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A Public Walloping?

To the Editor:

Regarding your editorial ("Word to the Wise," March 25th issue): Having shown up at the Shelby County Commission briefing on March 22nd and at the prior briefing in February on The Pyramid, it is amazing that I am still being ridiculed and accused of grandstanding for showing up for important meetings on public business, especially when all council members were invited.

It is mind-boggling and disappointing in 2004 that there are still those who think that it is in vogue to give a woman a public tongue-lashing. How is it that an individual with a bachelor's degree, a law degree, who is a 13-year veteran legislator and has been a public servant for almost two decades rates public ridicule and verbal abuse from anyone for simply doing what she was elected to do? What Neanderthal and childish mind-set thinks that a man has a right to give a woman a public verbal walloping in 2004? Perhaps there are still those who would prefer a giggling, silly, barefoot girl whom they can simply control by making demands. It's this mind-set that creates problems for women in business today. Be on notice that I won't take verbal abuse and a public walloping from anyone without walloping right back. And thank goodness everybody down there at the Flyer had the good sense not to put their names to that editorial.

You all have admitted publicly that changes are needed at the City Council, that public service must become our priority, that the pension plan was ill-advised and costly, and that it was ill-advised to give public money to private organizations without accountability. If we agree on the message, why can't we agree on the messenger? Perhaps you would prefer that a man had made these statements?

Carol Chumney

City Councilwoman, District 5

Memphis

A Pickle for Bush?

To the Editor:

Thank you for Richard Cohen's masterful summary of the pickle that President George W. Bush and his cronies find themselves in today (Viewpoint, March 25th issue). Two major players in the Bush administration -- former Treasury secretary Paul O'Neill and former counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke -- have now confirmed the worst fears of Bush's critics: that the president used 9/11 as an excuse to launch a preemptive attack on Iraq, even though Saddam had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks and did not have weapons of mass destruction. Meanwhile, both Clarke and O'Neill have confirmed that Mr. Bush focused so much on Iraq -- before and after September 11th -- that he undermined the ability of his administration to effectively deal with real threats like the one posed by al-Qaeda. In addition, we now learn that Medicare actuary Richard Foster was threatened with the loss of his job when he tried to provide legislators with an honest estimate of the cost of the Medicare prescription drug plan recently rammed through Congress.

Remember when Bush claimed that he would "bring integrity back to the White House"? Well, surely a man of integrity would take these problems seriously and do some soul-searching. But instead Bush has failed to respond to these important concerns and has turned on his smear machine to attack anyone who would criticize the emperor. Those tactics will certainly be embraced by far-right venues like talk radio (a parallel universe), but it won't cut it in the real world. Indeed, many prominent Republicans aren't buying into this garbage. Republican senators (including John McCain) have called on the administration to quit attacking the messengers and start dealing with the issues.

How much worse will it have to be before Republicans with a conscience reject this president and what he has done to our country?

B. Keith English

Memphis

To the Editor:

President Bush tells the truth and nothing but the truth all the time. Condoleezza Rice comes forward and testifies openly before the 9/11 commission. Vice President Dick Cheney discloses the names of all those who attended his energy task-force meetings. Fundamentalist House leader Tom DeLay and Senate majority leader Bill Frist turn over a new leaf and become truely compassionate Christians. Attorney General John Ashcroft decides to stop interfering with a woman's God-given right to freedom of choice.

April Fools!

Eddie Sullivant

Dyersburg, Tennessee

The Memphis Flyer encourages reader response. Send mail to: Letters to the Editor, POB 1738, Memphis, TN 38101. Or call Back Talk at 575-9405. Or send us e-mail at letters@memphisflyer.com. All responses must include name, address, and daytime phone number. Letters should be no longer than 250 words.

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