The study Chris Davis cites in "Fly on the Wall" (October 25th issue) regarding potential rat infestation was sponsored by D-Con — a maker of rat pest-control products. The study's authors say there is no way to estimate how many rats are actually living in any particular city. Their data relies on assessing the potential for rats by using 14 risks factors such as the age of infrastructure, population size, climate, and waste management.
Memphis is the 17th-largest city in the U.S., so a rank of 18th for potential rat infestation doesn't seem out of the ordinary. Shouldn't the residents of Louisville — which was number five on the list but only the 26th-largest city in the U.S. — be more concerned?
I get that the article was supposed to be funny, but all it does is give weight to a meaningless statistic and continue to scare the public (which is what you lambast TV news for doing).
I thought I'd write and say how much I enjoy the Flyer's informed and insightful film reviews. Your Indie Memphis coverage (October 18th issue), both in the paper and online, was invaluable and appreciated.
And Chris Herrington's review of Wes Anderson's new movie, The Darjeeling Limited (October 25th issue), was the best I've read anywhere. And I'm big Anderson fan, so I read it all.
When Republicans Attack
The Republican presidential rivals cannot seem to make up their minds about who to attack. First, they slam each other, then it's on to Senator Hillary Clinton. Finally, they hit illegal immigrants, who have no way to fight back against anyone's attack.
Fred Thompson wants to cut federal dollars to cities and states that do not report illegal immigrants. This is nothing new and has been suggested before. The problem is that Thompson and all his GOP rivals seem to want us to forget that it is their party that has had total control of our government for most of the last six-and-a-half years. During that time, according to them, six or seven million illegal immigrants have been allowed to cross our borders.
Maybe Americans should withhold their tax dollars to a government that failed to protect our borders. This is a government that, after 9/11, did not tighten our borders but instead went to war against the wrong country. Instead of closing borders to terrorists, gang members, and other criminals, the Republicans passed bills to allow the government to spy on Americans, bending the Constitution and using large communcation companies to help them.
So, Fred, before you start calling for a cut-off of federal dollars and telling Americans what a great job you would do regarding illegal immigrants, I want to know why your party allowed this mess to happen in the first place. Thompson needs to take his act back to television. His new role is not very convincing.
Presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani declared himself a Red Sox fan last week, but as recently as last summer he vowed never to trade his Yankee soul to the Sox, even for the White House.
In July, the Providence Journal asked the former mayor this question: "If the Devil said you can be president if you become a Red Sox fan, would you do it?"
"I'm a Yankee fan," Giuliani replied then. "I always believe it's a sign of my being straight with people, about not wanting to fool them, that I was one of the first mayors to be willing to say I was a Yankee fan."
He went on to say he had "great respect" for true Red Sox fans, but as for becoming a Red Sox cheerleader in a devil's bargain, "That's a deal I could not make," he said.
This may be a sports story, but it is also a story about the good mayor's honor: Will he keep his word — or switch when the wind changes?
Senator Fred Thompson says what he thinks and then stands by his word. Who do you want at the head of this nation?
Grant H. Lynn
Salt Lake City, Utah