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A New Beginning

If the first two games of the Larry Porter era are any indication, the "New Beginning" Frank Murtaugh wrote about (Cover Story, September 2nd issue) is more like more of the same-old, same-old: horrible defense (49 points a game allowed) and mediocre offense. Other schools of similar size and history as the University of Memphis have managed to create solid football programs without being in a BCS conference. (TCU, Houston, ECU, and Boise State come to mind, and there are others.)

I know I'm cynical and we fans need to give Porter a couple of seasons before passing judgment, because when he got here, the cupboard was bare. But the reason it's bare is because the athletic department has accepted mediocrity (or just lousiness) as the status quo. Getting into a BCS conference is not necessarily a cure for a lousy football program, as any number of perennial major conference cellar-dwellers make obvious every season.

J.L. Livingston

Memphis

Hampering the Troops

General Stanley McChrystal was replaced by General David Petraeus because of insubordination expressed by General McChrystal's staff to a Rolling Stone reporter. Although poor judgment was exhibited by McChrystal and his staff in giving the interviews, it appears there is sufficient disagreement between our military in Afghanistan and the Obama administration on the conduct of the war and the strategic decisions handed down by the White House.

The rules of engagement forced on our troops in Afghanistan appear to inhibit their ability to conduct successful operations in pursuit of the Taliban and other terrorist organizations. Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was quoted in a military publication in August as saying our soldiers are encumbered "by bizarrely restrictive rules of engagement which make it easier for the enemy to kill them; harder for them to kill the enemy."

President Obama shifted the strategic advantage to the Taliban and their supporters when he announced the deadline for starting the withdrawal of our troops will be July 2011. This announcement gave the Taliban a boost in morale and the strategic knowledge that if they could hold out to the middle of next year, U.S. troops will be leaving Afghanistan. The Taliban can then be in a better position to launch attacks and try to bring down the Karzai government.

Donald A. Moskowitz

Arlington

The Mosque

Re Bruce VanWyngarden's editor's letter in the September 9th issue: Amen!

Max Dray

Memphis

Two unwise actions don't make a wise action. Though I understand the action to build a mosque within a mile of ground zero in New York City to be constitutionally lawful, I believe it is an unwise action. Though I understand the action of a religious leader to burn religious literature to be constitutionally lawful, I believe it is also an unwise action.

Robert Truax

Memphis

Budget Crunched

This is for my conservative friends. You can also go to the U.S. Treasury site and see the facts. The numbers rounded off read like this: From 1791 to 1999, the total debt of the United States was $5.6 trillion. In 2000, enter a government in total control of the conservative Republican Party. The debt more than doubled from the total of our first 208 years to $11.9 trillion.

Yes, the Democrats took over Congress in 2007, but the Bush/GOP tax cuts, paying Red China for our debt, and paying for the two longest wars in our history made the difference and was totally out of the hands of the 2007 Congress. The Wall Street financial mess was caused by lack of federal oversight and lax financial regulations.

Even knowing all this, it seems American voters are planning on jumping into the same vehicle that the Republicans have been running off the cliff for the last few years. Happy landings.

Jack Bishop

Memphis

encourages reader response. Send mail to: Letters to the Editor, POB 1738, Memphis, TN 38101. Or send us e-mail at letters@memphisflyer.com. All responses must include name, address, and daytime phone number. Letters should be no longer than 250 words.

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