News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


More lanes not solution to Beltline traffic problem

The Beltline is a major traffic artery for east-west traffic. As such, it is bound for heavy traffic.

Also, it has numerous businesses and shops whose customers rush out to mingle with the long-distance travelers. Many businesses have grown up along the route because of the proximity to customers. The resulting congestion cannot be relieved by adding more of the same.

It two more lanes of traffic are added, the confusion will be increased. First, there will be more traffic, and second, considerable lane changing.

Since we must eventually meet our problem with a bypass, wouldn't it be better to begin working on the solution rather than a stopgap?

Not fewer, but more vehicles will be added to the inviting space. Additional speed will be called for to move the traffic along and even 18-wheelers must change lanes sometimes — even if they are confined to a certain lane.

Much greater benefit would occur from money and attention paid to the Veterans Parkway supported around the southern part of the city.

Frances Philpot Evans


To support troops, one must back war rationale

You can label your editorial on reasons for going to war anything you want to, but if you were honest you would call it what it is: the big lie.

No, not the Bush administration's, yours. You know perfectly well the previous Clinton administration and the Democrats passed resolutions condemning Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction." You know how many resolutions the UN passed imposing sanctions on Iraq. You know the last Congress passed a resolution authorizing military action. You know that every major Western military intelligence service believed he had such weapons. You know Saddam, in fact, used them by gassing Iran in their war, and against his own people, the Kurds. He is currently charged with these crimes. You know he was a murderer, a torturer, and a destabilizer of the region. You know he opposed at every turn the United States' vital interests in the Middle East.

You sweep all this away under your filthy rug of deceit, just so that you can attack the president and deny the will of the electorate. The election showed the people believe Bush and not your litany of lies proclaimed for a year by the Democratic candidate(s). You say in the editorial you support the troops while you undermine their very reason for being there and their will to succeed. Some support. You are like a parent who says he supports his child while continually telling him he can't succeed.

Franklin Johnson


Influence peddling typical of Bush administration

Re: Article, "Big-money contributors line up for inauguration," by Thomas B. Edsall and Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, Washington Post Staff Writers, Jan. 13.

So, what's new? This is influence buying. This is how Bush operates and how he got in office to start. This is politics at its worst!

Regardless of what he says, infers or professes to be, Bush is a charlatan. One must only look at his record for proof. Bush's record has been one of nothing but mistakes and wrong choices. The people, integrity, morality and doing what is right and proper have nothing to do with the Bush bunch. Government is for those in government and those who can pay enough to put them there.

Yes, by necessity, we must have commerce because without it there is no business, without which there is no work. Therefore, we must have commerce to survive. But "all for the big dog and nothing for the little man," typically Bush, is not the answer.

James L. Nix


Community was generous during holiday season

I would like to thank the community for its generous response during the Christmas season with our Red Kettle Drive and Angel Tree Program. Because you, the community, so generously gave donations, time and energy on behalf of the disadvantaged, The Salvation Army was able to help 4,572 individuals experience a wonderful Christmas in 2004.

We were very pleased with sponsorship of our angels. All of the angels were adopted for Morgan, Lawrence and Limestone. The outpouring of generosity was a blessing. We would especially like to thank Channel 19 for the coverage of the Angel Tree Program and Community First/Cozy Coat Drive. A special thanks also goes out to our area schools in our tri-county service area for their canned food drives and to the Volunteer Center, Channel 48 and Colonial Mall for the Can-a-Thon.

We had hundreds of volunteers attending the angel tree, ringing bells, making donations to our kettles, conducting canned food drives, adopting angels, packing food boxes, stuffing stockings and helping with distribution. The Salvation Army could not provide the services we do without the support of caring people in our community like you. Our prayer is that members of the community experienced great joy and satisfaction as they shared their resources with others. Thanks so much for what you have done.

Maj. David Singletary


Commandments displayed in works, not in words

I cannot believe that another Alabama judge would seek to challenge the rulings of federal and appeals courts over the display of the Ten Commandments after ousted Chief Justice Roy Moore did so. It may seem that Covington County Circuit Judge Ashley McKathan, who paid to have his judicial robe embroidered with the words of the Ten Commandments in gold, is following in Moore's footstep for national notoriety.

I highly esteem the Ten Commandments, the great standard of human conduct and the bedrock of truth, civility, decency and discipline in society. The Ten Commandments are more "spiritual" and deal much with the inner life than outward behavior. McKathan's robe represents the civil government, and the inscriptions endorse the Judeo-Christian faith over non-Christians by intimidating them.

I find that Judge McKathan's statement "The Ten Commandments can help a judge know the difference between right and wrong" raises serious questions. How is his experience now different from past decisions? What lessons from Moore's litigation will not play with him? How does McKathan interpret the Establishment Clause? Why must McKathan wear an embroidered robe at this time before the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the Ten Commandments case this year?

McKathan can express his religious beliefs — his way of life — in public freely with certain limitations. Perhaps the broadest field where McKathan can acknowledge God in his workplace (it is here that he spends so much of his time) is exercising decorum, dignity, kindness, patience, respect and sympathy toward others, trying always to uplift humanity.

If the Ten Commandments are written upon one's heart and mind, they will be easily discernible in public without any fanfare. Whether an accuser stands before McKathan's bench or whether a citizen sits in the jury box, each one wants to behold a fair and impartial decision in court.

Isaiah J. Ashe


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