In the wake of the great tornadoes, I offer a cautionary tale. After the great storm blew through, I found a 60-foot tree embracing the back of my house. A door-to-door team came by shortly thereafter, and I accepted their offer to remove the tree.
For about an hour, one worker lopped off the bottom six branches of the tree, leaving the great trunk of the tree untouched. The owner then asked me for $500 cash, which I wisely declined to provide. He promised to be back the next day to continue work but did not reappear for a week.
In the meantime, I had engaged a reputable tree service from yellow pages who removed the whole tree in about an hour. Subsequent to this, the first tree service owner called and said he was filing for a lien against my property. He would settle for $1,500, and five of his "boys" would be around to "collect." So a redundant threat: he would both sue me and knee-cap me.
It was bluster, of course, but if you wish to avoid this unpleasantness, stick with recognized tree service operators and decline anyone who asks for cash for an uncompleted job.
Your front-page article "Gun-carry confusion" (May 16) contained some errors about both the current state of Georgia's gun (and knife) carry laws.
It is not new to our laws that openly carrying a pistol in plain view is legal. People have been allowed to do that going back to the early 1900s.
A "place of worship" is not a place where a private individual with a Georgia carry permit can bring a gun, even if the head of the church congregation gives permission. Management of a bar or nightclub can give such permission to carry in that kind of place, but the management of a church has no such discretion. The only exception about no guns in churches is found in O.C.G.A. 16-11-127 (d), which says you will not be violating this law if you immediately tell management or security at a gun-free location (not limited to churches) that you have a gun, and then you must follow their instructions regarding how to remove it, store it, or secure it.
I doubt that management at such a location has the authority to tell you to "secure" your firearm by carrying loaded on your body, ready for use, just as you had been all along.
KURT J. MARTIN
The county commissioners unanimously approved funding for the "morning after pill" on the grounds that it did not produce an abortion. This is mere word play.
"Because the fertilized egg was prevented from implantation in the uterus, therefore the woman was never pregnant. So there was no abortion." Nonsense!
The end result was that a living human being was denied sustenance needed to continue to live.
There are women who go to great expense to have their eggs fertilized and frozen and later implanted in a womb, and which grow into much wanted children.
If you saw a child on the street dying of hunger, and you prevented those who would provide him/her food, couldn't you be arrested and charged with murder?
If you see a living embryo, and prevent it from finding nourishment to continue to live, aren't you likewise guilty?
I believe that the County Commission just unanimously authorized murder of the unborn and is charging us with the bill. Shame on them all!
DR. MARSHALL C.
Wayside Presbyterian Church
Recent Tennessee history proves that a sales tax outperforms an income tax in two respects. Wages for all income levels increase and tax burdens remain lower under a sales tax.
How was this conclusion reached? The ALEC-Laffer Index compared Tennessee to its northern neighbor. The two are similar from a historical perspective and are very similar in geographical make-up. In essence, Tennessee and Kentucky can draw from very similar economic resources.
In 1980, the per capita (per person) income of a Tennessee resident was about $16 higher than a Kentucky resident. However, by 1998, that number had increased to $2,064. The explanation for the difference is that Tennessee operates under a sales tax and Kentucky operates under an income tax.
By 1998, Tennesseans earned more money and paid 25 percent less dollar-for-dollar in taxes on that money. Tennesseans out-earned their northern neighbors and paid less in taxes because they have a sales tax.
The Fair Tax implemented at the national level will have equal benefits. Tennesseans have proven that the Fair Tax would be better than the broken system we have today. Chuck Fleischmann should join his fellow East Tennessee congressman, John Duncan, and become a co-sponsor to the Fair Tax.
When I read "Amazon is not a threat to existing businesses" (Rep. Gerald McCormick, May 15) methinks politician and imbecile (choose your word) are synonyms. The (state), he says, "... will not lose a single penny of sales tax it currently receives ...". Amazon's sales are growing almost 30 percent annually, and Tennessee residents are part of that growth, so the state is losing sales tax already, and will also lose gasoline tax and other taxes as we shop from home, reduce driving and reduce other purchases.
Politicians repeatedly say "small businesses create the jobs," then provide taxpayer incentives so big business can kill more small businesses. (VW and Wacker are exceptions!)
Our economy grows because investments in technology continue to require more educated people to create more productive facilities, resulting in more lost jobs and people unable to find work (and pay taxes), requiring more welfare and social workers.
Solutions to our "social issues" will require effective birth control programs, resolution of immigration issues and an educational system for all children (with tax structure and rates to support it). When will politicians shed their cowardliness and really work as policy makers on these solutions, rather than continuously posturing on "social issues" to appease their donors?