Letters to the Editor 

Farewell, Wendi

Chris Davis' parting shot (Fly on the Wall, March 16th issue) to departing Commercial Appeal columnist Wendi Thomas was a little harsh.

Maybe Thomas went a little overboard with her "everyday sin tax" ideas, but her heart was always in the right place. Thomas' columns were about getting people to think and to live responsible, moral lives. She held all politicians to high standards, never playing the race card in her call for all of us to look at ourselves and try to live better lives. Thomas is a brilliant writer, wise beyond her years. Baltimore's gain is Memphis' loss.

Randy Norwood


Snake Oil?

Every time I hear George Bush on TV, I feel like I need to take a bath in extra-strength degreaser. This guy is the slimiest snake-oil salesman on the planet. For him to say that he tried to avoid the Iraq war is ludicrous. Bush did everything in his power to make sure we went to war so he could get the regime change he desired.

Joe M. Spitzer Memphis

The president is on tour promoting the idea of "staying the course" in Iraq, using the same platitudes he has used for three long and bloody years. He's speaking in front of giant signs that read "Plan for Victory," which is ironic, since he has yet to present one.

As former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright noted recently: "Good versus evil is not a strategy." Under the guise of being a "wartime president" (in the endless "war on terror"), Bush has abused the Constitution and stripped a weak-kneed Congress of its ability to offer checks and balances. If we, as a people, don't rise up soon, our liberties will be taken and America as we know it will disappear.

Warren Hagan


George Bush ran for reelection by avoiding discussion of his own record and by demonizing John Kerry. Republicans up for election in 2006 may well try the same smear tactics to deflect attention from the issues and how they've failed at those issues. As the campaigns begin, listen closely to see if candidates are really answering questions. "He is partisan," for example, does not answer questions about the deficit, war, torture, spending, corruption, or illegal activities. Representative Marsha Blackburn and Senator Bill Frist would rather talk about the "far left" or "liberals" rather than the details of their records on the issues. What they say "most liberals" think is absolutely not what most liberals think.

If you're in doubt, ask us what we think. Don't let Republicans or Fox News tell you. You can be sure that when a question is deflected or another candidate is smeared, there is a reason. Let's not allow candidates to turn our heads with emotional rhetoric. Let's demand the truth from everyone. And let's demand that smear tactics stop immediately.

Brandy Branigan


A Worthy Cause

Although we greatly appreciate Bianca Phillips' story on the closing of our no-kill home (February 23rd issue), the article failed to mention a few important points: 1) Furry Friends did not close down altogether. We merged with Guardian Angel Pet Rescue. 2) Our remaining dogs were placed at the Memphis Humane Society through the support of its executive director, Ginger Morgan. 3) Our shelter was open for six months, not four.

Most importantly, we would like to thank all of our donors whose contributions paid for 76 dogs and cats to have food, shelter, spaying/neutering, and medical care. Furry Friends was and is -- in conjunction with Guardian Angels -- a worthy cause.

Susan Mah, Furry Friends founder


Selling Memphis

How do you sell Memphis (In the Bluff, March 23rd issue)? That's a no-brainer: Memphis music. Yeah, we all know about our musical heritage. And I'm thankful we have places like the Rock 'N' Soul Museum and the Stax Museum and other appropriate homages to our illustrious past. But I'm talking about Memphis music today. We have a vibrant, creative, and talented community of musicians who play all kinds of music. These artists represent a diversity that reflects the Memphis that we are now, not the Memphis we used to be.

No need to hunker down with a bunch of high-priced strategic brand designers. As Christopher Reyes from LiveFromMemphis.com would say, "Get off your ass and go see some music!"

Joann Self Memphis


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