After a wonderful Mississippi River trip on the Memphis-based American Queen, we arrived at Beale Street Landing on Sunday morning of last week. We were embarrassed for the city, as we immediately saw construction debris around the unfinished and over-budget structure. More disturbing was the massive amount of debris and trash floating in the water between the dock and the building.
We landed at river towns and cities from New Orleans to Memphis. We were greeted by proud city ambassadors and clean downtown ports in all the stops except Memphis.
The Riverfront Development Corporation has been unable to manage the development of Beale Street Landing. Further, more than half of its funding comes from the city, and an overwhelming percentage of the expenses are salaries. The president of the RDC got a raise this year, and the RDC just added a vice president who is paid in excess of $120,000.
Based on what over 300 arriving passengers and hundreds of crew members from the American Queen saw last weekend, the RDC and its staff are incompetent. I suggest that the city pull its funding and take over the functions of running the city's riverfront.
Looking back on the 10-year anniversary of the Iraq war, many of us can remember the silence in the media before this war started. It was a disservice to those Americans who were willing to stand up and say that they wanted their sons and daughters that are taught to fight to be put in the right fights and the right causes. These voices were smothered by the neocons who believed the Bush administration was right to invade Iraq. No real challenge came from the media against going into Iraq. In fact, the neocons were given a free hand, and the faint voices that spoke out against the war were kept off the front pages and judged by many as unpatriotic.
Those of us who believe our country went down the wrong path have to stand up and not march behind those who are willing to fool themselves. In Vietnam and Iraq, we didn't buy into the overstated greatness of those causes that many of us saw as trumped-up illusions.
The other side has always used patriotism to feed the illusion that we were all in it together. We love this country, and we love our sons and daughters. We don't want them coming back in body bags, with missing limbs and damaged minds, in service to leaders looking for a selfish legacy and driven by a false ideology.
West Dennis, Massachusetts
Two of our wonderful lawmakers in Nashville have once again displayed their knuckle-dragging ignorance (Letter from the Editor, March 28th issue). Senator Bill Ketron and Representative Judd Matheny questioned why Muslim footbaths were installed.
A great question from those who help make our laws, except, as we know, those "footbaths" are mop sinks. In defense of Matheny, he denied asking about the mop sinks, saying "it's not ringing a bell." Perhaps it's due to him missing a clapper. Let's hope bidets haven't been installed. These two might think they are drinking fountains.
Oh well, back to more important business, like destroying our public education system, putting guns in every classroom, voting against renewable energy, and allowing road kill to be eaten.
A homosexual is one who is sexually attracted to others of the same sex. Except for a genetic variation of nature, they are virtually identical to heterosexuals. They feel the same kind of attraction to the same sex as heterosexuals feel about the opposite sex. Some argue that the Bible condemns homosexuality, but I believe (through science) this behavior has been proven to result from natural genetic variation.
Homosexuals are therefore entitled to engage in sexual behavior consistent with their genetic makeup, so long as it is between consenting adults. And, by extension, they should be allowed to marry as well.
Humans are sexual beings, as was intended by their creator, and to suggest that a genetic variation of nature somehow makes homosexuals less human is an inhuman concept.