I appreciated Louis Goggans' excellent article on the city's new Memphis Advisory Council for Citizens with Disabilities ("Equal Access," July 28th issue). The city council should also be commended for approving the group's formation — long overdue. There is, however, a clear and important distinction between the terms "disabled people" and "the disabled" versus "people with a disability." The latter term is the correct one.
I always appreciate the Flyer's analysis and coverage of the major issues in Memphis. Often coming a few days after the local TV and daily paper have flogged an issue to death, the Flyer's perspective is usually a welcome one. Last week's coverage of the brouhaha between the city council and the Memphis school board ("School Daze," July 28th issue) was a good example of this. Keep up the good work.
This is an open letter to Governor Haslam and members of the Tennessee General Assembly:
I have read with alarm reports that coal ash has tainted groundwater at TVA sites across Tennessee. I am writing to demand that you fulfill your responsibility to the citizens of Tennessee by requiring that these sites be cleaned up immediately and that state regulators and the TVA take measures to prevent future contamination. As worldwide populations increase, water usage will inevitably lead to scarcity. Clean water is not a luxury, it is a necessity, and any contamination of this resource is unacceptable. We must look ahead and protect our ability to provide clean water for future generations.
More alarming is Tennessee's complete failure to regulate these sites and protect us from such contamination in the first place. The fact that this kind of lax oversight is already a problem highlights the unacceptable risk we are taking in accepting nuclear waste in Tennessee. I implore you to change course now, before it is too late and Tennessee citizens are forced to bear the burden of increased health costs, exodus of the taxpayer base, and long-term, costly environmental devastation.
Murdoch: No Surprise
The scandal involving Rupert Murdoch's news empire should not surprise any well-informed person.
Murdoch started his climb out of the muck in his home country of Australia. He used his famous book deals to secure the rights to buy several newspapers and other media. His offer of book deals worth millions to conservative politicians is well known. They include Margaret Thatcher and Newt Gingrich. Both deals were paid back with favorable rulings that allowed Murdoch to expand his media empire in America and England.
Gingrich wasn't the only Republican who profited by falling into bed with News Corporation and Fox News. The list of Republican staffers and elected officials is long.
We also now know that the British government as well as Scotland Yard failed to report or turn down bribes offered by Murdoch's minions.
Here in the U.S., Fox News and its talking heads, aided by bought-and-paid-for politicians, have for years railed against taxes and how they are job killers. What we didn't know is that because News Corporation is an international company, they have either avoided paying taxes or paid only a minimal amount. By blaming unions and the middle class for the country's economic woes, Fox has endeared itself to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Republican Party.
The Bible tells us that Satan is the "father of lies." Murdoch must have learned his trade at Satan's feet.
We should all write or email our elected officials about the need to preserve the world's rain forests. They are vital to convert the carbon dioxide we exhale into the oxygen we inhale. Their loss exacerbates the global warming crisis. They are essential for finding cures for pandemic diseases. Their preservation will also help the teetering world economy.
We need to partner with experts to show countries such as Brazil and Indonesia how they can profit from sustainable practices. At the same time, the world's lumber companies should be regulated in order to assure that they use sound practices of selectivity without clear-cutting.
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