Monday, January 08, 2007

The Finer Things... aka All Hail the Emperor!

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about ancient Rome. And no, not because my favorite TV show is coming back for Season Two, but that's a good guess.

The emperors had a clever way of stifling dissent in the ancient empire. When discontent over high taxes, rampant crime, the corruption of public officials, widespread poverty, and disappearing jobs reached a fevered pitch, a new monument was announced--- And quite often, a new amphitheater in which to hold gladiatorial games.

So it is perhaps no surprise that as scandal rocks the city council, the city sets a new murder record, and poverty tightens its deathgrip on the inner city, Mayor Herenton announces his plans to build a new football stadium.

The timing is a bit puzzling. There's been no recent discussion of an NFL franchise coming here, leaving the sole resident of a new stadium the University of Memphis Tigers, a football team that could be replaced by the marching band without anyone noticing. Even during the two good seasons they had, Tiger football was not exactly what one would call a tourist trap, so we can dispense with the idea that a river of liquid gold will flood the streets of the city when it opens.

If our own Caesar is to leave us with a legacy, let it be one of sober and responsible government. I love this city, and it certainly deserves "the finer things" in life--- But those finer things should be a school system that doesn't crumble around its students and a police force that pays well enough to draw the best and brightest into its ranks.

Those should be the priorities of a city. Not a nicer football field.

This city should have priorities. If we don't take care of them first, then we're simply giving the criminal element of this city a nicer place to break into cars with out of state license plates.


dk2 said...

The city deserves those who want to serve the people for it's elected officials, from the top all the way down to the local dog catcher, and not serve their own purposes.

Along with paying the police better, it would be nice to have a police force that is working harder to get the drugs/gangs/and all other manner of crime off the streets rather then not being seen when needed.

Anonymous said...

The MPD is doing the best it can with the officers it has on the streets - perhaps they are "not being seen when needed" by some because they are tied up being seen when needed by others...there are only so many cops out there to handle the never ending call load.