I think I can help put Tim Sampson's mind at ease (The Rant, August 12th issue).
The hawk-like birds he is seeing are probably Mississippi Kites. These medium-sized birds of prey are migratory, living in the Memphis area from about late April until the middle of September. The young birds are leaving the nests about now, so Tim is probably seeing family groups.
Kites are well known for soaring and diving as they search for their favorite food: dragonflies. They have adapted well to urban living, favoring wooded areas around parks and golf courses. They especially like the really large trees in Midtown Memphis. Nests are hard to see, as these birds usually nest in the tallest limbs of the tallest trees in the area. Over the past 20 years, I have helped in a reintroduction program that has released over 300 of these birds in the Memphis area.
Director, Mid-South Raptor Center
Jack Bishop, your most prolific letter writer, continues the worn-out mantra of the fringe left: a hatred for big business; neocon cowards planned the Iraq war and are criminals; Bush is responsible for our nine-trillion-dollar debt; Cheney is in bed with Big Oil; ad nauseam. And this guy writes that attendees at Tea Party rallies are cranky!
I found his comments almost amusing until I read, "President Bush allowed bin Laden to get away with killing 3,000 of our fellow citizens." Implicit in this sentence is Bush had prior knowledge of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon did nothing to prevent it. Shrill and irresponsible rhetoric such as this, from the left or the right, will only serve to galvanize the offended party.
I don't very often agree with the Flyer on things politic, however I wholeheartedly agree with Bruce VanWyngarden's comments regarding the recent elections (Letter from the Editor, August 12th issue). We should no more try to be post-racial than post-gender. There are differences among all of us, some far more profound than skin color, gender, religious persuasion, etc. I truly try to vote for the best person to fill the job. But I also have been guilty of voting for the incumbents because they haven't been tainted during the past cycle or one of a multitude of candidates based upon name recognition. When there are 17 or 18 people running for the same court bench, it becomes almost laughable.
I felt somewhat reassured when an attorney friend opined that he was acquainted with the vast majority of the judicial candidates, and they were not only well-qualified and capable but fair, honest, and generally as unbiased as the rest of us.
As I said, I often don't agree with much of what your writers have to say, but I am a regular reader and I do enjoy most of the content. I read and digest your (collective) thoughts because I believe you have not only a right to your opinions and ideas but that they sometimes may be more valid than my own.
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