published Sunday, January 13th, 2013

'Put the blame where it belongs' and more letters to the editors

Put the blame where it belongs

I read in a rant (Jan. 6) someone blaming the president for raising Congress' pay.

The fact is that years ago, Congress members became so embarrassed with granting themselves pay raises that they tied their raises into the inflation factors used to raise federal employee pay rates.

Don't blame the president for the sins of Congress and lack of courage (to take the heat when they raise their own pay).

You can always find real reasons to blame the president for his acts. But at least get your facts straight and put blame where blame belongs.

ROGER THOMPSON, Tullahoma, Tenn.

Released balloons pose a hazard

Among the types of pollution mankind creates is that of balloons that are given in memory of a deceased loved one or in celebration of a new baby, a special birthday and more. These balloons, once they have drifted away from their release site, are often found harming wildlife, birds and waterways.

The photograph recently published in the newspaper (“Saying it with balloons,” Jan. 6) encourages people to do the very thing that is done for a generous purpose but ends in destruction for someone or something far removed.

Perhaps you could encourage readers to spread the word about such pollutants or make a donation instead to an environmental organization instead the next time they want to celebrate!


Majority of Muslims seek peace, freedom

A letter (Jan. 5) goes too far. True, the end of Hosni Mubarak's long-standing, tyrannical dictatorship has not led to "liberty and justice for all." But to use this to support an assertion that "Islamic cultural and religious values are dictatorial and repressive" is unfair and prejudiced. Tyranny is tyranny, and great religions of the world are often misused by tyrants to rule and oppress. The vast majority of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world are seeking exactly what Mr. Taj values -- peace, freedom, justice. And when tyrants oppress in the name of Islam, we Muslims suffer a double grief.


No one will move to stop spending

The fiscal cliff was a scam. It was used by both sides to distract we the people from the real fiscal cliff. We have been climbing higher and higher toward the real fiscal cliff for years now, but no one seems to want to be a statesman and do something about it. Our president got what he wanted in taxing the wealthy. But after all of the haggling, this tax increase will only fund the government for 11 days. We have a spending problem, but no one has the fortitude to stop the spending binge. We have too many able-bodied people on disability and too many who will not work on welfare.

We are encouraging laziness, lying and moral turpitude. This reckless spending of our children's inheritance needs to stop. If the president and the Democratic Senate won't hold the line on spending, the Republican House must stand tough at the upcoming debt ceiling discussions.


Aid shelter pets by volunteering

With the new year comes new (or not-so-new) resolutions: lose weight, learn a language, spend more time with the kids, get more involved in our local communities. Instead of becoming overwhelmed, why not make a realistic resolution that can make a real difference in the lives of homeless pets?

By volunteering at your local animal shelter you open up a whole world of opportunities that can benefit both you and the animals. If you've vowed to get in shape this year, sign up to take shelter dogs for walks or runs -- 30 minutes of walking a day can result in 15 pounds of weight loss in a year.

Want to spend more time with the kids? Work with your child's youth group to gather supplies to donate to a local pet organization. (Many people think donations to national groups like the Humane Society of the U.S. go locally, but they largely don't.) Or, teach your action-minded son or daughter about how laws are made by following an animal-related bill through the legislative process.

No matter how you choose to get involved -- by volunteering, adopting or even just donating locally -- you can make 2013 better and brighter for yourself and your local shelter pets.

DIANA CULP, director, Humane Society for Shelter Pets

Hold a hard line on debt, budget

The article about the battle of the budget was myopic and biased. I believe that the Times Free Press should be more responsible in reviewing material before publishing such irresponsible opinions.

Only the ignorant would be in favor of raising the debt ceiling at this time. It is time that responsible people start to demand a balanced budget, and it is time to hold a hard line on the debt ceiling and the federal deficit.

I am a middle-class citizen who pays a myriad of taxes; federal, county, city and sales. I have no issue with paying taxes when I see that the funds are properly used.

What is upsetting is the waste of these tax dollars to reward the lobbyists and special interest groups that support the campaigns. Since federal taxes have been increased for everyone, it now is appropriate to demand a reduction in wasteful spending and a balanced budget. There must not be an increase in the debt ceiling, as an increase will adversely impact everyone in this country.

Further erosion of the dollar and potentially high inflation would impact every U.S. citizen greater than the tax increases.


McCullough best choice in District 1

Following the 2010 census, all local governments were required by the state to adopt new district plans. Most Hixson residents have enjoyed solid leadership from Council Chairwoman Pam Ladd. Pam is a Hixson High graduate, longtime Hixson resident and former business owner located in Hixson. I always have found Pam to be accessible and open-minded and will miss her representation. I wish her continued success.

After being consumed by District 1, my neighborhood and a few other longtime District 3 residents are in some unfamiliar territory. District 1 represents the westernmost border of Chattanooga or the general areas of Red Bank and Lookout Valley to the Georgia border nearly 30 miles away.

With the next citywide election just a few weeks away, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to vote for a man who is no stranger to District 1 and the Hixson community. Dr. Tom McCullough has been a leader in local education for over 40 years. I have been fortunate to know him as my principal, my boss and friend. Please join me by voting for Dr. Tom McCullough City Council, District 1, on March 5. Don't forget, early voting begins Feb. 13.


Don't use cartoons on innocent people

I am pleased to see Mr. Bennett taking a break from his attacks on the Second Amendment. He is an excellent cartoonist, and on some subjects he hits the bull's-eye and helps me think about my own views or hope that someone else will see the cartoon and think about theirs.

Since I'm not a cartoonist, I would like to reply to Mr. Bennett by saying it is unfortunate that he wastes so many of his cartoons by sniping at innocent people using cartoon bullets that often appear to be composed of incorrect information, hate and intolerance.

Let's try to stop using fighting words and their cartoon equivalents against each other. Let's keep trying to work together to improve the country and world we all say we love. It's always too soon to give up and hate each other.

TOM HUGHES, East Ridge

Right on the spot for life-saving action

It all happened so quickly. Our own Randy Wilkes, athletic trainer at Ooltewah High School, was talking with Denise Ray, the school nurse, in the gymnasium. It was toward the end of gym class and several boys were shooting hoops on the basketball court. George Wade went for a layup and subsequently fell to the floor.

Within seconds, he was surrounded by several coaches, Denise and Randy. George had no pulse and was not breathing. Randy and Denise began CPR, and 911 was called. One of the coaches ran to retrieve the AED, which was located in another building. Following the second shock, George’s pulse returned and after a short stint of rescue breathing, he began to breathe on his own.

George recovered and has returned to be with his classmates at OHS.

We are proud of our fellow employee, Randy Wilkes, and how bravely and skillfully he assisted in saving George’s life.

The staff at Center for Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics

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Rickaroo said...

"Let's try to stop using fighting words and their cartoon equivalents against each other. Let's keep trying to work together to improve the country and world we all say we love." - Tom Hughes

Okay, let's do that, Tom Hughes. I'm all for it. But why don't you start with your own person? You yourself are using "fighting words" when you accuse Mr. Bennett of attacking the second amendment. I have seen all of his cartoons and he has done no such thing. Not even close. I have seen nothing but misrepresentative, hyperbolic, and outright false claims from the gun fetishists that we who think reasonable gun regulations on military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines want nothing less than a complete ban on guns and a repeal of the second amendment. All lies and distortion. I have not seen or heard anyone, no matter how liberal, calling for a confiscation of guns or a repeal of the second amendment. I'm a liberal and I own a gun. Most liberals I know own at least one gun. I don't know of anybody who is against owning a gun for protection of home, self, and family. Just because many of us happen to think that sensible restrictions need to be put in place and enforced concerning certain military-style weapons does not mean that we want to come for your guns or do away with the second amendment. So stop spreading the lie that we do. Over and over and over again, you all keep spreading that lie and falling prey to your own delusions.

If you really want to work together to improve the country, then stop with your knee-jerk reactions already and just LISTEN to what we're saying. How many times do we have to say it? NOBODY - NOT LIBERALS, NOT OBAMA, NOT JOE BIDEN, NOT PIERS MORGAN, NOT CLAY BENNETT, NOT ME, NOT ANYBODY - IS CALLING FOR SCRAPPING THE SECOND AMENDMENT OR TAKING AWAY ANYBODY'S GUNS! What does it take for that to penetrate your thick skulls and finally sink in?

January 13, 2013 at 2:34 p.m.
Livn4life said...

Rickarooooooooo....Wow man you just hung that cap. letters button there. Liberals do not want to take the 2nd amendment away from liberals. Just like the hate speak and violent words they use against anything conservative is allegedly acceptable WHEN THEY USE IT. So when any liberal claims they are not out to take anyone else's rights away, there are a lot of people WHO JUST DON'T BUY it. But you go right along in your dreamworld where liberal means automatically accepted(by biased media and government leaners). The rest of us will live in the real world and try to stand up for our rights and others even ones who may be different from us.

January 13, 2013 at 5:08 p.m.
Easy123 said...


"Liberals do not want to take the 2nd amendment away from liberals."

False. You're being deceitful and highly illogical. It's not possible to do that. If you had one speck of sense inside your brain, you would already know that.

"Just like the hate speak and violent words they use against anything conservative is allegedly acceptable WHEN THEY USE IT."

There is demonstrably more hate speech on your side of the house. There is more ignorant speech as well. You just don't like being exposed as being hateful considering the religious views you and your ilk espouse. You believe your hate speech is backed by your god. Rational, sane people are just calling B.S.

"So when any liberal claims they are not out to take anyone else's rights away, there are a lot of people WHO JUST DON'T BUY it."

And that makes those people irrational, ignorant, illogical, etc.

"But you go right along in your dreamworld where liberal means automatically accepted(by biased media and government leaners)."

And you can live in your dreamworld where liberal means lie or anti-rights. All while worshipping the most biased news network of them all, Fox News. You WingNuts will always be conspiracy theorists even after your thousands of conspiracies have been proven false. You never own up to it. You continue to believe your own lies and misinformation. It's impossible for you to be rational because irrationality is required for one to advocated the beliefs and ideals of a WingNut Conservative.

"The rest of us will live in the real world and try to stand up for our rights and others even ones who may be different from us."

You mean your real world of conjecture and presupposition? You just admitted that no one is trying to take away your rights. You simply don't believe "liberals" when they tell you. So who is living in the real world? Obviously, not you or anyone that thinks like you. You live in the fantasy world that is your WingNut mind. Nothing you believe is congruent with reality. It's all propaganda and conspiracy that has been beaten into your brain by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones, The Bible, etc.

January 13, 2013 at 5:28 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

L4L, that "real world" you think you inhabit exists only in the delusional heads of wing-nuts like you. We have had gun laws and regulations ever since the Gun Control Act of 1968, and the gun lovers have been whining about that "slippery slope" that will lead to outright gun confiscation ever since. But we are not any closer to such a thing happening today than we ever were.

Obama never even mentioned anything about gun control throughout his entire first term. Now that he suggests sensible regulation that might be helpful in at least preventing certain undesirable people from obtaining the types of weapons and high-capacity clips that make these mass shootings so easy to carry out, you start screaming with renewed vengeance about how we liberals just want to ban everybody's guns and trash the second amendment.

Look, I can't help it if you're so paranoid about socialism, gun confiscation, and a loss of your freedoms that you can't take a dump without thinking Obama is going to pop out of the toilet and grab you by your butt. But try not to be so public about your delusions. You're making an ass of yourself. Really.

January 13, 2013 at 6:11 p.m.
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