Recently, you ran a letter that described the Bush presidency as "illegitimate." I can only assume the writer was referring to the Florida election returns of 2000. As a Florida resident at that time, I would like to correct a few misconceptions.
The county which created the most controversy in regard to the poor ballots used was designed and approved by the supervisor of elections, who by the way, was a Democrat. After several recounts, the result stayed the same.
The major news networks called the state for Al Gore before the polls closed in the Panhandle, which is heavily Republican. This was certainly ethically questionable. It also cost Bush votes since some folks there didn't vote.
The other interesting fact regarding the 2000 election was that if Gore would have carried his own state of Tennessee, "which he did not," he would have been our president. I hope this sheds a little light on the "illegitimate presidency."
Recently I spent 10 days at a local hospital, which one is irrelevant.
The care I received from these young men and women, however, was so tremendous and inspiring. My respect for nurses will never be more gratifying.
May God bless each of these caregivers.
GERALD E. LAFRENIERE
Mark West's opinion piece (Aug. 1) regarding government overreach is, like most tea party propaganda, long on oversimplification and distortion and short on facts.
And his assertion that the public money given to the EPB is an attack on small business is ridiculous on its face. Chattanooga has benefited enormously from the efforts of the EPB and has taken a place on the national stage because of it. When Mr. West writes the "the potential for failure is certainly evident," I wonder to whom this is evident. It is certainly not evident to me. And EPB is not competing against small business but one very large monopoly.
It seems Mr. West would have us put our fates in the hands of "big insurance" and corporate interest rather than in the democratic form of government where we elect our representatives and send them to govern in our interests. And half-truths and scare tactics are the tools he and his associates would use to accomplish that. They say they are protecting individual freedom, but our government is what protects that through the Constitution and a system of checks and balances built over many years by public servants.
Which guns do I get to keep?
You get the sense that liberals today only want you to keep the guns you need to defend your home or to hunt.
So, do I get to keep a .22 rifle for squirrels, a .303 for deer and a .270 for moose and elk?
And to defend my home, can I have a gun at each entrance? Or if a robber breaks down my back door, do I have to run from the back door to the front door to find a gun? And who decides on the caliber needed for each gun?
Can I keep the 1909 $4.50 12-gauge, single-barrel, breech-loading shotgun given by my grandfather to my dad on his 12th birthday, or the .270 Winchester I gave him for his 50th birthday?
Many of the greatest crime cities in the U.S. are those with the strictest gun laws! Think Chicago!
Want to save lots of lives? Outlaw liquor and cigarettes!
After all, "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns."
In his recent statement, President Obama revealed his belief that it was not business owners who built their businesses. Obama told us that government was responsible. I think the president lacks the experience to know who really built our business, and I am now going to tell him who did build it.
I was involved in helping my husband build a business over 55 years ago that is still in existence today. Government did not step in to take the risks that over the years had to be taken; government did not loan us the money when it was so needed; government did not help us rebuild after a storm almost destroyed the business; it was not government that came and helped set up a temporary place to do business and work night and day to get it up and running again. It was my husband, our family and our employees who worked so hard and sacrificed so much for our business.
For 55 years, we paid taxes for all those government services that Obama credits for building our business. He never even gave us credit for that!
The truth is God has used many people over the years to come to our aid, but never government.
I'm newly arrived in Tennessee and headed out with my documents to vote. I was asked to declare Democrat or Republican, expressed my annoyance that this was my only choice, declined to vote, and left. A campaign worker nearby helpfully offered to escort me back in to see if I could vote in the general and municipal parts of the election. I was allowed, the polling worker learned she should have offered me that option (and she thanked me for coming back and apologized), and I cast my ballot.
But I was still denied the right to fully vote. My parents and faith have taught me that I'm to vote for the most qualified people as best as I can determine that, not along party lines. If I declare a party on the voting card, not only am I lying, since I have no party affiliation, but I'm not given the right to choose qualified candidates from both parties. The polarized party system declaration robs me of the right to make that choice. As happened in Ohio, here in Tennessee, I cannot vote in primary elections as a matter of principle. I feel angry and frustrated when primary elections occur this way.
SUSANNE M. ALEXANDER