Letters to the Editor 

Congratulations

Please allow me to congratulate Tim Sampson upon his favored candidate's victory. Sadly, I do not share his joy. When President George Washington left office, he sternly warned the citizens of the new United States not to allow themselves to become trapped in a two-party political system. I fear that this latest presidential election exemplifies the biggest danger inherent to such a system, namely, the complete lack of a suitable candidate fielded by either party.

Barack Obama, however pretty the speeches were that others helped him prepare, is nonetheless just a pup in politics, with no experience in statesmanship. McCain — bless him for his service and what he suffered and sacrificed — seems at this point in his life to be flirting with senility and long ago ran out of anything resembling an original idea.

So, after two-and-a-half centuries of our noble experiment in self-government, this was the best we could find and field: a slick-talking hustler and a geriatric puppet? What a sad joke on the world community. What a pathetic punchline for us.

David C. Boone

Memphis

Shocked

I was shocked and a little dumbfounded when I read Louis Meyers' quote in the Flyer's music feature "Collective Front" (November 20th issue) that Jeff Schmidtke "basically organized that whole thing" when referring to the SXSW showcase featuring Memphis musicians in February. I was also a little surprised to read what a great idea the folks at SXSW thought it was and how Jeff and Louis were asked to put it on paper so that SXSW could "sell" it to other cities.

Some might say that not only was the idea originally concocted by yours truly, when I organized the first 6 Degrees of Memphis musicians showcase in 2007, but that I might have had a small role in the successs of this year's venture. While I commend Jeff for his role in working with the SXSW organizers and our many sponsors, including the Memphis Music Foundation, I do have a problem with not being recognized for my major role in this endeavor.

Bringing my brother Clay Hurley on to do all the graphic design and video work, supplying a professional photographer and DJ for the event at no cost, hosting the entire event, including a luncheon for close to 200 people, and doing the majority of the PR were just a fraction of my efforts, which were contributed without even a per diem. Not to mention that the entire showcase was based on my radio show, 10 Degrees of Memphis, which airs on Breakthruradio.com. After the event, I took on the task of editing each performance into 12 live-music shows that were downloaded no less than 1.2 million times each.

When I originally sat down with Meyers and Schmidtke in the summer of 2007 and was asked to form a partnership to showcase Memphis talent as a collective, I was happy to include as many people as wanted to contribute. Unfortunately, my contributions now seem to have been entirely forgotten.

Rachel Hurley

Memphis

Editor's note: The quote in question was by Eric Ellis. The attribution, "Ellis said," was inadvertently omitted from the quoted text.

Gays and Proposition 8

I appreciated Stacy Gossett's response to Charles Gillihan's prejudiced, discriminatory letter to the editor (November 27th issue) and would like to add a few points.

First, homosexuality is not a choice. Ask the APA, the AMA, or any well-informed entity that has done research on sexuality. Because scientific research has disproven the notion that homosexuality is a "chosen behavior," saying so is to give in to an underlying prejudice — in other words, something that is felt rather than known.

Second, I would like to hearken back to the original article (Viewpoint, November 13th issue) about African-American voting trends in Proposition 8. I read an informative article in The New York Times by Charles Blow entitled "Gay Marriage and a Moral Minority." It concluded that the African-American vote did not cause Proposition 8 to pass.

Interestingly, though, African-American women voted for it 50 percent more than their male counterparts. Also interesting is that, according to Blow, "black women are the least likely to be married and the most likely to be divorced." Blow indicates this could be the cause of their strong opinions about marriage.

Making topics such as underage sex and homosexuality issues that can't be discussed only causes secrecy and an engagement in more risky sexual behavior. Because 70 percent of black children are born to single mothers, it's up to them to help their children be more open and safe about the behavior they engage in.

Warren Knowles

Memphis

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