Letters to the Editor

Ford Flap

To the Editor:

At a friend's recent dinner party in East Memphis, the subject of politics came up. My friend mentioned her newfound admiration for Harold Ford Jr. who had become her congressional representative after redistricting took place last year. She discussed her satisfaction with his voting record, particularly his support of the war in Iraq and his support of the Bush economic plan, while complimenting his charm and intelligence. Finally, I asked her if she would vote for Congressman Ford if he runs for the U.S. Senate. Without blinking, her response was, "Well, heavens no, of course not. I could never do that. He's a Democrat."

When the bright, articulate, and telegenic congressman comes to recognize reality, it will be a bitter pill to swallow. Your editorial ("Take Note, Congressman," May 15th issue) is bold in its criticism but refreshing in its honesty. Perhaps Congressman Ford should realize that he deserves opposition from a Democrat in the next election if he cannot do a better job of providing opposition to the Bush agenda of pre-emptive war and the slashing and burning of the economy. With Democrats so unwilling to oppose, who needs Republicans?

Cheri Del Brocco


To the Editor:

I have supported U.S. Rep. Harold Ford from his first campaign and in every subsequent reelection effort. I support him because on most issues he best represents the values of the Democratic Party and working Tennesseans.

I was angry to read your May 15th editorial taking the congressman to task for some of the positions he has taken lately. As a member of a labor union, I don't always agree with the Congressman, especially his trade votes, but I respect him for taking stands based on principle. One thing is sure: I can always count on him to stand up for working Americans on every other issue.

The editorial was flat wrong on Rep. Ford's view on the President's economic plan when it alleged he is "splitting the difference with the President." Nothing could be further from the truth. Ford opposed Bush's irresponsible tax cut in 2001 and the tax package being considered now. The Flyer should print a correction on that issue.

I believe that the editors stepped over the line for questioning whether "political calculations" played a role in his expressions of sympathy to tornado victims and think that a public apology is in order.

Paul Shaffer

IBEW, Local 474


Editor's note: See Congressman Ford's response to our editorial on page 13.

Innocent Owners

To the Editor:

I am writing about the "Innocent Criminal" article in the May 8th issue. Until the Flyer story, public awareness of this ridiculous law was on a "need to know" basis. I have no problem with the Memphis police and others coming down hard on drunk drivers or people driving on a revoked license. I do not understand how taking the property of someone who was not involved in a crime is a way to get criminals off the roads. Did Mr. Sutherland's truck do anything wrong? No. People commit crimes, not vehicles. To me the vehicle he was driving does not matter, especially when there was no drunk driving involved at the time of the traffic stop.

Sutherland did what any normal human being would have done in loaning his vehicle to a friend. Why is that a crime? What is so ironic about this law is that all charges against the actual criminal were dropped.

Thank you, Memphis Flyer, for printing the article. Now, all of us "innocent owners" know not to loan a vehicle to anyone. Because what you don't know will hurt you.

James Williams


Correction: In a May 8th letter to the editor from Arthur Prince, the quote should have read: "The speaker has no right to compel a hearing; there could be no right of free speech if there were not a corresponding right not to listen ... "

Shame of the Left

To the Editor:

As one atrocity after another is uncovered in post-Saddam Iraq, I can only imagine the shame felt by those on the left who actually believed they were on the side of the compassionate humanitarians. War is evil. Poverty is bad. Duh.

The problem with the left is that if you were to pick just about anyone out of a poster-waving, slogan screaming crowd, they couldn,t even name the capital of Iraq, much less where it was. They didn't have a clue as to the complex history surrounding the war. Sure, the U.S. made a mistake in supporting Saddam at one time, but this support served our national interests at the time. At least, the right knew that they had supported a mistake. I bet the leftists never even thought about who supplied all the posters, the permits, the advertising, for their "spontaneous" gatherings against the war on Iraq. In most cases, the money came from non-governmental nonprofit organizations whose sole source of income was donations from the Arab world.

I will admit the lunatic fringe on the left is smaller now than it has ever been. September 11th woke a lot of them up to the undeniable facts of life. They say that if you're 18 to 25 and not a Democrat, you have no heart, and if you're over 40 and not a Republican, you have no brain. Well, I am neither Democratic nor Republican, and I have a heart and a brain.

Shep Fargotstein


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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