Letters to the Editor

A Dead Issue

To the Editor:

Twenty-thousand years ago, cavemen would bury their dead with the tools and weapons they would need in the afterlife. It is amazing how little we have evolved since then. When I read about the funeral director putting makeup on the face of a corpse for a closed-casket service so that she would be "dignified" ("A Grave Undertaking," January 22nd issue), I shook my head in dismay. A body is a body, not a person. The millions of dollars and thousands of hours we spend on funeral rituals are typical of the primitive thinking that keeps the human species from moving forward.

As our cities choke, we devote thousands of acres to the storage of rotting meat. Under the guidance of avaricious ministers, poor families bankrupt themselves so "Grandma can rest in peace." Processions of shining limousines wind through ghettos full of hungry children to bury Cadillac coffins in the ground. Religious fairy tales, backed by law, force us to preserve our dead in anticipation of some nonsensical resurrection fantasy.

The money wasted on embalmed corpses, gleaming coffins, and marble monuments should be spent on the living. Flowers that could bring cheer to a nursing home rot decorating graves. Burying usable organs in the ground is a crime against humanity.

Stop wasting time and money turning an awkward disposal problem into an expensive religious ritual.

Michael B. Conway


Politics and MLGW

To the Editor:

I feel that MLGW is the best utility company in the nation. As business manager of IBEW Local Union 1288, it is my desire to see politics cease to play a role in the mayor's appointment of the next MLGW president. Without a president, there are many uncertainties among the bargaining-unit employees, who represent the majority of the MLGW work force.

Over the last few years, morale has been at an all-time low (safety issues, no management accountability, etc.). Hopefully, the mayor will renominate Joseph Lee as president. In my opinion, he is more than capable of working with the Memphis City Council, the mayor, the ratepayers of Memphis and Shelby County, management, and this union.

Comments have been made regarding Lee having only "finance" experience. Lee stated that he would surround himself with leaders with utility experience, and I have no reason to doubt him. MLGW's primary problem, at this point, is finance. Lee has already shown his leadership ability in that area.

We need a leader who is respected in this community to bring this union and management together, and I think Joseph Lee is that leader. I want our members and the ratepayers to know that the mayor has personally told me that he has no desire and no hidden agenda to sell MLGW.

William (Rick) Thompson

Business Manager, IBEW Local Union 1288


Let It Go, Tim!

To the Editor:

I am a liberal Democrat, and after reading last week's We Recommend, even I have to say: Let it go, Tim! We can't change what happened in the last election, but there is one coming up in which we can make a difference. Isn't that where our energies should be?

Kerri Lawless-Hopkins


What About the Troops?

To the Editor:

Why have we forgotten to support our troops? Where are all the patriotic Americans who were waving their flags when the Iraq war began?

Soldiers who have served their time and want out of the war have been kept from leaving under "stop loss" orders. Often, soldiers have not had the necessary protective gear and equipment to protect their lives. Soldiers have been forced to pay their own way home during leave. And the 2004 budget will cut nearly $25 billion from veterans' health-care programs over the next 10 years.

Who will fight to protect the freedoms of the soldiers fighting for our freedom?

Becki Barnhardt


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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