I just read Walter Williams' column in Sunday's paper (Oct. 28). It's amazing that you would print such ridiculous and outrageous assertions. Mr. Williams, an African-American, believes that "slavery is widely misunderstood." Really? He goes on to claim that while the practice may be despicable, "American blacks have benefited enormously from the horrible suffering of (their) ancestors." Right, it toughened them up for the future. Slavery was probably good practice for prison, since blacks are incarcerated at rates nearly triple their percentage of the population. By such tortured logic, American Jewish descendants of Holocaust survivors have benefited from Hitler's attempted final solution.
I have often found your letters section to be littered with extreme and irrational views. I now see that your "right side" op-eds are equally extreme and crazy.
JOHN C. REIS
The most important choice is between these two paths: (1) Like the last four years; (2) hopefully, a new better path.
Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "Politics is a profession, a serious complicated, and in its true sense, a noble one." Yet we continue electing immoral and dishonest men and women to positions of authority - locally, statewide, and nationally.
Economics can be explained by different methods. Obama's method produces the way he wants them seen. Romney presents them in a more realistic way. In "Capital gains taxes" (Oct. 8), African-American economics professor Thomas Sowell explains Romney's method on a basic level.
Regrettably, more people did not see "Obama: 2016". It gave background on the direction Obama is stealthily leading our country.
According to "Spreading the Wealth" by James Kratz, redistribution is to make all people "middle class." "Becoming one America" are good-sounding words, but what do they really mean?
Civics classes taught that the Constitution was a well-thought-out, debated document establishing freedom for all people. President Obama has usurped responsibilities of the executive branch with executive orders installed without the support of the legislative branch required by checks and balances.
DOROTHY H. FORLIDAS
I value and read the Chattanooga Times Free Press daily and was appalled at Drew Johnson's editorial (Oct. 27) accusing Mayor Bill Lusk and Councilmember Annette Allen of not being responsible with taxpayers' money.
Bill Lusk kept Signal Mountain from getting a water-rate increase by pointing out that the town has to pump its water up the mountain and should not be charged the same as other towns. Mr. Lusk and Ms. Allen have ensured that our school loan is paid off ahead of schedule, saving the town from additional interest payments. They passed a bare-bones budget and raised taxes because of declining revenues and required repairs to town facilities, including a state-mandated sprinkler system for the Mountain Arts Community Center.
If Mr. Johnson talked to Mr. Lusk, Ms. Allen or Vice Mayor Robertson, he would have gotten the full story.
DUN B. MONROE, Signal Mountain
At a recent candidates forum sponsored by the Red Bank Neighborhood Pride Association, Mayor Monty Millard was impressive as he articulated his plans for taking our city forward through commercial and residential growth. His plans are ambitious, and many are already in place ready to expand once he is re-elected.
Monty is ethical, he is open and he listens. He is well educated and intelligent. The numerous contacts that he has in business and government in our area and across the state are invaluable.
A retired banker, Mayor Millard's expertise is finance. His conservative philosophy and his vision for Red Bank's future have served us well and will continue to do so once he is re-elected.
When asked why he is willing to devote the time and resources to be a candidate for the City Commission and to serve if elected, his answer was simple. He wants Red Bank, where he has lived all his life and where his parents and his children have grown up, to be the best place possible for all of its residents to live. He wants to help make that happen.
Red Bank needs to re-elect Monty Millard. Our future depends upon it.
THELMA HIPP, Red Bank
The Free Press editorial "Best for Signal Mountain" (Oct. 27) merits a rebuttal. Mr. Johnson's conclusion that we have been fiscally irresponsible during our tenure on the town council is grossly inaccurate. Here are the facts:
We were not on the council:
In 1998, when citizens voted a 1/2 percent increase in sales tax to encourage the building of a high school;
In 2001, when the town council increased taxes by 43 percent;
Or when in 2004, citizens voted by referendum to increase property taxes by up to 35 cents/$100 to contribute $7.7 million toward the construction of new schools.
We were on the council:
In 2007, when we voted not to pay an additional $317,000, or approximately 6 percent of our budget, toward the new schools;
In 2009, when we voted to reduce the tax rate after Hamilton County's property value reassessment;
In 2011, when we voted not to address rising costs and falling revenues by "raiding" our fund balance or diverting a portion of taxes earmarked by referendum to pay off the school loan;
And when we voted instead to increase property taxes by 9.9 percent to maintain our fund balance and continue to expedite retirement of the school debt by 2016, thus saving $300,000 in interest and allowing us to reduce taxes.
Mr. Johnson states the growth in the FY 10-11 budget is the result of "a wild spending spree." This is not true. This budget reflects the transfer of $700,000 to start our Vehicle Replacement Fund, $300,000 in additional school loan payments and a $35,000 donation from a citizen to upgrade the tennis courts. That year and every year we have continued investing in infrastructure maintenance and repairs and the replacement of aging vehicles and equipment. And, yes, the MACC (Mountain Arts Community Center) has required expensive repairs, such as $189,000 to replace the roof, but it also generates revenue. In short, reading the bottom line of a budget does not give a complete picture of a town's financial activities or fiscal philosophy.
We have listened to our community and acted responsibly to accommodate our residents. We have diligently reduced costs and improved efficiency without sacrificing the services and amenities our citizens enjoy. Unlike many communities, we successfully weathered the Great Recession. We did not want to raise taxes, including our own, but we believed it was the only honest and fiscally responsible route to maintain a reasonable fund balance and a balanced budget.
MAYOR BILL LUSK, COUNCILWOMAN ANNETTE ALLEN, Signal Mountain
I appreciate reading both editorial pages of the Times Free Press. To both Harry Austin and Drew Johnson: Keep up your good work!
It is obvious that there has been an investment of valuable time and thoughtful attention given to each issue through their looking glass.
Recently, Drew Johnson for his endorsement of the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Mr. Johnson presented provoking reason for such an endorsement and should be admired for his loyalty to ideals rather than compromising for a candidate less than. I considered it a brave and bold choice taken in this severely divisive two-party partisan environment.
Thanks to all your writers for the comprehensive newspaper worthy of my subscription!
Rick Causer is my neighbor whom I have known for several years.
In that time, he has helped my widowed mother with her yard work and managed to get city results in clearing out an easement between two yards. His intentions are to beautify with grass and dogwoods.
He is the man for city commissioner to make our lives and city better.
I have found him to be a great person, to whom you can count on and depend on. He is an honest person, and I believe he is our best candidate for the job.
BRENNA L. SHELTON, Red Bank
If anyone had any doubts about the editors of this paper being Democratic hacks, just look at the front page in this Sunday's paper and the endorsement of Obama on the Times editorial page. Here we have an administration that refused to send help numerous times to our ambassador and three Navy Seals, and what do they have on the front page? Scott DesJarlais and his affairs with women years before becoming a congressman. Then the paper seems to support a man, Eric Stewart, a Democrat, who heavily supports Obama. Not one word on the front page about Libya and the mess that's left by Obama and his team of incompetents. This should be on the front page, but guess what, it's not even mentioned in the first section that I could find.
Nov. 6 is a very critical election for East Ridge. When you elected Jim Bethune as our newest councilman, this was just the beginning of good things to follow. He has proven to be a strong leader. Although he has stood up and fought for you, it is obvious he can't fight alone. He desperately needs our support to help him change the direction of our city. This is why I urge all citizens to search your heart and re-elect Councilman Denny Manning, another proven leader and a man of strong convictions. We certainly do not need to miss another opportunity to elect Mark Gravitt as councilman, a very strong and successful businessman in East ridge. Hope to see you at the polls.
DON HUSKEY, Former Mayor, East Ridge
I was amused by the non sequitur argument (letter, Oct. 27) that a vote for President Obama will displease God, especially since he is "an evil person with no principles." Not surprisingly, the writer dabbles in mendacity: "Obama supports taxpayer funding of abortion all nine months" (not true, and besides, Congress years ago forbade the use of federal funds for abortion); "and is disrespectful to, and unwilling to stand with, Israel."
As "evidence," the letter quotes some nonsense from alleged historian David Barton that "the hostility of President Obama toward biblical faith and values is without equal from any previous ... president!"
He claims Obama said (U.S.) policy is to divide Jerusalem and that seven hours later, "Joplin, Mo., was destroyed by a tornado," and when he declared June as "Homosexual Pride Month," that started a drought resulting in the highest price for corn and soybeans" ever.
But wait. Surely this purported cause and effect phenomenon is not limited just to the current president. So what wrongdoing did President George Bush do in 2005 that caused God to inflict Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast? Did some Herbert Hoover decision prompt God to "punish" the United States with the Great Depression? When nearly 250 Marines died in the bombing of their housing in Lebanon, was that God's retaliation against some Reagan policy?
Christians, Jews and others want to know.
MICHAEL LOFTIN, Hixson
In response to your reader who set forth reasons to vote for Obama, I would say to readers that Romney is your only choice to save our country from oblivion! Go as far as you can on the right road -- vote smart -- and vote Romney! And remember to ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country! This is the American way!
LINDA JOHNSON, Hixson