Mr. Clay Bennett, the editorial cartoonist on your staff, is an extremely good artist, perhaps one of the best in the long history of American journalism. He and Michael Ramirez of IBD are probably the best political cartoonists now published by the world press. I see Mr. Bennett's work regularly in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
One question: Given the declining number of readers of U.S. newspapers, do you really want to antagonize nearly everyone in the center and right of the political scale? Mr. Bennett seems wholly committed to attacking anyone to the right of Leon Trotsky. At least he seems to display the courteous manner of a Tennessee gentleman, as in his subdued zinger about Margaret Thatcher.
Power corrupts. The Senate gun vote last week made me feel sad; it was a blatant attack on our democracy. Congress is not a representative body. Not only was the gun bill supported by 90 percent of Americans, but a majority of gun owners.
It pitted the gun manufacturers against the people, and the former won. Sadly, our two Tennessee senators caved to the gun lobby. Their rejection of universal background checks is a tacit approval of criminals being able to purchase guns. Also, I have no other choice but to believe that our two senators, by their actions, approve crime.
But this is not the end. We can primary them like the tea party does, and if this does not work, we can vote them out of office.
The Senate has shamed itself. When voters and a majority vote can be defeated by a minority fringe, then democracy no longer exists.
Parade magazine asked how will we remember George W. Bush. I will forever think of him as the simple-minded rube who was talked into invading Iraq for oil and ego. He was fortunate enough to have been born into money and influence, never had to grow up and always had somebody to clean up his messes.
His two tax cuts for the wealthy while fighting two wars on borrowed money has put us on the edge of bankruptcy. His arrogant lip cost no telling how many human lives. I don't think Osama bin Laden ever thought he and al-Qaida could defeat the U.S. in a military situation, but he knew Bush could be goaded into war and -- like the Soviet Union -- we would suffer the worst of it. Bin Laden was smarter than Bush.
David Brooks says the Republicans, through immigration reform, will try to show Hispanics that their party can be very friendly, unlike the majority of folks in red states who vote Republican and get sawed off at the knees. I don't believe Hispanics will buy that bull.
We need sensible gun control. Do we think these tragedies can never happen to us?
The current effects of Title IX concern me deeply. I am a student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and it bothers me that people take men's sports more seriously than women's.
Title IX prohibits gender discrimination in schools that receive federal funds through grants, scholarships or other support for students. Yet it seems that women still aren't getting the attention they deserve from fans. There are more females in sports than ever before, and they work just as hard as men.
I am issuing a call to arms for change to support women participating in all sports. As a female track athlete, I have seen firsthand and know how it feels to not have any fairness between men and women.
Today, the battle for equality between men's and women's sports rages on. Solutions may be difficult to come up with right now, but everyone should be aware of this prevailing issue. One important focus is equal funding for both genders.
I believe everyone should act before it's too late.
What about "right to work" do you not understand? Companies have failed. So have some cities because of unsustainable benefits plus pensions for union workers.
Detroit is a rust belt despite our government's so-called bailout. Public service unions have put cities in a financial bind. In my opinion, the reason so many companies have outsourced is because their customer base can't afford the prices for union-made goods. We also don't need the threats and bullying from union organizers.
Not convinced yet? Then answer this question: If unions are so great, why are they being met with more and more opposition?
FRANCES BOYLE, Hixson
I imagine all the anti-gun drones are horrified at the Boston bombing, only because it didn't fit their (gun law) agenda.
The violence of the past has given Obama, Biden, Feinstein and other people a setback. Do you think that any of the above will risk their political heads to ban pressure cookers? Given time, Biden will put his foot solidly in his big, fat mouth.
WILLIAM GODSEY, Crossville, Tenn.
As of 1992, there have been more than 387 reports of school shootings nationwide. In light of recent events, including the tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School, there has been a lot of talk about how to turn schools into safer environments. Some would allow teachers and other school staff to carry guns on school property.
Obviously, teachers are not the ones who should be in charge of things like handling guns; this responsibility is for police and school resource officers. Teachers do not have the correct training. How can we be sure that all teachers could be trusted to carry guns? It is not uncommon to hear stories about teachers who have ended up fired, or in prison, for acts of sexual harassment and assault. Would you be comfortable sending your children to a school where teachers wield guns?
Also, how can we be sure a student would not be able to overthrow the teacher and take the gun for themselves? These are just a few things to think about when considering whether to allow school staff, other than resource officers, to be armed with guns.
TDOT needs to become innovative regarding Corridor K. It is simply ludicrous to contemplate building a new highway, approaching $1 billion in cost, when there are many other issues our governments should be putting such funding toward.
Further, it would be tragic to dig out huge sections of pristine mountainsides near the site of the 1996 Olympic whitewater event, essentially ruining them for all time, just to build a redundant highway. TDOT should instead rebuild the existing Highway 64 and make it world-class as well as state-of-the-art.
TDOT should build viaducts similar in construction to the Linville Viaduct along the Blue Ridge Highway, around the sharp curves of the Ocoee Gorge. Doing so will allow the road to be straighter as well as provide the clearance needed between the road and the hillside for any rockslides to pass underneath.
Also, as has been true along the Blue Ridge Parkway, viaducts will protect natural features by being built above them rather than through them. Ramps also can be built in rockslide prone areas to direct debris away from the roadway. Doing such things would be expensive but nowhere near the cost of a new road.
WILL LANCE, Hixson