Letters to the Editor 

Civil Rights for All

Regarding the article "Liars, Heroes, and Whistle-Blowers" by John Branston (memphisflyer.com, June 16th): I took Branston's advice to make a word change in the "money quote" and found that I could make some connections.

Change "perjury" to "civil rights violations" and we get: "A society that depends only on prosecutors and the judicial system to curb civil rights violations will never succeed. It must be stopped when it happens by others who recognize it for what it is and condemn it. It requires a capacity for moral outrage."

Every American should be familiar with the Civil Rights Act, which states in part that "All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation ... without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, or national origin." For instance, as a place of "public accommodation," it is illegal for restaurants to discriminate or show favoritism on the basis of religion by giving a discount only to those who show a church bulletin. Non-church-goers have the right to get the same discount.

Chris Stahl



Regarding the article on cicadas ("Mating Call," June 9th issue): I live near Route 385 within a few hundred yards of Nonconnah Creek, and I've noticed that there are no cicadas of any kind — 13-year, annual, or otherwise — this year.

The silence is sort of eerie; it doesn't sound like summer. By this time of year, normally when you drive under the 385 overpass on Quince, they are so loud you can hear them with the windows rolled up. There are none out at Johnson Park in Collierville, either. I note that both these locations were under water for about two days during the floods, and I wondered, since cicadas emerge from tree roots under the ground, if it was possible that all the cicadas were drowned. No one else seems aware of the missing cicadas. Any chance you could look into it? I'm also going to ask the magicicada website.

Thanks for the link!

Allie Griffith



Everyone is talking about jobs but nobody seems to be doing anything about it. The Republicans said that their plan, if elected, was to create jobs. But since they won the House, they have not created one job. Obama says he wants to create jobs, but he really doesn't know how, except giving away taxpayer money.

This country used to be the number-one producer nation in the world. We also became the biggest consumer nation in the world. We still consume, but now we don't produce. All of the jobs have left the country and moved to cheaper labor markets. Why? The problem is with the free enterprise system. When something is free, they can pack their bags and leave anytime or anywhere they want and nobody tries to stop them.

In Memphis, a business that had operated here since the 1950s recently decided to leave for greener pastures. Someone has to make them pay a high price, either in tariffs or restrictions on sales to American customers. When will our politicians recognize this trend and do something about it before the America we once knew is gone to China or Mexico?

Joe M. Spitzer


the Development Cycle

Congratulations to those Midtown and downtown residents who are breaking the development cycle that has turned some of Tennessee's best and prettiest rural land into suburban sprawl.

Drive around Memphis and you see a massive amount of underutilized land or wasteland in the inner city crying out to be developed. Changes both economic and environmental are upon us. The virtues of reducing energy and improving social and family time with a shorter commute are advantages city residents should shout about loud and long.

Get a bike! Open your windows for fresh air! Socialize! Take back and celebrate your street and neighborhood.

Ted Norman


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

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