Phillips' book key to Johnson memorial

The unveiling of the memorial to Ed Johnson's lynching on the Walnut Street Bridge in 1906 was a dark day in Chattanooga history. A white, male jury convicted him before the trial began, alleging the rape of a white woman. Read "Contempt of Court," co-authored by the late Leroy Phillips, a masterpiece of 30 years of research.

I heard the tragic story of Johnson more than 50 years ago. My friend Leroy came to my classes at Brainerd High School in the 1970s. After discussing the Constitution, he brought us up to date on his research. Every year my students got a "plate full of racial injustice" from a man who truly believed in equal justice for all people.

I read LaFrederick Thirkill learned about this atrocity in a newspaper in 1999. The newspaper pictures Leroy kneeling at the headstone of Ed Johnson. He took me to the grave in 1985. Leroy's attempt to clean up Pleasant Gardens Cemetery never materialized. He was pleased Mr. Thirkill and Vaughn Moore were more successful. It's sad Leroy's not alive. He would be overwhelmed. Many people made this possible, but without Leroy it might never have happened.

Wilbourne C. Markham Sr.

Signal Mountain


Voters, step up and hold politicians accountable

How can we expect our elected officials to control debt? From my vantage point, they have no conception of how to control expenses. The new lock at the dam is a perfect example. Drive by one day and see for yourself — government contractors just don't seem to be able run a cost-efficient project.

Yet we expect government itself to run the country in a cost-efficient manner. Party affiliation doesn't seem to matter; both Democrats and Republicans all want more money to spend. What other job can you think of that has such good benefits? Good pay, good insurance and good retirement, all for less than half of a year in session.

No wonder they can't be cost effective. We pay them not to be. A trillion dollars is a huge number that is hard to grasp the significance of — $3.5 trillion dollars is enough money to give every man woman and child in the country more than $10,000. I'm not advocating that, but it does put things in perspective.

We cannot expect things to change until we can realign the responsibilities of our elected officials and hold them accountable for their actions.

Jon Bourne, Hixson


Loves paper's digital edition

I have subscribed to the CTFP for over 40 years. For the last three years, I have had a digital subscription and read the paper each morning on my iPad. At first, it was different than holding the paper, but I can tell you I would not go back to the paper. I love being able to forward articles via email to family and friends. If you deliver a Sunday paper to me, I'll use it to line the bird cage but read it in my iPad.

Doug BeVille


Support vaccine requirements for all

To prevent further spread of the coronavirus, we should require everyone to get fully vaccinated, including a possible third dose, unless exempted by a sincerely held religious belief or medical condition. We should write to our legislators and executives at all levels of government.

Alvin Blake


Where would we be without socialism?

How lucky this country is to have socialist programs. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, socialism is a social system where the government possesses political power and the means of producing and distributing goods. Here are some examples:

- FDR's New Deal includes the Federal Reserve, Social Security, the FDA, TVA, FDIC, Securities and Exchange Commission, the IRS and farm subsidies among other socialist programs.

- President Johnson's Great Society includes Head Start and education reform, Medicaid and Medicare, the Job Corps and the Consumer Product Safety Commission among others.

- More recently, President George W. Bush agreed to the bailout of the banks and auto industries, and President Obama followed through on it.

- President Trump implemented Operation Warp Speed to obtain a vaccine against COVID-19, and President Biden distributed that vaccine to the masses. Additionally, Presidents Trump and Biden distributed relief during this pandemic.

Other programs include the military, infrastructure, libraries, police and fire departments, the USPS, student loans, garbage collection, disability insurance, the CDC, the Peace Corps and NASA among other programs.

So, I ask, where would our lives be without these socialist programs to make each of our lives better?

Mary C. Caliandro

Ooltewah, Tenn.


Pinkston growing family at office?

I saw a crowd of about 75 people last week milling about outside the office of District Attorney General Neal Pinkston.

I'm guessing it was his family showing up for work.

Stephen Greenfield

Cleveland, Tenn.


Biden blundering suggests questions

Joe Biden has just overseen the most atrocious military operation in the history of our country with the withdrawal of our forces from Afghanistan. He made the worst possible decision at every turn, though he continues to try to compliment himself on his effort.

Why did he fail so miserably to start the full evacuation much, much sooner? Why did he leave billions' worth of weapons and equipment as gifts to the Taliban? Why did he close down Bagram air base instead of using it for the evacuation center? Why did he not take the Taliban's offer to let the U.S. control Kabul and its airport?

Why did he pull the soldiers out before having all the Americans safely out of the country? And the most serious and damning question of all, why did he leave Americans behind? All of these will suffer in unimaginable ways in the days and weeks ahead.

Joe Biden gave up all leverage from the start, and now the Taliban have all the leverage and can call all the shots. All Americans are much less safe today because of this blundering.

W. Hicks



Wants senators to vote for carbon fee

Bloomberg, The Hill and NBC recently reported that the Senate Finance Committee is considering a price on carbon beginning at $15 per ton and slowly increasing each year thereafter. Bloomberg adds that this fee "would be paired with rebates for low-income taxpayers and a border-adjustment tax aimed at ensuring foreign companies don't get an advantage."

This is significant because a price on carbon is our best approach in addressing climate change. It would be effective, good for the health and welfare of our citizens, and supportive of business and the economy. Finally, the fee would be returned to Americans to use as they see fit, making it revenue neutral.

Recently, we have seen severe flooding in our state. Our fellow Tennesseans have lost their homes, businesses and even their lives. This and other recent disasters illustrate that we cannot wait to unleash bold action to slow climate change.

Without a doubt, a robust price on carbon would ensure that America does its part to prevent the worst impacts of global warming. I urge Sen. Blackburn and Sen. Hagerty to support a price on carbon when it comes to the floor of the Senate.

David Thomforde