About the editorial, "Basar's Choice" ...
Commissioner Basar is to be commended for his practical and reasonable actions regarding the School Board districts, but the Flyer editorial perpetuates misinformation.
The county commission was advised several times by the Shelby County Election Commission (SCEC)over the course of months regarding the urgency and necessity of timely drawing their district lines before the 2012 elections.
State law prohibits precinct lines from crossing county commission lines or state Senate lines (precincts must be wholly within those boundaries, not partially in one district and partially in another). This means that those lines need to be identified before precincts can be accurately drawn.
In the editorial, it was suggested that the county commission lines were not needed, "because their election was not until 2014 and SCEC could have bypassed the issue ... gotten the maps that counted in shape for an error-free election cycle." There are multiple interdependent steps, each calibrated by the one before, required before precinct designations can be accurately drawn. The editorial further states that "a state investigation and county audit found other reasons." There was nothing in the county audit regarding this issue. The state, vendors, and consultants worked long hours to unravel the redistrict problem, which was finally completed November 6, 2013.
Shelby County Election Commission
About Greg Akers' article "Civil Discourse" and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates' call to engage in conversations concerning racial politics ...
How many discussions have been successfully avoided through the use of one term — "race card." When President Obama stated, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," critics claimed he was exploiting the race card. It seems anytime someone attempts to confront a racial problem, they are said to be using this card. The phrase is not only a way of dodging a discussion, it belittles difficult situations and cheapens conversations.
The race card acts as both a red herring and ad hominem attack. First, as a red herring it distracts from an individual's actual argument. So instead of talking about the original topic, the discussion becomes about how someone is using the race card – again! The next time a Republican brings up taxes or the national debt, one could simply say they are employing the "conservative card," and completely circumvent any of their conclusions. As in, "don't listen to Ted Cruz; he is only using the conservative card."
I propose that 2014 is the year we stop using the term "race card." This phrase stands as a road block to civil discourse and real attempts to engage racial politics.
Brandon Chase Goldsmith
About ubiquitous Flyer commenter, oldtimeplayer (OTP) ...
I think OTP is absolutely brilliant. He is a composite of all the self-absorbed, no-life CA commenters from years past, merely plucking the more controversial statements like petals from a flower. He has created his own web image, the Flyer's Max Headroom.
About Bruce VanWyngarden's Letter from the Editor on low pilots' pay ...
They are applying the reverse principle to teaching. Insert cheap recent grads who stay on average 18 months in place of experienced, seasoned teachers with more education.
About Chris Davis' post, "Tom Waits and a Topless Dancer at the Ritz Music Hall in Memphis in 1977" ...
I arose from my death bed to attend this show and was healed.
James T. Davis
On Chris Davis' post, "Pantless Man Cooks Meth in McDonald's Parking Lot" ...
It started with Benghazi!