I think there is a great opportunity for the Times Free Press when the next edition of the Bridal Affair insert is developed. This year's insert featured only white couples in the pictures as well as the advertisements. I read the Times Free Press daily. I think the TFP has done a pretty good job of identifying in the community when diversity is not recognized or acknowledged and calling on the community to do a better job.
It's worth the TFP taking a look internally at your own processes and recognizing there is room for more inclusion, even in something as simple as the Bridal Affair insert.
JULIANNE WOLF, Cleveland, Tenn.
It is distressing to find socialism and communism so frequently and wrongfully used as scare and smear tactics to support political propaganda. No better example of this can be found than the demagogic claim of Marxism by Rush Limbaugh in taking exception to the plea of Pope Francis that society should seek to correct disparity in increasing wealth and poverty in a free market economy. That this is happening is a matter of fact. According to Marriner Eccles, a former chairman of the Federal Reserve and himself, at the time, a rich Republican banker, "trickle down economics helps mostly those providing the trickle." During the Depression (1933), Eccles promoted a war on poverty and unemployment. This being the case, Limbaugh, if being consistent in his criticism of the Pope, would label Eccles a Marxist! No connection can be found in what Pope Francis has expressed and Marxism. Without doubt, Limbaugh's absurd attack on the Holy Father in implying that he is a Marxist will be recorded as one of the outrages of the last year. All followers of Jesus and others who share the Pope's concerns should insist on remedies within our economic system to alleviate the plight of the poor.
JOHN BRATTON, Sewanee, Tenn.
"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union." If forming a union is such a bad idea why did the founders of this nation, rich and poor alike, decide to use these words to start our Constitution, to frame the beginnings of this nation? I realize the word union, south of the Mason-Dixon Line, is as bad an insult as it gets. Had the original 13 colonies, North and South alike, not unionized to become united as one centuries ago, where would any of us be today?
The Washington Free Beacon, published Feb. 17, included an article noting the five-year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Commonly known as the "stimulus," the nearly $1 trillion law was hailed as an opportunity to bring America into the 21st century. Just two years after the bill was signed into law, President Barack Obama admitted, "shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected." While the law failed to create jobs as promised, it has provided plenty of examples of waste, fraud, and abuse. Here are some of them: $1.3 million for stimulus highway signs; $152,000 to get lesbians ready for adoptive parenthood; $600,000 to plant trees in wealthy neighborhoods; a $1.2 million study of erectile dysfunction in overweight men; $100,000 for anti-capitalist puppet shows; $389,357 for college students to keep a diary of their marijuana and malt liquor use; a $3.4 million turtle tunnel; a $8,408 study to see if mice get drunk; $535 million on Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy two years after getting its money. Is it really a wonder why most people are not stimulated by the Obama administration?
GARY HAYES, Ooltewah
Sen. Bob Corker (R) claimed just before the union election at the VW plant that " ... Volkswagen executives (unnamed) told (him) that if the UAW was defeated the VW would move more production to Chattanooga." VW executives immediately denied this, saying they told Corker nothing of the kind. Other Republican politicians chimed in with threats (totally unlikely) to withdraw some or all of VWs subsidy package. VW says they heard nothing of the kind. Whom to believe? VW -- which has always indicated that they favored labor representation at their plant -- or anti-worker Republicans? You choose -- then insist that the liars be charged with violation(s) of labor laws.
SCOTT MOCK, Blairsville, Ga.
As a resident and business owner in the Lupton City/Hixson area, I would like to comment on the decision by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee to sell the Lupton City Golf Course property. As reported, they bought this property as a "bargaining chip" in order to get a property tax break to stay downtown. Mission accomplished. In the meantime, this property, which is a key component in the revitalization of our area of town, has been held hostage by BCBS. Yes folks, there is another north shore besides downtown. It was supposed to connect to the Tennessee Riverpark via the Dupont Parkway. Some parts of the plan have come to fruition. The Champions Club and the North River Soccer Association were a great beginning. This is the property in between those two entities. But progress has come to a screeching halt over the past decade. What a coincidence! It's high time for BCBS to do the right thing and donate this property to the city of Chattanooga. The asking price for this property amounts to less than 5 percent of their corporate profits from last year and is incredibly important in the economic recovery of the Lupton City/Hixson business district.
CHAD VARGA, Hixson
From a former Chattanooga resident of 60 years I voted for Bob Corker to represent me and the way I felt as a Republican, and one of those opinions is anti-unions. If I wanted unions in Tennessee and especially Chattanooga I would have voted for Harold Ford Jr., and I am sure he would have done everything possible to have gotten the UAW in at VW. So I imagine if you will look back at the campaign finance of the race between Ford and Corker you will see the UAW spent plenty trying to elect Mr. Ford. Well since Mr. Ford and the UAW lost and Mr. Corker and the Republicans won please quit yelling foul play when our senator is just doing what we elected him to do. Thank you, Sen. Corker for representing the good folks of Tennessee who voted you into office, not the ones that voted against you.
LEWIS CARD JR.