Libraries should share resources
I am very pleased with the new Collegedale Public Library (formerly a branch of the Chattanooga system) that opened on Aug. 15.
However, I would like to see Collegedale and other public libraries in this region form a consortium similar to the Georgia PINES (Public Information Network for Electronic Services) program, which links 275 libraries statewide, to provide equal access to information for all Georgians. They enjoy the benefits of a shared collection that can be delivered to their home library free of charge.
Meanwhile, we can't even order books from other libraries only a few miles away, unless we pay interlibrary loan fees. That becomes too expensive if you order several books a week, as I did before Collegedale was cut off from the Chattanooga library system.
We read in our newspapers about the millions of dollars being spent on comprehensive plans for the growth in our tri-state area in response to Volkswagen and other companies locating here. Surely, equal and free access to information through our libraries should be part of those plans.
The Chattanooga system, including Main, Eastgate, Northgate and Southside; Cleveland; Collegedale; East Ridge; and Signal Mountain are some libraries that might want to join.
Let's return to self-reliance
Since the Great Society was initiated in 1965 by Lyndon Johnson, about $16 trillion has been spent. We have about the same level of poverty in 2011 as we did in 1965. The only difference is we are $14 trillion in debt.
The poor are the first to lose their jobs. But now we subsidize them for 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. They lose initiative, self-esteem and the job skills that they once had.
By keeping Americans on the public dole, do-gooder politicians are de facto buying votes.
Wasting money on social programs and not reducing the bloated welfare system reduces the jobs that the marginal poor actually need.
To increase pride and integrity we should reduce government, reduce welfare, reduce regulations and let the American free-enterprise system create jobs.
America is not broke; our new European model of socialism is broke. It isn't working for Greece; it won't work for us.
Let's get back to self-reliance and the American way.
Three people deserve accolades
Please allow me to pay compliments to three people.
First, to Nancy Rus, who showed the difference one person who cares can make in this world. Her rescue of Mary was an example of someone going the extra mile. Nancy, may your tribe increase.
Second, I would recognize Steve Barrett, who at last wrote a column with which I concur 100 percent when he called for the establishment of IHOP on Gunbarrel Road. I join him in saying to Mr. Benson: "We want our pancakes, sir!"
Third, my hat is off to our Sen. Lamar Alexander for his courageous move in resigning his party post so he can hew a more independent line in the future. How we have needed a statesman to step forth in Congress who is willing to compromise and break the gridlock of inactivity! If he is successful in doing so, it could veritably save our country. We wish him well.
Back proposal to help housing
Much of the current economic malaise is directly related to the housing market.
Your neighbor's house goes into foreclosure. Buyers wait for the bank auction and buy that house rather than yours. All houses in your area decline in price. This downward spiral in home prices increases unemployment of construction workers and restricts job mobility.
Too many people must give their home away to move to a city with an available job or try to wait it out and remain unemployed. The wait may last a lifetime. Only the federal government has the means to interrupt this downward spiral.
The moral hazard of mortgage modifications can be avoided if the government bought foreclosed homes and either rented or bulldozed the home, selling the home after the market in the geographic area has stabilized.
The argument this is causing inflation is not logical. If losing a trillion dollars from home depreciation did not cause severe deflation, printing a trillion to restore stability will just return the market to normal.
The White House initiative "We The People" contains a petition asking the government to explore this suggestion. Please go to http://wh.gov/gzw and sign the petition. Please lend your voice to take action.
Government guilty of double talk
Double talk is defined as deliberate, confusing language. Washington, D.C., is an expert at double talk.
One example is the word "cuts." The dictionary defines "cuts" as the act of reducing or removing. Our government calls spending increases, cuts, because the increase is less than originally projected. It's the same as deciding to buy a Lexus for $60,000 but then changing your mind and financing a Ford for $30,000. Wow! You just cut $30,000 from your budget.
More double talk: (1) Our government calls it revenue enhancement, not new taxes. (2) Another one that Obama uses over and over is government investment, not government spending. (3) Federal government is now being replaced with federal family. If that's true, I have a bunch of "black sheep" in my family, and most reside in Washington, D.C.
Over the last several years, I've read numerous editorials that proclaim all our problems are caused by Democrats, and others swear that Republicans are the culprits. Fellow Americans, it's both parties that have gotten us into the mess we're in today. We, the citizens of this great country, are enduring unending deception. It seems to me that government is for the government and to -- with the rest of us. What's your opinion?
E. LEE GERALDSON
Rude behavior at debate wrong
As Americans, we celebrate and enjoy our God-given rights and are thankful for those who serve to defend those rights. However, it does concern me when some of the audience booed a homosexual soldier when questioning Sen. Rick Santorum about his position on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" during the most recent Republican presidential debate.
Although we are free to express ourselves and share our opinion on a particular subject with a wide group of people, I believe that respect and decorum should be exercised in a debate -- especially when one of the questions comes from someone serving in our military.
What concerns me more is that the candidates didn't pause and apologize for the booing.
While the Walker County Republican Party doesn't support the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, we absolutely do not tolerate disrespectful behavior aimed at any man or woman serving in the armed services of the United States of America.
NATHAN A. SMITH
Fees will help library to remain
I believe the intent of the new fee associated with library usage is to help replace funding formerly provided by the county. There are expenses associated with every operation, both public and private.
Yes, there will be people who cannot afford even this minimal fee, but are most of them county residents? They will, sadly, be unable to use the libraries for free, but there are guest cards, temporary cards and restricted cards available.
The library provides language courses, large-print books and books on tape. The Local History Department has a massive collection of genealogical records. The Children's Department runs the Summer Reading Program to encourage reading outside the school year. The Research Department helps people every day with a myriad of questions.
All the branches are busy with early childhood education, home schoolers and yes, even books. Club Lib next month will help add eBooks to keep our library fresh and current.
There is a price to pay for using parking spaces on city streets, rental of buildings owned by Chattanooga, etc., etc. I think there will be a need for libraries for many years to come and that this decision will help that to happen.