Best of Memphis
Some spam thing has been posting all week on my Twitter: "Sorry, Commercial Appeal, but the Memphis Flyer is the real Memphis Most."
That's some accurate spam. Just sayin'. Congrats on a great Best of Memphis edition (September 26th issue).
My heart goes out to Joe Buchanan, the subject of Louis Goggans' article "Father Knows Best?" (September 26tth issue). But I am afraid Buchanan will face great difficulty trying to get any support from the public and media for his new organization addressing the rights of non-custodial parents.
Women have rights; men just have responsibilities. If a woman isn't ready to be a mommy, she just has an abortion. But if a man isn't ready to be a daddy, well that's just too bad. You've got to "man up" and take responsibility for your actions for the next 18 to 21 years or society will put you in jail.
Shortly after Roe v. Wade, Karen DeCrow, president of the National Organization for Women, said, "If a woman makes a unilateral decision to bring a pregnancy to term, and the biological father does not, and cannot, share in this decision, he should not be liable for 21 years of support ... autonomous women making independent decisions about their lives should not expect men to finance their choice." That sensible attitude is sadly shared by a limited number feminists.
In California, an appellate court upheld an order forcing a 15-year-old boy to pay child support to his 34-year-old statutory rapist after she became pregnant and gave birth. Texas, Ohio, and Kansas also have laws requiring male victims of statutory rape to pay child support if their rapists become pregnant.
I can't conclude this tirade without a mention of paternity fraud. A California judge ruled that combat veteran Sergeant Brandon Parsons must continue to pay child support for a child that his girlfriend conceived during one of her sexual affairs while he was in Iraq. In many states, if a woman can make a man believe the child is his for two years, he is forced to continue to pay child support regardless of the outcome of future DNA paternity testing.
This case is not atypical of paternity fraud. Good luck, Mr. Buchanan, and kudos to the Memphis Flyer for reporting your struggle.
Small Business Troubles
We're small business owners who relocated to Memphis three months ago. We love it here, and are grateful to have been so warmly welcomed. The only thing missing for us in our newly adopted town is the "official" information flow.
Case in point: We rolled out our new smoothie truck, Memphis Punch, last week at the U of M football game. We rented space from one of those big grass parking lots; set-up, fed people, took in the scene, cheered on the Tigers from a distance. Then, 20 minutes after kickoff, up rolled three members of Construction Enforcement of Shelby County. We needed to have a special-event license to be working at the game. Here's a ticket, here's a court date.
We didn't know. No problem. We wanted to get ahead of it next time, and who better to answer our questions than county employees themselves? When exactly do we need one of these licenses? we asked them. What constitutes a "special event"? How much is this fine, anyway?
No answers. It's "not their job" to tell us. We called the following Monday to ask the same questions during business hours. We tried the county web site. No answers.
We'll pay the ticket. We'll make the court appearance. But we can't help feeling like we just got a speeding ticket on a road with no speed limit signs. Isn't it better for us and for Memphis if small business owners have access to the right information before we get fined, instead of after?
Billy Bicket, Laney Strange
You published a letter to the editor in the September 26th issue that stated that 15 percent of the U.S. population is homeless, and that 25 percent of those homeless people are veterans. So, we have 48 million homeless people in the United States? And 12 million of them are veterans?
Does anybody read those letters before you publish them? I was on the newspaper staff when I was in high school. We didn't have Google then, but our advisor insisted that we give everything we printed at least a cursory glance so that we didn't look like fools when we published something stupid.