We can't survive four more years
To Editor Drew Johnson: You did a real disservice to your readers by your editorial on Aug. 30, "The Romney dilemma," by saying the Republicans should "throw" the election for this year and leave Obama for four more years, then look to 2016 for a "better" candidate. We cannot survive another four years with Obama, as anyone with any common sense should be able to see.
Romney is a smart, capable candidate and should be given a chance to save this country, with God's help. This president is sending us down the tubes. As in a political cartoon I saw, re-electing Obama would be like backing the Titanic up to hit the iceberg again.
I would cancel my subscription if there was another newspaper in this town. I should hope you will be more fair in future editorials as you belong on the "left" side of the paper. We have no conservative voice in your editorials anymore. As for the letter writer who wants Romney and Ted Nugent to go to Mars, if he thinks Obama is the best president we've had, he must have been on another planet himself these past four years. Obama makes even Jimmy Carter look good.
JEAN RICKARD, Hixson
Governors right on more pre-k
Response to Free Press editorial, "Haslam wrong about pre-k" (Aug. 26). Actually Govs. Bredesen and Haslam got it right.
The editorial stated that "Before Haslam pours additional tax dollars into pre-k..., he needs to ask, 'who really benefits from pre-k?' The answer isn't children or taxpayers. It's the teachers union... ."
You're wrong about the value of early childhood education.
The most critical life skills are developed between 2 and 6 -- even more critical for children with disabilities.
Learning starts in infancy, long before formal education. From birth to 3, a child's brain begins its wiring for math, language, music and physical activity. If it doesn't receive age-appropriate stimulation, it is difficult to "re-wire itself" later.
Young children who are engaged have a foundation for positive outcomes in academics, behavior and reasoning skills.
Imagine our community if every person had been nurtured between birth and 5. Better people aren't just born; they develop over a lifetime by caring families and communities.
The conclusion that "If Haslam really wants what's best for children, he'll fight for less pre-k ..." should be that he'll fight for more pre-k, which is what he and Gov. Bredesen have been doing.
GERALD D. JENSEN, President & CEO, Siskin Children's Institute
Obama definitely not the best ever
This letter is in response to a letter stating that President Obama is the best president we've ever had and suggesting that we send Ted Nugent and Mitt Romney to Mars. My response to that is, "What planet have you been living on?" Twenty-eight-plus million out of work (according to the real unemployment rate, which includes unemployed, underemployed and discouraged workers), 4 million bankruptcies and 2.4 million home foreclosures, health insurance premiums up 13 percent, and an astronomically increased national debt under Obama's one term. Most of these statistics are taken from 2011, so how much worse is it now?
I saw a cartoon the other day that nailed it in comparison, best one I've seen yet: Re-electing Obama would be like backing the Titanic up to hit the iceberg for a second time. Romney is an excellent choice with impeccable credentials and experience to run against Obama.
Anybody who thinks Obama is the best president we've had is absolutely clueless. This is a dangerous election and the future of America depends on it. I certainly hope we don't gamble it away.
SHERRY MARTINEZ, Hixson
Bain improved pension plans
The president and his accomplices in the McMedia would have us believe that the inveterate profiteers at Bain Capital grew wealthy buying companies and firing the employees, trampling middle-class types like union workers, teachers and retirees along the way. Deroy Murdock's New York Post article, "Look Who Parks Their Cash at Bain," tells us that by rescuing failing companies and starting new ones the "Bain Crime family" enriched the pension plans of:
System, Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, Indiana Public Retirement System, Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System, Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension System, Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, Employees' Retirement System of Nevada, State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System, Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, and the august Oprah Winfrey Foundation.
Murdock asks why would Demo-friendly government-union leaders and university presidents allow Bain to oversee their precious assets. Interesting question, indeed.
Who's in charge if Obamas gone?
One can only wonder who in the vacant office is running our government while the Obamas are on Air Force One to the next campaign speeches at taxpayer expense!
School disparities must be addressed
After seeing Tuesday's Times Free Press (Sept. 4) I began to wonder, "What's wrong with these pictures?"
The front page shows a large photograph of The Howard School's band practicing with beat-up equipment and a headline that read, "So long, duct tape." The article describes how hard Dexter Bell is working to get decent instruments for all his band members. No one should have to share instruments or pretend to play while marching.
On page one of Section D in the same day's paper is a picture of a young violinist from Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences surrounded by a least a dozen electric keyboards. Yes, I know CSAS is a magnet school, and I know the funding is different. I taught in public education over 30 years and I am aware that there is grant money, and that band booster parents spend countless hours selling concessions and conducting other fundraising activities so that their kids can have what they need. Perhaps the students at The Howard School don't yet have that level of support.
I suppose my point is this. What do these two pictures say about Hamilton County Schools? Does anyone else think this is a situation that needs to be addressed?
SUSAN M. DAILEY
Move now to halt phone invasions
Millions of homes are invaded daily by telemarketers and political workers. We've been told if we place a request to the proper authorities, our phones won't be dialed by these intruders. Unfortunately, this isn't true.
We have some control over TV and Internet using the off/on switch -- not so with telephones. Many would dispense with our phone in preference to these daily intrusions except the phone is a necessity in some situations.
We possess the technology to eliminate this blight. Electronic gear can easily be manufactured for phone providers that will:
1. Allow homeowners to press a key(s) on his phone while the intruder makes his pitch that will send a message directly to a processing center.
2. The message can identify the intruder, time of the call, and phone number of the homeowner.
Every person owning a phone should be free to choose whether or not to participate.
In order for this to become a reality, a federal law will be needed, whereby fines can be assessed against violators. Also, fees can be required of telemarketers, etc., periodically for lists of phone numbers which aren't to be called.
A well-organized survey would, no doubt, convince Congress and the president that such a program is needed and wanted by the citizenry.
KENNETH W. SIMONDS