There's no honor in honoring Zell
I am appalled at the idea of a statue honoring Zell Miller (Fallout, Word, Feb. 15).
No one should forget his Senate speech after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, in which he stated: "I say bomb the hell out of them. If there's collateral damage, so be it. They certainly found our citizens to be expendable."
This was a monstrous, profoundly immoral statement. The people Miller dismissed as "collateral damage" were utterly innocent Afghan men, women and children -- civilians who bore no more responsibility for the World Trade Center attack than those Americans who died in it.
Miller's words were nothing less than a call for mass murder. They put him on the same moral level as the terrorists themselves: perfectly willing to kill thousands of innocent people in order to achieve political ends.
Those infamous words are more than enough to disqualify him for a statue, or any other honor. Indeed, they prove him unfit to be in the company of decent men and women.
-- James W. Harris, Rydal
Fight the power
Mr. Sugg is doing an amazing job of bringing back true journalism, especially with his last article, (Metropolis, "Kathryn Johnston's real killer," Feb. 15). He makes one of the best connections I've seen in print: the war on drugs and the war on terror. Both of these "wars" accomplish nothing but INCREASING what the war is waged upon: drug dealing and terrorist activity. The bulk of the "collateral damage" falls upon regular people, whether it's the weed dealers in jail or the 655,000 Iraqis killed on lies. I think basically every thinking person in this country -- the rest of the world found out a long time ago -- now knows that both of these wars are wasting time, money and especially lives. So why is Bush allowed to continue and expand them? Why are we still relying on the spineless politicians who supposedly represent us? Do we not want to hurt feelings? Are we too busy to participate in our democracy outside voting? Have we grown too apathetic to stop our own government from acting like Nazis? Is anyone else anywhere nearly as ashamed as I am? If so, let's do something about it before they take the REST of our rights away.
-- Misty Novitch, Dunwoody
Major kudos to John Sugg for his outstanding column (Metropolis, "Kathryn Johnston's real killer," Feb. 15). Imagine if we had no "drug-related crime." Imagine if our overall crime rate was a small fraction of our current crime rate.
We once had such a situation here in the United States. Prior to the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914, the term "drug-related crime" didn't exist. And drug lords, drug cartels or even drug dealers as we know them today didn't exist either.
Back then, all types of recreational drugs were legally sold to anybody with no questions asked, for pennies per dose in grocery stores and pharmacies. Did we have a lot more drug addicts then compared with now? No. We had about the same percentage of our population addicted to drugs, according to U.S. federal Judge John L. Kane of Colorado.
Since the vast majority of all of our violent crime and property crime is caused by our drug-prohibition policies, the common-sense solution is to relegalize all of our now-illegal drugs. Then the drugs can be sold in legal, regulated and licensed business establishments. Then drug dealers as we know them today will disappear for economic reasons. Then our so-called "drug-related crime" will be in our past -- not our future. This would eliminate the lure of the "forbidden fruit" that makes drugs so attractive to children.
-- Kirk Muse, Mesa, Ariz.
Rollergirls in Underground?
I read with interest your article about Underground Atlanta in a recent issue (cover story, "Code blue," Jan. 25). I worked downtown for a few years, attended Central Atlanta Progress First Thursdays meetings, Marketing for the Arts meetings, etc., and I heard a lot about downtown's improvements, and some of the struggles that Underground has been through.
I would like to engage some of the people that you talked to for your article in a conversation about a possible partnership between the Atlanta Rollergirls and other parties with an interest in reviving the downtown area. I know that might sound a little crazy, but the more I think about it, the more I think it could be a possibility.
This is the third season for our all-volunteer amateur league. Roller Derby is sweeping the country again, and this time it is here to stay. There are more than 100 flat-track roller-derby leagues in the nation, and our Atlanta league is currently ranked in the top 20.
PUBLICITY: We have been featured on every news channel, including an award-winning WPBA documentary, and in every publication in Atlanta. Our announcers are DJs for 99X and give us lots of coverage on the station. We have also been on other radio stations in the region.
DEMOGRAPHICS: Although our current location is a roller-skating rink in Stone Mountain, on a "school night," and even though we have no beer sales, we regularly draw crowds of 600-1,000 fans at our Sunday evening matches. Many of these are the "hip" intown crowd, and we have many "local celebrities" at our matches. From hip-hop artists such as Ludacris to local music-scene writers and nightclub owners, party promoters, music-industry executives, drag queens, you name it. We also have plenty of "OTP" types, moms and dads bring their kids, the sports lovers from Buckhead, etc. And guess what? EVERYONE gets along, in a big melting pot of subcultures. We have NEVER had any fights or disturbances.
CROSS PARTNERING: Our grassroots relationships have expanded our fan base. We have worked with everyone from the Inman Park Festival and The Starlight Drive-In, to World Of Wheels Car Show and the East Atlanta Strut parade.
WHAT WE NEED: A venue that can allow us to grow, convenient to MARTA. We are outgrowing our current venue and need to expand. We would like to have a capacity of at least 1,500 fans, up to 3,000 or maybe even 5,000. We skate on a flat track; it is an oval approximately 100 feet long by 50 feet wide. The preferred floor type is wooden like a basketball court, but we can also skate on polished concrete slabs, or install a fairly cheap SPORT COURT surface. We would also like to work toward having beer sales at our events.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
-- Sara Riney aka Hot Legs Hooligan, Atlanta