Mask ban disregards conservative thought

Although seldom sharing their political opinions, I always respected conservative thinkers such as William Buckley, Milton Friedman and Leo Strauss for their intellectual rigor and logical consistency in advocating for traditional Republican principles.

Tennessee House Rep. Patsy Hazlewood, R-Signal Mountain, should be commended for voting against a recently passed bill prohibiting employers from mandating masks for COVID-19 prevention. She thereby logically aligns herself with the traditionally conservative principle that government should minimize intrusion upon private business matters. Rep. Hazlewood should be commended all the more as that vote distinguished her from most of her Republican colleagues, an action in contrast to the herd mentality increasingly demonstrated by partisan politicians during recent years.

"People running businesses should make decisions for themselves based upon their situations" closely paraphrases the rationale Rep. Hazlewood extended for her vote. Apparently, most state Republican lawmakers disagree with that position, except in the case of large, politically influential employers such as Ford Motor Co., for which the legislation provides exemption. Politicians often describe small businesses as the backbone of the American economy. The recently passed bill presumptuously assumes the legislature knows better than small business owners how to best decide mask-wearing policy.

Patrick Lavin



Road repair is work never finished

As gracious as a recent letter writer was in acknowledging former City Commissioner Jim Eberle for initiating road construction off of Lupton Drive to provide access to ballfields and recreation, what about nearby communities?

Our street, a cut-through from Highway 153 to Hamill Road, has had the same jarring, axle-breaking potholes and rough areas for 30 years. No response to multiple inquiries to the mayor's office about road repair or a requested speed bump.

Well-paved, safe roads are a fair expectation for residents and what our tax dollars are allocated for.

Lisa Phillips


Need more context in COVID reporting

In 1918, my grandmother and 3-year-old father contracted the Spanish flu. Grandmother was among the 3% of the global population who died. If 3% of today's global population had died in the last two years from COVID-19, the global death toll would be a truly "devastating" 225 million. Nonetheless, The Associated Press described the considerably smaller number — 5 million worldwide deaths from COVID — as a "devastating milestone" and "a global shame" that has "pushed survivors to the breaking point."

I know friends who have become very sick, some dying, from COVID-19. I have no illusions about the devastation, misery and grief this pandemic causes to individuals. However, we all live uncertain lives in a world of misfortune, disease and death. So, news reports would be wise to put statistics into a meaningful context. Without context, reports become propaganda and tools of misinformation. In every misfortune, there is something to encourage the human spirit, but we never hear it in the news. It's no wonder thoughtful people do not trust the media in dealing with their personal lives.

Bob Miller

Signal Mountain


Be wary of COVID changes in children

COVID-19 is still troubling people, even beyond health reasons. People's routines continue to be disrupted, and children's academic adversity in remote learning, especially pertaining to lower-income families, continues to be overlooked.

If a dog stays home its whole life, with nobody entering or leaving the house, he will get distraught if that changes. When the dog is confronted with a newcomer or abandonment, he will not know what to do. Comparing a child to a dog is never a good idea, but hopefully a point surfaces in the analogy.

Upon agreement with the analogy, it is important teachers and families work toward enhancing children's social-emotional learning, which breaks down the student's ability and motivation to learn combined with the academic resources and environment presented to them. The social part of schooling is imperative to a young student's academic progress, and the maturation of the child.

General mannerisms and etiquette have changed from learning how to be polite in shaking a hand to being polite in ways of muting yourself on Zoom. There's no stopping these changes, but they are potentially damaging for our future professional generation. Instilling changes will help every remote student, especially those from low-income families.

Hugh Steel


What about 'all the people' statues?

I heard it mentioned that the statue of Thomas Jefferson may be moved from the U.S. Capitol building to a museum. It costs millions to remove a statue and place it somewhere else. In my opinion, we should leave them all in place. They are all beautiful. I get it; they offend some people. We can do a small amount of changes to the statue. We can remove the names and any history on the statue. Make the face a generic face. They would be statues for all people. I believe the majority of people do not know who they are anyway. In the future, they will not be remembered at all, except as a beautiful statue.

If a male can consider himself a female, put on a skirt and use the female restrooms, why can't we make a statue anyone we want it to be? We are all statues of a sort. When someone looks at us, what do they see? Statues of hate, evil, grumpy, selfish, help to others or maybe kindness, love. Just asking.

Ruth Cote



Protect young minds from nasty garbage

I am so thankful to have Rhonda Thurman on the school board. She seems to be the only one who will peek out with wisdom and truth, and that takes courage.

You don't wait until a child is a teen to teach them what to read. You start monitoring what they see and hear when they are toddlers. When they start reading, you don't allow them to read just anything, and you had better monitor what they watch on TVA and the internet.

You would think a parent or educator would say no to content that is nasty or controversial. It shouldn't take reading but a few paragraphs to say no. Why would anyone need to read the whole book?

Would you feed garbage to a child? Don't put garbage in their minds.

Joyce Smith


We need cartoon of the real clown, Biden

After seeing Clay Bennett's cartoon (Oct. 30), I felt compelled to respond. Considering the hard-hitting journalism that Tucker Carlson engages in, feared by liberals and wrongdoers, I can see the need for a liberal to draw such a cartoon.

The reader may want to take a step back and consider how Americans are viewing Joe Biden when he is on TV giving his opinion, or that of others, and the stumbling that occurs. If there is any "coulrophobia" within our society, it would be witnessed when President Biden takes to the podium. Being that Biden is the quintessential example of a clown with glossophobia, America would be better behind the chair, hiding. The fears the American people have are that Biden is oblivious to inflation, high gasoline prices, inflated costs associated with home fuel and gas for heating, higher prices for children's clothes, higher prices for food and the sheer lack of security at the Southern border. Mr. Bennett may want to attempt drawing something that represents this picture.

Don Gala