Going Postal 

Flag issue

Ms. Catoe, it's hard for me to believe that you would trash your family and the South (Jane Says, "Flag Issue a Matter of Taste," Jan. 13) if you were indeed a true Southerner (one whose family lived in the South before the war).

As far as the flag being "just plain ugly," you know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I'm from Mis'sippi and I rate the flags from Mississippi and Georgia ahead of South Carolina. I'm sure you've seen them, the ones with those beautiful crosses (not stripes).

You got one thing right, we bit off more than we could chew but it took (four) long years and 300,000 dead Yankees to hand us our asses back.

I think you write this type of stuff just to see if you can get some redneck, like myself, all stirred up. It seems that most writers like to keep things all stirred up, keep the pot boiling, to sell papers, this is OK it gives y'all something to do until you can get a real job. Happy Robert E. Lee's Birthday (Jan. 19).

-- Freddie Howell, Atlanta

Kudos to Kebo

Just finished reading your column (From the Lip, Jan. 6), and I gotta give congratulations where they are due. As I steadfastly avoid the "see-and-be-seen" scenes, and typically loathe all that goes with the pseudo-hipness they espouse, I usually avoid the social columns. However, I gave your column a shot. I recalled how Isabel Gonzales (and, to a lesser extent, Becky Kleinman) used to write a similar version and the writing skills often transcended the self-serving nature of that genre, so I figured a New Year and a new columnist warranted new consideration.

Your column covers the same subject matter, but also offers something other than the typical ego- serving "is my name in print?" mentality that a social column usually thrives upon. The observations are legit, the name dropping is kept to a somewhat less-than-annoying level, and, most importantly, your wish list is fucking right on target. Voicing those opinions alone was worth the whole read, and I can only hope that the scenesters can appreciate the legitimacy of it.

Speaking from a non-scene perspective, you manage a good balance of appeasing those who go places simply to associate with something they think is cool (or worse, something they were told is cool) while, at the same time, including elements important to non-status driven audience (i.e., me).

As a vehement non-scenester, it would be easy for me to sit back and slam a social column without even reading it. However, the more important issue is to read it, weigh it, and objectively form an opinion (even if it contradicts my non-status status). To that end, great fucking job. You crossed a boundary and gained a reader.

-- Dave Mayr, Atlanta

Admitted racist?

To Jon Grantly ("Admitted Racist" letter Dec. 30): You seemed to defend the gruesome, barbaric and racist behavior of your white brethren. You stated that in the '30s and '40s whites viewed black people as a civilization that had not yet evolved. This was your justification for the crimes and horrors your race committed against my people. You said blacks had not gone through a period of enlightenment, there were no Aristotles, John Lockes or Thomas Aquinases.

Please remember that it was your people that brought my people to this country to do labor that your people were physically unfit to accomplish. Please also remember that in terms of math, science and geography your people are still trying to figure out how the pyramids in Africa were built.

During the '30s and '40s we had no Aristotle but we did have Lloyd Hall, we had no John Locke but we did have Benjamin Bannaker. We also had no and still have no Jeffery Dahmers, Adolph Hitlers or Timothy McVeighs.

Perhaps your people as they burned, raped and tortured their way through Europe did not evolve quite as much as you believe. The next time you grab a beer and grunt and scream as your favorite black athlete excels, try getting out your easy chair looking in the mirror and realizing that perhaps we all have some evolving to do.

-- Thomas Bonds, Atlanta

Supreme difference

God Bless Tom Houck and his liberal viewpoint (Flip Side, "Did the Supreme Court Rule Properly in Bush v. Gore?" Dec. 23). But, I respectfully disagree. We, Americans who voted for Vice President Al Gore in the presidential election, were not robbed and there is no need to "take to the streets."

Yes, Gore lost on a technicality. Yes, voting irregularities were rampant in Florida. But let's not forget that Gov. Bush lost the popular vote, and history will show that Bush lost the election.

I am relieved that my candidate will not inherit a teetering economy and acrimoniously divided country. Hopefully in 2004, the Gore-Lieberman ticket will prevail unanimously. I can understand if Houck blames our loss on Clinton's affair or subsequent voter idiocy (those who placed a higher priority on an out-going president's moral failures rather than eight years of a purring economy). I certainly believe that without these two variables, Gore would be our 43rd president and the country's highest court would never have been required to intercede.

-- Stacey Benton, Atlanta

Let's graduate from College

Whether the U.S. Supreme Court acted properly in preventing a recount of the votes in Florida remains debatable (Flip Side, "Did the Supreme Court Rule Properly in Bush v. Gore?" Dec. 23). However, the more troubling issue is that George W. Bush is our president even though Al Gore received about 500,000 more popular votes throughout the nation.

When the Constitution was created over two centuries ago, its founders adopted the electoral college as a compromise between having the president selected by the Congress or elected by the eligible citizens. Thus, the body of electors was designed to restrict -- not promote -- democracy. Since then, the consensus has been to give the people of this nation the right to choose their president. Nevertheless, we have preserved the use of electors, which tends to contradict our desire to employ the most democratic process.

If we truly want the will of the voters to prevail in every presidential election, we must amend the Constitution to abolish the electoral college and allow the popular vote throughout the nation to decide the winner. The ratification of such an amendment would have eliminated the need for the five weeks of litigation and conflict surrounding the Florida vote. It also would have prevented the candidate who lost the popular vote nationally from being chosen as president.

Eliminating the electoral college should not be a partisan issue. No candidate, regardless of party affiliation, should ascend to the presidency without receiving a majority of the popular votes. Congress and the state legislatures should commence efforts to correct this glaring defect in the Constitution before the 2004 election.

-- D. William Durr, Lithonia

Jonesing for common sense

Mr. Jones sounds like just another paranoid, babbling radical looking for anything at all to raise hell about (Flip Side, "Is MARTA's 25-cent Fare Hike Discriminatory?" Dec. 30). His comments on MARTA are mostly hogwash and his views on the so called "voting rights violation in Florida" are absolutely absurd. As much as the media would like to have a sensational story to report, they have not been able to substantiate any of the violations that Mr. Jones is so grateful to the Rev. Jesse Jackson for exposing. The problem with Rev. Jackson is he is always exposing one of his contrivances after another in his preposterous attempts to stay in the public eye. Rev. Jackson no longer holds any credibility among the intelligent, independent thinkers of our nation, regardless of race. The only ones still clinging to his tainted robes are those looking for someone to blame!

-- Tom Drolet, Alpharetta

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