Letters to the Editor

Best of Memphis, Fathers' Rights, Small Business Red-tape, Something Stupid

| October 03, 2013
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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).

Dave Litchfield
Memphis

Fathers
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.

Dan Hankins
Hernando, MS

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
Memphis

Something Stupid
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. 

Hope Brooks
Memphis

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Comments (3)

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It certainly was a "Special Event" Memphis Punch guys, you actually got some government workers out of their truck, away from their naps and cell phones and newspapers to actually do something, and it only took three of them to write the ticket.

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Posted by CEBorst on 10/03/2013 at 6:51 AM

I had the exact opposite experience with the County a few weeks ago for a client. It's true the website doesn't have enough information to figure out how to qualify for a permit. You need to physically go down there to pull permit anyway. They have compliance information printed out. I also found Mr. Sawyer and the staff there able to answer every questions I had. Good luck, I wanted to try one of your smoothies.

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Posted by Toof Brown on 10/06/2013 at 10:56 AM

"Women have rights, men have responsibilities." Does that include the right to choose?
Does Mr. Hankins seriously believe men don't have free will and freedom of choice? If so, perhaps it's because they don't seem to be willing to exercise it and like Mr. Hankins, want to continue the arcane practice of placing the preponderance of blame solely on the woman's shoulders when an unplanned pregnancy occurs.

Here's a radical idea, maybe men should CHOOSE to exercise their option of getting to know their sexual partners BEFORE flopping into bed with them, pun very intended. You know, find out if the woman is a trustworthy individual, perhaps disease free? Bonus. At the very least the man may wish to have a conversation with the woman PRIOR to sex about how she might feel should any "accidents" occur.

And if the man CHOOSES to have sex, what's wrong with being prepared by having visited his local drug store beforehand? Condoms are also available at grocery stores and even late night gas stations for pete's sake so there's no excuse not do without.

All of these choices are freely available to men way before the act -- which in turn means way before any pregnancies and subsequent responsibilities occur.

Certainly, with today's DNA testing, there's no reason for any man to have to support offspring that is not his own. Any rational person is in favor of legislation and taking measures to ensure that. But the idea that women maintain some sort of greater control over the situation that produces pregnancy like Mr. Hankins suggests is not only wrong but ridiculous and blatantly sexist.

With only a few, smart, self-interested choices, a man can quite easily avoid the complications that surround an unplanned pregnancy by simply taking himself out of the gene pool before he even gets his toes wet. THAT would be the measure of a REAL man.

And yes, puns intended again.

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Posted by Zoinks on 10/14/2013 at 8:16 AM
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