With all due respect to David Pickler: Sir, it's time to give up. Literally. The city schools are going to surrender their charter ("A See-saw Struggle," January 13th issue). Nothing you can do about it. And you know what they say: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Surrender your charter as well. Throw this to the state. Make it Haslam's problem. Then we can go about the real business at hand: un-incorporating the city of Memphis.
Let's face it. We gave it a good shot, and 192 years is a good run, but all good things must come to an end. Memphis can't manage itself any more. So let's be one big happy county with a handful of upstart townships around the edges. The county government can attempt to provide services for the old area that we'll affectionately refer to as "Memoryphis" until we realize it's too much to handle, and then we'll — you guessed it — un-incorporate Shelby County as well. The state will be forced to provide services to us. After all, we pay state taxes, don't we? If we live in a city which lies within a county which lies within a state, we're being triple-taxed! "Duplication and waste"? Try triplication. Then there's the matter of federal taxes. Quadruplication! This absurdity must stop.
Convincing everyone in the state to go along will take some time, so let's focus on the immediate phase. If we dissolve our school systems, we'll erase those embarrassing low test scores. If we un-incorporate the city and county, think of all the negative statistics that just ... vanish. Let's do it. Then we can snicker because we subversively forced that stuck-up Nashville to be the state's butthole.
Oh no! More guns to more people (The Rant, January 20th issue)? I live in a retirement community with about 270 folks. Some have anger-management problems; some have poor eyesight; some have hearing problems. Each with a gun? Luckily, I carry a bullet-proof New Testament in my shirt pocket.
Did you hear about the great news for Goldman Sachs employees? Their salaries and bonuses totaled $15.2 billion for 2010.
We've all heard that crime doesn't pay. That's not true if you lobby Congress and are able to buy a few votes. Wall Street investment banks were able to do this for years, starting in the late 1990s.
The results came close to killing the Golden Goose, better known as the U.S. economy, in 2008. But "recovery" is at hand, at least for the investment firms and banks. In 2005, Goldman Sachs started to hedge its position on bundled mortgages, the same ones they sold as triple-rated to suckers worldwide. Since then, the firm's salaries and bonuses have totaled close to $100 billion. The latest round of billions were paid even though Goldman Sachs' profits were down 38 percent from 2009.
Goldman Sachs and other investment banks were directly responsible for the loss of trillions of dollars in the American economy and millions of jobs. Even after all this, some in Congress were willing to protect them from returning to the income tax rate they paid in 2003. They also voted for the Bush/Paulson bailout of Wall Street with no strings attached, then denied it during the 2010 election campaign.
These same members of Congress have refused to act on the housing crisis, ignoring the fact that at least eight states have little or no hope of recovery. It seems to me that these members are really anarchists, not conservatives.
For the past few weeks, that tremor you might have felt Monday through Friday around 4:50 p.m. in the Mid-South area is not an earthquake. It's Norm Brewer doing somersaults in his grave when his replacement, Otis Sanford, gives his sluggish commentary on WREG Channel 3.
In the Flyer's January 20th issue, Chris Davis wrote a story spotlighting a tribute to the Betty Boop era and a production honoring the music of that time at GPAC. Betty Boop cartoons were the first animated cinematic offerings to feature musical accompaniment, and that musical background was provided by an orchestra out of Memphis. The recording was done at RCA Victor in New York by the Memphis Stompers. The Stompers were led by Herman L. "Snooks" Friedman and featured my dad, Estes Manasco (Monasco), on lead trumpet.
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