published Sunday, June 30th, 2013

'Border proposal just buying votes' and more letters to the editors

Border proposal just buying votes

Sen. Corker, co-author of the Border Security Amendment, just cost American taxpayers about $31.2 billion to buy votes for an immigration bill from a handful of extremist conservative party members who are impossible to satisfy or convince to do the right thing on any issue.

In an attempt to save Republicans' political behinds in the 2014 midterm election, Corker pandered to those House and Senate right-wingers to get Hispanic and Latino votes. In exchange, law enforcement, the military, and defense contractors get carte blanche to erect an estimated 700-mile border fence, increase expensive surveillance technology and add 20,000 government-paid border patrol agents -- this at a time when border crossings are at their lowest and deportation is at its highest.

No doubt we need a better immigration policy -- one that's fair and continues a path to build diversity and democratic freedoms. But giving away more than $30 billion to appease the follies of ultra-right fanatics, who likely will force a watering-down of any immigration bill that will serve no one, is a foolish waste of money and reputation.

Sen. Corker may be a moderate Republican and a favorite son, but I wouldn't pin a "hero" ribbon on him quite yet.

GREG WILLIAMS, Signal Mountain

Check out ironies in Snowden affair

The ironies of the Edward Snowden affair are bizarre. The first irony is that so many Americans were "surprised" that the NSA was mining communication data. This program has existed even before the Patriot Act and has been discussed in public forums for more than 12 years. One would have had to be asleep for the last decade to be surprised. Bob Corker claims ignorance of this program even though he voted for it and serves on the Foreign Relations Committee where he would have complete access to this information. What's worse, laziness or stupidity?

Secondly, Dick Cheney called Snowden a "traitor." Cheney revealed the identity of a secret CIA agent because he was angry at her husband. His lackey took the blame for this espionage was tried and convicted but was pardoned by George Bush. No wonder Americans have difficulty discriminating between a "traitor" and a "whistleblower," Make no mistake. Snowden is a traitor, and so is Dick Cheney.

American confusion is compounded by lazy media coverage. If Benedict Arnold had been covered by NBC, he would have become a famous "whistleblower" rather the name that has become synonymous with being a traitor.


God means to be heard

A response to the letter "Evolution theory not an educated guess": Evolution is taught in schools around the world. Also taught in schools of their day: "The Earth is flat."

Creationist are welcome to present their case to professional scientific organizations, but many scientific journals will not print a paper that hints of a higher power.

There has never been a recorded instance of non-living matter coming to life. There are instances of building a complete skeleton based on a few bones found miles apart. Of building a skull and calling it a form of early man in order to get published.

The letter's author mentions differing accounts of creation. Genesis 1 speaks of creating the earth and man. Genesis 2 speaks in more detail of how God created man and how some parts of His creation worked (no rain required). If God says something twice, He means to be heard.


Fleischmann needs to look out for poor

I hope Rep. Chuck Fleischmann reads the article in Sunday's [June 23] Times Free Press titled "Toughing It Out." It was very well written and true.

I worked in home health for many years and know it to be true. So, Mr. Fleischmann, tell these people how Obamacare will hurt them.

These people need to be taken care of when they need medical care. They tough it out. So should Chuck, and he should consider the poor people he represents, not just the rich and Republican folks.


Tea party open to all

On June 23, the Times Free Press printed a rant that said: "What is the difference between the KKK and the tea party -- Robes."

The KKK is a white supremacist group; you must be white to be a member.

The TP opens its doors to anyone -- black, white or brown.

The KKK hates Jews. I am the VP of the Chattanooga tea party and I am Jewish -- as are others.

The KKK (and the person who wrote the rant) is anonymous because they are cowards. Tea partiers are proud to have their name attached to their ideals. The KKK has a history of violence, including murder. The tea party is completely nonviolent.

If being fiscally conservative, believing in the liberty of the individual rather than being a slave to the government, and following the rules of the Constitution somehow make me a racist, then that definition of racist is wrong. There are more black tea party members than people realize. The tea party supported several minority candidates for office including Alan West, Ted Cruz, Herman Cain, Marco Rubio, Mia Love, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott and others for the very simple reason that they mirror our values.


Maybe some people are from monkeys

In addition to being so dumb that I believe in God's creation, I am thankful I am from the South if that makes me reject the fact I was created as a monkey and lost my tail over time. I will admit, however, it is easy to believe some people could possibly be from monkeys when I read letters like the one on June 24 that defended evolution.

Christian leaders who have as much education as scientists have studied the Bible longer than Darwin studied science and have never found any three or four theories that the creation referred to in Genesis is more than one theory.

When we were growing up, we had the choice of listening to prayer in school, but now, thanks to an atheist, my children and grandchildren do not have that choice.

Thank God we still have the opportunity to attend the church of our choice and teach our children to pray.

ALICE CRANE, LaFayette, Ga.

Clash over creation a modern argument

The June 24 letter in the Chattanooga Times Free Press about evolution is a good example of how many people are conceptually confused about what constitutes creation science.

Hence: Unless one wants to violate every known concept of physics and the scientific quest, one has to admit that evolution has to have a start some place, some time, and that there has to be a scientific explanation for it. Otherwise, one would have to conclude that it began as the result of a miracle, and then choke on one's own chewing gum when the reality of that thought sinks in.

Too many people who think they believe in evolution try to relate everything to Darwin and the Bible. The concept of evolution was around long before Darwin, as was the concept of creation. The scientific clash comes when the modern-day civil liberties folks try to mix the two for the purpose of using the First Amendment to the Constitution to deny people their right to free speech in the classroom.

As to the difference in the two Biblical references to creation, there is no contradiction: The second one is only a continuation of the first in a different context.

THEODORE K. ELBELL, Madisonville, Tenn.

Immigration bill opponents will be judged by history

It is my notion that many members of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are agents of the same type of stiff resistance seen during the civil rights era.

On the immigration reform bill that went before Congress, many of our law makers behaved like modern-day George Wallaces, promoting fear and hatred. Even though later in life he admitted he was wrong on his harsh segregation stance, Former Alabama Gov. George Wallace in 1963 was a leader against equal rights for blacks.

The voices heard today demonizing the path to citizenship in the immigration bill reform are as off base as those who fought to keep segregation in the early 1960s.


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librul said...

Terry Stulce is quite simply, wrong, in his branding of Edward Snowden as a traitor. Snowden's revelations are of far more import than of simple "data mining" of information authorized by over-reaching intelligence agencies and a paranoid Congress, both still embarrassed at the exposure of their incompetence and complacency after the debacle of 9/11 and, apparently, in agreement with those who would seemingly discard the Constitution as some sort of useless relic.

What the American spookworks is now doing should have millions of Americans in the streets. What the Army has done to Pvt. Bradley Manning should have millions of Americans in the streets. What Bush, Cheney and their cadre of neocon warmongers did should have seen them put in prison years ago. What Obama has done in continuing and even expanding Bush programs of torture and imprisonment without trial, to say nothing of his program of indiscriminate murder-by-drone, brand him as a liar and a fraud.

Mr. Stulce should read the piece by Jennifer Granick and Christopher Sprigman referenced below which lays out the facts saying: "We may never know all the details of the mass surveillance programs, but we know this: The administration has justified them through abuse of language, intentional evasion of statutory protections, secret, unreviewable investigative procedures and constitutional arguments that make a mockery of the government’s professed concern with protecting Americans’ privacy. It’s time to call the N.S.A.’s mass surveillance programs what they are: criminal."

I certainly agree - and the fact that more attention has been given to chasing Snowden than exposing the immensity of the spying scandal has branded the national media as a prostrate and cowering shadow of an excuse for a "free press". Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange would all get my version of an American Medal of Freedom.

June 30, 2013 at 4:45 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Like the Germans who rose up against the Third Reich and Hitler and were branded traitors, like the Russians who spoke against the Soviet and Stalin and were branded as traitors, those who speak against the corrupt agencies and autocrats of the American military/corporate government are branded as traitors.

One government's traitor is another man's conscience against a government's protected tyrants.

June 30, 2013 at 5:59 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Alice Crane wrote: "In addition to being so dumb that I believe in God's creation, I am thankful I am from the South if that makes me reject the fact I was created as a monkey and lost my tail over time."

Ms. Crane, not only are you dumb but proudly ignorant with that statement. Your complete lack of any literacy concerning science is without surprise, not because you come from the South, but because you espouse a intellectually gullible illogical and superstitious view of the universe.

I hope your children break free from your small-minded, closed-circuit religious indoctrination to become rational, thinking individuals.

You and the other religious fundamentalist nutters that wrote letters today are a perfect example of why such religious tomfoolery isn't to be taught as science or as fact.

I suspect your Bible has never been read by you, except the juicy parts where god authorized rape, genocide, incest, and slavery as you long for those good old days of Jehovah's vengeance on yours and His non-compliant freethinking enemies

But thanks for continuing the prejudicial national view of ignorant, in-bred, Bible thumping, snake-handling, floor-writhing, tongue-babbling, poison-drinking, squalor-living hicks that still populate the backwoods and church pews of the South.

As a representative of those pea-brained fundamentalists, your imaginary Jesus is doing an imaginary face-palm.

June 30, 2013 at 9:09 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Librul, that's a very good article by Granick and Sprigman. The fact that so many American citizens, like Terry Stulce, are siding with the politicians and pundits who are calling Snowden a traitor shows the extent to which they are brainwashed into believing how fearful we should be of the bogeyman that is lurking around the corner, ready to blow us to smithereens, unless those good folks at NSA go to whatever lengths it takes to "protect" us. Whether Snowden is a hero or not is debatable (I think he is, given the fact that he knew that his life as he had known it would come to an effective end as soon as he became a public figure and a target of the government), but for anyone to call him a traitor is truly a stretch in the wrong direction. If there is anything that NSA is doing to "protect" us, nothing that Snowden did has sacrificed that security in any way. How can anyone possibly think that our knowledge of this massive surveillance, which most people already knew or at least suspected was taking place anyway, is going to jeopardize our security? Furthermore, anyone who might actually be planning on carrying out a terrorist act against the U.S. would have already been keenly aware of and cautious against detection by electronic surveillance.

It goes without saying that there are people of malicious intent who wish to bring harm to the U.S., but Bush in his turn and now Obama in his have used this "war on terror" to their advantage to maximize their powers. They have instilled the nation with so much fear that people are willing and eager to accept anything that they think makes them safe. I have no doubt that some people would even cheerfully submit to buck-naked oral cavity body searches while standing in line at the airport if the powers-that-be said that it was necessary for our safety in this "war on terror."

But the can of worms (the stripping away of our right to privacy) has been opened and there will be no putting those worms back in. We have arrived at the era of Big Brother in incremental stages and most people are not only unaware of it but they are welcoming him into their homes and trying to make him comfortable.

June 30, 2013 at 1:35 p.m.
riverman said...

Terry Stulce once again shows his ignorance of the facts in his diatribe against Dick Cheney. Cheney was never implicated in the Valerie Plame affair and his, "lackey," Scooter Libby, was convicted of lying under oath, not blowing her cover.

On September 7, 2006, Richard Armitage, Colin Powell's Chief Deputy, ADMITTED that he was the person who outed Valerie Plame in an interview with Robert Novak. Sorry Stulcie, once again we hate to confuse you with the facts.

June 30, 2013 at 2:31 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

The Bible thumpers have sure made a showing today!

Evolution is a highly plausible, scientifically verifiable explanation of how all living forms change over time and how we became the human beings that we are today. It really boggles my mind that fundamentalist Christians seem to take offense that we are so closely related to chimpanzees and orangutans, but they're perfectly comfortable in believing their nonsensical fairy-tale version of creation, in which we came from dirt and were zapped into being instantaneously by some great wizard in the sky. It's almost comical to see them tripping over themselves trying to make sense out of something that is so nonsensical that even a halfway intelligent 12 yr.-old could see the absurdity in it. But Bible scholars, theologians, and otherwise intelligent people invest so much time and energy in convoluted thinking, trying to come up with explanations for the abundant contradictions and nonsense that their holy, supposedly perfect word of God contains.

There is only one way the Bible makes any sense at all and that is to see it for what it is - a compilation of myths told by primitive men trying to explain the wonders of life that were unexplainable to them at the time. Science is not the work of the devil or some evil force trying to nullify God, it is simply the unfolding of knowledge that helps us to better understand our world and ourselves. It's a pity that so many Christians thump their Bibles so loud they can't be still or silent long enough to hear the music of the universe and they're so blinded by the garish, phony light of their "savior" that they can't see the real light of truth.

June 30, 2013 at 3:04 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Creationism and Intelligent Design are not science; they're religious propaganda. Here's a view of what thumpers want to teach in science class.

And for those True Believers in Miracles from your favorite invisible friends (no, not Batman or Bilbo Baggins) here's a lesson in miracles. Praise Cheesus!

June 30, 2013 at 3:29 p.m.
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