Stop illegal fishing and other letters to the editors

Stop illegal fishing and other letters to the editors

January 18th, 2014 in Opinion Letters

Stop illegal fishing

Thank you for printing Susan Moses' recent opinion piece and compelling commentary on illegal fishing. As a local restaurateur, she certainly understands the economic impact as law-breakers deplete our global supply of fish. Even more upsetting, though, were her accounts of slave labor on board foreign fishing boats and drug-running in the Gulf of Mexico. I join Ms. Moses in calling on our U.S. senator, Bob Corker, ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to get something done. He has the respect among his colleagues to convince them to ratify the Port States Measures Agreement. With the might of the United States behind this international agreement, it will strangle illegal fishing operations by denying them access to the ports they need. Only then can we hope to stop the atrocities -- both economic and human -- on the high seas.


Let's get tough on state's litter

The state of Tennessee has hundreds of signs that read Tennessee has had enough. Please do not litter. The state of Illinois also has signs asking people to please not litter. These signs are not working. So Illinois has a new law in 2014: If anyone gets caught tossing a cigarette butt out the window or on the ground, the first offense is a Class B misdemeanor and up to a $1,500 fine. Second offense is a Class C and a third will be Class D felony, $25,000 fine and possible one to three years prison sentence. Anyone who volunteers or is ordered to pick up litter knows how many thousands off cigarette butts are on the shoulders of roadways or in parking lots. I usually do not put much stock in what some politicians say but do agree with what one politician said in the local paper last year from Nashville. He said "when a law is passed and no improvements are made, this is next to insanity!" Illinois is ahead of Tennessee in keeping up with reality? Its time to get tough!

ROGER GROOT, Cleveland, Tenn.

Congress lets down vets

First, Congress locked veterans out of the war memorials. Then, the vets found some bolt cutters and gained entry. Next, Congress refused to pay death benefits to families of fallen warriors. A charitable group stepped in and covered costs. The last straw came when all Democrat senators and several Republican fellow travelers kicked veterans and active duty military below the belt by cutting retirement benefits with Congress's bipartisan budget bill signed into law by the president. No one has yet to step up here. Those senators voted to give certain tax benefits to illegal aliens rather than pay veterans. Shame on them. Republicans selling out vets included Chambliss and Isakson of Georgia. Fortunately, Chambliss is retiring and Isakson hopefully will retire before running again. Sen. Alexander was not innocent in this. Knowing this would probably pass anyway, he only voted to cut off debate. Would the veterans cut have passed if debate had continued? Who knows? Alexander, as Pilate, washed his hands, hoping voters would not remember. To paraphrase his initial gubernatorial campaign slogan, "Come on along (Home), Alexander!" Will Tennessee voters keep an anti-military incumbent, or replace him with a conservative who supports the military? You can decide on Nov. 4th.