It is little wonder so many continue to believe the 2020 election was fraudulently "stolen" from Trump. Conspiracy theories and "alternative facts" abound these days and put doubts into just about everything we thought we knew.

There are many (too many?) social networking sites run by oddballs who project outrageous disinformation. QAnon spins disturbing delusions. TV's "Ancient Aliens" and UFO stories have many of us doubting humanity's past accomplishments. And surely "reality shows" are not real; at least they shouldn't be.

Television, magazines and books all throw doubt on the Kennedy and MLK assassinations, 9/11 and other historic tragedies and events. Tabloids such the National Enquirer dangle provocative "truths" that "inquiring minds want to know."

The late humorist Lewis Grizzard described these gullible folks as believing "rasslin' was real but the moon landing was faked."

Is critical thinking dead or in critical condition? Just because someone has the freedom to express a thought, does that make it true? For far too many of us, it apparently does.

Grady S. Burgner, Ooltewah


Heart aches in threats to new Sewanee leader

To Sewanee/University of the South Vice Chancellor Reuben Brigety: My heart ached as I read the recent TFP article about the attacks on your home and the threats against you and your precious family.

I would like to think that the majority of people are like the group who welcomed you in the beginning in the true sense of a "Southern-style welcome," as I welcome you all to our wonderful state. I pray that you will soon love it as well.

I would also like to remind those who are being indecent that no one chooses what color they will be born with. God opens and closes the womb as he wills. He put each of us into the womb where and when he chose. We all came from Adam and Eve, we are relatives, and when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior we are brothers and sisters. I pray that you will repent of the evil deeds you did to our new neighbors, relatives, brothers and sisters.

Ruby M. Robinson, Ooltewah


Initial conviction might have saved U.S.

"Hang Mike Pence!" "Hang Mike Pence!" While watching the haunting and disturbing video during last week's impeachment trial, I kept asking myself, "How might this tragedy have been prevented?"

The answer is clear. The deadly attack on our Capitol would not have occurred if a handful of Republican senators had fulfilled their constitutional duty during the first impeachment trial. It really is that simple.

There has never been any secret about Donald Trump's character, or lack thereof. Tax cuts and conservative judges already in hand, Republicans had their chance during the first impeachment to uphold the Constitution and break free from their Faustian pact. Instead, they chose to continue playing with fire.

As an independent voter, I firmly believe that America needs a strong and credible Republican party. But as the GOP sinks like the Titanic in the wake of its collision with Donald Trump, the rats are beginning to scatter. McConnell's day-late and dollar-short repudiation of Trump is a desperate attempt to land himself on the correct side of history and begin salvaging the party's reputation.

Nonetheless, as the bow of the Titanic drops below the surface and the stern rises into the sky, too many Republicans mistake it for a Trump Tower gilded in fool's gold.

David Wollert, Signal Mountain


Can daily vaccine numbers be reported?

I appreciate the daily updates for COVID-19 positive tests and deaths data that show the breadth and trends of the virus in our community.

Now that vaccines are being deployed, I would think publishing the daily number of vaccinations that are occurring in the community would be very beneficial. The vaccination of the community is a positive activity in the fight against the virus and merits further reporting.

Widespread vaccination of the community will allow us to return to the lifestyle we desire.

Tim Cleary, Signal Mountain


'Mark Trail' needs more ducks, bucks

Let me start by saying I'm a big Ed Dodd fan. We even have an original cartoon from him framed in the house.

That being said, the "Mark Trail" series had become stale and stodgy.

The new artist and her approach to the characters and storylines are certainly fast-paced. This change was needed, and I'm willing to let it grow a while yet.

I could do with a little more ducks and bucks, though.

Harriet Hamilton


Lack of charges absolute outrage

That no charges were filed recently against five Hamilton County deputies for the insane beating of a man with batons in Ooltewah back in the spring is surprising and yet, not surprising.

It's a "green light" to do it over and over like it was in the past.

[Sheriff Jim] Hammond needs to go, and yet he had the nerve to ask for a raise. And District Attorney [Neal] Pinkston, why are you there? I'll put [Hamilton County Mayor Jim] Coppinger in there too for never reprimanding Hammond for past deeds.

James Sholl


Trying on comedian's hat

We now have the woke culture in everything we say and do.

It is now our privilege to be anything we want to be. Today, I want to be a comedian.

Comedians can say anything they wish and are never really held accountable.

So here it is.

Never in my lifetime have I seen so many dysfunctional politicians. The meaning of the word "politician" is someone actively engaged in politics.

The word "actively" is a misnomer. Due to the age of many, they have not been active for years. I feel that Pelosi, Schumer and Biden should be replaced by Moe, Larry and Curly. If they do not know what they're doing, at least it would be fun.

I keep waiting for a group to protest the name of the White House. It does have the word "white" in it. Maybe paint it a neutral color like beige. Or re-name it the Out House because most folks who work there are full of it.

We should put in the COVID bill that they are trying to pass several million dollars for airfare for the people who hate this country. They will be able to leave as soon as possible.

Ruth Cote, Hixson


How about expanding profit-sharing?

I am in favor of a $15 minimum wage, especially since it would be phased in over three years.

What I think could make a real difference to American workers is a larger expansion of profit-sharing. Some of today's most successful companies provide an opportunity for direct financial benefits for their employees: Chobani, Publix, etc. If Amazon doesn't want unions, then distribute some of the 2020 record profits to all qualified employees.

How many millions and billions of dollars do owners and CEOs really need as compared to a $2,000 annual bonus for a $30,000-a-year base salary employee?

Steve Weinberg, Harrison