Charaterization is not Rep. Wamp
The Times editorial (Sept. 10) spent five paragraphs portraying Congressman Wamp in a negative and fictitious light, despite the author's "mild disclaimer." Such inflammatory language accompanied by an offensive cartoon is one that attacked the congressman's character and misrepresented the facts regarding his gubernatorial campaign. His campaign is focused on a vision for Tennessee's economic future with an emphasis on balancing the role of government involvement (state or federal) in the private sector and the life of the individual.
The federal government does have a role, and Congressman Wamp has served in that capacity by fighting to secure funding for projects such as the Chickamauga Lock and the Oak Ridge National Lab, which fuel Tennessee's economic growth and that of our nation. Sometimes, he even helps a constituent's sister with her disability because ovarian cancer is gradually taking her life and even takes the time to call and offer prayer and support to her brother.
I'm not certain who the Times editorial writer is talking about, but their characterization of Congressman Wamp is not the individual I know.
Burning cross shows repulsive implication
This so-called "cartoon" of the cross burning appearing (Sept. 16) in the Chattanooga Times Free Press shows more hatred and prejudice than anything that I have seen in the Tea Parties or anywhere else. I never thought that I would see anything like this again. It is repulsive to paint good Americans with this kind of stuff. It is no wonder that we can't, as Rodney King said, "all get along"! With this kind of stuff, we never will. It is time for Clay Bennett to take a needed rest to do some reflection and soul searching.
Hate-filled posting an appalling message
I am appalled that someone who represents the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce put out such a hate-filled posting on Facebook -- which only went to 730 of his "closest friends!"
How could he assume that this is private and personal?
Chattanooga has worked long and hard to become a welcoming city which values diversity.
I do not want a person who makes comments filled with denigrating slurs and a call to violence to represent the city of Chattanooga.
REV. DR. SANDRA L.
Budget power resides in Congress
I would like to correct the misinformation that the Chattanooga Times editorial page and many Democrats keep repeating about how the "Bush tax cuts" added to the deficit and harmed the economy.
The deficit increased because of more spending by the federal government.
Federal tax revenues are primarily driven by the economy, not by tax rates. When times are good, revenues increase. When times are bad, revenues decrease.
It is wrong to give credit to or blame the president for deficits and surpluses; that power resides in the Congress. Clinton didn't create surpluses and Bush didn't create deficits; the former Republican and present Democratic Congresses have the constitutional power for federal spending.
It is also wrong to give credit to or blame the president for the health of the economy. The president has no constitutional power to control the economy. The Federal Reserve, through its setting interest rates and controlling money supply, is responsible for the wild swings of expansion and contraction of the economy.
Cartoon, media distort message
Once again I am disgusted by a political cartoon by Mr. Bennett, this time characterizing Tea Parties across the U.S. as akin to a KKK cross-burning event. What a terrible distortion of what decent Americans are trying to say to their government.
After attending a recent Tea Party near Chicago, my brother commented: "They are grossly wrong in their characterizations of the Tea Parties. There were 10,000 people (by police estimates) at the party we went to. The crowd was very well behaved. There were some signs that I didn't agree with or approve of, but the people holding them seemed to be decent folks. The sentiments expressed didn't rise anywhere near the level of the outrageous remarks expressed by many liberals, congressmen, etc."
Fellow citizens, don't just blindly accept what you see and hear from our media outlets. There are many good people in our nation who have a right to be concerned about how much our politicians are taxing us and trying to expand the government's reach into our lives. These gatherings are not racist! What is scary is how often the news media (and Mr. Bennett) seem to get away with misleading the American people.
Single religion course one-sided
Signal Mountain is making a concerted effort to bring to its schools a course in the history and teachings of the Bible. Growing up, I would have benefited greatly from such a course, since the Christian Bible underlies our culture.
However, I would be a wiser and better educated woman had I had similar courses for all the main religions of our globe. I think we cheat our children when we give them a single-sided view of the world's cultures.
Hysteria over Obama based on racism
For months I had noticed the stench of racism in the shenanigans of a distressing number of Republicans.
It was easy to see the "teabaggers" were 99.9 percent white, as were the disrupters at town hall meetings. What did not make sense were the many contradictions in the issues they so loudly expressed.
Senior citizens were saying "No government health care" but also "Leave my Medicare alone." Duh!
They fabricated one thing after another and when confronted with truth, stubbornly continued to lie or switched to a totally different subject with equally exaggerated reaction.
On Sept. 14, Jimmy Carter clearly began to identify the basis for this white hysteria -- good, old-fashioned Southern racism. That is why I appreciated the left side of the Times so much on Sept. 16. The editorial and the cartoon of the burning cross were a perfect introduction to the first three letters from Rep. Zach Wamp's campaign committee. The third letter was particularly pathetic. It defended Wamp by saying "Some of his best friends are African-Americans."
If Wamp wants to run on a states rights platform, and curry the racist vote, he could at least have the courage to own it.
Expand Wilderness areas in the state
I greatly enjoyed and appreciated your editorial (Sept. 8). The Wilderness system is a true national treasure and we are lucky to have areas in it right here in Tennessee. Although I am handicapped and cannot venture into the Wilderness itself, I appreciate its being there. I especially love Bald River Falls and greatly desire to see its entire watershed given wilderness protection so that it can remain as it is forever. The Upper Bald River and expansions to the existing Big Frog and Joyce Kilmer Slick Rock Wilderness areas as well as others would make excellent additions to the National Wilderness Preservation System in Tennessee.
Our leaders in Congress have the power to make this happen by sponsoring legislation. I'd urge them to step up and expand the wilderness legacy we leave to future generations.
Back true values, not fake Republican ones
The GOP showed their true colors at the presidential address to Congress. I have never witnessed such outright thuggish, disrespectful behavior from any representative of this country. South Carolina has a parade of ne're-do-wells they put in front of the American people as representative of their values.
First, their governor, Mark Sanford, a "family-values" guy off with his mistress in Argentina while his wife and four children spent Father's Day alone; Miss Teen South Carolina, who couldn't find South Carolina on a map of the U.S.A.; South Carolina still flies the Confederate flag on the lawn of their state Capitol; Strom Thurman was their head "racist" for years; Jim DeMint, who is a walking, talking side show; and now Joe Wilson; so it goes.
Apparently the GOP thought they were still at the raucous town halls where they are free to bring their obnoxious bullhorns to shout down anyone trying to talk about facts and not fear-mongering lies. The Republican Party has gone from low class to no class!
This will be a fight for the American people. We must all do our part to support our true values, not the fake ones represented by the GOP.