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The facts 

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Living wages are not a panacea. Poverty is complicated, as are its solutions. Where else can we start in our battle to end modern-day slavery but to pay full-time, hardworking individuals enough to live on? Businesses are fighting this as they did during the Civil War and the New Deal programs. Business survived both, and business will survive the Living Wage Ordinance. Reality is that low-wage earners are hardworking, they live in poverty -- and our tax dollars make that possible. I'm tired of backing slave wages and hearing whiny business owners trying to weasel out of doing the right thing.

-- Lisa Roling, Athens Coalition on Living Wage

Spoiling it all
I just finished reading "Damn spam" (July 10), and I must say I am astonished that someone would actually defend the use of spam as a legitimate means of marketing. I am referring to attorney Mark Felstein, who seems to be playing devil's advocate on the issue for the sake of fame and fortune.

Spam is a very serious problem for many of us -- so much so that reading personal e-mails becomes a tedious chore, rather than something one does for enjoyment. It isn't easy enough to delete it or opt-out. I am an EarthLink subscriber, and I still get anywhere from 25 to 50 pieces of spam a day. If I go a few days without weeding out all the junk, I'll easily have 200-plus messages in my in-box. Just deleting it only fixes the symptom, not the root of the problem. And like you said in your article, it is "the rarest of spam" that actually has a functioning opt-out link.

I find it interesting that Felstein chose to use the "few bad apples" analogy. It seems he has forgotten about the second half of that analogy, where the entire bunch becomes spoiled.

-- Alex Carson, Atlanta

Beacon for listeners
I am very disappointed in the effort put forth to describe WRFG's 30th year (Vibes, "A political air," July 10). As a vibrant and important counterpart of CL in the vein of alternative media, you should have had much more to say, as they have plenty to say when it comes to challenges of competing with mainstream commercial media. Did you drop by the station? Did you attend one of the events? Did you take the time to even talk to any of the hundreds of supporters, or even thousands of listeners who have made 89.3 the most vital media outlet in Atlanta, if not the Southeast? We are in the waning days of independent ideas and expressions soon to be governed by board rooms, bar graphs and bottom lines. Please try and help WRFG fulfill its mission to Atlantans and the metro area. It is much more than an anomoly at the bottom of the dial, but a beacon for listeners looking for good music and honest news programming.

-- Mike Danner, Savannah

Hang up the phone
Being a 26-year-old professional who has yet to seriously consider purchasing a cell phone, I wanted to say thanks for pointing out all the reasons I have yet to buy one (Headcase, "The noisy epidemic," July 10). It seems that society is constantly trying to create something we cannot live without.

A co-worker once asked me, "If you don't have a cell phone, how do you talk to your friends?"

My response: "When I see them in person."

-- Adam Karcz, Atlanta

Race played no part
What an asinine sack of scum your article was, insinuating that there was some racial basis for Gov. Perdue's lowering of the flags in memory of Lester Maddox and not Maynard Jackson (Weekly Scalawag, "Lester Maddox," July 3).

I guess someone must remind you that Jackson was mayor of Atlanta. Lowering of flags on city property was appropriate for his memorial. I don't recall that he was ever governor of the state of Georgia.

However, Lester Maddox was governor. Therefore lowering of the flags on the Capitol grounds in his honor was appropriate.

There, nothing to do with race!

-- Deborah Humphries, Loganville

Nothing would change
(In response to Fishwrapper, "Regime change starts at home," July 3): I completely agree with you, but impeaching George W. Bush would (I guess) leave the rest of the administration (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Woolsey, Ashcroft) in place. And since he has been merely their puppet and mouthpiece all along, what would change? I applaud your courage to say the things you said in your column, and I wonder who else is saying these things besides Sen. Robert Byrd? Is there anything individual citizens can do? Is there yet a concerted effort to blast through the propaganda-besotted state-of-mind of the Union?

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