The Mason YMCA
The announcement that the YMCA Metro Board of Directors is closing the Mason YMCA on December 31st needs to be reconsidered ("Exercise Break," November 3rd issue). For 50 years, this community facility has served a diverse and active clientele in the University of Memphis area. Now, the nearest YMCA will be downtown, not exactly handy for those of us who depend on such a vital neighborhood facility. And this move displaces more than 40 low-income people who rent rooms at the Mason facility.
Let's not forget what the "C" in YMCA stands for.
John Branston's column on Jackie Smith as the "world's longest occupier" is a stretch (City Beat, November 3rd issue). Yes, Smith has spent the past 23 years sitting in front of the National Civil Rights Museum, which technically makes her an "occupier," but her protest long ago ceased being about anything other than a way for Smith to support herself by selling her trinkets and taking "donations." She does not live "on the street," either. That's another myth Smith prefers to perpetuate, rather than admit she has an apartment nearby.
Haslam and the Protesters
Instead of attempting to stop the Occupy Nashville protesters, Governor Haslam and other elected officials should join them. Our two senators, Corker and Alexander, have once again voted against our nation's and state's best interests by killing the bill to rebuild America's infrastructure. It's time for Haslam and other elected officials to do what is best for the citizens of Tennessee instead of arresting those who are standing up for what's right.
Time and time again, they have shown that they put politics above what's right for the country. They're unwilling to invest in America, but they support spending billions of dollars to rebuild Iraq and use our tax money to construct roads in Afghanistan — where they have maybe a few thousand cars.
When it comes to rebuilding our own crumbling roads and bridges, they side with those whose only goal and purpose is to defeat President Obama, no matter what the cost is to the nation. How many more unemployed do they think it will take to achieve their only real goal — to make Obama a one-term president?
These senators have no trouble voting to send young Americans to fight and die for their nation, but they vote to kill any project they think will actually put Americans back to work.
Trick or Treat?
Our Memphis neighborhood has very few young families and even fewer young children. As Australians preparing for our first Halloween in the U.S., my wife and I purchased a conservative amount of candy in anticipation of a quiet night. After being swamped by trick-or-treaters, we quickly revisited the store for more candy.
My observation of the juvenile obesity that arrived at our door has me considering handing out big, red, juicy apples next year. Will this be considered a trick or treat?
A recent survey by the Pew polling organization found that among U.S. scientists only 6 percent identify themselves as Republican, while 55 percent are self-declared Democrats and 32 percent are independent.
The political imbalance is striking, but it's not exactly shocking. Mindless hostility to science, after all, is something of a badge of honor in the modern Republican Party, which now requires adherents to don ideological blinders, denounce climate change as a hoax, and even question evolution.
Such is the state of decay of the Republican Party of 2011.
Nevada City, California
Hey, what happened to News of the Weird? It's been missing from your publication for the last couple of issues. I miss it.
Editor's note: News of the Weird was cut from the paper due to a late influx of ads in two recent weeks. It returns this week on page 52.