Letters to the Editor 

What could've happened?

After reading the story about Jack Snook, I couldn't help but wonder how different the outcome could have been if Snook and his friends hadn't been drunk and belligerent ("War story," Oct. 13). Charles Key definitely acted irrationally when alledgedly choosing to shoot Snook, but I feel as if the shooting could have possibly been avoided if Snook and his friends chose to just drive away instead of provoking the situation.

By Chris Francisco, Atlanta

Winners and losers

While he was warning us we are gonna die from bird flu, Doug Monroe mentioned an important fact: Hospitals are overcrowded and do not have the flexibility or resources to respond to a mass emergency (Humbug Square, "Pest house memories," Oct. 13).

His quote from Emory University's Dr. Art Kellerman pointed out that ambulance diversion (aka hospital roulette) is a serious health care issue on any typical day, let alone in the wake of a terrorist attack or sudden disease pandemic.

But Kellerman's political demonstration by health care providers in Washington, D.C., was held in the wrong place. The Gold Dome should be the location of a protest, because the Georgia Legislature has the power to alleviate hospital overcrowding statewide.

The repeal (or judicial overturning) of Georgia's Certificate of Need system would restore some lost freedom to health care. Almost certainly there would be an increase in the number of private hospitals, greater convenience for patients, and lower prices through healthy competition.

By Anthony Trauring, Decatur

Farce of a festival

I would like to thank Alyssa Abkowitz and John Sugg for exposing the idiosyncrasies (and idiocies) of the Hammerfest 2005 in Paulding County (News & Views, "Fascist fest," and SuggBlog, "A rural South afternoon -- with the Nazis," Oct. 6). As a 35-year-old black/Native American female with dreadlocks, it never ceases to amaze me that there are thousands that take these philosophies to heart, while using the First Amendment as a crutch for their hatred.

And while I know that there are certain black groups that dispense similar rhetoric, it doesn't make things any better. I would like to point out, however, that not all skinheads are racist ignoramuses. In fact, the neo-Nazis stole the term from the true skinheads of England and Jamaica, who originated in the 1940-'50s. They're comprised of mainly family-oriented, working-class men and women of all different races, sexual orientations, religionsIn general, the only things they dislike are "The Man" (overbearing authority figures), anything overtly mainstream that causes society to act as sheep, and just general disrespect for one's life/existence.

I just wanted these facts to be brought out so readers' minds are enlightened instead stupefied and confused, like those attending that farce of a festival.

By Denise Atkins, East Point

Don't do it

Having strong personal ties to Venezuela, I feel obligated to make observations regarding Andisheh Nouraee's column (Don't Panic, "Is the United States planning to invade Venezuela?" Oct. 6):

1) The elections of Hugo Chavez have been anything but "free." Since 1998, elections have been rife with fraud, extortion and assassinations.

2) Although Venezuela does not possess weapons of mass destruction, it does aid and abet terrorism. In fact, U.S., U.N. and Colombian intelligence all suggest that Hamas and FARC operate training facilities in Venezuela.

3) Venezuela is a fascist state. Although American liberals often misuse the term "fascist" as a pejorative synonym for "conservative," fascism is an economic system in which industry is privately owned, but administered by the state (often impetuously).

I agree with Mr. Nouraee's conclusion, however, that the United States certainly will not (and should not) invade Venezuela.

By Seth J. Mason, Atlanta

president/editor, Vida Latina

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