Letters to the Editor

Social Insecurity

To the Editor:

Why is President Bush so insistent on having young people put their future Social Security into private, risky stock market accounts (Editorial, January 13th issue)? Could it be because some of his biggest supporters are the financial services corporations that recently donated $4 million toward inaugural festivities -- more than any other industry?

New investors came into the stock market during the mid-'90s boom that continued until early 2000. Then a decline began. With the corporate shenanigans at WorldCom and Enron, 9/11, and two wars, many of those newer investors left the market and have not returned

Scaring young people with the misinformation that Social Security is in crisis is a scheme to bring investors back into the market. Most experts say that funds will carry Social Security for another 40 years with small adjustments. There is no immediate crisis.

Emily Jorgensen


Insensitive Leaders

To the Editor:

Why are the leaders of this city so insensitive to the needs of its citizens and the impressionable minds of its children, who see and learn from their behavior? I am a teacher and experience firsthand what many of our young ones see and think. Many of my students think that a person has the right to do what [U of M basketball player] Jeremy Hunt is accused of doing. They are not alone, obviously, since the university I graduated from is allowing him to continue to play. I would rather lose every game than cheer for such a person.

Our mayor likes to challenge people who don't agree with him to fights, while we're trying to tell our children that there are alternatives to violence. One African-American City Council member is so insensitive to racial issues that he refused to allow Iraqis into City Hall.

This list of "leaders" could go on and on. I hope I never see Hubon Sandridge again in public office, but who knows with Memphis politics? All you can be assured of is that the children of this city are watching and learning from their elders.

Gray Clawson


Supporting the Troops

To the Editor:

I cannot understand why our military is having a problem with enlistments. I see dozens of vehicle bumpers every day with "W The President" and "Support the Troops" stickers. Why haven't these real Americans signed up for service in our all-volunteer Army? Since the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans received a huge tax-cut, you would think they would do the patriotic thing and encourage their children to join the fight for freedom.

You can bet President and Mrs. Bush have talked to their girls about volunteering. After all, Bush is planning to expand freedom thoughout the world, and that means someone's children must be sacrificed. So, let's get with it, you Wall Street bulls. Before you take my Social Security money, sign up! And sign up your kids. Your uncle needs you.

Jack Bishop


SpongeBob QueerPants?

To the Editor:

Thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis have died in a senseless war in Iraq. More than 200,000 people died in the tragic tsunami in Asia. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are hungry, homeless, abused, in prison, or otherwise living in despair. Greed and materialism are rampant, and the gap between the rich and the poor is growing.

So to what cause does the ultrapious James Dobson believe we should devote our Christian endeavors? Why, attacking a cartoon character, of course.

Yes, Dobson has now identified SpongeBob SquarePants as Public Enemy Number One. SpongeBob's offense is that he appeared in a video promoting tolerance toward folks who are different.

The video featured cartoon characters learning to treat others (which would include gays and lesbians, presumably, though they are not mentioned in the video) with respect and charity -- you know, the way Jesus treated people.

B. Keith English


Smart People

To the Editor:

I enjoyed reading the article written about Shane Battier by Chris Herrington (Sports, January 20th issue). I've been a fan of Battier's since his days at Duke, when everyone else was watching Elton Brand. He surprised a lot of people in college and apparently he still surprises people today. In an NBA that desperately needs good, smart people, I think we have one in Shane Battier.

Ruth Miller


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