Letters to the Editor


To the Editor:

I applaud Kenneth Neill's letter to Harold Ford Jr. (Viewpoint, October 31st issue). I share his sentiments completely. I've relocated from California, and I'm looking forward to voting here for the first time. I've planned to vote for Congressman Ford -- which I probably will still do -- but with reservations. I found Neill's letter to be courageous and right on target. It was so refreshing to find someone who shares my views in these troubled times. Hurrah!

Carol Williams


Positive Paganism

To the Editor:

I want to let you know how much I appreciated the well-written article by Bianca Phillips ("Summerland Grove," October 31st issue). It would make the world a much nicer place if more open-minded persons could write the truth about paganism. It makes me feel hopeful for a better world in the future.

Living in the Bible Belt of Oklahoma, I can say that we have never had such a piece written here. Thank you for putting a true and positive light on the beliefs and practices of paganism.

Deborah Addington

Claremore, Oklahoma

Getting the Message?

To the Editor:

I was encouraged to hear that Shelby County district attorney Bill Gibbons has asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to check out former county mayoral assistant Tom Jones and select employees of the Juvenile Court Clerk's office (City Reporter, October 24th issue).

It looks like former county mayor Jim Rout's legacy will be mismanagement, wanton greed, and expensive trips (to New York, Australia, New Zealand, etc.). I trust that our newly elected county commissioners will get the message from the voters. If not, they will be replaced in four years -- or sooner.

Chas. S. Peete



To the Editor:

As an attorney, I am amazed at the chutzpah of those who shutter plants where unions require decent pay and move them to Mississippi, only to complain that they have to pay too much for injuries they cause when they go before a Mississippi jury (Editorial, October 24th issue). Give me a break. Will they take their plants and go north where the wages are high and the verdicts the same or worse? No, they'll just double their calls to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the folks who think the minimum wage is heresy and that Mississippi labor is as cheap as Honduras' -- only closer.

When a manufacturer can pay $6 an hour for labor in Mississippi, will it move back to Detroit where it costs $24 an hour to build that Chevy or Mazda? No. Especially when labor is a vastly greater portion of the factory's overhead than the 1 percent or so of payroll that insurance/liability premiums entail to cover possible claims. If the Mississippi legislature does nothing, no manufacturer will leave: It's too sweet a deal at the wages they pay.

As far as the medical malpractice crisis in Mississippi: One Mississippi carrier demanded of a Mississippi physician friend (who is statutorily immune from suit) a premium that was 35 percent of his annual state salary. He had never been sued and was not even suable in Mississippi. When he applied for the same coverage with a different carrier in a neighboring state, he obtained it for a fraction of the amount demanded by the overreaching Mississippi malpractice carrier. "Theft" and "crisis" are not synonyms. In Mississippi, we have theft, not a crisis. The insurance industry is laying its stock market losses onto the shoulders of its policyholding physicians and blaming them for their own miscalculations.

Mark Ledbetter



To the Editor:

I have two fireplaces in my house that use unvented gas logs. According to Walter Jowers in his October 31st column ("Fired Up"), I am both foolish and cheap. I actually am somewhat of a miser, but I take offense at being called a fool. Like Jowers, I live in an old home. I want to be reasonably comfortable in the winter and spend as little money as possible to do it. I choose to reduce the run time of my 80-year-old boiler with 100 percent efficient vent-free gas logs. They are specifically designed to burn without producing carbon monoxide, with burners more technically advanced than their vented counterparts. While Jowers correctly stated that they add water vapor to your home, I, like most Memphians in the winter, welcome a little added humidity.

If you are looking for ambience, burn wood or use traditional gas logs in your fireplace and send virtually all the heat up your flue. If, however, you are more concerned about using our limited resources wisely, try vent-free gas logs. They may cost a little more up front, but they pay off in the long run, economically and environmentally.

Bill Bullock


The Memphis Flyer encourages reader response. Send mail to: Letters to the Editor, POB 1738, Memphis, TN 38101. Or call Back Talk at 575-9405. Or send us e-mail at All responses must include name, address, and daytime phone number. Letters should be no longer than 250 words.



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