While it is true that Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A's First Amendment rights were not violated, the spirit of freedom of speech certainly got a good whuppin' on social media and in mainstream outlets!
He did not say that homosexual customers (nor employees) are not welcome at his businesses. And, I bet that many sexual orientation-challenged citizens have worked for or have been customers of this organization for years.
But when some government leaders and popular "talking heads" climb up on their soapboxes calling Dan Cathy and his business homophobic and a hate group, it's just wrong! Maybe, just maybe, those who are dumbfounded and insulted at the ownership of Chick-fil-A in having the gall to speak their Christian beliefs are heterosexual haters.
What Dan Cathy said was scripturally correct, but not politically correct. I'll take biblical truth over popular opinion any day.
JEFFREY T. COX, Dalton, Ga.
As I opened the paper to the "Life" section (Aug. 9), I could not believe my eyes.
The article I am referring to is "Saucy Spin" by Holly Leber.
Is there a shortage of articles of interest to write about to the point that you have to print trash?
If you wonder why there is such a moral decline in this country, this is a prime example.
I am very disappointed in your choice to glorify this garbage. I am a long-time subscriber to your paper, and I hope this won't continue.
BARBARA KING, Rossville, Ga.
Walter Williams, what in the world are you talking about in your column "The evils of (corporate) socialism" (Aug. 12)? Radical right-wing nuts squeal if "conservatism" and seminal Nazism are compared. Show a little restraint so we don't have to remind you that the tyrannies of the 20th century were more about corporate socialism than social justice.
Means of production were co-opted by the state, and party elites exploited the masses in the name of social justice. Movements to improve life for the masses were squashed to protect the privileged. An innovative society, we twisted the process. Corporate interests have co-opted the state and are squeezing the potency out of the middle class in the name of free enterprise and individual liberty.
Like the Germans, Russians and Chinese before us, we have been through a rough patch. While not as rough as theirs, it is worse than any we have dealt with in 90 years.
We are left suckers for slogan slinging, chest thumping and pious, patriotic posturing. We are manipulated by corporatist socialist demagogues hysterically preaching that producers should not have to pay, though they are the heaviest users and beneficiaries of infrastructure, defense and government services.
In your editorial (Aug. 14) on the selection of Paul Ryan as Gov. Mitt Romney's running mate, you referred to TARP as the "$700 billion Wall Street bailout bill." While that description of TARP accurately describes what was authorized, it is a serious distortion of the true cost of the act.
The scorecard as of Aug. 1 for TARP and the related bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is as follows: $602 billion has been invested, loaned or paid out; $309 billion has been returned; and $82 billion has been earned on amounts loaned or invested. Thus, the net cost of these two bills today is $211 billion, but only $64 billion is attributable to TARP, and most, if not all of that amount, will ultimately be repaid.
The truth is that the TARP represents money well-spent and should have been even larger. As is frequently pointed out, Japan and Europe provide sobering examples of what would have happened without TARP. The recent efforts of revisionist historians notwithstanding, government stimulus spending has blunted the effects of both the Great Depression and the Great Recession.
STEVE A. BOVELL
A third of the Free Press Aug. 14 editorial "Ryan's disappointing reality" praised the Romney-Ryan ticket, elaborated on the virtues of Paul Ryan and described in detail what he can do as the Republican vice presidential nominee: (1) Galvanize the Tea Party, (2) Bring in new financial contributions and (3) help win the state of Wisconsin for the Republican side. You state -- "For these three reasons, Romney's pick of Ryan is undeniably wise."
But then the remaining two-thirds of the editorial bashes Ryan as "an impostor" and a "RINO." It never once described what he can do to help our country get out of debt and get back on a balanced budget.
My question is: Where are you coming from? My take is that you are the RINO. With all your rhetoric, you have probably done more to help re-elect President Obama than anything the Democrats can say or do. I think your column should have been more appropriately placed on the Chattanooga Times editorial page.
ARTHUR J. TURNER
The second of your editorials on Aug. 11 ("Gas taxes add up for drivers"), acknowledges that "Gas taxes are particularly unfair because they hit the poorest people the hardest." In fact, you devote two paragraphs to developing this vital and valid point.
A sales tax on necessities affects "the poorest people" in the same way the gas tax does: both are regressive taxes. Tennessee's heavy reliance on the sales tax is what led the commission appointed in 1974 by Republican Gov. Winfield Dunn to conclude that Tennessee's overall tax structure is, indeed, unfair.
Thus, I was disappointed, but not surprised, that the very next day, Aug. 12, in your editorial "Tennessee Democrats a Joke," you wonder who but Democrats "would push for an income tax that would devastate Tennessee's economy and send businesses and residents scurrying ..."
You seem to be asserting that businesses will not "scurry" from Tennessee only if the state's tax structure hits "the poorest people the hardest."
One would be hard pressed to refute your point, unintended though it must be.
As a long-time member of the NRA, I was not pleased to read David Cook's (Aug. 8) column "The case of treason against the NRA." It was not based on fact, but rather his left-biased opinion regarding gun ownership, and it belonged on the opinion page.
In just about every case of mass shootings by an individual, there were many warning signs beforehand that were ignored by people in responsible charge. Even the U.S. Army chose to transfer an obviously disturbed officer to Fort Hood, where he committed multiple homicides.
In most cases, it seems to me that political correctness was a major factor in authorities not taking control of someone who had serious mental problems. In Aurora, Colo., the university abdicated its responsibility to protect the community from a dangerous situation, much like Penn State did in the Sandusky case.
Until society stops tip-toeing around these issues for fear of adverse publicity or litigation, the public will continue to see predators turned loose on them with no warning!
GUS SPAHR, Mentone, Ala.
The newspaper has always been a part of our lives, and we usually read the Times Free Press every day. There are many things I enjoy and some I don't, but the Aug. 9 paper really upset me with the front page of Section E, "Naughty new fitness class heats up on the North Shore." Even if I were not a Christian, this article certainly was offensive to most decent citizens -- "Raunchy" certainly did describe the article.
This was not an article I would want my young people to read in the paper and feel that this is all right since it was printed in a "family" newspaper.
ANN D. ANDERSON
I have a novel idea on how to settle the controversy on prayer at the Hamilton County Commission meetings. Put it on the ballot in the November election and let the voters of Hamilton County decide if they want their leaders to pray before making decisions that effect everyone in the county. I also think the results of the vote should apply to all public meetings.
It's funny that prayer was not an issue for 225 years of our nation's history, but for the last 25 years or so, it has become politically incorrect. It certainly was not politically incorrect for our Founding Fathers. Our Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.
Parkridge has accepted Network S and I am sure Network P plans from BlueCross BlueShield insureds for at least two years. Memorial has not accepted BCBS Network S. If you want to compare apples to apples, doesn't this factor in the equation? Why has Memorial refused Network S in the past while others accept this plan? Now, not only is it refusing Network S but also Network P.
I intend no disparagement of Memorial. The fact is, I am pleased with the services I received from Parkridge, not only from the standpoint of quality of medical care, but I have been treated as a person, not a number.
I do not blame Memorial for the breakdown in negotiations with BCBS but the corporate greed that exists in our culture.
I received a letter from Memorial that says "Memorial will not bill you any more for our services today than we did before BlueCross ended negotiations. ... We've asked BlueCross to be fair with us, and now we're asking BlueCross to be fair with you." This does not help me become confident with Memorial in the least.
DAVID ROSE, Ooltewah
Please ask advocates of letting home-schoolers play on school teams if they also have respect for all the children who attend school every day, children who have been at school all day and want to play.
A child who has followed school rules and school schedules and wants to be on a team should not risk being benched or cut by a child who has been at home all day -- possibly with a nap or even a personal trainer. A level playing field is impossible to create at best.
Home-schooled athletes might be better served to learn that choices have consequences (home school/no team vs. public school/possible team), not that they get to pick and choose only the parts they enjoy.
JOANNE PHILLIPS, Hixson