About Mark Woodall's Viewpoint column, "By Any Name" ...
I groaned reading Mark Woodall's article "By Any Name" where he tries to disassociate Islam from terrorism. This sentence in particular seemed to sum up his thinking: "I'm just going to assume if you are a terrorist, you are a radical, but calling all Muslims terrorists does a great disservice to the six million American-born Muslims in this country, and to millions of peaceful people who worship Islam."
First of all, nobody but nobody is calling all Muslims terrorists, and second, Islam is the religion of Muslims. They no more worship Islam than Christians worship Christianity.
Almost every day we are told that Islamist terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. That is nonsense, and deep down everyone knows it. This is not just a question of semantics. It is a question of the best way to deal with a problem.
If someone gets sick, how can you treat it if you won't identify the cause? There are, in fact, different kinds of terrorists, and acting as if Basque separatist terrorists and Irish Republican Army terrorists and radical Islamic terrorists are all the same blinds you to possible motives and inhibits your ability to do an intervention or hopefully prevent an act of terrorism to begin with.
We need to quit denying the obvious: Not all Muslims are terrorists and not all terrorists are Muslims, but in those terrorists that are in fact Muslim, religious motivations do play a role, and we ignore that at our peril.
Donald Trump is guilty of fomenting hate against Muslims. If attacks on innocent Muslim men, women, and children in America begin, then he should be held accountable. Innocent Muslims are no more to blame for terrorist acts committed by ISIS and al-Qaeda than Christians are for terrorist acts committed by the KKK or Timothy McVeigh.
We are a nation of immigrants, but past immigrants, including the Italians, the Irish, and others were not welcomed and even hated in America. It is hard to imagine, though, how much poorer our nation and our culture would be without the contributions made by the people who have come here from countries around the world.
There is every reason to believe that our Muslim friends and citizens will continue to make many contributions that will enrich American society and culture and make the United States an even greater country.
About Jackson Baker's post, "Strickland Gathering No Moss on Governmental or Money Fronts" ...
I would still like to know how Strickland plans to stop police officers from leaving. Over 400 officers have retired or resigned in the last three years due to Strickland and the Memphis City Council's decisions to reduce pay, eliminate retiree healthcare, kick spouses off the healthcare plan, and transform the pension system. Simply put: It makes no sense to work in the sencond-most dangerous city in the U.S. for what officers now receive in pay/benefits.
In order to get back to a force of 2,400 officers, the city would have to hire/train/graduate at least 100 officers per year for the next 4 years AND have no officers retire or resign in that time frame. It's not going to happen. If the whispers are true that Strickland has his sights set on switching employees to a high-deductible healthcare plan this summer, you can bet at least 400 more officers will flee the department in the next few years.
About Jackson Baker's post, "MHA Head [Maura] Sullivan Headed to Chattanooga" ...
Congrats, Maura Sullivan! I'm sure once she got a chance to see what tangled web of corruption Robert Lipscomb left MHA in, she wanted out. Public housing can work with the right director. It is underserving a city of this size.
TH: And you came to this conclusion by way of UFO? I may have my issues with Lipscomb, but surely you know what he has worked to change. Section 8 is a federal government program that local governments participate in. That program makes more sense than concentrating poor people in one section of a city. Certainly, we remember the result of that before Lipscomb worked to change it.