Readers write, Dec. 5

U.S. CULTURE

Hard-hearted ways way doom American Way

What words could you use to characterize a culture that: reduces food assistance while hunger is rising and food pantries are running out of supplies; cuts funding for mental health services when the suicide rate for some groups has risen by 20 percent; strives to deep-six Social Security right after the retiring generation had its savings decimated; forces its youth to accept indenture for the privilege of obtaining a supposedly indispensable education, then denies them a livable wage to pay that debt off, and withholds Medicaid from kids, rather than tax the profanely wealthy just a bit more?

You could characterize that culture as vicious, first and foremost; then degenerate, demented - and ultimately doomed.

DEAN POIRIER, DULUTH

BRAVES

Like the team, dislike way move deal came together

I have been a fan and supporter of the Braves since their (and my) days in Boston, and will continue my interest in the team and its players.

However, I don’t know that I will ever feel quite the same about the Braves business organization, what with their recent backroom dealing. I am also very disappointed in the not-so-subtle racial implications of Cobb County GOP Chair Joe Dendy, in voicing his opposition to any consideration of a MARTA extension to the proposed new stadium.

DR. ROBERT A. DERRO, DULUTH

MARTA

Fare cards may have contributed to rider downturn

I was once a casual rider of MARTA. I even rode it to the airport. I had a small stock of tokens that assured me that I could park, go through the turnstiles and get onto the train quickly to get to places like the High Museum of Art, the Georgia Dome, or Phillips Arena. I could buy many tokens, and pass them out to each person in my group.

The recent column by Curtis Howard (“Time for Georgia to fund transit,” Opinion, Dec. 3) states that MARTA train use has fallen 15 percent since 2001. I am not sure, but, that may be when the electronic fare cards were introduced.

I have several of those cards that may (or may not) have enough money registered on them for a single fare. I may be five cents short. Each rider must have their own card. It may be beyond my mental capacity to purchase one of those cards, because it takes me a long time (and frequently, assistance) to buy a fare card.

Do I fear the MARTA crowds? The unwashed masses? The crime? No, I fear the electronic fare card machine.

JOHN SOUTHALL, ROSWELL

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