Join together to find solutions
My opinion is when we apply continuous integration, communication and collaboration to our planning and efforts on behalf of our youths' issues, we will realize more progress and success.
I say this because of my sincere concern about the violent behaviors of many of our youth in our city and also their future. We will all benefit from finding solutions and that will require much more participation.
My own personal experiences and challenges as an educator and mother of four have led me to believe that progress will be made when only positive, sustainable and spiritual role models remain invested.
I participated in a program for a Connecticut middle school and a high school designed to prevent student dropout in the mid-'80s. A deliberate, diverse and inclusive group of school staff, the potential "dropouts," parents, and community members, together, developed projects, strategies and activities that amazingly improved the problems and discouraging attitudes. Our reframing a mind-set of "them and us" positively affected our efforts, too.
So, let us join forces, attend others' events while planning toward preventing the violence here for an improved and collaborative environment for everyone.
EVA JO (SADDLER)
Stealing papers hurts earnings
I've seen people stealing newspapers from racks, and even various parts of them.
So, this letter is directed to those thieves.
One: These delivery people buy and pre-pay for the papers. So, you are stealing their livelihood, or their extra income that they use for their families, bills, necessities, etc.
One delivery person I know only gets 8 cents per daily issue and 18 cents for Sunday issue.
They lose the cost of pre-paid papers and gain nothing when issues get stolen (not to mention complaints when coupons and/or other inserts get stolen).
Take heed: since I've actually seen thieves stealing papers and/or inserts, if charges are filed, I will gladly testify.
Broad-based Fair Tax is way to go
I wholeheartedly agree with the (idea of) having a consumption or national sales tax. But definitely not a VAT, (value added tax).
Why would you add another tax on top of 70,000 pages of existing tax code? In order to protect the poor people, even more pages of tax code would be necessary.
The Debt Reduction Commission recommended a simpler and more broad-based tax system. That would be the Fair Tax: a simple national sales tax on all retail sales. No more record keeping or tax returns. April 15 would become just another spring day.
VIRGIL R. SPERRY
Work together to make city safe
Violence in the community is everyone's problem.
The recent outbreak of violence in our community serves as a reminder that while we have made strides as a city, we still have some work to do.
As a pastor and school board member, I stood in support of the rally in front of City Hall last Friday. While the rally consisted of mainly Afro-American clergy, politicians and leaders, we must understand that this is not just an urban issue, or a black issue.
As Chattanoogans, we all must work together to make this city safe, vibrant and prosperous for all its citizens.
JEFFREY T. WILSON
New United M.B. Church
School Board Member
Cage-free eggs worth extra cost
A young Tennessee family farmer, a regular churchgoer, made an anguished decision last week. His choices were to bankrupt his family, allow thousands of cage-free laying chickens to die of starvation because he can't feed them, or sell them to a caged laying hen farm.
Tomorrow thousands of Tennessee cage-free hens will find themselves in Alabama, packed into cages so small each hen has less room than an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper.
Cage-free eggs cost more, but even at $3 a dozen they're still only a quarter each.
A three-egg omelet would be 75 cents; even adding a few pieces of toast, would be less than $1 for a big breakfast. But consumers and grocers have grown used to caged eggs at 99 cents a dozen. Cage-free eggs grown with no antibiotics or hormones and natural grain fed can't be produced and sold at a profit for 99 cents.
These eggs aren't only expensive, they aren't even cage-free! If the box doesn't say cage-free, they aren't - a fancy box and advertising wins in our consumer culture.
If only Christians of all denominations would take their stewardship to God's creation seriously. We know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Abortion rejects Commandment
When a woman makes a decision to have an abortion, it involves more than the woman's body. It also involves the tiny body inside her, and it takes away all its rights and right to life.
The shedding of its innocent blood is a rejecting of God's Sixth Commandment, "Thou shall not kill."
War declarations few, far between
"The President of the United States is to be 'commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several States when called into the actual service of the United States'" (Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Papers #74).
The Constitution states that Congress alone has the delegated power "to declare war" (Article 1, Section 8. 11).
In the past 60-odd years, presidents - Democrats and Republicans alike - have involved American troops in foreign wars in Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Persian Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya. There has been no declaration of war since Dec. 8, 1941. Americans have been engaged in active, undeclared combat 35 of the past 60 years.
This is the illicit behavior of an imperial Caesar or absolute monarch rather than a constitutional president. Of what use is a Constitution if elected officials can't understand it or blatantly disregard it? Dare we wonder at the level of deficit spending and public debt?
RICHARD D. VICKREY
Legal definition needed for gangs
As a citizen of Chattanooga, I am concerned about all the violence I hear about on the news on a daily basis.
I want to know why a legal definition hasn't been made! One such as "A group of two or more individuals who engage in violence or criminal activity and identify themselves with a common name or sign," or something similar would be effective in deterring gang crime!
Why can't these individuals be charged as domestic terrorists?
One definition of a terrorist is "a person who terrorizes or frightens others with violence," so it seems by definition we have a terrorist problem!
I have contacted everyone from Mayor Littlefield all the way to Sen. Alexander with my ideas and have not heard a response.