Letters to the Editors

Letters to the Editors

November 20th, 2011 in Opinion Letters

Book removal can do harm

Re: Dade's removal of a helpful book.

Removing a book from a required reading list can prove more harmful than helpful. The book was probably put on the list for good reasons. The book is about a boy who leaves the reservation school to better himself at a more advanced school. The protagonist shows courage and perseverance with his ability to overcome obstacles.

High schoolers should be mature enough to handle the presented material.

When I was in high school, my mom probably would have been outraged at the content, but exposing me to it was a great thing. When I arrived at college, I wasn't metaphorically slapped in the face like some of my more sheltered peers were by the drinking, drugs and violence that weren't present at my high school.

High school students should be allowed to read books such as the one that Dade removed from their library and reading list. All books have the potential to help readers of all ages, especially those who still have experiences to face in life. This book has the ability to prepare high school students for what is to come.

WHITNEY WHITAKER

Graysville, Tenn.

Togetherness a strong remedy

I can remember the pride I had in what my generation stood for back in 1972.

I was impressed by so many movements during that time. The protest of dying young men and how the results going down on Cronkite every night were not being calculated to the truth.

I remember the pride I felt, where at the forefront of all but a few rallies, the theme was always about peace and love for your sisters and brothers.

We gathered, we shouted, we wanted a nation of peace. Black America was so united, it was almost embarrassing to not be in their circle; thank God for Motown! They brought us to be closer. So many good ideas and movements.

Someone needs to bring that message down to the young in these Occupation gatherings. They should be striving for the good of mankind and what would make America a better place to live in freedom. So many dark shadows are upon their movement today. It can change; show the establishment where they're going wrong, but in a way that they will respect and act on, with peace and love.

United, togetherness is such a strong remedy.

MIKE JOHNSON

Hixson

Investigate wild cliams

A recent article reports there were more than 100 sex trafficking cases in Hamilton County while the police investigated zero. No cases were reported to police.

This is an example of what the French mathematician Renee Descartes was referring to when he said, "There are three kinds of lies; there are lies, damn lies, and statistics."

When someone or an organization is lying, it is helpful to question what their motivation is. Are they just stupid? Are they ignorant of the facts and lack specious motives? Or possibly are they ginning for more money?

This reminds me of the wild claims made by the city, county or state when trying to sell us on something. For instance, Catoosa County assured us that Costco would generate an additional $3.5 million in revenue due to increased sales tax collection. None of the "bright" people working in the budget office realized that the sales made at Costco would come at someone else's expense; hence there was little or no gain. All increase in tax revenue comes at our expense. If we don't spend more, they don't get more. In the case of Catoosa County officials, I believe they were and remain ignorant.

JIM HOWARD

Ringgold, Ga.

Band together to pressure Dish

Since Nov. 1, area Dish Network customers have not had access to Channel 3/NBC programming due to a contractual dispute. Having spoken with the manager of Channel 3 and several Dish representatives, I am still uncertain about the breakdown in their negotiations. Both claim that it is the other's fault that we customers are being denied a service that we have contracted.

Tens of thousands of viewers are without their preferred local news and weather programming and favorite entertainment shows. What can we viewers do about this?

Since my contract with Dish Network requires local programming from the Chattanooga stations, I called Dish Customer Service and requested a refund for the service I was not being provided. The Dish representative refunded my money for local programming for the next six months, including the service I have already lost.

If thousands of customers made a similar call for refunds, perhaps Dish Network would feel some financial pressure to step up the negotiations. As individual consumers, we have little impact on issues such as this. If we band together, our collective voice might be better heard. If your are missing Channel 3, make that call!

DAVE PIERMAN

Turtletown, Tenn.

In South, sports fulfill idol worship

A recent writer decried the regional emphasis on athletics versus academics.

What this person obviously did not understand was the fact that every aboriginal culture requires an idol and an altar for worship. In the South, athletics in general, and football in particular, fulfill those roles.

Why would anyone need to understand calculus, economics or history when all they really need to read is a scoreboard?

When one sees a vehicle festooned with orange, red, or red and black, it is probable that the number of football decorations is an inverse ratio to the likelihood that the driver ever went to college at that school or can even spell college.

Some fanatics would probably be challenged to spell "UT" or "UGA."

Can college and secondary administrators and coaches be blamed for their worship of athletics over academics? Hardly! As the high priests of this culture, they are expected to produce a winning season or risk the wrath of the indigenous population.

Questionable recruiting, dubious hardship transfers and grade manipulation are a small price to pay for a winning season. Hopefully, when the athlete's career ends, the letter jacket will keep him warm while working the drive-through window.

PAUL EDWARDS

Protesters should work within system

Didn't the "Occupiers" learn anything from the '60s?

Protesting the system in general doesn't work. It took us a while to realize this so maybe they can learn from the past.

Suggestion 1: Make some bright red T-shirts that say "Occupier." Go to agencies around town and ask the directors how much funding they have lost this year. Pitch in to fill the void at community centers, schools, etc., wearing those shirts and "Occupy" someplace that can use volunteers.

Suggestion 2: Work from within the system. Everyone has elected officials who love to hear from constituents. Make an appointment and talk to them. Share your constructive ideas. These people are in a position to make changes, and they need to know about your priorities. Get on a first-name basis with your local city and county council people. Go to public meetings and speak if it is allowed.

Show the rest of the country how it should be done. Concentrate your efforts. Negative publicity will only hurt your causes. If you can't articulate specific requests, you won't be taken seriously.

ROBBIE MOORE

Novel shows power of positive thinking

Sherman Alexie's "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian" is a novel about hope in a young boy's journey to self-discovery.

Every adolescent experiences this same pilgrimage that leads him or her to an unearthing of identity.

Alexie's young protagonist faces devastatingly dark and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, these scenes of pain and turmoil characterized and condemned as "perversion" by parents of Dade County students.

These dismal themes are in no way glorified or encouraged by the text. Conversely they are presented through the lens of a hopeful adolescent's perspective to which young readers may easily relate.

He proves strong in the midst of his trials finding hope, joy and love, proving the power of positive thinking.

Readers receive the privilege of learning the valuable lesson of not giving in to despair.

Widely regarded author, lecturer and mythologist Joseph Campbell implores his readers to, "Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy." This is conveyed clearly and in a way to elicit participation from readers and therefore should remain a work of literature read by literature students in any classroom.

CHRISTINA MELTON

Ooltewah