incoming (2007-01)

Perhaps title passed in some form or fashion, but any of your readers can turn to pages 62 and 65 and see large photo ads for the development. “Only a select few units are available.” This when 19 of the units are still in the name of Tennessee River Condominiums. Twelve are owned by non-residents, some of the names I recognize from being involved with the development. 

Sure there’s a market for waterfront condominiums. And the sales at River Towne are respectable. But a marketing study done for the city found that demand would be more than met by developments in the industrial sites. What I don’t like to see is developers attempting to buy up existing homes with the intent to bulldoze them and reap an imaginary bonanza.

The details of the zoning regulations and allowable density will be coming before City Council this month. The decisions Council makes will influence whether our neighborhoods retain their character.

During the public meetings held last winter the overwhelming public sentiment was to maintain the existing neighborhoods and have limited infill. The city seemed adamant about taking steps to preserve the existing homes. I hate to see developers pressuring the city to reverse this stance because of irrational exuberance promoted by your newspaper.

Martha Olson

Democracy Now?

This is precisely the attitude that threatens the integrity of the American political system. Thoughtful individuals from both sides of the political spectrum recognize that their opponents can legitimately see the world in ways different from their own. I can certainly understand the attraction of traditional “small, fiscally responsible government” conservative views, even if I disagree with them. I can even understand the rationale behind Neoconservative arguments for the use of military power to expand democracy, while strenuously disagreeing with it.

Mr. Barnett, however, seems to view anyone who disagrees [with] him as mentally challenged and a traitor. Apparently, in his view, the actions of a properly functioning democracy—our own—in which his views are shown to be outside of the mainstream is a sign of weakness. Attitudes such as this are truly dangerous, being one step removed from argument for a dictatorship. As those who support the losing side in an election characterize their opponents as traitors and morons, it is all too easy to argue that their opinion should not count, representing a threat to the nation that should be forcibly repressed rather than recognized. We must learn to discuss our differences while striving to see that alternate views of the same set of facts can each hold value. We must avoid the loaded words, heated rhetoric, and character assassination that are caustic to a democracy, instead turning toward the use of debate that allows rule by the people to function.

Scott Hendrix

Southern Hospitality’s Nice and All, But…

 I wish it were as simple and fair to leave the rights of some up to the people. Unfortunately, the majority can sometimes oppress the minority and it is the role of the courts to ensure this doesn’t happen. While it is up to voters to determine who uses the term marriage legally, it is not for them to deny rights and privileges based on their own religious and cultural biases. For example, those who claim that they are discriminated against by the liberal elite for their evangelical beliefs hold that even though they chose their faith, they should not be discriminated against because of that path, even though some liberals may feel that their faith is exclusivist and chauvinist. So, even though sexual orientation isn’t a choice, those who disagree with another’s choice to live in same-gender relationships should allow those couples to seek some form of legal protection, even if it’s not called “marriage.” 

 Indeed, as conservatives are meddling in the private affairs of citizens, they should not be shocked when the day comes that liberals who are in power return the favor. What comes around goes around. Best that government stay out of people’s lives, period, and churches work for the common good. Evangelicals are digging their own grave in focusing on homosexuality when they have so many divorcees in their congregations. Let us all focus on issues of the ones Jesus preached to and loved, the poor, the orphaned, the outcast. We can all unite on this. Leaders who scoff at this idea frankly are just so-called Christians.

In the meantime, same-gender couples aren’t without remedy. They should draw up wills and powers of attorney with the assistance of legal professionals.

Kevin-Douglas Olive

Victory? Not So Much

Hugo Chavez is not a communist (probably the best descriptor is populist), although he is a friend of Castro and he clearly dislikes the United States. But he sells us an awful lot of oil without which our gas prices would climb very quickly, so it doesn’t do us much good to complain about his ability to play the nuisance and stick needles into us.

Last, it is important not to overestimate al-Qaeda’s ability. 9/11 was a success for terrorists mostly because the Bush regime was asleep at the switch and our CIA and FBI were not talking to each other. If we stay alert, we can—and already are—making terrorist attacks against us much less likely to succeed. Books written by experts say that terrorism is much better handled as a police rather than a military problem. There is the old joke about a meeting of an Idaho chapter of an American terrorist group. An easterner who heads the organization starts to tell the group of their future plans. The local leader quickly stops him, takes him aside and says, “You need to be very careful here. Two out of every five members in your audience are FBI men.” Now that’s how you begin to control terrorism.

Justin J. Green

Is This a Threat? If So, We Surrender

We (the fabulous hells on wheels) have worked so hard this year to bring a sisterhood of strong, amazing women together for the sake of roller derby.

You would do well to mention us in the future... you would hate to be blownaparte! Next time’s a hip check.

Napalm Blownaparte (a.k.a. Becky Vaden)

Guidelines for Incoming Mail