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Going Postal

I'm begging
(In response to "The lust list," Feb. 12): In the name of all that's good and holy, please God, tell me which Pottery Barn Elle works in!

-- Kevin D. Bate, Roswell

Counting the days
John Sugg: Your article reinforced what I and many others around the world believe -- that our current administration might just be the most Stalinist government since, well, Stalin (Fishwrapper, "The war party's huckster," Feb. 12). As an American, I see our arrogance destroying our last group of at least semi-friends in NATO and also helping unleash the hell that will be coming from radical Islam. As a Jew, I am petrified for the destabilization Bush's war will have on Israel. As a secular humanist, I am aghast at what will be the total loss of life in many regions of the world and not just Iraq.

The only way to get politicians to stop what they are hell-bent on doing is to convince them that they will lose all subsequent elections if they pursue their current path.

-- Barry Norman, Acworth

Straddling the fence
John Sugg: I am a Gulf War veteran and a supporter of the war on terrorism. It never seems to amaze me how you liberal, armchair warriors are the biggest critics on a war you will never fight (Fishwrapper, "The war party's huckster," Feb. 12). It must be wonderful to be a self-righteous fence straddler while others defend your right of free speech. I am glad our forefathers who fought before us did not have your lack of intestinal fortitude.

You make the case that Powell and his ilk are lying con men. Are you saying you are better informed by your liberal media outlets? You say North Korea is a bigger threat than Iraq. Well, you are probably right, but let us destroy Iraq before Saddam has nuclear weapons like North Korea.

Just sit back, watch your MTV, wring your hands, and let others secure your freedom, but if you really want to set an example for those right-wing wackos Neal Boortz and George Bush Jr., volunteer for frontline duty. Maybe I can get back in the Army myself in my former position as tank platoon leader, and have the honor of leading a fine American as yourself.

I do not agree with your views, but I would give my life to see you have the ability to express them.

-- James Hyndman, Lawrenceville

Editor's note: Unlike many of the leaders of the War Party, John Sugg did serve his country in an active military unit (petty officer third class, U.S. Navy).

Taking risks
Kevin Griffis: You've done an outstanding job with this article ("Justice in peril," Feb. 5). I'm personally proud of you. For most of us practicing law, it really is not about a fee -- it is about people like this poor child who was so horribly injured by an arrogant, incompetent buffoon.

You made a great point about the $100,000-plus that the family's attorney risked on the case -- he stood a very real chance of losing it all if the case did not come out right. This kind of risk is why the contingency fee earned on matters like this is justified in spite of seeming so high. It compensates for an unbelievable amount of work, as well as the risk of possible financial ruin. It is incredibly tough to help terribly harmed people, both emotionally and physically, not to mention economically.

-- Phil Brown, Macon

You got your predictability
Kevin Griffis: You have done more for people and patients than you can imagine by telling the "whole" story ("Justice in peril," Feb. 5). Thank you. Hopefully, the rest of the media will begin to realize that doctors have been tricked by their insurance carriers into pointing their guns at their own patients.

As a result of your article, my hope is that doctors will realize that the ethical duty to "first, do no harm" means to protect their patients -- even from their own malpractice carriers. I hope that your article will remind the good doctors that premiums are paid not only for their own protection, but also to protect the trusting patient -- the one person in the equation doomed to live day in and day out with the consequences of another's carelessness.

I fear that in their greed for profit, medical malpractice insurers have forgotten that their industry exists first and foremost to compensate wrongly injured patients. If the current "crisis" for doctors is truly caused by skyrocketing premiums, then why isn't the solution to cap those premiums?

Tell me, insurance carriers, when you offer an insurance policy with preset limits of liability in exchange for a specified premium, haven't you already "capped" your financial exposure by your own contract? What more predictability can any business ask for?

You say there is a problem with frivolous medical malpractice suits? I challenge you to name one that wasn't dismissed by the judge without a jury.

-- Adam Malone, Atlanta

Eye to eye
Kevin Griffis: Thank you for your poignant article "Justice in peril" (Feb. 5). You have eloquently shown that the "tort reform" bill (or as I like to call it "A Doctor's Way of Never Having to Say You're Sorry") would, in fact, deny justice to the most seriously injured, especially children, homemakers and the elderly, who have no "lost wages" or "economic damages" to present to a jury.

"Tort reform" will say to Chris Wilson, a young man who will spend the entirety of his life bound in a wheelchair, that his agony, that the torture he must endure every day of his life is worth no more than $250,000. Your article helped put a face on this insanity called "tort reform" and I just hope and pray that legislators like Sen. Eric Johnson can look Chris Wilson in the eye and say, "Chris, the sheer torture that is your life is worth no more than $250,000."

-- Robin Frazer Clark, Atlanta

Open Forum
I want to clear up any misconceptions left from your reporting of David Mendoza's departure (Arts, "Bustin' out," Feb. 5). He was asked to leave his position and given several days to remove his personal belongings.

The Forum will continue its mission to offer customers exceptional art at affordable prices and artists a venue to blend their art with technology. The current exhibition, Miradas del arte Mexicano, will continue, as planned, until Friday, Feb. 14.

-- Deborah Eason, co-manager of the Defoor Centre

You take the high road ...
It strikes me that John Sugg spends little time actually investigating his articles as they are rampant in only one area -- their single-sidedness (Fishwrapper, "Being a 'bitch' at Kennesaw State," Feb. 5). I am not sure if Sugg could actually endeavor to produce a balanced article about Kennesaw State University.

In reference to the line "Kennesaw has wasted a bundle of state money over the years. It has been repeatedly sued for discrimination" from his rant, it should be noted that anyone could have written to the counsel of the Board of Regents and found that while KSU has been sued on several occasions for discrimination, when compared with three larger colleges (in Georgia), KSU is not even a player on the litigation scene. These schools have been sued more times than even Sugg can count and have an average of four times the discrimination suits of any school in Georgia, including KSU.

With regard to Nazi commentaries, the line "... but that the university yanked the course so that the press and the public wouldn't be reminded of the frequent eruptions of anti-Semitism on the campus," you actually came close to the mark but were still misguided. The course was pulled because of past suits in an effort NOT to offend anyone on campus.

It should be noted that the only people you continue to use as witnesses to KSU's "problems" are a small group of professors who feel they got the shaft. Even bad journalism schools teach that ousted employees tend to have a bitterness toward their former employer. It's amazing that you continue to use the same information from the same interview over and over ... one might assume that you don't actually care to dig for the truth but rather enjoy taking a self-created righteous high road from where the view is anything but clear.

-- Mark Hoerrner, Kennesaw

John Sugg responds: Mr. Hoerrner states that my sources are "ousted employees." The column was based mostly on information from four still-employed professors who are suing Kennesaw State for discrimination. It also dealt with the concerns of 14 tenured (and still employed) black faculty members, who have put their charges of racial discrimination in writing. The only three ex-employees mentioned were a former department chairwoman who won a court victory against KSU, a fired professor who received a sizable financial settlement from KSU, and a recently dismissed KSU secretary who feels she was subject to sexual harassment, attested to by her supervisor's written boast that he "fired the bitch."

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