Blow 'Em Up Real Good! 

Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

I was sure that the award for best new terminology in 2004 would go to Janet Jackson for "wardrobe malfunction," but Tony Barba (Letters, November 18th issue) has topped that by proposing, in effect, "democracy by annihilation."

Why didn't we think of this sooner? Rather than wasting time on discussion, let's just blast the hell out of everyone who disagrees with the majority! If some foreigners don't like the kind of government we've decided they are free to live with -- Boom! Why risk needless deaths due to insurgent violence when we can kill all of them now and get it over with? It's downright biblical and so much more cost-effective.

But why use this higher-order thought process only outside our borders? It would be so much easier to make tough decisions on sensitive social issues like gay marriage, abortion, and stem-cell research if the minority opposition were simply eliminated en masse. It takes less time to bury the dissenters than to listen to them.

This administration was "mandated" by a number of voters smaller than the population of metro Atlanta, which proves that no further discussion is necessary. Thank you, Mr. Barba, for sharing your enlightened vision for democracy.

Jon Devin

Memphis

Fundamental Tragedy

To the Editor:

The unfolding American tragicomedy is rapidly becoming theater of the absurd ("All Over but the Counting," November 4th issue). What's next? The creation of the abortion police? Mandated faith-based charities?

My Presbyterian grandmother warned me years ago to put my hand firmly on my wallet when someone got close and started telling me how much he loved the Lord. It is a shame we cannot enjoy a peaceful, stable life in this world anymore. Well-funded religious zealots of all stripes and creeds are trying to force their unenlightened views upon us. To resist them is the greatest calling in life.

Greg Williams

Memphis

Getting Even

To the Editor:

In "Public Relations" (Viewpoint, November 4th issue), Tatine Darker wrote that "getting mad or trying to get even won't solve the problem" of terrorism.

That caused me to recall what the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in his book Stride Toward Freedom: "To retaliate in kind would do nothing but intensify the existence of hate in the universe. Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can only be done by projecting the ethic of love to the center of our lives."

But how can we love those who want to destroy us and all that we cherish? Can anyone tell me?

Arthur H. Prince

Memphis

TennCare's Demise

To the Editor:

Everyone knows that doing away with TennCare would be bad for the state's health. Governor Bredesen claims that we cannot afford to provide health care, but it's TennCare's demise that will cause serious financial losses.

TennCare patients will still need health care, and hospitals, clinics, and other providers across the state will be stuck providing roughly $230 million to $450 million per year in uncompensated health care.

The reduction in state spending that would come from eliminating TennCare would also cause the loss of almost twice as much in federal funding. The proposed reduction of $650 million in state funds would lead to a reduction in business activity in Tennessee of at least $1.6 billion and a loss of at least 14,500 jobs in fiscal year 2005-2006.

These are the findings of a recent report by the respected Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Everyone who cares about the future of health care in this state should read this short but informative paper at the Center's Web site: http://www.cbpp.org/11-15-04health.htm. Eliminating TennCare is not just bad for our health -- it's also unhealthy for our bottom line.

William Bush

Cookeville, Tennessee

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