I can't help but write to disagree with that anything-but-bright idea of Rachel Hurley's that WUMR drop its jazz format ("Bright Ideas," June 12th issue).
I've only lived in Memphis for about four months, but, believe it or not, discovering an all-jazz-format radio station during my interview trip last fall was part of the reason I was comfortable moving my family here from Virginia. Jazz is one of the truly great original American art forms, and having a station like this told me Memphis would be a place that embraced art and culture.
I listen to this station all the time and can't imagine not having it available. If the U of M wants an alternative-rock station (which in and of itself wouldn't be a bad thing), they can create a separate one. But don't take the jazz away!
While your writers had some good if not great ideas to fix the city, they didn't go far enough. As I see it, we need to stop breeding unappreciated kids whose parents don't have the skills or inclination to raise upstanding citizens. We are then stuck with violent people who believe that those of us who work and support ourselves should also support them.
I believe that federal and local governments could save many millions of dollars by providing and incentivizing free tube tying and vasectomies.
Okay, stand back and let those whom I have offended attack. They will be coming from all directions. The fit is about to hit the shan.
James A. Womble
Here's a bright idea: Fast-food companies could help reduce the number of violent incidents in this country by placing inspirational and motivating quotations on their soft-drink cups, paper products, and packaging to help instill self-esteem in young people.
I also suggest that malls place motivational and inspirational posters throughout their properties. If a great quotation touches an angry kid, it could save lives in more ways than one. Some sample quotes:
"You can learn more from your enemies and competitors than your friends. They will be among the very first to expose your flaws and shortcomings."
"The man or woman with sight, sees things as they are. The man or woman with insight sees things as they could be."
"Avoid the most natural of all human tendencies — the habit of resisting and rejecting out of hand what at first we fail to appreciate or comprehend."
Joseph P. Martino
Millburn, New Jersey
Tim is Right?
Tim Sampson is right ("The Rant," June 5th issue). The Electoral College is an anachronism, an idea whose time has passed. Maybe it was a solution 200 years ago, when most voters were illiterate. Back then, few could read, write, or afford a library at home. But nowadays, the situation is completely different. With easy access to the Internet and books and newspapers, there's no need for a "middleman" to rethink voters' intentions. It's hard to understand why the United States keeps this process alive.
As things are now, your vote doesn't count. You aren't electing a presidential candidate; you are electing a delegate to the Electoral College. You are only expressing your desire to support a particular candidate. The final decision will be made by the delegate. If you're fortunate, your vote and his or hers will match. The system doesn't guarantee that, so be advised.
But even given that scenario, everyone should vote. You can't complain later if you don't.
President George Bush, Senator John McCain, and other Republicans are set in their ways. Are Hillary Clinton's supporters and other disgruntled Democrats who say they will vote for McCain instead of fellow Democrat Barack Obama any different?
This is what a vote for McCain means: a president who will fill the Supreme Court with more social conservatives and anti-abortionists. Roe v. Wade will be history, and McCain and religious fundamentalist Republican hard-liners will be free to do as they want.
A vote for John McCain is a vote against Roe v. Wade and a vote against a woman's right to choose.
Grass Valley, California