Use Signal Mountain mistake as learning model
As a longtime resident of Signal Mountain and an avid supporter of the Eagles, I feel bad for Tim McClendon, the team and the students at Signal Mountain Middle High School.
Hopefully, the school administration and the parents will make a positive of this event and provide our young people with a lesson that will make them all better adults.
The lesson: "Whenever you fail to follow the rules, even though it may be an honest mistake, sooner or later you will pay the price."
An old expression applies: "Ignorance of the law is no excuse."
GORDON SMITH, Signal Mountain
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Press smears Cain but not Obama
As expected, MSNBC is cranking up a smear campaign to discredit Herman Cain on "Good Morning Joe." The entire crew had a merry time focusing on slips of the tongue by Herman Cain while expressing doubts about his qualifications to be president.
Contrast this with the ho-hum attitude that the press exhibited when Obama said he would establish a corps of community organizers because "we cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, and just as well-funded."
Now this was not a slip of the tongue! He repeated this chilling thought in a later speech.
That is a lulu of a wrong-headed statement. The press, as always, tame when faced with Democrats' excesses, tamped down alarm expressed by the public and assured us he didn't mean it.
The attacks on Cain's intelligence, while ignoring Obama's more extreme comments, is telling. The Democrats also said Reagan and Eisenhower were soft-headed. This accusation is trotted out to discredit anyone who rises to the top in the Republican Party by Democrats who are fearful of their conservative ideas.
JIM SHUPE, Sequatchie County Chairman Committee to Elect Herman Cain
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Reconsider leaf pickup in Red Bank
To Red Bank's mayor and commissioners:
I can't believe what I'm reading about the elimination of leaf collection -- the absolute worst item you could remove from the city of Red Bank's budget. Think about it. You already have the equipment and manpower.
You say your trucks will make continual passes throughout the city to pick up bagged leaves from Nov. 14 through Jan. 27. You have for several years made one pass with the leaf vacuum equipment. What is the difference in the cost of picking up with the vacuum vs. picking up bagged leaves continually?
Most importantly, consider what you're asking the citizens to do. Rake the leaves; put the leaves into bags, and place them beside the ditch. Have you done this -- ever? How many of Red Bank's property owners are senior citizens who are physically incapable of raking and bagging leaves, nor have the financial ability to hire someone to perform that service?
This is a short-sighted decision on your part as a governing body. Please revisit this issue and correct it at the next meeting of the board of commissioners.
MATT NEVELS, Red Bank
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Online education pushes city forward
A recent article (Oct. 21) by your writer Kevin Hardy describes Hamilton County's transformational leaders' perspective toward implementing online education in our local public schools.
Why not? In a flat world of online global communication, educational leaders must find and implement innovative ways that will improve and provide the greatest impact upon our students. This is found in the vehicle of online learning.
Introducing online learning to our K-12 students will provide them with the tools and skills that will enhance their performance for a strong presence in today's global community.
Online education will allow students to transition into the online academic world such as Bethel University's online MBA, or Tennessee Temple's online Ph.D. leadership program, or into the work force.
Businesses and communities thrive on human capital. It is our responsibility to ensure the best education for our children that will spill over into the work force and community.
Online learning is not new to public education. California schools have made online learning available to their students with good success. Chattanooga can do the same and give our students the competitive advantage through online learning.
Let's keep Chattanooga a great place to live, learn, and grow with online education.
TERRY L. BUTLER
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Beware, America can have riots too
Predictably, right-wing ideologues claim the recent rioters in Britain were nothing but criminals, pure and simple. If they were confronted with sufficient force they would back down. That's a naive oversimplification.
The rioters were neither race- nor class-driven, but generation-based, young people who feel they have no economic, social or political future in their country. Recent budget cuts have further reduced their educational opportunities; automation and outsourcing have eliminated many low-skill jobs, and the failure of family, religious and moral institutional structures have created a pervasive malaise of hopelessness. But that's the Brits' problem, right? It could never happen here.
Our failing/ed public education system, religious institutions more interested in numbers and lavish family life centers than the social gospel, and the continuing loss of decent job opportunities have created a class of poor, idle, resentful young Americans with few moral or spiritual underpinnings.
With our liberal gun laws -- everybody who wants one has one -- rioting and looting could be just the opening shot.
We're not as immune as we might think. How about the 1965 Watts riots and Occupy Wall Street for starters? All it would take is the right spark in the right place at the right time.
GEORGE B. REED JR., Rossville, Ga.
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Study U.S. history on tax collections
Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan is interesting, but not a fair plan for the average lower- and middle-class working person.
First, the lower-income folks, and people on fixed incomes, pay less than 9 percent now, and this would add a burden on them.
Second, the 9 percent sales tax would add even more burden on this same group of citizens.
Why Cain and the Republicans are so heart-set on doing away with the middle class is a mystery to me, and why the average working man votes that way is even more amazing.
Now the 9 percent tax on corporations is certainly a laugh. For over the first 100 years of our country, almost all our revenue came from rich corporations and the super-rich; the farmers and working folks did not pay any income taxes.
If people would study our history instead of listening to some of these blowhards, I'm sure their voting habits would change.
JACK PINE, Dunlap, Tenn.
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Hunters pay bills for management
I can't fathom the arrogance of a small group of people who want to push out the people who for the last almost half century have funded the game and habitat management of Enterprise South. Sportsmen, through license fees and Pittman-Robinson taxes, have paid the bills.
Now that sportsmen have been pushed to the back corner (about 25 percent of the total area which also reduces the available game habitat by two-thirds), they want to run the show even though they pay no land use fees or help physically or financially.
I haven't heard one hunter complain about sharing.
Not only arrogance but ignorance runs rampant. If these people had stood where I stood at Gettysburg where deer had eaten everything from ground to six feet high, or witnessed black tongue disease at Ocoee, Chuck Swan, and Carter Mountain, they "might" have enough sense to realize nature is much crueler than harvesting the surplus.
Wildlife must be managed for the worst year of food production because one bad year and there is a serious problem, and nature is not kind.
My wish is that those who enjoy non-consumptive recreation 361 days per year let those who pay the bill do what must be done the other four.
CHARLES ABERNATHY, Ooltewah
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Voter ID whining is getting old
Are you as tired as I am of the whining about people being disenfranchised by the voter identification law in South Carolina?
The Democratic Party chairman there says this is disenfranchising huge groups of people who don't have the money to go get an ID card.
How about some of the $70 million Mr. Obama has in his war chest? Maybe Jesse Jackson would like to put up some money to help these good people.
You can bet that one year from now, before the presidential election, the whining will still be heard.
By the way, you do know that Tennesseans who vote by absentee ballot are exempt from the photo ID requirement.
WILLIAM J. BURTON, Cleveland, Tenn.