Readers write: Feb. 4

Probation system in need of reform

This state was founded on the backs of indentured servants contracted to be subject to a master in exchange for their livelihoods. The practice eventually faded into disfavor due to economic and humanitarian reasons. Now, the Supreme Court of Georgia is being asked to decide whether the “probation for profit” system is constitutional.

Jails are full of defendants who have done nothing illegal except to fall behind on payments for supervision. The system is supposed to provide an alternative to jail for minor offenders. Instead it has led to jail overpopulation, increased expenditures for courts, more man-hours for law enforcement and a general lack of respect for the justice system. There is a huge turnover of probation supervisors, and many defendants report they do not know who their probation officer is. There is no state oversight on the companies or their employees.

If the courts of Georgia cannot afford a viable system staffed by qualified personnel, it may be time to revert to the old “$30 or 30 days” system. It appears to be more equitable and humane.

PAUL CARDEN, HOLLY SPRINGS

As president, ‘Ike’ an effective leader

In the 1950s, I would have been an Eisenhower Republican, as his policies ended the Korean War and kept us at peace during a dangerous Cold War. President Eisenhower refused to reduce taxes so he could balance the budget and build our interstate highway system, and stood tall for the rights of all Americans when he signed the Civil Rights Bill of 1957. He also warned us about the danger to our freedoms posed by the emerging military-industrial complex. Today, anyone espousing this thinking is called a weak tax-and-spend liberal. The irony is both amusing and troubling.

DENIS E. VOGEL, OXFORD

Let’s make no more apologies for Islam

The Quran is considered to be the absolute, immutable, infallible word of Allah. No Muslim is allowed to question it. To do so is considered so offensive to the faith, Sharia’s remedies are draconian, to say the least. Jihad, or holy war, is central to the faith. Followers are commanded to convert us unbelievers by whatever means necessary, violence not excepted, and refusing Muslim entreaties can and has resulted in the deaths of thousands throughout history.

Some apologists for Islam claim the jihad is an internal struggle with oneself, an argument that has absolutely no basis in Islamic history or its holy books. Please. No more statements from anyone, particularly our presidents, about moderate Islam. “Moderate” and “Islam” are mutually exclusive terms.

RON SLADE SR., COVINGTON