Letters to the Editor 

Mayan "liberals," NRA and the mentally ill, Tea Party "terrorists" ...

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Those Crazy Mayan Liberals
I found Tommy Volinchak's comments (Letters, December 19th issue) to be astounding — not to mention a little frightening to think that there are those who really think like him out there. He somehow twisted the whole Mayan calendar phenomenon into being the idea of so-called liberals.

Tell us, Mr. Volinchak: Is it the liberals who are stockpiling guns, ammo, food, etc. in underground bunkers to "survive" whatever silly end-of-the-world thing they think is about to happen? Or is it the right-wing, Bible-thumping, survivalist nut-jobs? I think you know the answer.

And all the things you listed as "crazy liberal ideas," such as global warming, evolution, etc., are so "extreme" and unlikely that you laugh at them. But I bet you somehow find all the stories in the Bible to be reasonable and logical.

Well, Mr. Volinchak, maybe the sky will open up soon and the angels will call you to be raptured and you can leave this bad old earth behind. We will miss you and your kind, but we will be happy knowing you all are in a much better place.

Dennis Busby
Marion, Arkansas

Guns and the Mentally Ill
The NRA is rightfully encouraging us to take a look at keeping guns out of the hands of the mentaly ill. I'd go a bit further. As a therapist, I can assure you that paranoia is a recognized mental illness. Since those who are so obsessed with guns that they insist on owning a houseful of semi-automatic assault weapons are clearly and unquestionably paranoid, I'd recommend these people be the first to be investigated.

About half the U.S. population suffers some form of mental illness. Only a very minute percentage of these people are a threat to anyone. The only rational solution is to keep guns out of the hands of paranoid people, such as Adam Lanza's gun-obsessed mother. Anyone owning an arsenal of semi-automatic assault weapons is clearly mentally ill.

Jim Brasfield
Memphis

Another Coach of the Year
I read Louis Goggans' article on Whitehaven High's Tennessee coach of the year (The Fly-by, December 19th issue). We have another local coach who has won coach of the year for his college conference — twice in a row!

I'm speaking of In-Sik Hwang , the head volleyball coach at Christian Brothers University. He has won coach of the year of the Gulf Coast Conference the past two years. He also took CBU to the NCAA tournament the last two years — a first for the school. On top of that accomplishment, last year, he started his own volleyball school because he disliked the way young girls were being taught the game here.

Mike Singleton
Memphis

A Vegetarian Year
This year's developments have certainly vindicated those of us who care about our health, our environment, and our treatment of animals. In January, Michelle Obama unveiled revamped federal guidelines requiring school cafeterias to serve more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and less sodium and animal fat.

In March, a study involving nearly 38,000 men and 84,000 women by the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that one daily serving of meat is associated with a 13 to 20 percent increase in the risk of death from heart disease or cancer.

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine estimates that prevalence of obesity among American adults will escalate to 42 percent by 2030, with a $550 billion increase in medical costs.

The Humane Society exposed unconscionable atrocities among three pig producers in Oklahoma and a Pennsylvania egg farm. It's little wonder that 7 percent of Americans now consider themselves vegetarian or vegan and 28 percent are actively reducing their meat consumption.

We should all consider following suit for this New Year's resolution.

Trevor Faust
Memphis

Tea Party "Terrorists"

It's often been said that you shouldn't negotiate with terrorists. Well, the Tea Party reactionaries have hijacked policy for the Republican Party, making true compromise all but impossible. These one-dimensional political pawns are economic terrorists who have chosen to leap off the fiscal cliff rather than do the sane thing and compromise for the good of the country. Enough, Mr. President. No more negotiating with those whose ideology trumps sanity and common sense.

Marlin Counts
Memphis

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