Where money is sacred
Walter Williams compares the Affordable Care Act to Nazi Germany and quotes Rudolph Rummel: "The more power a government has, the more it can act according to the whims and desires of the elite." Ergo, the government should not be allowed to control women's bodies. In China, the government forces women to end pregnancies so the elite of their government can control population size. But wait, you say! By outlawing abortion, we save the sacred lives of the unborn! But by that logic, the ACA should be supported, because it will save the lives of those who could otherwise not afford health care. You can't have it both ways. Conservatives call for smaller government, yet call for increased government presence in the doctor's office. The voices that decry ending the sacred lives of the unborn cut social services that help already-born children. The government can control my body when it controls a man's money. Let's pass a law that every man be DNA-tested, allowing every baby's father to be identified, and his money controlled by the government to ensure that it is used to support his children. Agreed? Didn't think so. In this country, what's sacred isn't children, it's money.
LISA SCOTT, Dayton, Tenn.
Thoughts on abortion laws
Responsible journalism requires telling the whole story, and "Cash key in abortion amendment battle" (Times Free Press, April 14) fails this basic test. Apart from miscasting this ballot measure as a contest between fundraisers, your reporter suggests by quoting only part of the proposed amendment to the state constitution that abortion rights in Tennessee are imperiled. The full text says that "the people retain the right through their elected [representatives] to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion." This language does nothing to ban abortion but rather simply says the right to abortion in Tennessee is not established beyond the parameters set by the U.S. Supreme Court. To further avoid confusion, the amendment concludes by specifying that the legislature may provide for abortion in cases of rape, incest or life of the mother. Put simply, the amendment restores the will of the people of Tennessee within the context of Roe v. Wade's abortion license.
GARY LINDLEY, Lookout Mountain, Ga.
I am proud to support my friend, Pam Fleenor, for chancellor in the upcoming Republican primary. Pam has been a dear friend for over 40 years; I know her well. From what I understand to be the role of the chancellor, she is a perfect candidate. Not only does she possess qualities of being fair-minded and compassionate, along with common sense, she already has experience working in Chancery Court. Pam has been a leader all of her life, and she is the type of person to make decisions about right and wrong without being swayed by outside influences. I can also tell you Pam has a strong work ethic. A local girl who grew up in Chattanooga, graduated from Central High and UTC before receiving her law degree from the University of Cincinnati, she has always cared about and served her community. In essence, I know Pam Fleenor to be a conservative Christian woman of integrity and highly recommend her for chancellor. Thank you for considering her for your vote in the Republican primary.
Russia in a death spiral
All Republican protestations to the contrary, President Obama is pursuing the wisest policy on Russia. He is watching, scrutinizing and warning, but stopping short of direct military intervention. Russia is a dysfunctional country that is slowly approaching disintegration. With the world's highest divorce rate (60 percent) and one of the highest rates of alcoholism, drug abuse, abortion and HIV, Russia's birth rate has plummeted alarmingly below replacement levels. Today one in five Russians seeks emigration. And now that they can choose where they want to live, Russians are fleeing Siberia in droves. This poses a tempting vacuum for overpopulated China to fill, one of Russia's greatest fears. Another looming concern is Russia's burgeoning Muslim population. Muslims don't drink, rarely divorce or abort, and have a high birth rate. They could conceivably comprise half of Russia's population by the mid-21st century. Vladimir Putin's managed democracy is organized around a personality cult rife with cronyism, graft and corruption. Latently fragile and lacking in essential institutions, his government could eventually implode as the Communist regime did before it. A word of caution: Nations, like individuals, can be particularly dangerous when they are facing extinction and have little to lose.
GEORGE B. REED JR., Rossville
Clarification about fees
ENCO Utility Services is pleased to serve the city of Chattanooga and its residents and would like to have an opportunity to set the record straight regarding the payment processing fees. The $3 fee charged to customers to make payments online or by phone is a service fee charged by the payment processor merchant bank. ENCO does not charge the fee. The city, not ENCO, opted to charge customers who use this service for the cost of providing the service. Local retailers charge a fee to customers to make walk-in payments. ENCO receives none of these fees. They are charged by the retailer to cover the cost of providing this service and are kept by the retailer. I sincerely request that this letter be published and that it helps to resolve any misunderstandings.
RUBY M. IRIGOYEN, Sr. Vice President ENCO Utility Services
Time to bring back the draft
Only 1 percent of our country's citizens are serving in our military, with multiple deployments up to six, seven and eight tours. Meanwhile, our headlines consist of politicians and television personalities bashing one party or the other. Something is definitely wrong. The people who are name-calling have no idea what our brave men and women are and have gone through. This behavior leads me to believe that there are many who have no spines. Why not hide behind a cloak of cowardice when, in reality, one can enjoy all the freedoms of the USA and not be held accountable? Simply said, we must reinstate the draft in order to reinstate accountability in these United States. We must truly care for our veterans. Remember, all gave some, and some gave all.
BENJAMIN W. SUTTON, Hiawassee, Ga.