In last week's letters column (December 7th issue), a writer complained of the impact the St. Jude Marathon had on his Saturday morning. Apparently, this event nearly caused divorce in his household, made a two-block car trip take one hour, and soured his regard for St. Jude.
In the Midtown neighborhood I know and love, residents were well aware of the marathon, so they could not only plan their comings and goings but participate as well. Many cheered runners on, manned water stations, and reveled in the fun and excitement of this community-building event. Race organizers did a good job of getting information to neighborhoods and residents. I look forward to having many more of my Saturday mornings inconvenienced for a cause that is positive for the community, the kids at St. Jude, and the perception of Memphis around the globe.
Perhaps the letter writer can take a cue from the marathoners themselves: If he needs to make a two-block trip -- walk. It will save on gas, save on time, and keep his blood pressure a little lower.
A Standing Rebuke
Regarding your editorial "A Standing Rebuke" (December 7th issue), I agree wholeheartedly with the writer's view. We should rejoice that justice is being done, but jail time is not the answer.
The goal shouldn't be to center on the guilty but to satisfy justice in regard to the true victims: tax payers. The FBI used tax dollars to trap these men. Jail time only double-taxes the citizens, using more money to house them in jails. What happened to restitution to the victims? Why not put those who are guilty of stealing from the public trust on work programs until the money is paid back with interest? This would satisfy the victims and allow the guilty ones to return to their lives, eventually, though not in political office, hopefully.
Losing your liberty in a prison does not necessarily change your character. [The concept of] jail is from Greco-Roman law and is state-centered and criminal-vested. Jails should only be holding facilities until restitution or retribution is exacted.
He Likes Bolton
During this debacle that we call the Bush presidency, a lack of competence has seeped out of the White House at every turn. However, I must say that one administration official has done his job quite well: John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.
Bolton has resigned to save the Bush administration from the further distraction of reappointing him. But Bolton's demeanor in the U.N. over the past few months has produced results, especially concerning China and the United States over North Korean issues.
Even though I will not miss the Bush administration when it is over, I will miss Bolton's brief term as our United Nations representative.
Michael A. Bodam
UT and UM
While driving home from work today I couldn't help but notice one of the University of Tennessee's billboard ads with the word "RepUTation."
It's a clever campaign. I know this because the University of Memphis has had great success with the very same idea during the last four years.
Beginning with the brand design for U of M's Alumni Association in 2002, the university has used "UM" in various words appearing in ads, brochures, direct-marketing campaigns, viewbooks, ESPN television spots, and other communications. A couple of examples are "illUMinate" and "e pluribus unUM."
So, this begs the question: Exactly what repUTation is UT attempting to publicize? One where it's perfectly acceptable to plagiarize another school's advertising?
No Meat, Please
A recent report by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization warns of the dire environmental consequences of the world's growing meat and dairy production.
According to the report, animal agriculture uses 30 percent of the earth's land surface for pasture and feed-crop production. It is the driving force in worldwide deforestation and wildlife habitat destruction, with 70 percent of the irreplaceable Amazon rain forest turned into pasture.
We don't have to wait for Earth Day to help save our planet. We can start with the next trip to the grocery store.