Say taxpayer ripoff with flowers
Atlanta city councilwoman Emma Darnell gives new meaning to the old ad, “Say It With Flowers”: Here’s your bouquet, remember me when you vote. (“Public official spends freely on flowers,” News, Aug. 30). Oh sure, a $50 bouquet is no big deal but, wow, all of a sudden you’ve spent $13,376 of taxpayer money on those bouquets in six years. Yes, Ms. Darnell, taxpayers do care about all of those $50 flowers, but I guess you really couldn’t achieve the same effect by only writing personal notes at a cost of some stationery and a first-class stamp.
JUDITH MCCARTHY, ATLANTA
Rearranging facts won’t absolve Bush
“Don’t Blame Bush” says the letter writer (Don’t Blame Bush for Congress’ War,” Aug. 27). No, sorry, it is the letter writer who isn’t recalling the facts. Throughout 2002 and into the spring of 2003, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and the “Neocons” relentlessly beat the drum for war, speculating way beyond the facts, which were equivocal and inconclusive. Pushing Congress hard, Cheney later said, ‘Do we wait for the mushroom cloud?’ Bush and his key leaders wanted war; a PBS/Frontline 2008 installment is named “Bush’s War” for good reason. The Iraq war was a colossal error and massive financial damage was done to the nation’s budget, meaning to the taxpayers. A detailed 2013 study put the cost at $1.7 trillion, likely an underestimate. Congress did vote for it, but many who approved have since forthrightly admitted their mistake. It seems likely history will not let President Bush off the hook so easily.
RALPH HOWARD, CHAMBLEE
Undercover policing keeps us safe
If I read Andre Jackson’s piece correctly (“Seize this opportunity,” Editorial, Aug. 30), Cobb Commissioner Lisa Cupid’s late-night run-in with a cop amounted to an undercover policeman following her closely and then backing off. I think it’s entirely possible the officer collected the license tag number and used sophisticated in-car equipment to determine the occupant’s name and address and the lack of any police record. Mischief of any kind takes place late at night and I’m comforted to know that our police officers are allowed to investigate what they consider suspicious behavior by anyone regardless of their gender and race. If I put myself in a position to be considered suspect, I won’t be surprised by a challenge from an officer of the law. Undercover police officers are just that — undercover in appearance and actions; otherwise they wouldn’t be undercover. Intense and unrelenting media coverage of racial disputes has raised awareness and fear in all communities and even small, insignificant slights are raised to a new level that several consider abuse or worse. Ethical policing only succeeds in an ethical society.
JACK FRANKLIN, CONYERS
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Credit: Nathan Posner for the AJC