published Monday, July 1st, 2013

'Bennett’s tea party obsession is like OCD' and more letters to the editors

Bennett’s tea party obsession is like OCD

Frankly, I am a bit concerned about your cartoonist, Clay Bennett. This preoccupation with the tea party and the conservative movement is, after all, understandable because it is something threatening to the liberal world order, just as the original tea partiers in Boston Harbor threatened the Royal Kingdom and their superior world view.

I have reviewed the definition of obsessive compulsive disorder and it is this: an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts that produce uneasiness, apprehension, fear or worry; by repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing the associated anxiety. Symptoms of the disorder may include excessive washing or cleaning, preoccupation with violent thoughts and the repetitive drawing of cartoons about men with tricorne hats and tea bags.

“It is said the symptoms can be alienating and time-consuming and cause severe emotional and financial distress, and that the acts of those who have OCD may appear paranoid and potentially psychotic.” (Wikipedia).

I hope the editors of the Times Free Press will take this letter seriously and urge your cartoonist to seek professional help. Perhaps medication or psychiatric counseling, or maybe just a spot of tea, may help this talented young artist from burning out in the fire of his obsession.

JOHN T. JOHNSTON, Signal Mountain

Paula Deen is human like the rest of us

I can’t believe all the hoopla over Paula Deen. I doubt there is a born and bred, dyed-in-the-wool Southerner over the age of 50 (black or white) who has not used the “n” word at some time in their life. The word in question is actually a contraction of Nigerian.

Is what she has admitted to any worse than Tiger Woods having 14 sex partners while being married? I don’t think so. Paula Deen may have hurt some feelings, but it pales in light of transgressions committed by other celebrities. Give her a break. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.


Not all seniors oppose same-sex marriage

Careful, careful, to the Times Free Press reader who claimed that those who oppose same-sex marriage are “like 100.”

This grandma doesn’t. Careful not to discriminate against us by age!

CLAIRE HALE, Signal Mountain

Organ donations benefit so many

A miracle happened for my sister and her family. She got a kidney on June 22 and it is functioning.

While it is sad that someone had to die to give life back to my sister and hopefully several others, it is great that the donor or the loved ones decided to celebrate and value the donor’s life by passing it on. I think it is the greatest tribute to honor someone’s life by sharing their gift of life. That gift is joyfully received by the patient, the family and friends, enhancing many lives of those connected to the patient.

For five years, my sister was on dialysis, while nearly 5,000 people died in highway deaths in Tennessee. Do something great with your life: Pass it on! Please donate organs!


Corker on right track on border security

Sen. Corker’s amendment to keep our nation safe is exactly the kind of work you don’t see in Congress much these days. Securing our borders is the right thing to do, and we’ll bring millions of immigrants out of the shadows and into our economy.

Immigration is a tough issue, but Sen. Corker is working hard to get it done. Good job, sir.

AMANDA ELLIS , Soddy-Daisy

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librul said...

Ahem, Mr. Johnston - to paraphrase Ms. Rhinock, let he who is without psychosis profess to analyze it in others. Clay's cartoons are timely, succinct and thankfully for you, easy to understand.

The Tea Party has shown itself to be a boil on the face of America. A rag-tag bunch of racists, homophobes, mysoginists, gun nuts and jingoists, a few members of which have found their way into Congress turning it into a three-ring circus, flailing about in the death throes of a decades-old vision of America that time has rendered moot.

Their socio-political terrorism in hijacking the democratic process and their crazed desire to put a monkey-wrench in the gears of government has endangered our country more than any of the truly patriotic truth-tellers it pursues and imprisons for revealing its dirty secrets. They are terrorists for an anachronism.

Their mantra of "less government" rings hollow when the government they want is one that mandates invading women's bodies against their wishes and those of their doctors; they want to eat food they wouldn't be willing to work in the fields to harvest; they want an electoral process skewed away from the very democratic ideals which created it - denying the right to vote to the minority populations that will sweep them into final irrelevance within a decade. They denigrate science, elevate ignorance and wave their flags as America prosecutes unjust and immoral wars of choice based upon lies and oil addiction.

Pushing their buttons must give Clay a great deal professional satisfaction - it sure gives those of us who admire his talent a great deal of amusement.

July 1, 2013 at 7:36 a.m.
Livn4life said...

Yeah when it is certain persons ie of liberal bent and they rant or even lie and berate others, there is silence. But let something not of the ilk of liberals(who are really just leftist not really liberal), then here it comes. All the people who condemn Paula Deen for something said years ago SHAME ON YOU! SHAME ON ALL OF YOU! That god-aweful word is used frequently among certain groups as if it is cute. It is not.If it is so terrible, it should never be used at all by anyone. But who goes after that other contingent, you so called libs? I thought so, more silence. The ones who dismissed Mrs. Deen, whom I am no fan of by the way, would defend to the gill their own people and cry for forgiveness and leniency if it was someone who leaned their way. What a messed up world we live in. If the insanity is not checked and soon....well let's just wait and see on that one. And this is an example of a evolved society?

July 1, 2013 at 8:41 a.m.
librul said...

Livn - I'm as liberal as they come - even moreso, but I have nothing against Paula Deen for using a word that Blacks themselves use in jest every day. Of course, its meaning and its origins are despicable and it carries much more baggage than "honky" or "whitey", but to villify Paula who rose from living in her car to what she has accomplished through grit and determination because she said a word years ago, despite going on national television to apologize for it, is beyond the pale. It is supremely unfortunate that gangs and drugs are threatening to bring it back into vogue.

July 1, 2013 at 10:14 a.m.
riverman said...

Librul, don't see how you can call the Tea Party ,"racist." Allan West, Bobby Jindal, Nikke Haley, Susan Martinez, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are all minorities who are identified with the Tea Party and have been elected to office. I am not a member but I agree with many of the Tea Party positions. I don't think they concentrate on the social issues as much as the impending fiscal crisis we are facing. Agree 100% with you on Paula Deen. If anyone thinks there is not a double standard then just look at Alan Baldwins comments the other day. Anyone think Capital One is going to fire him?

July 1, 2013 at 11:41 a.m.
librul said...

What a lineup! A real multi-racial clown car. Run them all for president and see if you can gather 2 percent of the national vote.

July 1, 2013 at 11:58 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

When the Tea Party left fiscal issues and started their involvement in social issues they become unelectable in the national arena.

Jindal's support for creationism as science, the TP's stances on issues of sexual preferences, reproductive rights, religious indoctrination in public schools, support for blank-check military budgets, corporate fascism masquerading as capitalism, continued support for drug wars, support of the militarism of police forces, and pandering to the likes of Mike Huckabee and John Hagee, and unfettered support of Israel they eliminated a majority of their support.

It's hard to plead for less government while asking for domination and government interference of people's right to choose in personal matters.

Until the Tea Party eliminates the religious extremists such as Gary North and the Christian Reconstructionists, and the anti-science and anti-intellectual elements and returns to championing personal liberties and fiscal responsibilities the Tea Party will not matter nationally.

The Tea Party's national talking points have become akin to the repressive craziness of the John Birchers and White Citizens Councils.

July 1, 2013 at 12:31 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Excellent posts by both of you, librul and daytonsdarwin. I can't think of any way to improve on them so I won't even try.

As for Paula Deen, I know very little about her, only what snippets I've seen of her on TV in brief, scattered viewings over the years. I don't even know if she is liberal or conservative or something in between. But I think that she has been judged ridiculously harshly. The best I can determine, she admitted to using the "N" word many years ago. So f#cking what?! In the first place, that was YEARS AGO and we don't even know in what context she used it. As far as I know she has never said anything demeaning to black people on air or treated any of her staff or the people around her in any racist way. My god, give the woman some slack! She has apologized profusely and, I think, sincerely, and I'm not even sure that an apology was in order. I'm sick and tired of the media's and the public's obsession with political correctness.

July 1, 2013 at 1:02 p.m.
klifnotes said...

librul said... Livn - I'm as liberal as they come - even moreso, but I have nothing against Paula Deen for using a word that Blacks themselves use in jest every day.

I don't believe Paula Deen used words with malice intent. I also don't feel the business world should turn on her so harshly as they have. However, the issue is much deeper than just her using words that might be considered racially derogatory to some. You'd have to read news from other countries on the issue, such as from the United Kingdom and other countries to get a full understanding of the issue being about more than just the use of a racially derogatory word (the infamous "n" word) used about black people. Also, it's naïve and taken for granted to believe that all Blacks use racially derogatory terms within their race or against other races. That's like saying that all gays use sexually derogatory terms within their community against one another. So, it's OK to walk up to a gay person and call them a "f_g". Or that all women use female gender derogatory terms to describe one another. Therefore, it's OK to walk up to a woman, anyone woman on the street, and call her a "b_t/ch", "sl_t", "sk_N_K", "wh_r_e" Or to walk up to a Chinese person and call them a "ch_nk", A native American indian and call them "s_v_g_e"---or a Jewish person and call them a "J-boy"_"h__b", A Latino and call them a "wt/back". Anglo Saxon_"pkwood". And now there are other racially inspired derogatory names that have slithered into the American language against middle easterners "sand_n^&@!rs" (one of the more infamous and derogatory names to crop up in recent times) and "rag_heads"* (another equally offensive and derogatory term used). It is not for me, you, Paula Deen or anyone to decide what others of another race, ethnicity, gender, religion should be required to accept with it comes to hateful, demeaning, derogatory words. It doesn' matter if those groups use such terms within their own race in play, anger or jest.

July 1, 2013 at 1:46 p.m.
klifnotes said...

riverman said... Librul, don't see how you can call the Tea Party ,"racist." Allan West, Bobby Jindal, Nikke Haley, Susan Martinez, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are all minorities

The above doesn't imply the Tea Party isn't a racist group. It just window dressing to give racism and bigotry a greater shield to hide behind. It didn't stop Hitler from attempting his final solution just because he had some high ranking Jews in his military. Neither did life on the plantation become better for slaves, nor did it signify an end to slavery just because some plantation owners used fellow black slaves as slave drivers and overseers. In fact, just the opposite often happened. Life became more brutal, uncertain, and the whip was much more harsh in the hands of black overseers and slave drivers. You'd have to come up with more than to believe or convince others that just because a group has this/that minority they couldn't possibly be racist. At one time even the KKK had blacks in their organization. Strategy.

And if the Tea Party isn't racist how was it they their prior strategy came to inspire so many white hate groups around the nation, and especially during the last voting cycle? Some maybe trying to clean up their image now and use a new strategy, but their original stand has defined what the group actually stands for.

July 1, 2013 at 1:57 p.m.
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