My husband and I express our support for David Fowler's stand on food stamps, which was misrepresented in an article, Aug. 18, "Fowler claims too many people are on food stamps." Although helping the truly needy is a Christian mandate, there are too many able-bodied Americans who "game" the system. Dependence on government handouts is a form of slavery and leads to loss of dignity and self-worth.
In Acts 6, the Apostles appointed deacons to care for the poor. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 teaches that those able but unwilling to work should not eat.
When Germany collapsed after WWII, food and money were scarce. We ate what Mother grew in her garden. To have bread, we gleaned after farmers who harvested grain.
My father, an engineer, could not find work for a year, but accepted any honest job to support us. The hardship made us stronger and more determined to overcome adverse circumstances.
Welfare and food stamps should be a last resource. No job that is honest is demeaning. Parents who work hard and overcome difficulties send a strong message of self-reliance and independence to their children. Where there is a will, there is a way.
BETTINA KING, Signal Mountain
I have been a Free Press reader since the paper was a flier for the Home Stores. One of the virtues of The Times Free Press has been its two editorial sides giving both conservative and liberal viewpoints. Lee Anderson was a talented and discerning writer who seemed to always be fair and articulated his viewpoint succinctly.
To my mind, Drew Johnson has been a disaster. His editorials are long, wordy and often hard to follow. His editorial of Aug. 30 ("The Romney dilemma") was extremely disappointing. He seemed to indicate Republicans would be better off if they did not vote for Romney and therefore let liberals win by default. The readers deserve better than this.
ROBERT MYERS, Ringgold, Ga.
It is refreshing to find the snarky Free Press editorialist gushing over Ann Romney's speech to the Republican National Convention.
I, too, was impressed. Mrs. Romney's makeup was perfect. Her eyelashes were works of art. Unlike some of the other speakers, she told no actual lies.
Her purpose was not so much to introduce the public to the real Mitt Romney as to create the impression that there is a real Mitt Romney. A secondary effort was to suggest that Republicans identify with working-class women. Her expecting this to succeed only shows how sheltered she must be.
With lame humor and real or manufactured sincerity, she touched upon all the favorite convention clichés: young love, struggle, faith, determination, ultimate victory, the convenient immigrant ancestor. It could have been vaguely inspiring, unless one listened.
But in truth, she said nothing. She did not steal the show but only bamboozled the convention. She also bamboozled the Free Press editor, clearly a Pampers baby, who thinks real diapers are soaked in the bathtub.
Nothing in Mrs. Romney's pointless narrative furnishes a reason to vote for her husband. One can wish her the best without wanting her to be first lady.
BARBARA S. ARTHUR
Your editorial, "The Romney dilemma," Aug. 30, on the right side of the editorial page was misplaced. It should have been on the left side. It was an insult to all Americans. The writer's understanding of American political history is lacking.
Your understanding of the internal danger to America, because of Mr. Obama's policies, is abysmal.
Mr. Obama is on a course to transform America into a dictatorship. Mr. Obama has been violating our Constitution on a daily basis. Czars! Ignoring legally enacted laws! A truly destructive health-care bill! The list is endless and growing!
Now that one party has selected a candidate, it is the function of that party's members to get behind that candidate with purpose and enthusiasm.
The time for your diatribe on Mr. Romney is long gone. Your words can only help the Democrat candidate.
Can I assume that the right side of the editorial page is morphing into a Democrat shill sheet?
WALTER S. McFARLAND
I was disappointed by the Aug. 23 Free Press editorial, "Food rules eat away liberty."
You characterized first lady Michelle Obama as "playing general in her delusional little war" against childhood obesity.
Mrs. Obama is not delusional; this is truly a battle for the health and future of our children.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. In 2008, over one-third of U.S. children and adolescents were overweight. The health effects are immediate and long-term: decreased school productivity, skyrocketing medical costs, and, later, inability to serve in our military. The answer: eating nutritious, well-balanced meals of appropriate portions and regular exercise.
Some children receive two out of their three meals a day at school. Their families do not have the means to provide them with adequate nutrition. Let's ensure those meals count. Local schools now are serving local produce, a win-win for our kids and our farmers.
I applaud Mrs. Obama for her leadership and concern for our children. Her "Let's Move" campaign promotes exercise. Our kids should taste and experience healthful meals at school and enjoy regular exercise.
We are what we eat.
APRIL COOK, R.N., Lookout Mountain
I read your Aug. 17 editorial about Boehner and the TARP with great consternation. As a fiscal conservative with over 30 years of banking experience, let me share my thoughts.
The TARP, while maybe not the "free market" thing to do, was the intelligent and wise thing to do. Do you not remember the chaos created when Lehman declared bankruptcy? Multiply that by 20 and imagine what kind of depression we would be in today if it had not been implemented.
The $700 billion was inflated because the government forced all large banks to take it, so that the weak banks would not be identified. The government would not allow anyone to pay it back for many months.
Finally, Goldman was the first allowed to repay the government including annualized interest of 19 percent. Did you know that? Since then many banks have repaid, including interest of 5 percent. There have been hundreds of billions repaid, and the last report in Investors Business Daily was the loss to the government could be as little as $15 billion to $25 billion with the possibility the government could actually make money on TARP. Have you explained that to your readers?
CHARLES MILLER, Dalton, Ga.
I believe the Freedom "From" Religion Foundation is saying we should not have freedom "of" religion, which is one of our rights.
The faith community (Muslims, Jews, Christians and others) who believe in God and love have been the strength of America and our communities throughout America's history.
We, who believe in God and love, have always helped our fellow man by volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House and the food bank (gathering and giving food to those in need). Our places of worship have homeless people stay as a safe place (IHN Ministry), with food and beds and training to help their future plus many more ministries in the faith community.
Yes, we pray in our closets and out of our closets too, and we all are thankful for prayers for our community. When we pray before a football game it is "not" to win but for safety and good sportsmanship for all players.
We need to bring America together in the spirit of love!
Pray for America!
CAROLYN McMAHEN, Soddy-Daisy