Your story on Hal Cato and Rodger Dinwiddie was outstanding! ("Nashvillians of the Year," Dec. 24) The only thing better than the story is the actual center and work they do at the [Youth Opportunity Center]. While most places in this Bible Belt of the Bible Belt have stipulations attached to any help a teen receives, the YOC does not, which is even more reassuring to a teen in need of a helping hand and direction. So I stand up and applaud the two great Nashvillians and all of the volunteers at the YOC for making Nashville a better place for all of us to live. Thank you.
Nick Wargo Jr., Nashville
The DREAM Act would benefit not only illegal immigrants who were brought to America as children, but millions who came voluntarily as adults ("A new generation of students fights for the right to higher learning," Dec. 24). As introduced this year in the House, the act would allow illegal immigrants to apply for legal status at any age, and require no proof that they came to America at the time they claimed. Upon acceptance of their applications, the illegal immigrants would become conditional lawful permanent residents — authorized to hold U.S. jobs, and protected from deportation. All this would render the act less a humanitarian law targeted to innocent youths than a broad, general amnesty — an amnesty with the potential to stick our nation with millions of fraudulently legalized people.
Bob White, Columbia, S.C.
If illegals want more education, let them join the armed forces to gain citizenship and an education ("A new generation of students fights for the right to higher learning," Dec. 24). That is the way lots of our poorer citizens have to acquire an education. Why help them when many of our own citizens would attend college if they had more help?
Joyce Bryant, Pulaski
These illegal aliens already have a "right to higher learning" in their country of origin ("A new generation of students fights for the right to higher learning," Dec. 24). They should follow the thousands of native-born U.S. citizens who are leaving the U.S. for better opportunities in other countries.
Tim Brummer, Nashville
How can Congress support a pathway to legal status for those who have none? ("A new generation of students fights for the right to higher learning," Dec. 24) The same way Congress writes bankruptcy laws and statutes of limitations, the purpose of which is to offer a fresh start. The DREAM Act is for dedicated kids who have no individual culpability but have demonstrated tremendous personal responsibility. Most people agree it makes sense to have a law that offers these kids the legal equivalent of bankruptcy or a statute of limitations.
John Lamb, Nashville
I'm surprised this article does not have the usual sheen of Jeff Woods' snot ("Tea Mobile," Jan. 7). Last year, his commentary was to the effect of, "Ha ha, why don't these inbred, toothless, gun-toting Bible thumpers just go back under the rock whence they came?" Still, it is inaccurate to refer to Tea Party activists as "anti-government." I believe that what the people want is reasonable and responsible government. They want politicians who respect the Constitution and the limits of authority it imposes on them. It has been said that the only way to reduce a bureaucracy once it is built is to dismantle it. That's not anti-government, that's pro-people and pro-freedom.
Joe Carmen, Nashville
Jeff Woods' article in the Scene on the Tea party movement represents fine journalism ("Tea Mobile," Jan. 7). I applaud him. The article is fair, well-constructed and chock-full of quotes.
Steven Hancock, Nashville
It is no coincidence that Tennessee is known as the Buckle (or is it the hustle?) of the Bible Belt and that it also wants to be the home of the Tea Party Movement ("Tea Mobile," Jan. 7). At least all the wackos and crazies all congregate in one place. It makes it easier for the rest of the world to locate them, isolate them — or should I say quarantine them — from sane society. They can self-destruct on their own and eat each other up with their radical and vicious dysfunction. One last thing: The members of the Tea Party Nation can take their Tennessee sovereignty and shove it up their ass!
Rhio Hirsch, Whites Creek
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