Letters To The Editor

Thursday, April 17, 2003 at 1:00am

Cleaner air is family value


Through my airplane window April 13 I saw the long strip of a brown cloud looming to the east of the Gallatin coal-fired Tennessee Valley Authority power plant. Smog season is once more upon us. Indeed, the Environmental Protection Agency Web site, epa.gov/airnow, reveals that Sunday and Monday the smog levels in the Nashville area were in the moderate range.

Cleaner air is a family value. Our children and our elderly are hurt the most by air pollution. Due to its old and inefficient coal-fired power plants, Tennessee consistently ranks among the worst states in the nation for air pollution. Our beautiful state and people deserve better.



Thank goodness for FOX News


The intolerant, vituperative tone of some of the critics of Operation Iraqi Freedom is disgusting. Any informed view of this conflict must take into account the wishes of the long-suffering people of Iraq.

Unfortunately, the liberal media does all too good a job at not getting this information out. It's there if you know where to look for it, but first you have to want to know the truth. (A huge part of the problem, of course, is the hard-core faction of the left whose rage about the November 2000 election results remains stuck in time to the point that nothing President Bush might do will ever suit them. But that is another matter.)

What matters most right now is that the public be informed. Thank goodness for FOX News and, locally, for people like Steve Gill and Phil Valentine. And a special thanks to Ken Joseph Jr. for his integrity, his eloquence, and especially his courage to admit his mistake in previously opposing this war.



We're land of free to agree with Bush


The United States has suddenly embraced a paradoxical idea that would boggle the minds of our Founding Fathers. The "rabid right" has proclaimed that it is un-American to express opposition to the president and his war in Iraq. They are, they tell us, trying to free people who have been oppressed and unable to express opposition to their leader.

American dissenters are called cowards or traitors for daring to express an opinion different from the president and his administration. Some have suggested that dissenters should move to Iraq. Perhaps when the troops finish freeing the Iraqis they should come back home and free us from leaders and other citizens who are denying us our right to free speech.

With this administration directing the aftermath of the war in Iraq, the Iraqi people may find that they face another form of oppression - this time waving a red, white and blue flag. If the Iraqis don't want to go the route set for them by President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, they may feel, like I do, that the "land of the free" has become the "land of the free to agree with the president."



Affirmative action allows for equality


Affirmative action programs are not quotas as some misguided people loudly proclaim. And Cokie Roberts and Steven V. Roberts make a superb argument not to discontinue affirmative action programs in their April 11 commentary, "Wrong to target minorities for military but not college" (p. 2). Simply stated, affirmative action allows disenfranchised blacks and Hispanics to reach parity and equality for past inequalities in American society.

If the Supreme Court finds the University of Michigan is in violation by taking race and ethnicity into account to achieve a diverse student body, the ruling will have a broad negative application and impact on blacks and Hispanics who wish to access admission into institutions of higher learning.

As the Robertses state, the United States cannot have it both ways. On the one hand, the military actively recruits African Americans and Hispanics while at the same time the Supreme Court is considering the case of banning the same action in other areas such as the nation's colleges.

The discussion now high on the Supreme Court's agenda seems to be another example of American hypocrisy.



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Filed under: City Voices