published Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Letters to the Editor

Some keep decency in the Dumpster

Congress’ love/hate relationship with saber-rattlers accelerated with Joe McCarthy and worsened with Richard Nixon. From the start, Nixon unrelentingly accused newspapers of “liberal bias,” even though most news coverage is conventional.

By identifying liberals as his personal enemies, Nixon inadvertently revealed his hatred of good defenders of the Bill of Rights. Such strategies continue to work, and now the worst Republicans are demanding full control of America, behaving like people who’ve seen too many robot movies. “Bipartisan,” lately treated to detonated redefinition, means “do what we want.”

We and trustworthy politicians can pull political decency and statesmanship out of the Dumpster, but it’s difficult to identify those who want to keep it there — except by noting whose wealth hasn’t been harmed badly by Wall Street, and who has the best health care.

Would this be the Bush family, the Cheneys, the biggest CEOs in the biggest corporations? Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, somebody on the Supreme Court? Surely our military contractors.

Some Democrats and Republicans want restraints on Pentagon spending. That isn’t good enough. Harper’s magazine last year stated that across the Bush administration, $7 trillion that went to the Pentagon remains unaccounted for.

RACHEL WHEELER, Ringgold, Ga.

Civil War fought over revenues

Lincoln’s words say revenues, not slavery, caused the Civil War.

The deluge of material in the Times recently has promoted slavery as the cause of the Civil War. This view has been promoted from National Park representatives to Ph.D.’s.

We should remember, wars are never fought over moral issues, they are galvanized by them. If all commentators would simply read Lincoln’s first inaugural address the reason for the war would become much clearer. Lincoln stated in his address on March 4, 1861, that he would not invade the South and would cause no bloodshed unless forced upon by the Union, but he would use federal power to “collect the duties and impost; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere.”

Lincoln needed the South because the South generated the majority of federal revenues via taxes and tariffs. A seceded South meant a North with revenue problems. The Union fought to preserve territory and revenue; the South, for the freedom to control its destiny. Don’t believe me, just read Lincoln and his military generals, such as Sherman, for their opinion on slavery and revenue.

NATHAN NAPIER, Cleveland, Tenn.

Obama finally stands up to GOP

Finally, President Obama is acting like the man I voted for. After capitulating to the Republicans in the interest of bipartisanship since his inauguration, he realizes Republicans are not concerned about poor people or middle Americans. He has scored several victories for the average American, health care reform being one, but never with Republican support.

George W. Bush never reached across the aisle. His constituency was the rich, and he said so and acted accordingly. Thank God Obama says he will not stand by while Republicans destroy Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for the poor.

The Republican budget proposals by Rep. Paul Ryan are nothing more than giveaways to the rich and an attempt to further destroy what is left of the New Deal. They have been attacking labor unions since Reagan, and now Tennessee is going to pass a poll tax in the guise of a photo ID which will do nothing but eliminate poor voters who generally vote for the Democratic Party.

If Republicans have their way, the middle class will become a class of peasants. And whether or not they know it, poor Republicans will be in that group.

WILBOURNE C. MARKHAM SR., Walden, Tenn.

God used evolution to bring about life

As a Christian and professor of mechanical engineering at UTC, I wish to endorse the April 8 letter written by colleagues in the Biology Department supporting the primacy of evolution in biological science.

I submit it is God and evolution, not God or evolution, evolution being the mechanism He used to bring about the present state of life on earth as part of His wondrous Creation.

In Psalm 139:13 David wrote, “You knit me together in my mother’s womb.” We understand this to declare God as the Creator of life, not as a repudiation of the biological mechanism for the development of human beings from conception onward.

I fear that vociferous rejection of evolution by Christians may prevent some non-believers from seriously considering the claims of Christ. Some day we shall look back on this time with embarrassment, as we now do Middle Ages religious opposition to the idea that the earth revolves around the sun.

JAMES W. HIESTAND

Ask constituents what they want

It seems strange that Rep. Barbara Massey Reece, D-Menlo, would vote against the Sunday alcohol bill because she “believes most of her constituents oppose it.”

That is voting her thinking. How does she know what the people of Menlo want without conducting a poll?

Too many elected officials vote what they think instead of the people who put them in office.

JIM WOLFE, Guild, Tenn.

Ryan’s proposals are the sleaziest

Historically, we have had a Grand Old Party that believed in governing for the benefit of the wealthy, both individuals and corporations, just as the right side of our paper does. Conversely, they have always frowned on those in or close to poverty and those in their senior years. The best they can come up with in a social policy is directly related to President Hoover’s “a chicken in every pot.”

Now we have the tea bag, Paul Ryan, on the scene advocating cutting the budget $6 trillion with major cuts to Medicare and Medicaid while at the same time advocating cutting the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans from 34 percent to 25 percent. This has to be the sleaziest of the drizzle-down theory of economics. Watch out, Social Security is next for this guy.

It is hard to believe that this type of thinking finds its strongest support in (the) southern part of our country, where we find the greatest degree of poverty and the most in need for meaningful services.

If things continue in this mode we may all be saying would you pass the chicken, please?

CARLTON CARUTHERS, Hixson

Trust companies to do right thing

It is disheartening to learn that some people describe the current Republican Party as filled with those who consider a dollar to be of greater value than a human life. The accused are God-fearing Americans, for goodness sake!

However, this country needs to become more fiscally efficient. For example, we should discontinue the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs as run by big government. It is further recommended those programs be taken over in toto by the wealthy private sector, well known for its high moral and ethical standards.

No doubt some patriotic insurance company can be prevailed upon to assume those burdens. Experience has shown one can always trust companies seeking financial gain from one. There are good people in the world.

Further, old people have families who would gladly assume the responsibility of their medical bills and other expenses, even at the sacrifice of their own savings and bankruptcy.

Then there is heaven.

A. SHELDON GELBURD

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Haiku said...

@Lincoln needed the South because the South generated the majority of federal revenues via taxes and tariffs.

And that majority revenue from the south came about due to slave labor. No matter how you try to evade the issue, the reasons for the Civil War always reverts back to slavery. Get over it! The war is over. It's been over for well over a century. The south lost. Move on! Stop beating a dead horse!

April 20, 2011 at 5:07 a.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Not quite accurate, Nathan. By March of 1861, when Lincoln was inaugurated, South Carolina; Mississippi; Alabama; Louisiana; Texas and Florida; had already seceded. There reasons were directly related to slavery and Lincoln (whom they called a Black President). Here are some of their justifications for secession, even though it was unpopular by most except the big plantation owners:

South Carolina secession article: "[A]n increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution... Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free."

Mississippi: "This new union with Lincoln Black Republicans and free Negroes, without slavery; or, slavery under our old constitutional bond of union, without Lincoln Black Republicans, or free Negroes either, to molest us."

From Georgia: "The prohibition of slavery in the Territories is the cardinal principle of [the Republicans],"

This goes on and on with every one of the Confederate States. I am not going to do further research, it is simple enough to find and ubiquitous; all you need to do is comprehend what you are reading, quit the denials.

April 20, 2011 at 7:09 a.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Good one, Sheldon.

April 20, 2011 at 7:50 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Even if what you say is true about Lincoln, L4F, are you insinuating that slavery is better than resettlement?

April 20, 2011 at 9:18 a.m.
Rivieravol said...

So Willie, George Bush never, "reached," across the aisle?

I would think an educator(?) like yourself would have heard of the Ted Kennedy ,"No Child Left Behind Act," that he and President Bush partnered in 2001.

At least you finally got one fact correct, poor people do vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. And that's why they are poor and will stay poor.

April 20, 2011 at 10:46 a.m.

Mr. Markhman, G.W. Bush partnered with both parties to provide the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act in 2003. It was another horrible mistake by a Republican but still he needed Democrats to pass the law.

But don't let facts get in the way of your rage against the Republican party.

Hmm. I wonder wht you'll write about next month?

April 20, 2011 at 11:02 a.m.
librul said...

You're getting too much sun out there on the Riviera RV.

Poor people "stay poor", particularly in the current corpocracy, because capitalism cannot survive without a poor underclass. It has worked for a while. But now because the greedy, idle rich are hoarding and offshoring our country's wealth; because the military-industrial complex is pouring trillions down the ratholes of unwinnable wars and unleashing their political attack dogs like Corker and the Tea Party Republicans on the only things that have provided a semblance of fairness in American society for 75 years; the cracks in the capitalist fortresses are showing.

The rich have well funded private schools designed for their children to train them to be avid consumers and upcoming executives. While their political lackeys starve funds from public schools so poor and middle class children get the shaft from birth. The poor are supposed to seek success and dignity by volunteering to be cannon fodder in the parade of needless wars that are actually the root cause of their poverty. Since their jobs have been offshored as well, their only other options - gangs, drugs and prison.

Sure, poor children, particularly blacks, will be given "vouchers" to attend private church schools where they will be taught to be compliant worker bees. They might even rise to become successful "uncle toms", never getting a place at the table but rewarded by the white power structure for keeping "their people" comfortable in their poverty and well aware of their subordinate place. Black preachers have been shown to be masters at this.

Poor people in America, of all colors, have no political power in a corpocracy that has co-opted both the democratic and republican parties. Their only choice is going to be a flanking maneuver with a new paradigm and a new party that gives them hope and renders to each worker an equitable share of the fruit of their labor AND an ownership share of the means of production. This new paradign must mandate that those who labor the least, but reap obscene riches, give far, far more.

Recent events, such as at Benton Harbor, Michigan show that America is spiraling into a vortex of capitalist-driven self destruction from which, if not stopped, I seriously doubt it will successfully emerge.

http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/04/18/6489195-whats-at-stake-in-benton-harbor

April 20, 2011 at 12:50 p.m.
Rivieravol said...

Librul,

I must say I really enjoy your posts and look forward to your responses. Unlike the bedwetters such as the the Bentons,the Stulces and Willie Markham, you actually bring something to the table.

Any poor person who thinks the Democratic party has his best interests in mind is, well to excuse the phrase, an idiot. The Democrats only interest is to keep them voting the straight party ticket and throw them a bone every once in a while to look like they care about them.

April 20, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.
acerigger said...

The "poor" are still waiting for the Repubs to throw that "bone"!

April 20, 2011 at 2:32 p.m.
jsgood35 said...

Quit waiting for "bones" to be thrown by anything, person, or group. Make your own bones.

April 20, 2011 at 4:36 p.m.
Legend said...

The party of Lincoln as it operated under him began a not so slow death that day on April 14, 1865 @ 7:22 a.m. when President Lincoln died. Andrew Johnson would become president upon Lincoln's death. Like Lincoln, Johnson wanted to bring the Southback into the Union quickly. In May of 1865, he announced a plan offering pardons to all Southern whites except the main leaders and wealthy supporters of the Confederacy. The plan was the defeated states were to form new governments, abolish slavery, and vow loyalty to the nation before being readmitted to the Union. Under Johnson's plan, the states were to determine the role of blacks. However, Johnson's plan ran into immediate trouble. The new state governments passed what was known as "black codes." These were packages of laws designed to keep control over blacks. In addition, many of the newly elected representatives and senators from Souther States who appeared when Congress reconvened had been Confederate officials or sympathizers. See WORLD BOOK OF AMERICA'S PRESIDENTS for more details.

April 20, 2011 at 4:53 p.m.
acerigger said...

Legend,don't you go confusing nobody with facts! ok?

April 20, 2011 at 11:31 p.m.
chet123 said...

librul/legend/haiku/sandyonsignal...now these are heavy-weight researches and commentaries...cant punch hoses in those opinion...the truth do lives

April 22, 2011 at 7:43 p.m.
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