published Friday, August 17th, 2012

With Romney, you get 'a pig in a poke' and other letters to the editors

With Romney, you get 'a pig in a poke'

Mitt Romney must be afraid of what the American people would find out about him if he told the truth. He's assuming he can be elected while keeping a clamp on information any intelligent person would demand before making a decision about a candidate for the presidency of the United States.

Romney's "positions" are a mixture of boilerplate bombast and frequent flip-flops. Plus, he won't disclose his tax returns, hides his wealth in off-shore and Swiss accounts, provides no specifics about how he would cut the deficit, or provide for veterans and their families, maintain good health care for the elderly, or help students who want an education get one without piling up an enormous debt.

We don't know what Romney would actually do about anything, with the possible exception of backing up Israel in a war against Iran. (You can bet he won't be sending his sons to the front lines.)

Romney hopes we'll be satisfied with a glossy exterior. That's what used to be called buying "a pig in a poke."

KATHERINE ZAMMIT, Sewanee, Tenn.


Funny how greed can show itself

It's funny to read about all the new, wonderful jobs coming to Chattanooga. The lovely jobs at Amazon pay less than a living wage. The Volkswagen jobs are not going to make anyone wealthy, but at least they have benefits, which is more than Wal-mart offers.

Now that my husband is looking for a job again, all these new jobs are more depressing than helpful. To start all over, and do it at a lower wage, is heartrending. We had both already suffered a loss in wages as my husband's entire hospital closed and he was laid off in 2008. Both my husband and I are making less per hour than before the economic downturn.

I searched in vain for a year before I got a part-time job. Now as the media lays silent, Memorial sends some of its workers packing with nothing to hold on to unless they signed paperwork that they wouldn't sue. (Gun to their head?) One of those workers being my husband.

The housing market is stable here, and our unemployment rate is less than national average and yet the wages are less. Funny how greed shows itself quite clearly in the profits of companies at the expense of its workers.

CONNIE HEISLER, Apison, Tenn.


U.S. act protects railway workers

In reference to the man awarded $300,000 at Norfolk Southern Railway (article, Aug. 9): Railway workers are under what is called Federal Employees Liability Act (FELA) as set forth by Congress. The reason is because years ago the railroad companies killed and maimed men by the thousands. Congress had to step in to stop the carnage. A worker now had the right to sue on grounds of negligence for compensation. Standard operating procedure now on all railroads is to blame the employee first for some sort of rule violation. Harassment and intimidation are the norm from management in order to try and hold down reportable accidents. Merit raises are determined by how few injuries are reported on a supervisor's territory. The ultimate goal is to have injuries underreported so the companies can go back to Congress in the hope of repealing FELA. If this happens, safety will be a memory.

Railway work is still very dangerous. An unforeseen injury not only hurts but also puts an employee in jeopardy of his job in today's railroad industry.

The Labor Department and OSHA say they know how Norfolk Southern Railway bullies their employees, but as of yet have not stopped the retaliation by management.

RAYMOND CUTCHER, Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, Ret. General Secretary-Treasurer


Medical study takes more than a village

In his Aug. 13 column, Charles Krauthammer rails against our president's belief that our economy is built upon mutual interdependence. He states: "Those who have struggled to create a family business, a corner restaurant, or a medical practice won't take kindly to being told that their success is a result of government roads and bridges."

Evidently he has no knowledge of the financing of medical education and research. Most medical students need student loans to get through college and medical school, or get special scholarships from the armed services or public health.

More important, it has been estimated that tuition funds less than 5 percent of the cost of medical student education!

Next, the government, through Medicare, almost entirely subsidizes post-graduate and specialist medical education. And upon finally finishing training and entering private practice, a doctor may rely upon Medicare and Medicaid to pay the bills.

Furthermore, the concepts that we are taught -- both basic science and therapeutics -- result almost entirely from government-funded research.

Whenever you are treated with something more beneficial than rattles and a chant, you should thank your government. Almost all of us owe our health, even our lives, to the government.

Another unsung major contributor to medical education is the public. Every time a medical student intrudes upon a patient's care, learning to evaluate illness or do a procedure, (not to mention in the anatomy lab), he benefits from the selfless cooperation and donations of ordinary citizens.

Thus, Mr. Krauthammer is wrong. Becoming a physician (or nurse, or pharmacist, etc.) takes intelligence, dedication and a lot of sleepless nights. But even more, it takes the United States federal and state governments' willingness to ensure that its citizens have doctors. It takes more than a village.

SHARON N. FARBER, M.D.


Math comparison leaves out facts

I noticed that Mallard Fillmore stated in the Aug. 9 comics section that U.S. students rank 27th in math. Of course, he forgot to mention that we attempt to educate everyone, yet the countries we compete against only educate the elite and send the rest to vocational school. Also, he neglected to mention that we are first in sports and show business and military training.

DR. GEORGE A. MILLER, Ooltewah


Some reflections from opinion page

Musings on Saturday morning's editorials (Aug. 11).

Welfare charges -- the Welfare to Work memorandum does not give definitions of "work," so who decides, and what are the restrictions?

Tax records -- if Harry Reid were to be correct about Mitt Romney not paying federal income taxes for 10 years (a big if), does that take Romney out of the 1 percent and put him in the bottom 50 percent of Americans who pay no income taxes?

Super PACs -- seems strange, always a comment about the "anonymous" donors, but then there is a list of them ... doesn't seem too anonymous.

Wacky primary voters -- a large number of Americans like the South, year-round. Mrs. Collins should try it sometime ... one thing she probably got correct, is how some folks vote. Guess the president will change his name to Aaobama before the election?

Return that check -- poor old E.J. The vast majority of folks who got a "rebate check" will just use it with some additional money to cover the increase in health insurance that the ACA is causing.

Expanding a "rounded number" -- this is tricky. To expand the 8.3 back to 8.254 means you have really good data. Good luck with that. Why not eight, or more realistically, 10.

JACK CALLAHAN, Cleveland, Tenn.


Elect Sisk sheriff of Catoosa County

Gary Sisk is by far the best candidate for sheriff of Catoosa County.

Mr. Sisk has spent his entire law enforcement career in Catoosa County and has a good personnel record.

His opponent has been on and off too many jobs, and as a result I am supporting Gary Sisk for sheriff of Catoosa County.

CLYDE L. BYRD, Catoosa County


Jump-start move to new energy

The record-breaking heat of July is just the latest indication of global warming. The effects of global warming can be seen throughout the world in the form of flooding, raging fires, drought, melting of glaciers and permafrost, changing geographic ranges of plants and animals — and the list goes on.

Instead of feeling helpless, people can take action by reducing their own carbon footprint, or better yet, encouraging congressional representatives to support carbon-fee-and-dividend legislation.

This legislation would put a tax on the greenhouse gases that are warming the planet, therefore encouraging energy efficiency and the development of sustainable energy, and the tax collected would be distributed back evenly to citizens.

The development and use of sustainable energy would result in cleaner air, more jobs and a break in the dependency of foreign oil.

This would help us overcome our addiction to oil and coal for the sake of our grandchildren and would be economically beneficial to us. Oil and coal are eventually going to run out, but in the meantime they are wrecking the Earth. Let’s jump-start the transition to sustainable energy now.

DAN COOPER, Group Leader of the Chattanooga Chapter, Citizens Climate Lobby, Ringgold, Ga.


Nature is reminder of God’s presence

To all those who are stressed over politics, religion, anti-religion, bad times, bad news and just all-around bad, I have a suggestion. Turn off the iPad in the center of your head and crank up your senses to receive “I am.”

Very early on a breezy morning in a place of nature, listen to the sound of the wind streaming through the trees. This is one simple but beautiful reminder of God’s presence and His Nature among us.

May we allow His peace to touch our world and mankind. He has waited patiently for all of us to seek and accept His invitation.

JIM GOODEN, Decatur, Tenn.


Reduced Medicare payments hurt

I just want to thank the politicians in Washington for destroying my medical care. I served 24 years in the Army, retired, worked a job in the finance business for 20 more years.

I started drawing disability from the VA. When I turned 65, I was forced to take Medicare as my primary insurance. Previously I had Tri-Care as my primary.

Now that Obamacare is coming in effect, my primary care doctor of 10 years is dropping me because Medicare will lower the insurance payments to them. Sounds like I gave 24 years of my life to protect them and now they return this as a favor.

ROBERT H. BARR

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KATHERINE ZAMMIT, Romney expects us to take him at his word. Because he's...I dunno, we're just supposed to do so.

RAYMOND CUTCHER, people always forget that the problems existed before there was a law against them. Then they grumble about the laws that are so restrictive.

JACK CALLAHAN, there's definition of the Work Requirements in the PROWA. And nope, Mitt Romney's income and wealth still make him in the top 1% and much better off than that bottom 50% which includes retired senior citizens, disabled and children.

ROBERT H. BARR, you know if we had Single-Payer, you wouldn't have that problem, would you? Besides, chances are that you'd be the one complaining about Medicare overpayments if they didn't make an effort to be cost-effective.

I don't think anybody can win with you, you won't be happy regardless.

August 17, 2012 at 1:35 p.m.
Livn4life said...

My heart goes out to any and all who struggle in finding a job at this time. I have two brothers who went years before finding that next job which at least one pays much less than the one the glorious union finally lost for him after about 37 years. But realistically folks, a lot of us are going to take some hits. I heard someone who studies economics recently state we are quickly coming to a time when most all of us will have no choice but to do with less. Don't ask for the blog or "site". You'd dismiss it most likely. No one on the federal level is taking seriously where we have fallen economically in this country. All we continue to see and hear is political posturing. Guess what that means? We continue to go in circles. It is a joke to see the leftists claim all we have to do is buy into the leftist scheme and voila, it's fixed. Then the conservatives rant on about getting back to....Yet when either become empowered, it seems what they claimed they'd do takes a back burner to what....oh the blame game of the previous ones in power. So we have to do this(not what they promised)instead of that.maybe what is really needed) Circling, circling, we continue on while the vultures circle above the nation which is in decline and for the foreseeable future will continue to be. But let's just keep all the negativity and name calling going. Very soon it will all be catching up to us. Then where will we be?

August 18, 2012 at 7:14 a.m.

Cynicism is very negative you know.

But actually, productivity has steadily gone up. It's just the proceeds are being concentrated and isolated, which is a big problem for the economy.

The parasites are already siphoning off the health of the country.

August 18, 2012 at 5:43 p.m.
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