable, sustainable communities. The Safe Routes to School movement offers many ways to get involved and make a difference at the local, state and even national levels -- in policy work, as a partner, in our programs, by requesting technical assistance or just by spreading the word.
CHRISTY SMITH, Tennessee Advocacy Organizer
Take a stand for Bible truth
The Times Free Press March 2 article "Adam & Eve. Period." about Bryan College and follow-up questions show the need for at least the followers of Jesus to be united. This stand for literal Genesis is: Do you believe God or man? If you watched or heard Bill Nye the Science Guy and Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis debate recently, you saw the same controversy. It's about your world view. Do you believe man's word or God's word (the Bible)? Remember, only God knows the history of heaven and Earth (Genesis 2:4). Man interprets how he sees the Earth now. How old did man used to live? There are answers. Check out www.answersingenesis.org.
CARROL M. WADDLE, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.