In your recap of the most significant Memphis news stories of the year 2013, please don't forget this: In an action that sparked the outrage of thousands of area citizens, the Memphis City Council attempted to illegally rename three of the city's historic parks: Forrest Park, Confederate Park, and Jefferson Davis Park. This action prompted hundreds of letters and emails to the city, public meetings and rallies, and dozens of media interviews and stories in response to the city's attempt to erase Memphis history. It has also drawn attention both nationally and internationally and has cost the city some of the convention business of historic groups and Civil War tourists.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Citizens to Save Our Parks are in an ongoing lawsuit with the city and city council to nullify the city's illegal renaming actions.
And don't forget a second related incident: the theft of the approved Forrest Park stone marker by the city of Memphis.
Absence Makes the Heart ...
"Double Issue," eh? I know you good folks in Flyer-land deserve a vacation now and then, and I'm glad y'all had a nice break for the holidays. But you should know I spent two days looking for my weekly Flyer fix last week, before I figured out there wasn't a new issue coming out for another week. That's just cruel. I could hardly eat my Huey Burger.
Well, I've had my laugh for the day. I just heard another clueless Tea Partier blaming Obama for the Bush recession. How quickly these folks rewrite history! George W. Bush gave away the greatest surplus our country ever had (accrued under Bill Clinton) to his rich buddies, spent trillions on a war based on lies, ran up the highest deficit our country ever had, then slithered away to much-deserved oblivion and left the whole mess to Obama, who has reduced the deficit every year he has been in office.
To blame Obama for the jobs lost due to the Bush fiascoes is about as sensible as blaming Bill Clinton for the 1929 depression.
Why is having a sports team named Braves, Indians, or Redskins considered offensive and demeaning? Do we need to be reminded about what our forefathers did to these people? If I were a Native American, I would not want the names changed. I would want them kept as a reminder of the debt we owe them and the pride and honor they have as the only true American people. The rest of us came along later and took what we wanted, because we could. Don't change the team names. That will just make it easier to forget Native Americans.
Meat-Free for 2014?
When making your New Year's resolutions, consider adopting a healthy, eco-friendly, compassionate meat-free diet.
According to Harris Interactive, 47 percent of American consumers are reducing their consumption of animal products. The USDA projects this year's per capita chicken and beef consumption to drop by 8 percent and 17 percent, respectively, from their 2006 peaks. Similar dramatic drops are projected for pigs and turkeys. Milk consumption has fallen by a whopping 40 percent since 1970.
A number of celebrities, including Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Jay Z, and Beyoncé are becoming vegans. Microsoft founder Bill Gates, PayPal founder Peter Thiel, and Twitter founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams are funding plant-based replacements for meat and eggs.
Fast-food chains like Subway and Chipotle are responding to the growing demand by rolling out vegan options. The Baltimore, Los Angeles, and San Diego school districts have adopted Meatless Mondays.
How about dropping animals from the menu for your New Year's resolution? Entering "Meatout Mondays" in a search engine brings tons of useful recipes and transition tips.