As someone who has played the "your car has been towed and you can't get it back until Monday" game, I'm thrilled that the city of Memphis is doing something to crack down on these rogue towing companies ("Tow-away Zone," December 15th issue). If tow-truck drivers have to wait until a policeman arrives before zipping away with people's cars, it should cut down on overly ambitious and sometimes downright malicious removal of private vehicles and the subsequent highway robbery involved in getting your car back from a tow yard.
Time for an Audit?
In 2007, then-Mayor Willie Herenton appointed Sara Lewis to head the "office of youth services & community affairs." She lasted two years, until $4.9 million in federal funds could not be entirely accounted for. Lewis stated she was too sick and couldn't talk because her physician ordered her to bed, where she stayed for weeks. She said the program was "impossible" to manage. (And now this person is a school commissioner in District 6.)
When Myron Lowery assumed the mayor's job on a temporary basis, he said the missing $4.9 million was being audited. So, a few questions:
What is the status of the audit?
Has Lewis recovered enough to answer what happened to the money?
Does "audit" mean the matter is being investigated or just a diversion, hoping the public will forget?
The local TV and print media should be investigating to find answers to this monetary mystery, instead of boring us with everyday coverage of a gay mayor in a small town in another state of possibly abusing his expense account.
No Texting While Driving
It seems that every day we hear of yet another traffic accident caused by drivers using cell phones/texting devices while driving.
When I back up my car and strike another vehicle (for instance in a supermarket parking lot), that is an accident. But when an individual operating a motor vehicle demonstrates such a callous disregard for the safety of others, that is reckless driving.
This phenomenon is indicative of what has happened to our society. People could not care less about their fellow citizens. Now they can travel at high speed and be distracted all at the same time. Evidently, the punishments being meted out for these crimes are not severe enough.
One solution for recklessness caused by the use of cell phones is the installment of a device allowing for hands-free cell-phone use. All drivers should be required to have this installed in their motor vehicle if they plan to use the phone while driving.
As for texting devices, we must outlaw their use while driving a motor vehicle, period. My nephew was killed in a car accident as a result of a texting argument with his girlfriend. Studies have confirmed that texting lowers a driver's reaction time worse than alcohol.
Donald A. Moskowitz
Londonderry, New Hampshire
Hallmark of Insanity?
Albert Einstein famously noted that doing the same thing over and over expecting a preferred outcome despite evidence to the contrary is a hallmark of insanity. Applied to the major American political parties' solutions for fixing the economy, it seems the politicians and their economic advisers may be due for some psychotropic medication.
Consider the classic canard that tax breaks for the super-rich are good for the overall economy: A rising tide lifts all ships and all that rot. If tax breaks for the super-rich (in place since the early part of the Bush II administration) were intended to let the market work its miracles, guess what. They did not work. Look at the economic mess we are in.
The rising tide has lifted a few yachts, luxury liners, and corporate container ships, but the canoes and rowboats of the middle class have been taking on water. Many are drowning, barely able to hold onto the flotsam and jetsam of the Great Recession.
While no Wall Street bandits have gone to prison, nearly 10 percent of working Americans remain unemployed with homes being foreclosed left and right. Doing the same thing, over and over (tax breaks for the wealthy), expecting an unrealizable outcome (prosperity for all) calls for something other than medication; the economy needs a new intervention.
John M. Kowalski