I would really like someone to explain to me why, given all the discussion about gun issues, no one bothers to go back to the original work in its entirety. The 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution uses the phrase "well regulated militia." What is so hard to comprehend about the concept of "well regulated," or of a militia? Many currently define themselves as "strict constructionists," yet they fail to use the 2nd Amendment in its entirety.
Why exclude the well regulated militia component, and only select out for emphasis the "keep and bear arms" concept. A collection of armed janitors is not a well regulated militia. Stop the insanity!
GENE MESCO, Ph.D.
I endorse the candidacy of Thomas McCullough for the 1st District City Council seat.
I know Tom McCullough primarily through my brother Wilbourne. He has been a friend of Tom's for the past 30 years. Over these years, I have heard glowing reports about this outstanding educational and civic-minded individual.
Tom has been involved in community affairs throughout his entire adult life, serving as president of the Hixson Chamber of Commerce; president of Friends of East Brainerd and was a facilitator for Chattanooga Vision 2000.
Further, he served on the DuPont Plant Community Advisory Committee, the Chamber's School Consolidation Task Force and most importantly the Chattanooga Human Rights Commission. However, this does not begin to exalt his involvement in the community.
I spent over 25 years in city government, having retired as director of citywide services. I have known most of the commissioners, councilmen/women personally. I care deeply about city government and who runs it. We have had some excellent public servants, and I am confident Thomas McCullough would also be an outstanding member of City Council.
I recommend him for election in District 1.
WELDON R. MARKHAM
Is the current Tennessee leadership serving the people well?
When the fiscal cliff vote was taken in the House, both DesJarlais and Fleischmann voted for a middle class tax increase instead of the top 1 percent paying its fair share.
Tennessee's two senators did not renominate Dr. Marilyn Brown to the TVA board because she was "unqualified." She is a 2007 Nobel co-laureate, professor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Georgia Tech, author of numerous articles on energy. It appears our knowledgeable senators think only someone with the proper ideology is qualified.
In 2008, both our senators joined others in praising Chuck Hagel, a Republican. Now we see Republican leaders in the Senate attacking Hagel, a Purple Heart Vietnam veteran, because he is "anti-Semitic" and not enough of a hawk against Iran and the continuation of the Iraq War. He is supported by many Jewish leaders, just not Republicans.
Our governor is unwilling to support public schools, because some private and charter schools are more open to teaching that evolution and climate change are wrong. Yet he decries Tennessee's lagging behind in college graduates.
If Tennessee is to have a brighter future, its leaders need to move beyond ideology.
ROGER A. MEYER, Ph.D
David Cook's column Jan. 11 asks the question (he feels is posed by a fictional accounting of Bin Laden's death) "Who are we as Americans"? That's simple. We are a nation that tortures. But it started way before 9/11. It started in the '70s with the slaughter of the unborn now reaching proportions of one killing every 90 seconds. We are a nation that has taken God out of schools and the public forum and then ask where he was when tragedies occur. We are a people who have twisted and squeezed the foundation of our nation, the Constitution, and subverted it to please and pamper every fringe, lunatic and welfare-seeking group, ignoring the fundamentals that framed our once great nation.
We are a nation that praises, worships and gives awards to people who offer up violence and immorality in the name of "art and free speech" and then are shocked when it occurs in real life.
We have become a society that lives by man's failed laws. But unfortunately America today is a nation in moral decay with no fear of God.
SCOTT HARRINGTON, Ooltewah
Prior to Pearl Harbor, the Japanese warlords made a grave error. They failed to adequately assess the resolve of the American people.
Admiral Yamamota supposedly alluded to this when, after the attack, he said, "I fear that all we accomplished today was to awaken a sleeping tiger." He was right.
There were no dissenters; everyone joined and sacrificed in the war effort. Morality, resolve, "true grit," "backbone" and determination were abundant. We all sacrificed. My dad fought in the "Bulge" (wounded three times). My mother sewed parachutes. One plant built 24 airplanes per day, seven days a week.
Maybe this is enough: In WWII, we had some 300,000 killed. After that war, only about 2 percent of returning military applied for disability.
From Desert Storm through today, we have lost, what? Maybe 6,000 to 8,000 dead? And can it be that we now have more military suicides than battle fatalities? Yet today some 45 percent of returning military apply for disability.
Per Pogo, "We have met the enemy, and they are us." Per the seamen, "Without greater morality, resolve, grit, backbone and determination, our nation is doomed."
W. RICHARD BARGER, Monteagle, Tenn.
I am a lifelong resident of District 2. I have seen our area grow and prosper, and I love the diversity of our district. Even though we may be different, I know we all share the same concerns such as crime in our neighborhoods and having a strong local economy.
Jerry Mitchell shares those concerns too, and I believe that's why he's running for City Council. Not only does he have the experience of having served as Parks and Recreation director for both Mayors Kinsey and Corker, but Jerry will seek to engage citizens, keep us informed and involved in the decision-making.
This March election gives Chattanooga a fresh start, and we want a City Council that will work with our new mayor as we continue to grow and renew. As voters, we have a choice. My choice is Jerry Mitchell, a lifelong Chattanoogan who is passionate about his hometown and who will work side by side with all residents to get things done. I hope you will join me in supporting and voting for Jerry Mitchell for District 2 City Council.
Since 2006-2012, we have a 27 to 28 percent rate increase on sewer service rates. Where has this money gone? Now we will get another increase. My sewer bill is 3.15 percent more than water. This money we pay has not helped this area at all. It continues to get worse. Why?
Thanks to Jack Benson, Manuel Rico and Deborah Scott for returning my calls on this matter. I am in District 2. Sally Robinson has not responded. We need Roger Tuder to replace her.
Why do we need an assistant mayor at $98,000 a year? Are property taxes going to go up to pay this kind of money? We need answers.
BETTYE THOMAS, Hixson