Letters to the Editor

Energy Joke

To the Editor:

The energy plan submitted for public scrutiny by the president last week was a joke. The president and vice president make it sound like the energy companies are suffering. Here is a little fact: Exxon posted the largest profit of any company in history in 2000 -- $18 billion on $240 billion in revenues. Is that suffering? I can't believe he expects the American people to drill holes everywhere for oil, even on pristine federal land in Alaska, when the problem is clearly one of conservation.

This plan is the wish list of the energy companies and it looks like they got exactly what they wanted. If you own stock in Alcoa, Haliburton, or any other oil or oil services companies, hold on to it like your first-born child because you will be wealthy before this president is through. I am ashamed to say I am an American with this most recent debacle.

Mike Hagan, Germantown

Silicone vs. Natural

To the Editor:

Rebekah Gleaves has her heart in the right place, I suppose ("Why I Left Nashville," May 10th issue), but if she thinks Memphis is totally "natural" versus Nashville's "silicone," she must not get out of the downtown area much.

Trees are torn down everywhere in Shelby County to build strip malls which are half-filled. (And with the coming recession, many of them will go completely bust.) Chain stores and franchise restaurants abound. Traffic is insane.

We may not have cocaine mirrors in our club bathrooms, but we've got a level of political corruption in this city that must be seen to be believed. Most of this doesn't touch me personally except for being sad to see the forest disappearing in the name of ostentatiously overpriced retail, but it still saddens me. I just spent nine months in Louisiana and frankly, with all its poverty, any small town in Cajun country has got a lot more soul than this city ever will, so long as we turn a blind eye to our flaws and do nothing about them.

It's fitting that a dead rock star is our biggest draw. Like him, we are gaudy and way overrated.

Dana Seilhan, Memphis

An Opportunity?

To the Editor:

The United States has been given a remarkable opportunity -- the chance to grow up and join the ranks of civilized nations by declining to execute Timothy McVeigh. His guilt is beyond question, but the clumsy handling of his sentence and its current postponement afford a means of opting for mercy rather than for vengeance. In choosing the latter we join a small group of ugly customers; in choosing the former a larger group of more advanced countries. If we execute McVeigh, his punishment is soon ended, but the bitterness it causes will last for years. If we commute his sentence to life imprisonment, his punishment will continue until the day he dies. Since he is only 33, that date may be a long time coming -- time enough for him to repent his action. His deed cannot be undone but we need not choose vengeance.

George Martyn Finch, Memphis

Three Steps

To the Editor:

The financing for the proposed NBA arena is simplicity itself:

1) The taxpayers pay for a new state-of-the-art arena.

2) The billionaires and millionaires who own the team (which, unlike the arena, is a valuable and highly portable commodity) receive the revenues from parking, concessions, ticket/luxury box sales, naming rights, arena advertising, and sales taxes generated by all this.

3) In five to 10 years, when this facility is as obsolete as The Pyramid has suddenly become, repeat steps one and two.

Or as the song goes: They get the gold mine and we get the shaft.

Herbert E. Kook Jr., Germantown

Music Fest is the Best

To the Editor:

In a letter to the editor in the May 10th issue a reader states that he saw open drug use among teenagers at the Beale Street Music Fest. Since he was so upset by what he saw, why didn't he report the incident to the authorities? I attended all three days of the festival and I saw dozens of police personnel. I'm sure they would have responded had they been aware of the offense.

The music festival is one of the best things this city has to offer the world. There is bound to be some freewheeling, unacceptable behavior in such massive crowds. However, the vast majority of festival-goers are responsible people having a great time in a pleasant fun-filled environment. Sloppy drunks and users of illegal drugs are definitely the exception, not the rule.

Randy Norwood, Memphis


To the Editor:

Be consistent. If Jackson Baker is exercising his First Amendment rights to steal intellectual property ("Napster's Second Coming," May 10th issue), then remove the "Copyright 2001" from your masthead as well. Hypocrites.

Deb Parkinson, Memphis

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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