-- John Johnston, Atlanta
I enjoyed [Cliff Bostock's] column titled "Love It or Leave It" (May 2). I was born in Atlanta and grew up in Augusta. I remember only too well the imperialist mentality that swirled throughout this military town during the '60s and early '70s. There was no room in the hearts and minds of the population here for any objection to the Vietnam War. The male population especially were completely in harmony with the government's mission to stomp out communism. Although I assume that the reason for the unyielding voracious evisceration of commie mayhem was coerced by the fact that Fort Gordon was, in the '60s, a basic training military base for those being deported to Vietnam. The local economy prospered mightily, needless to say, as President Johnson's overseas policies were carried out.
I have found in the time I have been on this earth that people, who will embrace the philosophy of "Love It or Leave It" are absolutely blind to the cultures or countries that are affected by such attitudes. After all these years, I still cannot fathom the behavior of people in this regard. And I am saddened to learn (though not surprised) that those among us who espouse unrelenting Love It or Leave It for whatever cause or condition they celebrate still exist.
-- Timothy Thornton, Augusta
the brunt of the presidency
Thanks for your insights in the last Think Tank column (Paradigms, "Love It or Leave It," May 2). I too have traveled extensively throughout the world, both under the previous Bush administration and under Clinton. Under Bush, I was hammered constantly about American policies, under Clinton I was praised.
I find it distressing how G. Bush is handling the country, but there seems to be a lot of discontent out there. Thankfully we live in a country where we can voice our opinions. There seems to be a lot of discontent with Bush -- both overseas and here at home. It's all very similar to Newt Gingrich circa 1994, and I think come 2002, we'll see the same result we saw under Gingrich -- a Democratic majority in Congress.
As the world's only remaining superpower, we govern not only ourselves, but the rest of the world by default of the policies we put in place. We need to consider the interest of the world community when we make decisions that effect them. The decisions we make in the United States have broad implications worldwide -- but such implications could be lost on a governor who had only made three trips abroad before he became president. It takes a little legwork to understand the world and our place in it. Cheers!
-- Brent Dey, Atlanta
Just for the record (and I live right off Moreland, on Mansfield, and I agree that it's a scary street to cross even when the traffic signals are working), baby strollers are not necessarily traffic accident prophylaxis or the solution to getting about at crowded festivals (Jane Says, "My New Wheels," May 2). I do a lot of walking and running in Candler Park, Inman Park, Druid Hills and Decatur, and I think that some drivers look at strollers as 2 points vs. 1. And don't tell me they don't see my huge red baby jogger with 14-month-old Leah in it.
At the Inman Park festival this weekend, strollers get 50-50 attention ... some folks ignore them (and promptly get their heels clipped) and some folks facilitate them. Depends which side of the kid question they are on, I guess. Let us know when you are ready for the baby thing. I think the water in Candler Park is spiked or something, so beware! -- Anastasia Hopkins Folpe
(and Leah Susan Folpe), Candler Park
If a tree falls in the woods ...
For the past month and a half Bush Jr. and John Ashcroft have been dragging their heels about enforcing the so-called "Roadless Rule" which would protect 58.5 million acres from logging, mining and road building ("The Chainsaws Are Revving," April 18). The rule, passed by Clinton at the end of his presidency after three years of scientific studies, 600 public hearings and a record 1.7 million favorable public comments, was supposed to come into effect in March.
Instead of carrying out a democratically decided law of the land that would preserve and protect some of the remaining wild areas in this country (including 63,000 acres of our own much beleaguered Chattahoochee National Forest), Bush and Ashcroft have hijacked the Roadless Rule for their own purposes of kowtowing to corporate interests in Montana, Alaska and Washington, D.C., where the rule is being challenged. This is a travesty of democracy. Elected officials cannot selectively decide which laws to enforce. This is only further proof that American politics is governed by corporate money, not by we, the people. -- Amanda Kail, Decatur
Giants on high
After what will soon be 79 years of living and working in this country, I'm convinced more than ever, to paraphrase George Orwell, that a group of well-fed and all-powerful giants looks down from on high on our measly endeavors, moving their fingers occasionally to fuck things up for their own ends.
Take for instance Kevin Griffis' article ("A Rebirth Deferred," May 2) about the west side wasteland around Hunter Street, a once thriving black residential and commercial center. What happened? Of course it was integration, a social movement to which even the most ardent racist among us must now assent. But, not so fast. I'm old enough to easily remember segregation and the great African-American fortunes it created. Only the funeral directors and preachers remain to take advantage of what was once a protected and exclusive customer base. Yet in the segregated black communities of the past that shadowy cadre of Negro millionaires took root. Their children, still affluent, are here among us today, sending their offspring to Howard, remaining virtually invisible, occasionally stepping into the political arena. The average black peon, like his white counterpart, was only too happy to board a bus to take his money to a faceless megacomplex somewhere else. He was now fair game to be manipulated by the same material obsessions and unbridled consumerism as the rest of us. And all under the noble banner of equality. Go somewhere once forbidden. Spend your cash. Buy a house on a barren clay patch and help drive the real estate market by sending hapless whites even farther out into newer and more expensive homes.
Another example of the unseen hand of the powerful and remote is in the frenzy recently generated by Georgia's dropout rate. There are cliques of people who profit from it in new remedial programs, blue ribbon panels and school reform gestures, but the real fact is that the socially and materially endowed have no more to fear from the dropout rate than they did 60 years ago. Black or white, they will continue to send their kids to excellent private academies. Do Paideia and Woodward concern themselves over this recent dropout spike? No, because the problem is well beneath them, a product of a lower social order, a segment more prone to scare tactics and manipulation. The U.S. will continue to have the same number of well-educated leaders as ever. If anything, the good credentials of this class will be even more in demand, given the so-called failure of popular education. Browbeating and commotion will ensue but for the real unseen directors of civilization -- all civilization -- absolutely nothing will change. Yes, a race of multicolored giants looms above us and perhaps laughs. -- Jon Grantly, Atlanta