Thank you, Jerry Sear, and Sear's Shoe Store

If you take a minute to imagine the perfect combination of kindness, work ethic, creativity and ethical small business talent, the picture that comes into focus is Jerry Sear.

Sear's Shoe Store and Jerry Sear have served our community through five generations of my family.

The memories that I have from childhood to the present of going to see Jerry and the treasure hunt at the shoe store for the perfect pair of shoes bring a smile to my face.

I know Jerry has taken care of so many people, schools, teams, workers, and his Tennessee and North Georgia communities. So many satisfied customers and happy feet!

I wish Jerry a blissful and rewarding retirement with his family.

Michael Mallen


Consider higher use of COVID relief money

As a single adult, I have received three COVID-19 checks, totaling $3,200 ($1,200, $600, $1,400). Families received more. I did nothing to earn that.

Like many, many people, I have not financially lost because of COVID. I have seen estimates that as high as 50%-70% of people have not financially lost anything, and some have profited. Giving taxpayer money to myself and others who have not been financially lost from COVID is wrong.

That goes double for government employees receiving even more by getting bonuses from government grants or prisoners who live off taxpayer money. Those funds should be only used for COVID response and to help those who have financially lost because of COVID.

Getting those checks has eaten at my conscience. I am sending $3,200 to Partnership for Families, Children and Adults for the River City Youth Collective to aid youth who have aged out of foster care. I am asking others to do the same, whether to this charity or others, such as St. Jude's, Chattanooga Humane Educational Society, etc.

Jim Hill, Harrison


Professional sports the new 'sheeple'

Thank you, Major League Baseball. Yet another professional sport gone political. Baa, baa gooood sheep follow the leaders nod in agreement America bad, ID bad, "woke" good.

All because you did not read the actual law passed by Georgia about voting rules and do not realize:

You need an ID to register to vote anywhere in the USA. You must prove residency of the state, town or county to get on the voting rolls/lists. And only registered voters can vote by law. Show the paperwork you used to register!

So goodbye NASCAR, MLB, NFL, NBA. Y'all are out of luck if you want my money.

Too complicated, MLB? I'll get AOC to explain it to you.

Bill Bastenbeck, Dayton, Tennessee


Eliminate corporate tax; tax the wealthy

Most people are delighted that we have a market economy. However, many corporate business decisions are based on tax consequences rather than market factors.

We could become the envy of economically competing nations by eliminating corporate income tax. All taxes are ultimately paid by people rather than large pseudo-persons (corporations), many of whom pay little or no tax. The lost revenue could be recovered by adjustment of personal tax rates for those benefiting the most from corporate profits, the extremely wealthy.

John D. Beck, Ooltewah


Disappointed in Blackburn's stance

Open letter to Sen. Marsha Blackburn: I have just read your "Blackburn Report." I am very disappointed in your statements regarding Biden's "Infrastructure Bill." I see no indication that you have read it or appreciate the scope of how all the different parts will benefit the nation.

We are falling way behind other developing nations on infrastructure. Yes, roads and bridges are only part of a massive bill to bring the USA into the 21st century. Mitch McConnell's recent statement that not one Republican senator would vote for this bill leaves the Democrats only one option — to proceed without Republican input.

Please be truthful in further statements. Try supporting the country over your party.

Tresa McCallie


Obscene wealth gains divide our country

The outrageous wealth accumulation that has created inequality has truly been the poison in our political system for more than 40 years.

The neoconservatives' concentration on busting unions and the systematic dismantling of our national social safety net have pitted neighbor against neighbor. To maintain this divide, these 1 percenters have generously fueled a minority ultra right-wing party with unprecedented access to money for the sole purpose of keeping us divided.

The erosion of our tax code to heavily favor the ultra wealthy has allowed gains not seen since the robber barons of the Industrial Revolution.

This uneven collection of wealth and power has pitted the rest of our country against each other. The ultra wealthy have no reason to support any changes because they are the dividers, conspirators, takers, underminers and neo-robber barons of the corporatocracy that currently rules the United States of America.

John Mathna


NYT columnist is way off base

What rock did [New York Times] columnist Thomas Friedman crawl out from under? Revolutions are not planned, orderly events like afternoon bridge parties. They are born of frustration. For a whole year, Americans have been locked in their homes, treated like serfs in medieval times, kept from their jobs, told their kids couldn't go to school' all in the name of medical science which seems to change weekly or monthly.

What are we to believe? Who are we to trust? And as far as Trump going gently in the good night — fat chance. No one in the GOP even comes close to his dynamism or energy level. And as far as California being a trendsetter, the only trend it is setting at the moment is the number of people leaving it (and Tennessee is the number one state people are moving to from other states).

If he wants to go there, be my guest. He just needs to make sure he stops off in Chattanooga so everyone can give him a big sendoff in his new electric car made by Volkswagen.

Charles Hyder, Dalton, Georiga


2nd Amendment is worth fighting for

Here go the Democrats again with gun control. Never will they let a crisis be wasted to push one of their favored causes.

The recent gun murders in Boulder, Colorado, and Atlanta here stirred up President Joe Biden and VP Kamala Harris, and the rest of the left to demand increased levels of gun purchase background checks, banning of assault rifles and reduced magazine sizes. This is nothing more than chipping away at the possession of arms by citizens of this country, a right protected under the Second Amendment.

It is the shooter who should be the focus of homicides, not the weapon which is used to commit the crime. The left blames police when they shoot someone but they fail to blame the murderer who is responsible for killing someone.

Not only does this logic fail, but the gun laws desired by the Democrats punish victims of crimes who would be hampered in their ability to defend themselves against assailants.

The thing that the Democrats fail to realize and accept is that one of the main reasons the Second Amendment exists is to protect citizens against a totalitarian government that has usurped the rights of its citizens. This nation has already experienced the consequences of that in the 18th century. A majority of us will fight for the right to possess firearms for the purposes of protecting ourselves against either assailants or a totalitarian government that seeks total power over the people.

Bob Jack, Harrison