Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

February 20th, 2012 in Opinion Letters

Cobb bid to kill TWRA unlawful

The arrogant corruption of due legislative process displayed by state Rep. Jim Cobb in his mission to destroy the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency was described by the Times editorial (Feb. 14). This is alarming and infuriating.

No one person should have the power to shut down an agency. Yet as chairman of the House Government Operations Committee, he refused to schedule a hearing on the reauthorization of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency which is necessary to continue its existence. By blocking due process through no action, TWRA will be shut down June 30.

TWRA is one of the most professionally trained and most accomplished state wildlife agencies in the U.S., having restored many game and non-game species to Tennessee and has an excellent record throughout its 63-year history. Wildlife and fish provide outdoor enjoyment to hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans and provide significant impact to our economy and jobs.

Rep. Cobb's defiance to requests of House Speaker Beth Harwell to hold hearings on TWRA and his refusal to carry out due process in his chairmanship is malfeasance and dereliction of duty. I hope citizens will contact Speaker Harwell and ask that Rep. Cobb be fired from his chairmanship and hope Cobb will be voted out of office.

BILLY MINSER, Maryville, Tenn.

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ID law targets Democratic voters

Forty-six years after the Voting Rights Act passed, many Tennesseans have fallen prey to a new voter ID law enacted by a Republican-dominated legislature in Nashville under the guise of fixing "voter fraud."

Public Chapter 323 not only nullifies the 24th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, but it targets whole groups of potential Democratic voters: seniors, college students, the disabled and the poor.

Chapter 323 supporters don't understand that this is not about showing a photo ID to vote. It's about the unreasonable restrictions on the type of photo ID required, and the difficulty and expense of acquiring the right documents to get the state "free photo ID."

Gun permits are acceptable, college IDs are not, making college tuition a sizable poll tax. 323 also is a slap in the face to our seniors, who have voted without problems for decades.

How did Chapter 323 become law? Did committees hold public hearings across the state? Nope. 323 didn't even originate within our state. It was a "model" bill written by a shadowy group called American Legislative Exchange Council, which is funded by agenda-driven corporate bigwigs.

Visit http://www.alecexposed.org to see how many of our state legislators are members of ALEC.


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Where did expert get information?

I wonder where the writer got all his knowledgeable statistical Catholic information and insight on his letter to the editor (Feb. 17), titled "Church has ceded on moral issues."

It's very clear, he's not a fan of the Catholic faith. However, he seems to know more about it with statements: president's "win is due to Catholic efforts," "Most Catholic hospitals endorsed" the president's "health care plan," "Catholic women get abortions and use birth control pills at the same rate as the general public population," etc.

However, I have golf buddies who turn into similar knowledgeable experts when we're on the 19th hole having a few.


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Here's a list of Fox News lies

Response to the writers issuing the challenge to provide examples of Fox News lies. Not hard.

Here are a few samples. Word constraints prohibit posting more.

Hannity, Beck, O'Reilly all stated that people who do not buy insurance under ObamaCare can be jailed. Not true.

Mike Huckabee states that Obama "grew up in Kenya." Lie.

Gretchen Carlton states that "the Obama administration is adding a Christmas tree tax." This "tax" was proposed before Obama became president, and was proposed by the Christmas Tree Industry itself! Lie.

Hannity stated that Reagan "inherited a far worse economy than Obama." Nonsense. Lie.

Huckabee states that Obama should release his college records to show "if he got any student loans as a foreign student." Foreign student? Fabrication.

Sara Palin stated that Paul Revere's ride was about Second Amendment rights. Forget that Revere's ride was in 1775 and the Constitutional Convention was not until 1787! Maybe not a lie, but certainly blatant stupidity.

And finally, Fox News will not be moving into Canada after all. Why? Canadian regulators announced last week they would reject efforts by Canada's right-wing prime minister to repeal a law that forbids lying on broadcast news.

I rest my case.

TOMMY HEWITT, Sewanee, Tenn.

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Overweight trucks destroying roads

One of my biggest disappointments came Feb. 2 when I read that Congressman John J. Duncan Jr. had introduced a highway bill to allow states to increase weight restrictions for tractor-trailers and allow one truck to haul three trailers.

The next day the news reported that the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure sent a new highway bill to the House floor but without the truck weight provision. Still, I could not understand how Duncan could recommend such a bill. Few voters would support bigger, heavier trucks on the highways.

Anyone who travels the Interstate system can see the destruction and constant repairs necessary because of the damage caused by the "legally" overweight trucks on roads and bridges that were designed and constructed to carry smaller loads.

A lengthy trip along Interstate roads will encounter major sections of broken 6-8 inch reinforced concrete being replaced with 10-12 inch reinforced concrete and heavier roadbeds.

Across America, bridges and secondary roads are being destroyed. Within the bills that Congress passes allowing these increased limits, almost all include the provision that they are limited for Interstate use, but I have yet to see any trucks being airlifted from terminals to the Interstate.


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Let parents choose schools for beliefs

Rep. Joey Hensley's bill to limit classroom discussions of sexuality to reproductive facts is only a political issue because the state has power to coerce so many schools' and teachers' day-to-day actions.

It's most obvious, of course, on politically and ethically charged questions, but this is true of even mundane activities like whether a teacher faces the class often enough during teaching, since that can play into his or her teaching evaluation.

There are many honest ways a teacher could approach homosexuality when it surfaces in class without endorsing or condemning it. Sometimes, to ignore such a topic would do a disservice to students with honest questions themselves.

At the same time, parents should not have to send their children to a classroom that attacks religious beliefs or ignores the shifting science about heredity or the likelihood of STD transmission among sexually active, unmarried people.

Tennesseans must decide whether the dual dangers of infringing on religious freedom and treating an entire group of people cruelly outweigh letting some questions go unanswered in class.

Hensley suggests such delicate questions should instead be answered at home. That seems a reasonable truce for a charged issue, but a better long-term solution would be true school choice that lets families send their children to schools where their beliefs and sensibilities are valued.

JOY PULLMAN, Education Research Fellow, Heartland Institute Chicago, Ill

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Stop corruption to improve country

Why all the fuss about lobbyists' constitutional rights. I say let them have all the rights they want.

But enforce the laws against bribery by the CEOs, lobbyists and members of Congress. If we stop the corruption and the money flow, the lobbying industry might just die on the vine, and we would have a better country for it.