Letters to the Editor 

Bush Bashers Bashed

New York representative Charles Rangel speaks for me, as he does for many Americans, when he defended President Bush against foreign demagogues speaking at the U.N. Although I have been a constant critic of Bush, I do not believe that any tinhorn communist dictator or Islamic fruit-loop should be able to come here under our protection and call our president names.

In this country we have freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion. In their countries they do not allow their citizens to engage in similar freedoms. When they change to a constitutional republic with the same guarantees provided by our Bill of Rights, then they will get a second look. But until that time, they need to show a little respect and decorum. He is our president, whether I think he is an idiot or not.

Joe M. Spitzer

Memphis

Air America

Phillip Stephenson asked why Air America hosts "don't move to a country whose president they admire, like Castro in Cuba or Putin in Russia or Chavez in Venezuela" (Letters, September 21st issue). Maybe it's because the last time I checked, in the U.S. everyone is entitled to have a dissenting opinion. Perhaps Stephenson should consider moving to one of the countries he cites -- where only one opinion is allowed -- since apparently only one is all he wants to hear.

Rob Thompson

Southaven

Much to Phillip Stephenson's chagrin, Air America is alive and well. He can hate AAR, but no one is forcing him to listen.

I hate conservative talk radio, and if anyone wins the prize for personal attacks, it is the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity. I don't listen to them, but I will defend their right to be on the air because that is the American way -- freedom of speech.

That old line of "love it or leave it" is garbage. It is the right of Americans to speak out and criticize their leaders. You may think this is Bush-bashing, but our president and his Republican cronies are responsible for a $9 trillion national debt (almost 50 percent of it owned by China, Korea, Taiwan, and Japan); the waste of hundreds of billions of dollars on Halliburton and its subsidiaries because of no-oversight, no-bid contracts for Iraq; the hiring of workers for the Iraq Coalition Provisional Authority who had no experience in any of the needed skills; gutting or rescinding most of the environmental regulations; the total mess in Iraq, a war that Bush started with justifications that all turned out to be lies.

If you have examples of how Bush has done such a fine job as our president, I think Flyer readers would be very interested in seeing them.

Sylvia Cox

Memphis

Corker Ads

After viewing one of Bob Corker's anti-Harold Ford Jr. television spots, I am appalled at how manipulative Corker's campaign strategy is. He blatantly misleads Tennesseans into believing that Ford's views are inconsistent with their views. This is not a new approach for Corker, whose allegations against his primary opponents, Ed Bryant and Van Hilleary, were deemed "seriously misleading" and the hints of a "character problem" by the Nashville Tennessean.

Corker claims that Ford voted against reauthorizing the Patriot Act. In fact, Ford not only voted for the original and final authorizations of the Patriot Act but also voted to make it permanent. The ad also states that Ford voted to cut defense spending. The ad neglects to mention that Ford voted for the strongest possible defense budget that was proposed. Additionally, Ford supported every bill proposed by the administration that has dealt with the funding and appropriations of the war on terror. Finally, the ad says Ford voted to let judges "release felons from jail because of overcrowding." It does not explain that Ford voted for a "Truth in Sentencing" amendment in 1999, in order to give states funding to ensure the resources for keeping murderers, rapists, and other serious criminals in jail for their full sentences.

 Perhaps Corker should focus on explaining to the public what it is that he stands for instead of hiding behind misleading and deceitful rhetoric about his opponent.

Van D. Turner Jr.

Memphis

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