The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee ("The Nature of Elephants," January 25th issue) stands as a beacon of enlightened elephant management, standing in stark contrast to the outdated mindsets perpetuating deprived and abusive living conditions for these creatures in many zoos and circuses.
Elephants' survival worldwide will only be accomplished by successfully achieving a shift from the "We're up here, they're down there" paradigm to the paradigm perhaps best articulated by the late naturalist Henry Beston, who said "[Animals] are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
Boo to the Flyer
Boo! to the Memphis Flyer for criticizing George W. Bush's strategic plan to send more troops to fight for freedom and democracy in Iraq (Editor's Note, January 18th issue). Instead of utilizing our dwindling reserve forces to win the war on terror, I suggest rounding up every driver of a gas-guzzling automobile that proudly displays one or more "W The President" stickers and sending them to Iraq. Using this approach will ensure that only those promoting the highest of Christian values and the relentless pursuit of freedom will be fighting to secure democracy overseas.
At the same time, here at home, we could preserve human rights, have a chance to improve social welfare and health-care reform, and maybe rebuild our disintegrating worldwide reputation. Come on, Bush supporters -- get packing! Purchase your sticker today.
Jerry E. Chipuk
Finding himself in a deep hole, President Bush now asks for a bigger shovel -- for an escalation in troop levels and the dispatch of a bigger carrier group to the Persian Gulf. War thus deepens in Iraq, and the probability of a military confrontation with Iran increases.
Most Democrats and a growing number of leading Republicans are voicing strong opposition to this new "surge." In so doing, they echo the prudent judgment of many high-ranking generals, a host of wise graybeards across the political spectrum, and, mostly clearly of all, the will of the people that was sounded in the November elections.
Ancient wisdom likewise admonishes the president to pause before Pandora's box opens even wider. Digging deep holes in the shifting sands of Mesopotamia leads most often to massive cave-ins. The president should also remember how a macho posture led to defeat at the Alamo and, much later, to our ignominious departure from Saigon. Enough already!
Poor Phil Donahue ("On Message," January 11th issue). He uses "conservative flag-wavers" like it's a dirty word, but he and others like him call themselves "progressives" instead of what they really are: socialists or socialist sympathizers.
They call themselves progressives for the same reason a crackhead says he's got his habit under control. The first step to curing a problem is to admit there is a problem. Donahue's problem is that he is just like the other socialists in history -- Lenin, Stalin, Tito, Ho Chi Minh, and Adolf Hitler.
Donahue isn't complaining about all media, just Fox News. I and thousands of other Memphians started watching Fox because we got to see other sides of issues that ABC, CBS, and especially NBC would not show us. It's the same reason I read the Flyer.
Until Phil admits he has a problem (calling himself progressive instead of socialist), the problem won't be fixed. Thomas Jefferson was right: A free republic can only be maintained by an informed and educated proletariat.
Frank M. Boone
I want to commend the Flyer's January edition of "Living Spaces" (January 25th issue). I grew up in Collierville but have a growing interest in life downtown, so the articles about Bailey Farms and One Beale I found particularly interesting. Coincidentally, I've been considering the Dyson vacuum for my own home, wondering if it lived up to the hype, and, sure enough, there was a review of it. I felt like the issue was written just for me.