Readers write, Aug. 30

GOVERNMENT

We all need to watch for abuses of power

Thank you, AJC, for once again being the moral and ethical eyes and ears of the public. I hope local voters are taking note of the recent (and seemingly) never-ending parade of abuse of power in local government agencies.

We all owe this newspaper a huge debt for bringing corruption out into the open, but we must make an effort to be more engaged and vigilant following the actions of our own leaders, and to hold them accountable for decisions made on our behalf. It is sad that we must be hit on the head by our local news media before allegations are made and investigated.

If we continue to assume officials are acting in our best interest, I fear we do so at our peril. We must make the effort to pay attention, and make sure they see we are watching.

Thank you to those officials who are doing right by their constituents. You, too, have the responsibility to keep an eye on your fellow officials. Blow that whistle before the wrong line gets crossed.

JOAN PIEDMONTE, MILTON

MCNAIR ACADEMY

Police can learn from bookkeeper’s actions

Bookkeeper Antoinette Tuff was recently interviewed about her heroic efforts to talk down a gunman who was in the room with her during a standoff at a local school. The 911 tape was played, and you could hear Miss Tuff calming down the gunman with stories about herself, and the difficult times she had to go through in life. I believe her honesty and relaxed demeanor are what made the suspect receptive to her suggestions. She worked with a 911 dispatcher to let the police know the gunman would not be a danger. The fact that no one was injured in the ordeal is a miracle in itself.

Miss Tuff said to the suspect, “We all go through something in life.” Her quotes resonate compassion. This is one of the better feel-good stories I have seen. No one was injured, or worse. Law enforcement can learn from this incident, and build on it by fine-tuning negotiation techniques when applicable.

WILLIAM MCKEE JR., FLOWERY BRANCH

COMMENTARY

Cartoon’s absurdity just to draw attention?

On its face, the recent Mike Luckovich cartoon showing a Republican elephant dreaming of holding a ballot box out of the reach of minority voters was patently absurd (Opinion, Aug. 23).

It was so absurd that it is sure to antagonize any readers who consider themselves Republicans; so absurd, that one can’t help but wonder if Luckovich has motives other than just an expression of political opinion. “Stirring the pot” could be his way of being noticed not only by readers, but by other media outlets interested in showing extreme views.

Before pulling one’s hair out over a ridiculous cartoon, maybe we should understand he’s just trying to bring attention to himself.

ERIC SANDBERG, ATLANTA

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