I suspect that one difference in reaction to Gizmo and Sutherland is the defenselessness of the victim ("The Gizmo Story," April 15). People believe that Gizmo couldn't help what happened to him while Sutherland could have moved out of the projects if he had only worked a little harder, or found a job in the first place, or triumphed over addiction or whatever other rationale people use to keep the Sutherlands of the world where they arenamely, away from them and their comfortable lifestyles.
Improving one's situation requires resources. Moving from homelessness to housing or from poor housing to better housing requires down payments, deposits and other resources that many people don't have. Obtaining (and keeping) a job requires life skills that many people have never been taught.
I applaud the Scene's sentiment of "we hope you do something." Like the poor and marginalized who don't have skills and resources that many take for granted, many people may not know of the countless volunteer needs in the community. I hope to see more specific exposure of these needs so more people can "do something."
Dear Scene marketing: I have really appreciated the AOL disk(s). I say disks because of the many found in piles around each and every newsstand in the city. When a penny is taped over the center hole, they make excellent practice targets for a BB gun at 10 meters.
Questioning the carnivore
I'm curious. What sort of illness could Maria Browning have had that required her to eat meat ("Meat Is Not Necessarily Murder," April 15)? I know that one of the risks that goes along with a vegan diet is pernicious anemia, which is caused by a deficiency of B-12 (which can be obtained only through animal sources or vitamin supplementation). Other than that, I'm not familiar with any illnesses that would be improved by ingesting meat.
High-quality protein is available without killing animals. It might be difficult (but not impossible) to obtain adequate protein with a vegan diet, but the dietary requirement for protein is easily met with a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet. I also know that teenage vegetarians often think that just eating McDonald's fries by themselves is a vegetarian option. Not eating high-quality foods (and thereby obtaining the necessary nutrients) is a problem for vegetarians and vegans, too.
I was a vegetarian for eight years and a vegan for six months, finally realizing that cornbread is so much better made with buttermilk rather than soy milk. I now eat salmon (for the Omega 3) and occasionally chicken. I can justify this only from the standpoint of personal desire. If anything, my weight and my "bad" cholesterol have increased under this regime.
Probably the healthiest I've ever been, at least from the standpoint of heart health, is when I was a vegan and followed Dr. Dean Ornish's dietary guidelines.
People should educate themselves about nutrition before undertaking a vegetarian diet to ensure that they do obtain adequate nutrients from such a choice. But to discourage folks from a vegetarian lifestyle with a vague and ominous warning that you have to eat meat for health reasons doesn't serve anybody's interests. I would like to hear the medical reasons for Maria Browning's choice.
More on McPhee
Your editorial on Sidney McPhee was right on ("The Sidney McPhee Problem," April 8)! Not only is he an embarrassment to MTSU, but he continues to take credit for things he has not done. He has not increased funding or raised academic standards. Yes, we have raised our admission standards, but that is not the same as raising academic standards.
Our athletic department is awash in debt, we are understaffed by hundreds of faculty, we cannot meet our students' needs. But if you listen to McPhee and his supporters, all is well. Things could not be better. I can tell you that's not true. Morale at MTSU is at an all-time low. Faculty constantly have to explain and apologize for our leadership. In short, McPhee is a sorry example for our students and academic community.
We desperately need a change in leadership. We need someone that faculty, staff and students can look up to, and we don't have that someone. Despite attempts to call attention to the problems here, we continue to suffer. When McPhee brags about his stewardship, he obviously can't see that the ship has morally run aground and is hopelessly beached. I hope the public will continue to press for his resignation. If not, the fortunes of a great university will continue to decline.
Middle Tennessee State University
We love good sports
Once again, the Scene has demonstrated its extraordinary journalistic prowess by scooping the local, statewide and national media in its Fabricator article about the departing NPR host Bob Edwards joining Teddy Bart's Round Table (April 15). To fill in some of the gaps in your piece, let me report that negotiations were difficult. Conducted in Bob's NPR office, he at first refused to be a part of any program that reports anything bad about the Palestinians, same-sex marriage or anything good about President Bush. Karlen broke the impasse, suggesting Bob do a "man on the street" segment on The Round Table, to which Bob agreed. It should be an exciting feature, given the vibrant energy of Church Street mornings at 7. One minor point the Scene got wrong: You indicated our ratings "hover in the 45-listener range." Actually, we've been averaging about 52 listeners on most mornings. Nonetheless, hats off once again to you all for this investigative coup, and so forth.
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