Nick Hanauer is an American entrepreneur and venture capitalist with a net worth of about $1 billion, which puts him in the one hundredth of 1 percent of all Americans. Everyone needs to read "The Pitchforks Are Coming for Us Plutocrats." He wrote it as a warning for his fellow wealthiest of the wealthy, but each one of you needs to take heed of the way people such as the Koch brothers via their puppet GOP politicians are doing to our country. You must seek to find out the truth. The old saying "what you don't know won't harm you" was disproved long ago. Today's GOP will do nothing for the middle class and lower income people. One of their favorite idiotic words now is "usurper." They speak of suing or impeaching President Obama. What absurdity! This is just one way they abuse our taxpayer money. They will not change unless they are voted out of office. Given enough power, they will wreck the economy. If you are so uninformed as to vote for any one of today's Republicans, you are basically voting for the possibility of an economic disaster.
WALTER M. BENTON, Signal Mountain
A recent article disturbed me. It referred to the UTC student arrested for crossing into the "free speech perimeter" to confront a street evangelist There are so many things wrong here. Why did UTC allow such an "evangelist" on campus? Why do the students feel the best way to handle this is to confront her? Going to jail only hurt the student; it did not change the way this "evangelist" will preach. I understand standing up for what you believe. But to do it in such a way only stoops to her level. The main point is there is so much hate and intolerance in this world. Hate and intolerance, to begin with, bring about a polarization that divide us. In the end, they bring violence and murder. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Men must see that force begets force, hate begets hate, toughness begets toughness. And it is all a descending spiral, ultimately ending in destruction for all and everybody." But hate and intolerance begin in the heart. We need to start in our own heart. Stop the hate, the intolerance! Learn to live with our differences and love one another. It's the only way.
ED VICKREY JR., Ringgold, Ga.
Fellow Christians, we need to let our voices be heard on the issue of gay marriage in our state. Our marriage laws are being challenged this week in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. These kinds of decisions should not even be left up to the courts. If you have any doubt about what a legal marriage is, consider this. In Matthew 19:5-6, Jesus said, "He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said for this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh." There is no question about what Jesus and God the Father constitute to be a marriage. Genesis 19 makes it very clear what God thinks of sodomy -- it is wickedness. Please, let's not further corrupt our country and bring down God's judgment upon us. No, I am not being hateful, nor am I a bigot. I would speak in tough love to anyone who is confused or misled otherwise. God is loving and merciful and will forgive our sins when we accept his authority in our lives and confess them.
CAROL BAUER, Ooltewah
The individual who vandalized Westview Elementary School should not go to prison. Instead, when found guilty, he should be fined the maximum under the law. He should be held fully responsible for the damage and destruction. Thus, in addition to the fine(s), he should repay all costs of damage repair/replacement and restoration, and over time should be authorized to deal with his mess. Also, the man-hours expended should be documented, and his assigned community service hours should at least double that number. All of those hours should be spent doing repair and maintenance for the school system. Eventually, he might come to understand what he did.
ALLAN PHILLIPS, Tunnel Hill, Ga.
Residents I want to extend a special thank-you to the residents of District 7 who voted for me and put their trust and confidence in my ability to lead our district forward. As I said throughout my campaign, I will always be committed to focusing on what truly matters, and that's the people of District 7. During the past year, I have met with thousands of people while canvassing door-to-door and listened to their concerns and hopes for our community. This dialogue is important for all elected officials, and I strongly encourage anyone to call me if they have concerns or issues with county government. I want to be a true voice for our entire community -- a voice that will always promote accountability, efficiency and transparency within our local government. I am truly honored and thankful to have your support, and I look forward to being your advocate on the County Commission.
I'm outside enjoying the summer with no real concern of someone doing intentional physical harm to me or mine. In particular, I'm not concerned with Hellfire missiles smashing through the house; or seeing tanks and militia if I go out; or facing armed men demanding I denounce my faith in Christ or die. Literally. Right now we're privileged, yet often complacent. Our freedoms are many until legislated away. Some politician's greed caused our economic spiral as much as Wall Street. School-sponsored prayer was declared unconstitutional in 1962, and thousands have no Bible education -- only faulty conclusions not drawn from real knowledge. Many don't know the value of prayer as an effective tool for meaningful change. We sip coffee, unable to see such horror happening here. It could. We decide we have no influence. Yet, we do if we pray.
Nothing is more repulsive in politics than negative ads. They appeal to the ignorant and work. Competent candidates don't need them. Because of this, Republicans have once again nominated a lousy, incompetent congressman. Fleischmann wouldn't know what to do if he wasn't opposing President Obama. Weston Wamp nailed it in his concession. Fleischmann did "deceive thousands of Tennesseans." I admire Wamp; he has class. Fleischmann's negative ads about Wamp were more vicious than the ones he leveled against Robin Smith. However, Robin didn't help herself with her ads against Obama while state head of the Republican Party. Democrats didn't forget. Had she not done that, she would have been running for re-election as congresswoman from the 3rd District. To their credit, a host of Republicans condemned the negative campaigning of Fleischmann. My hope is these individuals will be against negative ads against Democrats as well. We need to oppose this slime. I took Albert Gore Sr. to the airport years ago. He told me, "I want to win on my merits and not the demerits of my opponent." What a statement, a sentiment long past on the American political scene. How sad!
WILBOURNE C. MARKHAM SR., Walden, Tenn.
It's long been wrongly believed half of America's marriages end in divorce and that the problem is just as bad in churches as the rest of the country. Harvard-trained researcher Shaunti Feldhahn tried for years to find actual research to prove it but couldn't. So, in her book, "The Good News About Marriage," Feldhahn lays out what she found during her eight years of investigating divorce statistics. First, the divorce rate is far below 50 percent and much lower for those who attend church. The overall rate for America is around 31 percent. People who live together before marriage have a higher divorce rate than the 31 percent. The studies of people who regularly go to church show a much lower divorce rate; for them, the divorce rate is under 20 percent. Thus, faith does make a difference and does transform those who practice their faith with their spouse. So be careful about believing statistics or people. The Bible says, "Test all things; hold fast to that which is good." Not only are Christians called to be salt, they are called to test things and take them with a grain of salt!
D.D. NAVE, Elizabethton, Tenn.