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Letters to the Editor


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What We Need

I visited Memphis over the Christmas holidays, and I read the Flyer after my return to D.C. (now home). How unbelievable it would be to have both an Anthropologie and a Trader Joe's in Memphis ("The Way of the Cookie," January 1st issue).

Trader Joe's would open up new culinary worlds to Memphis folks. I love catfish and collard greens as much as anyone, but when I'm in Memphis, I'd like to have more dining choices. At Trader Joe's, Memphians could start to get a taste of something different in their own homes, which would create demand for more varied ethnic restaurants in the city. I've lived in Portland, Oregon, and now Washington, D.C., where I have been blessed to have a Trader Joe's nearby. (In both cities, I've also been able to purchase Two Buck Chuck wine. For 2011, please add being able to purchase wine in grocery stores to your Memphis wish list.)

As for Anthropologie, it is an absolutely beautiful store. I might shop more during the holidays in Memphis if there was an Anthropologie store there. But I suspect the price point and styling does not match enough of the Memphis demographic for Anthropologie to open a shop there.

Sonya Baskerville
Washington, D.C.

Vietnam Mistakes?

Regarding Randy Haspel's statement that Vietnam was fought with draftees and parolees (The Rant, January 7th issue), two-thirds of Americans who served in Vietnam were volunteers. According to Colonel Harry Summers Jr., 70 percent of the Americans killed there were volunteers.

The mistakes made in South Vietnam by General Westmoreland were corrected by his successor, General Creighton Abrams, to the point that by December 1972, the Viet Cong guerrilla movement was destroyed and a major invasion by North Vietnam had been repulsed with the aid of U.S. airpower and naval gunfire support. The U.S. ambassador to South Vietnam, Ellsworth Bunker, held South Vietnamese president Nguyen Van Thieu in highest regard, as saying he was committed to constitutional government.

The tactics being used in Afghanistan are the same that were used in Vietnam with success — dispersing troups throughout the countryside to build up local defense forces and police forces to allow villages to defend themselves from guerrillas. The reason for sending more troops to Afghanistan is because the allies are moving into areas they have not entered previously and which have a strong concentration of Taliban. That is why the violence has escalated.

Chris Coughlin


Now that we're back at Magenta Alert or something, notice how those most loudly clanging the "They're out to kill us all!" alarm bell (Cheney/Bush administration officials, Rush Limbaugh, the Fox News gang, et al.) are also those who most blatantly tout themselves and each other as super-patriotic Americans.

It's ironic that for the past decade this cabal of politicians and commentators has been using fear tactics so relentlessly here in the land of the free and the home of the "brave." It's sad that they've been so successful at it.

Rich Olcott


In the Flyer's Annual Manual, you published a health guide to Memphis area hospitals. The entry for Lakeside contained a few factual errors I need to correct:

1) Lakeside is licensed by the state of Tennessee for 305 beds — 261 acute and 44 residential.

2) The Cresthaven outpatient office was relocated to the main campus in Memphis in May 2008, in order to provide additional treatment options in our day-treatment program. The Jackson outpatient office closed in late 2008.

Anthony Porter
Lakeside Behavioral Health System

Vietnam Memories

As a history professor with a special interest in the Vietnam era, I am researching and writing a book on the 1960s as seen through the eyes of American children. For many Americans who were born between 1956 and 1970 the "Sixties experience" was a fundamental part of their childhood and remains central in their lives today.

I would like to hear stories from this generation. How did you experience the Vietnam era's powerful historical forces, between Kennedy's inauguration and Nixon's resignation? What did things such as the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, the Beatles, hippies, assassinations, moon landings, and protests mean to you as a preadolescent?

Please contact me on Facebook at "Children of the Sixties."

Joel P. Rhodes
Department of History
Southeast Missouri State University

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