New resident seeks some accountability
Accountability? I was assaulted on June 6. Very shortly before that on the same premises, another elderly white man was assaulted. The assaults were seen by numerous eyewitnesses and video footage of the assault inside a restaurant. CPD was called, and the assailant was arrested in the parking lot — charged with two counts of assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and obstructing justice. The assailant was noncooperative with the officers and actually spit in one of their faces. (Oddly, that doesn't constitute assaulting an officer here.) Believe it or not, this same criminal was arrested for assault on May 30 (a week before this one). Records show that, despite eight separate arrests in the past five years, he made bail and was released immediately. In time to assault me five days later.
Questions: Where is the judicial and prosecutorial accountability for the revolving door at Silverdale? Why are these violent criminals routinely walking the streets of Chattanooga with impunity?
I moved to Chattanooga in mid-April. Since then, there have been two nationally reported mass shootings, and I have been assaulted. Where is the justice and accountability?
Rights vs. responsibilities
Americans are not hesitant to invoke "our rights." When we do so, we are talking about those rights such as the right to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. These rights play a large role in the kind of government we have and the society in which we live.
What we do not talk about nearly as much, but which are equally important, are the responsibilities that go along with our rights. In a free society such as ours, it is imperative that citizens embrace these responsibilities: obeying the laws, paying taxes, keeping informed on pertinent public issues, voting, serving in the military, serving in public office, serving on juries, and serving as witnesses when called upon to do so.
Rights and responsibilities — both are necessary in our democratic republican form of government. The judiciary depends on average citizens being willing to accept the responsibilities that come with citizenship to ensure we remain a free society.
Curtis L. Collier, U.S. District judge; and law clerks Carrie Brown Stefaniak and Kristen A. Dupard
Who are perpetrators of U.S. violent crime?
In a letter to the editor on June 19, the writer laments "mass shootings in schools." Shootings in schools, such as Uvalde, Texas, are horrifying and must be addressed. There have been six such events since 1982. Since 1970, 367 children have died in shootings associated with schools. Murders in schools are complex, special cases within the much larger problem of violence in the U.S.
The 2019 FBI crime report (the latest available) shows 1,034 school children murdered that year. In 2019, 6,977 people were murdered. Blacks, who are 13.4% of the population, committed 50% of murders and were 45% of victims; whites, who are 60.7% of the population, committed 26% of the murders and were 36% of victims; and Hispanics, who are 18.5% of the population, committed 20% of murders and were 12% of victims.
Violent crime and murder are the overarching problems. In 2019, Blacks had 72 murderers and 53,000 violent criminals per million Blacks; Hispanics had 20 murderers and 14,000 violent criminals per million Hispanics; and whites had seven murderers and 7,300 violent criminals per million whites. That is the real and unacknowledged violent crime and murder problem we have in America.
Robert Phillips, Signal Mountain
Downtown bridge could use a mural
So ugly, the view of the Market Street Bridge from the Walnut Street Bridge. Murals are going up all over town. Why can't we do something on this?
Pence had become expendable to Trump
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." — George Santayana
On July 1, 1934, Adolph Hitler had one of his oldest and most loyal lieutenants, Ernst Rohm, head of the SA, the Nazis' private army, summarily executed. Rohm had outlived his usefulness to Hitler and so was expendable.
On Jan. 6, 2021, Donald Trump concluded that his faithful vice president, Mike Pence, who put duty to the Constitution of the United States above loyalty to Trump the individual, also was expendable. Trump incited a mob, which stormed the Capitol chanting, "Hang Mike Pence." For hours, Trump did nothing to quell his disciples while knowing his vice president was in danger. And for the first time in 220 years of United States history, the peaceful transfer of power was placed in jeopardy, and along with it the future of our democracy.
Like all egomaniacs, Trump believed and still believes that loyalty is a one-way street from which only he is entitled to benefit.
"Each time history repeats itself, the price goes up." — Ronald Wright
Trump enablers, be careful what you wish for.
Dave Siklosi, Athens, Tenn.
Seeking extension of extra tax credits
The recent primary elections remind me our civic duty does not stop at the ballot box. We have a responsibility to speak to our elected officials about what is important to us. The budget reconciliation package being discussed in the U.S. Senate includes a child tax credit that has proven to be effective in relieving poverty in our most vulnerable population — children.
The Center on Budget Policies and Priorities found that families with incomes below $35,000 pumped the monthly tax credits provided by the CTC directly into the economy by purchasing basic needs: food, utilities and rent. When the child tax credit expired in December of 2021, there was a 41% increase in child poverty.
Now more than ever, we need to use our voices and guide those who represent us. Please write and/or call your representatives and urge them to extend the child tax credit with permanent full refundability and re-implement the monthly payment option.
Brianne Brucker Derveloy
Why does religious right support Trump?
I do not understand religious conservatives and their support of Trump at the Faith and Freedom Coalition meeting in Nashville. Other than with Mitch McConnell's help to finagle a conservative Supreme Court that threatens Roe v. Wade, what has been religious about the man?
Faith. Trump's only church attendance I'm aware of is when he forcibly cleared LaFayette Square so he could walk to an Episcopal church — certainly not a bastion of conservatism — to have his picture made holding a Bible. As for moral indicators, it is true the man doesn't partake of alcohol, tobacco or drugs, but apparently his language is so foul it would embarrass a sailor. And the sanctity of his previous two marriages is under question.
As for freedom, look how he treats those who disagree with him, from John McCain to his own loyal-up-to-Jan. 6 vice president, Mike Pence. Followers are free to think only what he thinks. Other thoughts are verboten.
And yet nobody can figure out why church membership in the U.S. is declining these days. Could it be from of the un-sacramental wine and wafer conservatives expect believers to swallow? WWJD?
Grady S. Burgner