Governor supporting child endangerment

Our governor once more shows his lack of concern for a health issue. Hospitals are full, and the National Guard is being sent out to help. But he will allow parents to opt out of their children wearing masks in school.

In my opinion, if a parent knowingly exposes their child to an illness, that is child endangerment. Yet our governor supports this.

Roger Thompson

Coffee County, Tenn.


Afghanistan looks a lot like Vietnam

It should come as no surprise. It has happened before. The United States in Vietnam supported a corrupt regime to halt the expansion of communism into Southeast Asia and beyond. We spent billions on equipment and weapons. We supplied millions of servicemen, tens of thousands of whom were killed, and many more who returned with wounds.

The U.S. and the northern communists made treaties. A cousin was freed from a Hanoi POW camp. Communist forces advanced. Vietnamese who had sided with the U.S. frantically overloaded helicopters and boats to exit the country before it fell. It fell quickly. Vietnamese tanks rolled into Saigon as the last U.S. helicopters were leaving the embassy.

It was shocking. What had we accomplished in all those years of fighting? How had the end come so quickly? Why hadn't our Vietnamese allies put up more of a fight? Would our global allies think we would abandon them, too? Was this a failure of U.S. resolve?

Change a few names, places and motives, and you've got Afghanistan. And today the U.S. and Vietnam are trading partners. My favorite hiking boot were made in Vietnam.

Grady S. Burgner



Mask wearing is just too risky

In the real world, masks don't work.

I've watched people wear them. Noses hanging out, masks around chins, pulling them down to talk. This is good? And then they get pulled back up over the face, fingers over the front where the germs are! That's hygienic?

Mask use has become a kind of pacifier, a low-tar cigarette or light beer. We are told, even mandated, to use them, and we will be safe.

Dr. Fauci was probably right: "When you're in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it's not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is."

In theory, a face mask works to stop the spread of airborne pathogens; if used correctly, it will. But we are in the real world.

For me, I'm old, I got vaccinated. I get plenty of fresh air, keep a few feet away from people and take vitamins. And if my doctor recommends a booster, I'll take that too. But unless it's absolutely necessary, I do not enter places where masks are mandated — it's just too risky.

Bill Bastenbeck

Dayton, Tenn.


Time for Memorial, BCBST to work it out

Congratulations to Rhonda Scott for being named the new chief operating officer of CHI Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga. Now, get to work and settle the issues with BlueCross BlueShield.

Or you may find a whole lot of people looking for a new health care provider and a new insurance provider. It's all about money, so work it out!

Herb Spaulding


Parents not masking kids = child abuse

It is beyond my understanding to see students in school not wearing a mask. I work as a substitute teacher in Hamilton County Schools, and in one of my classes, nine of 28 students did not have one on. Remember, masks are helping protect those around you, but I guess that is not a priority for parents who have opted out their children.

Some people try to justify not wearing a mask by describing breathing issues. I have serious lung and heart issues; I gladly wear a mask. Those who refuse to wear masks or get vaccinations need to stay away from those of us doing our part.

Some people claim their freedoms have been trampled on by having to wear a mask. Some say vaccinations don't work. Are we dealing with smallpox, diphtheria, polio, mumps, rubella? No, because we were vaccinated against them.

Adults do have a choice when it comes to a mask, vaccinations and social distancing. In my opinion, this choice should not extend to children. When parents are not doing their part, they are performing a level of child abuse.

Mask up, socially distance, get vaccinations; do your best to eradicate COVID-19.

Mark Grantham

Lookout Valley


Main Jan. 6 culprit was Donald Trump

One person is responsible for the death of the domestic terrorist Ashli Babbitt, who traveled to the Capitol because she believed the "Big Lie." The same person is responsible for the deaths of the D.C. police officers on Jan. 6. Before I name that person, let me remind you that Charles Manson did not kill anyone but was as guilty as those who did the murders. Osama bin Laden did not fly a plane into the towers but was guilty.

The person I will now name is the fascist, treasonous, insurrectionist, traitor, Donald John Trump. He continues to promote dangerous rhetoric that undermines our democracy and our Constitution. He feeds untruths to his minions, who are armed and dangerous. His cohorts in Congress are carrying out his misinformation campaign to incite another attack on our country.

These people are un-American, terrorists and traitors. The "good Americans" must speak out and destroy this cancer.

Walter M. Benton

Signal Mountain


Obama birthday bash not like Sturgis rally

In a recent opinion column, Ron Hart compares Obama's birthday to the Sturgis rally. I'm sure that most of the 200 people who attended Obama's party were vaccinated since I doubt there were many Trump voters among that crowd.

Now let's compare that to the three quarters of a million people who were expected to attend the Sturgis rally — most of whom probably still think the election was stolen. But according to Ron, they are all outside on their hogs. Obviously he's never been to the wet T-shirt contest at the Buffalo Chip where they are standing shoulder to shoulder chanting, "Take off your mask!"

William Hubers

East Ridge