published Friday, August 24th, 2012

Mississippi has absurd quandary and other letters to the Editors

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.

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RICK ARMSTRONG, a large chunk of the South still wants to treat the Confederacy as a heroic movement rising up for freedom, and some of them even wish for the sake of "liberty" that they had won.

That's why they insist that the Civil War wasn't really about slavery.

August 24, 2012 at 12:31 a.m.
Livn4life said...

Mr. alloutexperthappywithnewbulbs, I guess you're not as informed as you present yourself to be. The Civil War was not ALL about slavery. Anyone with a brain and objectively reads American History knows that Granted, slavery itself was hideous enough for the South not to have won. There was much more to that conflict than modernistic reinterpreters, such as you obviously follow, want the nation to believe.

August 24, 2012 at 7:57 a.m.
shen said...

Livn4, grow a brain. No war is ever about any one issue. You don't really believe the invasion and occupation in the Middle East were all about liberation do you? Those state rights meant the right for any southern state to decide if they wanted to remain a slave holding state. If the south had its way, 100% would have made the choice to keep their black brothers and sisters in bondage.

August 24, 2012 at 9:22 a.m.
Leaf said...

There's a reason Mississippi always scores last on education. Just sayin'.

August 24, 2012 at 9:36 a.m.
moon4kat said...

The slave-holders were the ones funding the Confederacy. They did it because they wanted to keep their "property." But for that, there would have been no war.

August 24, 2012 at 9:46 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

L4L, if anybody is a "modernistic reinterpreter" it's you. You can call the reasons for the Civil War by any dressed up term you want - "states' rights" or "fighting for liberty," a matter of "economics" or whatever. But the fact is that, had slavery not existed, there would have been no Civil War.

It wasn't until Lincoln was elected that the Southern states decided to secede, and the number one reason they did so was because they feared he would abolish slavery, whicn at the time was the driving force of their economy. The irony is that Lincoln, while believing at heart that slavery was wrong, really had no desire to abolish slavery willy-nilly. In fact he preferred to distance himself from the issue because he knew it was such a volatile one, and potentially damaging politically.

In the beginning, the Civil War, for Abe, truly was not about slavery but more a matter of preserving the Union. It was not until about mid-way through the war that he realized that complete emancipation for the slaves could be a galvanizing issue, one that could help turn the tide of the war. But if the Southern states that seceded had been more circumspect and not so impulsive they probably could have "enjoyed" their slavery way of life much, much longer. Surely slavery would have eventually fallen of its own accord, as more and more people would come to see it as the inhumane and barbaric system that it was; but it probably would have taken many years, maybe even another decade or two, before it would have been abolished completely.

August 24, 2012 at 10:41 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

As in most wars, the Civil War being an excellent example, it was "a rich man's war and a poor man's fight." True on both sides.

August 24, 2012 at 11:33 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Rickaroo, Excellent three-paragraph synopsis for the secession of southern states. It was always about the economics of slavery, though neither side held a true moral ground.

That's not to say there weren't secondary positions by both North and South leading to disunion, but slavery's continued existence and its economic consequences, particularly with westward national expansion, was the ultimate cause of civil war.

August 24, 2012 at 11:33 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

dd...I think you are exactly right, neither side held a true moral ground. Many northerners did not hold black people in much higher esteem than southerners did, and I don't think the majority went into the war with even the remotest desire to "free the slaves." Slavery somehow became an evolving issue that helped to reinforce the need to win, especially for Lincoln but also for a growing number of northerners in general.

That's why I think it was ironic that the South forced the issue in the first place. If they had not been so paranoid about what they thought Lincoln MIGHT do, he probably would not have become so engaged with the slavery issue and would have respected the south's reliance on slavery as being vital to their economy. Thus they could have most likely maintained their way of life for years longer.

But like you said, even though there were definitely other issues involved in the war, as indeed there always are in any war, slavery was the ultimate cause of it. I think that those who keep saying it was about states' rights or individual liberty or whatever are just putting lipstick on a pig.

August 24, 2012 at 12:34 p.m.

Livn4life, read what I said again. Are you going to insist that slavery really didn't have anything to do with the Civil War? Insisting that there were other factors doesn't prove that the Civil War really didn't have anything to do with slavery.

Do try to rebut what I'm actually saying, if I gave you the impression that I couldn't consider other factors as part of the war, I assure you that I intended no such thing.

I was simply disputing those who, as I said, " insist that the Civil War wasn't really about slavery" who do, I must say also insist that they're just giving other reasons for the war, but are really trying to deny that slavery had any role in it.

Is it wrong to reject that for some reason?

August 24, 2012 at 1:31 p.m.
Lr103 said...

Rickaroo said...But the fact is that, had slavery not existed, there would have been no Civil War.

And I'd like to add, if not for slavery the south would have never existed as a separate North American nation either.

August 24, 2012 at 1:39 p.m.
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