DesJarlais chose not to use birth control
A letter to the editor Dec. 28, amazes me. The writer says people should stop the vendetta against Rep. Scott DesJarlais because it is all the women's fault for not using birth control! It was Rep. DesJarlais who had sexual affairs with office workers and patients. He then tried to get one to have an abortion. He then sits in Congress saying he's against abortions and how pro-life he is. What a hypocrite. Why didn't Rep. DesJarlais use birth control?
The writer apparently hasn't heard of condoms. She sounds like other Republicans, always blame women! It was Rep. DesJarlais who made the choice not to use birth control!
Bennett distorts principled stand
Clay Bennett's Saturday political cartoon attacking Hobby Lobby's conscientious objection to the HHS mandate is among the most egregious examples of his condescension. It totally misrepresents the issue at hand and the reasons for the retailer's resistance to the requirement that it provide health insurance coverage which includes contraception and certain abortifacients.
Bennett misrepresents the fact that the owners of Hobby Lobby (the Green family) have stipulated that their objection is one of conscience. Whether the majority of the American people agree with them or not is entirely beside the point; the point is that the Greens believe that the government requirement is immoral.
This issue is not one of taxation, where someone may object that he disapproves of his tax dollars used to fund an immoral war; what is in view is a mandate that employers pay for certain health insurance coverages. The issue is not one of cost; despite false claims to the contrary, the pill is available free of charge from public health services and costs relatively little otherwise.
The one and only issue here is conscience, which the government acknowledges by exempting particular churches and which the Greens exemplify by risking fines of $1.3 million per day. Bennett shamefully distorts Hobby Lobby's principled stand.
GARY LINDLEY, Lookout Mountain, Ga.
Girl Scout cookies are an investment
Girl Scout cookies are more than what's in the box. Girl Scouts begin this year's cookie sale Friday. Most people know Girl Scout cookies taste good -- but these cookies do good. Buying cookies helps a girl build a lifetime of skills and confidence. She learns to handle her allowance responsibly, analyze problems, work with others and achieve important goals.
A new option allows customers to buy cookies that will be donated directly to members of our Army National Guard and Air National Guard.
Girls are taking cookie orders through Feb. 10. If you don't know a Girl Scout, you may reserve cookies online at IWantCookies.org. All proceeds benefit girls in our local area. For more information, call 800-474-1912.
Although buying a box of cookies takes just a few minutes, girls have spent months preparing for this exciting opportunity. Thank you in advance for making a cookie purchase. You're not just buying a box of cookies, you're investing in a girl's future.
BOOTH KAMMANN, CEO, Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians
USPS should review operations
I second the editorial thoughts of Walter Cochran ("Postal package took circuitous route" Jan. 3), Peter Roff ("Deliver Real Postal Reform" Dec. 26) and Bill Laudeman ("Here's an example of USPS inefficiency" Dec. 16.)
I recently sent a package from Chattanooga to Columbus, Ga., via the United States Postal Service. Instead of going straight through Atlanta, it went to the origin sort facility in Memphis, then to the Atlanta sort facility, then to Columbus. To almost anyone this would appear inefficient. I wrote to the postmaster general, and received (in part) the following reply. "All parcel post is processed in Memphis if it originated in Tennessee." This may indeed be the most cost-efficient routing. However, with the number of recent spotlights on potential USPS issues, it seems the postal service should do a comprehensive review of routing issues and potential cost savings. Another budget challenge is that advertisers and solicitors pay only $0.08 for a "junk mail" letter.
This is an unfair subsidy absorbed by regular citizen users of the USPS. Also, the administration of the post office has been requesting elimination of one day of delivery. The Congress should allow this to happen.
SHERRY KITTS, Hixson
What is different about an AR-15?
An AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle. It operates just like any semi-automatic rifle. It fires one round when you pull the trigger one time. That means if you have the rounds and can pull the trigger 45-60 times in a minute, the rate of fire would be 45-60 rounds per minute. The full automatic version that the military and police use has a rate of fire of 800 rounds per minute with one pull of the trigger.
A semi-automatic pistol works the same way. It fires one round when you pull the trigger one time. The rate of fire for a pistol is 45-60 rounds per minute if you have that many rounds.
A revolver works the same way. It fires one round when you pull the trigger one time. The rate of fire for a pistol is 45-60 rounds per minute if you have that many rounds.
So, why is an AR-15 an assault weapon?
ROBERT DUANE NICKOLS
Just where do Gore's values lie?
How can Al Gore, who was the Democratic nominee for president of the United States, sell his TV channel, Current, to an Arabic news company? Al-Jazeera, though claiming to be more moderate than extreme, is still the source of much anti-American propaganda through its programming. I understand that Mr. Gore would not sell his channel to Glenn Beck because he did not want to sell it to someone who was not aligned with his values. I can understand that Al Gore's values are very different from those of Glenn Beck.
I am sure there are others who disagree with Glenn Beck. The alarming question is, do Al Gore's values agree with Al-Jazeera more than with those of Glenn Beck? If Al Gore is not close to Al-Jazeera in values, he certainly loves their money more than he loves America. I do not know how to express my shame and outrage at this action by Al Gore, that I consider very close to treason to anti-American propaganda or to the green of the dollar soaked in oil, which is not part of his value system either.
ROGER STILES, Ringgold, Ga.
Work with VA to treat inmates
Regarding the recent article on Hamilton County jails and problems associated with it, I think the following should be considered.
Inmate population will not decrease. Statistics and economics will bear this out. Second, regardless of whom the sheriff may be, remedies are limited by outside influences on funding. The sheriff could act on essential issues that must be dealt with now.
Many inmates are viable mental health cases. Sheriffs will tell you they should and would be better served and treated in other facilities, not a jail cell. Yet they are there because of lack of funding to mental health facilities.
What is available and could be done rather simply to help alleviate part of the problem is a program called veterans court in many cities, now with a high success rate. VA works with those in jail, makes a treatment plan, recommends to the judge how best to serve the individual, and once in front of the judge, provided the inmate accepts, goes into VA care at no cost to the city, county or state.
It take the district attorney, one judge to handle the cases and work out a plan with the VA outpatient clinic in Chattanooga to establish this.
ROBERT LAMB, Tunnel Hill, Ga.