President George W. Bush looked into Putin's soul and saw only goodness. With a more insightful search, would he not have found the KGB and a hammer and sickle? On Aug. 8, 2008, Russia invaded Georgia. The reaction of (conservative columnist) Charles Krauthammer was, "I don't think the Russians are reckless ... what they are doing here is reasserting control of this province ... it's beyond our control." Bill O'Reilly agreed. The Heritage Foundation's response: There are "no easy answers." John Bolton, arguably the biggest hawk of all, gave Bush a pass. Not one of them encouraged Bush to do anything, and he did nothing. There was no American response of any substance. Message from Bush and his supporters to Putin: You can move into Crimea or any former Soviet satellite without reprisal. These are the same people who say President Barack Obama, applying sanctions that hurt, is weak in dealing with Putin. Many of them consistently put their political agenda ahead of our country's interests.
JOHN BRATTON, Sewanee, Tenn.
Today was Good Friday. It was a day when many of us spent time in solemn prayer, remembering Our Lord's great agony and bloody sweat shed for us and for our salvation on the cross. To open the newspaper and see Clay Bennett's cartoon of a scientist sticking out his tongue and shouldering a cross was both offensive and a sacrilege. Regardless of the point Bennett was aiming for in the drawing, Jesus' Passion and crucifixion on Good Friday is not fodder for cartoons. I was shocked and disgusted. Is nothing sacred anymore? I love our newspaper, but if Bennett is allowed to continue to belittle the Christian faith in upcoming cartoons then I'll have no choice but to cancel my subscription.
THE REV. BETTY LATHAM
David Cook (April 18) offers evil diagnosis and senseless prescription. Diagnosis: inequality. Solution: public schools. Are we equal to tax collectors? No, they worsen inequality in the hypocritical "effort" to reduce it. Likewise, O'Romneycare hired no doctors to equalize health, but hired thousands of IRS agents and wrote thousands of pages of rules to make power less equal. The very idea of equalizing by government force makes inequality worse instead of better. Repent of the idea and forsake it. Liberals, are you broad-minded enough to consider you might be wrong? Or are you too arrogantly narrow-minded, wanting to run other peoples' lives, like Jefferson Davis, in the name of making them "equal"? Another way you're wrong is by preferring government over business. To get money, a business has to keep its customers happy, but government gets paid whether its customers like it or not. If McDonalds makes me mad, I go to Burger King without waiting for the next election. Government makes winners and losers - Biden over Palin - but business offers diversity: burger, taco, pizza, sub, and sushi all at once. Schools? Visit the home-school fair at Camp Jordan July 18-19.
David Martin's column ("The Great Campaigner Takes His Bow") is a fun-filled recount of Barack Obama's resume as a successful political campaigner. I believe it a reasonable assessment of an ambitious politician. Reading the account, however, one might presume Obama is the only person who has ever done that - or perhaps only Democrats like Bill Clinton would behave in that fashion. Well, that's pretty silly, isn't it? Calvin Coolidge, as a good example, spent exactly 30 years on the government dole while espousing the sort of laissez-faire economics that culminated in the Great Depression (and while taking summers off). How long have basically failed actors like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum been at the political game? And are they still asking you for money? Martin ends his piece with the clever, "So the great campaigner takes his bow. Almost 20 years on constant tour and all I got was this lousy insurance cancellation notice." Amusing. Really, David? Got a sad Obamacare story to tell or is this comedic license?
BYRON CHAPIN, Hixson
I have known and liked Curtis Adams for many years. I was sorry when he chose to leave the County Commission and am very happy he is once again seeking that office. For 22 years, Curtis represented this area very well and worked diligently to make it the wonderful place it is. He is a great ambassador for our area. Twice when local square dancers were hosting the state square dance convention, I asked Curtis to make the welcome remarks. Curtis excels at that; in fact a dancer from Memphis told me that Curtis could influence him to move here. No commissioner has been more available to constituents than Curtis, and I have missed that. I love living in East Ridge, and I am sure that Curtis shares that feeling. Let us return him to the County Commission, where he belongs.
JACQUE BENDERMAN, East Ridge
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." And, no, that's not talking about the "national guard," liberal-speak not withstanding. After April 13's, Times editorial rant against legal gun ownership, I'm about ready to drop my subscription, especially after the recent price hikes. About the only things we look at are comics (not Clay's - those aren't funny) and the TV guide, anyway. The editor is living in fantasy land with regard to the "wild" West. Too many movies? Carrying guns kept everyone pretty polite and civilized in those days. It is doubtful that any of our Nashville lawmakers are actually "hillbillies." Besides, so what if they were? How many of the multitude of shootings in the Chattanooga area since January 2013 were committed by law-abiding, responsible gun owners?
PHILLIP W. HAYMAKER SR., Hixson
I want you to know I strongly recommend Joe Manuel for chancellor. I have been a Realtor in Hamilton County for many years and have known Joe for more than 30 years. I have observed Joe both in business transactions and personally. I have dealt with a lot of attorneys over the years. I have always been impressed with Joe's legal knowledge and even temperament in the face of emotional issues. Chancery Court is about so much more than guardians or conservators. I absolutely trust Joe to listen calmly and patiently and then reach the correct decision. I hope you will join me in voting for Joe Manuel.