Health plan a step in right direction
I have been in medical practice in Chattanooga since 1975 and have watched my patients deal with the devastating consequences of chronic disabling diseases that come out of the blue to strike individuals from 1 year old to 90 years old. No one deserves this suffering, nor can we predict when and whom it will strike.
One of the most devastating consequences of chronic disease is that its sufferers are often dropped from medical insurance coverage and find it impossible to get needed care.
President Obama's health-care plan (Americare, not ObamaCare) is a compassionate remedy of this great injustice. It is not the whole answer to our health-care problems -- we must better control costs by decreasing so many unnecessary MRIs, CTs and bone-density studies -- but President Obama's initiative is a giant step to having the richest country in the world take care of its sick and suffering citizens.
DR. BUZZ SIENKNECHT, past president Chattanooga and Hamilton County Medical Society
Thanks, Obama, for enlightening me
I want to thank Barack Obama for making me a better American.
Before him I slumbered along obediently voting Republican because my relatives did.
Obama forced me to think: to think about what I believed in, who I believed in and why I believed in them.
First of all, he taught me about progressivism, and as I researched it I began to see how inherently evil it is.
Second, he taught me about manifest destiny. I just knew what was taught in school, and I never bothered to look into it before Obama.
And third, he forced me to think philosophically. For the first time in my life, I came to a complete understanding about my role in America's future. I realized I was neither a Republican nor could I ever be a Democrat. I was a libertarian.
Yes, that small-minded, small-thinking person acting as our president forced me to be a better American. He forced me to become informed. I'll march to the polls with a purpose in November.
RON WHEELER, Cleveland, Tenn.
Mayfield's refusal to debate troubling
All effective leaders possess one common trait -- the ability to debate -- to clearly articulate their vision, beliefs and aspirations; to demonstrate a deep understanding of both sides of an issue; to differentiate between opposing views; and to build a consensus base of support. Otherwise, their ability to lead with strength is lost in shallow rhetoric. This applies to statesmen, politicians and business leaders.
Mayfield says he will not debate because he is a businessman and not a politician; therefore, he is not a good debater. The problem is that the electorate deserves to not only know for what a candidate stands, but also whether the candidate can effectively deliver his or her message. Debates are the forum at which candidates can demonstrate their aptitude and skills to effectively lead. The refusal to debate should send a crystal clear message to the electorate regarding a candidate's qualifications to represent them in Congress.
JOE KING, Signal Mountain
Smith's sacrifice shows priorities
Anyone who knows Andy Smith knows what a great guy he is. His dedication to the Westside Boxing Club is truly admirable. What a great honor to be invited to help the Olympic boxing team! His decision to stay in Chattanooga for his kids' local camp, "Boxing Not Bullets," demonstrates his love for the kids and the sport.
As a former student of another local coach, Skipper Fairbanks, I can appreciate the time and sacrifice it takes to make a difference.
Norton best choice to replace Moon
I would like to begin by thanking those in the community who have shown support for me and my family after the death of my husband, Judge Bob Moon. Your kind words, thoughts and prayers have been a tremendous comfort over the past months.
I'm also writing to ask the community to elect Judge David Norton to the Hamilton County General Sessions Court. Bob would have been honored to know that such a devoted public servant and wonderful family man took his position. Judge Norton was the Soddy-Daisy city judge for 27 years and an assistant county attorney with Hamilton County since 1984.
I know personally that it takes a special person to be a General Sessions Court judge. That person must be knowledgeable about both criminal and civil law, be able to handle a large number of cases quickly, and have the judicial temperament to interact with people in often very challenging situations. Judge Norton is that person. I would ask that you support him and vote to keep him as General Sessions judge on Aug. 2.
Hoss' impartiality puts him at top
Bryan Hoss is running for judge of Soddy-Daisy. He will definitely get my vote. I have known Bryan since he worked in the Hamilton County district attorney's office before he obtained his law degree. I have firsthand knowledge of his legal career and work ethic from working at his law firm for several years. He treats both his clients and peers with the utmost respect.
I've lived in Soddy-Daisy for 53 years. I've had two sons graduate Soddy-Daisy High School. I believe Soddy-Daisy needs a judge who does not live in Soddy-Daisy. In fact, Soddy-Daisy for the last 40 years has never had a judge who's lived in the city. The reason for this is obvious to most: Soddy-Daisy needs someone who is impartial. Judges must be impartial to be fair to our citizens.
Vote for Bryan Hoss on Aug. 2.
MIDDIE GANDY, Soddy-Daisy
Be more inclusive in prayer selections
Through its current expression of prayer, the Hamilton County Commission sends the wrong message to its constituents. Is there room "at the table" for non-Christians? Do those who adhere to other faith groups count in the commission's "blessings?" Is it not the mandate of the commission to represent and serve the interests of all who call Hamilton County their home?
Instituting a more universal and inclusive form of prayer and gratitude implies that the commission honors those of every religious group.
RABBI BILL S. TEPPER
Keep city elections within boundaries
I have been surprised by the large number of my fellow Signal Mountain residents trying to get a lawyer from Signal Mountain elected judge in the city of Soddy-Daisy.
Local politics can be bitter and very divisive at times, and I am pretty sure that the citizens of both Signal Mountain and Soddy-Daisy would be better off if everyone just stayed out of each other's elections.
JOHN M. DAVIES
Lasley would treat everyone fairly
We add our support to Marty Lasley for Soddy-Daisy city judge. We have known Marty for about 3 1/2 years and have found him to be a good, upstanding person who is loyal to his profession as well as to his family and his Lord. We were in his Sunday school class for about two years and found him to be a person who looks at all situations from both sides before making a decision. We feel he would be a good judge who would treat everyone fairly.
MELVIN E. AND CHARLOTTE A. LIPE, Soddy-Daisy