The Republicans are again wooing the so-called Religious Right. Religious? Possibly. Right? No way and certainly not Christian.
Jesus is the Great Physician, the Prince of Peace. He had great compassion for the poor, the sick, the downtrodden and the outcasts. He pronounced grave judgment upon the rich, the greedy, the self-centered and liars.
The conservative doctrine is built on greed. They lie about Social Security, Medicare, welfare, unions and any program that benefits the poor, the elderly or working people.
They say "We can't afford those programs," but they pour billions of dollars per month into senseless wars to destroy nations and kill thousands of people, then call themselves right-to-lifers.
The average person starts to work at age 18. He pays into Social Security about 47 years. If he lives to be 80 he pays into Medicare 62 years plus monthly premiums, deductibles and co-pays to cover 80 percent of the costs that Medicare approves. So why should these programs be broke?
Unless you die young, you will be old. Old age is cruel. It robs you of sight, hearing, mobility, often your mind and dignity. When you die you can't take a penny with you.
I appreciate Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar's action to preserve the beauty of the Grand Canyon. This is one of the American landscapes which I have not seen yet and hope to before I pass on.
Thank you for your support to the values which we hold so dear.
IRENE W. DOWDELL
On May 28, 2011, I sent off some checks to pay my bills.
On June 17, I found out that none of my checks were received.
When I called the post office, the only thing I was told was, "our machine must have eaten your mail, and there's nothing we can do!" There were things the post office did. One: you ruined my credit. Two: you are not the one who has to pay all of the late fees (that wouldn't have to be paid if your machine hadn't eaten my mail).
Why didn't the post office inform the public in some way that there had been a problem with the machines?
I won't be using the post office to send any of my bills off again!
Every action or inaction we choose has potential risks attached to it.
Parents make decisions every day that put their child at risk. Driving them to the store or allowing them to ride a bike would be examples.
Engaging in contact sports or handling a shopping cart can expose you or your child to anything from the cold virus to MRSA.
The idea that negative events shouldn't happen or must always be someone's fault is not consistent with good sense or life in general.
It is unfortunate that a child has to be treated for the mycobacterium causing "fish-handler's disease." The bacteria causing it is widespread, but the disease is uncommon. It's a good thing, too, or everyone with a fish tank would be treating a persistent skin infection.
No one should have to be told that there are bacteria in large tanks of water and on wild animals.
Just the act of suing the Tennessee Aquarium for an uncommon, unexpected infection that could have come from another source penalizes the aquarium, our community and other children who would love to touch a wild creature like a sting-ray.
SUZANNE CORRINGTON HAYS, M.D.
It will probably surprise you to learn not only do many of us not have a computer ... we don't want one!
I find it so self-defeating to see ads in magazines and the newspapers that only provide "websites" (no 800 number or even mailing address). It's silly for them to think everybody has a computer.
And who started charging "shipping and handling"? I wanted to order a T-shirt that cost $10 and they wanted to charge me $9 plus state tax, 9 cents on the dollar, to send it to me. I've stopped ordering anything that has S&H by the price. Pure greed. That's all it is.
I love our public library. I love the smell of books. Especially on a rainy day.
My friend became so weary of driving to Cleveland to get his friend to come work on his computer that was always down, he moved the guy into his home, feeds him, gives him a free place to live, just to keep his computer up and going.
I read about the fears of a solar flare, predicted to fry every computer on Earth, and a study has shown that our young people can't read or write in cursive. My country "tears" of thee.
ROBERT LEE BROWN
On March 13, this paper carried an article quoting Rep. Chuck Fleischmann as telling the Pachyderm Club that "This country made the greatest mistake it ever made when it elected Barack Obama."
I called Rep. Fleischmann's office to question this remark and was told the best way to contact him and receive a reply was via email. I promptly sent an email to the congressman asking him if he indeed thought that electing President Obama was the "greatest mistake" that this country ever made.
I further asked if he thought it was a greater mistake than slavery, greater than denying women the right to vote for over a century, greater than mistakes that have needlessly cost the lives of brave servicemen and women?
In the four months since I wrote, I have called his office a number of times, but have received no response.
Rep. Fleischmann has had time to address numerous partisan political rallies, but has not found the time to answer a question from a constituent. I wondered when the congressman took office if we had elected a public servant or a politician. We obviously got a politician (and not a very good one)
As the owner of a company in Tennessee, I am somewhat appalled at the unfair advantage given to Amazon being exempt from collecting sales tax.
However, Tennessee has had outstanding industrial growth during these hard economic times, and Amazon was assured of this deal before they started to build. Going back on that agreement at this point would reflect a great lack of integrity on the leadership of our state and very possibly deter other companies from locating here.
As far as the $128,000 the City of Chattanooga wants to spend for a website, have a look at McCallie.org, the website of McCallie School. It is a very well laid out and comprehensive website which is maintained by their students. Perhaps the city could work hand in hand with McCallie to create a class for credit for their students to handle the city's website.
"If you drive a car, I'll tax the street,/If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat,/If you get too cold, I'll tax the heat,/If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet" - George Harrison.
Instead of taking the nation hostage, how about taking the people hostage to the taxman?
I pay: federal income tax, state tax, local tax, property tax, Hall tax, FICA tax, Medicare tax, sales tax, phone tax, cable tax, electric tax, natural gas tax, water tax, gasoline tax, cigarette tax, liquor tax, car registration tax, airfare tax, taxi tax, railroad tax, bus tax, medical care tax, death tax, estate tax, toll roads tax, emissions testing tax, national parks tax, entertainment tax, tuition tax, foreign tax. Have I forgotten anything? Oh, I forgot ...
"Now my advice for those who die,/Declare the pennies on your eyes,/'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman,/And you're working for no one but me."
JOHN T. JOHNSTON