YOUR OPINION: Letters to the Daily Journal

By NEMS Daily Journal

Other priorities stand ahead of droopy pants
Like many in Tupelo, I am shocked and amazed by what some consider appropriate to wear outside of the privacy of their own home. Members of the Tupelo City Council obviously feel the same way, and have decided to criminalize this apparent lack of fashion sense.
While I am sympathetic to the view that the public exposure of genitals or buttocks should be banned – there is already a State law and City ordinance outlawing such behavior – I cannot understand why saggy pants should be outlawed while other revealing and suggestive attire remains perfectly legal (like G-string bikinis, short shorts, see-through clothes, or even spandex).
Singling out and banning sagging pants can be unconstitutional. Under the 14th Amendment, the government may not take a liberty – here, one’s personal appearance – without a rational relation to a government interest. Contrary to some opinions, outlawing saggy pants does no more to reduce crime or improve the character and morality of Tupelo’s youth than would outlawing long hair or tattoos. Unfortunately, the fight over the constitutionality of this new law is likely to end up in the courts, which would be an unfortunate drain on Tupelo’s finances.
Additionally, this ban will have a disproportionate impact on a segment of Tupelo’s population that already feels disenfranchised and frustrated. As Police Chief Tony Carleton pointed out, it will give officers another reason to stop and engage these citizens. While this could be a useful tool for the police force, it can also serve to heighten tensions and increase hostility within these communities.
I sincerely hope this law does not become a distraction and a waste of resources for Tupelo. As a city, we have a host of pressing issues to address. Instructing and punishing others for their lack of fashion sense is simply a big waste of time and resources. But if this is the direction we’re heading, could they ban Speedos while they’re at it?
Lyle Gravatt
Tupelo


Address would clear tax bill confusion
Although I just moved here in 2011, I am considering becoming a candidate for Lee County tax collector. I will promise to include street addresses of real property on tax bills and to be in my office until 5 p.m. on Feb. 1 when the taxes are due. I do not want others to go through what I have.
Because I purchased my house in 2011, I received a tax bill in the previous owner’s name, which was around the amount I was expecting. After calling the tax collector’s office and being told the bill would not be in my name until 2012, I paid in on Jan. 2, 2012. I realize now I should have insisted that she look up my tax bill and be sure it was for my property.
Fortunately, I was advised by the previous owner of my house that I had paid the real estate taxes for another property they owned in Tupelo. I called the tax collector’s office at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 1 and was told I would have to come and talk to Mr. Belk personally, although the representative was able to confirm that the payment I had made was in excess of the amount due for my house. She had no explanation as to why this was the only tax bill sent to me and I was not sent the correct bill.
I was awakened with a call from Mr. Belk and advised I would have to come in and bring a check.
When I arrived at his office at 11:15 a.m., I was advised that he had gone to lunch and because I was responding to his personal call, I would need to return when he was there. I insisted on taking care of this matter while I was there. It was necessary for me to pay my real estate taxes on my house in full. The amount I paid for the wrong property will be refunded to me.
It is standard procedure elsewhere for the address of the property to be included on the tax bill. I do not understand why it is not done here.
Susan Church
Tupelo


Obama holds constitution in total disregard of intentThis administration continues to amaze me with its total disregard for the US Constitution and our American way of life.

In August 2010 The Washington Times published an editorial about the US State Department using millions of taxpayer dollars to rebuild mosques in the Middle East. In April of that year, the Ambassador to Tanzania helped cut the ribbon at a 12th-century mosque, which was redone with help from the US under a program to preserve culturally significant buildings. Our government also helped save a mosque in Cairo, which dates back to 642. The mosque’s namesake was the Muslim conqueror of Christian Egypt, who built the structure on the site where he had pitched his tent before doing battle with the country’s Byzantine rulers. For those who think the Ground Zero Mosque is an example of “Muslim triumphalism” glorifying conquest, the mosque in Cairo is an example of such a monument – and one paid for with US taxpayer dollars.

This administration would have us believe Obama is a Christian. Just because he says he is, doesn’t mean it is so. Ever heard the phrase “actions speak louder than words”? Shortly after his election Obama travelled the Arab world on his “apology tour” where he bowed down to Muslim leaders and bad-mouthed America assuming it would make the Arab world love America more – or at least make the Arabs love him more than President Bush. However, the numbers are in. According to an August 2011 poll across the Arab world, Obama’s favorability ratings are 10% or lower. That means the Arabs hate him more while he bows down to them than they hated George Bush while he was bombing them.

In 1952 Congress set aside the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer. For the entire eight years of his presidency, George W. Bush invited selected Christian and Jewish leaders to the White House East Room, where he would give a short speech and several leaders offered prayers. Obama has refused to be a part of our National Day of Prayer saying he doesn’t want to “offend” anyone. Yet, Muslims from across America are allowed to block off a street close to the White House for a prayer service while we Christians cannot pray in school, at sporting events, or graduation services.

Much is being made of the end of the 5126 year Mayan calendar which occurs on December 21, 2012. Many expect an apocalyptic end of the world on that date. The Lord is the only one who knows the date of the return on Jesus Christ and the end of our world. I submit that, while the Mayans and others expect this to be the end of the world, it may be the end of our American way of life and this country as we know it. While we idly sit by and let Obama, his czars, and the radical left of the Democratic Party trample our Constitution and our nations’ law, our Republic is being slowly changed into a socialist society.

Linda Pearson
Baldwyn