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Your announcement of the last column by contributing Sunday Life section columnist Bill Stamps was cause of great sorrow in my house.

Bill bared his soul more than once as he entertained us with stories of Mz. Lena, his adventures growing up poor in the rural South, and even edifying us about the effects of life in a broken home, life with other races in a Jim Crow South, and other topics which made him who he became.

He is still growing. We can only wish him well as he and Jana traverse this newest plateau in his life. Godspeed, my friend.

Ronald Cumbie

***

Which is the true party of hate?

Cory Booker wants to punch the president in the face. Maxine Waters incites others to harass Trump supporters in public. Jimmy Kimmel and other late-night hosts joke about assassinating the president. Snoop Dog makes a video assassinating the president. Kathy Griffin poses with a severed head of the president. Johnny Depp jokes about assassinating the president. Madonna wants to blow up the White House.

Black Lives Matter chants it wants cops dead and fried like bacon. Antifa routinely assaults Republicans and conservatives. AOC calls our border patrol agents Nazis and refuses to condemn violence against them. Rep. Scalise was shot by a Bernie Sanders supporter. The "Squad" supports terrorists of Hamas and Palestine and routinely spews anti-Semitic rhetoric. Democrats in Congress refuse to call out Ilhan Omar for her anti-Semitic and anti-American remarks. Rashida Tlaib calls the president "mother f----r."

None of this kind of activity happened to Obama by Republicans or conservatives during his eight years. Now tell me, which is the political party of hate, violence, intolerance, vulgarity and profanities?

Gary Hayes, Ooltewah

***

Trump's new to-do list?

The recent strike on Qassem Soleimani was absolutely the right thing to do. An attack on something of value was imminent; we don't know what would be hit or when or how. And we knew he was engineering it.

Killing him has emasculated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Quds force, and rendered Iran incapable of attacking anybody, much less the United States. He alone had the keys to Iran's terrorist strategy, and they died with him.

Now that all that has been accomplished, we should consider the following: assassinating Vladimir Putin to render Russia impotent, Kim Jong Un to render North Korea incapable of nuclear attack, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (Trump's favorite dictator, by his own admission) to set the Egyptian people free, Bashar Hafez al-Assad to end the civil war in Syria, and Rodrigo Duterte to free the Filipino people from his extrajudicial killings.

Before President Trump's brilliant leadership, who knew it was this easy?

John C. West, Hixson

***

Sorry Bill Stamps is retiring column

I looked forward every Sunday to reading Bill Stamps' column. I saved it for last so I could savor every word.

I wish him all the happiness God can grant. So, so sorry to see him go.

Donna Budnick, Winchester, Tennessee

***

Mayor, council must service all areas

I am writing this in regard to the city council and mayor. Both lied constantly while running for re-election in vowing a public service oath to serve all areas.

For example, here in the Lookout Valley area, the councilperson promised to pave some of the roads; yet, many are in dire need of paving. And with traffic from Georgia and Alabama, they block folks who live here from getting where they need to go.

As for the mayor, if he came and took a look, for example, at Wauhatchie Pike or Lilac Avenue, he would see we are not getting taken care of, even though we pay city and county taxes. We were warned years ago if we were taken into the city we would be sorry; yet those folks were more referring to today's city-run government.

Never in all my years here have I seen such a deplorable city-run government. It has not been this bad before. When [Ron] Littlefield was mayor, he took good care of this area. It is high time all council members get off their behinds and start earning their paychecks since they work for us and not us for them.

James Hurst

***

Iran more dangerous than in era of Shah

Recently, Iran responded with 16 missiles on two American bases in Iraq in response to Soleimani's killing. There were no American casualties. President Trump wanted Iran to stop its ambition about nuclear weapons. Iran will suffer the consequences for its aggression.

Before the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran, King Reza Shah Pahlavi was Iran's secular dictator and an intimate ally of the United States. His Western-style rule set off the revolution, which brought Iran under the leadership of Islamic cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

For the last 40 years, radical Muslims have cried "Death to America." Their radical belief in the farewell address of Mohammad bolstered their religion to fight nonbelievers until they follow Islam. Khomeini early on repeated the same words of Mohammad — that he will echo the message of Islam all over the world. The Quran and the prophetic narratives are the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

There is no other form of knowledge that can be used to alter decisions. The price that citizens paid has been autocratic government, religious intolerance and little personal freedom.

The Islamic regime has been more oppressive and dangerous than Iran was under the secular Shah.

Amos Taj, Ooltewah

***

We've lost our sense of humor

I loved Jay Greeson's comments (Jan. 6, page A2) about the loss of our sense of humor.

I laughed out loud at Ricky Gervais' opening remarks at the Golden Globes Award show. I think we have lost our sense of humor. We are so consumed with our own opinion about everything that it becomes laughable in itself.

We are not an expert on everything.

We want to know every word the president says and every piece of classified information ever written. No, we do not need to know that.

The news media says, "The public has a right to know." It is the news media that wants to know.

Yes, there are some things we need to know, but we need to learn to laugh again, find joy again, have a big belly laugh again, be around people who are fun.

Leave running the country to the experts; they are not perfect.

God is still in control.

Ruth Cote, Hixson

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