Shelby County DMV
I read with great interest Bruce VanWyngarden's column about the problems he and a family member had obtaining a voter photo-identification card (Letter from the Editor, January 9th issue). My dad had to go through the same sort of thing: waiting seemingly endlessly in a line that he was told was for voter ID, filling out all the paperwork, and then being hit up for the fee. He was in the "wrong" line and had to do the paperwork over in order to get the "free" photo identification. All this in order to do what he had been doing consistently for over 60 years — exercising his right to vote.
I can't imagine how older people who are not in excellent physical shape can endure those waits, and it is even more disturbing to think that people in rural communities in Tennessee may have to drive across an entire county to get their voter identification. This whole process is disrespectful toward these people, and everyone without a photo ID, and is an absurd law, designed only for voter suppression.
James A. Prewitt
I endured an experience similar to the Flyer editor's recently with my daughter, who needed a replacement license. Unsupervised and under-staffed personnel appeared to be the main problem at the Summer Avenue location. The almost complete absence of adequate signage directing citizens to desired services resulted in mass confusion, managed solely by the security guard present to maintain control of an otherwise patient crowd.
Previously, I received very good service at the central location across from the main library, which has been closed. Perhaps Bill Gibbons at the state office of Homeland Security could look into this current situation for the citizens of Shelby County.
Editor's note: We were flooded with letters similar to those above, responding to the column about DMV centers in Shelby County. Bill Gibbons has asked to write a response to concerns about this issue. It will appear in next week's Flyer.
Stick It to the Art
It passes my understanding why someone at the Flyer, in their wisdom, chooses to place a sticker ad in the worst possible place on a carefully designed cover.
The most recent travesty ad ("The Art of Worship" cover, January 9th issue) not only ruined the design but covered part of the face of Reverend Cheryl Cornish. This has happened to other cover pages, but this one was particularly heinous, since the sticker is tar black. If it weren't for the Flyer's reputation, the text of the ad ("Scoop the Poop") over the image of an "eclectic and progressive" church could be perceived as grossly offensive.
It is really a stupid practice and I, for one, am sick of seeing them. At least, with The Commercial Appeal, the equally irritating folded ads over the front page can be quickly recycled. Maybe this woudn't happen again if sticker ads were affixed to family photos of the responsible parties.
Editor's note: In response to similar concerns expressed by several Flyer readers, we have met with our printer and are working on solutions to the sticker-placement problem.
Iraq: The Hard Place
Do you remember "Shock & Awe?" George W. Bush and his fellow neocons made the worst mistake in foreign policy since American advisers entered Vietnam.
Those who knew a little history of Islam, knew the war between Sunnis and Shiites had been going on for centuries. Saddam [Hussein], a cruel and evil man, had held Iraq together for decades by using fear and suppression. But Iraq under Saddam was the only power in the Middle East that held Iran in check.
The U.S. upset that balance at the cost of thousands of young brave American lives. And many more thousands of innocent Iraqis were killed. By removing Saddam, we gave Al-Qaida a foothold in the region. Now they have our puppet Iraq government in retreat. Defense secretary Kerry claims we will not send in troops. I suggest we send in W., Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Condi, and the rest of the cowards who started the war. Arm them with the canvas-sided humvees, no body armor, and words of encourgement: Don't worry, the people will throw flowers at you.