Police an 'asset' to events like Ironman
Last weekend I was a volunteer motorcycle rider for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship. My assignment was to drive a photographer around the bike and run sections of the race course.
While the flawless execution of this two-day event required public and private resources from across the city, I wanted to call attention to the most helpful, friendly and visible groups on the race course — the Chattanooga Police Department. To be fair, road enforcement for the entire race was provided by a mix of Chattanooga police, Tennessee and Georgia state Highway Patrol, Georgia police, and a few others — each group being helpful at various stages of the course.
However, most of my driving was in the Chattanooga/Lookout Mountain area, and I interacted with the Chattanooga police more than other groups. Chattanooga police officers were polite, friendly, helpful, efficient, and most importantly, kept this race incident free.
The Chattanooga Police are a true asset to events like this. Thank you, Chattanooga Police.
Lookout Mountain, Tenn.
Nashville report shuns, isolates
In his Sept. 5 column, "The Devil's Silence," Erick Erickson logically postulates that the Bible denounces homosexuality as a sin. And therefore any statement by Christian theologians that reaffirms that belief is OK. Unfortunately, any major points such as the ones made in the recent Nashville Statement can have a nasty impact on the lives of gays and their loved ones. This is not merely an emotional issue, as Mr. Erickson states.
While the theologians who were mentioned did not have hate in their hearts toward same-sex couples, the biblical posturing they performed would probably serve as justification for homophobia to shun and isolate gays in the name of Christ.
'Cherry-picked facts' win day
Sir John Harington wrote, in the 16th century, "Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason." In the 21st century, "political correctness" (minorities vanquishing majorities) proves Harington right, as ignorance and cowardice enable political power shifts. If the South had won the Civil War, the statues of Washington and Lincoln would come down. (Given the increasing disregard of history, they may anyway.)
Recent letters about historical monuments, the Trump administration, bicycle lanes, gender, race, climate and other complex issues foster passionate opinions supported mainly by cherry-picked facts, if any. Often full of "sound and fury," they flop as persuasive arguments, except to those who already see only that side of an issue. Critical thinking? Zero. I have never read a letter beginning, "After reading so-and-so's comments on such-and-such, my opinion was wrong, stupid, prejudiced!"
Experience, indoctrination, the company one keeps, and education (or lack thereof) promote the feeling that "I'm right, and everybody else is wrong." History is thus a muddle of accidents aptly described by poet W.C. Williams: "The pure products of America go crazy no one to drive the car."
DACA immigrants need Bridge Act
We have North Korea on the loose, an investigation on Russian meddling in our affairs, national emergencies in Texas and Florida, and this is when the president elects to rescind DACA.
It's petty and cruel on a personal basis, self-defeating and counterproductive on an economic basis. Attorney General Sessions was positively giddy while reading the order, an order the president was unable to deliver despite his love for dramatic flourishes and cameras when signing bills. Sessions claims that DACA is unconstitutional, and the Justice Department did not provide any details or discussion. Then there were the usual intimations about crime, job losses and enforcing the law that were thrown in for good measure.
I can only hope that the Bridge Act (S.128) sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., through the Senate Judiciary committee, has sufficient language and support to intervene on the behalf of the hundreds of thousands who have just seen their lives turned upside down.
Peter L. Steyn
Civil War 'fake facts' misleading
I would like to offer a few comments in response to a letter that appeared in the Sept. 9 edition of the TFP.
The writer of the letter dealt with the Civil War, in which he argued that the primary objective of President Lincoln in the war was the preservation of the union and not to end slavery. In addition, he stated that the North was the aggressor in the war.
He is correct that initially Lincoln's primary goal was to preserve the union, which he had stated many times. He also stated during his campaign that he had no intention of interfering with slavery where it legally existed. But he was determined to prevent its extension into the territories and new states when admitted to the union.
The writer apparently has been misinformed. The South fired the first shots of the war at Fort Sumter. Those shots were fired by the South to assure the preservation of slavery. The writer could determine this if he took the time to review the speeches of the Southern leaders and the resolutions of secession by the seceding states. Perhaps the writer developed a case of Trump disease — fake facts.
People with gods kill other people
Our world is in terrible shape because people believe ancient fables, Bronze and Iron Age myths, imaginary gods stories, morally reprehensible scriptures, and the venal priests, preachers, and imams spewing their narrow-minded malarkey of hate. They put malevolent, life-denying dogmas before reason, science and human prosperity.
They demand we live in a past of superstitions, cowering in fear of divine retribution with belief in fictitious hells, and command their followers to be holy instruments of those make-believe deities by killing your neighbors for not accepting their beliefs. They spew anachronistic statements suitable for the ages of burning-at-the-stake, witch-hunts and religious genocide.
You can believe what you want. But keep it out of government and public schools. It's not progress. It's religious clap-trap overflowing with mental poverty and immorality.
Look around. The world is not in turmoil because it rejects your religious claims of truth; it's because your followers act on your warped absurdities presented as divine revelations.
The world has real problems that require real solutions. The solutions aren't found in fairy tales. It's time for a new enlightenment.
Gods don't kill people. People with gods kill people.
Russia's actions may start WWIII
It's an even bet whether more people will die the first week of World War III than died in the five years of World War II. Congress put us a lot closer.
Congress has squandered our goodwill with Russia by imposing sanctions for "interfering with our election." This is a dubious charge: The president of Wikileaks has stated that his source was not a foreign country. Congress has nullified the goodwill with Russia of Trump, Tillerson and the 600 American diplomats expelled from Russia. Both Trump and Tillerson were against it.
Congress second-guessed the best dealer I ever heard of and the former head of one of the largest international companies. Its "resist" policy has squandered their talents, which the world greatly needs to back away from World War III.
Dr. Tom Herzog