published Saturday, October 6th, 2012

Obama's actions limit free speech and other letters to the editors

Obama's actions limit free speech

Freedom of speech is a necessary condition for peaceful, civil society; it is the right by which we secure all other rights.

That's why it is disturbing that one type of speech is under attack in this country.

Rather than affirming the value of free speech and enlightening leaders of nations where free speech is inconceivable, our president attempts to appease violent Islamists.

Dishonestly blaming recent violence on a video, thereby legitimizing further unrest, Obama requested that Google take the video offline. His federal officers questioned and later arrested the video maker for "parole violations." His chairman of the Joint Chiefs personally contacted a private citizen, pressuring him to stop promoting the video.

The president's appeasement effort isn't new. In 2011, his secretary of state worked with the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) to draft a U.N. resolution to restrict blasphemy. This past July, his Department of Justice repeatedly refused to assert that his administration would not push to criminalize criticism of Islam.

Our president's effort to suppress anti-Islamic speech tells Americans that he will not defend our rights and tells those who murder Americans that their crimes are understandable.

SUE HUGHBANKS, Signal Mountain


Who will you call in hard times?

To all of those who labor so diligently to remove God, Christianity and prayer from people's lives, what will you do when the hard times come, and they will come, for they come in everyone's life. You cannot call upon God then, for he will not hear you. I am thankful that I have a God and a Savior whom I can call upon to help me at all times.

BARBARA F. SWYGART, Sewanee, Tenn.


Obama shows no dedication

We've always enjoyed benefits derived by having a dedicated president in our White House. It's difficult to see any evidence of Obama's dedication to us or to the protection of our nation from foreign interference with our American freedom-driven way of life.

Obama's a weak protective leader, if he is that. He brings on foreign relations problems by not standing firm on our precepts. Whether they're his precepts or not, he still owes it to us to stand by them. Regardless of him, this is still America. One of his main goals, leading up to his election, was clearly to downsize America, and we allowed him to become president.

Obama seems more dedicated to radical Islamists and other members of the envious world than to America. Left to his own devices, he will deal out to us the final and most devastating blow, the freest nation of our planet, will ever experience. He's obviously more concerned with re-election than maintaining a strong tie with our closest ally in the Middle East. Of course, again, he has no respect for our long-standing friends around the world. He didn't accept that part of his job when he was sworn into the office of president.

DONALD B. DUFFEY, Huntsville, Ala.


Choose Headrick, Obama, McGary

If you are a very wealthy white male, you should vote for Romney/Ryan. If, however, you are a woman, minority, immigrant, student, veteran, middle class, poor, old, ill, gay, under 55, (Ryan's Medicare cutoff), if you believe in science, or if you are a police officer, fireman, or teacher, vote for Obama/Biden.

Remember, Republicans in Wisconsin tried to break all unions, but settled on teachers'. Then Gov. Walker and Paul Ryan backed NFL referee unions although those referees make three times the salaries of teachers. Refs are not government employees, but taxpayers furnish stadiums.

This is not the only instance of teacher/education bashing. Republicans support costly programs, which have not proven effective, including excessive testing (good for testing companies, bad for kids), vouchers, merit pay, charter schools, privatization of public schools, and private online education. Many of these programs accept only bright students with no special needs. Teachers know what is important in education: small classes, the arts, physical exercise, collaboration rather than competition, peer review, parent involvement, community support, and time to include history and science -- not teach to tests.

As a former classroom teacher (36 years), I believe the educated vote is for Barack Obama, Mary Headrick and Andrae McGary.

JANE STARNER


UTC deserves better comerage

On Sept. 30, UT's loss was front page. How about some support for our hometown team? UTC's victory over the Citadel deserves such coverage.

SALLY COOK, Hixson


Obama's 'legacy' not impressive

Several things to consider about Obama's "legacy" so far:

(1) Monetary easing is called "counterfeiting" if you or I did it. It may result in massive inflation.

(2) Mishandling of Libya and the riots in 24 foreign countries against the U.S.

(3) Thousands of new regulations in the last four years on businesses at an estimated cost of $488 billion.

(4) National debt exploding from $10 trillion to over $16 trillion. That's a 60 percent increase in only four years.

I could go on and on. Someone please tell me, what is it about Obama that makes him so brilliant and impressive? Vote him out!

E. LEE GERALDSON, Harrison


Nation addicted to entitlements

Redistribution and transformation of America?

Obama has turned America into a nation of entitlement recipients!

Almost 15 percent of the country -- 46.5 million Americans -- lived off food stamps in May, a quarter-million increase from the month before. The number of people on food stamps is growing three times as fast as the number of people finding jobs. But it doesn't stop there!

The U.S. population has grown 6 percent since 2005 -- from 296 million to 314 million. But the number of people on disability has grown nearly six times as fast: from 6.5 million to 8.75 million -- or 34 percent -- in the same time.

Surely the number of disabled workers isn't growing six times faster than the total population. What gives? What gives is our mentality as a nation.

The government has our populace addicted to entitlements and neither wants to wean. As long as the handouts keep coming, Obama will stay in power.

"Who's going to vote against free lunches?" Oooh, but they aren't "free," are they? And guess what? They vote.

America needs four more years of Obama?

GARY SMITH, Flintstone, Ga.


Candidates should avoid name calling

Reasonable people disagree about significant issues often; most do so civilly. Unfortunately, we see political candidates name calling rather than addressing issues. As a voter, I'm tired of it.

Angelia Stinnett, Senate write-in candidate, called Bob Corker the "greed" candidate because he is a successful businessman. The work ethic that made him privately successful serves his constituents well. Sen. Corker is known for his expertise on foreign policy, banking and the economy. He also is known as an aisle crosser who deals cordially with his opponents. It's called problem solving. I'm grateful for his work in the Senate and I admire his personal success.

Though I don't support Democrat Mark Clayton or his anti-gay agenda, I can't imagine that calling him a hater (as Ms. Stinnett did) does anything to further discussion of our differences. Name calling stops dialog in its tracks and does nothing to solve problems.

Locally, Andrae McGary did the very thing he accused his opponent of doing. By leveling baseless accusations, he brought negative attention on himself. Kindly stick to the issues, Mr. McGary.

Candidates: we voters are sick of negativity. Address the issues and facts. You smear yourselves with your mud flinging. And we remember when we vote.

LISA S. STRAIT

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ToHoldNothing said...

Secularists do not seek to remove religion from the individual's life, for that would be against the idea of freedom of religious exercise in the Constitution. The government, on the other hand, does not have this sort of freedom, nor is it pertinent to how government is run. Prayers and utilization of religion through government means and taxpayer funds is not only unconstitutional, but fundamentally unnecessary to running a country well, especially with so diverse a populace, sharing many perspectives.

October 6, 2012 at 3:50 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

Should taxes force us to pay for sin?

October 6, 2012 at 6:05 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Should taxes force us to pay for sin?

What sins are your taxes paying for, Andrew?

October 6, 2012 at 7:25 a.m.

SUE HUGHBANKS, funny how you leave out how this "filmmaker" was a fraudster, and subject to probation restrictions including not making unsupervised use of the Internet.

I guess you'd rather known criminals be allowed to get away with such misconduct?

Probably because you want the right to discriminate and abuse another religion. Why is that so important to you?

BARBARA F. SWYGART, and me, I choose not to call upon your God as I believe in human action rather than an impersonal entity whose actions cannot be ascertained.

DONALD B. DUFFEY, I hate to tell you this, but Israel is not our ally. They do nothing for us except make for more trouble for our country. Your senseless devotion to them reflects how you would rather "stand strong" and bludgeon yourself against a wall than seek another solution.

I prefer somebody who isn't so firmly dedicated myself. You may like Romney's shameless grandstanding, but I recognize it for the pandering it is.

E. LEE GERALDSON, I'd contradict you on the rest of them, but your last is the easiest. When Obama took office, the deficit stood at 1 trillion dollars. The first year he was in office? Not his budget (Congress does pass them in advance, you know!), so instead of 10 trillion dollars on the day he took office, why not use the figure on the day a budget he signed went into effect?

Oh no, that'd require nuance, wouldn't it?

GARY SMITH, of course you don't mention who the people are on food stamps, do you? Try senior citizens. Try children. Try the disabled. Try military families.

But I guess you'd rather just blindly condemn them as being addicted to needing help to buy food?

Just like you'd rather blindly assume that people on disability are cheating the system. Or maybe they're realizing they need to live, and if they can't get a job, they need help.

But I suppose supporters of the Spartan way like you don't care about that.

LISA S. STRAIT, maybe you should avoid misrepresenting people? Isn't accurate criticism more important than avoiding your idea of name-calling?

Neither Angelia Stinnett, nor anybody else, is criticizing Corker as greedy because of simple success. They have other reasons, and if you disagree with them, why don't you address them specifically rather than distort the words of others?

As for Mark Clayton, you know what's a real flaw? Ignoring the character and substance of his agenda in the seeking of some idealized non-confrontational method. That is such a mistaken position because it ignores the truth in some false concept of not being aggressive.

Besides, looking at your own words, I don't see why you think you'r any better. Notice your lack of any word against Republicans and their behavior.

No, you're just a typical conservative hypocrite anyway, making criticisms of others while never owning up to your own.

October 6, 2012 at 1:54 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Should taxes force us to pay for sin?

What sins are your taxes paying for, Andrew?

(crickets chirping)

Yeah, that's what I thought.

October 6, 2012 at 4:41 p.m.
astinnett12 said...

Corker and his type of Republican are motivated by two things, money and the scent of blood. If his constituents were aware of how he votes against everyone except corporate interests and how much money he has made via his committee memberships, they would run him out of Tennessee with a lynch mob.

http://www.opensecrets.org/address/mydistrict.php?id=N00027441

https://www.facebook.com/notes/angelia-stinnett-for-us-senate-tennessee/bob-corkers-voting-record/452531154797049?notif_t=like

http://www.progressivepunch.org/members.htm?members=TNI&member=TNI&chamber=Senate&search=findOfficial&zip=37343

October 6, 2012 at 7:52 p.m.
ninenineshift5 said...

Corker himself hasn't proven to be above "name calling" in his political campaigns (attack ads against Harold Ford), Lisa. And the controversy surrounding some real estate transactions that he profited from while mayor of Chattanooga definitely pushes his character in a self serving direction.

It's interesting that he has voted to pass some amendments to improve transparency in the federal government when evidence points towards him benefiting from undisclosed government transactions in the past.

October 6, 2012 at 8:52 p.m.
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