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Deserve better 

When I saw your ad last week for the military story, I was worried it might be anti-military and anti-Republican ("What lies beneath," Aug. 26). I was relieved that it was unbiased and kept the Republican bashing to a minimum.

But, oh, the horror! I almost couldn't believe what I was reading. We are all used to hearing of exploding land mines in Third World countries and nuclear stuff everywhere on former Soviet bases. But to hear about it in America is almost enough to cause someone to have a stroke.

I am about as pro-military as they come, but the way the Department of Defense is so callous about removing pollutants, and the fact that they did it for so long is shocking. Civilians and military families alike deserve better. And to think that the Pentagon wants exceptions to environmental laws! The chutzpah.

I feel for the couple in South Carolina who lost their grandkid and yet the Defense Department still stonewalls cleanup efforts. I hope the South Carolina delegation in the U.S. Congress, both Republican and Democrat, will show the Department of Defense that they can't ignore their duties.

I also feel for the couple near Durham, N.C., who found a bomb in their yard, yet the military won't pick it up.

I'm not big on trial lawyers, but this definitely is the time and place for them. If the Pentagon won't voluntarily do the right thing, someone must force them. As for the military saying most of the dumping was before environmental laws, well, use some common sense. Common sense dictates that you not bury something that is marked biohazard. Common sense says you don't want biohazards at the same place as your drinking water and where your food is grown.

I suggest that legislators from different states work together to lobby their national legislators to have a joint Democrat and Republican group in the U.S. Congress decide which bases close and which stay open to guarantee there is no negative payback.

-- Kenny Houck, Pineville

Cause and effect
Good work on an important article that affects us all (News & Views, "Global warming is scary," Aug. 12). It seems like the big corporations are, as always, operating unimpeded by such petty concerns as the environment. When are these people going to get it into their heads that their actions are going to eventually come home to roost with their progeny?

-- Byron Katz, Atlanta



Unhappily ever after
I recently read your review of the film Garden State (Flicks, "Large and in charge," Aug. 12), and was amazed at how close your take is to mine. I would rate the movie slightly better than average, and one of the things I did not like about it was the ending. I thought the movie was setting itself up for the unhappy ending, which seems appropriate, but I was disappointed when [writer/director Zach] Braff took the easy way out. The happy ending seems too "Hollywood."

I have to agree with you that the film takes a lot from other movies. The one that jumped out to me was Good Will Hunting. An emotionless main character with a loser best friend meets a woman who helps him open up. Sound familiar? Like Garden State, I thought that movie should have ended unhappily as well.

-- Kevin Sharp, Norcross



You should be ashamed
I found "That's fugly" hilarious (July 29).

I am from Minneapolis, where you can't walk a mile without finding a city park -- a real city park, with a baseball field, or a pond, grills, or even playground equipment -- not the block-square stretches of dead grass full of drunks and crack heads that Atlanta calls parks.

I agree with you on Cityview; I drive by it nearly every day, and it is an abomination. It's a shame that architects can't really design anything anymore, and that designers should really be in another line of work.

Perhaps the city planners of Atlanta will be shamed into action. Hah!

-- Kristi Woods, Atlanta



State of mind
I know, this is old news. But I have been in Atlanta for only about a month and it takes awhile to have a look-see. I am from a rural area in upstate New York (on temporary assignment in Atlanta), where the rolling forested hills are dotted with farm fields and pastures. I know beautiful country when I see it and Atlanta ain't fugly ("That's fugly," July 29). Yes, there are some sterile-looking multiple-lane highways clad in billboards -- but this is expected in a "city."

I work in a multistory building and have the opportunity to get a bird's eye view of the city and, being temporary, I drive around after work looking for the next restaurant or bar.

This city is forested! Having a degree in forestry and being an outdoorsman, I notice trees. Trees bring me comfort, and they bring comfort to the city. You don't build a mature tree. You don't buy a mature tree. Trees breathe life. Trees are ethereal. They possess character, display longevity and blanket the city like a mother's reassuring touch. I've seen fugly and your city is not fugly. Fugliness is a state of mind.

-- Rich George, Edmeston, N.Y.



Dispel the myth
I just read Cliff Bostock's column "Nixon or Bush?" (Headcase, July 1) and I must say, it was well written and well done.

Michael Moore, in an interview with NBC, claimed he might go after the media in his next documentary. I sure hope so.

I too was a reporter for a small newspaper, and I believe apathy and laziness are a big part of why newspapers won't report what is truly going on. Big money, corporations and FCC rules are endangering our democracy. Unless people wake up soon, we could all be in trouble.

I believe that after John Kerry is elected president, the Internet must turn its total and complete attention on cleaning up the media.

The first thing that must be done is to totally debunk the myth that the media is liberal. It is not. In a country where half of the people are Democrats, liberal or progressive, you would think that we could dispel the liberal media myth once and for all.

-- Susan DeVilder, Kewanee, Ill.



Keep on laughing
I'm just now getting around to thanking you for that article in CL (Summer Guide, "Dragging ass," May 20). I can't remember the last time I read something that is laugh-noiselessly, gibber-helplessly, better-than-crunches-for-the-abs, howling, screaming, squeal-one-word-at-a-time-while-reading-aloud as was this piece. I can't read two paragraphs without tears spilling while I shriek, and this is after several re-readings. You are so funny, and so articulate -- the intelligence and command of the written word wasn't lost on me.

For some reason, the funniest part is "the shrews in the pantry." Where do you come up with these ideas?

-- Maggie O'Connor, Atlanta

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