Vote! That was my comment each time I had an opportunity. Even this past election on Tuesday, May 6, was important, I thought. So I reminded people at Alexian Village, where I live, and they arranged to have a bus to take us at 2 p.m. on Tuesday. When I arrived at the Presbyterian Church, where we vote, there was no line. Only the workers, mostly women, who know me.
I proceeded to pull out my driver's license which clearly says, "Valid without photo." Next came my Social Security card, and my Hamilton County 'permanent' voter registration card. I am an elderly lady and have not driven in 10 years, so why would I have a new driver's license? What does the word "permanent" mean?
I was not allowed to vote. I was told I had to go downtown (not easy for me) and get a Photo ID card and hurry back before the polls closed. Or I could vote, but must have this Photo ID by the next day or the vote would not count.
I called a couple of people I thought could held me, after I got home, but was told it was a new Tennessee law. Sorry, I did not know. However, I was embarrassed, hurt and disappointed. I wonder how many other people were kept from voting because of this ridiculous law!
MARGE McNUTT, Signal Mountain
In "Critics point finger at CCA," CCA spokesman Jonathan Burns responded to ACLU-TN's assertion that CCA broke its promise to run jails better and for less money by citing a Temple University study claiming that private prisons are cheaper than public prisons.
But Mr. Burns omitted two facts: this study was funded by members of the private corrections industry, and its authors are currently the subject of a university ethics investigation for failing to adequately disclose study funding.
In reality, numerous studies have found there is no cost benefit to prison privatization. CCA not only fails to save taxpayers money, it has a record of violence and mismanagement. Tennessee's prisons should not be run by a corporation whose ultimate obligation is to the bottom line, not the public good.
ACLU is not alone in this conclusion. The Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other groups have condemned the inherent conflict between private prisons' profit motive and the justice system's goal of rehabilitation. Last month three investment groups pledged to divest $60 million from CCA and other private prisons for ethical and financial reasons.
Citing a dubious study doesn't change the facts. Tennessee should end its contracts with CCA.
HEDY WEINBERG, Executive Director, ACLU of Tennessee
Ambassador Chris Stevens is the real cause of the Benghazi mission incident. The U.S. military chief warned Stevens twice that security was inadequate, and twice he rejected the recommendations for improvements. The British and the Red Cross moved out of Benghazi because it was not safe. The militia sent numerous threats in the summer that they would retaliate for killing one of their leaders. The anniversary of 9-11 was not the time to be in Benghazi. Stevens was there only to talk to a Turkish official that could easily be done in safe Tripoli. The newly appointed ambassador made a rookie mistake and risked the lives of himself and his small staff. For political reasons alone, the Republicans are trying to focus on the talk show comments rather than the real story. Business as usual in Washington.
ROCKY RENNEISEN, Signal Mountain
I would challenge a statement made on the Free Press page May 10: "Intolerance running rampant." One again, the (Free Press) repeats a misinterpretation of the word "racist" that gives shelter and comfort to many Republicans, especially tea party members. You say the general perception is "if you don't like the president's policies, you're a racist," which is a blatant falsehood, in my opinion, told on purpose. If being truthful is ever the Free Press editor's goal, the statement should read, "If you don't like the president's policies because he's black, you're a racist," which would be correct.
ALLAN BAGGETT, Trion, Ga.
In an opinion piece on Tuesday, Paul Krugman opines that "House Republicans released a deliberately misleading report on the status of health reform, crudely rigging the numbers to sustain the illusion of failure in the face of unexpected success." In the next paragraph he postulates "Mainstream politicians didn't always try to advance their agenda through lies and - in this case - bogus statistics." Are you kidding me?
The Affordable Care Act was passed in Congress through lies and bogus statistics, i.e., if you like your health care you can keep it; if you like your doctor, you can keep him. Where does this guy get off? When will this country identify these people as the rubes they are?
They post articles in the media as authorities. They don't have a clue what this law does to the average American trying to survive and put food on their table and provide for their families, nor do they care. If they say it over and over, we are supposed to believe it. Are we that gullible? Can we not see for ourselves?
I suggest people watch the Military Channel and observe the events that led up to WWII.
TAYLOR E. CAVIN, Hixson
Our congressional seat is not a family legacy to hand down in succession. I am perplexed why anyone would want to replace a seasoned attorney and congressman with Zach Wamp's son. What has Weston Wamp ever accomplished, other than being Zach's son?
Weston Wamp is no more extraordinary than many recent college graduates. In fact, if the goal is to send a younger person, I dare to say there are more qualified younger people. Hanging out with your father does not create an identical twin.
The majority of highly successful young people could never raise $400,000 for a viable run for office. The only reason Weston Wamp can raise $400,000 is through his father's former supporters.
It is very unnerving to watch our congressional seat being viewed as an entitlement for political royalty, with the king and prince. No thank you.
We have a seasoned attorney, and now congressman, who is voting in a manner consistent with his constituency. We should keep him, instead of handing the office down to some bizarre type of family legacy.
A line from the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America reads, "One nation under God with liberty and justice for all." After a little mind searching and some painful observation, I've decided freedom and liberties are being usurped in present day, but I see no justice for all. To cite a couple of instances that readily come to mind, there's Fast and Furious, a government operation in which guns were smuggled across the Mexican border. I'll start with Brian Terry, a U.S. border patrol agent whose life was lost to a gun totin' drug trafficker along the United States Mexico border. Brian was shot with a gun that was part of a plan some believe to have been an illegally hatched fiasco that has not been clarified by the U.S. Justice Department after several years.
After a time lapse, we come to the Benghazi, Libya, terror attack on the U.S. embassy and the loss of four Americans, their freedom and liberty stolen. Just as another election is about to take place, we can't forget the IRS and how it proved again the statement that "the pen is mightier than the sword," and how freedom and liberty were stolen from all Americans.
LAWRENCE HEADRICK, Tunnel Hill, Ga.
The headline of the article "A Step Up" on the front page of the May 5 issue of the Times-Free Press would lead you to believe that habilitative services are just now being covered and only because of the Affordable Care Act. If you read about two-thirds into the article, you will find this statement: "Jeremiah's therapy has so far been covered by TennCare, so the ACA does not immediately affect his situation." So, in fact, the ACA has had nothing to do with the child's coverage for essential treatment.
PEGGY VIOLETTE, Hixson