Check history on birthplaces

Check history on birthplaces


April 15th, 2011 in Opinion Letters

Check history on birthplaces

Since "the Donald" has resurrected the question of presidential birthplaces, let's examine the issue closely. Non-pinheads know President Obama was born in the U.S. in Hawaii in 1961; but had he been born three years earlier, he would have been born outside the U.S. in the territory of Hawaii, just as Barry Goldwater, the 1964 GOP presidential candidate, was born outside the U.S. in the Arizona Territory.

In U.S. history one must go all the way to Van Buren, our eigthth president, to find one born inside the U.S. All from Washington to Jackson were born in British colonies.

Strangely, the "scholars" claiming Obama was born outside the U.S. missed the fact that John McCain, his opponent, was born in Panama, somewhat outside the U.S.

But what does the Constitution require? - only that the president be 35 and a "natural-born citizen." What does this mean? That was written in 1787, so mathematically anyone 35 or older couldn't have been born inside the U.S. Then "natural born" must have referred to "non-caesarean" births.

"Original-constructionists" will further point out that back then, babies were born at home to mothers without anesthesia. So the Founding Fathers surely intended that only citizens born vaginally, to non-anesthetized mothers, at home could be president.


Dayton, Tenn.

Don't take away what seniors need

There are over 300 million Americans and yet we put up with the few that are supposed to look out for the well-being of our senior citizens. So, we ask the question: "Why are the so-called leaders in Washington, D.C., talking about cutting Social Security benefits?''

It just doesn't make sense when you think about the billions of dollars being spent on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and the latest involvement with the madman, Moammar Gadhafi of Libya. To be spending a lot of money for so many things and then act like it's OK to take away what little the seniors get to live on is just plain un-American.

We all realize this great country of ours has a $14 trillion-plus deficit, but I don't think it is too much to ask that our seniors are well taken care of in their final years. The cost of living continues to skyrocket, and to make it even more difficult, the "COLAs" have been stopped.

There are protesters complaining about most everything, but the good old seniors sit back and take it on the chin. So now it's time for some sensible fairness.


Ringgold, Ga.

Rich using GOP to become richer

Warren Buffet, one of the richest men alive, observed that the rich were waging war against working Americans. Their tool for class warfare is the Republican Party.

In state after state, the same pattern emerges. Corporate taxes are slashed, tax loopholes for the rich proliferate, as programs that benefit the majority of Americans are destroyed. Underpaid teachers, firemen, policemen and public workers from accountants to garbage collectors are under attack from the far right who would bankrupt America to preserve $85 billion in tax cuts for the super rich.

Republicans ask sacrifice after sacrifice from ordinary Americans while creating a tax system in which GE can make a $14 billion profit and pay no taxes. While teabaggers thump the Bible with one hand, they're stealing your livelihood with the other, in service to their masters the idle rich.

The quid pro quo is clear. The avaricious Koch brothers stuff the campaign coffers of right-wingers and in return get millions in timber, oil and ethanol subsidies, and billions in "sweetheart" government contracts. These Koch brothers are the real welfare queens.

Democracy is dead. Kleptocracy rules. "Money Talks" has replaced "In God We Trust."


'Gamers' don't merit negative judgment

I'd like to address the very negative connotation that sometimes comes with the word "gamer."

I am an avid video game player and have worked for a game retailer before, and what I notice is that, outside of the sanctuary these game stores provide, people are scared to be gamers. At school one day I noticed a girl in a distant corner, hunched over her DS playing Pokémon, but she had it hidden behind her backpack so no one would see. It's a shame. People see gamers as fat, greasy people who fear the light like vampires. This is simply not true.

There are tons of well-rounded people who are hard-core video gamers, and I fear we have been subjected to that stereotype for too long. Video games are fun and bring people together. Also, video games are very much becoming the future of storytelling, and I believe will be studied in universities in just a matter of years. As gamers, we should stand up and be proud, because anyone who judges you for it may not have a grasp on the progression of technology and entertainment.


God compatible with natural laws

This is a comment on the various letters regarding evolution posted on these pages recently.

Billions of years is not a thought that we are wired to comprehend very comfortably. The natural events that can occur in such a space of time are something that can best be understood in the context of science and what it tells us. To resort to superstitious explanations for things that are not understood has been a common thing throughout human history. It has never been a source of truth.

I invite all those who dismiss evolution as a reality to join me and millions of other Christians in worshiping a God who is fully capable of establishing a system of natural laws that has given us a world that is full of beauty as well as wonderful complexity not yet understood.


Proposed bill to halt voting like a poll tax

A recent letter I found very intriguing. The law that the House of Representatives panel voted on to stop certain citizens from voting is unconstitutional.

They did the same thing in the '30s to keep African-Americans from voting, and they are doing it again.

The poll tax that they adopted forced white people to pay to exercise a constitutional right. It was criminal.

The cost levied in the '30s was $2 plus 2 cents tax. The African-Americans did not have that much money. They upped the tax for the ones they don't want voting to $20.

I have an original Inside Poll Tax Receipt, District No. 2, 4th Ward, No. 62, dated April 18, 1938, signed by the Trustee of Bradley County, Tenn. Almost 100 years have passed and there has been no intellectual change in our leaders.

I wonder what receipt they will pass out this time.


Cleveland, Tenn.

Stop the killing of the fireflies

If you stepped into your yard a few years ago on a balmy spring evening as night was falling in Chattanooga, you entered a magic landscape, with hundreds of winking lights from lightning bugs rising from the grass to begin to dance around in the air.

We are home to the largest species of fireflies in the nation, and a war was declared on ours, specifically. They were hunted down by the thousands and sold for pennies for a whole jar full. Professors had given their students research assignments to study them for any other purpose the lovely lights could be used for in business or industry.

This paper is guilty of articles encouraging the killing. Local radio stations urged the locals on in their quest to collect (kill) as many as possible. Now their numbers are a pitiful few remnants of the once large population. They are completely harmless. They are the biggest in the nation. They once made our spring evenings magical.

Please do leave them alone this year and don't catch any. Let them reproduce, since they are so few now, and need our help as survivors of the great war waged against them, waged just because they are beautiful.