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Going Postal 

My Baby Daddy
A big thank you to Greg Land for starting a dialog on paternity fraud here in Atlanta, ("Who's Your Daddy?", May 2). His coverage and the public meeting were a good start. I say a good start because the war against men in Georgia rages on.

Think about this. Sen. Tanksley stalls on HB 369 because he thinks paternity fraud should have time limits. NOW lobbyist Vickie McLennan offers very vague commentary, unable to admit paternity fraud is criminal. And we're supposed to believe there isn't a war against men in Georgia? Come on, if a man owes child support there are a plethora of ways to recover what's owed, but if the man's DNA answers "no" to the question: "Who's your daddy?" well, HB 369 does not even require that the child support paid (I mean, stolen) by the wrong man be returned. You've got to be kidding me!

I hope CL and everyone else stays on the paternity fraud bandwagon. Paternity fraud is a crime, as are a host of other ways parents are victimized by our courts. With paternity fraud, the remedy is so simple: "If the genes don't fit, you must acquit." After all, most of the time you get your money back if a vending machine steals it. So why won't we return money women have stolen from men in the form of paternity fraud?

-- Tony Zizza

Not foreign to your pain, Cliff
Cliff:I was sorry to read that you had received poor responses to your article, "Not German, but wishing I were" (Paradigms, April 11). Having worked for a German company for the past 10 years and traveling to Europe (mainly Germany) at least twice per year, I knew exactly what you were going through and saw the humor in your report. I'm still chuckling about it.

As a matter of fact, I was having a somewhat civil conversation with a colleague from Belgium last week during a conference in Germany. She is a recent graduate, age 25 and, as you suggest in "Love it or Leave it" (Paradigms, May 2), her philosophical and political passions are at peak level.

Referring to the recent presidential election and subsequent debacle in Florida she said, "You didn't know who you wanted to vote for!" There was also the usual commentary on issues like capital punishment, poverty, guns and healthcare. People like this young woman have their minds made up about the U.S. and Americans, so trying to defend yourself or your country is fruitless. All one can do is remain calm and try to provide context without being arrogant.

On the other hand, a number of our domestic embarrassments are rather hard to explain outside the country. For example, your observations concerning the global profile of George W. Bush hold true. During this same conference, people from Asia, Latin American and Europe were at least curious to know how I felt about President Bush, whether or not they had a personal criticism of him. Most were in disbelief over the administration's environmental policies, primarily for not signing the Kyoto agreement. Overall, their impressions of W are not good.

Oh well. What's one to do when Nationalism gets in the way? It's too bad that more of the world's people couldn't spend time together and discover all the things we have in common.

-- Marc Marton, Roswell

Kudos for Renaldo and Bostock
Praises and cheers, to [Mr. Renaldo's column], "How Many More Lives, Dollars Must Be Wasted?" (Think Tank, May 2) Alcohol and tobacco account for more deaths and accidents than drug abuses or overdoses. I never have understood why people cannot see the hypocrisy of saying, "These substances are illegal -- these two aren't." The lack of sound reasoning in our society is appalling.

I [also] appreciated [Cliff Bostock's], "Can We Put That in the Dustbin, Please?" (Paradigms, May 2). Answers to important problems are rarely of the True/False variety. One possible solution to the problem is: Parents (and all adults as well) should do what they can to inspire their children to love learning, especially history. My son did a report for Black History Month on the inventor Garrett Morgan, and he loved doing it. This month, I will be trying to reach his classmates by portraying Harry S Truman in a short monologue at his elementary school.

Neither of these is a solution. But similar activities, done over many months, are almost certain to bring results. This is the main reason no one likes to hear this solution. It takes "too much time," offers no "instant gratification" and pays no money. But in the long run, it will be worth it.

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