Thanks for Louis Goggans' story, "Crime Stoppers" (December 12th issue). This valuable organization gets too little attention for the amount of good crime-fighting work they do for communities here and around the country. My family has personally benefited when a Crime Stoppers' tip helped solve a burglary at our home, so I'm a fan.
I am writing to express my thanks to the city of Memphis and the wonderful people at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for the way they handled this year's marathon weekend. Hosting 30,000 people on a good-weather day is a monumental task. Prepping for that size crowd in an ice storm is unimaginable. The city and race organizers did all they could, but pulling resources for a race when emergency conditions exist isn't wise. The correct call was made.
Despite the cancellation, the St. Jude Marathon Weekend should be viewed as a tremendous success. It is, first and foremost, a fund-raiser supporting the life-saving work at St. Jude. Through donations and the Heroes program more than $8 million will be collected from this one event!
This cancellation can also serve as a reminder to us all. I'm sure there are runners who trained extensively for this race, all pointing to the time they would successfully cross that finish line. Despite the hard work and doing everything correctly, they didn't get that moment. It's frustrating.
There are patients at St. Jude every day who are working hard to beat a terrible disease. They have the greatest doctors and support team in the world. The work is tough, but they do what they have to do, always looking forward to the day when they win their race, when they walk out the doors cancer-free.
Until every child can cross their finish line successfully, we should continue to support the efforts of St. Jude. Once again, I offer our thanks to the city of Memphis and St. Jude for extending a warm welcome in frigid weather! We'll see you next year!
Your Moment of Dagmar
Rand Paul can kiss my sorry, wrinkled ass for insisting that unemployment payments encourage people to avoid finding jobs. Every year, from 1988 to 2011, I had a full-time teaching position. In addition, as a musician, I worked as many as seven and eight jobs at a time.
I have been on unemployment since 2011. Oh, I just love being unemployed, NOT. Thanks to the Republicans, at the end of December I am officially off unemployment compensation. The enormity of their stupidity never ceases to amaze me. Good thing Rand's daddy has money. Maybe he does not realize that one has to have been employed in order to collect unemployment checks.
Adults in the Room?
A 3-year-old child plays with his toy, bashing it on the concrete again and again, gratified by the noises it makes and uncaring that the toy will be useless when he tires of the activity. A playmate comes over and steps on the toy to stop the annoying racket. The child, enraged, engages in passive-aggressive behavior because of his frustration. Eventually, he soils his training pants because that's the only way he can express his power.
I am, of course, describing the Republican faction of the United States Senate, as seen by those of us vainly waiting for some signs of adult behavior from the institution that no longer merits the label "world's greatest deliberative body."
When the second Bush administration came into power in 2001, the GOP told the world, "Now the adults are in charge." Instead, we now see grown men, lower lip stuck out and aquiver, babbling on to take up our time for the sake of taking up our time. Never again will the Republican Party be able to make such a claim without being laughed off the stage.
This week it starts in earnest — the questioning. You can't escape it. It comes from your spouse, your kids, your parents — at the breakfast table, in the car, on the phone, via email: "What do you want for Christmas?" ...