Saturday, February 19, 2005

Herenton has no guts

The deteriorating cesspool that has become the Herenton administration reached its nadir on Friday by announcing that it is laying off 2100 city employees, 198 of which are full-time, ONLY 3 of which are in the EXECUTIVE areas.

While the Memphis Police Association and the city's branch of AFSCME are vowing to fight this in court, it may be tough to stop, as due to Herenton's mismanagement, the city is in financial trouble. Humorously enough, Standard & Poor's today RAISED the COUNTY's bond rating from weak to stable. Maybe he should call AC for advice!

By the way, where was Willie? He didn't have the guts, the common decency to face the city or its employees; he sent his chief administrative officer, Keith McGee, to do his dirty work for him. What a brave man; he's getting more Bush-like by the day!

The Pink Palace will lose the Sharpe Planetarium; in addition, they will only have TWO staff people to run reservations AND their box office after March 23. No wonder they will have to close 2 days a week.

Recycling will be cut back to every TWO weeks instead of every week as Public Works is losing 70 people. What happens if we have another freak ice storm come April? who's going to man the salt trucks? Willie? No, he'll just be "unavailable" like he was today.

Remember, we can't start collecting signatures for a recall petition until 75 days prior to the filing deadline for the May 2006 election. However, I assure you, we WILL get this on the ballot because 2007 just isn't soon enough to get him out of there.


richmond said...

While an emotional Memphian, I haven't lived in the city for several years. I was thrilled beyond measure when Herenton defeated Dick Hackett in 1991, thinking that perhaps, just perhaps, an era of racial progress could begin. Unfortunately, Herenton's behavior has come to resemble so many others once they achieve a measure of power. His decisions have, evidently are made with the assumption that the City Council will a rubber-stamp mechanism; he openly supports Republicans when it suits his interest, regardless of what happens to the city and its people; he has electricity restopred in eight hours while most of the city waited over a week after the stright wind hurricane a few summers back; on and on Herenton's crap goes and, short of being defeated for re-election, where it stops, nobody knows.

Richmond Adams
Carbondale, Illinois

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Anonymous said...

In, I believe, the summer of 1979, the Southern Baptist denomination gathered for its annual Convention. They metfor , among other items, to elect a President who had the authority to appoint representatives to the various agencies throughout the church (which I here use interchangeably with denomination). For decades, the election evidently was a pro forma matter and, while uniformly conservative in the approach to Biblical authority, the (always) men previously elected as President held to the long-cherished Baptist belief in "the priesthood of all believers." Simply said, that "priesthood" held that all followers of God in Christ are permitted and encouraged to explore their faith for themselves, trusting that God would "speak" to them in ways that made sense within the context of their lives.
At that 1979 gathering, however, a dedicated and ruthless group of people managed to elect, as I remember, Adrian Rogers, Pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis as the new Convention President. Reverend Rogers' election did not come by accident; rather, it was part of a well-orchestrated, carefully planned scheme to literally change the face of Southern Baptist life. Reverend Rogers and his fellow conventioneers knew if they controlled the Presidency, sooner or later every agency of Southern Baptist life would eventually fall under their control. In short, they knew complete power was within their grasp.
Reverend Rogers represents a brand of Christian evangelicalism, born only within the last 170 years and uniquely spawned within the United States, known as fundamentalism, most (in)famously known through the Scopes "Monkey" Trial in Dayton, Tennessee over the summer of 1925. Fundamentalists take their name seriously: there are, they assert, basic "dcotrines" that every Christian must accept as a part of his commitment to Jesus Christ as Personal Lord and Savior. Any person who does not hold to these ideas cannot be a Christian and remains "unsaved" from "Hell" upon his earthly demise. Those "fundamentals" usually are listed as the Virgin Birth of Jesus, the Inerrancy and Infallibility of Scripture (with no historical, scientific, geological or other errors of any kind), the historicity of Jesus' miracles as recorded in the canonical Gospels, the (inappropriately labeled) "Second Coming" of Christ at some future (usually in the very near future) time and, perhaps, the accuracy of Creation as recorded in Genesis, Chapters 1 and 2.
While most Southern Baptists have assumed the truth of those ideas, a tolerance of alternative viewpoints was not simply allowed, but treasured throughout the denomination. Reverend Rogers and his cohorts, however, insisted that any representative of Southern Baptist life hold to the "fundamentals" and be willing to sign Statements of Faith to that effect.
Since that first fateful election, the fundamentalists have consolidated their power, brokering no dissent (another anthema to Baptist heritage) and investing ever-increasing authority in the Pastor rather than the local congregation. No element in Southern Baptist life, save some congregations who, by virtue of the ability to call their own Pastors (a doctrine so sacred to Baptists that not even the fundamentalists can alter it), has proven immune to the slithering manipulations of the fundamentalists who promised "peace, peace," but evidently forgot Jeremiah's final words from that section of his letter: "where there is no peace" (Jer.6:14). Reverend Rogers, Paige Patterson, Richard Lamb, Charles Stanley, WA Criswell and other fundamentalists wanted neither peace nor an authentic debate over the interpretation of Scripture. It does not matter to these people, for example, that the Virgin Birth receives mention in only 2 of the 4 canonical Gospels, that its mention in Matthew and Luke is rooted in different versions of the Christmas story and that the earliest words from the New Testament (Paul's writings)and the earliest Gospel (Mark) thunder in their silence about it.
In other words, what the fundamentalists in 1979 and years subsequent sought was the accumulatation of power. Power to remake their denomination, power to (perhaps) accumulate wealth (personal and congregational), power to not just, as Ralph Reed put it, "have a voice at the table," but to remake the table, not in God's image, but their own. In short, these people knew exactly what they were doing. So does the current President Bush, Karl Rove and the political arm of the Republican party who owe their current positions, in large part, to fundamentalists in the Old Confederacy who brought 22 states in two separate elections to Bush's column.
I do not dispute the authenticity of President Bush's faith and the conversion experience that undergirds it. I am a Southern Baptist by heritage and my maternal Grandfather honorably served congregations in Georgia and Mississippi from the teens until his death in 1946. In spite (or because)of my deep resistance to fundamentalism, I remain a Christian as well as a seminary graduate. I do dispute, however, the Faustian bargain Mr. Bush made with the fundamentalists to speak their language, embrace apocalypticism as appropriate policy for the Middle East and
his evident contempt for the least among us (Matthew 25:40) in order that he might implement the most radical transfer of wealth from bottom to top in American history. Until progressives understand the link between the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention (the largest Protestant denomination in the United States) and its impact on Republican (hence national and now international) politics, I remain afraid that we will doom ourselves to a generation of electoral oblivion. Understanding however, as my friend Steve, reminds me, is not enough. We as progressives and as people of all faiths (or no faith in the religious sense) must be willing to fight with the same ruthlessness, dedication and single-minded ferocity shown by Adrian Rogers and his minions. Otherwise, we may not have much of a country left when they finish with it.

Richmond Adams
Carbondale, Illinois

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