We must learn to cross the abyss

Adjectives are a shortcut in describing the significance of what you want to describe. Such words as great, small, believable or unbelievable are examples. We are living in a time where adjectives are no longer usable or effective.

Describing today is beyond easy description. On yesterday's news, we heard a woman announce the use of an American flag flown at the Jan. 6 insurrection as an introduction to the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance. She also characterized the insurrection as a peaceful protest. Can anyone suggest an appropriate adjective to describe such conduct? I suggest the establishment of some — "actively delusional" or "destructively crazy" are a few descriptions I can live with.

When disagreements arise in normal social interactions, I firmly believe in conversation. In today's environment, it has become almost impossible to talk to one another if we disagree on almost anything.

We must figure out a way to cross the abyss. Our nation must figure it out if our democracy is to survive.

Yelling at each other is unproductive and at worst destructive. I hope the trip is short!

Irv Ginsburg


TWRA tree-cutting plan questioned

I went hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park recently on a portion of the Gabe's Mountain Trail and had the privilege to view some of the majestic old growth trees. I read in the Oct. 6 Times Free Press the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency plans to remove up to 2,000 acres of old growth forest in the Virgin Falls State Natural Area and turn it into quail habitat.

One has to wonder how an agency charged with protecting the environment could decide to cut such a treasure, given the tracts of stripped mined land and non-native pine acreage that could be used for this purpose.

This land was transferred as a gift to the state from the Bridgestone Corp. with the express covenant that "no cutting of timber or removal or destruction of trees will be permitted."

The TWRA describes the forest as a biological desert. Really? I suppose North America was a biological desert when the pilgrims arrived, not having TWRA around to manage the forests. One wonders how much revenue TWRA will receive for the lumber it has been entrusted to protect.

These old growth trees cannot be replaced in our lifetime.

Kent Smithson



EV owner satisfied with performance

I have been a satisfied EV owner for about 1 1/2 months, and I think a recent Free Press editorial does a disservice to where we need to head as a country moving away from fossil fuels and toward electric vehicles.

Here is why the "five-hour trip to see Grandma," as the editorial referenced, is incorrect:

1. Almost all EV owners are/will be charging their cars at home while they sleep and when electricity rates are at their lowest. The battery will charge to 200 miles or more, depending on the vehicle. My battery recharges as I head down the mountain each day, and I end up at the same mileage when I return home at the end of the day; like using no gas at all!

2. On a longer trip, there are many apps that calculate for you when and where you will need to stop next to charge.

3. So, if the trip to Grandma's is 300-350 miles; and you are leaving home with 200+ mile charge, you would just need to stop once, so you can walk the dog, visit the restroom, grab a healthy bite to eat at the deli, check your email, and be back on the road in 30-35 minutes or so.

Sally Faulkner

Lookout Mountain