I attended the UTC game on Saturday when a moment of silence was effected in lieu of the customary pre-game prayer. When it was announced several people in the stands simultaneously began reciting the Lord's Prayer. What startled me was that the group didn't get halfway into the Lord's Prayer when the moment of silence ended and the presentation of the American flag began.
Just out of curiosity, I recently recited the Lord's Prayer slowly and methodically and timed myself. It took around 25 seconds. So even if it took the crowd 30 seconds, that means that the moment of silence lasted no more than 15 to 20 seconds!
If you are going to ask Christians and other religious groups to forfeit a public prayer in lieu of a moment of silence, is it too much to ask that the moment of silence last an entire moment? I can tell you that while the 20 seconds was not enough time for a respectful prayer, it was time enough to remind us all of the rights and freedoms that we are surrendering daily.
Shame on you, Chancellor Roger Brown! That was one sorry last act.
KEVIN H. ROBERTS
Trying to justify government intervention in the free market, Alex Marshall asserts in the Times Free Press (Sept. 23, Perspective), "Government is responsible for every aspect of the market economy ... The relationship of government to the private marketplace and capitalism as a whole is one of parent and child. In a democracy, if we understand that government creates markets ..."
Evidently, Marshall believes in a theocracy. Government is our god. It "creates." He believes government created the law. (Did it hand Moses the Decalogue?) Economist Ludwig von Mises coined the word statolatry to describe this belief in state supremacy.
Marshall is an evangelist, not an economist. He makes many assertions, but provides no analysis. On the other hand, in 1940, Mises published a book-length economic analysis (Interventionism) of the effects of government intervention in the market. His conclusion:
"The various measures, by which interventionism tries to direct business, cannot achieve the aims its honest advocates are seeking by their application. Interventionist measures lead to conditions which, from the standpoint of those who recommend them, are actually less desirable than those they are designed to alleviate. They create unemployment, depression, monopoly, distress. They may make a few people richer, but they make all others poorer."
NED NETTERVILLE, Lone Oak, Tenn.
I found myself challenged by two letters in the Sept. 21 edition.
One is correct in that both Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt were Republicans, and proud to be recognized as such. What wasn't explained is that Lincoln was a liberal in a liberal party. What could possibly be more liberal than a desire to change an entire country's social and economic structure? The sole purpose of the Republican Party in the 1850s was the destruction of the slave system, and rightly so! Liberalism at its best!
Theodore Roosevelt, perhaps the last great Republican president, not only espoused the rights of the average citizen, he reined in business interests to promote development of the middle class. Roosevelt was a progressive, a name now held in contempt.
Conservatism, by its nature, does not make changes. Conservatism merely maintains the status quo. It is easy to be conservative if one is wealthy. The letter was correct, the majority of Republicans are not racists, but the majority of racists are most certainly Republican.
The second letter correctly commented concerning "righting the wrong." No amount of common sense will ever change a closed mind.
BILL WARD, Red Bank
Does Ms. Patti Skates realize that the Soddy-Daisy commission seat's position she is running for does not pay any more? At one time she served and did not want the pay, and two years ago she asked for the back pay -- about $15,000. A lot of people did not know she asked for the back pay and received it, but that is a matter of public record.
This cost us taxpayers a large amount of money, because of the way the state law is written. We now are having to pay all five of the people serving until their terms expire. Those serving now did not want the pay but were forced to receive the pay because Ms. Skates and two others asked for and received their back pay.
The budget is the most important thing the commissioners do; vote how to spend our tax dollars.
MARGARET CHASTAIN, Soddy-Daisy
Like his predecessors, Barack Obama has received his share of criticism. What's different, however, is not just the depth of some critics' vituperation but their mendacity. You know; he's a Muslim, a Marxist, a warrior against American values and our Constitution. Etc., ad nauseam.
Deluded "birthers," for instance, are convinced President Obama was born in Kenya, not the United States, and no proof to the contrary will dissuade them. That campaign's failure to gain traction should have succumbed to the weight of its own witlessness. Instead, a few have extended it to sheer idiocy.
Bill Armistead, chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, last week praised a film, "Dreams From My Real Father." As the Mobile Press-Register reported, it claims that Obama's grandfather was a CIA agent who persuaded Barack Obama Sr. to marry his daughter, thus disguising the fact that she had been secretly impregnated by a communist.
An Obama impersonator who narrates the film asserts that Obama is intent on imposing a "classic Stalinist-Marxist agenda upon America at home and abroad." Surely, there is irrefutable proof for the charge? Well, no. A disclaimer for the film discloses that many of its scenes are "re-creations of probable events, using reasoned logic, speculation and approximated conversations." Oh.
MICHAEL LOFTIN, Hixson
One hundred forty-five years ago last week, John Muir walked through East Tennessee on his way from Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico. While best known for his work in the High Sierra with Republican President Teddy Roosevelt, Muir saw his first mountain stream in Tennessee. He was impressed. "The scenery is far grander than any I ever beheld before," exclaimed Muir as he walked south toward the Hiwassee River.
Muir was taken aback by the Unicoi Mountains, which he glimpsed after spending the night in Madisonville, Tenn. Today, a portion of those same mountains are proposed for wilderness designation by Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker with the Tennessee Wilderness Act of 2011. The pristine 9,038-acre Upper Bald River Wilderness Study Area would be the first new wilderness area in Tennessee in 26 years. Five existing wilderness areas would also be expanded by this bill.
This popular bill remains stalled as partisan gridlock has ground business in Congress to a halt. I applaud the actions of our two U.S. senators and encourage them to do all in their power to bring this bill to the floor for a vote this year. Tennesseans and Americans deserve as much.
JEFF HUNTER, Director, Tennessee Wilderness Campaign, Wild South
I note with interest in the Sept. 26 Times Free Press that Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation to make way for driverless cars on the roads and highways of California. Wow, now Californians can send text messages, hold phone conversations, apply makeup, style their hair, brush their teeth, put on their neck ties, watch sports events on their smart phones and perhaps even catch a few extra winks while riding along in their cars! But wait, I have seen this happening in Chattanooga for years. Guess California isn't leading the pack after all, but don't tell Jerry, might burst his bubble(head).
LARRY JONES, East Brainerd