Your story on our city's Midtown treasure ("The Heart of Memphis," April 19th issue) was invigorating on so many levels. The management agreement allowing the Overton Park Conservancy to take responsibility for maintenance along with daily operating chores ensures attention to details where they are most needed. One noteworthy observation in the article was the repetition of the words "volunteer cleanup" for each of the park's conscientious watchdog groups.
If disrespectful park visitors are not using the available designated trash containers, the first order of business should be to assign "slob spotters" to issue citations to anyone picnicking in the grass or at the tables and leaving their trash in those areas. Why should volunteers helping with constructive projects spend time collecting and disposing of bottles and paper goods? Similarly, why should the crew hired to maintain the grass and shrubbery have to delay their startup because of litter removal? Time and money wasted where they could be better spent.
The crown jewel's shine will always be a bit diminished if those who use it aren't accountable for their own litter.
Thank you to Joe Boone and the Flyer for summing up what the majority of the people of Tennessee have been feeling for some time now (Viewpoint, April 19th issue). The Republican-dominated state legislature has taken our state backward at a shockingly rapid and rabid pace. We are a giant joke on the national stage!
I read recently that the majority of the Republican bills come from rural areas. Meanwhile, the majority of Tennesseans live in or near urban areas. State government has been hijacked by backwoods buffoons!
The question is, how will we get our legislature back from these morons? The answer is more people like Joe Boone — standing up to the hypocrisy, not being afraid to expose the idiots, and firing up the majority of Tennesseans who want to see them kicked out.
Please stay on them like fleas on the mangy hound dogs that they are. Thank you.
John E. Lee
The Worst President?
Cole Mitchell, bless his heart, declares that President Obama lies every day (Letters, April 19th issue). He then goes on to say he supports Mitt Romney for president — the man whose own campaign manager called an Etch-a-Sketch candidate. Perhaps in Mitchell's mind, changing your position every day is okay.
Obama has been comparing his "Buffett Rule" to Reagan's approach to taxes. The Washington Post published a column correcting the president. Mitchell called Obama a liar. The Post didn't — mainly because it's hard to compare the two. In 1980, the deficit was $74 billion. The highest tax rate was 70 percent. In 1988, the end of the Reagan presidency, the deficit had grown to $156 billion. The highest tax rate was 28 percent.
In 2000, after the Clinton presidency, we had a surplus of $236 billion. The top tax rate was 39.6 percent.
In 2008, after the George W. Bush presidency, we once again had a deficit. This time, it was $455 billion. The top tax rate was and is 35 percent.
Reagan didn't have two war debts to deal with, and capital gains taxes were the same as those for wages earned. Very few Republicans want to talk about these wars, which, for the first time in history, were fought on credit. We will continue to pay for them years into the future. They were financed by Enron-like, off-the-books borrowing. We're now paying interest on that $3 trillion to $5 trillion. And let's not forget the $750 billion Bush bailout for the banks and financial firms. And, oh wait, what about the unpaid Medicare prescription drug bill? We're paying that off as well.
Romney, like the corporate raiders before him, destroyed jobs and lives. Like the Vikings, they rape, pillage, and plunder, then sail away in their yachts. Obama — and all of us — are still trying to deal with the mess left over by the real "worst president" in our history.
Thanks, Memphis Flyer. I pick up a copy of the paper every week and think to myself, Memphis wouldn't be the same without you. Keep it up.
Correction: Last week's Flyer listed an incorrect date for the GreenUp Memphis Festival. It is Saturday, April 28th.
Which leads me to put on my Dr. Phil face and say what has to be said: It's time for Memphis and Shelby County to start seeing other people. We've tried for years to patch things up, to come to some sort of mutual understanding, but we need to admit that we have irreconcilable differences. We don't even know each other any more ...