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Going Postal

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Ayn Randism alive and well
Regarding Tina Trent's latest rant (Flip Side "Are Happy Days Here Again?" Jan. 13), I offer these thoughts. The thing you have to love about liberals like Trent is this: They feel no one but liberals are allowed to make emotional sweeping generalizations, often untrue and silly.

Case in point, her lame stab at those of us who still believe in the philosophy Of Ayn Rand after all these years. Oh no, Tina! I'm 31 years old. In nine years I will be "an idiot or worse" according to perfect observational wisdom of today. Please help me.

Sorry, Ms. Trent. The philosophy of Ayn Rand, unlike victim liberalism-feminism, is alive and well in the year 2001. We are anything but idiots "or worse."

Atlas has indeed shrugged if you have not noticed by now.

-- Tony Zizza, Austell

A reason to bitch
Dear Ms. Gillespie: Your recent "A Reason to Live" (Jan. 6) column is a perfect example of your self-absorbed, self-obsessed, whiny writing style.

Who gives a damn about your pathetic life and that cast of sexually challenged characters. I have never read such crap in my life: "cruddy butt," and "constipated boa constrictor" -- oh please!! Ms. Gillespie, you stink as a writer and your columns are the rambling of one fucked-up, neurotic female -- you are female aren't you? Happy New Year.

-- Charles Jackson, Atlanta

Artful Arnett
I was glad to see that the article on Bill Arnett ("Inside the World of Outsider Art," Jan. 6) wasn't the usual one-sided attack. Several years ago, when I was a graduate student at Emory with an interest in outsider art, Mr. Arnett was totally generous with his time and information, and allowed me to view his collection, even fixing me a turkey sandwich.

Yes, he's a zealot, but he's a man with a mission, and to me it looks less self-serving than that of most businessmen. His respect and affection for the artists he collects and represents is genuine, as the comments of Thornton Dial and other artists quoted in your article support, and his eye for what's great and what's not in this area of the art world, still seems, to my mind, the best in the business.

-- Nadya R. Belins, Atlanta

Liberal rag wipes up with Jones
Thomas A. Jones keeps fightin' the fight (Flip Side, "Is MARTA's 25-cent Fare Hike Discriminatory?" Dec. 30)! It would be nice if he could produce a logical and coherent argument, but I know that this liberal rag is as likely to tone down his racist drivel as it is to counter-balance the constant pro-queer and feminist rants. It seems that as far as Mr. Jones is concerned MARTA is just another way for Mister Charlie to dupe the black man.

Why bother acknowledging the truth that Mr. Renaldo reminds us of, the fact that MARTA has over a $6 million budget deficit when Mr. Jones wants to keep living in his pretend world in which MARTA fares from three decades ago should still exist.

People in Cobb, Gwinnett, Clayton and other counties pay income taxes to the government and the government funds MARTA. People in those same counties ride MARTA and pay the fares. There is only one MARTA train stop outside of Fulton and DeKalb counties and that is at the airport. The bus service is also limited to Fulton and DeKalb with only a few exceptions.

And Mr. Jones wonders why his "people" should bare the burden of a 1 percent tax? As far as I know, the law extends to "non-black" retail establishments as well. I think the question we all should be asking is why do Atlanta officials all seem to have such a difficult time managing money wisely and honestly?

It is much easier to just blame it on the half of the MARTA board that is white. And I guess his "clients" might get upset if he went around calling Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr. (General Manager/CEO of MARTA) an Uncle Tom.

It is true that to a rich black Gwinnettian a $.25 increase isn't much, but to a poor white single mother in Lakewood it might be a tad bit of an inconvenience. I know it would be racist of me to ask why she is single and a mother and working for minimum wage, but see I'm only trying to "walk a mile" in her ragged shoes. Oh wait ... if she takes MARTA I doubt she has to walk that much at all.

-- Patricia Smith, Atlanta

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