District 6 mailer from GOP is 'vile'
Two months have passed since the slaughter of 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The victims' families will be coping with the tragedy for years.
Not so the Tennessee Republican Party. It seems to think that the murder of 21 people, while tragic, can be repurposed into a political hit job against County Commissioner David Sharpe just in time for this week's election. Thus its recent mailer to District 6 voters whom Sharpe represents.
It would be too kind to describe the mailer as offensive. A more accurate adjective would be vile, which my dictionary defines as "morally despicable or abhorrent."
It depicts an elementary school student with these words: "School shooters are lurking." Below the photo: "And Commissioner David Sharpe would open the door for them."
Sharpe's proposal presented in June 2021 would shift the current $3.2 million SRO funding to the schools. Complementing that with more money would enable the department of education to put a well-trained school safety officer (SSO) at all 75 county schools.
That approach makes more sense than repurposing the murder of 19 children and two teachers in a sleazy attempt to win another county commission seat.
Library is great; make funding a priority
I'm writing in praise of the Chattanooga Public Library. I frequent both the Downtown and Northgate branches, and visiting both is a pleasure. The staff is remarkably helpful and friendly, and the library has a great selection of resources, including plenty of new books. Depending on my mood, I borrow audiobooks, eBooks, or physical books, online or in person. For titles not in their catalog, the library is almost always able to obtain a copy for me.
As a longtime Chattanooga Public Library user, I have been delighted with the transformation since Corinne Hill became its executive director in 2012. Patrons can now relax in the library's café, borrow tools or acquire seeds, obtain free passes for local attractions, climb and play in the children's section, and create in the 4th Floor and Studio spaces. These are just some of the many relevant and essential changes since Hill took charge. Public libraries are community centers, and I hope city leaders will make library funding an ongoing priority.
Are there assurances of no contraction?
It seems the South Broad plan is counting heavily on revenue from a 30-year Chattanooga Lookouts lease and other Lookouts-based taxes. Is there some assurance the proposed stadium will be compliant with the new standards for minor league ballparks? The Lookouts got lucky when the recent contraction of some minor league teams didn't include them, but what happens to the revenue stream if the Lookouts become victims of another contraction in a few years?
Hypocrisy over medical cannabis
Reuters news reports that basketball star Brittney Griner pleaded guilty in a Russian court to possession of hashish oil. She faces a possible jail sentence of up to 10 years.
In court, her attorney stated she had a medical recommendation to use cannabis to treat chronic pain, that it was not uncommon for athletes to use cannabis for this purpose, and that the negative side effects of cannabis were less severe than many prescription analgesics.
U.S. officials state Ms. Griner has been "wrongfully detained" since her arrest at a Russian airport in February 2022.
I recently listened to a local radio talk show discussing the injustice of Russia holding a U.S. citizen based on this charge. Lacking from the discussion was the obvious observation that incarcerating any U.S. citizen due to use of medical cannabis is equally unjust within our own borders.
President Biden has the authority to direct the Drug Enforcement Administration to remove cannabis from its "Schedule 1" list of substances. This action would result in federal decriminalization of the possession of cannabis.
It makes no sense to prosecute patients for the personal use of cannabis.
We shouldn't wink at spending excesses
As a former history teacher, I'm as eager as the next guy to preserve centuries-old deed records (probably slightly more eager), and yet it's troubling to learn in your July 25 report that Hamilton County will spend $700,000 of American Rescue Plan funds to digitize its deed records. Small potatoes as it concerns federal spending, to be sure, but illustrative of the irresponsible spending habits of our elected federal legislators.
Some may remember that in February of 2021 Congress approved the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan for COVID relief; this on top of nearly a trillion in December of 2020 and some $2 trillion a few months earlier, for a total of roughly $5 trillion for COVID relief, nearly all of it added to the federal debt and payable with interest years down the road. (And yes, some of it ended up in my bank account.) How spending many of these millions digitizing deed records or building affordable housing or upgrading storm sewers — all worthy projects — has anything to do with COVID relief is anybody's guess, but what is not guesswork is the undeniable fact that somehow, someway, today's spending will be paid for by future generations.
Those of us with children and grandchildren love them too much to simply wink at these shortsighted spending excesses.
Lookout Mountain, Ga.
Why I am not an NRA member
I am a retired U.S. Army soldier and at one time I was a member of the National Rifle Association. The organization sent a monthly magazine that I found informative. When I was stationed in Korea in 1977, I received my monthly copy, and I came upon an article that was encouraging members to become life members. In that article was a claim that "Only the NRA could defend the 2nd Amendment."
All military personnel swear an oath when they enter the service, which states that they "swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies, foreign and domestic." This includes the Second Amendment. That claim angered me and several of my fellow soldiers.
I dropped my membership at that point, as did many of my friends.
Trump deceiving loyal supporters
To Trump supporters: With respect I say, instead of believing the "Big Lie," believe this: Trump does not and never did care about you except for your adulation which feeds his enormous ego. But you don't have to take my word for it. Read the tweets which came from his own hand on Jan. 6, in which he showed blatant disregard for the safety of hundreds of armed rioters, members of Congress and his own vice president, as well as the sanctity of one of our most historic and ionic buildings.
Those who were close advisers and family members had already told him repeatedly that the election was fair, not rigged as he likes to claim. Yet he promulgates the lie. His sense of reality continues to be distorted by his inability to see beyond what he wishes were so.