published Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Letters to the Editors

We are all part of a larger family

Just recently, these articles have been in the news:

* $100 million plus public transportation expenditures to improve Highway 27 commuters.

* Highest homicide rates in years; to what extent is poverty related to crime?

* The declining middle class,

* Unavailable, inaccessible public transportation except in few areas and unemployment rates,

* Spent $200 on cabs and car rentals for three days when I had no other transportation alternatives,

* Sen. Corker makes $1 million on stock trades last year,

* Multiple layoffs, job losses, capital moves to China, Mexico, where labor is cheaper, (blame it on unions),

* People, families, households can't move as easily as capital,

* Health care should be available to only those who can afford it,

* Bankruptcy of Hutcheson Hospital, can't attract physicians,

* High levels of uncompensated health care most employers don't provide (Hutcheson, Erlanger).

* We must get rid of ObamaCare,

* All problems are solved by cutting public resources, arbitrary, ill considered budgets,

* Unlimited resources to fund political campaigns with expensive media advertising.

Ignorance, apathy and prejudice make it difficult to comprehend how we are part of a larger human family and how their concerns should be ours.


Ringgold, Ga.

Wamp needs to get a real job

Weston Wamp's claim to be "working class" is beyond ludicrous. He seems to float in the same delusional medium as his father. Weston, this is a reality check.

He is the son of a career politician and lobbyist, who never did a day's work in his life.

He has lived the pampered life of a congressman's son and enjoyed all of the luxurious government perks at taxpayer expense.

He has gone to private schools and has never left the cocoon of privilege.

He claims that homeless people have nothing better to do than join Occupy. This statement is testament to constriction of thought and lack of empathy for anyone not fortunate enough to be born the son of a congressman.

I would encourage him to get a real job.


Intersection shows government waste

I am reminded of government waste every time I have to wait at the new "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" intersection on Battlefield Parkway and Pine Grove Road in Ringgold.

You would think that at a cost of $1,652,425, the new interchange would be nearly perfect. And it is. Well, kind of.

It has marked lanes for bicycles, but I have never seen a bicycle in that area. It has five pedestrian crossing signals, but I have never seen a single pedestrian in that rural area. But it doesn't have lane sensors like every other intersection on Battlefield Parkway.

So last night, along with 10 or so other cars, I had to stop on Battlefield while the signal cycled for Pine Grove Road. But there were no cars coming on Pine Grove Road.

Next, we had to wait for the signal to allow left turns on Battlefield Parkway. But there were no cars turning. Not one.

While waiting those couple of minutes with nothing happening, except for several cars wasting gas as time ticked by, I was reminded of the good intentions of our federal government and its incredible waste.


Ringgold, Ga.

Plant seeds of kindness

Sunday's cartoons (Jan. 1) humorously ridiculed the unlikely end of the world. Can we agree, finally, that after 2012 passes all eschatological timelines, from Quetzalcoatl to Tim LaHay, will have finally exhausted themselves? Is it possible no god is coming to save us? What extinction scenarios should we seriously consider instead? What can humans do to prevent them?

If the world is our responsibility, how do we think about God? Maybe Jesus' original message has been misunderstood. Maybe God's is a kingdom that exists where kindness and justice replace domination mindsets thriving since before and after Rome executed Jesus.

We should stop forcing square ideological pegs into places where reality is not square. Misinformation used to prop up inadequate orthodoxies should be exposed. We should use science to discover what reality is so we can act on accurate information that will prolong our species.

We should plant seeds of international kindness and justice generationally so fanatics will stop exploding bombs.

Indeed, if we don't pray and work for God's kingdom here, there may be no U.S. in 3012. Then, were a god to land on earth, he or she might find only insects and arachnids to separate into sheep and goats.


Ringgold, Ga.

Wamp lacks any empathy

I am disappointed that our newspaper -- and many other people -- actually are paying attention to Weston Wamp's bid to enter Congress. Being fresh out of college at 24, his only qualification for such a position is his wallet.

When he lashed out at the local Occupy participants for being whiners and homeless, it's obvious he lacks empathy for much of the nation, (even though he never even talked with any of the demonstrators). What a brash move to bash protesters while he solicits donations from his neighbors in the 1 percent zone!

It was amusing to see his description of himself as a member of the "working class" -- before trash-mouthing protesters, he would be well-advised to get a real job -- the Army, Peace Corps or teaching in Hamilton County -- and see how others lived, not just from his eyes in the gated community.

Advice? Before popping off, walk a mile in their shoes. However, from the lap of luxury, he has been in his short life, I don't expect this to happen. Pity.



Corker should get back to his roots

Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, really?

Our country is in sad shape because the 1 percent who control us has more influence than the 99 percent who have no voice or leadership. The "Occupy" movement proves that without a leader or money, you may as well sit in the back of the theater and be quiet.

If someone like Sen. Bob Corker, who came from a working man's background but lost his way, would stand up and say "We've had enough," then, and only then, will his colleagues start listening.

Really Bob? Get back to your roots.

And what can we say about Weston? Another Wamp in the park. Don't pay attention to his smug attitude.



Agreed: Hard labor for the politicians

I agree with Edna Taylor (letter, Dec. 30). What wisdom!

Require politicians to work hard labor for at least six months, maybe more! And I would add a drug test every six months also!

For the president, I would suggest requiring one year military service.


Cleveland, Tenn.

Celebrate end of ethanol subsidy

I am one to complain about politicians voting to grow government and their power, but today we should celebrate the end of one the worst programs, the ethanol subsidies.

Our politicians have voted to force us to buy ethanol gas for almost 30 years and they have subsidized the price all that time. So our tax money has paid a private industry and it has grown into a giant which has found politicians to vote to expand this program using other people's money.

It is hard to find stories about this successful end of this waste of our money that Republicans were able to do. I think this is another example of the press trying to not give conservative leaders credit of trying to end one waste of our money.

There is one problem because this will lead to higher gas prices unless Congress ends the mandate that oil companies sell us gas with 10 percent ethanol. So we continue to force (people) to buy this gas but now they will not pay oil companies their subsidy.

So Congress needs to step and end this wrong law. We need leadership based on truth, not lies.


Signal Mountain

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Ok, here's some truth for you...adding Ethanol to Gasoline improves air quality, saving you money in the end, with lower costs of lung transplants.

How dare the government care about the quality of the air! Why next they'll be worrying about water quality.

BTW, I could get behind the military service proviso, but limit it to effective duties, to avoid letting them get privileged positions.

January 8, 2012 at 1:55 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Ethanol is not a good choice, especially ethanol from corn. It takes more energy to produce ethanol than one obtains from burning it, and the waste products are just as harmful.

Improving air and reducing carbon output, as well as relying less on foreign oil, requires reducing use first and foremost. Difficult seeing that we are the land of huge cars, giant houses, green lawns, big distances, high meat consumption and 24/7 business hours.

January 8, 2012 at 12:41 p.m.
kinch7 said...
 Great letters from Mr. Eary and Mrs. Heard!  I like Mrs. Heard's letter especially.  It's refreshing to know a candle of science in a demon haunted city such as the words of Carl Sagan...can burn ever so brightly.  I fear it will be another hundred years before we begin to leave behind the greater absurdities that come with being enchanted by fundamentalist religion.  I did it.  The way I did it was to read the Bible, theology, history, and science.  Reading the Bible with modern study methods is huge. I suggest Muslims read their sacred book the same way. If after a hundred years the once and future king does not return to reestablish a monarchy over everyone, I suspect folks will have stopped caring decades before that.  Water, I think, will be on everyone's mind in a hundred years.
 About Mr. Wamp's son--those letters seem a bit unfair.  Just because a person may have never dug a ditch does not mean he cannot comprehend what it is like to be a ditch digger.  Mr. Wamp the father may not have had the snap crackle pop we need in the neurons of our elected officials, but that does not mean that his son is a soggy corn pone flake.  I hope he's not.  We need good thinkers and solid visionaries in the Republican Party.  They are so few, and since they keep getting elected, we must always hope for the least acknowledgement that intelligence is worthwhile.  Simple minded might work for ditch diggers, unless you are Jude the Obscure, but that does not work well for governance.  About Bob Corker, lest we forget, he wanted the American automobile industry to fail.  He still does.  It didn't.
January 8, 2012 at 7:59 p.m.
acerigger said...

An old "moonshiner" once told me,"if it will ferment,it will produce alcohol!"

So why should we use up our food supply to run our cars?

January 8, 2012 at 9:18 p.m.

Because instead of pouring the fat into our bodies, we might as well get some productive use out of it.

January 8, 2012 at 9:45 p.m.
kinch7 said...
 I reread Mr. Whitely's good letter.  Now, Mr. Whitely, haven't you seen me on my bicycle huffing and puffing up that hill across that intersection yet? The purpose of that intersection insofar as a traffic light is concerned is to prevent wrecks as you well know.  It's my understanding that after 3 wrecks the authorities put up a red light.  As a federal program, the funds given to the locals were used there--I think.  I don't know who is responsible for sensors and light synchronicity, but you are absolutely right that it is annoying to sit there at that seemingly eternal light with nothing coming from any direction.  You and I might want to learn how the fed-state-county relationship works and who is responsible for what.  I've seen the county put their road equipment on a badly broken road and think, "They're finally going to fix it," but then the equipment is removed and nothing was fixed.  At least the feds put up a road sign and something eventually gets done.  I suspect when that happens, the locals take all the credit and think of some way the feds messed it up even in cases where the feds did what is within their authority.
January 9, 2012 at 6:21 a.m.
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