I diligently read both opinion pages every day. I don't always agree with one side or the other, but I read both anyway. The latest Times editorial import is the New York Times "Court Upholds Republican Ploy," all about holding up appointments to the NLRB and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
It seems that the Republican ploy was a lights-on lights-off convening of the Senate to block Obama recess appointments. The appeals court said the "ploy" was legal. In his usual arrogant style, Obama simply proceeded with the appointments anyway, and we now are facing the threat that many decisions, popular or unpopular, made under the improperly appointed board members will be invalidated. Not good for anyone.
I was really shocked to see the admission that Democrats did a lot of the same during the Bush administration, which, of course was OK. Alas, the shoe now is on the other foot, and it's not OK. We also found that Obama simply stroked one of his 147 executive orders to keep the agencies running. All is well in the kingdom, that is, unless the Supreme Court upholds the decision. But that's for another day.
STEVE BERNTHAL, Blairsville, Ga.
Guy Satterfield is a legitimate candidate for Chattanooga mayor. He is a conservative Republican who will eliminate wasteful spending and return fiscal sanity to our city government. He has over 30 years' experience working for the city and knows the details of its operations. Satterfield has proposed specific actions he would take. He believes that city officials should serve the taxpayers. Guy Satterfield will be a great mayor and is truly worthy of front-page news coverage.
Unfortunately, the Times Free Press has become a propaganda machine for the Berke campaign. The paper has published several articles and letters on Berke but few on the other candidates. The Jan. 28 edition has a front-page article praising Berke for his state Senate experience that attempts to persuade readers Berke's time in the state Senate is relevant to governing our city. The article smells of political cronyism as it quotes some Republican lawmakers in an attempt to persuade conservative voters that Berke is something other than a liberal Democrat.
The Times Free Press should be ashamed of its reporting and coverage of the mayoral election thus far.
WILLIAM F. TODD
Since the Newtown, Conn., shooting there has been a great deal of discussion about the Second Amendment and gun control. Much has been misstated, as has President Obama's interpretation of it.
Our Constitution was ratified by the states with the condition that a Bill of Rights be added. The Second Amendment calls for a "well-regulated militia." This militia, on a state by state basis, required all healthy males from 16 to 60 to have their own firearm, in good working order. They also were required to muster from time to time for purposes of drill and confirmed proficiency with their firearm. A federal government army was not wanted.
Many believe that the National Guard is our present-day version of the militia. Not so! Why? Because the weapons are owned by the federal government, inventoried by them and the troops are not allowed to keep such arms as personal weapons.
AL HOCKERT, Hixson
Social Security and Medicare are the best programs this country ever had. The working people put money in all their lives and should get the money when they retire.
I think some people don't know what it's all about. These programs were meant for old people. It wasn't meant for the young and the lazy people. Our government needs to quit dipping into it, so there will be money for everyone. And yes, it needs to be saved.
I have known Pam Ladd for many years. I first met her as president of what now is the North Chattanooga Chamber Council. She and I have worked together on many different boards, fund-raising campaigns, and opportunities volunteering to help others.
I don't know when I have had the privilege of knowing and working with someone who takes the time to listen to and investigate all ideas or concerns that can arise while working on different projects.
What I have found is someone who is not only smart but fair. Pam is someone who makes a difference no matter where she is. We are lucky to have someone with her professionalism, honesty and forthrightness in our city government.
I hope Chattanooga and primarily her district will be able to see this and vote her back into office so she continue to make a positive impact.
We wish to express our deep appreciation for all the time and many efforts devoted to our community in our recent time of trauma in the loss of our dear loved ones, Nick, Helena and Lazarus Alley. Please accept our sincere "thank you!"
Written in behalf of the Alley family and the Delano Mennonite community.
Republican politicians care nothing about democracy! They cannot win a sensible debate nor a vote from sane people on their "policies," so they do everything they can to buy, lie, cheat and steal elections across the country!
Congressional Democrats got over a million more votes than Republicans! But because of GOP idiotic squiggly lines drawn for "districts," they hold a majority in the House.
Now, many states, such as Virginia, which have GOP legislatures, are pushing for electoral votes to be by those districts. From its inception, the "electoral college" was totally undemocratic! We desperately need elections to be decided by popular vote!
Limbaugh and "faux fake news" just fuel hatefully divisive propaganda. What a scourge upon America. They crank out false information, out-of-context clips, and just plain lies. With their influence over people who are unwilling to think for themselves due to imaginary fears and hatreds, they are poisonous for our democracy!
Do GOP politicians condemn such vile hatred? On the contrary, they condone and encourage it for political gain with their "base"!
For at least the last 30 or so years, the Republican Party has morphed into a deceitful, hateful, "tea-bagging" un-Democratic, un-American group of "wing-nuts"!
WALTER M. BENTON, Signal Mountain
I am fed up with our president calling Social Security and Medicare an "entitlement program." When I was working I paid into Medicare and FICA; my employer matched what I paid into Social Security. Let's talk real entitlement programs: The president, senators, and congressmen, and all of their staffs. This is true entitlement. The taxpayer supports them. Their entitlements include the best medical insurance and retirement program. They should be on Social Security and Medicare.
Quit giving illegal aliens a free ride. My granddaughter is a volunteer missionary in Krakow, Poland. Before she could get a visa, she had to raise $14,000 per year and place it in a Polish bank to show that she could support herself.
Congress needs to make radical changes in letting people into America. A work visa should not be granted. They should have to show they can support themselves and not take jobs away from Americans.
OLIVER H. FRANCE