Trash and Recycling
Curbside recycling is an excellent program ("Trash Talkin'," October 5th issue). My question is when do businesses become responsible for recycling and why are they not offered the same services? And for that matter, why don't apartment buildings? Are we not in the 21st century yet? When will Memphians take pride in something?Brian HodgesMemphis
I read with interest the cover story on trash. Too bad the reporter did not interview members of the City Council as to why [sanitation workers] are the only city employees who do not receive city pensions.
Dot Truitt Walk
After years of enjoying "The Rant" and its prior equivalent, I have grown to expect so much more than mere name-calling, which is exactly what we got from Charley Reese (September 28th issue).
I understand that the columnist is syndicated, so surely we can select someone more in-tune with the smart, snappy political writing that makes you simultaneously think and laugh (and occasionally groan).
I concede that this is no easy task. Smart writing never is. But name-calling just makes you want to put the rag down and walk away. We can do better.
The West Memphis Three
I am writing in regards to your story about the 1993 triple homicide case in West Memphis, Arkansas ("Life After Death," September 21st issue).
As one of the filmmakers (along with Joe Berlinger) of Paradise Lost and Revelations: Paradise Lost 2, the HBO documentaries about the case, I am quoted as saying, "We said we were kind of thinking the stepfather John Mark Byers did it. He was a fighting kind of guy, and one time he even said to us, 'Just remember, boys, it all started here.'"
This quote was taken out of context from an interview I gave writer Annette Stark for another publication, in which I was discussing the wide range of troubling possibilities that have been discussed in the case. While I continue to have questions about the convictions of three boys, neither Joe Berlinger nor I have ever stated that we believe that John Mark Byers is a killer.
I appreciate the Flyer bringing attention to this important case, but hurling unfounded accusations does nothing to advance the cause of justice.
Blackburn and Foley
Did Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn know about former Congressman Mark Foley's sexual predations? Did she turn a blind eye to this in the same way that she ignored the Tom DeLay scandal? (In that instance, she was one of only 20 representatives who voted against restoring ethical standards to the House, and she contributed $5,000 to DeLay's defense fund.)
Blackburn certainly was in the right circles to know about Foley. She is assistant majority whip and thus considered part of the Republican leadership. She is also co-chair of the Republican National Campaign Committee. The chair of the RNCC is Tom Reynolds, who informed Dennis Hastert about Foley at least a year ago. Wouldn't you think that Blackburn and Reynolds in their efforts to get Republicans reelected would at least have discussed any possible scandals that could arise?
Whether Blackburn knew about Foley or not, in her position of leadership, not knowing was as much an act of malfeasance as knowing and doing nothing. This woman has not represented us and does not deserve reelection.
Winning in Iraq
A "win" in a tribal society like Iraq would have to involve an agreement to share revenue from its largest revenue stream: oil. An outside force can never impose an agreement among these three major tribes at the point of a gun. The current internal struggle is inevitable. Our taking one side can only prolong it.
As Tom Harkin recently wrote, "There is no virtue in being strong but wrong." Staying in Iraq can only make things worse by propping up one side and fueling resentments among its opponents. The U.S. should realize that it's much simpler and cheaper in both blood and treasure to buy the oil instead of trying to conquer and occupy its source.
Elizabeth P. Williams