Our leaders are not keeping us safe

The founding documents of our country were based on the Enlightenment principles that individuals are the sovereigns of their lives and that government exists, by consent of the governed, to provide for people to live peaceably together in a manner of their choosing. The right of the individual to do as he wishes is limited by the right of others to not be harmed by his/her actions. In return for a safe community, people agree to abide by its rules.

When individuals choose not to be vaccinated and not wear a mask, they endanger the well-being of others in violation of our God-given right to life and health. They can either withdraw from society or go get vaccinated. They do not have the right to harm others or expose them needlessly to health risks.

When our public leaders refuse, by their action or inaction, to mandate the necessary measures that would protect our community, they violate their oath of office and lose their legitimacy. Neither constitutional nor statutory authority gives them license to transgress the right of citizens to be safe from those who violate the social contract.

Tom May


'Left' writers unable to articulate views

Imagine a business that assigned a portion of its staff to criticizing its customers every day. Sounds silly, but this happens in the op-ed pages of the Times Free Press. Columnists on the left/liberal pages consistently demean conservatives and Republicans — folks who make up probably more than 50% of your readership.

Apparently, it's hard for your liberal writers and editors to conceive of intelligent, rational people who can reasonably arrive at conclusions — based on facts, not just feelings and opinions — at odds with their own biases and ideologies.

It doesn't matter whether it's COVID-19 vaccines and treatment options, climate change, immigration policies, abortion, CRT, Biden's handling of Afghanistan or other topics. Disparaging those who hold other views, rather than clearly representing why their own perspectives are better, often is the modus operandi.

Trump was — and is — criticized (many times fittingly) for his bombastic speeches and tweets. Your left thinkers must like that strategy, mirroring it in each edition.

Why is it when liberals look in the mirror, they often blame conservatives for what they see? Perhaps there's a reason conservative is called "right," and the Latin word for left is "sinister."

Robert Tamasy



Why did Afghanistan war have time limit?

Guess I did not know a war had a time limit. Both the left and right have said 20 years is too long to be in Afghanistan. The Korean War ended July 27, 1953. I was in Seoul on business in 1978. At that time, Seoul was under martial law, and there was a curfew in the city. Everyone had to be off the streets by 11 p.m. That was 25 years after the war ended. What would have happened to South Korea if we had withdrawn all our troops in 1973 after 20 years? My guess is that North Korea would have immediately invaded. WWII ended in 1945. What would have happened if we had pulled all of our troops out of Europe? Any of you remember the old USSR? We had Afghanistan under control and had a very strategic position in that part of the world. I am afraid I agree with Leon Panetta, who recently said we will probably have to go back into Afghanistan. Sad, and it did not need to happen.

Kris Riefler


Out-of-town visitor impressed with kindness

This is a thank-you to an honest citizen and a kind police officer who went above and beyond.

My friends were visiting from Idaho. My friend had stopped at a service station around the Fort Oglethorpe area. She put her billfold on top of the car and drove off. When she realized what she had done and returned to the store, it was nowhere to be found.

A few hours later, she received a phone call from a police officer. He had her billfold. The person who found it had turned it in. Nothing was missing.

My friend felt truly blessed to have gotten everything back. She wanted to say how much she appreciated the concern and courtesy from all involved.

Thank you from Susan Steffler of Idaho.

Anna Mae Karnes

Rossville, Ga.


Shakespeare was right on target

CNN reports that Tennessee is second in the nation in COVID cases per capita. And still our dear leader, Gov. Lee, grins from ear to ear without a mask.

Hamlet, you were so right.

"One may smile, and smile, and be a villain."

Carolyn Mitchell


Wants to see new Fairness Doctrine

The Fairness Doctrine was initiated by the FCC in 1949 but repealed in 1987. Congress voted to reinstate it, but Ronald Reagan vetoed it. The doctrine required licensed broadcasters to give equal time to both sides of issues. It was sometimes onerous and cumbersome, but overall, it enabled lesser known ideas and solutions to be aired.

It did not apply to cable news because cable did not exist in 1949. Consequently, the rise of interviewers yelling over each other and presenting one-sided arguments became the approach, giving a great deal of power to these entities. A serious review of facts and issues became, instead, a rise in decibel level. I'm ready to be bored again instead of appalled. In the '90s like many other Americans, I stopped watching. I enjoyed seeing Bill Buckley, Adlai Stevenson, et al., battle out wars of ideas, not lessons in banality. Usher in a new requirement that includes public forums, cable news, and those money-making, sensationalistic public venues. Begin to regulate social media airways that currently rule by algorithm, not knowledge. Standards of fairness would have avoided much of the turmoil that has risen since 1987.

Up with fact. Down with propaganda.

Helen Barrett


Red Bank lauded for traffic decision

Thanks to the city of Red Bank for making the right northbound lane of Dayton Boulevard "right turn only" at the intersection of Ashland Terrace. This greatly improves traffic flow at that intersection.

Brendan Brosnan


Withdrawal will have long-term effects

The 5,000-member troop level that was in Afghanistan maintained regional stability, provided moral cover for the Afghan people — particularly women — and blocked any attempt by al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations to launch attacks on America from Afghanistan soil.

For a country that has troops stationed around the world to maintain regional stability in South Korea, Japan, Europe and others, to name a few, the Biden administration was dramatically misled by the advice of military, intelligence and diplomatic advisors to abandon Afghanistan.

His decision is an incredible failure in judgment that will bring severe harm to the U.S. and the local Afghan population. Biden alone and his top leadership officials in Defense, intelligence and State must bear the blame for this horrific failure.

Bob Jack