Democrats, GOP destroy the nation
The Declaration of Independence states that "all men are created equal."
Alexander Hamilton opposed democracy and wanted government controlled "by the rich and well born." His Federalist monetary policies achieved that goal.
So we have a major difference of opinion.
Jefferson effectively cited the Bible because God "judges the people with equity" (Psalms 98:9; 99:4; Isaiah 11:4; Colossians 4:1; 2 Corinthians 8:14). "Equity" is synonymous with "justice." Elitists, would-be aristocrats - the big "I" - control both political parties.
The Left destroys human dignity and self-respect through a "something for nothing" mentality.
The Right destroys human dignity and self-respect through greed, discrimination and deprivation.
Jesus said: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation" (Luke 11:17).
Both Democrats and Republicans destroy the nation!
What is truth? Democracy or plutocracy? Centralization or decentralization? Unity and peace or disunity and unending wars? Who is the liar?
In "Mein Kampf" (Volume 1, Chapter X), Adolf Hitler wrote: "In the primitive simplicity of their minds (the broad masses of a nation will) more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie." We believe the lie!
RICHARD D. VICKREY
Bashing Amazon not in our best interests
From the perspective of an average citizen and consumer, it appears to me that those who are organizing a campaign against allowing Amazon to operate without collecting taxes in Tennessee are doing themselves more harm than good.
I shop online, with Amazon and others; and I shop local merchants. But I do so for completely different reasons - like the convenience of home delivery or access to special sizes or models - that has nothing to do with taxes.
Local merchants have lots to gain from additional jobs in the region and from the spin-offs of transportation and facility services that will come along with the Amazon distribution centers. But they have virtually nothing to lose in sales, because they don't compete directly with Amazon. Since their alarm has little basis, perhaps that implies a secondary agenda which certainly should not be acted upon by state leaders.
We look to our elected officials to preserve a sound model of government financing and believe that basing state revenue on citizens' spending rather than their income remains a strong foundation. But reactionary killing of the goose that's about to lay some golden eggs in our communities would not serve our greater interests at this time.
County behavior should change
Perhaps governing bodies go through passages, the way people do. I hope the Hamilton County Commission will emerge from its current funk of being insensitive to the needs of the most vulnerable in our community.
The most recent example is the commission's initial unwillingness to accept this year's grant for basic family planning services.
The pending expiration of the sales tax agreement seems to be what has precipitated the recent county behavior. The Chattanooga City Council has announced the city will allow the sales tax agreement to expire. The Health Department is, by law, a county responsibility. Residents of Chattanooga support the Health Department through their county property taxes. County leaders, apparently, think city residents should continue to pay twice for the same service through the city's share of the sales tax.
I believe the county mayor and county commissioners are honorable people and want what's best for all of Hamilton County (which includes Chattanooga.) I predict they will surprise the skeptics and provide responsible leadership.
We are all in this together. Let's start talking about home rule or a county charter or a consolidated government so we can provide needed services and pay for them in an equitable way.
HELEN BURNS SHARP
Untruths about Forrest linger
It would be impossible to defend or praise in less than 200 words Tennessee's Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest.
For 15 decades, the most outstanding soldier of our Civil War has been placed in bad light by untruths in Yankee newspapers during and after the war.
Gen. Forrest joined a group of five men to convince the U.S. government to remove Gov. William Brownlow of Tennessee, who hated the South. It took two years.
Fifty-five years later, 1917, the "Klan" as we know it, dragged Forrest and our Confederate flag from the dust bin of history and desecrated them as racist symbols.
Another unjust stain was the so-called "Fort Pillow Massacre," where many captured blacks were shot while trying to escape. Forrest was not even in the fort.
We celebrated a Forrest "Day" in Tennessee for many years with over 30 monuments, 45 biographies, six new "bios" last year alone.
He was the only soldier to rise from "private to lieutenant general," was in 32 major battles, wounded seven times, had 30 horses shot from under him.
Forrest freed his slaves the second year of the war. They stayed with him by choice until he died.
ROBERT LEE BROWN
Fund gifts provide leeway for misuse
How many times have I seen in newspapers or heard someone say that the government money that is given to Planned Parenthood does not go toward abortions? My equation is this: Germans of the 1930s and 1940s whose government money was going to the art department of the Third Reich knew their money would be going only for good, insisting their money would not be used for concentration camps or ovens.
The fact being, be it then or now, when money is given to such causes it gives leeway for misuse. Yes, abortion is legal in America, but in decades past we have had laws on our books that were just as wrong.
A well-informed woman once reminded me that after every abortion there was a need to do something with the aborted child. This rang true for me a few years ago when I was in Topeka, Kan. We were walking by a late-term abortion clinic and I asked about the tall chimney at the back of the complex. A city resident advised me that it was the chimney for their crematory.
Contract buyouts are getting old
How long are we, the taxpayers, going to have to pay contract buyouts for someone being fired who should not have had an extension in the first place?
I believe it was 5-4 in favor of an extension a couple of years ago. That alone should have been a red flag. Our elected school board members will have bought out the last two superintendents at a cost which, if it could be accurately valued, is close to $500,000.
If the current superintendent needs to go, make him stay on until his contract expires and simply vote him down if you disagree with him on specific issues. I am tired of it.