See what foreign aid gets us?
The riots in the Mideast clearly show the folly of this foolish thing called foreign aid.
UTC makes strides for going green
As I was making my cap-and-gown purchase for December graduation at UTC, I was ecstatic to learn that the items will be made of 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.
In addition to these eco-friendly items, our campus practices numerous environmentally friendly services. Ecological Decisions for a Global Environment, a student-led organization that makes green decisions, uses a $10 green fee per semester to provide our campus with aluminum and plastic recyclable containers. They also have been instrumental in getting motion sensors installed in classrooms to conserve power when classrooms and offices aren't being used.
Most restrooms have automatic flushes to conserve water and stickers to remind students to use fewer paper towels.
The Crossroads Dining Facility no longer uses plastic silverware or plates, but instead utensils and plates that are washed for reuse.
Classes, such as Conservation of Biodiversity, now are offered to help students learn how to live a more environmentally responsible life, and the importance of species and ecosystem diversity.
I am thrilled to see the great strides UTC has made and continues to make in their efforts for reducing their footprint and providing students a greener college experience.
We still summon God when needed
As I sat and watched the ceremony honoring the deaths of our U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other patriots, I was struck by the contradiction of an American society that is removing God from our public education system and other governmental institutions, while at this solemn ceremony, a band played "Nearer My God to Thee," followed by a prayer to our "Gracious God" by a military chaplain.
In the sadness of the moment, I couldn't help but reflect on the heinous actions of a massive radical Muslim element, paying such diabolic homage to their spiritual leader, supposedly over a heretofore obscure YouTube video. I was then reminded of Jesus Christ, a loving Savior, who willingly gave his own life that even these "radicals-without-cause" might be saved.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ended her eulogy with, "and may God continue to bless the United States of America." President Obama then read from John 15:13 in the New Testament. Amazing! We evict God, but still summon Him in times of trouble.
We are a nation enslaved by debt
Our national debt recently surpassed $16 trillion (16,000 billion) and is growing at more than $4 billion (4,000 million) each day. And as a nation we are doing nothing but aimlessly dragging our own body weight around.
We are not engaged in a serious war that threatens our homeland or battling an epidemic or pandemic. There is no major space program initiative or infrastructure project such as super highway, railway, waterway or dam. The scale of accomplishment by our forefathers shames our generations.
We are artlessly erecting a slave society of addict vassals to a debt that none can understand or explain. Where has all that money gone? Where is all that money going? What would we actually do now; should we be required to dispense with a weighty challenge?
The time to engage in solemn consideration about who we elect to manage the affairs of our nation is past due. We must demand accountability for every penny of tax money paid by the citizens and spent by all levels of government. Start by writing or calling your elected representatives.
DAN C. JOHNSON
Layoff brings financial woes
Since my husband was laid off from Memorial Hospital, we have been through it. He has worked since he was 15 years old. From roofing to management, he has worked steady, supporting his family bringing home a paycheck to keep his family together, warm and fed.
Now, he can't find work. It has been six weeks, and we find ourselves out of money. Not a cent do we have in savings. We paid our daughter's college tuition. Maybe we should have kept that for food?
We have no debt except our house. We borrowed from our 401(k), so we are still alive. Do you know how much the government will tax and penalize us for that move come tax time? Up to 40 percent.
The one thing I noticed about the people who were laid off in my husband's department: They were all white, older males. Top of the pay scale. The girl who is now working where my husband used to is barely a year out from nursing school. What do you suppose the difference between her pay and my husband's was?
Shooting in parking lot was reckless
Look at what we have here. An all-out "shoot-out" at the "OK corral, Walmart parking lot" (Sept. 11) in broad open daylight! The best part about this entire ordeal is that it was a "one-way" shooting. The person (or persons) responsible for the vehicle theft apparently did not return fire. This situation could have easily resulted in fatalities.
Even the eyewitnesses were stunned beyond belief! No one ever really pays attention to the average citizen to see if they are "packing" (carrying a revolver). Law enforcement personnel have lawful permission to carry their revolvers. There are still specific rules, regulations and procedures that must be followed if, and when, their revolver is drawn. I am seriously serious! Any innocent bystander, small child, or elderly person could have easily been in the line of fire!
This level of reckless behavior in our community has got to stop! If this behavior is not dealt with to the full extent of the law, it will continue and only worsen.
Bottom line: We seem to be transitioning back to the "Ole Western Cowboy Days" when it was, "Have Gun, Will Travel." In this case it seems to be; "Have gun, will shoot," anytime and any place!
HERBERT H. BROWN
Questions about taxes, schools
I have some questions.
1. Why is my Hamilton County property tax for the upcoming year higher than my Chattanooga city property tax?
2. Is it true that the vast majority of tax revenue that fills the county coffers goes to the 30 percent of Hamilton County which is unincorporated?
3. Do the County Commission and the county school board deliberately underfund the schools within the city limits of Chattanooga?
4. And if they do so, is it because the significant percentage of the student body in these schools is African-American?
Get an education to get a job
I have read and read in these reports on gangs that all these young people want is a job. With no education and their pants under their behinds, who do they think is going to hire them?
I usually enjoy David Cook's columns, but how hard is he trying to find jobs for these young men?
Nobody wants to see underwear or lack of it walking all over the mall or on the street.
Please do not go bleeding-heart on us about there is no way for an education. It is free. Kids go to school every day. Why not them?
David Cook, go find some poor kid working and going to high school and do an article on him or her.
Have you noticed it is not young women wanting jobs, because they are busy taking care of a baby, getting welfare. It is not a badge of honor to have a child at age 14.