Letters to the Editor 

No Federal Help for Alabama!

Just when I think you guys can't get any more wrong, you publish the piece by Ruth Ogles Johnson (Viewpoint, May 5th issue). This has to be the most uninformed opinion writing I have ever seen. She could not be further from the mark in what those tornadoes did to the people of Alabama.

I would be surprised if she could show me three articles where the people are crying for help from the federal government. The opposite is happening. Alabama is fixing itself through hard work, good neighbors, and charity. I know, because I am a part of it all. We are not relying on the same administration that has screwed up everything it has touched. There will be no crying on TV about how Obama hates white people. We will not allow the Hollywood elite to feel sorry for us. We will get up, and we will rebuild. It's already happening.

We have eye doctors donating eye glasses. Local pharmacies are donating prescription medicine. Churches are handing out donated clothes and hygiene items. I can't count the number of small to mid-sized restaurants and catering companies that have descended on the area to feed those in need and the workers in the area. Within the first 48 hours, a group of individuals set up a warehouse to collect and distribute the items that are being delivered from all over the U.S. They also set up a Facebook page where donations can be directed in real time and needs can be sent out all over the Internet. The SEC has pledged $500,000 in funds to help rebuild.

This is what a "red state" does. We don't sit and wait for the government. Our local leaders are doing a great job making sure this is getting taken care of. Call a CEO? We had CEOs calling us. I'm a University of Alabama alum, and I'll take red-state help over government help any day!

Chris Thomas

Bartlett

Suitcase Dog

I'm just curious: What do these animal activists think of mother dogs (and cats, for that matter) who carry their young by the scruff of the neck (Fly-by, April 28th issue)? The animals' bodies are made so that the scruff is a convenient and non-harmful place to be held.

Not that I think everything is hunky-dory at the animal shelter, but when you have animals dying of easily preventable diseases, is a puppy being carried by the scruff of its neck really the most pressing issue? Jacquelyn Stewart Memphis

Bikes

The letter by Anthony C. Siracusa criticizing John Branston's comments on the Madison Avenue bike lanes (Letters, May 5th issue) was absolutely correct. Branston's statement that Memphis is a sprawling city dominated by cars, like a small version of Los Angeles, is clearly obvious. To suggest that this is how it will remain, however, shows a monumental lack of vision.

I know many people of all age groups who are currently parking their cars for special use while they bike or walk to work and school or to do errands. To suggest that our dependence on cars will remain unaltered is to totally ignore such ongoing events as the advent of $6-per-gallon gas, the creation of thousands of new jobs in the core city, less in taxes for roads, and the creation of new bike lanes and walking paths throughout the city.

As long as individuals such as local businessmen along Madison Avenue and commentators like Branston continue to have their heads in the sand and their feet firmly mired in the 1950s, it will be difficult for Memphis to make progress toward a better tomorrow. Fortunately, we have leaders like Mayors Wharton and Luttrell who understand that a more bike- and pedestrian-friendly Memphis means a more prosperous and progressive city. Tom Holland Memphis

Osama

Nearly three and half years after Benazir Bhutto reported Osama bin Laden had been killed by Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh (one of the men convicted of kidnapping and killing U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl), President Obama announced that his death was the result of a U.S. operation launched in Abbottabad, Pakistan, against a compound where bin Laden was believed to be hiding.

Going after bin Laden was the official reason for sending American military into Afghanistan in the first place. Now that bin Laden is "officially" dead, will those troops begin to come home?

Darryl W. Perry, Chair

Boston Tea Party National Committee

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