Does anyone else feel political cartoons would best be left out? Don't we have enough negative news without what seems to me to be ugly, degrading, demeaning, mean-spirited - even violent - cartoons (from both sides)?
What advantage is there in ridiculing, making fun of, and tearing others down to promote your own agenda?
Smearing someone else's character does not promote harmony and good will. I, for one, would like to enjoy more uplifting and encouraging articles instead of trying to ignore the political cartoons.
KARLEEN HOWE, Ooltewah
The argument of "God is love" is normally used as if love is God's only character quality. Is love the only character quality of a parent -- your parents or you as a parent? No. Do you express love to your child by allowing him to do something you know will harm him? No. Do you express love to your child by allowing him to violate rules established for his best interest? No. Similarly, God is so much more than just love. He is the perfect embodiment of all the best qualities of a parent including judgment, discipline, and allowing children to experience consequences. He has established right from wrong and knows that right is in our best interest. God does and will judge all men. He expects us to judge right from wrong behavior and to prefer right, but judging individuals belongs to God and God alone. The domestic partner benefits legislation was an attempt to endorse and promote wrong behavior. My judgment of the behavior, without judging any individual, is based on seeing the many character qualities of God. Without fear or hate on my part, I simply want right behavior to be endorsed and promoted.
DENNIS URBANIAK, Signal Mountain
I wanted to congratulate the Times Free Press for its excellent series of articles which appeared as part of the 150th Anniversary of the Battles for Chattanooga. These articles have appeared every Sunday for the past few months in the Perspectives Section and were written by National Park Service Rangers, historians, and local citizens. They describe a period in history when the eyes of the entire nation were focused on our fair city. The articles also remind us of the important role that the Civil War played in shaping the city that Chattanooga is today. As we move from 2013 to 2014 and the 151st Anniversary of the Battles, I hope the Times Free Press will again publish a similar series next fall.
GREG GRANT, Chattanooga
Annual flood insurance rates are costing as much as annual mortgage payments. Reform by the U.S. Congress has resulted in average flood insurance rates of $700 to increase by four to 10 times. Congress was not aware of the significant increase in insurance rates for properties in flood-prone areas. This has affected owners with a primary residence and vacation rental properties, long-term rental properties, second homes, and small business owners. While it may be hard to be sympathetic to someone with a second home, in this economy some property owners have had to move for employment and have rented out their home that could not be sold. Renting was the alternative to foreclosure. This is not about high-end, water-front homes. Many homes are near small streams and creeks. There are proposed amendments in Congress to reduce the massive increase. However, none of the proposed amendments covers all property owners. Without a reduction in the flood insurance rates, many homes will be foreclosed upon due to the inability to afford an increase on top of homeowners insurance. For those affected by this increase, you should contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. House representative expressing your concern regarding the rates.
SETH RIVARD, Lebanon, Tenn.
I see the not-so-Right Reverend Jesse Jackson is chastising A&E and Cracker Barrel for forgiving Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson. Lord help me I'm shaking uncontrollably, and my knees are weak. This righteous, self-proclaimed minister of God's Holy Word is now sitting in judgment of others. Did I read this correctly? Can you believe it? This man has the nerve to sit in judgment of anyone. Look out A&E and Cracker Barrel. There may be a lawsuit in your future. Jesse needs to refill his coffers. The thing that scares me most is there are still a few folks out there who actually listen to this self-righteous wind bag. Jesse, your lack of relevance surely does proceed you. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
PHILIP WILKERSON, Hixson
It is amazing that people have such short memories, especially when it comes to criticizing President Obama. The most recent was a letter critical of Obama spending Christmas vacation in Hawaii, when "our county is drowning in a deficit of trillions of dollars and the average family can barely afford a long weekend vacation." A check of winter vacation destinations of former presidents shows that President Kennedy vacationed in Palm Beach, Florida; Richard Nixon in Key Biscayne, Florida and San Clemente, California, where substantial federal funds were used to make security, communications, and real estate improvements; Gerald Ford in Vail, Colorado; and Ronald Reagan in Santa Barbara, California. The list doesn't include summer vacation destinations such as Hyannis Port, Massachusetts (John Kennedy), Palm Springs, California (Gerald Ford), Kennebunkport, Maine (George H.W. Bush) and Martha's Vineyard (Bill Clinton). Another history check reveals that as of Aug. 13, 2013, Obama was on his 15th vacation trip. At the same point in his presidency, George W. Bush had made a total of 57 vacation trips either to his ranch in Texas or the family compound in Kennebunkport. Traditionally, presidents have taken both summer and winter vacations partaking of federal funds.
REBECCA ROCHAT, Chattanooga