Overhaul campaign contribution rules to protect the people
We need to ensure our elected officials represent us, not the interests of large donors.
I suggest lawmakers not be allowed to receive money from donors other than registered voters who live in the area these lawmakers would represent.
City or county office? Donations from people living there. Statewide office? Only contributions from in-state residents. National office — then donations from across the country.
No corporations should give money, no political action committees and no political parties should be allowed to funnel millions of dollars to candidates. Of course, none of these changes will happen because those in power want to stay in power. They are there for the power, not the people.
More lessons of war — if we must
Patrick James had an interesting article in last Sunday's paper, "Lessons of War." He cited three; I would suggest several others: (1) Do not engage in warfare unless you have a clear objective in mind. (2) Determine what you are going to do and not do to achieve that objective. (3) Cut the military loose to do the job but hold them to the boundaries you set (but don't move the goal posts).
Remember: (1) Wars are the ultimate failure of mankind to get along with his fellow human beings. (2) When the war is over, the costs continue (helping the war's casualties, rebuilding infrastructure of your society, etc.). (3) Wars are started by at least one fool; the only question is are there more? (4) Wars are not about parades, bands, looking tough. They are about killing and maiming people, and destroying property. (5) Wars should be fought by the foolish, old and usually rich men that often start them.
Is there a place for war? Yes — as the last option when your freedom or property is threatened. Will we adopt more rational and moral policies regarding war? No, because we will not renounce our greed, hate, pride, and lust — the basic causes of war.
Douglas K. Davis, Ooltewah
No majority rule in our democracy?
Silly me. The majority of Americans don't want Biden to run for president, yet he is. The majority of Americans don't want Trump to run for president, yet he is.
The majority of Americans support Roe v. Wade, yet it was overturned. And here I thought democracy was based on majority rule.
R. Anderson, Cleveland
Bring back reasonable rentals amendment
I am writing to express my concerns about the recent changes made by the Hamilton County commissioners about short-term vacation rentals. Before April 19, 2023, people were not allowed to rent out their homes on websites like AirBnB or VRBO in certain neighborhoods where families live. However, the commissioners changed the rules, and now people can rent their homes in any neighborhood.
Now, the burden of enforcement falls on residents, who are left to deal with any problems that may arise, such as excessive noise or parking issues. Meanwhile, the county and vacation rental companies reap the benefits.
Fortunately, Commissioner Steve Highlander has proposed an amendment that would allow homeowners to have a say in what happens. This amendment would require owners of rentals in residential neighborhoods to post a sign for 30 days, giving neighbors the chance to voice their concerns to county commissioners. If no neighbors object, the rental can proceed with no slowdown. However, if there are concerns or objections, they will be heard by commissioners and taken into account.
This amendment is crucial to ensuring community members have a voice in decisions that affect their neighborhood. It allows for equal participation from all income levels and helps protect lower income areas from being bought up by investors, pushing out long-term residents. It also helps ensure affordable housing remains available in the area.
I urge all citizens to write to the commissioners and Mayor Wamp, asking them to bring back the amendment and give the people a voice in the decision-making process. Let us work together to ensure democracy is kept alive and our voices are heard.
We can help tackle our climate threats
Recently, this newspaper published a story about the threat of heat waves as summer approaches. The article focused on the dedicated individuals and community health centers that are working to care for those most vulnerable to extreme heat. I want to suggest that we not lose sight of what's driving these heat waves and the ways we can tackle the problem at its source.
We know that deadly heat waves will increase in frequency and intensity as the impacts of climate change accelerate. To reduce carbon emissions, the primary driver of climate change, we can support legislation like the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. We can walk or bike whenever possible. We can buy food from local and regional farms, support policies that strengthen local businesses rather than fossil-fuel intensive global corporations, give our time or money to institutions working to restore ecosystems, educate the public about climate change, or develop small-scale, affordable renewable energy systems.
As Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has frequently said, "Our house is on fire." Let's make every effort to douse the flames.
Legislators urged to ban assault rifles
Last March, gun violence knocked on Gov. Bill Lee's door. Tragically, his wife lost close friends when a disturbed young woman shot up the Covenant School with an assault rifle. The governor now knows firsthand the grief felt by thousands of Tennesseans and Americans who have lost loved ones to gun violence.
Now, at long last he wants to do something about it. I'm thankful the state legislature is going to tackle this issue in a special session in August. I urge each member to carefully consider banning the sale of an assault rifle to any private citizen, regardless of age.
Where is our outrage over MTG?
Here we stand again at the crossroad of family and "fake" family.
Again, our excuse for a U.S. representative has attacked families like mine only from the other side (stepmothers). It only stood to reason that this would inevitably happen. After all, what was said about the gander inevitably would be said about the goose.
I ask, "Where is the outrage?" I have watched the local papers and have not seen any [outrage] toward MTG's continued attacks on blended families.
Where are our religious leaders? Where are our public officials? Are we to believe these are our new family values? Not one has stepped forward, publicly, to denounce our representative's continued vilification of our collective communal families.
Joseph, the father of Jesus, was a stepfather. Abraham Lincoln grew up loving and caring for his stepmother, Sarah Bush Lincoln. According to MTG, they and we are all "fake" parents.
I pray our public silence in the face of these attacks doesn't represent silent complicity. If it does, God, Allah, Jehovah, help us all.