History repeats in the 'jungle'
As we commemorate President Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday (Feb. 6), there are many memories.
Those from his cowboy movies, and the older generation can remember "Death Valley Days." He was sculpted as a model and could read a script as well as anyone, this modern icon and advocate of the free market.
And this free market has worked miracles. Some grocery store/restaurants here in North Georgia are either nearly full or empty for good reason. But there is "the jungle" in the marketplace, not always kind, ethical nor gentle.
Reagan spoke in strong opposition to the formation of Medicare without offering an alternative. Now, seniors without Medicare, except in rare cases, would not find medical insurance either affordable or available. The premiums would far exceed the annual incomes of most. So we must view capitalism, freedom within the context of rights to affordable health care, housing, jobs or we are nothing more than animals of the jungle.
His political career was resurrected after better days of acting by a few wealthy individuals who believed his looks and articulation could sufficiently sway the public.
The modern Reagans are the Limbaughs, Huckabees, Palins, under same sponsorship of the elite. There is a pattern, a cycle of repetition in history.
JOHN F. EARY
Seek compromise in AG selection
Sunday's article concerning electing the state attorney general brings an interesting issue: the "politicization" of the process of who shall be Tennessee's chief legal officer.
Incongruously, only two options are mentioned; one is the existing practice of the Tennessee Supreme Court installing the AG, or electing the AG at general election intervals.
The current system pre-sents a serious conflict of interest. Our nation's primary core principle of government is based on "separation of powers." For the Supreme Court to have the privilege of appointing the AG is severely flawed, as the AG argues cases before the same body that appoints it. Not good from an ethical standpoint.
The attorney general is appointed by the president of the United States, in some states by the governor, serving at his or her pleasure. This reduces the independence of the attorney general to being a servant of who appoints him or her, where the AG should serve the citizenry, not a master.
A better compromise would be to have an AG appointed by a governor, subject to approval by the Legislature. The AG should be permanently appointed unless impeached or recalled. This method could assist to eliminate political influence on that office.
JOHN G. ESSEX
Return to basics, trust the people
When a tragedy like the violence in Arizona strikes, it's like a bomb explodes in a hole full of mud. The mud splashes us. We scrub mud off and blame the one(s) who threw the bomb. We should be thinking about where the mud still dwells.
People in Arizona ran toward the bullets, shielded family members, stopped blood flowing, tackled the bad guy and grabbed the gun. They showed how to fill up that hole: with courage, concern and love for others. If we follow their courageous examples, we can fill up the dark spaces where violence lives.
I had an earnest young man showing me a slick presentation about "how to fix our government." I said our government isn't broken; it's messy, inefficient, and sometimes commandeered by selfish individuals trying to take everything they can. It's always been this way since we were given the right to be governed "by the people, for the people and of the people."
Our government isn't "broken"; we need to return to the basics where people can be trusted to make decisions about their lives; and have courage to make difficult putting-others-first-decisions with courtesy and honest discourse. It's still the best government in the world.
MARGIE LITTELL ULRICH
Director wrong on cat behavior
We compliment the Times Free Press and writer Joan Garrett on the story Jan. 8 about how Bustopher, the cat, saved his beloved human family, the Cornetts of Cleveland, Tenn., from certain death when their house caught on fire.
Unfortunately, the executive director of the McKamey Animal Center was quoted as saying that such noble actions by a cat were "relatively unheard of. It's a dog thing. ... Usually the cat would try to save itself."
Such comments show a disappointing lack of awareness of the nature of the animals she is supposed to be protecting.
The files of "Cat Confidential" contain dozens and dozens of case histories in which cats have risked their lives not only by leading their beloved humans out of burning, smoke-filled and gas-filled buildings, but by physically protecting them from attackers, both human and animal.
We wonder what the executive director would have to say about the fact that one of the family's dogs, having slept through the fire, then tried to kill the cat that saved them.
Parking angel dressed in pink
On Jan. 20, my great-niece was rushed to Erlanger hospital by ambulance. She is 2 months old and was barely breathing.
Later in the evening, I went to leave T.C. Thompson's parking garage without my parking pass ticket stamped. The lady in the parking booth told me it is $10. I have $7 in the debit account. I was on my way to spend my last $7 to buy food for my family members who were staying with my great-niece.
A lady behind me was wondering what the hold-up was. I told her.
This lady had on a Mary Ellen Locher scrub uniform in pink. She handed me $10. I thanked her, but I didn't catch her name. She was truly a God-sent angel. What a blessing to me. May God bless her.
Good reasons for weapons
A letter, "Types of guns is the problem," (Jan. 19) posed the question of why anyone would need high-powered, high-capacity weapons other than the military and law enforcement personnel.
The practical uses of these weapons are civil defense, defense of life and essential liberty, target practice, sport, defense of family and home where there is breakdown in social order and law enforcement (such as what happened in New Orleans in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina).
I remember Korean shop owners in Los Angeles were some of the only ones who suffered minimal damage due to the fact they stood in their businesses during the L.A. riots armed with semi-automatic, high-capacity weapons.
The Second Amendment isn't about duck hunting. The purpose for this amendment is for "we the people" to have the tools necessary in order to defend and preserve our God-given, natural rights and liberties from our own government if it were to become oppressive and tyrannical. The Founding Fathers understood too well the threat of unrestrained human nature.
"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson.