Some keep decency in the Dumpster
Congress' love/hate relationship with saber-rattlers accelerated with Joe McCarthy and worsened with Richard Nixon. From the start, Nixon unrelentingly accused newspapers of "liberal bias," even though most news coverage is conventional.
By identifying liberals as his personal enemies, Nixon inadvertently revealed his hatred of good defenders of the Bill of Rights. Such strategies continue to work, and now the worst Republicans are demanding full control of America, behaving like people who've seen too many robot movies. "Bipartisan," lately treated to detonated redefinition, means "do what we want."
We and trustworthy politicians can pull political decency and statesmanship out of the Dumpster, but it's difficult to identify those who want to keep it there - except by noting whose wealth hasn't been harmed badly by Wall Street, and who has the best health care.
Would this be the Bush family, the Cheneys, the biggest CEOs in the biggest corporations? Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, somebody on the Supreme Court? Surely our military contractors.
Some Democrats and Republicans want restraints on Pentagon spending. That isn't good enough. Harper's magazine last year stated that across the Bush administration, $7 trillion that went to the Pentagon remains unaccounted for.
RACHEL WHEELER, Ringgold, Ga.
Civil War fought over revenues
Lincoln's words say revenues, not slavery, caused the Civil War.
The deluge of material in the Times recently has promoted slavery as the cause of the Civil War. This view has been promoted from National Park representatives to Ph.D.'s.
We should remember, wars are never fought over moral issues, they are galvanized by them. If all commentators would simply read Lincoln's first inaugural address the reason for the war would become much clearer. Lincoln stated in his address on March 4, 1861, that he would not invade the South and would cause no bloodshed unless forced upon by the Union, but he would use federal power to "collect the duties and impost; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere."
Lincoln needed the South because the South generated the majority of federal revenues via taxes and tariffs. A seceded South meant a North with revenue problems. The Union fought to preserve territory and revenue; the South, for the freedom to control its destiny. Don't believe me, just read Lincoln and his military generals, such as Sherman, for their opinion on slavery and revenue.
NATHAN NAPIER, Cleveland, Tenn.
Obama finally stands up to GOP
Finally, President Obama is acting like the man I voted for. After capitulating to the Republicans in the interest of bipartisanship since his inauguration, he realizes Republicans are not concerned about poor people or middle Americans. He has scored several victories for the average American, health care reform being one, but never with Republican support.
George W. Bush never reached across the aisle. His constituency was the rich, and he said so and acted accordingly. Thank God Obama says he will not stand by while Republicans destroy Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for the poor.
The Republican budget proposals by Rep. Paul Ryan are nothing more than giveaways to the rich and an attempt to further destroy what is left of the New Deal. They have been attacking labor unions since Reagan, and now Tennessee is going to pass a poll tax in the guise of a photo ID which will do nothing but eliminate poor voters who generally vote for the Democratic Party.
If Republicans have their way, the middle class will become a class of peasants. And whether or not they know it, poor Republicans will be in that group.
WILBOURNE C. MARKHAM SR., Walden, Tenn.
God used evolution to bring about life
As a Christian and professor of mechanical engineering at UTC, I wish to endorse the April 8 letter written by colleagues in the Biology Department supporting the primacy of evolution in biological science.
I submit it is God and evolution, not God or evolution, evolution being the mechanism He used to bring about the present state of life on earth as part of His wondrous Creation.
In Psalm 139:13 David wrote, "You knit me together in my mother's womb." We understand this to declare God as the Creator of life, not as a repudiation of the biological mechanism for the development of human beings from conception onward.
I fear that vociferous rejection of evolution by Christians may prevent some non-believers from seriously considering the claims of Christ. Some day we shall look back on this time with embarrassment, as we now do Middle Ages religious opposition to the idea that the earth revolves around the sun.
JAMES W. HIESTAND
Ask constituents what they want
It seems strange that Rep. Barbara Massey Reece, D-Menlo, would vote against the Sunday alcohol bill because she "believes most of her constituents oppose it."
That is voting her thinking. How does she know what the people of Menlo want without conducting a poll?
Too many elected officials vote what they think instead of the people who put them in office.
JIM WOLFE, Guild, Tenn.
Ryan's proposals are the sleaziest
Historically, we have had a Grand Old Party that believed in governing for the benefit of the wealthy, both individuals and corporations, just as the right side of our paper does. Conversely, they have always frowned on those in or close to poverty and those in their senior years. The best they can come up with in a social policy is directly related to President Hoover's "a chicken in every pot."
Now we have the tea bag, Paul Ryan, on the scene advocating cutting the budget $6 trillion with major cuts to Medicare and Medicaid while at the same time advocating cutting the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans from 34 percent to 25 percent. This has to be the sleaziest of the drizzle-down theory of economics. Watch out, Social Security is next for this guy.
It is hard to believe that this type of thinking finds its strongest support in (the) southern part of our country, where we find the greatest degree of poverty and the most in need for meaningful services.
If things continue in this mode we may all be saying would you pass the chicken, please?
CARLTON CARUTHERS, Hixson
Trust companies to do right thing
It is disheartening to learn that some people describe the current Republican Party as filled with those who consider a dollar to be of greater value than a human life. The accused are God-fearing Americans, for goodness sake!
However, this country needs to become more fiscally efficient. For example, we should discontinue the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs as run by big government. It is further recommended those programs be taken over in toto by the wealthy private sector, well known for its high moral and ethical standards.
No doubt some patriotic insurance company can be prevailed upon to assume those burdens. Experience has shown one can always trust companies seeking financial gain from one. There are good people in the world.
Further, old people have families who would gladly assume the responsibility of their medical bills and other expenses, even at the sacrifice of their own savings and bankruptcy.
Then there is heaven.
A. SHELDON GELBURD