Changing times mean new weapons
The NRA soon will outlive its usefulness. We will need a new organization for these changing, dangerous times. Let's call it the National Tactical Nuclear Weapons Association (NTNWA). After all, when the "big nasty government" deprives us all of our liberties, what use will assault weapons be against tanks and planes?
We all should have personal anti-tank weapons and shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles in our closets. And why not personal tactical nuclear weapons? It's the only way to assure our freedom!
In the meantime, we would only use them for recreational purposes, of course. Just think of deer hunting with your own TNW. What a blast!
After all, in all my vast experience, I have never been acquainted with a nuclear bomb that got up all by itself, walked into a crowded city and detonated itself. It's people that do bad things, not weapons.
One more thing: don't listen to the closet liberals who dare oppose this idea. They're only interested in depriving you of your Second Amendment rights.
HERBERT K. LEA
Premiums already higher for smokers
The front-page article on Friday, Jan. 25, "Law may leave smokers without insurance," was not worth the space.
For years, the insurance companies have been charging larger premiums for smokers. Most applicants for insurance have to take a physical.
For the writer to insinuate that the Affordable Care Act is going to create higher premiums is not entirely true. I would think before you print some of the data from the Associated Press, and its writers, you would research it a little more.
We non-smokers have been paying for the health care of smokers for years.
We know what the president said
I am highly offended by the editorial on the Free Press page Jan. 23 titled "What Obama Really Meant." It sinks to a level of inappropriate and dumbed-down journalism!
I listened to Mr. Obama's speech. I heard what this man said, I don't need an editor to explain to me.
What Obama really meant. Is the editor so esteemed that he can interpret the words of another? Does he know more than the speaker about what the speaker was saying? I don't think so! This is not how communication works.
Communication involves speaking and listening. When this is done, hopefully there is a "light" burning upstairs and the gist of the message registers with the listener and a message has been exchanged. We do not need others to instruct us how to hear what we already heard!
To top it all off, the editor says in the last paragraph: When you take the time to "read into" what Obama was actually saying in his inaugural address ... don't listen or hear what is said, read into it what you want it to say to suit your interests.
Fighting billboards offends our rights
Appreciating -- or at least accepting -- billboards is an act of grace. Better that we tolerate these silent heralds with cheer than to huff upon our rights. To war against billboards, as cities such as Knoxville have, one offends real property rights of free speech and the right to make a living. Being subject to "visual pollution" is not a tort. If I extend grace to others, I am able to be won by billboard jostlings. I become, if you will, open. I absorb their staccato because they tell of me human industry. In cacophony I perceive human effort, the genius of my fellow man.
To our unhappy esthetes, I recommend the virtue of forbearance. People who complain about billboards tend to favor the art of prohibition. That's all we need -- one more lawful activity put under the heel. Our refined friends might want to be careful pursuing limits to freedom, especially if they come off looking priggish and precious. In contrast, ordinary supporters of these liberties may be more manly and more liberal in the end.
Story clears up weapons confusion
Congratulations on running the article on Jan. 20, "What are assault weapons?"
I have seen so many people making comments about these weapons that you can almost tell they have no idea of what is really considered to be an "assault weapon." Your article gave some clear definitions.
It also explained that some of these weapons have already been declared illegal in some seven states, but each state uses different criteria for "assault weapon."
I notice that the federal "Brady Assault Weapon Ban" was not mentioned. It was allowed to expire when the Columbine, Colo., shooting occurred in 1999 and did not stop the shootings.
I hope you will rerun this article so that more people can become informed.
Maybe on the front page of the Metro section.
Mall runoff hurts area properties
I live downstream from Hamilton Place mall and have suffered from its stormwater runoff since the mall was built and have had thousands of dollars in losses since the flooding started. Mayor Roberts was told of this problem, and every mayor since was made aware of the problem.
Over the years, city officials have made many promises which they did not keep. In some cases they have outright lied. They have continued to allow rich, greedy developers to build without building holding ponds, thereby, increasing the value of their property while diminishing the value of the less-well-off property owners.
If the city is going to continue using my property as a holding pond for the wealthy, then the least it could is raise the affected buildings.
Mayor Littlefield and Ann Coulter both promised at a meeting in 2005 that they would fix this problem. I am still waiting for the fix. I did notice that they acted very quickly to spend around $600,000 to fix a problem at the Chattanooga Country Club.
If the stormwater people cannot, or will not, do their job, then the city needs to privatize this work. It couldn't possible get any worse.
Social Security is a fraud
The Free Press' interpretation of Obama's inauguration speech (editorial, Jan. 23) was spot on and necessary because of President Obama's obfuscation. However, the editor's prescription for fixing Social Security and Medicare misses the mark, and is only marginally better than the president's idea of taxing us more to prop up failing programs. Drew's view: "A responsible leader would make rational responsible improvements to entitlement programs." In truth, the only responsible treatment of fraudulent programs is to kill them, not make them solvent.
Social Security was dishonest from its inception. It was sold to Americans as "insurance."
However, if any insurance company ever sold a policy with the same parameters as Social Security, its executives would be imprisoned. Both programs are more like Ponzi schemes than insurance -- with one big difference: Ponzi never forced his pigeons to buy into his fraudulent scheme. Most Americans would never voluntarily buy into Social Security or Medicare. Evidently they perceive the politicians' dishonesty. Ponzi's victims could say no. Uncle Sam's victims are forced to pay.
Social Security is called the third rail of politics because criticizing it is supposed to be politically fatal. It is the jewel in FDR's crumbling legacy, the Democratic Party's crowning achievement.
It is nevertheless a fraud.
Lone Oak, Tenn.