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Letters to the Editor (2) - July 05 2006

What's up, what's fair, what's true?

What's up?

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This week's cover story couldn't be more dull ("99 things to do*," June 29). Is this city getting too full of itself? I like real stories that tell me something new, something, you know, JOURNALISTIC, something this paper has done very well in the past. I'm reading less and less of it every week. There's an incredible lack of real news in this town and it's driving me crazy.

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-- M.G. Allen, Atlanta

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What is fair?

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It amazes me daily that people like John Sugg continue to push out faulty information to the public about the fair tax (Metro Man, "The hated taxman," June 29). It seems that Mr. Sugg's idea of fairness is that it can only be fair if we tax the rich more. Equality is only good at a social level from men like this, and you are only obligated to the common good if you are rich, and therefore you should pay more. It is always more, more, more. Well, Mr. Sugg, how much is too much?

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Where do we draw the line between your idea of fair and an individual's right to his livelihood? In 2005, the federal government collected $2.15 trillion in tax revenue, over $1 trillion of that came directly from individual income taxes, and 97 percent of that $1 trillion was paid by the top 50 percent of the income earners in America (those making over $29,000 per year). Of that $2.15 trillion, 66 percent went to your beloved social entitlement programs. Is $1.42 trillion not enough? How much better off might ordinary citizens be without this government-induced burden?

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One of your fatal mistakes is that you actually believe corporations pay taxes. While it is true they may physically write a check to the taxman, all of that money originated from individual citizens in the form of increased costs in the goods and services we buy. How much cheaper would gasoline be in this country if we were not paying 50 cents per gallon in taxes on top of the additional costs from the $150 billion in taxes that Exxon, for example, paid to the federal government last year?

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I would highly suggest that you put on your objective glasses, truly study the fair tax plan and discover for yourself what truly is fair. Or at the very least, get your facts straight before you attempt your deception in the public arena.

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-- Lance Martin, Roswell

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Deception

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I disagreed with the latest edition of Don't Panic about Libya (Fallout, "Why has the U.S. restored diplomatic ties with Libya?" June 8).

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It was full of inaccuracies and unsound assumptions. You imply that Bush should have been harder on Libya, and present Libya as the bad guy that needs to be punished. As evidence for your claim that Gadhafi is a threat, you say that he was the man Americans loved to hate in the 1980s. That proves nothing about Gadhafi or Libya, just that the scare-mongering media did its best to make Libya look bad.

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The reason the media and U.S. policy makers are out to get Gadhafi is that he nationalized Libya's oil industry and created a foreign policy independent of the U.S. You stated as fact that Libya was responsible for the Lockerbie bombing. There is little evidence for this.

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Originally, the blame for the Lockerbie bombing was given to a breakaway Palestinian group called PFLP-CC that had the financial backing of Syria. The story was that the group had committed the act of terrorism on behalf of Iran in retaliation for the downing of a Iranian civilian plane by the United States. The story was changed during the build-up to the Gulf War when the U.S. wanted Syria in their coalition and decided to pin the blame on Libya because it did not support the war or sanctions against Iraq.

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The case that should have been made against Bush was not that he was too soft on Libya but that the wrongly convicted Libyan should have been released and restitution should have been made; and that Bush should apologize to the families of the people killed in the bombing for the fact that their government deceived them for so many years.

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-- Sean Mulligan, Atlanta

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The War on Errorism

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The June 22 cover story "Plaza Fiesta!" contained several errors. First, it should have stated that it was five years ago when Ana Lobos walked by a sign on Buford Highway advertising retail space in Plaza Fiesta. The story also incorrectly described Lobos' prior employment; she did not work at a Lilburn church. In addition, Lobos' daughter, and not Lobos herself, owns the beauty store in Plaza Fiesta. The story also gave the incorrect name of the school Lobos attended; it should have stated that she completed a cosmetology program at Houston Training School. The shop's owner, Lorraine Lobos, says the $3,000 in monthly revenue that Ana Lobos described isn't representative of the shop's actual sales — nor does the store sell baby bibs or gold chains. Lastly, a Publix supermarket on Buford Highway that is referenced in the story has been closed since October. We sincerely regret these errors.