Walking through the neighborhood one day last week with my dog, Lakoda, I saw a strange sight. Approaching me in the midday sun is a man swinging a lantern with a super bright LED light that can be seen for several blocks.
"What you doing?" I asked.
"Looking for one Republican with courage and who isn't afraid of the NRA," he replies, and he moves on down the street swinging his LED-powered lantern.
The pressure cooker bomb used Monday in Boston is considered a weapon of mass destruction and the attack Monday considered an act of terrorism.
The weapon used to murder 26 Americans at Sandy Hook Elementary School is not considered a weapon of mass destruction and the event not an act of terrorism. The 26 dead at Sandy Hook become no more than 26 dead on the altar of the Second Amendment.
It seems some Republicans and tea party members have created a separate universe, a distorted one, as they want it to be.
Another paper had an editorial about the 13 tax increases in 2013. Eleven of the increases will only affect corporations, or people who earn well over six figures, or have an estate over $5 million. Ninety percent of the population might face only two of the 13. Why should the rich have several houses, private jets and excess influence over opinion while others struggle?
Another article reported there are 1,360 American radical right and "patriot" groups today. The rationale for assault weapons is based on the idea that "patriots" will need them to defend against the government. Do patriots or traitors fight against the government? Many people talking about needing assault rifles are members or sympathizers of these groups. Are these the kind of people, along with firearms manufacturers' lobbyists, you want to shape your opinion of gun control?
As a Christian, gun-owning, Vietnam veteran and retired business owner, I reject their universe.
ROGER A. MEYER
I see in reading your newspaper that the city is going to spend millions to repair the concrete at the riverwalk. Why not consider using treated lumber and build a riverwalk like Atlantic City and Myrtle Beach? Much cheaper and more romantic.
SAM GORTNEY, Decatur, Tenn.
Interesting that the election of an openly gay councilman is defined by a recent Times Free Press article title as "progress."
In a society where adultery and child molestation still are considered scandalous (at least for celebrities and national leaders), homosexuality is increasingly portrayed as normal.
Is homosexuality a sin against God? Surely not the God of American freedom, Who, as a God of love, would never simultaneously act as judge.
I wonder about the basis on which we discern what is sin and what is not.
The Bible does speak of homosexuality, as this paper has previously quoted (Lev 20:13, Rom 1:26-27). These verses are excluded by our "intolerance" filter, whereas those condemning heterosexual infidelity (Rom 1:24; Heb 13:4) and child abuse (Jer 19:5) are not.
And so we, His creatures, stand in judgment of His Word.
Christ's suffering on the cross was for all the sin of all mankind. But where there is no conviction (agreement with God over what sin is) and repentance, there can be no forgiveness.
GARY KOBET, Soddy-Daisy
Why are the Republicans getting so bent out of shape at the prospect of the government selling TVA? They are the party of free enterprise that believes the only function of the federal government should be defense.
JOHN D. BECK, Ooltewah
In a recent visit with my parents (both are 89), my dad informed me their medigap premium coverage (which covers 10 percent of their medical coverage, Medicare 90 percent) was $5,400 annually. This is a good medigap policy, not one filled with legal loopholes. If Medicare converts to private insurance, an announced preference of the Republican Party (the Ryan plan), my parents would be liable for a $54,000 annual premium. But the Republicans will offer a coupon or voucher of an uncertain amount for my parents to shop for this insurance.
Although the Republicans said it won't affect those currently on Medicare, it will, however, affect our children, younger relatives, friends and fellow citizens.
The question we must ask ourselves is: Should medical care be for only those who can afford it, or should health care be an economic right, not subject to discrimination based on age, current or previous health condition?
Shouldn't we examine the essential facts and evidence of our politics rather than being persuaded by negative labels?
JOHN F. EARY, Ringgold, Ga.
Women may be looked at as incapable to perform some duties, but why put that stereotype on women who've enlisted to protect and fight for our country? Removing gender discrimination simply means equal opportunities, especially in the area of combat. With proper discipline, training and determination, women are capable to fight in combat and perform proper tasks.
Just months have gone by since the lifting of the combat ban. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta already has said "women have become an 'integral part' of the military." Women have been serving in many combat roles already due to the current nature of war. Regarding that, progress is still being made with women being organized into combat, just as much as progress as when only men were allowed in combat.
I am very passionate about the military and believe that if someone is brave enough to sign up to serve and protect, any duty, whether combat or not, should be performed.
KIMBERLY ERB, Apison, Tenn.
After reading the front page of the April 12 paper, I immediately went outside and looked skyward expecting to see some pigs fly by. A Democrat proposing to privatize TVA and Republicans opposed. Sen. Richard Shelby was the only person behaving normally. Who'd thunk it?
ROBERT JARVIS, Hixson
I would suggest to the new mayor and City Council that one of their first orders of business should be to correct the fiasco left by the former administration concerning the city's wastewater billing.
Surely there is a local company capable of processing these bills. Why would we export these jobs to California? Why do we have to go to a cash advance store or to Wal-Mart to pay our bills locally and be charged an extra fee to do so? This whole process is ridiculous and should be corrected immediately.
We all see many things are not right and lack power to make them so. Worse, even our opinions rarely comprehend any cure.
But if any of us think we believe in Jesus Christ, the living Son of the almighty God of the entire universe, ruler of everything, we need to live like we know he means it when he says he is only good, knows everything, is author of only and all truth, has the only good plan for our lives and solution to every problem and all power to accomplish his purposes.
We need to ask him, with humble hearts, sincerely desiring to be on his side, and he will make himself known to us.
Because we need to live his way today.
Our families need us to.
Our neighbors need us to.
He's called us to stop focusing on failures and listening to fears and the supposed experts who only agree that it's impossible to know what's right and truly look to the One who has saved us from our own foolishness, and begin to live life eternal in the truth and power of Jesus Christ, today.
PAUL PORTER, Ironwood, Mich.