Apathy driving U.S. off course
Prior to the Central High School football game last week I was embarrassed. When the colors were paraded to the center of the field only a few of us stood and removed our hats.
The public address announcer asked that everyone stand for the playing of our national anthem. Most, but not all, stood. Many, but not all, removed their hats. Placing your hand over your heart was apparently too much trouble for quite a few. The woman in front of me couldn't stop shoving that fried dough into her mouth. A man a few seats away couldn't get his hands out of his pockets. Kids all around failed to stop playing their games and yakking with each other.
Now I understand paying proper respect to our flag and to our anthem doesn't define you as an American, but it is the beginning. Apathy is driving our country in the wrong direction.
Grandparents, apparently it is our role to re-educate our children, and teach our grandkids what it is to be a proud American, what it means to be a responsible citizen. I suspect it is no longer being taught in our school system.
BOB CARNEY, Ooltewah
Citizens should feel free to believe
Imagine if Obama said this, "We in the United States, above all, must remember that lesson, for we were founded as a nation of openness to people of all beliefs. And so we must remain. Our very unity has been strengthened by our pluralism. We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief."
President Reagan made these remarks to members of the Congregation of Temple Hillel and Jewish Community Leaders in Valley Stream, New York, on Oct. 26, 1984.
VICKI CAROLE, Ooltewah
Create jobs, not handouts
Recently, our president stated, "If you have a business, you didn't build it."
When I was 60 years of age, I took early retirement from a large corporation and invested $6,000 in a small contracting business. This month, I will turn 88, still open the office at 7:30 a.m. and usually close it at the end of the day.
We operate five trucks and vans and for the past 28 years, we have provided employment for 10 people without any assistance from any government, local, state or federal.
If I didn't build it, who in heaven's name did?
This, Mr. President, is how jobs are created, not by government handouts.
ROBERT L. RAYBURN
We are paying high price for war
Your political cartoon (Sept. 18) of the gas can filled with "American Weakness" and a "policy of appeasement" as "fuel for the fire" was a history lesson for two of the great war mongers in the history of our country: Cheney and Rumsfeld.
How proud we are that they were not "appeasers." They neglected our original legitimate fight in Afghanistan against al-Qaida to illegally attack Iraq and cause the appalling loss of over 4,000 young American men and women there and an estimated hundred thousand noncombatant Iraqis.
We're paying the price in Afghanistan now for not having settled the score with al-Qaida immediately, and then pulled out. But at least we can brag that Cheney and Rumsfeld were not appeasers. Bring them back today and they would attack all the Mideast countries at the same time. We certainly wouldn't want to use diplomacy in delicate and difficult situations. We need to rush in, raise our flag, beat our chests, and put these new fires out with more fire. And spend thousands more young American lives doing it.
A reader prays for salvation
To Messrs. Coleman, Jones, Freedom From Religion advocates, et al.:
I fear for you, as we are told in Galatians 6:7, "Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap."
Also, in Hebrews 10:31 we are warned that "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
I pray for your salvation.
Amendment under assault
From the 10 original amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America, also called the Bill of Rights, dated Dec. 15,1791.
Amendment 1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...
Now in 2012, a group is working to change the passage to read: Amendment 1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, xx xxxxxxxxxxx xxx xxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxx.
KELVIN H. FLEMINGS, Soddy-Daisy
Students need other options
I read with interest the recent articles from critics of Tennessee's new online school. As the parent of a very happy Tennessee Virtual Academy student, it is important that your readers know the full story.
The TNVA is a Tennessee public school. It features state-approved curriculum, certified public school teachers, and it must meet all the same state testing and accountability measures as any local neighborhood public school.
But while traditional schools may work for many students, some students need other options. That's why more than 2,000 families across our state selected this online public school as the very best option we could find.
Reports on the school's initial standardized test scores should be kept in perspective. Since we are a brand new school, only a small percentage of our first-year students were in the school the entire year prior to the state TCAP tests. Plus, nearly 40 percent of those students (including my own child) were previously home-schooled, so had never taken the state TCAP tests before.
My child is getting a superior education with TNVA and K12. I watch her learn every day. We are grateful to the Tennessee General Assembly for giving our family this new and innovative public school.
LINDA SUE SIMMONS RUNYEON, Kingston Springs, Tenn.
Eliminate test for three years
Emission testing: I think this has been a failure and a burden on everyone, especially the working poor. If you drive an old clunker, how many miles are you driving to cause any measurable pollution? Trucks, buses, afternoon back-up on I-24 and increased air traffic negates any benefit from car inspections.
My suggestion — eliminate the test for three years and see how much air quality is affected.
DAVID A. BROWN, East Ridge
A chance to put down Fox News?
In regard to the complaint about Fox News not showing respect at the Democratic convention. I was checking back and forth to each channel. Most of the time none of them had "full-time" sound as we did and their backs were turned. What you saw was probably one of those times or maybe it was just a chance to put Fox down.
JOYCE YOUNG, Rossville