Is racism still alive in GOP?
I can remember a time around here when a Republican couldn't get arrested, much less elected to public office. Then the Democrats passed the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act ("all men are created equal"), and the South went Republican. Coincidence? Before this, to be a Republican, you had to sell your soul to the devil in exchange for wealth, and promise to worship money forever. But these tea party people have made a much cheaper deal. They've sold their souls to the Republicans simply for the promise of continuing the prejudicial and bigoted ways that have always ruled that party. I guess the tea parties know the value of their own souls.
Think back for a minute about the ingrained attitudes of Strom Thurmond, George Wallace, Lester Maddox, Zell Miller and Trent Lott, then think about Chuck Fleischmann, Rhonda Thurman and Robin Smith. Is prejudice, bigotry and racism alive and well within the modern Republican Party? You tell me.
Mosquito spraying a good investment
It is my understanding that Hamilton County has cut its mosquito-spraying program.
I remember seeing the truck pass by in the evenings during the summer in the past couple of years. I do have concerns of West Nile virus that has been found in the past years. My children get bitten by mosquitoes, and I can't enjoy gardening and watching them play.
After researching on the Web, I found a company in Chattanooga that specializes in mosquito control. They sprayed the yard, and I haven't seen a mosquito yet.
Thurman doesn't care about all
Again Rhonda Thurman embroils the Hamilton County school board in a direct violation of Tennessee's Sunshine Law. I am sorry that five members have taken upon themselves the decision of what is best for all of our public schools without considering the lesson they teach to all the students of Hamilton County Schools. How can they change the rules and standards just to get their friend in office?
To be a strong, creative school system offering many educational options, Hamilton County Schools must have a board willing to look at the best ideas from all over the country and to hire a superintendent who suits the entire system. Thurman, whose children didn't attend public school, couldn't care less about all of the students. She knows that the system spends the same amount of money on all students and that Title I and various grants and organizations supplement that amount to help improve the education of those who are having problems learning.
Her insensitivity to the problems of poor urban and rural children and her racial insensitivity certainly show that she is not representative of the whole system. I hope her district votes for a more progressive person in 2012.
SHANNON B. MOWRER
School board actions disgraceful
The way a majority of Republican school board members chose the new superintendent was disgraceful and unlawful.
They fired Dr. Jim Scales without cause; broke the Sunshine Law; voted to change the long-standing minimum qualification on hiring and refused a national search for the most qualified candidate.
However, now that Superintendent Rick Smith has "emphasized that the needs of the urban schools will be met and he won't favor some schools over others; that magnet schools will continue to thrive and that relationships with the Public Education Foundation and the Benwood Foundation, which funneled considerable financial support to inner-city and other struggling schools, will continue to be fostered under his watch," I'm willing to give him a chance, as I watch.
Regarding Rhonda Thurman's racial remark that "slaves learned to read" so black children should, Chairman Mike Evatt said, "Sometimes we speak without thinking." True, but we do think what we speak. He also said Smith's selection wasn't forced by political "good old boys."
Many of us doubt this, however. If he can manage to get Rhonda to zip her racial lip, I for one will give him the benefit of the doubt on the "good old boy" statement.
WELDON R. MARKHAM
Member, Tennessee Democratic Party Finance Council
Time to rebuild our republic
After 10 years of war that created a shift in theocracies in the triangle of Iran-Iraq-Afghanistan, what do we have to show for our $126 billion a month investment?
We count the bodies; they count the martyrs.
Who wins in asymmetrical war?
We believe in security, firepower and technology up against freedom or martyrdom. The result of asymmetrical war is the cost of these wars. Perhaps the enemy objective is the American economy.
When will we negotiate? Why do we fear to negotiate?
The U.S. Conference of Mayors has called on Congress and the president to make strategic withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan and reinvest the $126 billion/month in cities, infrastructure, job creation and schools. Our young graduates are ready to guide us toward this future.
War dollars are needed to build roads and schools here in America, not Kandahar. The War on Terror is the cause of economic despair. The choice is create a tax to cover the $126 billion/month for the war or get out of Iraq, Afghanistan.
We have made our bed with monarchs and oil. The empire is broke; the republic is vibrant, hungry and innovative. It is time to rebuild our republic.
Birthday present a real lifesaver
On July 2, while visiting my mother in Soddy-Daisy, we stopped at Walmart on Dayton Pike. It was my birthday.
My husband said he wasn't feeling well. We got in line, and he started having a seizure. I called for help and two nurses came to my rescue. He stopped breathing and they performed CPR. They stayed with us until the ambulance arrived and they took him to Erlanger
He is home now but I wanted to say thank you to Walmart of Soddy-Daisy and the two nurses who helped. It was a wonderful birthday present.
BEVERLY FOWLER AND FAMILY
Improvement a necessity
Yes, agreed, pubic education (C1, Business page headline, July 13) needs to be improved! Without it, we might be in a hairy predicament!
Some choices easy to make
When I was 5 or so, my dad and uncle were discussing the direction the country was taking. Dad felt strongly that we were on the road to ruin. My uncle suggested my dad remain quiet for fear of losing his pension.
The pension in question was a small one from World War I. My dad's answer has remained with me since: "I would rather lose my pension than my country."
Today, some 70 years later, I proudly join him in that sentiment. Losing my Social Security would require a major change in lifestyle but would be preferred to living in the socialist country which liberals and progressives want to drive us into.
I may outlive my dad but that's not the reason for Social Security going broke. The reason is politicians haven't seen fit to keep it financially sound.
Also, the general population has the "gimme, gimme" attitude when looking toward Washington.
Since elected officials wish to remain in power, they're happy to give even when giving requires taking from someone else or borrowing from enemies or a combination of both.
Hence, we once again have a debt ceiling crisis which requires more taking, borrowing or cutting spending. I know which I prefer.