flag letter again

Convention math

just doesn’t add up

In response to the recent articles about the proposed convention center in Tupelo: Apparently it is envisioned that such a complex would attract multitudes of free-spending conventioneers, which would result in an injection of large amounts of money into the local economy. There are, however, problems with this fantasy.

There are over 300 cities nationally that are competing for the convention business. Except for cities with attendant attractions, such as Orlando and Las Vegas, the most successful convention cities have several common characteristics. They possess ample hotel rooms, restaurants, movie theaters, major department stores and an active nightlife all near the convention center. Tupelo lacks these attractions. Elvis Presley’s birthplace and a car museum are not enough.

Based on other cities in this competition, Tupelo could expect:

1. An increase in minimum wage and part-time jobs;

2. The need to subsidize the convention center for years; and

3. An increased hotel-motel tax, along with a restaurant tax that would affect local people as well as tourists.

Tupelo does not need another industry to subsidize; we already have the BancorpSouth Center to support.

David Caldwell

Tupelo

Unequal penalties

create elite class

The framers of the Constitution were well aware of the English concept of royalty, landowners and servants. This is revealed in the statement in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” This has been the battleground in the struggle for equal rights for minorities, women and employees.

House Bill 134 seriously undermines this concept of equality. It provides for enhanced (greater) penalties for assault on a certain group (class?) of people, like Supreme Court justices and police officers. Are these people blue-blooded instead of red-blooded, of royalty instead of equality? Is their pain more intense than that of the average citizen? Do their wounds heal slower? Do their emotional scars remain longer?

If this bill is going to become law, I would suggest that legislators go another step. Let them classify all citizens from the highest (Supreme Court justices?) to the lowest with different penalties for each class. That way each citizen could vent his/her anger on one in the class that he/she could afford. We could erect signs at the borders of the state similar to those at the borders of South Dakota where the speed limits was posted along with the fines for exceeding the speed limit by five, 10, 15, 20 miles an hour. At the bottom of the sign were these words: “Drive at the speed you can afford.” The Mississippi sign could read: “Select a victim by price.” The penalties could be defined by clothing: Tie vs. no tie. Blue jeans vs. overall. Or by automobile. Cadillac vs. Chevy, or Lincoln vs. Ford. The possibilities are unlimited.

The truth is that assault is assault, and any attempt to define assault by the vocation of the victim is a return to the caste system our forefathers fought against.

Ken Pickens

Tupelo

Heritage’ includes

bigotry, intolerance

In the past few weeks I’ve read all of the hype over the flag controversy and since I have an opinion on everything I decided to add my two cents worth.

First of all, most current flag proponents claim preservation of heritage is the biggest reason for keeping our current flag. Webster’s defines the word “heritage” as tradition, something passed down from preceding generations. As a student of history I would say Mississippi heritage is farming, illiteracy and intolerance (i.e., slavery, Jim Crow laws, Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, etc.). So I would say, why on Earth would Mississippians want to preserve that heritage?! Other than farming, intolerance and illiteracy should fade into the past along with Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and the rest of Civil War nostalgia.

Now, about the flag: Aren’t there some more important issues facing our state other than cloth that flies on a pole?

I would say our schools need refurbishing (education, not the buildings) our teachers need more pay, kids need to learn the downside to getting pregnant and overall the per capita income of the state needs to rise.

In my opinion the powers that be are rather out of touch with reality. Do they really think that the current flag will be voted down? People who have never voted in their lives will somehow make it to the polls come April to cast their vote for an antiquated banner.

I believe this whole brouhaha is a waste of money, a waste of time and will further the racial divide in this state. So I will be boycotting the referendum on our state flag simply because it is demeaning to my intelligence.

Kevin Johnson

Black Zion Community

Pontotoc

Please, no more

nose secretions’

I never fail to read Marty Russell’s column and to enjoy both his opinions and his humor. The Wednesday, Jan. 31, column, however, was an exception. When I first looked at the headline, I thought that the copy editors had made an embarrassing mistake, but the first paragraph revealed that I had been mistaken.

Surely in this vast world we inhabit there are subjects more worthy of Marty’s commentary than nose secretions. He has disappointed us faithful readers, and he needs to write something wonderfully insightful to gain our forgiveness.

Frances Sheffield

Mantachie