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Letters to the Editor (2) - June 28 2006

Master of his domain, star wars and ostrich feathers

MASTER OF HIS DOMAIN

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Thanks for the review (Flicks, "Master builder," June 22). I've met Gehry on several occasions and his insecurities are transparently obvious. At first I thought he was playing the humble act, but upon interacting with him on and off over five years, it became clear that the man really is quite unsure of himself. I'll propose a hypothesis for the insecurity that is indirectly implied in your review but never stated: It arises because he's very aware that the "brand" and "spectacles" criticisms have more than a bit of truth! I once saw him give a slide show of his earlier work; some really atrocious stuff. Anyway, enjoyed your perspective. Keep up the great work!

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-- Mike Carey, Atlanta

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STAR WARS

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What's the deal with your review of L'Thai (Food & Drink, "The Thai that binds," June 22)? You praised just about everything about the restaurant, but then you gave it two out of five stars. That does not make sense. I don't know how you decipher star rating systems, but to me two out of five stars, being less than half, means "worse than average."

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-- Jeffrey Patch, Tucker

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OSTRICH FEATHERS

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OK, it's time for the Ostrich of the Year awards; Ken Edelstein and Alyssa Abkowitz ... you are the winners for 2006 (From the Editor; cover story, "Plaza fiesta!" June 22)!

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Gawd, where should I begin? Like everyone doesn't know that the estimated 500,000 illegal Latin American aliens in the Atlanta metro area have formed an economy — from record stores to restaurants to supermercados. How can we not see these places? When we drive around Norcross, Doraville, Lilburn, Roswell and other metro area suburbs, we can't help but notice that Mexicans and others have established businesses based on illegal aliens getting paid under the table. We see at least five cab companies with Spanish names, Mexicab, Cancun Taxi, etc. We see billboards in Spanish for products such as Miller Beer and Delta Air Lines.

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We are not stupid, Ken and Alyssa. We know that there is a rather significant amount of money being spent by illegals and their families. We see that this is what brought Plaza Fiesta into existence on Buford Highway and also what built Plaza Azteca in Norcross.

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But, Mr. and Ms. Ostrich of the Year, you are simply looking at a tiny snapshot of the big picture: Illegal Mexicans in this country send home $20 billion dollars each year. That is Mexico's largest industry — even larger than its national oil company. That is $20 billion out of the U.S. economy. That's right, we lose that money via Western Union each year. And while federal and state governments cut aid to U.S. veterans, the elderly and disabled American citizens, illegal Mexicans get more and more.

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Oh, and my little ostriches, there is more: Illegal Mexicans depress U.S. wages by billions of dollars, doing jobs for less than you or I because they pay no taxes, live in cramped quarters and spend lots less to live than the average American citizen. That is money taken from Americans. Further, illegal Mexicans in Georgia, Alabama, California and other states have actually sued hospitals for not treating them for non-life threatening ailments when they could not pay. Settlements have cost hospitals millions and have resulted in the closing of several hospitals in California alone. Seems those sweet little illegals of yours sure know how to work the system, don't they? Those hospitals then pass their high costs to you and I via managed health care.

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Look at the big picture, guys. Look at what is happening to Atlanta, to Georgia, to the USA as a whole. Stop hiding your heads in the sand and see the crisis for what it is. Americans are not angry for no reason. We have very, very good reasons to be pissed off! Our nation has been invaded and we are tired of it. It is costing us and we are frustrated. It is making our economy suffer and we are disgusted. In fact, 2005 was the second year in a row that the standard of living dropped for American citizens. Meanwhile, we employ 10 percent of Mexico.

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-- Jack Franco Handmacher, Norcross