Western vision worthy if we can live up to it
Adm. James Stavridis, in his April 17 Perspective cover commentary on America winning the information war with Russia, states: "We must sell the idea that the Western vision of democracy, liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and gender and racial equality are inherently and obviously the only worldview that matters."
We'd have a lot more credibility selling those values if our nation and our politics actually worked to live up to them: civil and voting rights, bodily autonomy, education by teachers instead of politicians, fair wages and health care, and a livable planet.
Mayoral editorials lean both ways
I always read Jay Greeson's "Right to the Point" articles and recognize the word "Right" in the phrase. They are informative even when I disagree. I must say his back-handed comment in the Friday column about mayoral candidates was amusing. He mentioned endorsements by the "left-leaning" Times editorial and the Free Press editorial. Surely, we can agree that the Free Press editorial page is right-leaning just as the Times editorial page is left-leaning.
Hurt over friend's reference to police
About last Sunday's letter to the editor ("Law enforcement endorsements — blah") written by a learned adversary and longtime friend:
I was dismayed to read your recent reference to candidates who accept endorsement from our associated profession as members of the Third Reich. It is inconceivable to me a practitioner with as deep a quiver of verbal arrows would stoop to casting such appellations, any more than I would describe members of your honored guild with sobriquets involving ambulances and stray dogs.
This cannot be the same man who talked child hostages out of an armed man's North Brainerd home when the late Freeman Cooper was PIO. It's certainly not the same man whose jocular presence was widely welcomed at our bacchanalia in days of yore.
I was gifted to learn my craft from you and the late John Alley, Leroy Phillips, Col. John Stubbs, Bill Hall, and other solons of the law who've shown boundless talent and cordial charm. You've earned a place among those time will honor.
You're still my friend. I look forward to seeing you again, in the twilight of our careers, and enjoying cheerful banter over shared causes. I'll always remember it was you who taught me: "The best antidote for hate is acquaintance."
Can U.S. be trusted to follow through on Ukraine?
Can the American team that once drew a red line in Syria and backed off to let the Russians handle Assad and his chemical weapons be trusted to deliver the necessary equipment for the courageous stand by Ukraine? Is logistics enough?
With cities obliterated and now the evidence of war crimes with rubble and bodies littering streets, will the human community stand by the same slaughter that made Aleppo bleed by the ruthless 25th Division of Syrian soldiers and the Russian Air Force? What operational plan brews in the mind of the experienced Russian butcher, Gen. Aleksandr Dvornikov?
How will this general use his army, as well as Syrian mercenaries and soldiers, to augment this force? Hospitals, schools, and now train stations are all legitimate targets. Human rights do not exist for commanders without a conscience.
If Ukraine is breadbasket for Europe and Africa, is the chaos of famine part of Putin's plan?
Lacking the skill of a Pasternak or Dostoevsky, Putin glories in conceiving another chapter of Russian history written in blood.
Bowling's legislation deserved better fate
[State] Sen. Janice Bowling sponsored SB-2700 and SB-2787 in the 2022 legislative session. SB-2700 would have ended the abuse of speed traps in Tennessee. SB-2787 would have ended law enforcement's use of unmarked police cars to make traffic stops.
According to Speedtrap.org, speed traps are a multibillion-dollar industry that causes much suffering and unfair treatment of Tennessee motorists. Marked police cars can perform every function that unmarked cars can in addition to preventing crime by presenting a visual deterrent to criminals, which unmarked cars do not.
Both SB-2700 and SB-2787 were opposed by, and eventually their original intent was killed by, opposition from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Gov. Lee. Sen. Bowling deserves credit for trying to stand up to the current administration in Tennessee, making a strong effort to end abuses against Tennessee motorists. It is unfortunate the powers that be in Tennessee state government were unwilling to support Sen. Bowling's good faith effort on behalf of working people.
Budget calculations ultimately unavoidable
While household spending and government spending are not exactly analogous, the principles of basic economics are in effect regardless. Dollars are worth less when there are too many of them; excessive debt can cripple; no one can for long afford to live beyond his means.
President Biden likes to refer to the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan passed in the first month of his presidency as "landmark" despite the fact that Congress in the months before had already approved trillions in spending for COVID-related programs — trillions in effect charged to our grandchildrens' "credit cards."
Those of us stuck in the world of basic economics wondered at the time how those thousands of billions could possibly be distributed and spent responsibly, and little by little we hear through your reporting that Chattanooga will spend $33 million for an affordable housing initiative and Red Bank will spend $3 million to upgrade its sewers. Both funded by recent federal dollars and both laudable goals no doubt, but each initiative possible only because no one on the federal level has given any thought to how today's spending will affect tomorrow's budget. In the real world, such calculations are eventually unavoidable.
Lookout Mountain, Ga.
Today's sickening virtue signaling
Virtue signaling is so phony. The worst part is that people think it's sincere.
> Ukraine/Russia I: We all agree that Russia is the aggressor and is guilty of war crimes. But what the heck do you think Grant and Sherman were doing back in the early 1860s? They weren't playing badminton.
> Ukraine/Russia II: It is so fake for liberal/woke politicos to whine about "bad" Russia when all they care about is the "Russia hoax" myth of a "stolen" 2016 election. Where were they in 2014?
> Old/New College Hill Courts: I always thought "projects" were housing of the last resort and a weigh station for people to climb up out of poverty. This "new" idea is an outmoded urban concept of building "new" projects. Much better idea: the HOPE housing program of a few years ago.
> EVs: I'm OK with electric vehicles, but most people cannot afford them. Green dreams aside, where is all of the electricity for 250+ million cars supposed to come from? Windmills and solar power will never do it.
I think it's time to replace our mental 6-year-olds with grown-ups who have a clue.