Blaming nature not the answer
After Mount Vesuvius periodically erupts, the survivors rebuild. As Vesuvians did, New Yorkers are rebuilding, as the New Orleanians eventually will do ("Overwhelmed," Sept. 8). Blame for 9/11 fell to bearded boogiemen. Who will be the culprit for diluvian Katrina? Look in the mirror -- mea culpa! Are not the grizzly remains along the Gulf Coast evidence of the cost of the "American way"?
Reconstruction can be done without messing with Mother Nature. Restoring natural coastal barriers is as critical as rebuilding the levees. Had there been dunes and undrained marshes, the levees might have held.
While flood control is beyond our individual means, relying on vulnerable fuel sources is. We all know how. My wife and I have begun walking the mile to the market for bread instead of using our gas-guzzler.
Blaming nature is futile. We must act daily to respect Mother Nature. Consider our responsibilities as we commute alone after an air-conditioned night's sleep. How many more warnings will we get before we get it?
-- Jon H. Carlsten, Atlanta
It changed me
Like your article (Headcase, "The new Antoinettes," Sept. 8). It really changed my mind. I had really grown angry at the news for focusing on New Orleans so much and not the rest of the ravaged Gulf Coast. I mean that honestly with no sarcasm. I don't know what to say, other than touché! You have done what is rarely done: changed one person for the better.
Only one point you made lessens the effectiveness of your article. You said, "Jonah Goldberg ... is the son of Lucianne Goldberg, who helped Linda Tripp convince Monica Lewinsky to make a blowjob a national crisis." I don't care who gave who a blowjob. I do care about perjury.
Many writers on the left or right may have something good and valid to say to the other side but push away those readers by including something that will make them say, "He ain't right!" When one of the compassionate conservatives reads your quote above, you will have given them a "out." Now they can say you are a liberal, Democrat, or whatever reduces your credibility. Now whatever you write is "just liberal crap" because of that one sentence that they will not agree with. If you would have just said it more moderately/neutrally, then you would hold more people to the end.
In your articles, are you trying to enlighten someone who does not share your view, or repeat to someone who already agrees with you? It is just cheerleading to repeat, but it is truly noble to enlighten. You make the world a better place, one idiot at a time.
-- Brian Jones, Perry
Did you actually see it?
I don't mind criticism when it's due (Scene & Herd, "Black gay elves," Sept. 8). I personally feel I frelled the song, but that's because I am supposedly a trained vocalist and am very hard on myself. I did not support the sound fully in some areas (I think due to stage fright), but as long as most of the audience liked it, it's all good.
It doesn't look to me like the author of the article even showed up to watch the pageant. It was written in a sarcastic style that is meant to fool managing editors. If he/she/it actually watched, he/she/it would have or should have mentioned the actual singing part of the talent portion of the contest (something like "the contestant belted out something classical but with a beat in hopes of drawing the audience into a rhythmic stupor"). The comment about the ridge was a dead giveaway as many of the other ridges of the contestants were much more defined than mine. Anyone who actually watched the pageant would have known that.
So I put it to the author of the article: Did you even watch the pageant or did you place your butt in the infamous Hyatt bar, where most of the action actually is? If you did watch, why didn't you critique the pageant like you were assigned? I would have written a much different story (including the many times I screwed up).
"Star Trek" fans are an interesting and eclectic breed. Many feel taking pot shots at "Star Trek" fans is fun and worth a laugh or two. I'll give you that, as "Star Trek" fans who actually admit to being fanatics tend to be overt about it. When those pot shots are taken, though, it shows some intelligence on the part of the "pot shooter" to actually have seen the program once or twice (or in this case, to actually have seen the pageant about which the article was written).
-- Rita Howard, Oviedo, Fla.
One comes, two go
I want to thank you for at least shedding a little light on the police pay issue once again (News & Views, "At APD, easy come, easy go," Sept. 1). It is truly a sad time in the department's history.
If you are having problems filling positions and keeping officers, what may be the cause? Once identified, what would be the solution? It is hard to believe that once the problem is identified that they would not want to propose a solution. I don't think that a 10 percent to 20 percent pay raise would bankrupt the city with all the new development in [Atlantic Station].
More police would definitely be great for this city, no doubt, but what good is one new officer if two experienced officers leave?
-- Donald Schmitz, Atlanta
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