Beware plans of Trump and Lee
Reading the paper on Wednesday morning was exhausting. There's the former president proposing to do away with the Affordable Care Act. And Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee proposing to extend the education voucher program to the entire state.
The Affordable Care Act has been in place since 2010. It's reported that roughly 40 million people now benefit from the ACA. That is not a casual number. Why should we care? The ACA affords health insurance to a wide cross section of our fellow Americans who otherwise would not be insured. Why anyone, much less a candidate for president, proposes doing away with the ACA is an absolute outrage.
Now onto the change to the educational voucher in Tennessee to be proposed by Gov. Lee. Why should we care? Because the proposal draws funds away from the public school system and sends that money to private schools (including many religious private schools). His proposal raises all sorts of issues. The voucher system will negatively affect our historic commitment to free public education.
What is being proposed is so egregious that it leaves little to be said beyond my comments. I hope I have raised your attention to consider the effects on you or people you know.
Calm, solutions-oriented debate needed
I am not an avid Donald Trump supporter, nor a strident foe of Joe Biden. They are two poor choices. We can do better and should work for better candidates. I am, however, against the systemic collapse of this country in terms of crime, the economy, energy, education, justice, gender and race. All these spheres of our culture seem to be under attack and in control of those who do not seem to have our best interests in mind and wish to create division, conflict and actual hatred within our populace.
As a people, as a nation, we need to calmly discuss, debate and move toward a solution — not destruction. Can we, without shouting, agree to move forward as a nation?
Cars are weapons; treat them as such
Slower traffic equals safer streets, and if done correctly, motorists will be mad and they will complain. This is proof that it's working, not a reason to abandon the project.
› Fact: By slowing traffic, we can save many lives every year.
› Fact: If we create better walking and cycling infrastructure, we will save lives every year.
› Fact: If our streets are consistently patrolled for unsafe driving, we will save lives every year.
› Fact: If we eliminate right-turn-on-red in our city, we will save lives every year
› Fact: If we rework dangerous intersections and eliminate opportunities to drive fast, we will save lives every year.
Jaywalking should not be against the law, but killing people with cars should be.
Hit a pedestrian or bicyclist with a car, and you are at fault until proven otherwise.
Cars are being used as weapons. This needs to stop now.
War on Christmas a Fox-created story
Fox News has been fighting the "war on Christmas" for a long time — 19 years, counting 2023. That's longer than the combined years of combat by U.S. forces in nearly all our wars.
Although thousands of men and women died in those wars, the only casualty in the Fox fight was ... truth.
Speaking of truth, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann told the Pachyderm Club on Monday that he's still "all in" on Donald Trump's bid for a second term as president. No surprise; he endorsed the former president weeks ago.
Going for Trump's election Fleischmann recycled worn-out political tropes. "[W]e have got to beat Joe Biden [and] those radical left-wing Democrats who are destroying our country." And he blames the Biden for "just about everything" he can — "and they deserve it."
A GOP congressman, Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wisconsin, criticized this year's Festival of Trees in Green Bay for including one with a Satan theme, though more than 70 trees celebrated other themes. He slammed that inclusion as — yes —"woke."
You remember that Florida governor who claimed that his state was where "woke went to die"? Hmm. The same could probably be said of his presidential campaign.
Hospital on Bend delays inevitable
I very much agree with Brooke Persons' commentary last Sunday on the national significance of the Moccasin Bend Archeological District and its preservation.
The pressing issue at hand is whether to relocate the Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute or to build a new facility on the existing state-owned land on Moccasin Bend.
Naturally, there is much to be said for building on state land versus going into Chattanooga proper and purchasing land.
In my opinion, relocating the mental health hospital closer to the city center makes more sense. The state says it cannot find comparable tracts of land. But are they looking for a 100-acre size tract or a more reasonable, five-to-10-acre acre tract on Chattanooga property that can be infilled by an invaluable state facility?
Building a new mental health hospital on the Winston site on Moccasin Bend will only delay the inevitable. In 50 years, the new hospital will be obsolete and future leaders will say let's build its replacement where it makes sense.
Protect pedestrians on our North Shore
I'm extremely saddened and worried by the recent pedestrian deaths on Frazier Avenue. Like so many others, I use that intersection all the time to shop on foot and to commute via bike. The tragedy that occurred over the weekend was preventable. Chattanooga needs to do more to protect pedestrian safety, especially in areas of high walking traffic like Frazier Avenue.
I would ask the City Council to step up to implement some traffic calming that could lower the speeds and reduce car traffic through that stretch of North Shore. For example, changing that section to single lane instead of two, or getting rid of the street parking to allow for better visibility. A protected bike lane with concrete barriers could have stopped that car from going up on the sidewalk.
I know we can't eliminate drunk driving but we can enact policies that protect walkers and bikers from their actions. I hope this can be an opportunity for Chattanooga to consider pedestrians and cyclists; we shouldn't be taking our lives in our own hands just to get to work, shop or go for a stroll. We have as much a right to be there as cars, and I hope council members will do more to ensure pedestrian safety.
If you like vets, don't vote Trump
While awaiting a flight recently, I was reminded that military veterans are offered the benefit of early boarding. I'm fine with that.
My dad served, my uncle navigated a B-17 in World War II, and my father-in-law was killed in the Battle of the Bulge weeks after my husband's birth.
We have an obligation to honor that sacrifice by fiercely protecting the democracy that our veterans have safeguarded for us. If you are thinking of voting for Donald Trump, your "Thank you for your service" to veterans rings hollow. Remember that he has great admiration for the despot that our guys helped save the world from in the 40s.
Mary A. Duffy