Criticism of Ryan won't stop victory
Well, it wasn't enough for Newt Gingrich to throw Paul Ryan under the bus with his "right-wing social engineering" comment. Now, our new "conservative" editor has done the same (editorial, Aug. 4). A piece like that should be included on the left page. But, not to worry. Mr. Ryan will victoriously cross the finish line, tire tread marks and all.
RONALD K. NEAL
'Hate' designation covers others too
If I had voted for Mark Clayton, U.S. Senate candidate, I would be irate over the headline "Democrats may be stuck with Clayton" (Aug. 8). For the state party's chairman to disavow Mr. Clayton because of the Southern Poverty Law Center's assertion that he is associated with a "hate group" is ridiculous. Some consider the SPLC a "hate group" itself.
In fact, the SPLC has designated many organizations "hate groups," such as Focus on the Family, American Family Association and The Family Research Council And Concerned Women For America and many more. It claims that the groups in question knowingly disseminate false information about homosexual groups.
Take a look at long-term goals of Mr. Clayton's organization and I would guess that their goals are more in line with the thoughts of most Tennesseans. Democrats should look at the stand of their executive committee members relative to "hate groups" designation.
WILLIAM GODSEY, Crossville, Tenn.
Smokers are scapegoats
This will be short but not sweet!
Although I do not smoke cigarettes, I feel raising the cigarette price (tax) in Georgia is wrong!
I have a question to all the fascist health organizations and crooked politicians: "Why are cigarette smokers treated like fourth-class citizens?" All these people do is raise the price (tax) on a pack of cigarettes and take the extra money to pay for things they have messed up in their respective states, and then they pass ridiculous inside-smoking bans and some won't even let these poor souls smoke outdoors!
Talk about being the 21st century scapegoats, that would be cigarette smokers!
CHASE VAN ARSDALE, Atlanta, Ga.
Proposals leave tax structure unfair
Mr. Johnson, your response to my letter of Aug. 16 in your editorial "The right response," Aug. 20, is welcome but itself requires comment.
First, the sales tax on necessities covers far more than groceries. You should not slide over that fact by changing the name to "the grocery tax." The high tax on such items as cars and trucks, tires, batteries, repairs -- indeed, everything that Wal-Mart, for instance, sells -- constitutes an enormous tax burden -- and is, as you say, "outrageously regressive and unfair to lower income residents."
Second, your concentrating your response on your idea that the Legislature will be able to lower the gas tax and eliminate the sales tax on groceries avoids the issue: such reductions would bring a change of degree but not of kind. Tennessee's reliance on the sales tax and other regressive taxes would still make the overall tax structure regressive (though less so) and, as you agree, unfair.
Therefore, you still seem to be asserting that businesses will "scurry," as you said earlier, from Tennessee unless its overall tax structure is unfair to lower income residents.
City offering bridge to future
I was privileged to take part in the Gig City competition this summer as the mentor captain for the eventual winners, Banyan. Using Banyan's application, scientific researchers connected through ultra-capacity networks are able to collaborate in ways that were not possible before.
Major research institutions throughout the United States are already joined by a gigabit network that the National Science Foundation, US Ignite, and other private and public institutions sponsor. The number of research universities participating is growing rapidly. Today, there are few cities in the world where this advanced connectivity can be tested from outside the universities' ivy walls, and Chattanooga is one of them.
Companies with far-reaching vision have their eyes on Chattanooga because it offers a bridge connecting them to the future. The spillover effect from the universities will eventually, as it always does, saturate the surrounding local economies. When people who've seen this play out before compare Chattanooga to Palo Alto in the 1980s, you know you're on to something.
Late accusations unfair to candidate
What a way to sway the election by the accusations made and published one day prior to the election by the Times Free Press ("Vital's vile tactics disgust") about candidate Greg Vital. This was an unfortunate use of power of the press, even though it was indicated that "there were more accusations than proof," the seed of doubt was planted and it certainly took root.
Your mission was accomplished unashamedly exuding your power and throwing numerous votes to the opponent and depriving Tennessee of an excellent leader who would have served well in the Senate. Mr. Vital was indeed the most qualified candidate for the position, a businessman with a vision who has served his community well for many years.
Ryan not fiscal conservative
When Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan to be his running mate, the media mischaracterized Ryan as a fiscal conservative. He is no fiscal conservative!
Check his U.S. House voting record. He, for example, voted for almost everything George W. Bush put forward.
Both Romney and Ryan are saying, essentially, "It doesn't matter what we are, we have a plan."
Yes, they have a plan for America that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said is "non-Christian."
The media should get its definitions right. It does matter who one is.
B.J. PASCHAL, Sevierville, Tenn.
Beware re-electing the president
I have written many letters stating why Obama should not be re-elected, and I have done extensive research trying to make sure that my reasons were factual.
It is now up to the voters. If you choose to vote for Obama, then be prepared to live with the consequences. It is apparent that this man is not a leader and has used Chicago-type politics to try and get a second term. Look at the facts surrounding this man's time in office and vote your conscience.
TOM FRICKE, Spring City, Tenn.
Cyclists take steps to aid car drivers
Betti Templeton (letter, Aug. 21) is correct; we bicyclists have a pretty good deal with regard to financial and legal requirements in securing the right to use the streets, when compared to car and truck drivers. I am a car owner as well, and I know how expensive it gets.
Many times we are using bicycles for errands or to commute to work; this means there is one less car or truck on the road at that time for drivers to deal with than there would be otherwise. And I know I, and presumably other bicyclists, use shoulders, parking lot and sidewalks (when there are no pedestrians on them) whenever possible, for our own safety and to minimize inconvenience to drivers. I also try to time my movements at intersections to stay clear of turning drivers (which I could better do if all drivers would use turn signals.)
But still, I know that we slow you down sometimes. I apologize for times that this happens, and for times when I or other cyclists have not been as considerate as we could have been. I know this doesn't totally solve the issue, but I hope it helps.
JON GORANSON, Ringgold, Ga.
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