Elect those who want to do what's right
Wouldn't it be nice if we had vocal politicians who would get term limits established for all federally elected politicians, federal judges, and Supreme Court justices? Politicians who would require these same officials to have to use the same Social Security and Medicare benefits that the average American citizen has to use instead of the fat cat retirement and health care benefits they vote for themselves? Who would outlaw all lobbyists who buy votes with perks for the bureaucrats who don't report those perks as income and have to pay their fair share of taxes on? Who would not allow attorneys to serve in congressional offices since they only enact legislation only they can interpret?
I think it's time for the American people to vote these spoiled bureaucrats out of office and elect citizens who would be more concerned about doing what is right for America and not illegal immigrants. Social Security benefits should not be paid to anyone who has not contributed to the Social Security program.
Lastly, do away with spending billions of taxpayer dollars to build libraries for departing presidents. We have far too many spending on non-essential programs as it is.
Is our government creating a monster?
The 2008 presidential election swung in favor of the side with the best economic recovery plan. The Bush administration as well as Clinton, Bush Sr. and Reagan had mangled and chopped off the regulating parts of capitalism until all that was left was a sort of Frankenstein's monster of deregulation that was destined to be consumed by greed. Do you believe President Obama and Congress are doing anything different economically from those previous Igors of federal government?
Wall Street seems to be getting stronger every day, but they are doing it with our tax dollars after they looted our retirement accounts with their get-rich-quick schemes. And who's to say they won't do the same thing with the $12.8 trillion the Obama administration has given and or guaranteed them? Privatizing the profits and socializing the losses is a good deal for everybody except the taxpayer, and the next time the bubble bursts there won't be anything left to patch it with. Is our federal government solving a problem or simply putting Frankenstein back together?
Will U.S. torture be a lasting scar?
I can appreciate the folks who say we must just move on from this "issue" of torture. I would love to have this history obliterated. However, I am reminded of two incidents that give me pause.
When my daughter was an exchange student living in what had been a border town of East Germany before Germany was reunited, I visited her. She lived near an old border guard tower. I was most interested in this history and the people's memory of it. But almost no one would talk to me about it, as though it were still just too painful.
The following year when we had a German exchange student living with us, we went to a Lookouts game. Everyone rose to sing the national anthem. Our student said wistfully "You have pride. We do not." She talked of the Nazi era as a lasting scar on their soul. Their pride should be in the fact that they willingly "owned" that they shared responsibility for what was done in their name. Unless we are willing to decry what was done, take ownership, ours will be a false pride and we are at risk (destined?) to do it again.
KATHLEEN E. STULCE
Bailout foes should stick to principles
After reading coverage of the "tea parties" across the country, I noticed that there were a few groups that helped organize them that had supported the Bush/Paulson bailout last year. I find it interesting that Newt Gingrich and Americans for Prosperity supported the Wall Street bailout when there was a Republican in the White House, but now they are helping to protest the wasteful spending and bailouts that President Obama is pushing.
I, for one, oppose all of the bailouts and wasteful spending, regardless of who is in charge of Congress or the White House. I think that for conservative groups to be taken seriously they need to stick to their principles instead of going along with Republicans when they act like Democrats. By supporting the Wall Street bailout last year, Newt and Americans for Prosperity lose credibility with those of us who are mad at the fiscal irresponsibility of both parties.
Let's return to days of both viewpoints
I always believed the United States was a free country; that's why so many people immigrated to this wonderful country so they can have freedom of choice and religion. Ever since this election, everyone who doesn't agree with the policies of this administration is looked upon as racists and right-wing terrorists. That's absolutely ridiculous!
What makes the liberals and liberal media think that every African-American agrees with the president? All of a sudden you can't say anything about this administration or its policies. Again the liberals are using the race card like they did during the election. Race is not the issue.
I believe everyone, no matter what their race, gender or political background is, has the right to their opinions. What happened to us as Americans and human beings? We're becoming a country that only sees one side of the issues (we have the liberal media to thank for that), and if you disagree or have an opinion you're a terrorist or conservative.
Wake up, America! Your freedom of choice is being taken away from you! We need to return to the time when this country listened to both sides of everything and the media was there to give you both sides of an issue.
Doctor's office refuses cash-only office visit
Since when did doctors refuse a patient because they want to pay cash for an office visit instead of using an insurance company? I am self-employed and wrote my own policy with NAS (National Association of Self-Employed). To keep my monthly premium down we decided to not include office visits, which would be an extra $100 a month. It would take several office visits to equal the $1,200 a year for that option.
I called a doctor's office as a new patient and they refused me because I did not have insurance for the office visit. I guess that way they could not milk the insurance company. This is not reflection on the doctor's abilities but on his office practices.
Coverage is a must for cancer screening
Saving lives from colorectal cancer will have to wait another year in Tennessee.
Comprehensive colorectal cancer legislation (SB508/HB396) has been rolled to the 2010 legislative session for further review, because of a question over the need for a colorectal cancer screening mandate in Tennessee. The Insurance Commission, together with the American Cancer Society, has been asked to come back next session with information about the status of colorectal cancer screening coverage in Tennessee.
Insurance companies are not currently required to cover colorectal cancer screenings for everyone eligible to receive them. It's a shame, too, because colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in our state. Early detection, like that provided through colonoscopies and other screening tests, can catch polyps before they become cancer, but not everyone eligible has access to these tests. If the test isn't covered by insurance the test is too expensive for many individuals.
Requiring insurance companies to cover colorectal cancer screenings for plan members who are eligible for them will save insurance companies from covering costs to treat late-stage cancers, will save the state from bearing the burden of additional treatment costs and, most importantly, will save lives.
We got rolled this year, but we'll be back in 2010.
CCA won't work as a zoned school
As a parent of a future Center for Creative Arts student my daughter had to try out for her position in this prestigious program. After the zone lines were redrawn to exclude minority children from attending Normal Park and go to Red Bank, I was amazed that the Englewood Neighborhood Group is holding a meeting on May 12 at 6 p.m. in the Riverview Pavilion. This meeting is to get support for CCA to become a zone high school. I ask ... What is wrong with Red Bank High?
I will guess that since Signal Mountain has a high school, Red Bank has too many minorities for the Normal Park contingent. Why do our children (on the flat side of North Chattanooga) drive past Normal Park for Red Bank Elementary? It is a form of segregation. Where were these people when Normal Park was Chattanooga Middle? There was no community support. Where was the support when 45 applications of minority students (wanting to stay at Normal Park) were "lost." Two programs in CCA did not work the first time and it won't work a second time. If you want your child to attend CCA, audition! The students at CCA are chosen for talent, not skin color.
CECILIA ANN WILSON