Thanks for the "Greening of Memphis" stories (April 16th issue). In these tough economic times, many of what have historically been seen as fringe, "tree-hugger" issues are now starting to make a lot of sense in the real world. Things like conserving energy, growing our own food, and recycling waste materials aren't just for hippies anymore. All these measures are good economic policies, as well as examples of good stewardship of the planet. More and more people are realizing that "going green" saves green, as in dollars.
See Ya, Texas!
Texas governor Rick Perry says he would consider having his state secede from the Union. Republicans just cannot get over their loss of the White House and Congress, so now their answer seems to be to encourage their states to secede. These clowns want to ignore history. Secession has been tried before (it was called the Civil War), and it didn't work out too well. I suggest Perry find his passport and seek a nation with little or no taxes. He can Google third-world nations and find one to his liking very quickly.
Ironically, it wasn't long ago when right-wingers were carrying signs that read, "America: Love It or Leave It."
President Barack Obama wants to build a high-speed rail network across the entire U.S. Not overnight, of course, but he plans to throw billions of dollars behind the project to ensure it doesn't fall by the wayside.
When I first crossed the pond a couple years ago, I marveled at the train networks in France, Spain, and the U.K. I was baffled to realize we Americans have nothing like what our European friends have. As I read Obama's remarks on the planned rail network, I was saddened to learn that Memphis was nowhere to be found in any of the plans.
Can you imagine a high-speed rail-line stretching from the Crescent City to the Windy City, with stops in the Bluff City and St. Louis? Talk about a "Music City Express"! So why haven't our civic leaders floated such a plan to the White House? Clearly they would listen. According to Obama: "The Department of Transportation expects to begin awarding funds to ready projects before the end of this summer, well ahead of schedule. And like all funding decisions under the Recovery Act, money will be distributed based on merit — not on politics, not as favors, not for any other consideration — purely on merit. ... No decision about where to allocate funds has yet been made, and any region can step up, present a plan, and be considered."
If I had to guess, I'd say our civic leaders are probably too busy embroiled in controversy or too blind to take notice of a great opportunity. We're fooling ourselves if we don't think this would be a great opportunity for the city. Can you imagine the tourism dollars that these trains would bring to our economy?
This country is on the precipice of an infrastructure boom, while our beloved city sits idly by. While cities all over are improving their mass-transit systems, Memphis is sort-of-maybe proposing to build a light-rail network. How about we scrap the light-rail, scrap the trolleys, and devote some major money to improving our bus system and make a serious push toward winning federal money to build a high-speed rail network that serves the greater Memphis area? At a time when oil prices are crippling, the economy is sagging, our highways and byways are congested, and potential mass-transit ridership is at an all-time high, wouldn't you say we're failing to see the big picture? I'd tell our politicians to wake up, but it looks as though they've already missed the train.
A couple of weeks back, someone wrote to complain about a particularly naughty American Apparel ad. This guy got it wrong.The only problem with that ad was a way-overdressed model, which brings me to my next point: It is time you exercised some quality control over these ads. This is the second week in a row that I've picked up a Flyer, flipped it over, and been disappointed by a lame American Apparel ad.
Do I have to come down there in hot pants and make the damn ads all by myself? It is time you got back on track.