'WTCI programs connect us all' and more letters to the editor

'WTCI programs connect us all' and more letters to the editor

December 9th, 2012 in Opinion Letters

WTCI programs connect us all

WTCI to me represents us all!

I have watched WTCI/PBS for the past 30 years. Who hasn't been to a clothing store and not thought of "Are You Being Served," a Brit sitcom, or walked the Chickamauga Battlefield and not thought of Ken Burns' "Civil War," or the recent Ric Burns documentary, "The Republic of Suffering."

The Chattanooga Police Department makes one think of "Prime Suspect," with Helen Mirren. When I stay at a hotel, who doesn't recall "Fawlty Towers" with John Cleese!

My daily newspaper prompts remembrance each morning of "State of Play," a BBC thriller about the behind the scenes of a major newspaper.

"All Creatures Great and Small" reminds me of our local veterinarians and animal shelters or "Yes Minister," as the elected officials come and go, the civil servants are really running the show.

Lastly, "Downton Abbey" rekindles the 1920s when these types of houses were the norm for the Gold Coast in New York.

All these stories on WTCI remind me how we really are connected.


Speed limit creates problems

Want to create a giant traffic jam? Have three police cars drive side-by-side on I-24/75 at 56 mph. You will have traffic backed up for miles. If you drive 55 in a 55-mph zone on that road, you will get run over.


Library should be for all citizens

What happened to our regional library? We used to have a library that served the city and county. Now we in the county have to pay $50 per year to use the Chattanooga Library, since the county refuses to participate financially as they had in the past. A library is an asset to both the city and county and needs to be supported by both entities. The County Commission and elected officials are forcing individual citizens to pay for the use of a facility that should be supported by our tax dollars. We don't have fire or garbage service. Why not at least a library that we do not have to pay annually to use?


DesJarlais' action isn't repentence

Scott DesJarlais has now played his trump card - "God has forgiven me" - his get-out-of-jail-free card. The implication is that if God has forgiven him, all others who believe in "grace and redemption" should follow suit.

Mr. DesJarlais' repentance would have been more compelling if it had been announced before the election accompanied by a full disclosure of his transgressions. It lacks authenticity in that Mr. DesJarlais has never completely acknowledged his transgressions.

One can only conclude that Mr. DesJarlais has "come to Jesus" only recently, given that "pardonable offenses" have continued until only recently. One is left with the impression that Mr. DesJarlais' repentance is under duress after attempts at suppression, denial, misrepresentation and prevarication have all failed. One might conclude that this isn't repentance - this is politics!

Whatever Mr. DesJarlais' relationship with God, now and ever after, as a society, we routinely sanction those who violate our secular rules and regulations. We also punish those who violate our standards of behavior. Absent sanctions for those who violate our rules, regulations and standards of behavior, society cannot function. We should resist issuing a secular get-out-of-jail-free card - especially to politicians.


Check the law on bike riders

Recently my friend Brian and I were cycling side-by-side northbound on Ooltewah-Georgetown Road when we passed two parked patrol cars. A minute later one of them pulled us over. The officer said we were breaking the law by riding side-by-side. He said Tennessee's three-foot law meant we had to ride single file and stay within three feet of the white side line. I said the rule meant cars had to allow three feet when passing a cyclist. Despite this he threatened to give us a ticket if he saw us riding side-by-side again.

When I got home I looked up the law (TN code 55-8-175 paragraph 1 (b)) and found that riding side-by-side is legal as long as we are not impeding the flow of traffic (no other cars were around when we were stopped). I posted the incident on Facebook and immediately heard from several other riders who were pulled over in the same area with the same admonition by, judging from the description, the same officer.

Perhaps the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department could educate its officers about cyclists' rights and the three-foot rule.


Ooltewah, Tenn.

Back-in parking can cause accidents

I'm writing about the back-in parking spots in downtown Chattanooga. In my opinion, they are confusing, dangerous and just plain dumb. To park in one of these spaces you must stop in traffic and go in reverse. Maybe this isn't so different from normal parallel parking, but the difference is that cars behind you have no idea what you're doing, and, with parallel parking spots, all the other drivers know what to expect because they are the norm.

Every time I'm parking downtown, I hold my breath that no one's going to rear-end me. Last weekend, my 83-year-old grandfather backed in too far and dented his bumper on the meter. It wasn't his fault, because it's virtually impossible to see what's behind you when you start backing up into these spaces. God forbid a child had been in that area of the sidewalk.

Why does everything have to be so dumbed down that people can't even be expected to parallel park anymore? It bugs me that the city has spent all this money on making these weird spaces that are going to cause accidents. I say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.


East Ridge

Certainty trumps what tax rate is

If all the Bush tax cuts are extended, families earning $100,000-$200,000 will pay a higher tax rate than those making $1 million or more. Think about that. The Americans being asked to pay a little more in taxes receive nearly 25 percent of our national income but will pay lower tax rates than the upper middle-class.

Ninety-eight percent of those with small business income earn less than $200,000, and nearly half of the remaining 2 percent aren't really small business owners; they're high-income investors who get a portion of their income from investments in small business. Even many of the big guys who will pay more say that tax rates don't determine whether or not they are hiring. What motivates hiring is consumer demand, which will be driven by keeping tax rates low for 98 percent of American families. And what motivates investment is certainty, something sorely lacking in today's Congress. Certainty for these businessmen is much more important than a few percentage points tax increase.

Adam Smith, one of conservative's greatest heroes, believed, "The rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion." Fairness was important to him.


Crossville, Tenn.

GOP should get something back

As Republicans in Congress are trying to work with Democrats to prevent the "fiscal cliff," hopefully they won't "cave" without getting something substantial in return. The same admonition will apply for the next time the debt ceiling has to be raised.

I suggest the following: Accept either Obama's tax on those with gross income above $250,000 or eliminate some tax deductions in exchange for changing the insurance mandate in ObamaCare to: (a) elimination of all coverage mandates at both the federal and state level, (other than the recommendations of the U.S. Preventative Task Force); and (b) change the minimum acceptable plan to a high-deductible plan/HSA with $20,000 deductible, but the insurance carrier picking up 100 percent of covered expenses above that amount, keeping the "tax" for "luxury plans" with no exceptions.

Not changing the insurance mandate will result in many thousands (millions?) of people losing their health insurance, as both employers and employees will opt for the less expensive "tax" currently set to take effect. Please remember that for the low wage earner, even bad insurance is better than none, and paying for a high-deductable plan can be expected to be less expensive than the ObamaCare "tax."