Letters to the Editor

Purple Hearts

To the Editor:

I watched in horror as Republican delegates at the RNC passed out Band-Aids with purple hearts on them to denigrate John Kerry's military service record ("Mission Accomplished," September 9th issue). The national president of the Vietnam Veterans of America labeled the action "outrageous" and "disrespectful." He was correct to do so.

It passes understanding how such a thing can occur with not a word from any Republican leaders, let alone not having a single Republican veteran strangle the Republican dirty-trick guys with their bare hands. Has not a single one of these politicos ever served their country? Do they have no sense of shame, that they would trivialize the Purple Heart medal?

We haven't seen Republicans act with such dirty tricks since Watergate. Look, the flip-flops were funny, a perfectly acceptable comment about an opponent. The Band-Aids were despicable. Every person in the Bush administration and every Republican should condemn it in the strongest possible language. Maybe Republicans feel safe enough from the horrors of war that they can afford to beat the war drum but still sneer at the sacrifices of their fellow citizens. With obvious exceptions, upper-class white Republicans do not have children in combat. For them to denigrate one of our highest military honors is too much for this American to bear quietly.

Bill Stegall


Mad About Tim

To the Editor:

It's bad enough that liberal America has decided to use working-class white folk as their synonym for all things racist, stupid, and tacky, but labeling the Bush twins as "redneck" (We Recommend, September 9th issue) goes beyond mere elitist sophistry.

Jeez, did some spotted owl crap all over your only thesaurus?

C.L. Mullins

Yalobusha County, Mississippi

To the Editor:

I was just curious as to why your We Recommend column is continually used to promote Tim Sampson's political views. Week after week I see him take up well over half the column with personal attacks on our president! Last week he even stooped to making fun of the president's mother. Memphis has a lot of interesting things going on all over the city that Sampson never mentions. He devoted eight words to tell us what is happening on Monday and four words for Tuesday. I find it hard to believe that he can't find any more than that to tell his readers about.

I am a conservative and I realize that you are a liberal paper, but I would feel the same way if he used up that much space promoting anything political. Maybe you should give him another column to write and find someone who can tell us a little bit more about what is going on in our great city each week! After all, the column is called "We Recommend," not "Tim's Rants."

Robert B. Bixler


A Warning

To the Editor:

Former President Bill Clinton's coronary bypass surgery should be a wake-up call for the millions of Americans whose chosen lifestyles elevate their risk of heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, more than 60 million Americans suffer from heart disease, and nearly 500,000 die each year. The lifestyle risk factors are a diet high in saturated fats and cholesterol, smoking, and lack of exercise.

Scores of studies conducted in the past three decades demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that replacing animal fat and meat in our diet with vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains lowers substantially the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. These diseases account for 1.3 million American deaths annually. A plant-based diet contains no cholesterol or saturated fat but ample fiber, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients for a long and healthy life.

Choosing a wholesome plant-based diet is a snap these days. Every supermarket carries a rich variety of veggie burgers, soy dogs, soy-based lunch "meats," microwave-ready dinners, dairy-free ice cream, and a huge selection of vegetables and fruits. All we need is the will to live.

Mitch Fox




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