We are asking too much of police forces

The police have been called upon to be law keepers, social workers, medical experts, school monitors, traffic engineers and a number of other functions in a charged culture that encourages force as a way to solve problems. They rescue a kitten from up a tree, then walk straight into an armed robbery or a domestic violence situation.

The tumult right now does not indict the police as much as it recognizes that society has impossible expectations. They cannot fulfill all these tasks — and then go home and help their own families. We need a different delivery service system, including revamping employment criteria.

The pay is inadequate. We expect saintlike devotion on a salary that does not meet basic needs, and then disrespect them. Our class system rewards those who achieve personal gain at the expense of those who provide the sweat equity.

It is no wonder some are cynical or that this system has produced the cruelty that we see daily. The wonder is that so many do as much good as they can for as long as they can. It's time to change.

And maybe, if we can rethink keeping the peace, we can go forward to evaluate other systems. Like public education.

Helen Barrett


More context needed in hospital rankings

I suggest that the article "What are Tennessee's Best Hospitals" would have been more topical had you mentioned the ranking for hospitals in Chattanooga. Memorial Healthcare System was ranked 15th; Parkridge Medical Center 69th; and, Erlanger Medical Center 71st.

Whether these rankings have any meaning is a topic that should also have been explored.

Keith J. Reisman

East Ridge


Looking for brains in Senate candidates

I always thought you had to be smart to get into medical school; that you had to care about people to be a doctor; that you aspired to agapé love to be a Christian; and that you had to understand how the world works to be a senator. Manny Sethi proves that I was wrong about all of this. As for the protests in the streets, remember, to King George III, the Boston Tea Party was a riot.

Bill Hagerty, on the other hand, doesn't seem to know that the Hyde Amendment prevents taxpayers from paying for abortions. He also doesn't understand that, without a constitutional right of privacy, states could ban mixed marriages and outlaw contraception. Which they once upon a time did.

Where are the Republicans with brains? Not running for Senate.

John West



Two lawmakers show no empathy to voters

In response to Sen. Marsha Blackburn and Rep. Chuck Fleischmann's column on June 5 ("Let's prioritize small businesses and get U.S. back to work"): I was disturbed by your lack of empathy toward your constituents. You say that Democrats want radical socialist policies such as Medicare For All. The presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, has never talked about that. He wants to add a public option to the Affordable Care Act that will lower costs and cover everyone. How is that so radical?

You also say that prominent Democrats want to bail out mismanaged states which recklessly spend taxpayer money. Did you know that state constitutions mandate balanced budgets? You go on to say you want liability protection for businesses. What about your people? If they get sick because they have to go back to work, what are their options?

You mention small business as the backbone of Tennessee. Why then did the tax cut, capital gains tax and payroll relief go to the 1% and not your people? Not once in your column did mention any concern about the people who put the two of you in office. Shame on the both of you.

Mary Caliandro