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Letters to the Editor

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Certifiably Inane?

To the Editor:

Normally I enjoy reading your publication. However, after seeing the "Hotties" cover story (February 10th issue), I think you would be well advised to wait at least two months before casting stones at the perceived inanity of The Commercial Appeal.

Jeremy Scott

Memphis

What's Shakin'

To the Editor:

I was delighted to see Janel Davis' cover story about the earthquake threat in our region (February 3rd issue). The author did a wonderful job describing the history of the New Madrid fault, the efforts to monitor seismic activity, and the need for more stringent building codes.

However, the question of "What happens to Memphis when the inevitable happens?" was never really answered. To say that an earthquake of 8.0 or higher would cause "severe damage" or be "devastating" is an understatement. An event of this magnitude would be catastrophic! The author didn't mention the impact such an event would have on fire-fighting, police, health-care, transportation facilities, or communications capability.

And little effort was made to make the reader aware that there are things we all can do to be better prepared for tragic natural events. The irony is that if we're prepared for a natural disaster, it doesn't take much more to be prepared for man-made disasters. We need more awareness, involvement, and preparedness.

Terry Coggins

Memphis

To the Editor:

A little more than a week after your earthquake story, we have one. Do you guys have a crystal ball or something?

Hal Miller

Memphis

Editor's note: Not really. But we did cancel that bubonic plague story we had scheduled for this week.

The "F" Word

To the Editor:

Excuse me, Ms. DelBrocco, but do you think only conservatives yell trashy expletives at stop lights (Viewpoint, February 10th issue)? It happens in reverse also.

I was sitting at the light at Tillman and Sam Cooper in my big ole five-star crash-rated SUV with a little "W" sticker on the back. My daughters, age 5 years and 14 months, were in the backseat. It was a beautiful fall day, but luckily I did not have my windows down. A young man in one of those little vegan-powered hybrid things that looked like it would crumple in a head-on with my daughter's bike pulled up on my right. His car was covered with Kerry/Edwards paraphernalia, with a few old Gore/Lieberman stickers thrown in for good measure. He was obviously agitated at my audacity to come into the Midtown area. The expletives he was hurling at me cannot be repeated, but rest assured there were more than a few "F" words being thrown around.

I could hear him through my closed windows, so I turned up the conservative country music to shield the little ears in the back. This lasted until I got my turn arrow and calmly left him ranting at my tailpipe, with a good view of the receding little "W" as I drove off.

Unlike DelBrocco, I was never really scared, because in keeping with certain "American traditions" -- namely, the constitutionally provided right to bear arms -- I am licensed to carry a weapon. If the man had ever really physically threatened me or my children ... well, we won't go there.

The point is that just about everyone had a stake in the last election, and emotions were running high on both sides of the aisle, not just for those nasty, old conservatives.

David Dean

Collierville

To the Editor:

Readers who might object to Cheri DelBrocco's recent column about the real "F" word, i.e., fascism, might want to look up the study of fascist regimes made by Dr. Lawrence Britt. Britt found 14 distinguishing characteristics, among which are a fervor to show patriotic nationalism, a controlled mass media, regimes attaching themselves to the predominant religion of the country, and fraudulent elections.

A real conservative is fiscally responsible, a proponent of state and individual rights, and not inclined to engage in the excesses of empire.

The term "neocon," which is used to describe our current administration's political ideology, is nothing short of Orwellian for "fascist." Given the deep divisions in our country today, if half the population continues to misunderstand the difference between "conservative" and "neocon," our democracy may not survive.

John Pagoda

New York

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