Health directive offensive to many
The issue of mandating that religious institutions provide health care coverage including birth control to their employees is not a cause taken up exclusively by "hard-right Republicans" as your editorial on Jan. 31 suggests.
This issue is offensive to many people, especially those who value the United States Constitution. The thought that our government can impose its will on any religious institution, contrary to the core beliefs of that institution, is frightening at best if you pause to consider the wide door that such an imposition opens.
The arguments put forth in your editorial don't strike me as strong enough to warrant such oppressive action by our government.
Women who are employed should easily be able to afford contraception if they choose. A quick Internet search offers the cost of birth control pills at $15 to $50 per month. Perhaps the cost should be part of the calculation of personal responsibility in reproductive issues.
If women insist that contraception be part of their health insurance coverage, perhaps they should seek employment at a non-religious institution.
Spring City, Tenn.
Bennett cartoons missing the mark
Re: Clay Bennett's cartoons: Feb. 8, Bigots against gay marriage. Most Americans are not bigots!
Feb. 9. Milking a bull. I doubt if Mr. Scottie Mayfield is that stupid.
Save country, deport Republicans
Have you ever wondered why we can't vote on a Saturday, better yet, a holiday? If the Republican Party is so certain it has the will of the people ,why would it make it more difficult for us to vote?
Out of 3 million voters, there were only 86 cases of voter fraud, reports Laura Murphy, director of the Washington office of the ACLU which proves the unnecessary yoke put on the people is only one more evil ploy by the sneaky Repugnants to make it more difficult to vote (against them).
Bush's voting machines obscured 2.8 million votes. If the Repubs really care about fair voting, why won't they outlaw these bogus machines, give us a paper trail?
The Republican Party is like an old, worn-out pair of brown shoes. They are so astray from reality and normality it's downright boring. As Dalton Roberts says, "these talking heads make me sick to my stomach." I concur; I stopped listening to them years ago.
Isn't there something in the Bible about "He that troubles his own house shall inherit the wind"?
Hold onto your hat.
Save our country -- deport all Republicans.
ROBERT LEE BROWN
Amazon workers are mistreated
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men do nothing."
It galls me to see reports praising the Amazon distribution center when I know of mistreatment of its employees. Amazon hired 1,200. But, thousands more were hired through Integrity Staffing expecting to become permanent employees, only to be fired for various and unjust reasons.
Integrity workers must meet higher production quotas than those of Amazon. Employees report to work and are told there is no work, go home. Workers are penalized if they return late from breaks when restrooms and break rooms are far from work stations. How can anyone be expected to do well in such uncertainty?
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported "New Amazon distribution centers such as the one in Chattanooga will vault Tennessee to the top three among states in terms of the Internet retailer's footprint." Unfortunately, that footprint is on the backsides of workers fired from Amazon/Integrity. Can the city, county and state governments do anything about how our citizens are used and then kicked to the curb? I don't know. But, due to the way our citizens have been treated, I will not purchase anytime from Amazon again.
GLENDA F. THOMPSON
World press scoffs candidates
The GOP debates are reminiscent of a ship of fools floundering on the rocks of ignorance and buffoonery.
They are the laughing stock of the world press. Mark Pitzke in the German Der Spiegel writes:
"The Republican presidential contest in America is a freak show. The candidates vie with one another to spew the most outrageous hard-right positions, denying evolution while endorsing torture and joking about electrocuting illegal immigrants. How did a major party in the world's sole superpower become a club of liars, debtors, betrayers, adulterers, exaggerators, hypocrites, and ignoramuses?
"These know-nothings are enabled by a U.S. press that has been neutered by the demands of political correctness so that it can't say what's obvious: These people are daft!
"Instead, it proclaims one clown after the next to be the new front-runner. The current favorite, Newt Gingrich, is actually considered an intellectual merely because he can create sentences with multiple clauses.
"Scarcely a one has even the most basic grasp of foreign policy. One said Africa is a country, another that the Taliban rule in Libya. Collectively, they expose a political, economic, geographic, and historical ignorance that makes George W. Bush look like a scholar. Das ist so wahr!"
Mall runoff ruins property
I have the misfortune of living downstream from Hamilton Place Mall. I and other downstreamers have had a severe flooding problem ever since the mall was built. This has degraded, destroyed and devalued my property and caused me to spend several thousands of dollars that I otherwise would not have had to spend.
City officials were made aware of this problem when it first began. They should have required the mall to increase the water storage capacity and decrease the flow from the mall. Instead, they allowed other developers to build without building holding ponds.
(The city engineer told me in May 2000 that a survey he had made for this area revealed that 66 onsite and 37 offsite that were supposed to be built were not built and that others had been built a fraction of the required size.) One would have thought they would have been on high alert since they were aware of the horrific flooding problem.
The city has effectively stolen my property for the benefit of the wealthy developers, so I will refuse to pay the stormwater fee this year.
Look for a way to control storms
These tornadoes are definitely weapons of mass destruction. If you ask the people in Birmingham, Ala., and in many other places such as Georgia and Tennessee, they seem to be surrounding us Southerners.
The song that comes to my mind is "Why Me, Lord? What did I ever do?" It make us wonder, is there any safe place? Maybe the rich may be somewhat safe if they have underground shelters, but the poor people remain the targets for these killer storms.
Our country has put men on the moon and spent big bucks on the space program, so why not take some of that money and put into doing research on trying to kill or at least to control tornadoes that put fear into all of the world's population.
Besides these horrible tornadoes, there are floods, earthquakes and other dangerous problems with Iran and North Korea, and now China and Russia, which can't be trusted. The only difference in nuclear missiles and tornadoes is radiation. We should ask ourselves, "Is man stupid enough to destroy man?" Let's hope not. Remember the Cuban Missile Crisis? That should serve as a wake-up call!
RICHARD D. BLOOD