Readers Write: July 24

GOP ignores voters at their peril

Listening to the voters back home has become a lost art for many Republicans whenever they gather at the State House. They continue to ignore, marginalize and sell out the very people who placed them in power. Conservative Christians in Georgia make up approximately 65 percent of the overall electorate and a much-larger percentage of the GOP base. We supported the Governor when many tried to smear him with ethics charges and have been the primary reason the GOP has dominated Georgia politics for nearly a generation. Those times may be over. When the GOP leaders gather at the trough of the Chamber of Commerce crowd and ignore grassroots voters over such vital legislation as the Religious Liberty Bills, they should not be surprised they are losing our support. We have closed our checkbooks for now, and we may have another message for them come November.


Reader hopes series leads to real change

Thank you for this investigative piece and uncovering yet another system that protect sexual predators.

Why is this happening again? One cause seems to be the internal peer review boards in professional associations that protect these predators. Mandated reporter laws already exist; perhaps it’s time to strengthen them so that they apply to the associations, not just their members, and to enforce them consistently across all states so that offenders can’t just move to another with more lenient rules. I get that these boards are useful when dealing with ethics violations, but when their members are accused of illegal acts like sexual abuse, they should be required to report these to various levels of law enforcement (not just the local level). Failure to do this should mean harsh penalties for the organization — public disclosure, revoking their tax-exempt status (many associations enjoy this), and more.

I hope that your work will lead to an outcry for real change so that peer-review systems realize that it’s more beneficial for them and the community to get rid of the few bad apples to avoid spoiling the whole bushel. This should apply not just to doctors, but all professions — e.g., lawyers, teachers, police officers, etc. — who derive power and elevated status from the expertise, authority, and trust inherent in their roles.


What are alternatives to so-called ‘free tuition’?

Kyle Wingfield complains about the Democratic platform’s proposal for free college tuition, but offers no suggestions for alternatives (“Sorry, Clinton, there’s no such thing as ‘free’ tuition,” Opinion, July 14). Surely there must be a solution somewhere between “free tuition” and the U.S. government reaping billions in interest from student loans. Maybe the interest amount could be lower, enabling more students to borrow the funds for tuition. Maybe the government could funnel the money back to colleges to provide more scholarships, or to decrease tuition. Maybe there are even better solutions out there from wiser minds than mine, but let’s hear – or read – about them.


Record temps more proof of climate change

Another day, another dire climate scientist prediction realized. This time it is the record high global temperatures that have now been confirmed by NASA scientists. Just living through this current sustained drought in Atlanta, dying shrubs, debilitating heat and all, bring the NASA data home and should be confirmation any doubters have left.

Efforts such as the federal Clean Power Plan and a revenue-free carbon tax are positive steps in the right direction. There is little time to lose.