Israel-Hamas war needs better path and more letters to the editors

Israel-Hamas war needs better path

Hate, rage: This is what is fueling the Israel-Hamas war — on both sides. Hamas vows to obliterate Israel. Israel vows to obliterate Hamas. Does this mean to obliterate Gaza? Israel has the right to defend itself, but by what means?

Since the Oct. 7 massacre, Israel has killed thousands of Gazans, injured and displaced more than a million people, and destroyed huge numbers of buildings. According to an Israeli newspaper, an Israel Defense Forces official said, "The emphasis is on damage and not on accuracy." Half of Gaza's 2.3 million people are women, and almost half are children. With Israel's blockade of Gaza, desperate people are drinking unsafe water, and hospitals are pleading for electricity, especially for newborns in intensive care.

Some wave off the ongoing massacre of innocents because Hamas hides behind civilians. What sort of math is in play here? Ten civilians per terrorist? One hundred per terrorist? One thousand? Or do Palestinian lives not count at all? Israel is not blameless in this horrible mess. It must find a better path, regardless of the difficulties. The United States must push much harder for a change of direction.

Betsy Darken

Kindergartners to benefit from literacy program expansion

To build home libraries and strengthen early literacy in Tennessee, the Governor's Early Literacy Foundation has expanded its K-3 home library program to include kindergarten students enrolled in 32 school districts, including Hamilton County, and charter schools across the state.

The program is delivering six grade-level books and other literacy resources directly to the homes of more than 9,000 students, teachers, librarians and media specialists, at no cost to families, individual schools or school districts, according to a news release. The program is state-funded.

Children enrolled in a participating school district were signed up to receive the books with an opt-out option for families. The books and activity-based resources are curated by the foundation's advisory council, a group of 28 diverse Tennessee educators, to help parents and teachers incorporate the program both inside the classroom and in homes.

Claire Jones

Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation

How can anyone vote Republican?

How could anyone vote for a presidential candidate who claims to want to "terminate" the Constitution, or for a party whose members entertain "lasers in space?" Who would tolerate any political party that doesn't condemn those who issue death threats against those they disagree with?

How can anyone vote Republican in upcoming elections?

David C. Redheffer

Ringgold, Ga.

On constitutionally dangerous ground

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, to petition the government for redress of grievances."

Nowhere in constitutionally based law are the religious denied the right to petition government, to address public policy, to promote election of those of like nature, to exercise the inalienable rights of "free thought" and "free will." Only through the politically fabricated "separation of church and state," a term that appears nowhere in founding documents nor espoused in accompanying debate, are such religious rights illegally stricken from public and educational venues — even as the evils of Marxism and global socialism are openly promoted to the extreme of incendiary indoctrination.

For Marxism and its omnipotent, totalitarian elitist fantasy to prevail, God must be driven from society, his public voice silenced, and his life-giving presence denied. Accordingly, in direct violation of the Constitution, Marxists are allowed to promote and install their "state religion" of atheism within which absolute power is held by "The State." God and the Constitution no longer exist.

Such is dangerous ground.

R.G. Kirn


Buy electric car for its climate benefits

Have you heard? EVs are scary. So says the Free Press editorial page in listing one study by a conservative think tank, Texas Public Policy Foundation, which did the so-called "research" and found that the cost per gallon for EVs is $17.34.

But let's unpack some of that voodoo math. We'll focus on just three factors composing the largest portion of the charge:

› $5.96 for Corporate Average Fuel Economy Credits. Out of curiosity, does anybody know what that is, and whether they've paid it recently?

› $2.72 in federal and state EV buyer tax credit and rebates. OK, taxes are political and managed by the government. This number too high? Vote for a different representative.

› $3.18 for utility ratepayers' increased charges to improve the electric grid for mass charging of EVs. The grid could certainly stand to improve, and will, but much of EV charging already comes from Level 3 chargers powered by solar.

So there's $11.86 of the $17.34, or 68%, which is variable and unknown at this point. The only legitimate number cited is the $1.21 for the cost of residential electricity.

The real issue is that our paper and this study ignore the climate-fighting benefits of EVs.

Roger Davis

Signal Mountain

Comparing Gaza plight to Ukraine

Compare the immortal words of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in November 2022: "Heat, water, electricity for children, for the elderly, for the sick — these are President Putin's new targets. He's hitting them hard. This brutalization of Ukraine's people is barbaric."

Secretary of State Blinken, you are absolutely right. There is no scenario in which it's OK to withhold these basic necessities from a population.

Please apply this sentiment not only to Ukraine but also to Gaza. The brutalization of the people of Gaza by Israel is as reprehensible as that of Russia and Ukraine.

Doris Rausch

Tullahoma, Tenn.

Our representatives should represent us

I am a citizen of Tennessee who tries to keep up with what's going on in our state and our country. Our representatives are supposedly here to operate openly with intelligence and concern for the people they represent. Easy to understand but apparently difficult to deliver.

I know who was elected to represent us. Sen. Marsha Blackburn does not represent me, but I know where she puts forth positions in opposition to the best interests of her constituents. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann claims to represent his constituents but remains almost invisible. He too votes against issues of vital interest to his constituents.

I don't know Sen. Bill Hagerty as he also is invisible to his public. If we could see him, it will be helpful in deciding who he is. In a recent edition of the TFP, he was reported to have publicly admonished President Biden for being slow in responding to the tragedy in Israel. An outrage. Wow! Is he totally unaware of the president's trip to Israel amidst the conflagration? And the strong speeches in support of Israel?

We are citizens of Tennessee in need of strong representation by our elected officials. Keep that in mind when you next vote! Our democracy depends on it.

Irv Ginsburg

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