It is that time of year again when people in Chattanooga demonstrate "The Chattanooga Way" by donating to the Times Free Press Neediest Cases Fund. When families and individuals are strengthened in our community, our whole community is strengthened.
Partnership for Families, Children, and Adults continues to count this fund among "our blessings" as it provides a place to turn to when there are no other resources. We are committed to ensuring this fund is a hand up, not a hand out. The help this fund provides, combined with the wrap-around services of Partnership, empowers the recipients and establishes their life situation.
SANDRA L. HOLLETT, CEO, Partnership for Families, Children and Adults
It would be easy and inexpensive for McKamey Animal Shelter (and all other shelters) to prevent the accidental euthanization of wanted animals. Simply tie a yellow (or red or blue) ribbon around the neck of any animal that is expected to go home with a caring family. Once an animal is selected for adoption, or if it is in quarantine awaiting pickup, the ribbon would tell the staffers that the animal is not eligible for euthanasia.
This ribbon system could be a back-up to the paper trail that occasionally breaks down, as in the case of recent incidents in Bradley and Hamilton County shelters. A simple ribbon could save a lot of heartache.
GLORIA ANCHORS, Dunlap, Tenn.
Over the past two weeks, I have read many post mortems from pundits analyzing what the Republican Party did wrong and where the party can improve in the future. All of these articles pointed out problems with women, abortion, gays and Latinos.
None of these articles mentioned the subservience of the Republican Party to the super rich. This is a serious oversight.
The Republican Party will always have a hard time getting a vote from me when they promise to reduce the taxes on people with huge incomes who are paying taxes at a lower rate than I am. Most of the super rich receive much of their income from dividends, capital gains and carried interest, all of which are taxed at a rate of 15 percent.
There are millions of people in this country whose only source of income is their job and who pay 20 percent or more of their income to the federal government. Why would anyone in this position support a candidate who proposes even lower tax rates for the super rich?
Mitt Romney was caught weeks ago with his rhetorical pants down, denigrating the 47 percent of Americans he described as "dependent upon government, who believe they are victims [and] that government has a responsibility to care for them."
Just before the election he tried to recover from the unsurprising voter backlash. He insisted that he was devoted to "100 percent of America," and that he was a compassionate person -- just one, apparently, who had difficulty expressing said compassion. Seeing that voters were largely unmoved, he finally concluded that what he had been taped saying was "just completely wrong."
Last week, however, Romney reverted to his true self. In a conference call with donors he blamed his loss on the Obama administration's "gifts" to Latinos, African-Americans, women, college students and other young voters. The Los Angeles Times reported that "the President's campaign focused on giving targeted groups a big gift," which gifts were "highly motivational."
Romney's latest excuse for his loss was ludicrous. Many in his own party acknowledged that the Democratic Party had run a vastly more effective campaign that allowed President Obama to pile up an unbeatable edge in popular and electoral votes and win a second term. That was vastly preferable to electing a man who by his own words is contemptuous of a huge segment of Americans.
MICHAEL LOFTIN, Hixson
OK, let's review: I can get a Moon Pie made in Chattanooga; I can get a Volkswagen made in Chattanooga; and I can get Big River Ale made in Chattanooga; but I can't get Chattanooga Whiskey (which is absolutely wonderful, gentlemen) made in Chattanooga, Tenn. Why does "What's wrong with this picture?" always seem to be so painfully obvious?
MARK H. HOLDEN
I see where the U.S. health-care system squanders $750 billion a year. Yet a liberal think tank group wants a cut in Medicare of $385 billion.
WILLIAM J. BURTON, Cleveland, Tenn.
Much has been written and said since the election about what's wrong with the Republican Party, and I agree with all of it. But I believe this shameful thing with DesJarlais shines a spotlight on the party's most glaring defect -- hypocrisy -- the art of saying one thing and doing another.
By re-electing DesJarlais, Tennesseans have reiterated that hypocrisy is a solid plank in their platform and "right-to-life" is just another bumper-sticker slogan that their party has perfected.
Since murder has no statute of limitation, if the Republicans' "personhood" amendment ever becomes law, both DesJarlais and his ex-wife could be prosecuted for the capital offense they have admitted to. And he has the gall to call himself a doctor -- "First do not harm"? Since his political ads spoke so often about garbage, could one assume he knows all about white trash?
ALLAN BAGGETT, Trion, Ga.
The East Ridge Fire Department claimed they were hindered from fighting the fire which destroyed condominiums at Belvoir Hills Estates on Nov. 18, 2011, by 100-pound propane tanks.
These tanks were a myth. Our condos were destroyed by the ERFD's incompetence and unpreparedness.
That night, we discovered decks next door fully engulfed in fire. We called 911, and first responders arrived in minutes. They talked to us on our front porch. Although later quoted as saying an interior entry was too dangerous, firefighters did not even tell us to leave our unit.
We strongly urged them to come through our unit, providing immediate access to the fire. They declined to even visually inspect the situation. Instead they dragged a hose behind the building, but never reached the fire and wasted valuable time.
We later observed a lone fireman stand in front of our building for many minutes holding an empty hose while the fire spread up and down the roof.
Eventual backup units were nearly as ineffective as first responders and were unable to get water to some units. Clearly there was no plan to fight a serious fire at Belvoir Hills Estates, located in East Ridge since 1968.
RANDALL AND TEENA RAY, East Ridge
The GOP does not want democracy, only to keep their own power. While screaming "voter fraud," they try every way possible to suppress and block legal voters from voting! I knew President Obama would not lose legally. The only thing I was concerned about was the election being bought or stolen as it was in 2000 (Florida) and 2004 (Ohio)! Luckily, the rest of the country did not allow themselves to be bought and fooled the way our local "I choose to ignore sanity" neighbors do. I am referring to those who voted for Romney as well as Fleischmann and DesJarlais.
The worst thing, of course, is the damage the GOP would do to us if given the power and opportunity. Just to hand over all our wealth to their greedy donors. Were you comatose from 2001 through 2009?
Why people vote against themselves is beyond me! It is just some form of hatred of other people's civil rights. It may be racist bigotry, hatred of gays and lesbians, or based on that old hateful lie -- "they (Democrats) are for abortions." You all know what a lie that is. No one is "for abortions," absolutely no one!
WALTER M. BENTON, Signal Mountain