That was a very erotic cover photo of Elvis ("Kiss and Tell," August 9th issue). I couldn't help but notice that there were very few, if any, Flyers left in the boxes around town by Sunday. I guess sex still sells, even if it's free.
Now that Mitt Romney has chosen his running mate, Paul Ryan, perhaps we can begin to address real issues: Guns are the real threat to safety and security, not the other way around (Letter from the Editor, August 2nd issue). Politicians need to stop bowing down and fearing the NRA and start dealing with the huge number of high-tech firearms that end up in the wrong hands.
Economics: President Ronald Reagan called it trickle-down economics. George H.W. Bush called it voodoo economics. With George W. Bush, it was just failed economics. Whatever you call it, cutting infrastructure spending and the social safety net for the middle class to enable massive tax cuts for the wealthy doesn't work. It doesn't create jobs; it creates profits for shareholders, who pay at most 15 percent on millions in earnings, while we wage-earners pay considerably higher rates. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has promised more of the same. Ryan's entire career is based on this flawed economic model.
And let's not forget the Tea Party, the "base" that Ryan's nomination is intended to motivate. A large majority of them hate President Obama. Since when do patriots hate a president? What has the president done to them except make their lives easier and safer? Obama rescued the economy from the brink of disaster and has produced 28 months of slow but steady job growth; he ended the Iraq war and is winding down the war in Afghanistan; he eliminated Osama bin Laden and is vigorously pursuing other terrorists. Hating President Obama is not rational. Neither is voting for a return to Bush-era policies.
I have been a teacher in the public school system for 30 years. I am deeply disturbed by the actions of Tennessee legislators over the past two years. They have spent a lot of time and money creating a complicated system for evaluating teachers.
The biggest problem facing our education system is the large number of students who cannot read well enough to do their grade-level work. Somewhere along the way, we have failed these students. You can't blame the teachers alone. By the time these students get to the fifth or sixth grade they are placed with a class of 25 or so students and a teacher who has to teach up to 100 or more state objectives on grade level in 180 days. Students cannot learn to read under these circumstances.
Parents need to insist that the state legislature come up with a plan to help these students and funds to pay for this plan. My state senator, Dolores Gresham, has spent her time backing legislation that will allow our students to attend a for-profit, virtual school in Florida. Our tax dollars pay for this. This school is not accountable to anyone. She has also helped pass legislation that takes away teachers' rights to negotiate their contracts. This was the only way we could influence what we thought should be done for our students. We no longer have the right to elect our own representative to our retirement board. The people of this state need to start asking questions of their elected officials. They need to look past party affiliation and elect people who will do the right things.
Lord Save Us
Paul Ryan is Catholic and only has three children? I thought he was against birth control. You may say that this is none of my business, but, yes, it is my business, when hardline anti-abortion supporters like Ryan want to stick probes up my vagina and make it so that the only way I can get birth control is if it's approved by my boss.
Don't these religious freaks realize that when they force their beliefs on others, they are no different from the religious radicals who participated in the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition? They are like the Taliban and anyone else frozen in their insane religious beliefs.
Lord, save me from your followers.