Celebrate success of Chattanooga
One of the most striking qualities of Chattanooga is the fact that this town, a bijou of a city at the foot of Tennessee, continues to be extraordinary and innovative. We've developed into a political and economical power almost indistinguishable from our old days.
Walk down Frazier Avenue, look up and down the sidewalks of Market or Broad streets and for a moment consider what an exceptional job we've done in building a city of fine citizens and a striking community.
But this has always been us: The Dynamo of Dixie. We've almost always been ahead of similar cities: with TVA, with VHF stations when few places had more, with EPB and with local businesses emerging everyday.
We've created a precedent; we've shown the United States how a small city can become a massive success for everyone in and around it.
Put 'God' words on special license
Regarding the proposed bill to add "In God We Trust" to all standard license plates, a simple solution would be to create a specialty license plate just with the motto "In God We Trust."
That way anyone wishing to publicly display their religion could pay the extra fee for the plate, and it would be far more exclusive than the universal use of the slogan by believers and nonbelievers.
Reap whirlwind of abortion in U.S.
You can know the substance of a thing by its end. Case in point is abortion in America. As of today and counting, we have murdered by abortion 59,724,264.5 unborn children.
Planned Parenthood has murdered 7,624,053.8 (and counting) babies. In 2016, the organization killed 14,702.9 by abortion. By comparison, the Nazis killed 7-10 million people in the Holocaust.
We have seared our conscience to the point that the harvesting of baby parts, even while the baby is still alive, is considered a patriotic act.
We do the Nazis proud! We have turned on ourselves and murdered our future generations and called it a good thing!
We have come so far with abortion that we approve the killing of a child on demand at any stage, even at birth.
Will we as a nation be judged? We already are. We are a stagnated, aging population. Breaking God's laws has its own inherent moral consequences. America, in order to defend abortion, has become a secular, defiant nation. As a poem says, "your arm is too short to box with God."
Private all bad; public all good?
The line has become blurred between private and public. Private is meant to make profit, while public is meant for the good of all.
We have seen that private prisons have not worked either for prisoners or the public. Privatizing resort facilities on state land has not worked in neighboring states. Tennesseans do not want Fall Creek Falls and other state parks to become resorts.
Owner-operators have worked well for school bus drivers as have school-owned buses. Contracts with private companies have not. Perhaps, schools should look into city buses. Take a look at voucher schools in Indiana and Michigan and one can see those schools do not meet the standards of their public schools.
Not only is the education frequently inferior, but the line is blurred between church and state. Medicare has continued to work well for older citizens. Health care companies are intent on increasing profit.
Can anyone imagine the possible results of selling utilities, airports, seaports to those who may not be American or to foreign governments? Transportation is an area which could use private-public partnerships, especially in building a continental rail system, such as most other countries have.
Stop whining; start praying
Democrats and the liberal media should stop whining and accept the fact that they are responsible for the recent presidential election results.
The liberal media, with incessant coverage of Donald Trump's every word and movement, effectively "created" The Donald as an attempt to ensure that their deeply flawed candidate, Hillary Clinton, would win. However, no matter how much Trump "lowered the bar" (it was several feet below ground by Election Day), Clinton could not get over it. This should tell you just how bad Clinton is.
Any reasonable Democrat who is not as corrupt as Clinton and offered something other than a continuation of the current government practices and policies easily would have defeated Trump in both the popular and electoral ballots.
Any possible influence by the Russians, the FBI, etc., would have been completely insignificant.
So, Democrats and liberal media, please stop whining and groping for excuses. Pray with the rest of us that what you have effected will contribute to the salvation and not the destruction of our country.
Volunteers heart of fire response
The Great Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg wildfires of Nov. 28 profoundly affected East Tennessee. People from all over reached out to comfort, serve and support as the difficult steps of rebuilding a beloved community and a national park began.
Volunteers were an integral part of the initial response to the disaster and continue to be a vital part of the rebuilding process.
Volunteer Tennessee, Gov. Haslam's commission on volunteerism and service, is the lead agency in times of disaster to organize and assist efforts to manage volunteers and donations. Together with Volunteer East Tennessee, 32 AmeriCorps members from across the Southeast and the American Red Cross created and managed a volunteer reception center.
By Dec. 15, 655 volunteers and 26 AmeriCorps members had sorted more than 41,000 pounds of donated goods and completed intakes of 571 homeowners.
This letter is to offer a sincere thank you to all the volunteers who have given countless hours in service or donations.
To assist with the rebuilding efforts in Sevier County, Tenn., or to volunteer in your community, please contact: Volunteer Tennessee (www.volunteertennessee.net); Volunteer East Tennessee (www.volunteeretn.org); AmeriCorps or other national service programs (www.nationalservice.gov).
Tracy Van de Vate
ACA provided valuable coverage
I am writing this letter to share with you how the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has benefited my family since it was signed into law.
My daughter, who was 22 at the time, was no longer eligible to stay on her parents' health insurance plan. She couldn't afford to purchase her own health insurance because it was too expensive. She was at a loss and worried how she was going to stay healthy while attending college.
The Affordable Care Act made it possible and affordable for my daughter to stay on my spouse's health insurance plan until age 26. She was overjoyed.
The Affordable Care Act has enabled my daughter to gain health care coverage; receive great medical attention and receive care from some of the best physicians.
Without health insurance, she would have probably gone untreated when she was sick and wouldn't have been able to get the necessary surgery she needed or receive her annual physical each year.
The Affordable Care Act has certainly benefited my family.
Levena Y. Bass