published Friday, July 20th, 2012

GOP moderates suffer consequences and other Letters to the Editors

GOP moderates suffer consequences

This spring in Washington, D.C., we stayed with senior congressional aides and visited with their friends — all Republicans. Without exception, they were saddened by the defeat in the primaries of moderate Republicans, whose "fault" was working with moderates across the aisle. The tea party folks have put party above country!

The recent FP rant (somewhat incorrectly) condemns Sen. Lamar Alexander who, in this case, served the best interests of the people and his state -- not the Free Press editorial writers, who resort to name calling and bullying as if their readers are still in junior high.

The silly House vote against the Affordable Care Act is an example of Republicans' narrow agenda which serves the wealthy at the expense of the middle class and poor. Republicans continue to attack teachers, policemen, firemen and others, condemning their right to bargain and receive pensions (into which most have paid). How convenient for congressmen to avoid negotiations for their lucrative pay, perks and pensions.

Finally, we could lessen our national debt by shortening all campaigning, including primaries, to six months and to encourage the billions spent by PACs to pay on that debt. Additionally, this would help with everyone's anger management!


Editorial presents misrepresentation

Your July 16 editorial "Property rights trump all" grossly misrepresents the Violence Policy Center's "Concealed Carry Killers" data. You present the information contained in the database as comprehensive and as evidence, proof even, that concealed carry permit holders are not a public safety threat. The VPC's website makes it clear that the incidents contained in the database likely represent only a small percentage of actual incidents since, because there is no comprehensive collection of such data, we are forced to rely almost entirely on news reports.

Moreover, we assert that the fact that concealed carry permit holders have killed at least 13 law enforcement officers and committed at least 21 mass shootings resulting in the deaths of 94 victims (which they are allegedly supposed to prevent) since May 2007 is enough to raise very serious public safety concerns about concealed carry permits in general. We would hope that your paper would join us in calling for comprehensive data collection through the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports system of all homicides (including justifiable homicides) and crimes committed by permit holders. Then we would all know the full scale of harm inflicted by concealed carry permit holders.

JOSH SUGARMANN, Executive Director, Violence Policy Center, Washington, D.C.

Make city auditing more transparent

Chattanooga voters will have an opportunity on Aug. 2 to vote to establish an independent audit function for the City of Chattanooga. Currently, the internal auditor is hired by and reports directly to the mayor. If the change to the City Charter is approved, the auditor will be hired by and report to an independently appointed Audit Committee. The committee will be independent of the political process and consist of five members; two recommended by the Chattanooga Chapter of the Tennessee Society of CPA's, two by the Chattanooga Chapter of the Institute of Internal Auditors and one by the Chattanooga Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

The independent Audit Committee will have oversight of the City's internal Audit Function, the City's Fraud, Waste and Abuse hotline and the external Audit Function.

This is an exceptional opportunity to ensure transparency and government accountability for the citizens of Chattanooga. I ask everyone to please vote for this change to the City Charter on Aug. 2.

HENRY A. HOSS, Member of the City of Chattanooga's Audit Committee

Story’s insinuation dismissive to teens

I rarely react very strongly to the diction and stylistic quirks of your journalists, but Pam Sohn’s descriptions of teenagers in her article “Greening Kids” (July 15) really raised my blood pressure. The insinuation that teenagers would somehow be put off by working with someone who has a Ph.D. and Sohn’s description of them as “busy-being-cool teens” demonstrates an attitude that’s dismissive to an entire demographic. It’s this kind of small-mindedness on the part of adults that leaves young people feeling, as Dr. Anna George said in the article, “frustrated because they feel like they can’t do more.”

I’ve worked with teenagers for about a dozen years now, and I can tell you that across all spectrums of economy and circumstance, they are energetic, eager to contribute, and much more willing to try new things (i.e. not be cool) than the average adult. The teenagers who signed up for this camp seem particularly driven — their words and actions have inspired me to take a look around and see what I can do. Those young people are not busy being cool, they’re busy trying to fix problems we have created.

Thank goodness for people like Dr. George who understand teenagers’ true capacity for visioning and problem-solving.


Vital disrespectful to SAU graduates

Greg Vital’s repeated statements about graduating from Southern Adventist University are upsetting, but his response to having been caught in this fabrication is only more disturbing and revealing. He claims that “I’ve gotten dozens of emails and phone calls from people who have been faced with the same problem, who have suffered.” Well, that’s a convenient turning of the tables: after benefiting for years from a falsehood about his academic record, he now collects sympathy cards for his distress at having been caught?

Putting sarcasm (briefly) aside, Mr. Vital’s solipsistic evasions and denials are seriously disrespectful to every actual graduate of Southern Adventist University, every student who did, in fact, stick it out to earn that diploma.

And finally, Mr. Vital clearly has no idea what constitutes “a Freudian slip.” Perhaps the credits he lacked were in psychology.


Realistic option for recall needed

The Chattanooga City Council members Sally Robinson, Carol Berz and Jack Benson seem determined to strengthen the wall protecting them from being “recalled” from office. Their debate against recall centered on what they considered good reason to recall themselves. It seems they think raising taxes, increasing fees and continuing spending are not legitimate reasons to recall an elected official. Have they forgotten what led to the American Revolution? July 4th is not the day we celebrated “taxation without representation.”

Dear elected officials: We voters don’t recall very often, but we need to maintain a realistic option to recall a clown just the same. Good grief, please don’t try to make it harder to recall a politician than it already is. We put you into office. We should be able to put you out just as easily.


Cartoon about leaders is shameful

How shameful of the Lee Judge cartoon (July 16) that pokes fun at Dick Cheney (deferment as a student at Yale), George W. Bush, who was in the Air National Guard (remember, Dan Rather got fired for trying to put out a story to the contrary) and Donald Rumsfeld, who served in the Navy for three years.

What about the true liar regarding his service — Sen. Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut.

Lied and still got elected.


Hoss knows law, how to apply it

Judges matter, which is why Soddy-Daisy should vote for Bryan Hoss for judge.

As a hardworking trial attorney, Bryan has as wide range experience in both civil and criminal matters. In other words, he knows the law, and he knows how to apply it. Bryan also has an innate sense of justice that will prove invaluable on the bench. Judges must be impartial and be able to see both sides of an issue. Bryan’s integrity will ensure his impartiality; his thoughtfulness will assure an unbiased perspective; and his decisiveness will lead to just decisions.

Bryan’s common sense, open-minded approach to the law, combined with the respect and dignity he shows to others, guarantees he will reflect the values of the Soddy-Daisy community. At the same time, Bryan will have the crucial advantage of complete independence since he is not from the area. Judges help shape the community, and Soddy-Daisy should expect a judge who is wise, patient, experienced, and, above all, fair. I know that Bryan will meet those expectations, and then surpass them.

Judges matter. Vote for Bryan Hoss on Aug. 2.


Starnes is best candidate on ballot

When choosing our elected officials, we often depend on the opinions of others and the media to help us decide on the best candidate. Rare is the opportunity to vote for someone whom we know personally. This election I feel fortunate to be able to cast my vote for someone I do know personally, General Sessions judge candidate Gary Starnes.

Gary’s passion for our legal system, his desire to serve our community and his impeccable integrity make him my choice for Sessions judge. In addition to his professional stature, Gary has impressed me with his personal character through his unwavering loyalty to his wife and family.

I hope you will join me in supporting the best candidate on the ballot. Vote Gary Starnes, General Sessions Court judge.

LINDA BENTON, Signal Mountain

Wamp has hope for nation’s future

I’m honored to know Weston Wamp on a personal level. I can say that he’s the best candidate for Congress. Yes, he’s younger than the other candidates, but that’s to his advantage. He has an energy which is contagious. That’s exactly what Congress needs to make positive changes. His age assures me that he has the future of our younger generations on his mind.

I believe that Weston Wamp will work diligently to preserve the constitutional rights that not only I but also my children deserve.

He’s a kind Christian man with a good moral background. I’ve enjoyed listening to him speak on multiple occasions. Each time I walk away with a greater understanding of his passion to be a positive change in America. He’s intelligent and driven to succeed in Congress.

He’s the man I choose to represent me. He’s the man I choose to make America the best it has ever been for my children as they mature into adults.

Don’t be skeptical about his age. Embrace it. Relish the thought that he’s not jaded, that he still sees goodness in American people, and he has hope for the future of America the way our forefathers intended.


Wilson is best choice for mayor

Hamilton County voters have the rare opportunity to elect a person county mayor who truly cares about the people he will serve.

The person I am speaking of is Dr. Richard Wilson. I have known Dr. Wilson since he was my political science professor at UTC back in the ’70s. Dr. Wilson is very knowledgeable of the workings of government. Dr. Wilson is more than capable to carry out his duties as county mayor. Perhaps even more important, Dr. Wilson cares greatly about people and he cares about helping people.

Dr. Wilson is clearly the best choice for county mayor. I urge you to vote for him as county mayor.


Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.

JANE STARNER, the price of becoming more and more fanatic and intolerant.

NANCY EDEN, Dan Rather got fired for not checking his sources. Regardless of the subject, that would be an issue. Well, unless you're on Fox, in which case you never admit the mistake, and redouble your efforts.

But hey, good show misrepresenting the situation with Blumenthal.

ANDI SHADRICK, except Wamp is also too hateful and disdainful of the present and future. His "hope" is negative and spiteful.

July 20, 2012 at 12:10 a.m.
anniebelle said...

Nancy Eden, a typical squak box for Faux News and Limpbaugh, "On Oct. 6, 1965, the Selective Service lifted its ban against drafting married men who had no children. Nine months and two days later, Mr. Cheney's first daughter, Elizabeth, was born." This quote comes from a Saturday NYTimes article -- It is apparent that Richard Cheney did everything humanly possible -- short of fleeing to Canada -- to avoid military conscription: He applied for and received 5 student deferments, a number described as "incredible" by professor David Curry of the University of Missouri in St. Louis. Curry has written extensively about the draft, including a 1985 book, "Sunshine Patriots: Punishment and the Vietnam Offender." The Times quotes Mr. Curry as observing: "That's a lot of times for the draft board to say O.K." In April of 1972, the young lieutenant, George W. Bush, made a unilateral decision that he was no longer going to fly. Although he had taken an oath to serve for six years in his privileged position in the Texas Air Guard, George W. Bush left for Alabama two years before his hitch was up. Taxpayers had spent close to a million dollars training him to fly a fighter jet, but he was intent on working in a U.S. senate campaign. Bush's Guard file shows that he did not request a transfer until a few months later, and it was turned down. Bush, who was due to report to his Houston air base for a physical on or before his July 6 birthday, failed to return from Alabama. He was subsequently grounded on orders from Maj. Gen. Francis Greenlief. And this is where the mystery begins. Blumenthal served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. He studied administration. He was discharged honorably six years later, with the rank of sergeant

July 20, 2012 at 7:12 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Nancy Eden...

The Vietnam War, as seen some 40 years later through the eyes of people alive today, is an excellent example of revisionist history. It seems that most people, in their fervor to jump aboard the pseudo-patriotic bandwagon, are quick to label anyone who served a hero and anyone who resisted an unpatriotic coward. But the fact is that over half the population came to be fully opposed to that war and literally hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life were protesting in the streets. And for those not actively participating in rallies and burning their draft cards, others were doing everything in their power, through legal and legitimate means or otherwise, not to get drafted.

The disgrace of Bush and Cheney is not so much that they did not enlist or even allow themselves to be drafted, but that they both have gone on record as saying that they were FOR the Vietnmam War, that they thought it was the right thing for America to do. If they had taken a stance and resisted the war, proclaiming that it was wrong and unjustified, then their actions could have been seen in keeping with their convictions. But they are the ultimate hypocrites. Whether one served or did not serve, it was your conviction that defined you. For them to claim that they were FOR the war while using the privilege and status of their families to get them out of serving, can't get any more hypocritical or cowardly than that.

July 20, 2012 at 12:33 p.m.
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