You've got to be kidding about Crip
I got your paper and hit on your article (May 13) about a young man. Heck, everybody loves a kid pulling himself up by the bootstraps, and so do I.
Everything was going well until I read your last two paragraphs! As you state, the young man is a "documented ... Crip leader and faces 12 charges ... (who was) placed on house arrest to give him a chance to graduate ...". That doesn't sound so swell, if you ask me. But wait, it gets better. He's been accepted into a couple of community colleges "but hopes to join the Navy." This is a guy I should pin my hopes on or trust to serve our country as a sailor? Twelve charges, Crip leader and house arrest, really?
I'm a retired Marine in my late 50s and I may be a tad cynical but you have got to be kidding me!
DOUGLAS M. FARLEY, Reliance, Tenn.
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Too many alerts abuse radio system
If your sleep comes at a premium, don't buy a weather radio with an automatic alert. The NOAA weather alert system is routinely abused during the early morning hours by "Amber Alerts" that undermine the very purpose for which weather radios are marketed to the consumer.
With our recent weather history of thunderstorms and tornadoes, any alert issued should be for weather- related warnings just as the system was originally intended.
Law enforcement divisions are abusing this system because some mama's rebellious 15-year-old has run off with some daddy's defiant 16-year-old who's decided to joy ride from Tennessee toward Georgia down I-75 in Uncle Joe's stolen SUV, at 3:30 in the morning.
When citizens keep losing sleep because their weather radio keeps crying wolf, they will turn them off at night because they are tired of being awakened by "Amber Alerts" that keep disrupting their sleep. This creates a dangerous breech of confidence in a system that has been balled and chained by law. Let TV and FM stations handle the "Amber Alerts," and let's all rest easy.
CHARLIE WALL III, Chickamauga, Ga.
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Norton's record commands respect
Beyond casting my vote, I rarely take the time to become personally involved in the election process unless I happen to know a particular candidate personally.
I have had the privilege of knowing Judge David Norton for the past five years as a friend, fellow church member and trusted adviser. David has an impeccable resume and a track record of devoted public service that has spanned the better part of 30 years. However, I look for more than just professional and educational qualifications when it comes to someone serving in a position where the futures of those both guilty and innocent are involved. He or she must possess consistency of character, public integrity and personal humility to command the respect worthy of such a position. Those of us who know David well will affirm that he possesses those traits in abundance.
I was honored to be present when David was sworn in to fill the position left vacant following Judge Bob Moon's heartbreaking departure from us earlier this year. I respectfully appeal to all voters to join me on Aug. 2 in voting to keep David Norton in that position.
DAVID McNABB, Hixson
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Get government out of personal lives
A frequently heard political battle cry is "Get the government off our backs." The most personal, intimate aspects of our lives are who we like, love, or marry. We can't reason ourselves in or out of love.
For the government to tell us only man and woman can marry is the ultimate invasion of privacy, and also an impossibility. It is biologically and psychologically simplistic to believe that people are divided into the neat dichotomy "men and women."
People can be physically male or female, but psychologically the reverse or somewhere in between.
As the intrusive law states now, we would have to have medical personnel and psychologists at every courthouse to determine who was who and what was what.
Nature comes in many variations the world over that have zero relationship to religion or politics.
Gender, identity and sexuality are very complex, and the government has no business messing with these most private and personal aspects of our lives. Why not grant the freedom to marry whoever people are in love with?
Some people object to promiscuity among homosexuals. So why object to marriage?
Yes, let's get the government off our backs and out of our very personal lives.
FRED H. WRIGHT
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Health-plan pledge just empty rhetoric
When the Obama administration's health-care financing plan was signed into law, President Obama and Congress promised that funds under the new law would not cover abortions.
This has now been proved to be empty rhetoric.
Why? Because the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has mandated that under the health- care law, private health insurance plans must over the "full range of FDA approved contraception -- in which category HHS explicitly included he abortion-inducing drug ella.
This mandate includes a so-called "religious employer exemption," yet the exemption is so narrowly defined that most religious schools, colleges, hospitals and charitable organizations serving the public do not qualify. Even an expanded definition of "religious employer" would fail to protect non-religiously affiliated organizations, individuals and even religiously affiliated health insurers whose pro-life consciences are nonetheless violated.
This is an unprecedented attack on the freedom of conscience of millions of Americans, eviscerating their freedom of choice to purchase private insurance that does not violate their ethical, moral or religious objections. I hope all readers will contact their elected representatives in Washington, D.C., and voice outrage over this anti-life mandate.
KEN AND DIANE FRISCHE, Soddy-Daisy
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Democrats' 'war' isn't the answer
Much has been written recently by Democrats seeking to invoke the Jesus commands from the Bible to care for the poor as evidence of Republicans' moral bankruptcy. It's quite amusing how Democrats lean on biblical authority when it suits their social justice argument and claim the Bible is unreliable and outdated when it suits their argument (for example, gay marriage).
The argument operates under a false premise: that Republicans' desire to cut government spending means that nothing will be done for the poor. The true argument is this: Democrats believe that the government is responsible for caring and providing for the poor in this country. Republicans believe that government is the least efficient and compassionate method of caring for the poor. Let's pose a question as proof. What is the longest war in U.S. history? Answer: the war on poverty.
ALEX FORDNEY, Rossville, Ga.
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Mayfield takes a fresh approach
I have watched with interest Scottie Mayfield's late entry into the 3rd District congressional race. He already has been interviewed, poked and prodded more than any of the other candidates. Now they're attacking him for not debating.
I am 48 years old, and I have never attended a political debate and never will. I suspect I am like most of the other people in our district. We have real lives and real work to do. The media wants to stand these poor candidates up on a stage so then they can upstage them with "gotcha" questions, when in fact the real issue facing our country is spending. If we don't get it under control, our nation is not going to exist as we have known it, and our kids will not do better than we have done.
I believe a businessman has a better chance of fixing this problem than a lawyer or a politician. Mayfield has taken a fresh approach. He is not doing things the way politicians do them. That in and of itself is refreshing.
RICHARD SPURGEON, Ooltewah