Foil Trump rules; eat more plants
The Trump administration ruled recently that animals raised for food under the "USDA Organic" label need not be treated less cruelly than those in conventional farming. The decision reverses years of U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, which held that the "organic" label should impose minimal ethical, health and environmental standards. For the animals, this included adequate space, light and access to the outdoors.
Under the Trump administration, this will no longer be the case. "Organic" farm operations will be allowed to cram laying hens five to a small wire cage that tears out their feathers and to grind or suffocate millions of male chicks at birth because they don't lay eggs. Mother pigs will spend their miserable lives in tight metal crates, as their babies are torn from them and mutilated with no anesthesia. And dairy cows will continue to cry for their babies torn from them at birth, so we can drink their milk.
Caring consumers opting for "organic" animal products, to reduce their role in subsidizing these abuses, now will have no choice but to switch to plant-based foods, including the widely available nut- and grain-based meats, milks, cheeses and ice creams.
Has this business become nuisance?
We have now had four shootings and two fatalities connected with and located at Coyote Jack's in two years. This business is a public nuisance and is completely unsuitable for this community. I live directly around the corner from where the Feed, La Altena's, Clyde's on Main and the Terminal all seem to exist without any issues regarding personal safety. We don't need a bar that conducts itself in this manner; no one does. Why should Republic Parking have to pay for an officer to monitor the parking lot across the street as management has requested? A 3 a.m. closing time is way past anything this neighborhood needs. Add in the street trash, which is scattered around on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and the result is a business that needs to go away.
Peter L. Steyn
Rebranding not way to improve
A recent Times Free Press article highlighted the school board's efforts to improve. Its emphasis and efforts related to rebranding is nothing more than a way of deflecting away from the real issues with the Hamilton County Schools system and reflects the board's continued inability to lead toward improvements in any meaningful way.
Hamiltonians could care less how the system is branded. Instead, the board needs to focus and spend its money on finite issues that can demonstrate positive improvements. One area to consider is to take the money that could be saved from all the cross-town busing and infuse it back into local schools for necessary physical improvements and improve the students' self-esteem and the student parents' active participation with their children's education.
Rebranding idea for schools absurd
They must be kidding! The school board listening to the suggestion to rename the system is absurd. According to the article in this paper, board member Robinson believes that the schools can only improve their image by getting a new name. That thinking ignores the impacts on the school system's image by repeated incidents of sexual violence, poor achievement test results and other faux pas. Ivy League institutions aren't great because of their names. And the money spent to change names and logos on everything from stationary and forms to signs on vehicles could be better spent on just about anything else that benefits students and teachers. This should not even be placed on the agenda, but if it is, and if the board passes this, it is indeed time to seek new board members.
Corker forgot working people
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., says in a recent Times Free Press article that he decided to support the tax bill after talking with business and economic development leaders across the state. He said nothing about two other constituent groups: Republican donors and the working people across this state. I wager that he probably did have communications with the donors. But I am less sure he fully considered those who work for wages.
Over the years, he has cultivated a reputation in Washington as something of a common-sense, independent thinker. But in the end he has pretty much voted in lock-step with his party as he did recently. I have appreciated his candor and courage in stating the obvious when it ran counter to the party line. I wish he could have voted more consistently with his statements, and I wish that those who work for wages had mattered to the senator and his party as much as business and economic development leaders.
Tennessee is 2018 battleground
As humans we are always fearful of the unknown. The year 2017 will be remembered as the year of the unknown. But early on, those of us who resisted the Trump agenda, began to understand. And out of that unknown came our voice. It is one voice now, speaking on a multitude of issues, and it grows a little louder every day. It grows when we add the voices of the disenfranchised.
Our voice is amplified by faith, wrapped in a hunger for equality and fairness, not guilt and shame. It grows because our cause is devoid of racism and hate. Our voice grows because it is personified, not by our white privilege, but by our diversity. Our voice grows because our hope is relentless.
In 2018, Tennessee is our battleground. It is wherever people are sick, abused or deprived of their basic human rights. Where respect and safety for each other is more than just a hashtag. Where our prejudices, rooted in propaganda and ignorance, are set aside. When we remember and take pride in the fact that each one of us is responsible for our community and for each other, the fear is gone.
Demagogue: Thy name is Trump
Demagogue: one who panders to the emotions and prejudices of others to gain power.
Who does this sound like? You may remember that in a campaign rally he declared, "I am the only one who can solve the nation's problems and the world's problems." He consistently has proven his contentions and he feels it is blasphemy when anyone finds fault with him or his policies. It is only good if he says it's good. He feels that he is smarter than anyone and has stated that he knows more of the military than the generals and admirals. Finally, he is superior in his knowledge of what is best for the American people, i.e. the horrible tax plan, in which the nation's largest corporations and the wealthiest top one percent of people make out like bandits while the middle class and poor get crumbs and, most likely, get reduced medical and Social Security benefits!