School Systems Merger
I agree with Lisa Taylor (Letters, December 23rd issue), who said that the Memphis and Shelby County school systems coming together is a real opportunity for our children. I am from Memphis and I am a proud Memphis City School graduate (Overton High School). I think that the school systems merging in order to improve the quality of education that each child receives is a great idea. Why not? It's not about the adults; it's about the children — the future generation — receiving all the education and knowledge they can in order to work together to make this community and this world a better place for themselves and others.
Jessica N. Wilson Memphis
When the Memphis City Schools board voted 5-4 to surrender its charter, it truly was a bombshell ("Bombshell," December 23rd issue). However, we have yet to even imagine the aftershocks that are about to ensue. Some members of the newly elected MCS board are already making noises about rescinding the vote; the GOP-controlled Election Commission is already beginning stalling tactics to delay the election; state representatives who live in Shelby County are already planning to move swiftly to keep Shelby County Schools permanently separate from city schools.
As usual, instead of thinking the issue through rationally, some of our reactionary leaders seek the quickest way to retain the status quo — and their precious hold on power. When will we learn that as Memphis goes, so goes Shelby County?
T. R. Boone
I just read an article about SUV resale prices dropping due to rising gas prices. Gee, what a surprise. All those folks who financed a $50,000 gas guzzler for 84 months really thought gas would stay under $3 a gallon?
Just two short years ago, we said goodbye to the party that gave away the greatest deficit surplus in the history of the U.S. to the wealthiest 1 percent of our citizens and ran up the greatest deficit the U.S. has ever had. Now, we've elected those very same people again. Their first act is to hold our poor and unemployed hostage until we agree to give nearly a trillion dollars more to the wealthiest 1 percent of our citizens.
I remember expressing concern about the deficit to Republican friends during George W. Bush's presidency. Their response was "Deficits don't matter." The day after Obama was elected it was suddenly "We have to control this awful deficit!" Seems like instant-onset memory loss to me. Hopefully, people will regain their memory before most of our poor and elderly have been sacrificed to finance the lavish lifestyles of the super-rich.
In 2011, we Americans can follow the forces of negativity on a continuing road to ruin or we can connect with each other and unite behind common goals.
The country and the world need a lot of new bridges: between north and south, between rich and poor, between economic growth and the environment, between Israelis and Palestinians, between Muslims and Christians, between technology and nature, to name but a few.
In our complex world, in which increasing differences come head to head more often, there is no better work than building bridges. Accentuating contrasts will bring us to collective ruin, while bridging our differences will provide the country and world with a new and more promising future.
Nevada City, California
fat of the land
The year 2010 was not a good one for the meat, dairy, and egg industries.
In January, ABC News provided extensive coverage of cow abuse by the dairy industry. The BP oil spill in April called attention to an even larger Gulf "dead zone" caused by the massive amounts of animal waste dumped every day via the Mississippi River.
In June, the FDA asked factory farms to stop routine use of antibiotics that lead to drug-resistant bacterial infections in humans. August witnessed the largest ever recall of more than half a billion eggs harboring salmonella.
Finally, in December, President Obama signed into law the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act to replace fatty animal products and other junk foods in school lunches and vending machines. According to the School Nutrition Association, 65 percent of U.S. schools now offer vegetarian lunch options.
For a New Year's resolution, we should all consider following suit.
Morris Furman Memphis
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This week it starts in earnest — the questioning. You can't escape it. It comes from your spouse, your kids, your parents — at the breakfast table, in the car, on the phone, via email: "What do you want for Christmas?" ...