I moved to Chattanooga from Alabama in 2005 to take a job with the American Hiking Society (AHS). While with AHS, I attended a grand opening ceremony for the Benton MacKaye Trail at Mud Gap on the Cherohala Skyway nestled deep in the Cherokee National Forest. The ceremony officially opened the newly extended trail from 93 miles to nearly 300 miles in length. That weekend we camped in the Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness and hiked in a lush old growth forest. This felt like a step back into time.
I have since learned about Sen. Alexander and Sen. Corker's effort to expand wilderness protection in the Cherokee and read Pam Sohn's article ("Bill to add wilderness areas mired in politics") in your paper (Oct. 15).
The Tennessee Wilderness Act is deserving of passage, and it is my hope that Congress will pass this bill soon. The Benton MacKaye Trail connects many of the areas slated for protection by the bill -- much like a string of pearls. As an avid photographer, hiker and a hunter, I would like to see places like the Upper Bald River watershed protected for future generations. I hope Congressman Fleischmann will support this bill.
A letter Oct. 19 begins with "As a Christian" and ends with "Falling to my knees in prayer, and reading God's word, I am led to the decision that there is only one clear moral choice ... President Barack Obama."...
Perhaps the writer is unaware that President Barack Obama and his Democratic Party inserted into their platform the murder of unborn children ... and, added to that "disgrace" the party's support for gay marriage. And, if that was not enough ... they voted to take God out of their platform all together! Now, the murder of the unborn, inside the mother, where one would expect the child to be in the safest of all places, is the work of Satan ... and all who subscribe to that policy will never see the kingdom of God. This is an evil beyond all evils. Obama himself, while in the Illinois state House, voted in favor of infanticide, which is the murder of children who "survived" abortion.
To the writer who fell to his knees and heard the words "President Barack Obama" ... I suggest to you that he is among the deceived.
True liberalism uplifts humanity. Ancient Jews wrote liberalism's first lesson, Adam and Eve's fall when they disobeyed God. Enlightenment liberal Francis Bacon wrote, "Nature to be commanded must be obeyed." Nineteenth century liberal Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "Nature is a discipline."
So the opposite of liberalism is not conservatism; it is perversity, insisting on human will over the natural and godly.
And nothing illustrates perversity more clearly than author Ann Whitford Paul's story or her transgender daughter Sarah. Sarah masked her genetic femininity with breast removal and male hormones in acts as vain as changing her name to Finn.
"Finn" encourages "his" mother to believe "he" is fine: "I exercise regularly, cook, and push myself to learn. Does that sound like a troubled person?" But accepting this facade is like killing a human being and pretending not to have committed homicide because it happened in the womb. The elephant in the room goes ignored while one is asked to stare at wall paintings.
A true liberal would not, like Ms. Paul, see Sarah as "incredibly courageous" but incredibly perverse - a child bucking God and nature -- and she would raise her to accept who she is, a woman.
BRIAN HALE, Ph.D., Red Bank
I have subscribed to the paper for over 20 years and found it unique because of its double-sided editorial page. However, when the new managing editor took over I noticed a distinct slide to the left. The conservative side's idiotic endorsement of a third-party candidate for president (Oct. 24) is an ill-disguised attempt to help the Obama campaign. I doubt if anyone with common sense was fooled. It seems that you now are attempting to become just another left-leaning media outlet for the Obama administration - which is disappointing.
By the way, you might mention to David Cook that the jugular vein does not pulse and if he thinks those vendors at the farmers' market "grow their beautiful fruit without a drop of pesticide" he's living on another planet.
PEGGY FLYNN, Soddy-Daisy
This letter is actually a message to WTCI television: I was enjoying a program on Sunday evening when, unexpectedly, two women began passionately kissing. When you know a program has a scene such as this, please show it in previews so that viewers like me don't waste time turning it on. No matter how interesting the rest of the program, it couldn't compensate for the disgust the kissing scene produced.
You really seem to have a difficult time staying on a proud, conservative, decent line of programming.
MARY ANNE COOK
Fantastic. We, the wealthy ones who live off of our investments won't have to pay any federal income taxes or Social Security payments. We will no longer need those loopholes that Mitt Romney promises to close.
If I heard correctly, Romney plans to do away with personal income taxes on our income that we derive from dividends, interest and captial gains. Those of us who have never had to work for a living, never had Social Security withholdings.
Vote for Romney and let the already overburdened support even more of our out-of-control government.
JAMES O.B. WRIGHT, Sequatchie, Tenn.
Vote Libertarian: vote effective change. We seem to be stuck in a rut with regards to political parties, and the rarity of bipartisanship tends to only occur when the confluence of interests is profit. If we want to break this cycle and change the landscape and climate of elections and how politics shapes societal behaviors, then Tennesseans need to start by standing out and voting the third-party candidate we can believe in.
Conservative, liberal or anything in between, I almost guarantee you can find a strong point to this candidate. Fiscally, he has promised to solve our deficit problems and balance our budget by 2015 if elected. He has an excellent track record as a two-term governor of New Mexico, cutting taxes and never once raising them. Socially, he supports the legalization and regulation of marijuana, marriage equality and the right to choice regarding one's own body, especially regarding abortion.
You'll have to make some compromise, but that's true progress in itself. Whether you want the economy fixed or social issues righted, Gary Johnson is your candidate and will reflect well on Tennessee as a whole, standing out amongst other states in this election season.
JARED COWAN, Sewanee, Tenn.
I am tired of schools calling the police on kids for the slightest thing. They say it's for everyone's protection, but it has gotten to the point of being insane. A kid was writing a note, and the police were called. Another one said a curse word, and the police were called. Another time, simply saying the word knife during a conversation got the police called and a search of the kid's locker and belongings, and the kid was disabled.
One of my kid's friends smarted off to the teacher, and the police were called. Here's the thing: When I was a kid, whenever my older cousins and grandmother heard a police siren, they would say, "Pam, they're coming to get you. They've found out how bad you are and they're coming to get you." I lived my childhood terrorized.
If we were ever out and I saw a cop, I would cry and cling to the nearest adult. I was horrified by police. And now, look at what these schools are doing to our kids. They're perpetrating the same abuse with the same message: You're bad.
PAMELA ALEXANDER, Signal Mountain