Jackson Baker's Viewpoint column "Measuring Frankly" (May 26th issue) contained some information that is somewhat misleading.
Baker describes the anti-abortion measure known as SJR 127 as "a constitutional amendment (subject to a statewide vote in 2014) that put the state on record as being 'neutral' in its attitude toward abortion — a move regarded as a precondition for any future scaling back of the state's various legal responsibilities vis-à-vis abortion."
SJR 127 would actually change Tennessee's Declaration of Rights so that women are no longer guaranteed equality under the law. It puts government in charge of women's health, allowing the Tennessee General Assembly to enact unreasonable restrictions on abortion, including medically unnecessary waiting periods and sonogram requirements. It could even outlaw abortion altogether. It injects politicians firmly into what is one of the most personal medical decisions a woman and her family ever face. Women should be able to make that decision with their faith, their families, and their physician without government interference.
SJR 127 is an extreme measure that makes no exception for victims of rape and incest or women with life-threatening medical conditions. If it is approved by the voters in 2014, Tennessee will have the dubious distinction of being the first state in the nation to amend its constitution to take rights away from citizens. Baker's vague description of SJR 127 did not make clear just how harmful the measure could be to Tennesseans.
To set the record straight, the federal family-planning funding targeted by a budget amendment to deny poor women options in their health care by Representative Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville), which Baker also mentions, is known as Title X, not Title IX.
Joan Carr, Director of Community Affairs
Planned Parenthood Greater
As a former Memphian who reads the Flyer online, I want to compliment your coverage of the great flood of 2011 — before, during, and after. There was no other local online news source that compared to the Flyer in its straight reporting, interesting analysis and commentary, and varied blog posts and photos.
John R. Collins
Those Crazy Libs
This town never ceases to amaze me. Just when you think the city might finally move past the irreversible damage done by liberal cancers Friends for Our Riverfront and Memphis Heritage, along comes another wave of pestilence to pick away at Memphis' future.
This time, the disease is being wielded by a minute group of loud-mouth, goofy, foam-hat-wearing metrosexuals who fantasize that people really give a good gas pass about bicycles.
It is sad that local government is so weak as to give these fools anything more than a swift kick to their backsides. How idiotic is it to even consider as anything more than a lame joke the idea of creating single-lane traffic on an important and already busy street so a group of pantyhose-wearing sissy boys can pretend to save the earth?
These liberal buffoons must lay awake nights dreaming up ways to hurt local business and keep Memphis from prospering.
Oops! Sorry to have opened my car door. I didn't see you coming. Okay, so I did see you coming. You got me!
Everybody look what's going down. If you think the government is functioning improperly now, watch what happens if anti-tax Republicans shut it down. The GOP obviously didn't learn its lesson when it shut the government down in 1996.
Destroying America's credit is no small matter. It's outrageous to risk doing so for political gain, but the Republicans and the Tea Party seem determined to play chicken with the debt ceiling. If Congress is blocked by the GOP from raising the national debt ceiling, by the beginning of August, the Treasury will be deciding which bills to pay. The U.S. would have to begin defaulting on some Treasury notes and bonds as they come due. Some pension funds and insurance companies that are huge holders of Treasury notes would have to dump them, because they're prohibited from owning the debt of institutions that are in default.
The GOP and Tea Party threatening not to raise the debt ceiling is not just playing with fire but playing with fire in a dynamite factory.
Nevada City, California
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