'Which DesJarlais did the voting?' and other letters to the editor

'Which DesJarlais did the voting?' and other letters to the editor

October 14th, 2012 in Opinion Letters

Which DesJarlais did the voting?

I just read an op-ed at another site where Scott DesJarlais claimed that he was fighting the abuses of presidential power.

I just have one question: Is this the same Scott DeJarlais who voted to continue warrantless wiretapping until 2016 just before the recess?

Inquiring minds want know.


Candidates confuse president's role

It is distressing that neither presidential candidate ever speaks of the constitutional limits on the office of chief executive. To wit: all the frivolous talk about raising or lowering taxes in the first presidential debate and all the charges of lying in the flurry of post-debate political ads. I say "frivolous" because, while the president may offer leadership on tax reform (Obama has offered little here), all tax bills must originate in the House of Representatives.

Even more grating is all the talk about job creation ("we've created 5.2 million jobs"). Where does the Constitution even remotely suggest such a role for the president? Certainly the federal government is a major player in our economy (doing more harm than good, many of us would argue), but what sort of audacity would lead a newly elected president (Obama) to announce that we will "rebuild the American economy?" Who decided that it was broken? Who authorized him to rebuild it? What in his experience as a community organizer led him to think that he even understood the economy?

If Mitt Romney is truly business-savvy, he'll understand that rebuilding the economy or fundamentally transforming the country is not his mandate. We need a president, not a Dear Leader.

GARY LINDLEY, Lookout Mountain, Ga.

Public prayer distorts rights

Let's get real about prayer. So many people seem offended by the thought of not being allowed to sponsor a spoken, explicitly Christian prayer in the public sphere. But the reality is that when it comes down to it, faith is a personal matter between you and your God. That's why it's called faith. Prayer is supposed to strengthen that connection. You don't need any other people to be involved in order to engage in prayer in a meaningful way.

I've never heard of anyone getting "saved" after a pre-council meeting prayer or a pre-football game prayer. If the purpose of your public prayer is to rattle "nonbelievers" around you, then you're not acting out your faith in a loving way. You're being a combative jerk, and you are the reason why Christians get a bad rap these days and fail to inspire or encourage people to follow a Christian path.

The freedom to believe or not believe as we each choose is a beautiful and precious American right. Subjecting others to prayers they don't or can't believe in is a manipulative distortion of that right. It is, at the very least, callous and, at the worst, downright mean.


Candidates can debate amicably

In this age of deep political discord and incivility, I would like to commend the candidates and the moderator of the political debates that have been airing on our local GCTV cable channel. The amicable nature of these debates is a testament to exemplary Tennessee values. The candidates engaged in polite discussion as they presented their views in order to let voters decide based on the issues. I'd like to think that those we elect could be capable of working together in this way.

I was, however, disappointed with the absence of 4th District Congressman Scott DesJarlais from the debates. His opponent, Eric Stewart, was there and addressed questions of importance to all of us. Voters have a right to "comparison shop" for elected representatives by hearing them debate rather than having to rely on one-sided mailings and "sound bite" television ads that get annoying really fast.

Whoever is elected to offices this year, I hope they know the meaning of the word "compromise." The U.S. population is fairly evenly divided by party. Elected representatives need to represent all the people. If one party or the other must have an unassailable majority in order for anything to get done there is something wrong.

GREGORY MAGAVERO, Monteagle, Tenn.

Election politics darkens nation

When we consider the needs of others, this nation shines like a city of light on a hill to the world. But when the American people are being bullied, blackmailed and manipulated by the narrow-minded, uncompromising politics and policies of ignorance, green and apathy, like today during this election cycle, our dark side puts a bushel over our light.

B.J. PASCHAL, Sevierville, Tenn.

Pruett will help use border funds wisely

As of June several areas of East Ridge have been granted border region status. The funds designated for our area will only be utilized if we have the best organization in city government to ensure the border regions are developed properly.

Ann Pruett has East Ridge residents' interests at heart and knows what needs to be done to make sure we take full advantage of the border region status. She will make it her goal to see border region projects approved, planned and accomplished.

Ann knows how important retail development is for any city and especially for her hometown.

In a struggling economy where new construction projects are few and far between, the incentives granted to East Ridge's region are a rare gift not to be wasted.

Vote for Ann Pruett to East Ridge City Council so we can ensure that we get the most out of the grants and tax incentives and rebuild East Ridge's retail community.

ANNIE MIZE, East Ridge

Just use tax funds for school vouchers

According to the Hamilton County DOE budget, we the taxpayers have contributed $330,799,744 to the county's general purpose school fund. With current enrollment approximately 42,705, this equates to around $7,746 of annual spending per student. And yet, the most recent scorecard for Hamilton County schools shows this area, on average, underperforming the rest of the state in student achievement, in a state ranked eighth worst in the nation earlier this year!

With this being the state of affairs, it is no wonder that the percentage of students attending private school in Hamilton County is more than double the national average.

It certainly begs the question: what, exactly, are our public schools spending all this money on? It certainly doesn't seem to be on educating our children.

Instead of forcing our children to attend underperforming schools, why don't we give vouchers worth $7,746 to each student and let them and their parents determine where to send them to school? $7,746 is enough tuition for a K-8 education at almost all private schools, and K-12 at most. Our tax dollars are paying for our children's education anyway; we might as well be able to choose good schools for our money!