Today's rhetoric beyond 'fair-minded'

David Cook's column last Sunday column about his meeting with his long-time critic Tim Price was inspiring, but it missed the point of so much of today's "us-versus-them" rhetoric. Both men appear to be fair-minded representatives of the left and right and not wingnuts to the lunatic fringe of their positions. They could listen and speak reasonably to one another.

But how does one counter QAnon theories of Democratic pedophiles operating out of a D.C. pizza parlor's basement or Jewish space lasers starting California fires? Or Alex Jones' claim the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting never happened and was staged to take away Second Amendment rights? Or woke folks who know that eliminating the police would lead to less crime?

Extremes are posted daily on social media and too often reported by news sources. Cook and Price listening to one another and respecting — while not necessarily accepting — the other's views is hopeful as it is how American democracy is supposed to work. The Constitution wasn't written by men in complete agreement with one another.

Grady S. Burgner



One newspaper friend is replacing another

Goodbye to the paper, Chattanooga Times Free Press, my old friend. You have been on my kitchen table, alongside my bowl of cereal, for many years. Rain, shine, cold or hot, you always came to my door. I will miss you. When I learned you would only come on Sundays, I was so sad. I pouted, whined, said no one was going to read the paper on an iPad. I even called the Times Free Press and told them so.

Then some nice person called me to come pick up my iPad and get instructions on how to use it. My husband and I have used it. It is easy to use. We love to make the print larger and easier to read. Yes, getting the news as it happens is very nice. I will miss my old friend, but welcome my new friend.

Ruth Cote


Motorists vexed by blocked rail crossings

Blocked railway crossings are becoming more and more a problem across the area, not just on Hamill Road. Railroads are lowering their operational costs by lengthening trains and running at slower speeds. I get that (I'm a retired professional industrial engineer).

When Volkswagen announced their plans to move to Chattanooga, a considerable amount of planning went into transportation issues. One recommendation was to operate traffic advisory signs near grade level railway crossings to alert motorists to blocked rail crossings. This would alert drivers to seek an alternative route. This has not occurred.

Motorists traveling Hickory Valley Road know about the increasing number of times that road is blocked by long trains and, worse, stopped trains. There are no warning signs alerting motorists to the blocked road conditions.

Install warning signs for Hickory Valley Road at the Bonny Oaks Drive and the Tyner Road intersections announcing when the roadway will be cleared. The same can be done on Hamill Road at Highway 153 and Adams Road.

Get this done. Then such railway crossings.

David C. Torbett



Charter schools akin to re-segregation?

"Informed patriotism" is a euphemism for segregation. Charter schools were started at almost the same time as forced integration and are an attempt to segregate schools and teach religious doctrine to children.

We cannot overcome the murderous actions of our ancestors by pretending they didn't happen. America was founded on the blood of Native Americans and African slaves. Until we own that, we cannot overcome it.

Larry Ortega



Suing gun-makers will open Pandora's Box

President Biden wants to let gunshot victims sue gun manufacturers for the gun they produced that caused harm to them.

The law is like a pool of water. Drop a pebble in, and ever-expanding rings occur. You can't single out one industry. Sooner or later, the same law that currently protects gun manufacturers will be used to protect other industries.

Alcohol, like guns, is heavily regulated. Imagine I purchase Budweiser beer legally, sell it to local high schoolers. They injure or kill a third party or themselves while intoxicated. Should Budweiser be liable? Should Ford be sued for the Escape SUV used to kill people in the December 2021 Milwaukee Christmas parade?

Unless you give all manufacturers the direct ability to control who purchases their products, they can hold no liability for their misuse by a third party. And if you do, be prepared for manufacturers denying sale of their products to certain demographic, ethnic or racial groups.

The president's argument makes no sense. It's just political pandering.

A gun, like a knife or axe, will not work unless a person causes it to function. Until people who regulate firearms understand this, asinine proposals like this will continue.

Bill Bastenbeck


Arm Ukrainians with all short of nuclear

Never again is happening again! The difference now is we are watching it happen on live TV. It is appalling.

Our outrage is matched by our desire to do everything in our power to help bring these atrocities to a stop. We need to urge our lawmakers to supply the brave and courageous Ukrainians with every tool we have short of nuclear.

The United States has virtual weapons and ones that are cutting edge on the physical battlefield. Let's keep in mind that neighborhoods like ours are battlefields in Ukraine. As I said, never again is happening now. We cannot wait to get the help the Ukrainians so desperately need. Time is short; lives matter; democracy matters.

Irv Ginsburg


Chattanooga law enforcement endorsements — blah

"ENDORSED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT": District attorney candidate Coty Wamp, Criminal Court judge candidate Boyd Patterson and Circuit Court judge candidate Jim Exum apparently think that the majority of the citizens of Hamilton County aren't all involved in the enforcement of our laws. Maybe they believe that a police officer's vote is more valuable than any other citizens, or just maybe it's like that guy in Germany in the mid-1930s to 1940s who solicited a "thumbs-up" by good Germans by them attaching a swastika to their endorsements.

It is an anti-democratic and totally inappropriate tactic by "law enforcement" and the candidates. You are not Republicans; your behavior identifies you as greedy, unethical, right-wing hypocrites.

Hank Hill