Letters to the Editor 

Carol Fan

While I appreciate most of what Jackson Baker writes, I have to take issue with his recent comments (Politics, December 29th issue) about Carol Chumney.

Regardless of whether or not she may be considering a run for mayor of Memphis, Chumney is not standing up to the mayor and the other council members just to "win some potential" votes. Chumney is speaking for the people of this city who are so fed up with the continued incompetence, pomposity, and self-serving attitudes and actions of Mayor Herenton, Joseph Lee, the executives at MLGW, and some City Council members. Memphians are infuriated by the flagrant actions of most of the people running this city.

I hope Carol Chumney is considering a run for mayor! I have a feeling that there would be a lot of people besides me who would vote for her. Herenton must go, ASAP!

Sylvia Cox

Memphis

It's Called Humor

I was somewhat bemused by Tim Sampson's column in your 878th issue (The Rant, December 22nd). Interestingly placed above a cartoon suggesting bestiality and opposite a full page for phone-sex ads, Sampson calls to our attention the capital offense of hewing pine trees for the nefarious purpose of creating a cheerful atmosphere during the Christmas season.

Sampson needs to be reminded that the vast majority of these trees are grown on farms for that very purpose and are usually replaced by seedlings after the annual pogrom. This is similar to the process by which we obtain catfish, beef, turkey (oops, there goes Thanksgiving!), etc. Another example of this systematic massacre of plants for human consumption is known as a garden (and those vegans think they're so nice!). I guess next year Sampson will have those who carve jack-o-lanterns for Halloween answering to the Great Pumpkin.

In a tangential tantrum, Sampson excoriates Arnold Schwarzenegger for refusing clemency to Tookie Williams. He labels Williams a "reformed criminal." Apparently, "murderer" is a term reserved for one who chops down evergreens.

Those who commit homicide should wish Sampson was God. If you shoot someone, all you have to do is write a few books and give some talks about the evils of gun use and you'll be "reformed." But don't you dare put up that Christmas tree!

Lou ReissMidtown

Nickeled and Dimed

I want to add my voice to those who are asking why MLGW is claiming credit for doing the job that Mother Nature already does for us. My most recent MLGW bill listed a 75-cent fee for mosquito/rodent control. I admit to being near-sighted, but for the life of me I cannot remember seeing a truck spraying the streets for mosquitoes in the last few months.

We Memphians are being nickeled and dimed to death at an outrageous rate, and no one in city leadership seems to want to address it. I for one want my nickels and dimes back.

Glenn CondreyMemphis

Alito

As the Senate prepares to begin hearings on Samuel Alito, President Bush's ultraconservative nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, it is important to focus on the most important issue to American women: abortion rights.

Alito opposes abortion rights. In a memo he wrote while working in the U.S. Solicitor General's office in the 1980s, he recommended ways the government could restrict abortion rights in order to chip away at the Roe v. Wade decision. The removal of this right suggests that we, as women, are incapable of deciding what should happen to our bodies.

I believe Alito, if confirmed, will use his position to further a socioreligious agenda that has no place in the American judicial system, a system charged with the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Americans.

The Senate hearings are an important opportunity to stop this disastrous nomination before it is too late. I call on our senators to oppose Alito's nomination. They should do this for the rights of their mothers, their sisters, their wives, their daughters, and -- if they are women -- themselves. When we remove some rights, it becomes far easier to remove more. One day we may find ourselves resembling some countries against whose tyranny we currently claim to fight.

Heather Marie Fleming

Memphis

Another Brilliant Idea

I'm not sure why Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, and other prominent liberal Democrats haven't proposed this, but all we really need to do to solve the problems with violence in Iraq is to have the new government pass the equivalent of the "Brady bill." I'm convinced that once car bombs and large knives are banned in Iraq, the violence will stop. It's worked like a charm over here.

Jerry Vanek

Nashville

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