Letters To The Editor

| November 10, 2011
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The Mason YMCA

The announcement that the YMCA Metro Board of Directors is closing the Mason YMCA on December 31st needs to be reconsidered ("Exercise Break," November 3rd issue). For 50 years, this community facility has served a diverse and active clientele in the University of Memphis area. Now, the nearest YMCA will be downtown, not exactly handy for those of us who depend on such a vital neighborhood facility. And this move displaces more than 40 low-income people who rent rooms at the Mason facility.

Let's not forget what the "C" in YMCA stands for.

D. Carter
Memphis

Jackie Smith

John Branston's column on Jackie Smith as the "world's longest occupier" is a stretch (City Beat, November 3rd issue). Yes, Smith has spent the past 23 years sitting in front of the National Civil Rights Museum, which technically makes her an "occupier," but her protest long ago ceased being about anything other than a way for Smith to support herself by selling her trinkets and taking "donations." She does not live "on the street," either. That's another myth Smith prefers to perpetuate, rather than admit she has an apartment nearby.

Robert Casey
Memphis

Haslam and the Protesters

Instead of attempting to stop the Occupy Nashville protesters, Governor Haslam and other elected officials should join them. Our two senators, Corker and Alexander, have once again voted against our nation's and state's best interests by killing the bill to rebuild America's infrastructure. It's time for Haslam and other elected officials to do what is best for the citizens of Tennessee instead of arresting those who are standing up for what's right.

Time and time again, they have shown that they put politics above what's right for the country. They're unwilling to invest in America, but they support spending billions of dollars to rebuild Iraq and use our tax money to construct roads in Afghanistan — where they have maybe a few thousand cars.

When it comes to rebuilding our own crumbling roads and bridges, they side with those whose only goal and purpose is to defeat President Obama, no matter what the cost is to the nation. How many more unemployed do they think it will take to achieve their only real goal — to make Obama a one-term president?   

These senators have no trouble voting to send young Americans to fight and die for their nation, but they vote to kill any project they think will actually put Americans back to work.

Jack Bishop
Cordova

Trick or Treat?

Our Memphis neighborhood has very few young families and even fewer young children. As Australians preparing for our first Halloween in the U.S., my wife and I purchased a conservative amount of candy in anticipation of a quiet night. After being swamped by trick-or-treaters, we quickly revisited the store for more candy.

My observation of the juvenile obesity that arrived at our door has me considering handing out big, red, juicy apples next year. Will this be considered a trick or treat? 

Ted Norman
Memphis

Survey Says

A recent survey by the Pew polling organization found that among U.S. scientists only 6 percent identify themselves as Republican, while 55 percent are self-declared Democrats and 32 percent are independent.

The political imbalance is striking, but it's not exactly shocking. Mindless hostility to science, after all, is something of a badge of honor in the modern Republican Party, which now requires adherents to don ideological blinders, denounce climate change as a hoax, and even question evolution.

Such is the state of decay of the Republican Party of 2011.

Ron Lowe
Nevada City, California

Weird

Hey, what happened to News of the Weird? It's been missing from your publication for the last couple of issues. I miss it.

Brian Lee
Memphis

Editor's note: News of the Weird was cut from the paper due to a late influx of ads in two recent weeks. It returns this week on page 52.

Comments (2)

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Newt Gingrich - Internationalist:
NAFTA and GATT — In 1993, Gingrich proved himself invaluable to Clinton and the Democrats in Congress when he garnered enough Republican support to pass the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the precursor for development of an eventual North American Union, following the same trajectory that has occurred in Europe with the emergence of the EU. (See the October 15, 2007 “North American Union” issue of The New American, especially “NAFTA: It’s Not Just About Trade” by Gary Benoit.) The next year he followed suit by supporting the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO). As Minority Whip, he could have postponed the lame-duck vote on GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) that subjected Americans to the WTO. Gingrich’s Benedict Arnold act helped to hand over the power to regulate foreign commerce, a power reserved in the Constitution to Congress alone, to an internationally controlled body, making America’s economic interests entirely at the mercy of the WTO.

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Posted by MickeyWhite on 11/12/2011 at 8:44 PM

Hey Jack:
Education Is the Key
Several decades ago, when forced busing had the entire city of Boston in an uproar (parents in numerous other cities were equally outraged), a delegation numbering many hundreds travelled from Boston to Washington to protest the practice. Once finished with their march in the streets, leaders headed for the offices of their Representative and Senators where they were promptly rebuffed. The individuals they had elected were “unavailable.” So they headed to the office of then-Congressman Larry McDonald, who was well-known nationally as a strong opponent of sending youngsters all over the city to comply with completely unconstitutional mandates and court decisions. Once there, they received a rude awakening.

The late Congressman welcomed them into his office and promptly told them they were “fools.” Stunned, they listened as he explained that each of them had spent a considerable amount of money, taken time off work, disrupted their normal routine, and accomplished next to nothing. He said, “If each of you had instead put your money, your time, and your effort into a program to educate the voters in your district about what your elected officials are really doing, you would have accomplished something.” And he added: “You wasted time and money coming down to DC and you are no closer to achieving the goal you want than when you left Boston.” Who can disagree?

It can’t be stated too often: There is no way to put government back in its proper place other than educating the voters. This was Larry McDonald’s message. It was Robert Welch’s message as well. And it is our message today. Other than divine intervention, which would surely be welcomed but should not be expected, public awareness of the problems our runaway government has caused — including cognizance of the betrayal by most elected officials of their oath to abide by the limitations in the Constitution — is the only route to reversing the plunge into tyranny.
John F. McManus

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Posted by MickeyWhite on 11/12/2011 at 8:46 PM
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