published Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Letters to Editor

Teenager provides aid to stranded motorist

Last month, I ran out of gas on my way home. I ended up on the highway across from the Conoco at Hickory Valley Road. After obtaining a gallon of gas from the station, I crossed back in the dark and attempted to pour the gas into my tank. It wasn't long before I realized this would be a more complicated task than I had anticipated.

Within a few minutes, a boy stopped and offered to help. He even had a piece of tubing that turned out to be essential. I kept apologizing to him as we both got gas all over our hands, etc., but he kept insisting he was glad to help. I didn't get much information from him, but wanted to thank 16-year-old Josh Keaggy publicly, as well as his parents for rearing such a thoughtful and respectful son.

Thanks again, Josh!


Fleischmann must make district cuts

To Rep. Chuck Fleischmann: You have gone on record in favor of large cuts in government spending in order to balance the federal budget and reduce the debt.

I call on you as my representative to show leadership on this issue. Our district, the 3rd District for Tennessee, receives nearly $2 from the federal government for every $1 our citizens pay in federal taxes. So we are a part of the problem.

I call on you to identify specific federal spending in our district that you will fight to eliminate in order to get our own district in balance. It is not appropriate for you to criticize any other group until you have produced a budget proposal that addresses this issue.


Obama apologists wrong about a lot

I am stunned by the letters that are published daily. Anyone new to the area would assume that we are San Francisco-light with all of the Obamapologists that the editors print almost exclusively on these hallowed pages. The writers are interchangeable and equally wrong on so many levels.

Some defend Obama by saying that Bush's "economic policies" are to blame for the morass Obama, liberal Republicans, and the Democrats have gotten us in. Yes, low unemployment and economic growth are horrible (not really), but rational folks know the artificial housing bubble, created by Clinton, was what caused the economic crash. Obama's treacherous policies have made things worse.

As for FDR's greatness: what can one say about a man who confiscated gold from citizens, caused the Depression to last seven years longer, sent American citizens to internment camps, and who was so power hungry that a constitutional Amendment (22nd) was ratified to honor him? What a great president! I even read one letter stating "[the] American dream is to be on Social Security..." Say what?

And lastly, ObamaCare cuts your sanctified Medicare by $500 billion, or did your source of information fail to mention that, dear writer?

LON ACREE, Dalton, Ga.

Make distinction in wealth, income

The Times Free Press published a report on a recent Pew study which showed average white household wealth of $113,149 to be 20 times black and Hispanic wealth in the U.S ($5,677 and $6,325, respectively).

Several people wrote letters referring to the study as being about white vs. black and Hispanic income, which it is not. Wealth refers to the net worth of a person or household, that is, the value of all assets owned minus all liabilities owed.

CNN Money states that in 2008, white yearly income stood at $28,502, vs. black earnings of $18,054, which puts black income at 57.9 percent of white income. That's a substantial and disturbing gap but not the same as the gap in wealth between ethnicities.


President doing right thing on cars

One of your readers sent an open letter to the president. In that letter he seems to point out an inconsistency in where the president stands on fuel-efficient cars and electric cars.

I am sure we would all like to have every car not use any pollutants at all, like an all-electric car. However, the oil companies are not ready for that, and quite frankly neither is the technology.

The Nissan Leaf has a range of only 80 miles. So it appears that oil will be with us for a long time to come.

Therefore, the president is exploring both sides of the issue, which is what he should be doing.

Your reader goes on to say that if OPEC is a problem, then why don't we allow drilling everywhere U.S. companies want to drill.

I guess we have not yet figured out that oil found in the U.S. in not sold in the U.S. to our citizens. It goes onto the commodity market like all of the rest of the oil that's pumped, foreign or domestic. If that were not the case, you would be able to buy domestic oil at gas stations.

This is the great myth of all times.

ARLINE GIOLLI, Signal Mountain

All should be part of shared sacrifice

Being interviewed on a Sunday morning news program, regarding raising taxes, John McCain said, "I don't know why we would take money from people to give to the government."

Pardon me if I don't understand how it is OK to consider taking benefits from people who have paid into them all their lives but it is not OK to raise taxes because we would be "taking money away" from people, particularly the wealthier population.

In l942 the American people were asked to pay their taxes, invest 10 percent of their earnings in war bonds, enlist in the service or join "the line" to produce more armaments for the troops.

All Americans were asked to "give more, produce more and sacrifice more." Somewhere in the decades since we seem to have lost all sense of any shared sacrifice.

Certainly we need to reduce wasteful spending. But there is no reason in this country that we cannot afford to provide basic services, educate our children and provide health care, if only we would see this as a common obligation and a shared sacrifice.

We don't need terrorists to take us down. Greed and shortsightedness will be our demise.


Nation's moral decline rampant

What would our forefathers have thought that now it has come to this. Our country's credit rating has dropped below AAA and last week the stock market plummeted 698 points.

Our national debt is now over $14.3 trillion and climbing because of fiscal irresponsibility.

Unemployment is at 9.2 percent with no relief in sight.

Our allies are losing confidence and respect for us.

Our leaders seem to be more concerned about getting re-elected than for the welfare of our country.

Government regulations are stifling business growth and energy production.

Political correctness has escalated to absurdity and corruption in Congress is getting worse.

Now there is a growing number who are trying to throw God under the bus.

New York has become the sixth state to approve homosexual marriage.

Children born out of wedlock has reached alarming heights.

Divorce rates are the highest ever, pornography has become widespread.

Drug addiction is rampart. There is an effort now for the government to fund birth control methods. Institutions are reluctant to stand up to the ACLU.

Where are our leaders' responses to our disturbing moral decline?


What was motive in downgrade?

"Reality sets in: U.S. loses top credit rating" (C1, Aug. 10) defended S&P's downgrade of our federal debt and admonished us to not "shoot the messenger."

However, the author offered nary a peep about how S&P abetted the biggest financial scam in the history of the planet by granting AAA ratings to mortgage-backed securities right up until their crash in 2008. One could easily conclude that these bogus ratings demonstrate that S&P was a willing thrall to its Wall Street overlords. So, even if S&P's current analysis is appropriate, it is only prudent to look for an ulterior motive.

History tells us to "follow the money" and ask how the major investment banks may have profited from this recent downgrade.

Will the downgrade enable the banks to charge higher interest rates on their loan portfolios?

Did the investment banks profit by shorting their own stocks to begin Monday's (Aug. 8) crash and then close them out in after-hours trading?

Did they then also acquire more of their own stocks to profit yet again in Tuesday's rally? I don't have the answers to these questions but I do distrust the ratings agencies and have no confidence in the integrity of Wall Street.


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kinch7 said...

We've seen Mr. Acree's type of argumentation before. It is a good example of a logical fallacy called "ad hominem." Tennessee English teachers who must include logic in their state standards should use this letter as an example of an ad hominem fallacy. It is one of the most common errors in reasoning that seems especially prevalent these days among conservatives and radicals. Ad hominem means "to the man." It a form of attack that avoids the point being discussed by drawing attention to the person making the argument, or in this case the person about whom the argument is made. The issue of whether or not FDR's policies lifted us out of the Great Depression has nothing to do with his character or his other executive orders that were not related to the economy. The fact is that government spending during World War II lifted our nation out of the Great Depression. Many economists from the Keynesian camp argue that our nation could have shaken off the Great Depression sooner if FDR and Congress had had the guts to use tax money to create more jobs than they did. Mr. Obama is making the same mistake Mr. Roosevelt made early on in his administration, that is, he is not doing enough. Paul Kruger criticized Mr. Obama for his restraint. He also said that the recovery would not go well. Of course, we know why Mr. Obama is unable to do what he needs to do, and he has no world war looming to prove once again that during a recession a government should create jobs.
Mr. Acree is being inconsistent. He seems eager to blame Mr. Obama for the economy; yet he exonerates Mr. Bush by blaming our woes on Mr. Clinton's housing bubble. However, he does not blame Mr. Bush for allowing the bubble to bubble up even more during the eight years he was in office. That's not very nice nor is it very consistent of you, Mr. Acree.

August 15, 2011 at 9:42 p.m.
kinch7 said...

I notice that in letters and in comments people call each other names and insult each other. That suggests that the name callers do not know a lot about the issues so they must resort to lashing out. I also notice that contributors like to proclaim that they are intelligent and well read. That smacks of insecurity when you have to proclaim it. Many contributors are espousing an economic theory as if it is a religion when in fact economics is a science. Our government needs to make our economic system work or change the system. Our system is not working if my family lost everything during the Great Depression and then decades later, I lost everything in the Great Recession. When we consider economic history, we find that there have been a lot of panics and busts. We are not doing something right. There was a time when farmers believed anthrax was caused by a miasma coming up out of the ground. A few farmers accepted the new idea that anthrax was caused by germs. They inoculated their cattle. The ones who continued to believe in something that did not work watched their cattle perish. Our system is perishing. The people we elect are supposed to prevent that. They are not supposed to be devout when it comes to an economic theory. I fear if we keep electing men and women with less than mediocre minds and/or hardened political positions we will reap a terrible whirlwind.

August 15, 2011 at 9:43 p.m.
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