News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Sales tax hurts Decatur, shoppers

I am writing about the Decatur City Council's move to put up billboards and run TV and radio ads to try to get people to shop in Decatur, since Sept. 11, 2001, when our former mayor and City Council met and passed a 9-cent sales tax violating our state's Sunshine law.

Two of our current city councilmen, Billy Jackson and Ronny Russell, are still on the council that met that day and passed the 9-cent sales tax. Jackson is council president and has banned public comment at city council meetings also.

No matter what they do, people won't forget what they did to Decatur. Another city councilman has a business in Hartselle and is profiting from Decatur's 9-cent sales tax. If Mr. Bolding really wants to help Decatur, why not locate his business in Decatur? Of course, we know that he has the right to locate anywhere he wants, except Decatur, right?

The bottom line is that no one will shop where there is a higher sales tax, especially when many of them work in the surrounding area where the sales tax is lower and when everyone here knows the Decatur City Council will never rescind our 9-cent sales tax that is killing small businesses here.

David W. Kelley


CIA OK'd president's speech

Your Nov. 3 editorial, "Pay no attention to that elephant in the corner" concludes "the nation deserves the truth." Ironically, in that same editorial, you ask your readers to accept the following inflammatory, but false, statement:

"It has been well documented that Mr. Bush included those now-infamous 16 words in his State of the Union speech, 'The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa,' months after the president learned from the CIA that the British intelligence had been proven bogus."

Had you done your homework, including a review of the Butler Report and of the report of the bi-partisan Senate Select Intelligence Committee, especially Conclusions 19, 20, 21 and 22, you would know that the information regarding Iraq's efforts to purchase uranium was well-founded and approved by the CIA for inclusion in the State of the Union address. Although its credibility was later seriously questioned, it has not been proven bogus, even to this day.

It is shameful for you, without proof, to accuse the president of knowingly utilizing incorrect information in the State of the Union. No responsible journalist would make such accusations without clear proof. In the interest of fairness, you should present your "well-documented" proof or retract your baseless allegations.

William E. Shinn Jr.


Rice visit was disappointing

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice paid a visit to Alabama a couple of weeks ago.

I am disappointed in her speech in Birmingham. With all the crime and a city in serious, steep decline, you would think maybe she would have some new ideas and suggestions to help the city. Instead, she chose a subject that is almost 45 years old.

I thought she would mention the three brave policemen who gave their lives for a decaying city just last year. I am talking about the two drug dealers who ambushed and killed the three policemen. Maybe in Rice's view, the white cops don't mean as much as four black girls who died in the church bombing 40-something years ago. But political correctness trumps all nowadays.

B. James


Reader fed up with lies, unrest

We need to get out of Iraq. We need the manpower and money for the disaster of Katrina. If we are going to stay in Iraq we must go after Iran. If we go after Iran we will have to start the draft. Now I don't want to do either. To me, the best choice is to get the troops home.

My friends and I have discussed the problem in Iraq. The puppet government set up by us does not want us to leave. We believe it is the money they want to keep coming from the United States.

We also believe that the U.S. government can't be trusted — they lie to us. The news media does the same thing. Neither of these entities can be trusted.

Washington, D.C., is a circus of monkeys. We have all those folks up there to govern and they just indict one another. Karl Rove can't be trusted. Neither can we trust Donald Rumsfeld. The Democrats have no backbone against the Republicans.

When we bring the troops home let's stop by Aruba and see if we can find the girl's body. I just can't believe her body disappeared without a trace. No clothes? No bones? No underclothes? No pocketbook? No hair? No shoes? No nothing? Come-on.

I hear that visitors to France get treated with disrespect. Looks like the native Muslims got tired of it.

Leroy J. Carlisle Jr.


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