Give better honor than death penalty
TO THE EDITOR:
Ultimately, we will all die, but most of us will not be killed by the state of Tennessee. Your "crazy like a fox" editorial (April 30, "Paul Dennis Reid lives and eats his cake, too") was a crude effort to support the killing of Reid.
Whether a person is crazy or not, when the state kills killers in our name, the death penalty brings us all to the level of those who murder. There are more humane and honorable ways of giving tribute to the memories of victims of crime than by repeating the very acts used by those who commit the crimes.
Let us give true honor to the memories of those who suffer and die at the hands of others.
School bus drivers deserve good pay
TO THE EDITOR:
Rebecca Ann Pruitt's letter in your May 6 issue ("Where's justice in bus driver pay?") omits one salient and important point: The school bus drivers cannot do just anything they choose between their morning runs and the afternoon runs.
I have experience as both a teacher and a bus driver. As a driver I found it very confining to have to schedule my day's activities - shopping, errands, etc. - around the requirement to be ready to get the students to their homes at the right time after their classes were finished for the day.
It is my opinion that the drivers deserve everything they get and more. I think they should also qualify for combat duty pay. If Pruitt thinks that driving a school bus is a piece of cake, I wish she would try doing it for a week - if, indeed, she could last that long!
EDGAR C. HULSE
Opinions don't have moral authority
TO THE EDITOR:
"I have never subscribed the whole of my opinions, in philosophy, in religion, in politics, to any one particular party, where I could think for myself. To do so would be the final degradation of a free and moral agent." - Thomas Jefferson
This is why I can be a veteran opposed to an unconstitutional war, a Catholic who supports the notion of women and married priests, a liberal who supports the death penalty, and a conservative who supports gun control.
I believe in these things because I can. In the end what the individual thinks and calls himself is all that matters. The opinions of others are just opinions. They have no moral force or authority. Those who try to present their opinions as such are sly and dishonest. Of course, that is just my opinion.
JOSEPH V. PURCELL
Bush criticism: same liberal line
TO THE EDITOR:
The letters in your May 5 paper criticizing President Bush follow the standard liberal party line, and they use the same tired rhetoric. I encourage these folks to find some alternative sources of news that may give them a truer picture of the current situation.
I can only say that Bush inherited a weakened economy from Bill Clinton. In an effort to get Al Gore elected, they "cooked the books" on the economy to hide the recession, but it was there none the less. True, people have lost jobs, but unemployment is at 6 percent. Most of our so-called allies in Europe would love to have only a 6 percent unemployment rate; in fact, they would like to have it in the single digits.
The "tax cut for the rich," as one letter writer called it, will benefit the economy for all Americans. The top 5 percent of wage earners pay over 90 percent of the taxes in the country, but if you look at the plan, the higher percentage of the cut goes to those in the lower brackets. History has proven that tax cuts work. The Reagan tax cuts doubled the amount of money taken into the federal coffers, and the Clinton tax increase sent us into a recession. You do the math!
President Bush is a man of integrity and courage, and he stands up for what he believes. All the intelligence we had indicated there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and I think we will find them. The goal was also not to kill Saddam Hussein but to change the regime, and that has happened. This president has no problem with people speaking out; he thinks, as do I, that this is what makes America great.
I am always amazed how the liberals in the country can tell you what they are against, but when pressed can only resort to invective and rancor in their personal attacks on the president. This administration has not reinvented democracy; it has restored it to what it once was. I can only say that I cannot wait for 2004 - four more years.
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