October 03, 2009
Meanwhile, Back at the Real World…

From today’s New York Times:

…The total return of the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index through the end of September was almost 17 percent, and that was after adjusting for inflation. Even if the index does nothing in the final three months of the year, it will have turned in its best year since 2003.…

And from CNN today:

…Inside the Wayne County morgue in midtown Detroit, 67 bodies are piled up, unclaimed, in the freezing temperatures. Neither the families nor the county can afford to bury the corpses. So they stack up inside the freezer.

Albert Samuels, chief investigator for the morgue, said he has never seen anything like it during his 13 years on the job. “Some people don’t come forward even though they know the people are here,” said the former Detroit cop. “They don’t have the money…”


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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at October 03, 2009 02:50 PM
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Traveling north from Joseph, Oregon in the past few days, we saw a line of hundreds, possibly thousands, or anyway miles' and miles' worth, of those open lumber cars with vertical lattices, like these: http://www.acclaimimages.com/_gallery/_pages/0432-0903-2408-4054.html .

Evidently they were being stored along the entire length of an unused line. Up in Elgin, another train of empty lumber cars came through while we watched from a gas station. The guy who pumped our gas said, yes, there were so many mills closed that "they" were just storing the cars. "Which gives you an idea how many people are out of work."

Posted by: Martha Bridegam on October 3, 2009 7:28 PM

Yay for the economy!

What Detroit needs is a mortuary school. I'd be surprised they don't have one, actually.

When my husband died a couple years ago I was faced with the same problem of having to abandon him at the morgue for lack of money to have him even cremated, but I found out about a local mortuary school that was happy to do the whole thing for free (cremation), including a service and a nice container for the ashes. They were especially thrilled that his body was a little "old," as he had been at the morgue for three months. So it was a win-win for everyone.

It's something to keep in mind.

I hope I live long enough to see the rigged game ended.

Posted by: karen marie on October 3, 2009 10:22 PM

I don't know if the culture is the same regarding services for the deceased in Detroit as it is in the South. But for African Americans in the South, not being able to have a decent burial is a mark of shame and disgrace, one of the worst things that can happen to you from birth to death. I suspect, but don't really know, so I assume that this cultural pheneomenon is a leftover facet of slavery, where death was in many ways a way to become free at last. And the funeral was a celebration of that event.

This is heart wrenching. Particularly for the families who cannot bury their dead in a proper fashion according to whatever culture they belong to. This country could do much better.

President Obama has much work to do and I don't see him doing enough.(not that I'd ever vote for the party who helped create these inequities).

Posted by: Buck on October 4, 2009 4:23 AM
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