Letters to the Editor 

Herenton and the Libraries

The mayor's office, acting like an agency for ignorance and decadence, has deliberately damaged Memphis' endeavors to become a progressive 21st-century American city. The intent of a platitudinous mayor and his confederacy of corroborators to shut down nine libraries and community centers are tantamount to abandoning the neighborhoods and citizens they serve. These closings are ripping out the very resources critical to public safety. Any capable urban official realizes that the root of violent street crime and other illegal disturbances is a community deficient in essential civilized services.

Memphians should demand from their mayor and City Council a reversal of these policy decisions. Furthermore, the city leadership must nullify the appointments of high-salaried city administrators who are academically void in the library sciences. The idea that "efficiency" will improve in the Memphis library system or in neighborhood community-center functions with underqualified administrators is simply unreasonable.

Timothy McKay


The Riverfront and The Pyramid

Friends for Our Riverfront has adopted the cause of protecting the natural and historical look of our riverfront. We have all witnessed their passionate albeit misguided protest of Beale Street Landing.

It is odd now that the group remains completely silent about the Greg Ericson theme-park proposal for The Pyramid and Mud Island — a proposal which would bring noisy rides, amusement games, Pronto Pups, loud music, crowds, litter, traffic congestion, added need for police, and potentially the moving of the I-40 ramp, which clearly will impact the riverfront.

How can Friends for Our Riverfront justify saying nothing over the potential commercialization of 90 acres of prime riverfront property, given their charter? My personal belief is that their president's friendship with Commissioner Steve Mulroy, an Ericson supporter, has compromised the group and left them bastardizing their own commitment to the riverfront. Normally frenzied in opposition to such projects, Friends has a moral and civic obligation to speak out against the Ericson proposal.

Tommy Volinchak, President

Memphis Downtown Neighborhood Association

Obama and Wright

Are we to believe that after 20 years as a member of his church, Barack Obama has never heard the anti-American, racist remarks of his mentor and pastor, Jeremiah Wright? Dozens of videos of his sermons are now out, showing this man ranting against "white people" and America, yet Obama states he was never present for any of these. Not very observant is he?

The more likely scenario is that he has known about this pastor all along and is now denying it. The very fact that he has listened to this hate speech for 20 years must mean he agrees with these messages. Obama could have walked out of this church but chose to remain in the congregation of a bigoted, Farrakhan-supporting hate monger.

Americans rightfully condemn the KKK for racist remarks against blacks and should also condemn people, even so-called preachers, who spread racism against whites. Admitting that he did not know this side of his pastor after a 20-year association shows a lack of judgment that we cannot afford to have in the White House. Think of what terrorists around the world will be able to do behind this man's back.

Of course, Hillary is not much better. As the most famously cheated-on woman in her own house, our enemies will have a field day behind her back as well.

Rick Sneed


Bush is the Worst

Many historians now believe that George Bush will be seen as the worst president in our history. By way of contrast, they deem Washingon, Lincoln, and FDR to be our greatest presidents. Two basic elements constitute the criteria of judgment: the profound nature of the crisis the presidents faced and the creative way in which they responded.

The litany of Bush's failures in foreign and domestic affairs continues to grow, and the evil consequences of those failures will surely impact the nation for a generation or more to come. Many things help explain the enormity of his flawed stewardship: self-righteous arrogance, ideological fixation, incompetence, and the tragic innocence that informs his "freedom agenda" for the world.

It was a wise sage who observed that "character is fate."

M.L. Wilson



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