published Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Letters to the Editor

Letter on snakes contained errors

A letter Monday stating there is nothing unusual about a snake bite death appeared to be referring to the famous snake handling death on Sand Mountain. The letter was erroneous on several fronts.

It did not occur "some 50-odd years ago." It was in 1991. The preacher was charged with attempted murder. The wife did not die. And it was not a copperhead snake; it was a rattlesnake. Readers can read all about it in "Salvation of Sand Mountain" by Dennis Covington.

JENNY HOPKINS

Signal Mountain



Just sing anthem the way it is

Just as most of us predicted, it happened again. Our national anthem was butchered in front of millions of spectators.

It seems for the past 20 years or more, the honorees have been more interested in themselves than "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Our anthem doesn't need a new arrangement. It was chosen and approved by Congress the way it was written, and that is the way it should be presented.

I believe that from here on, it should either be sung in a respectful manner or played by a band or orchestra without altering the melody. It doesn't need a circus in the background. "The Star-Spangled Banner" will stir your heart without the cheap production.

What we've been subjected to stinks, and I'm tired of the smell.

BOB CARNEY

Ooltewah



Gay soldiers not the problem

This is in response to the letter "Homosexuals in Military Harmful" (Jan. 31).

I was a non-commissioned officer in the Army and, in all my years, never once saw any complaint from a heterosexual soldier against a homosexual soldier.

We did have gay soldiers, but they kept their sexual orientation out of the job.

Here are some of the things I did experience though: The phone call at 4 a.m. regarding a heterosexual soldier arrested for molesting his 7-year-old daughter; the many times other NCOs and myself received calls in the middle of the night from Military Police who had arrested heterosexual soldiers because they did not understand what it meant when the local girl said "NO"; the heterosexual fellow NCO from another company who sexually assaulted and raped a female German national in his barracks room while another heterosexual soldier watched. I could go on.

I am not sure which army the letter writer was in, but I was in the United States Army and, when I joined, I took an oath to defend and uphold its Constitution, the entire Constitution, including the 14th Amendment, which guarantees that no law shall be made to discriminate against any American. I took that oath seriously.

TIM WRIGHT

Georgetown, Tenn.



Sing anthem right or not at all

Great Super Bowl game -- terrible rendition of our national anthem.

Why do professional sports allow the "butchering" of our country's national anthem before ball games?

I can't believe the announcers at these events can keep a straight face when they say something like "And now to honor our country our national anthem sung by ----."

No other country that I can think of allows their national anthem to be sung any which way a singer feels like. I think it would "honor our country" much more to just forego singing the national anthem than to let it be sung with all the screaming and such so many of the singers put into our country's song.

WAYNE W. WALLACE

Hixson



Don't dumb down society even more

Today as I write this letter, I marvel at the flow of thought, at the brain waves dictating to my hands, and my brain which coordinates it all. I am fascinated at my ability to recall words from their storage place in my memory. My mystification continues as I watch my mind collate the words into complete sentences as I write.

The whole process is creative cursive writing. What a wonderful employment of the combination of mental, intellectual and physical gifts. The rudiments of how to train these gifts to promote communication are taught in elementary school. Once learned, the benefits bless the writer, and reader. It speaks so well of our culture, and people, when we read a historic document cursively written. As an example, look at the Gettysburg Address, or perhaps a letter from a friend.

I tremble to think what caliber of person I would be if I did not know how to write.

My mind, body and senses would be lesser developed.

Animals do not construct thoughts and write them down. Human ability to think, process and write makes us higher beings. Why should we demote ourselves? Should we dumb down society more than has been done?

REV. ANDREW

FRIERSON JR.



Ethanol history is scandalous

I saw that the company that produces ethanol and controls large corn production and usage has posted record sales and profits.

No wonder, since the start-up costs of ethanol production were heavily subsidized, and likewise the production costs.

Finally, after the stuff is produced and on the market, our government forces us to buy it by mandating that the petroleum producers include 10 percent in their products.

Of course, corn prices are forced up because of greater demand.

All of this is continuing even after small-engine manufacturers have proven that ethanol damages engines and produces more pollution than gasoline without ethanol.

Now filling stations are being forced to replace fuel tanks, especially if those tanks have held ethanol.

Even Al (the lobbyists' pal) Gore has publicly stated that his vote in the Senate to bring in the era of ethanol was wrong.

On top of all the mouthing now by lobbyists and politicians, I have seen the gas mileage in both my cars go down by 15 percent. I consider all of this scandalous.

WILLIAM GODSEY

Fairfield Glade, Tenn.



Health coverage is better now

If the average American would actually take the time to review the benefits of President Obama's Affordable Health Care Act, I believe most would readily support it.

Think about it: People do not have to worry about losing their insurance if they get sick or change jobs. College students can remain on their parents' insurance coverage until age 26.

My elderly parents can now get free preventive health care exams and lower cost prescriptions. These are just a few of the benefits of the plan that would help most Americans.

The lies and hype about the plan raising the deficit and creating socialized health care are orchestrated by those who would benefit the most by returning things to the "bad old days," big insurance companies and the politicians they have bought off.

Don't fall for the lies of the politicians and pundits that the insurance companies have in their hip pockets. Stop and think for yourself.

CHERYL PARIS

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