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Thank you, TFP, for the articles about our local veterans (series called the 21-Veteran Salute). The articles were well-written and interesting.

Thanks to our vets and thanks to the Chattanooga Times Free Press for introducing these men and women to Chattanooga!

Mary Ann Bryant

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Abortion stains America's soul

School violence and mass shootings make us ask: "What have we done as a society to diminish the value of life?"

Mother Teresa's words ring prophetically when she stated that if a nation has a law that allows a mother to kill her child within her womb, you can kill anyone, and that America, by doing so, is losing its soul.

Natural law, to which man-made law must conform or be illegitimate, dates back to the launching of America. These beliefs were removed by the stroke of a pen by seven justices of the Supreme Court in 1973. They decreed what had long been a felony was now a constitutional right.

Motherhood has been corrupted. What stronger bond in human relations is there than between a mother and her child? Yet, with abortion, so many turn against the child.

Medicine, a noble profession, has been compromised. Abortionists have become "courageous abortion providers."

We all have been diminished. Americans of various faiths have believed every person is created and loved by God and that each has an eternal destiny with God. Thus, every human has intrinsic worth and a God-given right to life. Roe says it's all a lie.

Peter Comaskey

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Thanks for meals honoring vets

Several restaurants in town offered special meals for Veterans Day. I can't speak for what others might have received, but my fellow veteran and I had a first-class reception and meal at the Texas Roadhouse on Highway 153. A special menu just for the day with a top-notch waitress and the manager checking on us made us feel special. I can't thank you enough.

Tom Leach, SMSgt. USAF, retired

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Trump-Truman: No comparison

I've just read "The Accidental President," Harry Truman's first three months as president. What a contrast with Donald Trump. Truman had little preparation for the office; Trump had none. Truman read thousands of pages of intelligence in preparation to face Stalin; Trump goes with his gut.

At Potsdam, when an officer asked Truman if he "wanted a lady for the night," Truman replied, "I should bust you to a private." Trump pays porn stars hush money. Trump's enriching himself as president; Truman said, "The presidency is not for sale."

Truman honored business deals and never declared bankruptcy; Trump's companies have declared six times. Truman farmed the family land for years; Trump got millions from Daddy. Truman supported NATO; Trump doesn't. Truman established the CIA; Trump discredits it. Truman surrounded himself with advisers who told him what he needed to know; Trump's advisers tell him what he wants to hear or are fired or resign.

You always knew where Harry stood; Donald changes with tweets. Finally, Truman turned down the Medal of Honor; the White House asked Japan to nominate Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize. Sadly, we have such a man as president.

Wilbourne C. Markham Sr., Signal Mountain

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Ukraine ambassador wasn't good for U.S.

If a person is intimidated by a tweet read to them by a third person, I don't think that person should be an ambassador for our country.

How could they carry out U.S. foreign policy in countries whose leaders are very aggressive toward the U.S.? Countries such as Russia, Turkey and even, at times, France.

Congressman Adam Schiff conveniently left out the part about the Ukrainian president not liking [U.S.] Ambassador Yovanovitch because she improperly supported the corrupt former president in the Ukrainian election. If anyone should be charged with a crime, it is the ambassador since it is illegal for an ambassador to get involved in a country's election.

If you don't believe that, look it up!

Jack Runge, Rising Fawn, Georgia

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We should find ways to show resolve

A letter writer (Nov. 12) stated we had some hard questions to face.

He asked why Green New Deal supporters didn't lead by example and give up cars, meat and air travel. Actually, some of us have. There are more plant-based products available as stores respond to the demands of those trying to leave a smaller footprint. Some are walking or cycling on short errands. These efforts help with our environmental footprint and also our own health. The writer challenges us to find more ways to show our resolve; and he's right — we all should.

He asks how many of us are signing up to fight in the Middle East. He's correct that the endless wars there are not what most of us favor. However, it is a terrible thing to leave our allies to be slaughtered with no notice. I fear America will have a hard time making allies if we are not to be trusted.

He also says it's a bad precedent if the Supreme Court rules the president must turn over his tax returns. All presidents in modern history have made their tax returns public; former presidents already have set that precedent.

Sharon Alexander

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Is democracy in jeopardy?

The good news: At last we have a rationale explaining current Trump supporters' mindset. The bad news: Democracy has a demanding problem.

Our political/moral decision-making mechanism summed up by Johnathan Haidt (N.Y. University psychologist), Dan Kahan (Yale Law School) and others provide the rationale of our bias in making these decisions. Kahan puts it best. Confirmation bias, the tendency to select and interpret information that confirms what we already believe, is done to protect our self-image and/or what we believe associates think of us. This is called "identity-protective cognition."

So democracy, which requires rational people making well-informed decisions, is in jeopardy. My calculation places about one-third of the Republican voters as strong identity-protective cognition rooted, based on President Trump's current popularity rating polls. If this same impeachment scenario were repeated under a Democratic president, I speculate we would also see one-third of the voters as strongly rooted in identity-protective cognition. That leaves one-third of the country's voters as suitably rational to run the country.

I add this final thought about human nature. If political/moral decisions are made primarily via "identity-protective cognition," then a strong democratic society must be augmented with a strong religious influence.

Michael Mainz

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