Whether from laziness, timidity or a misguided idea that the purpose of politics is to entertain, our media have generally fallen short of putting relevant questions to the Democratic candidates. Instead of questions designed to titillate the audience or invite grandstanding from the candidates, how about asking:
* What laws will you ask Congress to consider to undo the corruption of the Trump administration?
* How will you ask Congress to help you restore our institutions: justice, intelligence agencies, Department of State?
* How will you restore relations with our allies?
* What will you ask Congress to do to protect our elections from foreign interference?
* What will your government do to protect the fundamental right of citizens to vote?
* In a time when Amazon and 90 other Fortune 500 companies pay nothing in federal taxes, how will you restore fairness?
There is a lot to do. Three-plus years of neglect, incompetence and shallow emotional distraction can't be allowed to stand. To that point, perhaps a few more journalists — whether broadcast, print or online — will opt for substance instead of the shallow, predictable sensationalism of the typical news cycle. We're waiting.
David C. Redheffer, Ringgold
On your purchases, 'buyer beware'!
In March of 2019 we bought two mattresses with 10-year warranties (plus adjustable bed frames) from a well-known firm for $3,100. On arriving, one mattress had a sink hole in it and was returned. It is February 2020 and we have sink holes again in one of the mattresses. We complied with the company's warranty claim by printing a scale, uploading pictures, only to be denied the claim. (You can get someone from the company to look at the mattress for the price of $80.)
Oh, the company offered to sell me a used mattress for half price. Used! The salesperson was helpful but he only has limited authority. Everything is peaches and cream when buying; try and use the warranty. It turns into a mud hole. The mattress maker sends you to the retailer which denies your claim. You think you are dealing with two reputable firms, however, that does not seem to be the case.
What I am saying is: Buyer beware.
Vince Patterson, Signal Mountain
Pass re-entry bill for second chances
As the founder of This is Living ministries, a re-entry home serving women released from Tennessee Department of Corrections, and as someone who has journeyed through re-entry, I know firsthand that preparing prisoners for release is vital. Many of the women I work with face challenges finding employment because they lack job skills or have significant gaps in their work history.
This difficult challenge can lead some vulnerable people to return to a life of crime or addiction, which, ultimately, leads them back to incarceration — all because they can't find a way to support their family.
Conversely, we have seen that men and women who are supported in accessing employment post-release are less likely to return to prison and better situated to positively contribute to the community.
Tennessee lawmakers are considering the governor's proposed re-entry bill, which would streamline the process to earn Certificates of Employability. These certify a person has demonstrated good character and taken steps to build a skill set, which can help secure employment.
Let's support our returning neighbors by passing this legislation so we can replace cycles of crime and incarceration with renewal and second chances.
Lindsay Holloway, This is Living Ministries