I have just finished reading Greg Land's article on the poor sewer system ("EPA: City's Sewer Plan Destined to Fail," Dec. 9), and the lack of concern by our "city leaders." You would think that the city would be embarrassed by this situation, but they are shameless and would rather put more money in the Atlanta Housing Authority than our infrastructure.
As a native Atlantan I am continually disappointed by the cavalier attitude of our council and their blind eye to the basic charter to serve the needs of the city.
We saw the flights of sandhill cranes go over Ansley park yesterday, and one of our group said, "You think you have seen a flight of sandhill cranes, that was actually Atlanta policemen taking flight from the city." I have not been a regular reader of CL, but appreciate what you have tried to do with this on-target article. Keep up the good reporting.
-- Art Benton, Atlanta
Either way, they're in prison
I read Greg Land's article "Private Prisons: Specter of Slavery?" (Dec. 16) ... very informative. Had no idea that 46 percent of 2 million prisoners are Black and 18 percent are Hispanic!
Nevertheless, I have no problem with the prisons being operated by private industry. Either way, tax money goes to pay for them. As long as they meet government standards, what's the real difference?
Frankly, I thought this "three times and you are out" vote under Miller grossly increased the Georgia prison population. As to this Rev. McDonald saying to profit off human misery is typical of a socialist mentality: We all make a living in some way directly or indirectly off of misfortune.
-- Conrad Freeman, MD, Atlanta
Praise for Berry
I really enjoyed your "Boycott Florida," [column] (Dec. 16). My family and I usually go to Destin every year and I am going to suggest that we follow your lead. This would truly have a negative impact on the Florida tax base.
For the past 15 years my dad, a retired army colonel, and mom have rented a house, several cabins and hotel rooms at a military resort complex in Destin and about 40 of my relatives come down over the course of two weeks and invade the city.
I say "invade" because it's very rare to see that many black people collectively in Destin, especially during the earlier years.
I am going to refer your column to my Dad, siblings, children, grandparents, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins to justify how we need to change our vacation plans. My mom died three years ago and it hasn't been the same anyway, so what the hell.
I have really liked your political viewpoint since I read the article you wrote about Bob (I'm Not Black) Barr being short. I loved it.
I also like how you get on Newt's case too! Have you noticed how Newt has started showing up on the different talk shows and news programs in the last few days? He's trying to get back in. Just think, if he had not starting messing around with that Calista babe, he would literally be a heartbeat away from the presidency (what with Dick Cheney's bad ticker).
Any way, you should have a great time with Bush being the "illegitimate pretender." Were you the one who said the Dubya was "Dan Quayle with better handlers?" Have fun. I look forward to reading more from you.
-- Connie Moore, Lithonia
Jeff Berry, regarding your "Boycott Florida" column (Dec. 16): As a Russian immigrant, now living in Atlanta, I'm interested to know exactly which characteristics of the Bush family you believe directly correspond to characteristics of Joseph Stalin?
-- Ludmilla Romanova, Atlanta
And so are they
Hello Jeff: Regarding your "Boycott Florida" column (Dec. 16): As a Russian immigrant, now living in Atlanta, I'm interested to know exactly which characteristics of the Bush family you believe directly correspond to characteristics of Joseph Stalin?
-- S. Sweat, Atlanta
Think Tank? More like Drunk Tank
Jeff, Think Tank? Then, you must be an idiot.
I would love to further surmise that point, except I have already wasted five irretrievable minutes of my life reading and responding to your irrational, foaming "rant." "Stalinistic" what? Are you smoking crack?
Please exercise your First Amendment right in the future by actually using your mind before trying to speak it -- if, in fact, you have either (be that a mind or a future).
I would have thought that CL, in its esteemed journalistic integrity, was exercising editorial and "artistic" license for the more intellectual denizens of our community. Now, even the idiots are embarrassed. In any event, have fun with the brilliant scheme to boycott Florida! I don't know who will feel the pinch first -- citrus or tourism? And, I was really looking forward to going down there this year, but alas, your absence will be a scarring reminder! I think you may have hit them below the belt this time, Jeff!
Dang, I don't suspect they do much else down there but squeeze orange juice, wait for your annual arrival and march in lock-step to that "tyrannical and maniacal" drum beat you said of the Republican nazis. Surely, that 'nanner 'public will succumb when they get news of this call to order by Jeff Berry to protest, huh?
But, wherever you decide to squat this year on vacation, please stay off the beach. And, whatever else you do, take a deep breath and resolve not to be a moron. Put the "think" back in the (drunk) tank.
-- D.B. Jones, Atlanta
I didn't even read the article behind the cover story ("Hail to the Grief," Dec. 16) ... no need to. The statement that the next president will "have a hard time getting anything done" is a little short-sighted, don't you think?
Now Gore has conceded, the Republicans control the White House, the Senate and the House is split, I'd say they can pretty much do what they like. I've even seen plenty of articles about how the "Blue Dog" Dems are tired of the rampant liberal agenda over the last eight years and ready to work with the majority.
Yes, there are conservative Democrats still left in this county. I realize that it was published before the long-awaited concession by Gore, but Bush was easily in the running wasn't he? This cover looks like wishful thinking on the part of Creative Loafing.
-- Greg Hammen, Atlanta
Though an admitted racist (I prefer anti-African or pro-European), I have never wanted to see anyone suffer or be lynched. The lynching display under debate at Emory ("Strange Fruit," Dec. 9) shows the barbarism of a time just before I was born, and in my own lifetime during the '20s, '30s and '40s I was able to put a human face on the perpetrators of this atrocity, in the same way I can still do today with the long-forgotten proponents of segregation.
In the 1930s and '40s when a white man looked at a black man he saw evidence of a civilization which had not evolved, a civilization which had not passed through the Renaissance, Enlightenment of Age of Invention. In short, he saw his own barbaric roots untempered by the hard-won steps of progress that Europe climbed throughout its often despicable history. He felt threatened by the horrors of a brutal past.
The closer black men came into our civilization, the more we felt threatened by the shadows of the past. There was no Aristotle, no Thomas Aquinas, no John Locke, no process of painful amelioration -- just savagery, just sexual energy and ever pounding, pounding drumbeat that the barbarian had arrived and that our social institutions were in doubt. The intellectual segregationists knew this and blew hard on the whistle.
And were they all wrong? Look at the world today with its lessened standards and lax morality and sexual preoccupation in music and the arts.
It was more than just not getting a drink out of the same water faucet.
-- Jon Grantly, Atlanta