"Rollin' on the River" (Cover story, April 12th issue)? Really? At $500-a-night per person, the only people rolling on the mighty Mississippi on the American Queen are going to be very high rollers.
So many "big ideas" have been floated to bring back our riverfront, including the Riverfront Development Corporation's way-over-budget "Jetsons" landing, that cynicism is the only logical response at this point. I hope the American Queen cruises are packed with tourists. I hope they stay in Memphis a few days and spend lots of money in our restaurants and clubs and hotels. That would be great. But excuse me if I'm "from Missouri" on this latest scheme until it "shows me."
I'm old enough to remember when several riverboats, including a couple of paddle wheelers, were docked on the cobblestones in the Memphis harbor. There was even a restaurant on one, where you could enjoy dinner on the river while the sun set. I remember how perfect it seemed to drive over the "M" bridge from Arkansas and to look down and see those riverboats pulled up in Memphis. Memphis should have riverboats. It's part of our heritage as a river town.
I am very happy to have the American Queen company in our city. I hope they will allow those who live here the opportunity to go on board and tour the boats or even eat dinner on them.
It's easy to jump on someone when they're down. Bruce VanWyngarden says Tiger Woods won't win big again until he "clears the demons" from his head (Letter From the Editor, April 12th issue). That is certainly a presumptious leap to make, based only on Tiger's performance at the Masters, isn't it? He just won a tournament the week before. Where were the demons that week? Tiger will be back, count on it. And fair-weather fans will be right behind him, pretending they had his back all along.
You know what would be cool? If Tennessee had a governor — you know, a top elected official, voted in by a majority of citizens. If we had a governor, like most other states do, he could serve as a moderating, sensible guardian of the people's rights. He could stand up to our fundamentalist "Christian," backwoods legislature and say, "No. That's a dumb idea. We will not allow Tennessee to become the laughingstock of the nation by allowing religious dogma to be introduced into public school science classes. I'm vetoing this bill."
Sure, it might get put into law over his veto, but at least we citizens who aren't stupid might have a feeling that someone in Nashville has a brain — and a pair of huevos. One of the qualifications for fulfilling this mythical position of governor would be having actual convictions and beliefs and the courage to stand up for them. I really think Tennessee should think about setting up a government system that has a governor. What do y'all think?
Guns 'R Us
On Saturday, we learned that the fearless GOP contender, Mitt Romney, was "standing his ground" with the NRA at their annual convention, pledging solidarity against gun control. While I support hunting and conservation, I am appalled by the amount of gun violence in the U.S. and the cavalier attitude toward weapons that are clearly designed to maim and kill two-legged species. Only in America!
The liberal Washington Post reported last week that President Obama is trying to spin the "Buffett Rule" to say it's similar to what President Reagan did. The Post went on to blast Obama, saying he is incorrect.
You can only lie just so much before it takes its toll. Obama attempts to lie and spin every single day. He's the worst president in over 50 years. Here's to Mitt in 2012!