Some in GOP seek unlimited power
There's an old Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times." When aggression is met by opposition or appeasement, we note who does what - such as American oligarchs who periodically undermine First Amendment rights of news-gatherers and grievance seekers.
Certain GOP leaders and their backers seem to want unlimited power, brazenly courting toadies and, currently and interestingly, reconstructing Tennessee. Some state legislators are suggesting election of state attorneys general, replacing their appointments - so politics won't dominate that office.
What invites more meddling than elections? They know that. Perhaps they've been ordered to plant a seed that will thrive if genetically altered by crocodile DNA.
Clear statesman-sham or threat is in the U.S. House's recent vote to halt all funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Just prior to that, PBS-watchers were shocked to see arm-twisting in the form of uncritical televised specials "examining" the Reagans and former Secretary of State George Shultz.
Apparently, GOP oligarchs will bestow money for special favors and then eliminate it after they obtain what they want.
Shame on hospital for closing center
I was discouraged to learn Parkridge East Hospital closed the doors to its Lactation Center.
I'm mother to three children and have breastfed all of them. This wouldn't have been possible without the support of Shari Hicks at the Lactation Center.
I don't understand how a hospital which boasts about themselves as a leader in obstetrics can completely abolish the Lactation Center. What saddens me most is the lack of support new moms will receive with breastfeeding.
Unfortunately, breastfeeding doesn't come naturally to all moms, and without the professional help of an ILBC, some moms may never leave the hospital having an established breastfeeding relationship with their babies. Quite frankly, I think you'd have to live in a cave to not know that "Breast is Best."
How will Parkridge East claim to be a leader in obstetrics and women's care if they can't fully support a new breastfeeding mom with the best support possible? On top of the lack of support for new moms, this will be the end of the free breastfeeding support group that has been meeting for years.
I understand in this current economy budget cuts need to be made, but cutting the Lactation Center? Come on, Parkridge East? Shame on you!
Teaching should be a 'kids' issue
This is in response to the letter Feb. 23 "Get best teachers with higher pay."
My wife teaches in Walker County, Ga., and I work with Bradley County schools as a school psychologist. Both in Tennessee and Georgia, we have worked with some of the finest, talented and academically prepared teachers in the country.
The assumption that just because teachers are underpaid, they do not rise to the challenge of effectively teaching today's students is completely unwarranted.
I do agree that teachers need increased pay. But even without the high pay, our teachers are not mediocre, and we do have some of the best and brightest teachers in the country.
I disagree that high levels of competition for teacher positions and fewer teachers with larger classrooms are in the best interest of our children or the teaching profession. Then, obviously, money is the primary issue and not the children.
Most teachers with whom I have worked, both in Georgia and Tennessee, are in the teaching profession to genuinely help children and not just to get a paycheck. The teaching profession should continue to be a "kids" issue and not a money issue.
DENNIS G. WILLERSON
Graves should fight for funds
Apparently Rep. Tom Graves does not understand earmarks, the budget process, the importance of the Port of Savannah, or his job as a congressman representing Georgia.
An earmark is a budget item placed in the budget by a congressman without going through the budget development process. The budget has been submitted by the president with a funding line for the [port] deepening project so vitally needed for the future of Georgia.
Now congressmen will work on that budget, adding to some lines and subtracting from others.
Georgia's Republican governor, who once held Graves' seat, and Georgia's two Republican senators all understand that without deepening [the port], Savannah will lose out to competitors.
Rep. Graves' job at this point is to fight for funding that will protect our current jobs and grow jobs in the future. He is, after all, on the Appropriations Committee. Sadly, he is like a farmer who believes he can grow corn by hoeing a fallow field without ever planting seeds or applying fertilizer. Georgians may starve as a result.
Bethune doing his job right way
East Ridge has finally found an honest voice for our community. Jim Bethune is on top of his job and he means business.
As a homeowner and business owner in East Ridge, I am proud to say we finally have a councilman who backs up his motions with facts and figures instead of following in the footsteps of the "good ole boys" and doing what is dictated for him to do. The mayor and vice mayor of East Ridge should take note.
The citizens of East Ridge spoke when they elected Mr. Bethune by an overwhelming margin. We are tired of the back-room dealings and closed-door meetings. We are behind Councilman Bethune. Keep up the good work.
Some answers concerning Palin
A recent letter questioned Sarah Palin's education, her probable inability to read, and her lack of articulateness.
Sarah Palin attended the University of Idaho and graduated in 1987, receiving a bachelor's degree in communication with an emphasis on journalism.
In 2008 she was awarded The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award by the Alumni Association of North Idaho College.
She was elected governor of Alaska.
She has authored two books, "Going Rogue: An American Life" and "America By Heart."
Whether her books were ghostwritten like those of the Clintons and Obama, I do not know. Granted, she is not well-traveled outside the U.S., but she did visit members of the Alaskan National Guard at several bases while they were deployed to Kuwait.
Fairfield Glade, Tenn.
Vote against spending cuts
I urge my senators to vote against the Senate version of HR 1. This legislation includes $100 billion in spending cuts, including cuts to vital health and epilepsy programs.
As someone who cares deeply about epilepsy, I am very concerned about the $1 billion cut to medical research at the National Institutes of Health. This will likely result in a $5 million cut in funding for epilepsy research.
It also includes a $50 million cut to the Health Resources Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Block Grant, which includes Project Access, an epilepsy program.
I strongly urge my senators to oppose the Senate version of HR 1 and these spending cuts, especially those that impact epilepsy research and programs.