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The Paterno Statue

In John Branston's latest column (July 19th issue), it's apparent that he's justifying the abuse of power by college football programs. Using his logic, Georgia should have kept the Confederate flag as part of its state symbol because that might be a good way to remind white citizens of the heinousness of slavery.

What people have to remember is that the NCAA and Penn State are not removing the statue because they want to punish the football program. They're doing it out of respect for Sandusky's victims. Branston and others like him are employing shoddy logic to try to overlook the unethical behavior of a celebrated football coach and an institutionally sanctioned serial child rapist.

Joe Paterno is not Penn State football. The program will continue without him. It's time for everyone involved to take responsibility and move forward. Even if that means putting a damper on some tailgate parties this fall.

Michael Flanagan
Memphis

Vote Local

I am sick and tired of all the hype about this upcoming presidential election. The president does not make laws or introduce new legislation into our governmental structure. Everyone seems so worried about who is going to be president. What about the arms of government that directly impact our everyday lives?

Congress and Senate members introduce new laws. They are supposed to represent the people. Do you know who your representative or senator is? If you don't, you might need to take a look at the next one you vote for. What about the Memphis City Council? I hear from people that our city council is a joke. It's only a joke if "we the people" vote in jokesters.

The Memphis City Council meets the second and fourth Tuesdays each month at 3:30 pm in City Hall council chambers. These meetings are open to the public, so if you want to complain, check these meetings out. The public is given the privilege of directly addressing the council by entering a question on paper at the beginning of the meeting. 

Stop worrying constantly about who's going to be president. Put your vote where your mouth is and research who is running for the offices that will directly affect you and your family's lives. Make a real, educated change in the world instead of complaining. 

Lauren Beyer
Memphis

Education Reform

Regarding Ted Rall's Viewpoint (July 19th issue): He references "the haves vs. the have-nots." Why not just say the responsible vs. the irresponsible? That is usually the case.

How is it "good news" that spending on public education is a campaign issue? The department of education is not a constitutional function of the federal government. Rall is wrong in his view of vouchers. Vouchers give power and control over whomever uses them, i.e., statist, public, private, etc. and any other school institution. It allows government dictation as to worldviews being taught: humanism, evolution, arbitrary social ethics, etc. More money does not increase learning.

The firing of incompetent teachers out of the maze of the unions, where firing is nearly impossible, is what improves learning. Discipline may also be a variable. I recall a long stick leaning in the corner of the classroom when I was a kid.

Firemen, teachers, and policemen are not mentioned as recipients of tax dollars from the federal government in the U.S. Constitution, therefore the 10th Amendment supersedes this area reserved for the states. Rall asks in regards to statist schools, "Is the system really in crisis?" Yes! The teaching of Keynesian economics, evolution, statism, secular humanism, etc. is causing such. The U.S. is falling behind other countries in education, but it's not the case for many private and home-schooled children. Their ACT/SAT scores average far ahead of the humanist/statist schools — you know, the "free"public education paid for with your tax dollars. Rall's desire to abolish a parent's choice of schooling is Marxist/fascist at the core. God owns children, and parents are but mere stewards. The state has no right to indoctrinate its humanistic/evolutionary worldview into their minds.

Charles Gillihan
Memphis

Editor's Note: In a letter from Brenda Fowler published in last week's edition, it was stated that 8th District congressional candidate George Flinn owned a radio station on which Thaddeus Matthews attacked Flinn's GOP primary opponent, Charlotte Bergmann. That statement was incorrect. Flinn did not own the station in question.

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