Blessed are the peacemakers
In his column "Testing for War," David Cook takes exception to a proposal to have the ASVAB test administered to students and proposes that peace studies would be more beneficial than exposure to military influences.
At one time schools did promote peace. Students recited an old passage "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us". But such forgiving was banned because it might promote religion. Well, it promoted an unstylish religion, not the climate change religion or similar cause of the day.
He infers the military is the antithesis of peacemaking. Fortunately our military, particularly the individual U.S. serviceman, is the greatest force for peace in the world. However politicians have used this force in poorly defined missions with no national interest.
If he means that schools should not focus on faddish causes but on fundamentals that prepare for the challenges of this century, then I agree. Let's have curriculum that produce graduates who can read, write, understand math to know what deficit means and understand the constitution. Then we might elect politicians that use our military as peacekeepers when the absence of peace would be a threat to our values. From that same antiquated text: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."
DANIEL McINTIRE, Ooltewah
An honor to serve
I am honored and humbled beyond words to be elected as the next District 3 representative on the City Council. It has been a long road, and I would like to thank all of our volunteers and supporters for their tireless work on my campaign. The outpouring of support and confidence you have shown in me helped make this day possible. For this, I will always be grateful.
Yes, I am truly blessed to have this opportunity. Chattanooga is a special city -- one that we proudly call home and where we raise our families. As I've walked door to door, residents and business owners raised concerns about rising crime, crumbling roads, higher taxes and wasteful spending. These issues are real, and as your next council member, these concerns will be my top priorities.
Again, thank you for your support and belief in my vision on how we can make Chattanooga a better place. I ask that you keep me and my family in your thoughts and prayers as we work together to make a positive difference in our community. I am your public servant and look forward to being your voice and advocate on the City Council.
KEN SMITH, District 3 City Councilman Elect
Watch suspect resisting arrest
I hope everyone will watch the video of Adam Tatum "resisting arrest." How much violence is needed when dealing with someone so out of their head? I am glad it was the police dealing with it and not me.
Thank all you brave policemen that dealt with him that night. If you resist arrest you are a criminal. If you arm yourself and do illegal drugs while serving your sentence you are an incorrigible criminal.
PHYLLIS SYLAR, Georgetown, Tenn.
AP statement on sequester false
A story from The Associated Press that appeared in your paper on Feb. 26 (page A5) included the following statement:
"The sequester was designed as an unpalatable fallback, meant to take effect only if a congressional supercommittee failed to come up with at least $1 trillion dollars in savings from benefit programs."
The story was printed in newspapers across the country. The statement quoted above is absolutely false, but gross errors in AP stories are routine events and are to be expected. What concerns me is that another AP story that appeared in your paper the very next day (page A6) repeated the same error, exactly word for word. Evidently, this nonsense has become boilerplate at The Associated Press, and is being pushed from one end of this country to the other.
The facts are clear: The supercommittee was established by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and was charged with finding $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction. The committee's mandate was to consider revenue increases, tax increases, closing tax loopholes, cutting military spending, and reforms to entitlement programs.
To characterize that mandate as "finding savings from benefit programs" is journalism unworthy of a student newspaper in a high school class.
ROBERT L. FAST
Where's the outcry on beating?
Doesn't anyone remember the Rodney King issue, and its aftermath, in Los Angeles? Where is the public outcry over the brutal beating of Adam Tatum? Why aren't the citizens of Chattanooga and Hamilton County out in force to protest the behavior of two officers, twice the size of their victim, who "forgot" their training and their duty to serve and protect?
We find it incredible that these two "bullies" would expect to get their jobs back. And even more incredible that the public is silent about this issue which was so eloquently commented upon and explained in David Cooke's column on March 1, 2013.
RICHARD and NANCY HUGHES, Cleveland, Tenn.
Obama a blamer, not a leader
Obama is setting the stage for any "crisis" or any "disaster" that results from the sequester action to be blamed on the GOP -- even though he is spending our tax dollars like mad and his unwillingness to make a few cuts near home is a disgrace. How about ridding the nation of his czars and their bloated staffs. He could take fewer trips, cut the White House staff, and quit wasting money on stupid green projects that benefit either his cronies or China. He should reduce foreign aid to countries that hate us and secure our borders so we don't have more freeloaders pouring into our country.
There are other items to numerous to mention where this country could save money if we had a leader rather than a blamer.
WILLIAM GODSEY, Crossville, Tenn.
Legislators should wear patches
I read with interest a letter criticizing the GOP and NRA. I, and probably thousands of others, would protest against the Tennessee State Legislature's adoption of guns-in-trunks law. This love affair with guns and the NRA has me baffled. Is it the protection and strict interpretation of the Second Amendment or something else? Like money?
Ron Ramsey, Senate Leader, and his minions seem to feel that with the powerful backing of the NRA and fear of retribution from the NRA if they don't. Remember Deborah Maggart?
Let me pose a colorful visual -- NASCAR inspired this idea and I want to apply it to politicians like Lt. Gov. Ramsey and his ilk. NASCAR driver suits are emblazoned with sponsors, the more the sponsor pays the bigger the patch. A politician's "uniform" would serve the same purpose and would be worn when doing the people's business. On the right shoulder there could be a large patch featuring the logo of the NRA. On another shoulder or chest another large patch from another large contributor. Lots of colorful patches denoting corporate and other lobbying interests fill out the suit. But, barely visible, a constituent patch, postage stamp size. Get the picture?
The National Rifle Association is in the gun selling business. It used to be the beacon for gun safety, but no more. Upwards of $32 million went into the NRA coffers from gun manufacturing and assorted other gun-related industries.
ROBERT J. BROOKS