Anarchy in Nashville
Only in Tennessee do you have a legislature ("Mere Anarchy in Nashville," June 11th issue) that believes there isn't enough poison in our streams, pollution in our lungs, or guns on our streets. It's faith-based government at its best, bringing on the end-times, because Jesus is notoriously slow about these things.
It is a miracle anything gets done.
The Budget Crunch
City Council members and news outlets that have aimed criticism at Mayor Willie Herenton (In the Bluff, June 4th issue) for not including restored city schools funding in his budget proposal have gotten it entirely wrong. Budgets submitted by Memphis mayors have never included overall operating funds for schools.
The mayor has no authority or responsibility for city schools, and any major official recommendation by the mayor on school funding would be outside the city charter and would in effect place him in a conflict of interest. The mayor's administration and the city school district are in competition for revenue from city property taxes.
All of city government's authority and responsibility relating to schools rests with the City Council, which is the arbiter of how much city tax revenue goes to city government and how much goes to the school district. Although council members may not recognize the point, school funding is totally their baby.
The schools' budget request goes directly to the council and has never been a part of city government budgets presented by mayors through the years. In presenting city budget figures to the council, Herenton properly did what mayors Hackett, Chandler, and Loeb did before him.
Bravo, Jim Strickland
I couldn't agree more with Councilman Jim Strickland (Viewpoint, June 11th issue). At my business, none of us have had raises for four years because of the decline in our industry, paired with the down economy.
City employees aren't entitled to a raise just because they haven't received one in a couple of years. The rest of us are figuring out how to make do without; they can too. And we pay for our own cars as well, so take those out of the budget.
Everyone in a down economy has to bite the bullet. That includes Mayor Herenton's cronies, who have ridden the gravy train for far too long.
Thanks for Tim Sampson's sensitive and timely story (The Rant, June 11th issue). We all need to slow down and think of the things that really matter in life, and I so agree with his question: Why is it that the good, generous, open-minded, tolerant majority can't prevail and stop all this nonsense?
I couldn't believe it when I read the Rant. Tim is getting soft! Nowhere in his latest column did I see that name he despises: Dick Cheney (booga-booga). Thanks, Tim. You've proven there is hope. You can move on after all.
Flamed-broiled Global Warming
Obama and his accomplices are hoping that the uninformed or "dumbed down" Americans who voted for Obama will help him place the Marxist noose on their necks with the global warming/cap-and-trade scam (The Fly-by, June 11th issue).
Obama is working much faster than Hugo Chavez at imposing socialism/communism/Marxism (or whatever you want to call the government taking over, enslaving people, and destroying the economy). No wonder the Russians are gloating: From Pravda: "... the American descent into Marxism is happening with breath-taking speed." All this against the backdrop of a passive, hapless "sheeple."
St. Louis, Missouri
Mayor Herenton as Fidel Castro (Editor's Note, June 11th issue)? It would be funny if it weren't so close to the truth. Like Cuba, Memphis is a decaying third-world dictatorship with a "leader for life" and lots of expatriots living nearby. If Willie starts firing up cigars and growing a beard, I'm moving to Miami.