Mississippi has absurd quandary
Regarding the Times editorial (Aug. 20) "Learning from the past":
Here we are, 147 years after the end of the Civil War, a war that we should all be grateful the South did not win, and Mississippi state officials are wondering how best to honor their Civil War dead soldiers without offending their (living) black citizens? What a ridiculous, self-imposed quandary!
I was not aware that Mississippi still has the Confederacy battle emblem on its state flag. For real? Hey guys, how 'bout joining the 21st century? The Faulkner quote about the past never really being dead certainly has some relevance, but I'm not sure it's the past that's doing the haunting in Mississippi. Seems to me that too many Mississippians like resuscitating their Civil War ghosts. It's one thing to remember the past; it's another to keep resurrecting and glorifying it.
If you want to honor anybody, honor the forefathers and mothers of the black citizens who suffered the brutality to which our white forefathers subjected them.
And as for that Confederate battle emblem on your flag, don't you think it's high time you removed it and relegated it to a history museum, where it more appropriately belongs?
RICK ARMSTRONG, Monteagle, Tenn.
Access fee not a subsidy or tax
Re: "AT&T plan irks residents" (Aug. 14).
The article stated that Ringgold Telephone Company (RTC) is receiving subsidies. Such terminology insinuates that these revenues are unsubstantiated. These funds are justifiable incomes associated with the Universal Access Fund (UAF), developed to assure the provision of reasonably priced access to basic local telephone service and enable telecoms to recover network usage fees which were reduced as a result of changes in legislation. Telecoms offering service in rural areas are subject to higher equipment costs because of the large area, low-density-population environment. Costs to provide service in these areas are greater than urban areas. The UAF provides revenue to offset the cost of providing service to rural customers. The UAF is not a subsidy or a tax.
AT&T is attempting to increase RTC customer rates. AT&T believes this increase will lower RTC's need for the UAF, resulting in a decrease in AT&T's contribution into the fund. This action seems to be an attempt by AT&T to abandon legitimate business costs. An increase in RTC's rates will result in a direct benefit to the pocketbooks of AT&T shareholders. This is another example of a large company using their power and wealth to take advantage of a smaller competitor.
MARCY CIRLOT KERNEA, PR/Advertising Manager, Ringgold Telephone Co.