In the face of staggering red ink, Fed. Chairman Ben Bernanke is still buying treasury notes to the tune of $85 billion each month! His story is that he needs to stimulate a weak job market. In spite of his efforts, unemployment remains flat. But Wall Street loves his easy money. Thanks to the Feds, stocks have more than doubled since 2008! Mr. Obama is poised to appoint a successor to Bernanke who has exactly the same views. Could it be that Mr. Obama needs interest rates to stay artificially low in order to keep his national debt payment manageable? "Obamacare" is stifling small business hiring, and will continue to in the foreseeable future. Inadvertently, this populist President is in the curious position of helping the rich, neglecting the poor, and squeezing the middle class.
GERALD WHITELY, Ringgold, Ga.
I think saying a terrorist group "takes responsibility for" a violent act is a misuse of the word responsibility. The full definition of responsibility from Webster's Dictionary is: the quality or state of being responsible: as the moral, legal, or mental accountability. Or reliability, trustworthiness. What journalism or government school coined the phrase "takes responsibility for" to give cover to murderous cowards who gun down innocent people with warped intent? Our children are taught to act "responsibly" and to take "responsibility" for their mistakes. These groups use the phrase like a feather in their cap jumping to "take responsibility" for nothing but the twisted slaughter of defenseless human beings. Let's challenge the people worldwide to call senseless murder what it is. When you "take responsibility" for something, there is no heinous, cowardly behavior involved with no remorse. Speakers and media can surely find a new phrase which doesn't give evil a pass.
GREYSON BROWN, Lookout Mountain
I grew up in East Chattanooga. It began on Chamberlain Avenue where Avondale ended. It was a great place to be in the 1950s and 1960s. It was a lower-middle-class neighborhood where you were not afraid to walk where you needed to go. A group is trying to reclaim the old neighborhood around Glass Street. I hope it works. My sister and I, along with our friends, are proud to say we are from East Chattanooga! The news media and the police seem to call every crime area East Chattanooga. Dodds Avenue and Main Street are not even close to East Chattanooga. Dodds Avenue runs from Main in Ridgedale and through Eastlake, while Main Street runs from downtown through Ridgedale and all the way up Missionary Ridge. People, look at your maps. Leaving Dodds Avenue at McCallie turns into Glenwood Drive, which is the Glenwood community, then to Avondale and then to East Chattanooga. Give my old neigh-borhood a break. I know it is run down. I take a walk through memory lane every once in a while, and it breaks my heart. I just don't like to see the community blamed for crimes it has not committed.
SUSAN PEARSON SWINNEY, Rocky Face, Ga.
I wish someone would explain to me why Republicans don't want everybody to be able to get insurance and why they cut programs that feed the hungry and less fortunate. Also I wish someone would tell me why they go after Medicare and Social Security every time they want cuts. I will never figure out why a senior citizen would vote Republican when they know they want to cut programs that benefit them. They want to raise the minimum wage so people can make a decent living, but they are happy to keep loopholes for the rich so the rich can get richer. They make it harder to vote than it is to get a machine gun. The reason they want to repeal Obamacare is for the insurance companies, not the people. Obamacare helps people, it does not hurt them. Check it out. Call Dr. Mary Headrick; she can tell you all about it. She should be our congressman instead of idiot Fleischmann. Corker is a cry baby unless he's bombing somebody. Our state is one of the poorest for a reason. Republican rule. Get rid of Republicans and you get rid of poverty.
CAROL PROCTOR, East Brainerd
This administration, I believe, has lost its mind. If they think they can go into Syria and make a difference, it will not happen in my opinion. These people are living in the Stone Age and have been fighting since 20 A.D. We want to bring them into the 21st century? Not going to happen. I agree that they may have used WMD on their own people, but who did this, the Syrians or the rebels? Do we even know? Now Obama's administration is going to supply arms to the "good" rebels not the "bad" rebels, and the suppliers are supposed to know the difference? And when did we start trusting the Russians and Vladimir Putin to do the right thing if we don't go in. Mr. President, that red line you drew seems to have gotten us into a heap of trouble. The American people don't pretend to know the answer, but with your dithering about a strike, the Syrians have had time to move everything around so as to be ready. Mr. President, don't send any of our troops in to fight a war that we know little or nothing about. It would not be the right thing to do. Besides, this is your red line not ours.
JOANN WHITLOW, Harrison
If any of you have ever attended the exceptional performances of Theatre Centre, you will be saddened, as I was, at the news that the theater may have to close its doors because of lack of funding. Chattanooga is a growing, vibrant city that should be able to support a theater of this caliber. I am a senior citizen who looks forward to my Sunday afternoons at the theater, enjoying live theater at its best. Please join me in doing all we can to keep this theater open.
GLORIA SNELL, Hixson
Andra Jurist's recent opinion piece raised a number of troubling issues about the (tax increment financing) road up Aetna/Black Creek Mountain. My husband and I recently moved back home after spending a number of years in St. Louis. There the TIF focus is on addressing blighted conditions and on creating large numbers of jobs. The Black Creek project is located in a residential golf course community and will produce relatively few jobs. Is this project even eligible for TIF funding under Tennessee law? There is still time for the newly elected mayor and City Council to revisit the city's 2012 decision to grant the $9 million taxpayer subsidy to a multibillion dollar New York hedge fund. They could ask the city attorney to agree to a judgment that this road is not a qualified project. For more information about this TIF, visit www.helenburnssharp.com. Let's consider TIF where a taxpayer subsidy may be a necessary component of a project that will make a major, positive difference in our city, such as the redevelopment of the Harriet Tubman site in East Chattanooga.
Chattanooga has lost a true hero with the death of Guy Bilyeau. He took the reins at the Humane Educational Society and proved that when a leader leads from the heart, miracles do happen. He took over the directorship of the HES when it had nearly hit rock bottom. But by igniting those around him with his incredible vision and tireless energy, within a very short period of time our shelter was winning national recognition -- for doing things right! The citizens of our community and especially the animals have lost a true advocate and champion for animal rights. Guy, you will be missed! Woof Woof!
From the front page of the Sept. 12 Times Free Press, "Chattooga judge admits illegally charging fees." The judge admittedly has been doing this for years. He says that charging such fees is "the proper thing to do" and "it's in the best interest of justice." Really? Charging illegal fees is in the best interest of justice? Nowhere in the article did it mention if the judge was going to be arrested for breaking the law. It appears that if you are a government official in Georgia, you're immune from arrest and prosecution for breaking the law.
GARY HAYES, Ooltewah