Every time I read something written by Robin Smith (column, Oct. 1) I see the angry old befuddled white woman at the John McCain political rally in 2008. It seems to me that Ms. Smith reads "all men are created equal" to mean "all WASPs (White Angle-Saxon Protestants) who vote Republican are created equal." Lindsay Graham recently said "The Republican Party can't recruit enough angry old white men to sustain itself." Maybe he should add in angry old white women.
And they keep banging their war drums. Did we not learn anything from the disastrous invasion of Iraq? The biggest difference I see between then and now is we're being played by the Israeli prime minister now, and we were played by the Republican administration then. When these Republican warmongers stand up and say "Follow me, I'm going to enlist in the military and go help," they might have some credibility. After all, we've seen and have to live with their blunders when in command. No more, please.
ALLAN BAGGETT, Trion, Ga.
If God is not in your life, so be it. No one is forcing you to bow your head, speak of God or anything that pertains to Him. But leave those alone who do believe in public prayer, as they have left you alone.
Are you so angry that some people believe in something you don't that you want to take it away from them?
There are two things we are sure of: All are born and all will die, so don't place any bets on who is right and who is wrong, as when the time comes, each one will know.
I was disappointed to see such a one-sided editorial (Times, Sept. 30) on the proposed Publix development on the North Shore. The developers have worked diligently with neighborhood residents, the C-7 zoning "guidelines," the Regional Planning Association staff, and members of the C-7 Design Review Board to meet their clients' needs on a site close to downtown.
You tout the Knoxville University Commons "store over parking" example without a mention of the $25 million in federal and local subsidies required to make this happen.
Our neighborhood supports the C-7 guidelines, not because they are intended to be an inflexible layer of rules to be interpreted without consideration of site and neighborhood constraints, but because they give us as neighbors the opportunity to have legitimate input into how our neighborhood grows into the future.
The proposal does include mixed use retail stores along the street as called for by the guidelines, and many feel the review board acted properly by granting a "conditional approval" for a well-thought-out plan that is still subject to change and improvement as it moves through the approval process. I look forward to the paper reporting on how the process is really working.
GARNET CHAPIN, Community Association President
Congressman Scott DesJarlais seems to think it is OK to hide out in Washington during the campaign for re-election to the 4th District instead of coming back to Tennessee to debate his opponent, state Sen. Eric Stewart. Eric has accepted three invitations to debate the congressman but as of yet DesJarlais is a no-show.
Why would a legislator who seeks re-election not feel an obligation to the citizens of his district to discuss and debate his record? I can only assume he is ashamed of what he and his party have accomplished in the last two years. If the goal was obstructionism, they have surely achieved that. Instead of helping to find solutions to our complex world's problems, they have only put stumbling blocks in the path of progress.
Eric Stewart is ready, willing and able to debate the issues important to Tennesseans and our country, but DesJarlais continues to "Just Say No"!
No official legislative business takes place in D.C. during the debate invitation schedules. Eric Stewart is still waiting for his opponent to show up. Papa used to say, "Girl, stand up and fight for what you believe." Evidently, someone wasn't taught that.
MRS. PAT TABOR, Estill Springs, Tenn.
My wife and I support Marc Gravitt for East Ridge City Council.
For many years Marc has been active in the East Ridge community. In an effort to help improve the business environment, Marc was one of the 16 original founders of the East Ridge Merchant's Association, having served as both president and vice president. Marc and other ERMA representatives traveled to Washington, D.C., and met with the staff members of former Congressman Zach Wamp and Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander to discuss issues facing East Ridge small businesses.
Marc also served as president of East Ridge Revitalization. In that capacity, he helped East Ridge Revitalization raise over $9,000 to bring World Changers Organization to East Ridge to help make much needed repairs to 11 homes of the elderly, sick and financially disadvantaged by building handicapped ramps, replacing roofs, clearing debris and painting.
Marc is a second-generation small-business owner, Army veteran and community leader with the business experience we need on the City Council. We have worked with Marc on several projects and attest to his leadership ability, and his dedication to citizens of East Ridge, and he will humbly serve us to the best of his ability.
CURTIS AND ROSEMARY BAKER, East Ridge
The world today is in desperate need of moral leadership, based upon the foundational values and personal character our society once respected. We need moral leadership that teaches the difference between right and wrong and teaches us to forgive one another even as we are forgiven by our father in heaven. We need moral leadership that teaches love of others, and abiding by the principles of Almighty God. We need families who stay together and pray together.
We do not need a new moral order. The world desperately needs the tried and tested moral order that God handed down in the Ten Commandments.
LULA BESS HICKEY, Dunlap, Tenn.
Regarding "Teenage dating violence hits 1 in 10," (Sept. 30). Girls Inc. of Chattanooga offers programs that address teen relationship violence and its interrelated factors. For 51 years, we have armed girls ages 6-18 in Hamilton County with tools to protect themselves, communicate effectively with family members and partners, and speak up about abuse. We offer research and outcome-based curricula that address girls' developmental needs as they grow into strong, smart and bold young women. These curricula are hands-on, "interactive, 'real' education."
Developmentally appropriate curricula include Project Bold, which addresses relationship and family violence for girls ages 6-18; Friendly PEERsuasion, which teaches middle-school girls about resisting negative peer pressure; Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy for ages 9-18 that teaches girls that they have decision-making power and ownership over their bodies; and Media Literacy, which educates girls how to think critically about media messages.
As the expert on girls, we provide impactful programming that addresses the many factors that influence girls' healthy development. By teaching skills that help girls protect themselves from abusive relationships, we empower girls to have a brighter future.
BEA LURIE, President and CEO, HANNAH VANN, Manager, Teen Programs, Girls Inc. of Chattanooga