President Bush's visit to Memphis this week was a real eye-opener. I have read that the war in Iraq being waged by this administration is a class war, but I had not seen it so blatantly played out.
I was holding a sign that read "STOP THE WAR" as I took part in a peaceful protest. Bush was attending a political fund-raiser nearby for Republican senator Lamar Alexander. The ticket price was $1,000, and if you wanted to super-size, you could spend $10,000 and get your picture taken with the man himself.
Guests for the Bush event parked at the Pink Palace lot. I couldn't help but notice that every car that pulled in was a brand-new BMW, Mercedes Benz, large SUV, or Cadillac. They were all luxury cars. And the occupants, in their expensive dark suits, starched white shirts, and red ties, all looked spit-shined and neat, just like their vehicles. The women were dressed to kill, hair just so, accessorized and tanned. It was really weird how neat and perfect they all looked. They all seemed giddy with anticipation and didn't give us the time of day. They were there to support the president.
In contrast, the 60 or so people I was standing with looked very different. We were a bedraggled bunch, mostly college students standing up for our right to assemble and speak our opposition to this mess that has been created in Iraq against our will. There wasn't anyone among us in a suit. Where we parked, there were no shiny cars, just used vehicles. And there were a lot of us on bikes.
Polls say that two-thirds of Americans are against the war. That means there should have been more of us standing on the corner than there were attending the fund-raiser, but we were outnumbered at least four to one. Maybe it was because people who have a lot of money have more flexible schedules. Maybe it was because we just weren't organized enough and nobody got the word. Maybe meeting the president seemed more important than standing on a corner holding a sign for peace.
Whatever the case, I found myself very comfortable with the people I was standing with, even if we were the minority. I firmly believe that what we did was the right thing to do. But I sure hope more people show up to stand with us next time. Maybe even somebody in a suit.
Billy Simpson Memphis
The "Seniorphobic" Flyer?
It has been a while since the Flyer has rattled my cage, because someone has decided that all of us at the Frayser-Raleigh Senior Center don't need to read your paper anymore.
Has the Flyer become "seniorphobic"? I would find that hard to believe, but nevertheless, I haven't had my Flyer fix in three weeks.
Now, I can't sit in my easy chair and smoke my pipe while listening to "Axis Bold As Love" and reading the only Memphis newspaper that seems to truly care about this city.
Please correct this travesty and don't leave this faithful reader and some of his friends out in the cold.
Frank M. Boone
Editor's note: We will look into the situation and make sure your senior center remains on our delivery list.
Bush and the Devil
Americans need to wake up to the fact that President Bush has been making deals with the devil.
We know how the State Department has protected the killers at Blackwater, but there are more sinister killers that are coming to light. Arms dealers like Tomislav Damnjanovic, who operated out of Belgrade under Slobodan Milosevic during the Bosnian conflict, is now being paid with our tax dollars to run arms into Iraq and Afghanistan. While doing this, he is also running arms to terrorists linked to al-Qaeda in Somalia. This is according to U.N. investigators.
Damnjanovic also helped supply Libya's air force and army with illegal arms shipments. In fact, almost anywhere people are being murdered by rebels or their own governments, this dealer of death is shipping arms and making money.
This is the man that our professed born-again Christian president is doing business with.
If you support Bush, you might want to start asking some tough questions of your senators, such as, why they have not protested or asked why America is doing business with killers who have no respect for freedom or the American way of life.
Which leads me to put on my Dr. Phil face and say what has to be said: It's time for Memphis and Shelby County to start seeing other people. We've tried for years to patch things up, to come to some sort of mutual understanding, but we need to admit that we have irreconcilable differences. We don't even know each other any more ...