As a member of the Magnolia Chapter of the Gold Star Wives, a group of military widows from Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, we would like to publicly commend Congressman Chuck Fleischmann for his work establishing three more clinics for veterans in Tennessee. As widows whose husbands were killed or died from injury or disease in the line of military duty, we are much concerned with the health care of veterans. Congressman Fleischmann has been involved with the needs of our group since before he was an elected official. Let us keep Congressman Fleischmann working in these areas and other needs in the community, where there is so much to be done.
BARBARA JONES GLAZE
As a citizen of the United States and a former platoon leader in Vietnam, I want to ask the commander-in-chief, President Obama, to explain where he was during the Benghazi attack. What was he doing to defend our sovereign diplomatic territory and its staff during those 16 hours? Our troops were defending our interests on the ground. Others were standing by ready to deploy. Those on the ground died in the line of duty, with no action taken by the commander-in-chief. Others waiting to deploy were told to stand down. Why? I want an answer. All those who have served in combat want to know. Why did he desert our troops and hide from his responsibility under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. I call on all veterans of every war who did their duty to demand a truthful explanation, in his own hand, and under the oath. Everyone who ever served in the military and under the Code of Military Justice should demand he be held to the same standards as we all took to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, which guarantees to every one of its citizens, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, including soldiers and diplomats in danger. It's a simple question. Where were you?
MARK CONROY, Durham, N.C.
The National Climate Assessment reports to the president and the Congress on climate science every four years. The report is the nation's foremost, comprehensive, peer-reviewed analysis of the impacts of climate disruption. The findings from its third climate assessment aren't comforting, as an excerpt from the executive summary put it: "Climate change is already affecting the American people. Certain types of weather events have become more frequent and/or intense, including heat waves, heavy downpours and, in some regions, floods and droughts. Sea level is rising, oceans are becoming more acidic, and glaciers and Arctic Sea ice are melting. These changes are part of the pattern of global climate change, which is primarily driven by human activity. " Consider this: Coal-fired power plants are the chief source of carbon pollution in the United States. The need to move away from dirty fossil fuels such as coal and fracked gas, the leading sources of climate-disrupting carbon pollution, is clear and urgent. By cutting carbon pollution and aiming for 100 percent renewal energy, we can save the planet. It's time for action from each of us and, of course, from Washington and governors to show leadership. Join us, all Tennesseans!
It's always interesting to see the right-wing political cartoons and get a bit of insight into an often unfathomable world view. However, the comic on May 12 ridiculing climate change seems to be beyond the par for irresponsibility. Human initiated climate change is not a matter of opinion. It is the accepted scientific view for responsible climatologists. To show a cartoon giving equal weight to the fringe - most likely on the payroll of big oil and big coal industries - is supporting destructive and delusional thinking. If the majority of the scientists in the world were wrong, it would still be beneficial to change our economy from fossil fuel to natural technologies. Replacing coal mining and oil drilling jobs with sustainable energy industry support systems would benefit everyone. A clean and healthy environment benefits all. If scientists are correct and we do nothing, the entire world loses. We will have sold the future of our children and grandchildren because we were unwilling to do what was needed. I'm distressed the Chattanooga Times Free Press supports a destructive and narrow perspective. All viewpoints are not deserving of equal weight. Some editorial wisdom is needed to separate things which merely represent differing opinions from those which are patently false and dangerous.
REV. PAMELA RUMANCIK
Readers are aware of the division of opinion reflected in the paper's two editorial pages. So why does Sunday's "Perspective" cover almost always sport a political cartoon at the bottom of the page that mirrors liberal views - but rarely conservative views. Apparently there are administrative editorial decisions to showcase "the left" in that location. Since the Times Free Press purports to be a bi-view paper, the "Perspective" cover should alternate liberal and conservative cartoons. To add insult to injury, the Times editorial cartoon on Sunday, April 27, Page F4, was duplicated in a smaller version on Page F2. The identical political message two pages apart was possibly a publishing oversight; but if not, then it was certainly a one-sided space filler. One wonders if even so-called objective news stories in other sections are chosen, headlined and weighed with liberal bias laced with subliminal if not obvious intent to persuade.
In response to the thousands of men and women who voted for me in the recent primary election, I am pleased to offer a simple "thank you" for your continued trust and support. But those words don't seem adequate to express the gratitude I feel. Votes are the primary means by which Hamilton County citizens choose their government officials and express their appreciation to those officials for their work on the public's behalf. As your Criminal Court clerk for the past 20 years, I am very grateful for your trust in my ability to provide effective service to my county. At the same time, my staff definitely deserves a "thank you" for its share of my office's success. We are open 24 hours a day, every day, handling the paperwork necessary for every arrest and traffic citation - more than 50,000 come through my offices each year. That is a lot of work, and it is important that it be done correctly and efficiently. It is truly an honor and a privilege to serve you. I love my job, and I look forward to the Aug. 7 election and continuing that service.
I wish to thank everyone who voted for me and all those who supported me in any way during this campaign for chancellor. Most of all, I want to thank my family, whose support allowed me to seek this office. The most rewarding aspect of this campaign was meeting so many wonderful people I would not have otherwise met. And, those personal relationships will continue long after this campaign. Serving as a chancellor is a high honor and carries a huge responsibility. I appreciate the confidence expressed by so many in my ability to serve in that office. And, I look forward to what the future holds.