There was a lot of media hubbub about Apple CEO Steve Jobs' liver transplant in Memphis (Editor's Note, June 25th issue). I'd heard rumors he was in town. I'd even heard where he was supposedly living. And I, for one, was thankful that the media here either chose to ignore the story or, more likely, missed it. The man has pancreatic cancer and is fighting for his life. What good would it have done to publicize where he lived? I can just imagine the local television helicopters hovering over Morningside Place, giving us "live updates."
So I say, good health to you, Mr. Jobs. Come back and see us when you're feeling better.
Mayor Herenton's giving the city a two-week notice doesn't surprise me. It's like he's quitting a petty job. He offers no dignity or respect to the office by pulling this maneuver.
I blame the system in which almost two-thirds of the votes in the last election were cast for Carol Chumney and Herman Morris, yet allowed Herenton to win.
Herenton's already playing the race card in the upcoming election against Representive Cohen, stating that he could do a better job because he understands the constituents better because he's black. I wonder if he feels the same way about the last presidential election?
Just because things were done while he was in office doesn't mean he is responsible for them. What I do hold him accountable for is out-of-control crime, the Mid-South Coliseum and the Pyramid sitting empty, the Mid-South Fair going to Mississippi, and Libertyland sitting vacant.
We had an organization that wanted to turn Libertyland into another amusement park, but he blew it. We had an organization that wanted to turn the Pyramid into a tourist attraction, but we missed that opportunity, and now we have a fishing supply company we've been talking to for years with no result.
Herenton's done nothing but racially divide the city. Memphis could be a growing, vibrant city. Look at Denver, Phoenix, Seattle, Austin — nice places to live with good reputations. All I can say is goodbye and hope for the best.
John W. Gary
With all the fear of and talk about about terrorism, I wonder if America knows the definition of the word. Or does America have a double standard?
People fail to remember that this country was founded and built on terrorism. We are taught in school that Columbus "discovered" America. How can you discover a country where people already live? We bestowed terror on Native Americans and took their country from them. Then we stole people from other countries, brought them here, and forced them to develop the land.
We talk about al-Qaeda and the Taliban and their hatred of America, yet allow terrorist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nation to practice their hatred toward Americans in our own country.
I remember when the Black Panthers were labeled a terrorist organization and dismantled. Double standard? The Declaration of Independence states that "all men are created equal." Oh, I forgot: Native Americans and African Americans were classified as savages, not men, so the Declaration of Independence wasn't written with us in mind. These hard-core right-wingers will continue to lead America to its inevitable destruction.
Who is the terrorist element that haunts the planet? There is a battle being waged in the world and America today — a battle of religious fundamentalism against progressive thought. It is the same battle that raged in Galileo's time and during the church inquisitions.
The terrorists of 2009 are the religious fanatics and fundamentalist extremists who have hijacked and are hiding in the world's great religions. From Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan came the fundamentalist Taliban and al-Qaeda. We all know the havoc they have created. Elsewhere in the Middle East, fundamentalists come in the form of Hamas, suicide bombers, and Hezbollah. In America, Christian fundamentalist anti-abortionists attack abortion clinics and stalk, intimidate, and harass, patients, staff, and supporters — and kill doctors.
You can never pacify, negotiate, or compromise with terrorists. A fundamentalist extremist or religious fanatic is a terrorist, no matter what religion they profess.
Nevada City, California