A Dog's Tale

To the Editor:

Your article on the proposed "vicious dog" ordinance (City Reporter, July 11th issue) said that a breed-specific ordinance was "voted down" in 1993. Both the city and county breed-specific, i.e., pit bull, ordinances were actually declared unconstitutional in an action I brought on behalf of the Responsible Animal Owners of Tennessee.

While I have not seen a copy of the proposed city ordinance or the existing county ordinance, if, as you report, they require the owner to self-report in order to trigger the regulatory scheme, this is a clear violation of the privilege against self-incrimination.

I am not surprised that the city or county would overlook this minor detail. For some reason, both legislative bodies think their actions are immune from the reach of the Tennessee Constitution.

Ronald D. Krelstein


Uh, Thanks

To the Editor:

Why is the article about the police officers working with neighborhood youth ("Keeping It On the Court," July 11th issue) stuck back on page 20 and not on page 16 as a cover story?

Are you blind? This is where Memphis will be built, will be strong. This is our "beauty," our bridge to becoming a good city. Instead, you featured the current [political] blah-blahs, which are drowning us in self-interest and self-promotion: Buy it, build it, promote it, sell it.

Thanks to writer Janel Davis. May she be moved to the front of the paper. And I respect, admire, and thank the officers of COACT for helping our children, who voicelessly and hopefully wait in the shadows of a project that has no profit margin. They may prosper because of these good people working silently -- in the back pages.

Kathy Mishler


Bush League

To the Editor:

Listening to George W. Bush lecture America on corporate-executive responsibility is like listening to Bill Clinton lecture on marital fidelity. The difference between the two is that Bill Clinton's extramarital affairs did not affect my quality of life.

George W.'s lax attitude toward reforming the SEC and increasing the accountability of corporate executives does affect my quality of life by lowering the value of my retirement savings. Bush made his fortune in the same manner that Enron and WorldCom executives did. Americans need to ask, Can we afford Bush's leadership on this issue? It's time for Republican free-market abuse and permissiveness to end.

Jonathan Cole


Under God

To the Editor:

"Under God": two little words in a children's poem (Fly On the Wall, July 11th issue). But from the outrage pouring out of our senators and congressmen and the level of vitriol being spouted on talk radio, you would think that roving bands of atheists were dragging Christians from their homes and lynching them from lampposts.

Those driven to rage over the Pledge of Allegiance ruling should remember the fury you felt when you first heard the news. Then, the next time you shake your head and wonder how Palestinians could suicide-bomb Jews in Israel or Muslims could burn Hindus in India or Protestants could stone Catholic children in Ulster, remember that rage. And remember those two little words: under God.

Michael B. Conway



In publishing this week's cover story on married priests, the Flyer is participating in a national effort by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies to shed light on problems facing the Catholic Church. More than 30 papers across the country are running the story and adding localized coverage. To view all the stories, visit And thanks for reading the Flyer. We do appreciate it.

The Memphis Flyer encourages reader response. Send mail to: Letters to the Editor, POB 1738, Memphis, TN 38101. Or call Back Talk at 575-9405. Or send us e-mail at All responses must include name, address, and daytime phone number. Letters should be no longer than 250 words.


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