Letters To The Editor

Tuesday, July 8, 2003 at 1:00am

Since when is Al Green country?


What is up with WSMV Channel 4? It was the co-sponsor of Nashville's Fourth of July fireworks celebration, and its promotional spot referred to the musical guests as "some of country music's hottest stars."

Well, Lee Ann Womack might be country. But when did Al Green and Brian Wilson make the switch? I can't believe the commercial ran right up until fireworks time, and no one at the station or the festival committee noticed this faux pas. Welcome to Music City, U.S.A.



Community marks freedom to be intact


I am a bend in the road. I am a twist of a tree. I am a flag in the breeze. I am a child playing. I am an old home. I am Belle Meade Links, I am Timber Lane, I am the Belmont area. I am a neighborhood.

Last week, as we celebrated the freedoms we enjoy as a nation, we as a community also celebrated one more opportunity to remain whole. Thank you, Vice Mayor Howard Gentry, Metro Council and the City of Nashville for listening to our neighbors in Nashville and allowing them the freedom to protect their homes, children and neighborhood.



Extend child tax credit to needy


House Republicans, marching under Tom Delay's banner, are shamefully sabotaging legislation that would extend the child tax credit to more than 6 million minimum-wage families left out of the tax bill that President Bush signed in May. Meanwhile, the president told a recent $2,000-a-plate fund-raising crowd, many who will get the child tax credit, "The check's in the mail. It had better be, or somebody's going to be looking for work."

President Bush's economic policies have already made "looking for work" a national epidemic. The unemployment rate has now risen to 6.4 percent, its highest level in over nine years. Although I hesitate to help further increase the unemployment rate, I'll have no second thoughts about giving Bush and his House colleagues pink slips in 2004 if they don't get child tax credit checks to the millions of Americans who really need them.



Gender equality: not just for women


July 1 marked the commencement to a reversal in child support policy for the state of Tennessee. The Tennessee Legislature, in a stunning last-minute reversal this session to a recent State Supreme Court decision, defined this different course.

The prior administrative law policy, promulgated by the Department of Human Services (DHS), set forth a doctrine of punitive financial consequences toward men having additional children once a mother of their offspring opted, for whatever reason, to accept a custodial parent's child support award.

The consequence of that policy has been one that dependent children not living under a court-ordered child support award from the same father were not to be considered in fashioning the child support award for children who do come under such an order. In effect, these often latter-born children who are frequently maintained within an intact family were to be considered as children of a lesser god - children not entitled to consideration for the equal benefit of their father's income.

One could certainly argue that this is yet another of those impossibly unequal procreative rights endured by males, beginning with the absence of a reproductive "choice" for men. However, there are egregious examples of anti-two-parent-family doctrines rife throughout the current family law system in Tennessee.

And although DHS believed its policy on subsequent or "after-born" children was meant to protect the children in single-parent households, it has lost sight of the optimum doctrinal ideal: The "best parent" for children is "both parents." It doesn't always happen, we know that, but it is an idealistic goal for which we should strive.

Using financial constraints solely on men who father subsequent or out-of-wedlock children over a consistent family law policy of presumptive shared parenting for children of non-cohabitating parents is a glaring example of the state's divorce financial incentive policy, which has resulted in the outrageous irony of our family-value belt buckle state becoming home to what's among the highest per capita rates of divorce in the nation.

Moreover, once again the real losers are the children who never asked for a broken family. Alone this public policy change probably won't help very much, but it is a clear signal that fathers are sending, which declares that gender equality is no longer simply a women's issue.



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Filed under: City Voices