Is America the world's policeman is the central question in the Syria debate. I, along with the vast majority of Americans, believe not. That was the job initially conceived for the United Nations. This organization has failed miserably. We pour billions of dollars into an organization that allows dictators and totalitarian leaders to thwart our principles of freedom and human rights on the world stage. Why do we continue to fund this dysfunctional joke? It is time to stop this madness and ask all nations that believe in our values of individual freedom and human rights to join us in a new organization and isolate those who would seek to do us harm.
DAVID FORSTEN, Dayton, Tenn.
In response to a recent letter implying that all those who criticize Barack Obama do so because he is black, the writer couldn't be more wrong! I voted for Dr. Alan Keyes in the Republican primary in 1996, supported Herman Cain for president in 2008, and will support Dr. Ben Carson if he runs in 2016. All these men are black, but very qualified. Most folks are tired of being labeled "racists" if they don't support Obama.
Additionally, Obama's critics are not "hiding behind the economy, government spending or Obamacare," as the letter also stated. Five years of empirical evidence is enough for any intellectually honest person to see that Obama's policies, anti-Constitutional usurpation and scandal-ridden administration have severely damaged America.
He criticizes America all over the world and divides us with his class warfare. His economic policies are upside-down and his social policies radically left-wing. His blundering foreign policy is a worldwide laughing stock. His string of scandals and lack of forthrightness is evident (Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS, NSA to name a few).
America desperately needs a qualified, principled and effective leader (black or otherwise) who loves and respects America's greatness and her Constitution.
Humans seem to accomplish more when they work in groups. All of Bob Corker's many achievements were done in the context of organized groups, but he ignores this in the VW/UAW controversy. Automobile companies are groups of people organized to build cars and make money. Workers organize unions to assure they are treated fairly and paid equitably. VW is looking for a worker's organization that assures them a cooperative and productive work force, a possible corporate memory stretching back to Porsche's administration of the early Henry Ford's egalitarianism.
The UAW may or may not be the organization to provide collaborative and cooperative workers. Certainly it is seen by Gov. Bill Haslam and Corker as obstinate and belligerent. At one time it was made up of immigrants, sharecroppers and coalminers fleeing peonage and repression. The workers had to be tough, and so was the UAW. The decline of the U.S. auto industry has been blamed on the UAW's intransigence, but let's not forget while Honda and Toyota were bringing out the Civic and Corolla, Detroit was giving us the Pinto and Vega. U.S. automakers have remade themselves into competitive companies, and the UAW says it has left its confrontational past behind.
Corker remains in an organization called the Republican Party and the workers of VW deserve representation in an organized group.
JOSEPH B. HARRIS
It is disturbing to learn that 9,182 people in Tennessee were killed by guns in the past 10 years. Tennessee has an aggravated assault with a firearms every 62 minutes. Although these are statistics, a human life is part of every statistic. Lives are lost and families suffer untold grief due to senseless violence and the results of the lack of gun control in our state.
So you have to ask, do you really want your children to grow up here and do you want to grow old here? Death is inevitable, but violence is a choice.
Let's get on with it. Let's tell our elected officials we demand every effort put forth to support common sense reforms for gun control and gun safety - and now. Our children and old people and all of us deserve a violence-free life. We should be living and thriving in freedom and not fear. We all deserve freedom from fear of guns and the havoc and misery caused by a mentally unstable gun enthusiast.
One of the reasons we were so excited about moving downtown was to take advantage of the beauty of the waterfront. I walk downtown with great frequency and feel that the Delta Queen takes away from the view of Coolidge Park from the south shore and from the view of the river when I am in the park on the north shore.
I bet the Delta Queen looks quite majestic sailing down the river, but close up, tied to the bank with the garbage collecting in the river, not so much. The Delta Queen should not be tied up, stationary in one place, and used as an occasional bar and hotel. The Delta Queen should be doing what stern wheel steamboats were made to do, and that is to cruise on the open river.
A wonderful compromise would be for the Delta Queen to call Chattanooga her home port but travel on the river, sharing our treasure with other cities along the Mississippi.
As a property owner, I want to thank Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell for raising our property taxes less than one mill over the past 12 1/2 years she has been commissioner. I would also thank her for refusing to obligate our tax payers in issuing general obligation bonds to refinance the hospital.
I believe sales tax is the answer for our future and I will be voting in November for the special purpose local option sales tax, to continue our low property tax. I suggest all property owners in Walker County vote for the very important SPLOST tax to keep our property taxes low. If you are a renter, I am sure this would be passed on to you through higher rent.
BILLY N. ELLIS, Chickamauga, Ga.