published Monday, January 16th, 2012

Current generation needs to step up


Current generation needs to step up

The cost of WW II was in both human lives and dollars. The human toll for the states was about 300,000 lives, but our dollar cost approached $5 trillion in today's economy.

My two brothers and I were among the lucky ones to return. The price in human life and dollars already has been paid, but I would like to note how we paid for the war.

The Victory Budget of 1942 called for tremendous tax hikes and went as high as 93 percent on the very rich. We weren't a consumer society. We used our savings to buy War Bonds. We took sacrifice in stride; stood in long lines for gasoline rations, and shared. Today, sacrifice is a bad word. In Washington, no one seems to try to work things out together; give a little, compromise, close ranks and get the job done. We fear taxes are a bad thing and that all should pay the same. Proportional tax, to income, isn't a drag on the economy but a way to draw down our national debt. It didn't hurt job creation under the Clinton administration and we had a surplus.

Now we have two unpaid wars and it's time we dug in. I grew up during the Great Depression, fought in two wars, paid my first Social Security in 1939, practiced 61 years and retired at 85. I am not complaining, but it's time the present generation stepped up to the plate.


Chickamauga, Ga.

Falsehoods need correcting

We appreciate your appropriate "Editor's Note" (Jan. 6), such as correcting the falsehoods as to how payroll tax cuts are mainly covered through a tax on real estate transactions. And as you further stated: Democrats proposed financing a year-long payroll tax extension with a surtax on annual income above $1 million, which Republicans rejected.

However, where was the needed "Editor's Note" concerning another letter that same day which was totally packed with falsehoods about photo IDs? That letter falsely stated that we had needed a photo ID to vote prior to 2012. Also, the same letter stated that photo IDs are required to drive a vehicle (not so for elderly people), apply for jobs, write checks, conduct bank transactions, etc., even that school kids need photo IDs. And that it doesn't present a financial burden to get a photo ID. How about those needing to travel 80 miles round-trip to get to an authorized location (another letter describing that burden), not to mention the time pressures, etc.?

How much state money is being wasted on this unconstitutional law, just to cover the made-up scare of "voter fraud"? Guess teachers, police, firemen, and all of us will be paying.


Signal Mountain

Name-calling not necessary

I read a letter in the Jan. 9 edition that made me very sad. The writer called Republicans "the Repugnants" because he doesn't agree with drug testing welfare recipients.

Many of my friends are Republicans and they are kind, generous people. How have we become such an uncivil nation that someone would refer to people he doesn't even know as repugnant?

In addition, he said they are "very evil people who hate our country." I think we should stop calling each other names and agree that, in this country, we are all free to have our own opinion.

Through working with the public for over 30 years, I have known many addicts and alcoholics; and I can assure you that much of the money they receive in welfare is spent on drugs, alcohol and tobacco -- not on their children. I don't have a problem with drug testing people who want to receive taxpayers' money. Does that make me repugnant or evil?

I don't think so. It's just my opinion, and I am entitled to it. I don't think it makes him a "Demonocrat" because I disagree with him. He's probably a nice man.


Monteagle, Tenn.

Pick local applicant for Red Bank

It is hard to remain silent about what the Red Bank commissioners are doing. I agreed with the removal of the last city manager, Chris Dorsey. However, I do not understand why they offered the city manager's position to an outsider when there were four local candidates who are apparently qualified to be considered.

It is a great loss to the citizens of Red Bank, who will not benefit from the experience of Mr. Jim Folkner to provide positive leadership for our city. Mr. Folkner withdrew from consideration last week.

There are still three local candidates available, who were singled out from 39 applicants and became the top five candidates list. I believe the commissioners should be selecting from those three remaining applicants. The commissioners should not reopen for other applicants to apply. There is no reason to relook at the eliminated applicants from the original 39 applicants.

Unless there is specific justification to undo the established process, the commissioners should be held accountable and the citizens should demand that they stop their political wrangling and decide from the three remaining candidates. You can contact the Red Bank City Hall and leave a message at 423-877-1103 or ask how to contact each commissioner separately.


Red Bank

Offer alternatives to combat gangs

Tuesday's "The roots of Chattanooga's rising gang violence problem" (Times editorial, Jan. 10) cites after-school programs as one part of a community solution to help reduce gang violence. In the eight years I've been working with after-school kids at the Urban League in Chattanooga, I've seen plenty of evidence of just how valuable after-school programs are first-hand.

Each day at the Urban League's nine after-school and summer-learning sites, we provide constructive activities for young people, like science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), reading and math tutoring, workshops on financial aid, field trips to local farms, and opportunities to job shadow at companies like EPB and AT&T. On the weekends we help keep older youth engaged and off the streets with a program that teaches digital literacy and another that teaches leadership development and early college and career awareness.

The Urban League serves more than 800 young people each year. Our after-school program staff of more than 50 caring adults works to give youngsters from some of the most underserved neighborhoods in Chattanooga a positive and safe place to go after the school day ends -- a worthwhile, educational and constructive alternative to joining a gang.

I know the mayor's new advisers on gang violence will keep in mind the important role after-school, weekend and summer programs play in keeping kids safe and giving them enriching opportunities they wouldn't otherwise experience.


Chief Operating Officer,

Urban League of Greater Chattanooga

Bennett good but too liberal for area

There is no doubt in my mind that Clay Bennett can draw good cartoons.

I was on vacation last November and one of his cartoons appeared in the St. Petersburg newspaper drawn by Clay.

The only trouble I have with Mr. Bennett's is that he is ultra liberal for this state and city. Why doesn't he follow the bipartisan views of your readers and we would all love him and respect him as a great artist.

Pass these words of wisdom to him for his future cartoons.



Seniors get a raw deal

I think by now everyone read the story about former Sen. Rick Santorum wanting to cut our Social Security and Medicare.

What do these presidential candidates think we are? There's no reason to up the age. Do they expect us to work till we drop dead? We deserve the money we paid into Social Security. We lived in hard times in the '50s and '60s. Our pay wasn't that great.

There's a lot of thinking who we vote for. Obama got the worst mess of any when he was elected. He's trying and did some good, but everyone is against him and won't vote for what he wants. Of everyone, us seniors got the raw deal. Nothing comes our way.



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SICKofBS said...

Ok, Ms Benton. Lets address some of YOUR falsehoods. 80 miles round trip? Wouldn't one have to travel just as far to do regular banking, doctors visits, etc, if they lived that far out in B.F.E. just to come into civilization and take care of business? Why can't they, before they make the excruciating trip, call to make an appointment to have their ID updated? Or do they live so far out they have no phone service? Or have to ride into town by horse and buggy? Please. It's not so hard nor taxing on the purse. As far as made up? I wonder just how many of our snowbird friends that head south for the winter have voted in whichever state they squat in during the winter months, only to vote either by absentee or in person, once again in their northern home state. Yes, it has been proven, but only long after the fact of the votes being certified. There has even been plenty of instances of our Canadian snowbird neighbors voting in our elections. So Ms. Benton, if there is some reason you just cant bear to have your picture taken so you can carry an ID to prove who you are, then don't vote. It's your choice. We as Americans have plenty of freedoms and right, but we also have our burdens and responsibilities to keep those freedoms.

January 16, 2012 at 7:05 a.m.
JustOneWoman said...

You are right sickofbs.

"Ms. Benton, if there is some reason you just cant bear to have your picture taken so you can carry an ID to prove who you are, then don't vote. It's your choice."

It is our choice, our choice to go by the constitution. Sickofbs, I don't know what document or govenment charter you are going by, but it is not the Constitution of the United States of America. And if you don't like our constitution, I suggest you find a more suitable country for your fear to reside.

January 16, 2012 at 8:03 a.m.
Livn4life said...

So all Constitutional experts, I guess our Constitution protects the rights and privacy of those from outside our borders who are here illegally to the point of letting them vote without proof of residency. I DON'T THINK SO! Go read it, check it out and then go on with your blather about the evils of required proven identity. The same reason you give against having it, fear, could also be given for it, fear of not getting those needed votes by persons who care not for the security of our nation, just for getting re-elected. But then YOU GUYS ARE THE CONSTITUTIONAL EXPERTS, allegedly!

January 16, 2012 at 8:16 a.m.
SICKofBS said...

JustOneWoman, I do go by the Constitution of the United States. And what fear do you claim that I have? That unscrupulous person vote more than once, or vote in the name of the deceased? That's not a fear. It is fact that has been proven, but not until after the fact of counting the ballots and certification of the results. What is so wrong with wanting the intent of the Constitution, one person-one vote, to be carried out? Maybe you should try to respond with some kind of intelligence and temperance rather than spout vitriolic juvenile responses like "And if you don't like our constitution, I suggest you find a more suitable country" so that someone might take you seriously.

January 16, 2012 at 8:23 a.m.
riverman said...

Don't waste your time arguing facts with that airhead twit Ann Benton. She and her hubby Wally are two of the most miserable people alive. I don't understand why they just don't move to Cuba, Iran or North Korea where they would feel more at home.

January 16, 2012 at 8:57 a.m.

SICKOFBS, you may not be aware of this, but there's actually requirements for the distribution of polling places, so as to avoid discrimination. If they were distributed that widely, it would be quite problematic from a civil rights perspective.

Similarly, the availability of access to financial and health institutions are a concern for many governments. See any number of health service plans, or rural bank access programs.

Is there some reason that the provision of ID, especially with regards to exercising a Civil Right, is not to be considered? The more excuses you make for that, the more your true motivations show.

If you were truly interested in fixing the system, you'd take the relatively minor cost of putting together some mobile Photo ID units as part of doing this right. But the more you resist, the more excuses you put forth, the less you show you intend to do fix anything.

BILL HAMMER, Clay Bennett is on the editorial page for a reason, that is where he posts his opinions as expressed through graphics and as such, trying to make him neutral would be suppressing him.

Besides, if he posted stuff that didn't get you upset, you'd never talk about him.

JOY STURTEVANT, you would do well to apply this letter to the online as well.

January 16, 2012 at 10:13 a.m.
Rational1 said...


Can you please provide documented evidence as to when these massive voter frauds occurred. Election cycle, times, places and how many illegals, or fraudsters, were involved will be critical to your argument. Were prosecutions resultant from these voter fraud incidents? I would like to see supporting evidence of your claims.

I do recall GW Bush firing a number of Attorneys General because they refused to prosecute so- called voter fraud incidents claimed by the Bush administration. The evidence didn't support the claims and the Republican AGs refused to cower to pressure from the White House and paid the price for their integrity. Now is your chance to set the record straight. Facts, just the facts.

January 16, 2012 at 10:53 a.m.
PaulWilson said...

Mr Green- The current generation is stepping up. Those currently drawing social security, medicare, and welfare of other types, are having it paid for by those of us working to support the system. The main problem with this is that when we are old enough to draw social security, it will most likely no longer exist. Who will foot the bill when we are old enough to draw social security?

January 16, 2012 at 11:22 a.m.
Plato said...

sickofbs said: "There has even been plenty of instances of our Canadian snowbird neighbors voting in our elections"

Why would a Canadian give a rats butt about who wins a US election? and why would anyone Canadian or otherwise risk being charged with a felony for voter fraud?

More wacky theories from the lunatic fringe to justify voter suppression :(

January 16, 2012 at 11:35 a.m.

Canadian snowbirds don't want to vote in US elections, that would mean they'd have to pay US taxes.

January 16, 2012 at 11:38 a.m.
JustOneWoman said...

Dear Sickofbs, I don't really care if you like what I say. Grow some skin. Maybe you should check out your facts about dead people voting. They are turning up alive everywhere.

Also looks like Okeefe and his crew might be going to jail.

January 16, 2012 at 11:46 a.m.
Rational1 said...


We are still patiently waiting for the credible and "factual evidence" of massive voter fraud and the prosecution of the fraudsters.

January 16, 2012 at 1:48 p.m.
acerigger said...

Rational1 said...


We are still patiently waiting for the credible and "factual evidence" of massive voter fraud and the prosecution of the fraudsters." Why wait? Just turn on "Faux Newz", they'll set you straight!lol

January 16, 2012 at 2:15 p.m.
SICKofBS said...

You know, it's useless to try to rationalize with irrational people. We live in a time where rampant abuse of "rights" are prevelant, so extra measures must be taken to ensure they are done honestly, fairly and correctly. As long as there are terrorists, we are required to undergo screenings to fly. As long as there are speeders and maniacs behind the wheel of cars and trucks, we must have speed limits and speed traps. As long as we have illegal aliens being hired to take jobs that legal residents won't take, we must now have proof of residency before being hired. As long as funds are being pipelined to nations that wish us harms, identification must be provided before depositing them into any financial institution. Long gone is the time of integrity and the honor system. People need to be accountable for their actions/inactions. Get your head out of your rears and see the world for what it has become. And before people start ripping me a new one for my "political leanings," I am neither republican or democrat. I do not agree with either party's ideology. If I must choose a label, I would go with Libertarian. But I am also a realist and see the sharp decline that honesty and morality has taken.

January 16, 2012 at 2:53 p.m.

Sickofbis, what you don't realize is you may be the irrational one who we have to use extra measures to ensure that you do not engage in abuse. Because even before the founding of this Republic, people were making arguments like yours. And here's the thing, you don't want t be accountable yourself. When somebody has an objection to what you do, you dismiss them. And no, your protests of being independent will not actually make us believe that you are.

Try actually following a stance that questions the Republican dogma.

January 16, 2012 at 3:36 p.m.
Rational1 said...

"As long as we have illegal aliens being hired to take jobs that legal residents won't take, we must now have proof of residency before being hired."


You really need to do your homework. The majority of the so called illegal aliens were encouraged to come to America to seek employment. They were encouraged by politicians in support of businesses that wanted cheap labor to maximize their profits. This underground economy served both American businesses and South American governments among others. Arizona is one example of state that turned a blind eye to illigal immigration until the Bush Recession cast its dark shadow over the American economy. Now it is politically expedient to blame the illegals and not the politicians and businesses that were the impetus for the surge in illegal immigration. By the way, the overwhelming majority of those business owners vote Republican.

January 16, 2012 at 5:34 p.m.
SICKofBS said...

happywithnewbulbs, I very well may be. But I assure you I am not. What I am is sick and tired of people who abuse the system. Everyone should be accountable for their own action, but many refuse. This is why we have had to enact laws to ensure that people are forced to. As far as any assumptions you want to make about me, I say back off. You know nothing about me, nor anything I have endured. I believe in fairness and equality for all, not just for a select few. I also believe that EVERYONE should be held accountable for themselves. I do question, and disagree with much of the "republican dogma". I also question and disagree with much of the democratic stance. I do not like being labeled as anything by people who know nothing about me at all.

January 16, 2012 at 5:40 p.m.
SICKofBS said...

Rational1, I do not disagree with you at all. Yes, they were encouraged to come here and fill jobs, mainly because there were many americans that refused to do the same jobs, opting to sit back and draw welfare. Now the tides have shifted and changes must be made. We must adapt to the times and not just sit back and "go with the flow".

January 16, 2012 at 6:04 p.m.

You're the one making assumptions about us. You just said people were irrational. So you know what? Back off yourself. Or take the price of your own actions, and be accountable for what you have said. You labeled people who you don't know anything about at all. You said other people were irrational. That's opening the door to you being judged. There's also the presentation of your words towards integrity, but here you are doing something while demanding that the rest of us not do it.

If you want to stick to just a discussion of the particulars of Photo ID, we can, but when you start characterizing people, don't expect to not receive some back, and then protest about it being done.

Maybe you don't realize how you're coming across, but it's not in your favor.

And you chose to label yourself as an "independent" but you know what? I don't find that claim believable. Still to give you the benefit of the doubt, I suggested a way to make it more believable.

But you're really coming across as quite the adherent to Republican Dogma. And you are the one who put that on the table, not me. I responded to what you said about YOURSELF. If you don't want to be the focus of a discussion, don't make claims about yourself. Since you did though, I gave you advice on how to make it credible.

Anyway, as I've said before, you want to require Photo ID, then require the government provide it, in a form and fashion that is proactive. That would mean ready access to it, and I believe only 1/3 of Tennessee counties have a DMV where you can get one. Sorry, but I require more accountability than that. Even if I've gotten it backwards, and only 1/3 don't, it's still unacceptable. Fix that problem first. Show you care about being accountable.

Otherwise your motivations remain suspect.

January 16, 2012 at 6:08 p.m.
SICKofBS said...

happywithnewbulbs, I when i referred to "The irrationals", I didn't necessarily mean you. I was mainly talking about the ones that log on and just spout off with name calling and illogical sentences. However, your vitriolic attitude is allowing you to show your true colors. I agree that the state can provide a "mobile DMV" to reach those counties where there are no DMV services, which by my estimation according to the map at the Dept Of Safety website, is approximately 17. And I must correct you on your call me an Independent. That I am not. I am a libertarian, if anything. As I said before, I do not agree with either of the main political parties, both of which I feel as filled with corruption and graft. And as far as how I am coming across? I don't really care. No matter the intent of my words, people will read them only in the way they want to. But what I don't understand is the irrational fear to required a photo ID to vote, when a photo ID is required for conduction so many other forms of business. It's not as if the law takes effect tomorrow. There will be time to get these ID's.

January 16, 2012 at 6:37 p.m.

Yes, your statement was rather vague and ill-directioned. That makes it worse, not better, since you did not specifically address a person, but referred to people who would be in disagreement with you in broad terms, without giving any credit to those who might not be as you described. And if your problem was as you describe it now, you'd be better describing it as rudeness and incivility than irrational.

And if you don't see the rationales people have offered about the difficulties this system will offer to people, you must have missed the articles about the problems people have had, and the faults in the system. Like the mobile unit. You know what the reality is. There will be no such unit, when even the requests for it are treated like they are irrational for suggesting it. It is not that they can, or should, but that they must. The emphasis is important. I've said many times that the state must make a proactive stance if it is to require ID in order to vote. You know what I get? Derision for that. It's not simply about time, but also cost, both in travel terms and acquiring the proper documents.

These concerns are real problems, and far more substantial than the fears of election fraud. Voting is something that must be protected in terms of access, otherwise it is violated. This is why protests of security must be scrutinized heavily for abuse. It has, quite obviously, happened before.

Also, I use "independent" to describe somebody who declares themselves to be neither a Republican or a Democrat, as you have done. So please read it in that light. You have done that, am I correct? I don't believe the claim, but if you're not interested in that, well, I won't make you.

You will be making me sick with your BS though. I'd rather you not even do it in the first place, that way you're not trying to personalize the discussion with yourself. Notice how I haven't made claims about myself, thus there's no true colors to be revealed, since well, I ain't making protests of being or not being anything here.

Except not being irrational. I believe I have quite rational concerns, and I'd rather you not dismiss them in such an offhand manner. If you find some people's comments rude, then direct yourself specifically to them, or ignore them, or report them, but try to avoid such blanket statements in the future.

I wouldn't say I'm vitriolic, caustic maybe, but not vitriol. I'm sharp, but I try not to be cruel.

January 16, 2012 at 7:04 p.m.
Lr103 said...

@joy sturtevantMany of my friends are Republicans and they are kind, generous people. How have we become such an uncivil nation that someone would refer to people he doesn't even know as repugnant?

Believe me when I say, republicans and right wing conservatives have referred to everyone outside their club in far harsher terms. In fact, all that hateful name calling actually started from the right wingnuts and Rush Limbaugh. They made fun of Chelsea Clinton appearance as a teen with braces. Republican politicans, with double, triple and quadruple jawls, have constantly poked fun at the size of First Lady Michelle Obama's butt. They have no scruples. In fact, one such Republican Congressman was overheard at his church, of all places, making hateful remarks about the First Lady's butt. The scary part is, these people actually call themselves "Christians." Wonder what God and Jesus Christ think about'em?

January 16, 2012 at 7:10 p.m.

Now now, there's been hateful name-calling since before the Greeks.

January 16, 2012 at 7:20 p.m.
Lr103 said...

Rational1 said... SICKkofBS/Livin4Life: Can you please provide documented evidence as to when these massive voter frauds occurred.

Don't waste time asking that question. You'll only confuse them. The truth is there is no proof off any voter fraud taking place at the polls. Even a fellow Republican has admitted this. It would be near impossible to commit voter fraud, as when a person comes in to vote, they already have to show two IDs. Those IDs are matched to a name and address inside a book at the voter prescinct where the individual is casting his/her vote. As usual people like SOB and LFL are just taking and running with something without first checking out the facts, or using common sense.

January 16, 2012 at 7:25 p.m.
Lr103 said...

STL Quote of the date: On Toxic Republicans from a fellow Republican. His take:

"Jon Huntsman abandoned his once-promising campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on Monday The former Utah governor coupled his announcement with an appeal to the remaining contenders to stop attacking one another." "At its core, the Republican Party is a party of ideas, but the current toxic form of our political discourse does not help our cause," he said.

Note the word he used toxic

January 16, 2012 at 8:07 p.m.
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