Global Warming is Real
Bianca Phillips' thoughtful, well-researched, and balanced article on global warming ("Beachfront Property?" May 25th issue) is a wake-up call for all of us. The results of this looming global catastrophe could forever alter life on earth as we know it.
Just as the tobacco industry scoffed at the U.S. surgeon general's report that linked cigarette smoking to lung cancer in the early 1960s, the powerful oil companies now cynically play on the American public's fear of change and its unrepentant love of the automobile by continuing to question the validity of global warming and insisting scientific proof is not there.
This false emotional appeal to the public does not address the fact that most serious scientists have reached a consensus that global warming is real and having a detrimental effect on the planet. How we deal with this problem and come to terms with the basic notions of who we are as a people and what we owe to generations unborn will be, for better or worse, our legacy.
In an apparent effort to position himself for the Republican presidential nomination, Senator Bill Frist is sponsoring two amendments calculated to attract patriots who love this country and assuage the moral concerns of others who fear the wrath of an angry God.
One amendment would criminalize the burning of the American flag, which would thereby save the republic from those in our midst who hate freedom. The other would prohibit the rite of marriage to gays and lesbians, which would protect the traditional institution of marriage.
But more needs to be done. The alarming rate of divorce, promiscuity, adultery, and cohabitation out of wedlock clearly indicates that heterosexuals are mainly responsible for the deterioration of marriage as we know it. I recommend two further reforms: Place an absolute ban on divorce and invoke the biblical sanction for stoning to death all those found guilty of adultery.
A federal subsidy might be considered for coastal and plains areas where there could soon be a shortage of stones for casting against sinners.
Guns and Violence
Another gun death in Memphis this past week received little press attention. A 21-year-old criminal was killed while leaning out of a car firing an AK-47 at another car full of criminals. He was shot by members of his own gang, who were wildly shooting from the backseat of their car.
An AK-47 is a fully automatic rifle. It was designed for the military to kill enemy soldiers. Thanks to the NRA (Nuts Running America) and their paid cronies, the GOP (Greed Over People), anyone can now buy this weapon. They will tell you that "guns kill people" and that's a fact. What they will not tell you is that criminals will kill anyone.
Because of legislation passed by the Republican Congress, no background checks are conducted at gun shows. Anyone can buy a semi-automatic rifle and, at the same gun show, buy the kit converting it to fully automatic. This is the same type of weapon that murderers used to kill an entire family in their home in Indiana last week.
Law enforcement cannot trace these weapons, and they are available to criminals and terrorists at any of the thousands of gun shows across America. So while Congress will spend the next three weeks discussing the latest hypocrisy -- the marriage amendment and a ban on flag-burning -- somewhere in Indiana, a family of seven will be laid to rest. The so-called law-and-order party has handcuffed federal and local law enforcement, and they are proud of it.
Memphis in May
I think Chris Davis should stick to watching MTV instead of trying to reinvent Memphis In May (Viewpoint, June 1st issue).
I am sure thousands of people do not attend the Barbecue Contest because of the "must be on the guest list" requirement. And I am guessing that Beale Street has about 15 clubs with an average capacity of about 500 people. Five hundred times 15 is 7,500.
Memphis In May is about the crowds. Over 200,000 people show up every year. If you don't like crowds, wait for the next club show. In Memphis, they are usually pretty empty.