To The Editor:
TV host Glenn Beck and other stalwarts of the Christian right have attacked the recent blockbuster "Noah" as being "pro-animal" and unfaithful to the Bible. Well, yes and no. The film is both pro-animal and faithful to the Bible, at least to the Book of Genesis, our only source for the story of Noah.
After all, Genesis 1:29 admonishes, "Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree that has seed-yielding fruit — to you it shall be for food."
It is only after the flood, with fruits and vegetables no longer abundant, that humans get permission to eat animal flesh. Even then, the Bible stipulates that lives of only select animals may be taken and always with reverence and minimal cruelty. This is certainly a far cry from today’s factory farm and slaughterhouse practices.
Regardless of how we may feel about "Noah’s" interpretation of the Bible, each of us can re-create the recommended diet of the Garden of Eden in our home by dropping animal products from our menu.
— Collin Dushay
• State leaders taken to task for VW actions
To The Editor:
In 1935, Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act to protect the rights of employees and employers to encourage collective bargaining and to curtail certain private sector labor and management practices which can harm the general welfare of workers, businesses and the U.S. economy.
The preamble of the law states, “It is declared to be the policy of the United States to eliminate the causes of certain substantial obstructions to the free flow of commerce and to mitigate and eliminate these obstructions when they have occurred by encouraging the practice and procedure of collective bargaining and by protecting the exercise by workers of full freedom of association, self-organization and designation of representatives of their own choosing, for the purpose of negotiating the terms and conditions of their employment or other mutual aid or protection.”
The declared policy of the United States is to encourage the practice and procedure of collective bargaining. The declared policy was not changed by Taft-Hartley, nor can it be changed by a single senator nor the governor. It is disgraceful that a U.S. senator from Tennessee and a billionaire governor of our state would engage in such a blatant disrespect of the policy of our Great Country. Few, if any, believe either of the aforementioned, other than maybe themselves, to have king- or God-like status in their political positions.
It is absolutely ironic that these two elected officials have most likely done more to interfere with the future success of the Volkswagen operation than one can imagine. The Workers Council which Volkswagen management and the United Auto Workers Union developed reflects a partnership approach to the competitive industry they are in. Most, if not all, successful manufacturing enterprises have developed some type of teamwork or organized collective input to achieve that with which they are charged.
The late, and I believe great, W. Edwards Deming had his theory rejected by political figures in positions such as Sen. [Bob] Corker and Gov. [Bill] Haslam in the late 1940s. He took the concept to Japan; the results too are history.
Not only have these elected officials jeopardized future expansions, but it is not inconceivable that their actions could have placed the current investments in jeopardy.
[Some] $300 million in 2013, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press edition of April 5, 2014, including $207 million in cash and cash equivalents and $93 million in tax credits; [this coming] in an era when wage increases promised to state employees and teachers cannot be realized, because of state shortages of funds.
Only in a state governed by a super majority being led by an elitist governor! [Some] $222,059 bribe for each potential job for the company to remain non-union.
Employees at the Tennessee Volkswagen plant who want Democracy at the workplace are denied such because of, in part, a United States senator’s conduct.
Voters, for the love of your country, wake up!
— Carl Lansden
• BGCC misses Charlie Mee; I do as well
To The Editor:
Just before the holiday break, something happened very quietly in Cleveland. Not many took note and most people will never know. A longstanding staple of our local Boys & Girls Clubs moved away to live with family.
After 30 years, the Cleveland clubs said goodbye to Charlie Mee.
I have known Charlie for over 13 years and in many forms. I worked with Charlie when I was a staff member at the club. I witnessed his continued volunteerism as a parent of children in the club, and admired his dependability as a community leader.
Charlie wasn’t your normal Boys & Girls Clubs staffer or volunteer. He wasn’t blessed with all the intelligence in the world, but he made up for it with heart. Having grown up in the club, he knew that it was a safe place and even more, he knew it was his job to help keep it that way. Charlie prepared snacks, cleaned up, kept an eye out for wandering children and greeted people with a smile. He was the face of the simplicity of the Boys & Girls Clubs mission. He wasn’t a program outcome. He wasn’t a performance measure. But he was a success story.
As a staff member, I could depend on Charlie to guard the hallway during transitions. As community leader, I saw how much the kids loved and defended him. But most importantly, as a parent, I knew that when I walked into the club, Charlie was going to let me know how they were doing.
“You have good kids, good kids,” he would tell me, and his opinion mattered to me. It was unbiased and pure. It wasn’t judging how good a parent I was. He just knew what he saw in my children.
Charlie taught me something special. Because of him, I know that our clubs are a safe place. Because of him, I know that children have big hearts and I know that those hearts can be nurtured in the simplest ways.
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Charlie’s mother, and due to his special needs Charlie had to move to Nashville to be with other family.
After 30 years, the Boys & Girls Clubs will miss him. My kids will miss him. I will miss him.
— J. Adam Lowe
• Santa reflects on loss of his guardian angel
To The Editor:
A few years ago, in my role as Santa at Bradley Square Mall, I had inherited the worst group of elves (set employees) that I had experienced in my 22 years in the mall-Santa business. Many times that particular year I had to stew in silence as procedures were not followed, causing problems within the ranks and with customers. Even neighboring stores observed things and expressed concern.
Partway into our seven-week stint, an elderly gentleman came by, standing daily outside the boundary tapes, observing, but never saying anything. He might stand there for three or four minutes, then disappear.
After a couple weeks of this, I began observing him more closely. Usually we were busy working with children and this always seemed to pique his interest. I also observed that he looked down in silence just as he left, and that things would improve after his visit. It was as if we had been showered in love.
On one visit — a very special visit as it turned out — I was not busy, so I went over to him, introduced myself and asked if he was praying for us. He said, "Yes." That was the beginning, or more accurately the blossoming of a beautiful friendship. He told me his name was Charles.
For the last several years, Charles has stopped by the set, paused long enough to bless our work and get a hug from Santa. We would sometimes get a few minutes to talk. He shared his love for his wife of over 50 years. He shared some daily concerns and we would pray together for each other. Whether or not there was a line waiting to see Santa, I always took time to give my friend a hug and share a prayer.
I have never met a more caring or gentle man in my 75 years. Charles was a blessing to me, to our work and to our customers too, although they were totally unaware of his prayers on our behalf. I referred to him as "our guardian angel" whenever the crew asked who he was. And it was so.
The Cleveland Daily Banner recently recorded the passing of the Rev. Charles Sanger with his picture — the picture of my guardian angel.
He will be sincerely missed by this Santa.
— Pete Vanderpool
a ‘guinea pig’
To The Editor:
The chemical in marijuana that makes people high is called THC. There are other chemicals in it that may affect the body even more powerfully than THC, but no one is sure how.
Marijuana tells the body to make new chemicals on its own. The lungs and liver make more chemicals. No one knows yet how these organs become changed in the way they work. People that smoke breathe in tar and pollutants. In cigarettes, the ingredients cause lung cancer. It is possible that marijuana joints cause cancer too.
THC loves fat. It flows toward fat like moths to a light bulb. It hurries to get from the blood to cells that are rich in fat. It goes to the brain cells, liver, lungs, kidneys and glands. It gets locked up in the cells, staying dormant in the body a long time.
Marijuana is poison to cells! It messes up cell growth and cell division. That goes for lung cells, blood cells, sperm cells and brain cells. Pot prevents the proper formation of DNA, RNA and proteins — building blocks for cell growth and cell division. Studies show that cells under the influence often don’t split apart to make new cells correctly.
People with heart disease should also pass it by because marijuana is known to cause a slight strain on the heart. It’s also capable of causing damage to the brain. A child’s developing mind is too precious to gamble with. This makes special sense due to the growth and hormone changes during puberty. For example, a teen’s rapid growth could possibly be stunted to some degree.
Like it or not, everyday smokers are human guinea pigs! If you smoke pot, you are testing a still unknown drug on yourself. If you smoke it, you are part of the experiment!
— Prunella Wilkerson