When the Affordable Care Act was passed, it was supposed to help seniors. To pass it, they took $7.15 billion out of Medicare. Well, it is beginning to show. I have paid out more money in the first quarter of this year for health care than in the past two or three years. Doctors used to accept what Medicare paid and dropped the rest. But now we are paying out of our pockets what Medicare used to pay. Further, my supplemental insurance has increased 11 percent for both my wife and myself. How could any Democrat have supported this bill is beyond me.
PHIL KLINTWORTH, Crossville, Tenn.
As a longtime resident of St. Elmo, I thought I would share my opinion on the effort to recall Chris Anderson. I think recalls should only be used if there is proof of criminal activity or violation of oath of office/community standards. As much as he has not impressed me, it does not seem that he has broken any laws nor has he violated his oath. You don't recall someone just because you don't like their lifestyle or don't agree with their politics; you vote them out at the next election. I have no problem with Chris Anderson being gay and even support his domestic partnership bill, but overall, he has been ineffective to me. I will not be signing any petition, but he can almost certainly count me out as a vote for his re-election, should he choose to run. District 7 lost an excellent representative in Manny Rico during the last election. The message to petitioners is this: If you truly want change, do it the right way -- at the ballot box with a candidate that meets your qualifications.
I am opposed to the (Keystone) oil pipeline for several reasons. The length of the pipeline seems to be excessive when much of the refined product will then have to return north to major cities and is also very expensive. The oil will go to existing refineries, which are on the Gulf Coast and often down from storms or maintenance because of heavy use. Then the gasoline and other products have to travel back north to the major cities in the Midwest (Chicago, St. Louis, Cleveland, Kansas City.) All of these add cost for everyone using gas or heating oil. Since the cost of the oil line is so huge, why not build a new refinery in the northern Midwest where the products are needed? This would help solve the problem when a refinery is down and save costs on distribution and may be even less expensive then the pipeline cost.
ROGER THOMPSON, Tullahoma, Tenn.
Northpoint Boulevard, the road that connects Hixson Pike and Highway 153, is probably the bumpiest, most disgusting, highly traveled, shortest road in the area. This road is possibly bumpier than the original wagon train roads. It is really frustrating the street department has let this road get into the condition it has. It could probably be repaved in one day, but they wait until the holes get deep enough to almost engulf your car before they throw several buckets of asphalt in the holes and consider it fixed. They have been doing this for at least 10 years. Come on, guys. Just think, if this road were to be repaved, it would make thousands and thousands of registered voters very happy. If the person in charge of streets doesn't think it needs to be repaved rather than throwing several buckets of asphalt in the holes, then he should drive the road 50 to 100 times. That way the city would have to buy him a new car because his old one would be shaken to pieces by then. Come on, fellows. Let's do it the right way the next time. Repave!
LARRY HARPER, Soddy-Daisy
On May 21, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum will open to the public. A brief seven-minute documentary, "The Rise of Al-Qaeda," will be playing to explain the historical roots of the attackers. It refers to the Muslim attackers as "Islamists" who viewed their mission to please Allah. Some Muslims and interfaith advisory clergies object to the words "Islamists and Jihadists" as offensive to Muslims and spreading false charges about all Muslims. Historically, the early movement of Muslims first under Muhammad and later after his passing advanced both religion and political dynamics. In addition to the five tenets of faith, jihad was added as a sixth pillar of Islam. It was conceived as an instrument of Islam for the spread and defense of the religion. The early wars were religiously inspired by the "messenger of Allah." His followers resuming the jihad to conquer the world. Who are these attackers? Today, years later, the Americans are still confused about the answers. It's time to learn a higher, more difficult truth about Muslims. The attackers were Muslims. What they did on 9/11 was in the cause of Islam. Let's be honest and not blur the truth of who these attackers were.
AMOS TAJ, Ooltewah
In the April 27 edition is a big story about all the wonderful leftist people who have renounced U.S. citizenship and left the land of liberty. Why don't all you all lying leftists at the paper do so, too? You are fear-mongers, brain-washers, lying freedom stealers! Case in point: front-page stories printed May 1 and May 2 scaring the simple-minded "sheeple" about the 2nd Amendment and the right (not the left) of self-defense. Both stories were parrot-cage quality. Both were full of outright lies. Go north all you young leftists, up to great "red" north and Canada.
ROBERT M. (BOB) STANLEY, Hixson