I read with interest recently about Coca-Cola's desire to remain in Chattanooga and its loyalty to this area. It brought to mind the events of several years ago when a tornado struck East Brainerd on Friday night before Easter.
We got our chain saw, gathered our grown children and went to work helping friends who suffered damage. By mid-morning, we were sweaty and dirty. Debris was piled in the street like an obstacle course. I saw a red semi-truck making its way through the mess and wondered why in the world it would try to come in.
As it got closer, I realized it was a Coke truck. It stopped at each house to hand out 12-packs of water - at no cost. What a wonderful corporate citizen on a miserable day. How could I ever drink any other soda? Belated thanks to Coke!
The Free Press editorial of Aug. 2, 2014, is illogical, arrogant and theocratic.
It is illogical for its premise that respect for the institution of marriage requires the denial of benefits to unmarried domestic partners of city employees. It is arrogant for supposing persons whose domestic arrangements differ from one's own are morally inferior to oneself. It is theocratic in its demand that others vote in accordance with the writer's own conception of what God's highest standards are.
The conclusions of the Family Research Council that persons in nonmarital relationships fare worse than those in conventional marriages with regard to domestic violence, fidelity, longevity and other issues should not be adopted without disclosure of the facts underlying them. But even if accepted at face value, none constitutes a reason to exclude domestic partners from a benefit plan.
It is true that righteousness makes a nation great, but the author of Proverbs does not claim that what we know as marriage constitutes righteousness. His own conception of marriage may seem morally abhorrent to us today.
No amount of self-indulgent moral posturing and transparent pandering to the cliches of fundamentalism can obscure the ethical necessity of retaining the ordinance.
To the lady complaining about receiving a $50 speeding ticket in the mail: I ride Germantown Road several times a week. I have had no problems at all. But then, I respect the speed limits. My advice to her: Obey the law, and you won't have to worry about getting a ticket.
BEVERLY COHEN, Fort Oglelthorpe
Regarding your letter to the editor on Aug. 1, Ms. Horn, you'll be happy to know your payment of $50 for a citation from the Germantown Road camera is indeed going to support drivers education. The City of Chattanooga Drivers Education Program is supported 100 percent by the traffic cameras in the city. As we close in on the program's fifth anniversary, to date, over 2,100 young drivers have received excellent defensive driving instruction and transportation education - 30 hours in the classroom and six hours behind the wheel - through this innovative and highly acclaimed program. At this time, the program is only available to city residents ages 15-22. The County Commission's recent decision to deny utilization of a camera system by the HCSO did thwart a drivers ed initiative for county residents, but please know that in the city, that's exactly how it is being used. Better trained young drivers equal safer streets for all of us!
CAROLINE CHIPLEY JOHNSON
Based upon a UAW letter in the July 20 Times Free Press, it is obvious the German IG Metall union doesn't care the people voted against the UAW union here. If VW wants to achieve its world production numbers, it better start listening to the American people. That was a serious problem in the Pennsylvania plant. It was the German way or no way, so Ford blew them away with the Escort. How many Rabbits do you see on the road today? Now they want to bring their German union to back up the defeated UAW and sell out the employees again. Doesn't sound like a company that wants to be No. 1 in the world. The company better realize it needs U.S. sales to reach its goal. Who wants to purchase a car from a company that can't be trusted. I don't. All those new jobs sound good. Let's hope they are not temporary like they were in Pennsylvania. The UAW announced it was increasing dues for the first time in 47 years. Not true. It gets a raise every time members do. The letter states "this is the only non-union plant in the world." Not true, per VW.
Israel's massive killing of innocent Palestinian civilians, most of them children, as well as the targeted bombing of hospitals, schools, mosques and the erasure of entire neighborhoods have elicited outrage among Jews and non-Jews throughout the world. This is how human beings normally react regardless of their ideology, religion or ethnicity. That is why it is rather odd that Tom Balazs writes a three-part series on the situation in Gaza and fails to express any outrage, preferring to deal with irrelevant academic and identity issues.
He appears to be poorly informed about what the state of Israel has been doing to the Palestinians, in his name, a few miles south and east of where he is staying. Therefore, he ends up expressing unquestioning tribal loyalty. If he knew the root causes of the conflict, he would certainly know and understand why Israelis live in fear. Any country that engages in ethnic cleansing and land theft and then tries to draw its borders in blood cannot possibly live in peace and security. Tom may be spending a lot of time in bomb shelters for years to come as he visits his relatives.
Israel will soon be held accountable for its crimes against the Palestinian people.
PROFESSOR FOUAD MOUGHRABI
When we see blood-stained bodies of children and wailing women in the streets of Gaza on television, our compassion gets high and we are prone to blame those ruthless Jews. Do we wonder why these people go through such sufferings? It is the Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement and the ruling party of Gaza using homes, schools and even hospitals to launch rockets on Jewish cities. Jews pinpoint the area and destroy the target. Hamas uses human shields to protect their launchers and they have no compassion for who is killed. It will be appropriate to say that many members of the Islamic Resistance Movements do not care who gets killed. You have the "ISIS" movement in Iraq who gave ultimatums to Christians to be converted to Islam, to pay heavy taxes or be put to death. We notice the Brotherhood Movement has been doing the same to Christians in Egypt. No help has been provided to Christians from other countries. I am glad that Jews are not afraid of Muslims. They must defend themselves by all means.
AMOS TAJ, Ooltewah
I was disturbed about recent demonstrations in Miller Park, one supporting the Palestinian side in the fighting in Gaza, the other supporting the Israeli side. Both sides presented the conflict in very stark terms: Either one side is right and the other is wrong or vice versa, when in fact, it is the incredible complexity of this conflict that has kept it alive for so many years. As someone who lived in the Middle East for many years and whose professional life focuses largely on the conflict, I can understand why both parties are convinced they are right and why they continue to fight. My preference would have been to see supporters of both sides here come together to demand that both sides in the Middle East stop trying to kill each other.
That would have had a greater impact. It would have been a demonstration that I could attend.