Letters to the editor 

Postscript

Honey Holes

It may be acceptable for Woodward and Bernstein to stalk the dark corners of parking garages. It may even be acceptable for there to be two tiers of news reporters -- one above the law (Robert Novak); one beneath contempt (Jayson Blair). There could even be room in the world of news for the electronic media and their perfect coiffures and high-pitched whines. But never should there be someone in the mass media who spills the beans about the fishin' holes in and around Memphis! (Editor's note, December 1st issue.)

There may be a place for fraternité, egalité, and liberté among fishermen on the bigger lakes -- although I've fished around too many Bushies to really care about anything French -- but we are talking about our secret honey holes: the borrow pits around the expressway and the lakes hidden by trees or in plain view.

I began fishing those ponds and lakes in 1956, when my hands got big enough to hold my fishing pole and bicycle handlebars at the same time. The game wardens don't even know about half of 'em. And now Bruce VanWyngarden has told those bottom-busters with their 225-horsepower Mercury motors where to start looking for new water. (I probably shouldn't worry. I'm not sure that many of them can read and even fewer know the difference between Google and goggle-eye.)

Please remember how badly poor little Valerie Plame has been treated since she was "outed." Let's not add to the misery of our little clear-water ponds around town.

Bobby Blair

Memphis

Equal Protection?

I am sure there are many hard-working and diligent doctors out there, just as there are many honest attorneys. But, as long as both professions continue to "practice" their chosen fields rather than master them, the public is due equal protection under the law (Viewpoint, December 1st issue).

I have great sympathy for Mrs. Young (Letters to the Editor, November 24th issue) whose husband died as a result of poor medical care. I lost both my parents under similar circumstances: one to wrong diagnosis, the other to wrong medication. I sued neither physician.

The answer to this serious problem is simple: When a doctor is found to be negligent in a death or a catastrophic outcome, the insurance company pays once and the doctor loses his license to practice medicine forever, anywhere. He can do no more harm, as his oath professes, and the lawyer still makes his fee. And the medical profession and the insurance companies lose a liability.

Terry Blair CarrTupelo, Mississippi

A Delight

What a delight to read state senator Steve Cohen is thinking about running for governor in the 2006 Democratic primary (Politics, December 1st issue). That gives us a choice of a real Democrat verses a DINO (Democrat in Name Only). Cohen has years of experience and has worked hard for improved quality of life for Tennessee citizens. I will certainly work to elect him as our nominee.

Pat SpenceMemphis

Gilded Age

"Imagine yourself to be an idiot. Then imagine yourself to be a congressman. But I repeat myself." In this sardonic way, Mark Twain pointed out the corrupt mix of money and politics that defined for him the Gilded Age. Many public-spirited citizens now sense with growing apprehension how clearly Twain's judgment resonates in our present day.

Happily for the beleaguered patriots of the Gilded Age, Theodore Roosevelt and a host of progressive reformers made the changes needed to restore faith in a nation and make it once more true to itself. But how long, O Lord, must we have to wait for a legion of new reformers to purge the cronyism, corruption, and incompetence that now threaten the very life of our republic?

M.L. Wilson

Memphis

Correction: In last week's cover story "The New Moonshine," it was incorrectly reported that PGA golfer John Daly's wife, Sherry, pled guilty to federal charges of buying and selling meth and other drugs. Daly's wife actually pled guilty to a money-laundering charge.

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