I grieve every day for the lost lives, lost legs, lost eyes, lost arms and lifetime crippling injuries suffered by our service people in Afghanistan. A lifetime of wheelchairs! I grieve for the mothers and fathers, the sons and daughters and the relatives and friends who, with anguish and tears, also suffer from these terrible losses in the cream of our American populace. What a ridiculous price for our nation to pay! For many years, no nation, no group, no army has been able to stop this murderous carnage. When the ally you are trying to protect waylays you, ambushes you, bushwhacks you, assassinates you, and their rogue nation laughs about it, and cheers them on, you should know you are fighting an uphill, eternal, losing battle! The loss of even one American life by these criminal assassins should be sufficient evidence to bring our troops home -- now -- immediately! I beg, I plead, I pray, I implore you!
JACK PARNELL, Collegedale, Tenn.
Typical for second-term presidents, Barack Obama is the target of Republican pent-up frustration and vitriol as they prep for a nasty 2016 campaign. Although they hint at scandals in the Obama administration, the GOP hasn't produced much evidence. Irrespective of the party in power, the Washington political scene is usually an ongoing soap opera of scandal, graft and corruption. But throughout our history, we have had only four really major crises that rocked the very foundations of our republic. The Credit Mobilier conspiracy in the 1870s involved House Speaker James G. Blaine, Vice President Schuyler Colfax and several leading congressmen. In the 1920s, the Teapot Dome affair resulted in the conviction of Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall for conspiracy and bribery. Watergate, the most serious constitutional crisis in American history, resulted in our only presidential resignation. And this came after Nixon's vice president, Spiro Agnew, had resigned in disgrace a year earlier. Then in 1986 there was the Iran-Contra business about which President Reagan at first denied any knowledge, then sheepishly fessed up. All four of these scandals occurred under Republican administrations, the self-proclaimed party of honesty, integrity and family values. Does this make any kind of a statement?
GEORGE B. REED JR., Rossville
I find it offensive that whenever Rhonda Thurman's name is mentioned in this paper you find it necessary to characterize her as "a hairdresser." I have never seen any other school board member or county commissioner defined by their occupation. I don't know Ms. Thurman, but I know a few hairdressers, and it seems to me that, as a group, they are motivated to work hard and manage their money carefully. If they don't work, they don't eat. This characterization showcases the liberal bias that you so vehemently deny. I was also offended by Clay Bennett's cartoon about Ms. Thurman but then, I'm almost always offended by his cartoons. They are neither thought-provoking nor particularly clever. They're just mean.
PEGGY FLYNN, Soddy-Daisy