Letters To The Editor 

Best of Memphis
Congratulations are due for the Flyer's "Best of Memphis" (September 29th issue) and for an awesome party at the Sears Crosstown building. The BOM party is always one of the best Memphis parties of the year.  

A few comments: Under Staff Picks, Bianca Phillips calls the Sears Crosstown building the "Best Big Empty." She correctly points out that the old building is seeing "more life in the past year than it has since Sears closed."

I'd like to add that Memphis Heritage is hosting its 2011 Architecturial Auction at the site on October 22nd.

Also, since a shopping center won the "Best Shopping Mall" category, you should consider adding a "Best Shopping Center" category. I believe Laurelwood Shopping Center would win, since several of its tenants won in other categories, including "Best Bookstore (New)" for the Booksellers at Laurelwood, "Best Women's Shoe Store" for Joseph, and "Best Commercial Gallery" for David Lusk Gallery. Throw in Dinstuhl's for "Best Candy Store," and it's a big win for Laurelwood.

Hall Prewitt
Memphis

Occupiers
The occupiers of Wall Street are but a pesky fly on New York mayor Bloomberg's shoulder, one that he will easily brush aside once he grows impatient with the bother. Ten thousand, 15,000, even 25,000 unemployed citizens will not come close to producing the clout sufficient for real and lasting change. 

Those who can make the greatest impact and create real and lasting change are the wage-earners and salaried individuals who make a fraction of their CEO's compensation. They are the labor force that drives the production of capitalists' means of producing their wealth. They must not underestimate the power they have in numbers to choose not to work until they get a bigger piece of the pie. 

Only when hundreds of thousands of wage earners in every city across the U.S. get up the guts to make the sacrifices needed for real change — not just concessions to smooth things over and return to the status quo — will real change occur. We must sacrifice for a short time the conveniences and comforts to which we have been accustomed in order to free ourselves from our capitalist oppressors.

The power of the people is not in the vote, for that has been usurped and sold to the capitalists by those we elected to represent our interests. Our power lies in our unique ability to halt the supply of labor to capital. Only by refusing to produce can the people have the power to make any demands.

Russell Armstrong
New Orleans, Louisiana

Choices
I could not be prouder of MCRH becoming Choices (The Fly-by, September 29th issue). Indeed, choices is what it has been about from day one.

It is important to note that when I founded MCRH within a year of Roe v. Wade being decided, it was a time of reason. I never faced a day of confrontation, picketing, or worse.

We all thought then that by the turn of this millennium abortion would be an artifact. That was our goal, and there would, of course, be universal family planning and sex education, and we'd all be singing Kumbaya. I began every speech I ever made by saying no one is pro abortion. We were and are pro family/pro choice/pro life.   

Physicians, clergy, nurses, and so many others knew firsthand then that providing safe, legal abortion kept women from being butchered and ending up in the emergency room or in the septic ward, all too often dying from illegal abortion. At that time, all OB-GYNs had vivid firsthand knowledge of the injuries of illegal abortion. Now those memories have largely faded.

It is a matter of religious freedom for each woman to take counsel with God in her own faith and her own conscience, in order to make such personal decisions in accordance with sound medical judgment.

The years immediately following Roe were ones of reason, of respecting the conscience of women, empowering them to disrupt entrenched cycles of poverty arising from unplanned pregnancies, especially teenagers.

It may come as a shock to many to realize that in 2011 the U.S. is alone among developed nations in having an increase in teenage pregnancy in recent years, as family planning services are being disrupted in this political climate.

Priscilla Chism
Memphis

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