It is somewhat rare that such an outstanding individual as Tom McCullough presents himself for public office. Thankfully, it is refreshing to have him seeking the First District seat on the Chattanooga City Council. He is a cut above many other politicians due to his honesty, ethics and passion for our community.
Tom seeks this position due to his desire to serve District 1. He builds strong relationships among numerous partners, plus his long tenure as a successful leader in our area for more than four decades is a story of success.
As a former classroom teacher who worked with Tom for more than 10 years, I have first-hand knowledge that his loyalty is evident and his integrity unquestioned. He will be a member of the City Council who is concerned about the needs of the community. Furthermore, he will solicit advice from residents in District 1.
I endorse his candidacy for the Chattanooga City Council District 1, and urge you to do so as well.
Margaret M. Smith, Signal Mountain
The government wants to ban some semi-automatic weapons so they call them assault weapons. How can some semi-automatic weapons be assault weapons when they fire the same as all semiautomatic rifles, shotguns, pistols and revolvers? Lie one.
They say they are rapid-fire weapons. All semi-automatic rifles, shotguns, pistols and revolvers fire one round when you pull the trigger. The weapons used by the military and police fire 750-900 rounds per minute when you pull the trigger one time. How can these be rapid-fire weapons? Lie two.
They say military style features make it an assault weapon. A pistol grip, a forward grip, a flash suppressor, a barrel shroud and a threaded barrel do not change the way it fires. It still fires one round when you pull the trigger. Lie three.
They say it has a magic button to release the magazine so you can reload. Almost all semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and pistols with a removable magazine have this button. Lie four.
Most of these lies were in the first assault weapons ban. More people own guns now and know these are lies. That is why gun owners are scared because they don't understand why the government is lying to the public.
ROBERT DUANE NICKOLS
I read with great interest your series on automation and joblessness. I have an insight into the dilemma. After working for a large, daily metropolitan newspaper for 20 years, I and many others lost jobs to IBM in 1980.
It was a shock with three young children to educate. Nethertheless, we moved back to my small town in North Georgia. We managed to survive doing quite a few different jobs. I'm sure things are much worse now with the recession and high unemployment.
Even sports are not exempt. NASCAR is losing money right and left. The big three have their alumni to help them. NASCAR has no alumni as there is no car racing in schools.
Your series said the middle class were the first to be laid off and few were rehired. The results could be catastrophic. The bills, foreclosures and hopelessness that ensues often result in depression, divorces and sometimes suicide.
It's a self-defeating prophecy. Who will buy the wonderful products that computers and robots build? People with jobs pay taxes, buy clothes, food, stoves, freezers and cars. I have yet to see a computer buy anything!
GEORGE THOMPSON, Blairsville, Ga.
Tennessee's state and local governments are moving toward diverting badly needed funds for educating children to the arms industry to increase number of armed guards called "school resource officers" in all schools. According to a new NYT/CBS poll, 74 percent of Americans believe that more security guards would help prevent mass shooting in schools. There is no evidence to support that. Rather, it seems to me that this is the way hard-won democracy and freedoms disappear. They aren't taken away; citizens give them away out of fear.
Fear is irrational, and no wonder that 74 percent of Americans when frightened want to have armed guards in schools "to protect children." It can even make sense that the more guns around children, the safer from guns children are. But experience, logic and common sense argue against that. Our most recent gun massacre in schools makes that case. A Sandy Hook staff member testifying to Congress described the sound of "hundreds of bullets rocketing through the school." She said, "Make no mistake," If there was a police officer in our building that day, he would be dead. Adam Lanza did not knock on the door and ask for permission to come in. He shot his way through the door barely seconds after he got out of his car. Nobody needs a gun that can kill 26 people and shoot hundreds of rounds of ammunition in three minutes."
FAYE WALTER, Sewanee, Tenn.
Someone wrote the rant, "The Constitution is outdated. Why are we letting people who lived 200 years ago rule us today?" (Times Free Press, Feb. 3, 2013). Really?
Instead, we are ruled by crushing personal and public debt, a lack of thrift, an entertainment industry gone amok, rampant materialism, increasing illiteracy, personal irresponsibility, and social violence and unrest, not to mention a massive federal government resembling fascism and socialism far more than democratic rule.
It's no wonder we suffer an unjust judiciary system, armed guards in schools, Internet pornography, trashy entertainment, minority groups running roughshod over majority interests, foreign policies that finance our enemies, and a Congress of self-interested politicians lacking civility and statesmanship.
The Founding Fathers wrote a Constitution to ensure freedom and opportunity for a responsible citizenry of a republic, not to inspire selfish and chaotic behavior lacking a moral compass. If our country were indeed ruled "by people who lived 200 years ago," why aren't the principles, values and obligations inherent in the Constitution being upheld? If the Founding Fathers could look in our state today, they would be stunned by its deviance from the values, principles and obligations of the Constitution.
BOB MILLER, Signal Mountain
I endorse my good friend, Roger Tuder, for Councilman of District 2 (essentially North Chattanooga to Northgate).
Roger, a native Chattanoogan of humble origin, became a very successful banker before serving as executive director of Associated General Contractors, an organization of 200 members representing 1,600 employees at its peak. As Director of AGC, Roger voluntarily attended the great majority of City Council meetings.
He understands and appreciates the strengths and challenges facing our great city.
He certainly understands finances and budgets. He will assure that as taxpayers we get the most value out of our tax dollars and will vote to eliminate wasteful projects.
He does not need any "on the job training" but understands what is necessary to move our city forward under a new administration.
As an independent small businessman, I heartily appreciate his willingness to serve when service is is only goal.
I have observed Roger in his life as a husband, father and adoring grandfather to his two little granddaughters.
I anticipate that voter turnout will be very light. Your making the effort to vote for Roger Tuder is extremely important to our city and its continued positive move forward.