Walmart, Sam’s requiring masks beginning July 20

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Executive branch could gain the upper hand here

Could it happen here? That’s a question Americans ought to be asking themselves as they see Barack Obama assuming more and more powers that are not authorized in the Constitution and that the Founders never intended the executive branch to have. Obama’s most recent overreach is granting “executive privilege” to emails sent Eric Holder’s wife, which emails are needed by Congress in its investigation of the “fast and furious” scandal. To answer the rhetorical question posed above, yes, it could happen here – “ít” being a near-total usurpation of power by the executive branch. To paraphrase a well-known politician from another era, “none dare call it dictatorship.” Impossible, you say. Unlikely, yes; impossible, no. It has happened in other countries in other times (e.g., Germany in the 1930s). I don’t think it will happen here, but I’m convinced it could.


Traffic woes add to climate change

I am writing to express my appreciation for the article by Dr. Carlton E. Brown, President of Clark Atlanta University, “Higher ed can lead climate effort,” (Opinion, Oct. 25). He rightly sees the relationship between environmental justice and justice for all human beings, the horrendous impact of environmental degradation on the lives of the poor and often on people of color. Among other issues that he has addressed is damage to the atmosphere caused by vehicular traffic. I would add that support of public transportation is crucial to improving the air we all breathe. It is in everyone’s interest to allow MARTA to develop an expanded transportation system, and to support that system through our ridership. For years I have been a frequent MARTA rider and have had nothing but positive experiences on it. We must reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and improve our air and thus our health.


Admissions policies should be color-blind

Bigotry and racial stereotypes should have no role in the college admissions process. I encourage my teenage daughters to work hard, achieve your goals, follow your artistic passions and serve your community. With that background, I tell them they will be evaluated by university admissions officials as individuals. Unfortunately, the Georgia Tech vice provost of enrollment, Paul Krohn proved I was wrong. In Sunday’s AJC piece “Special Admission?” he suggested that increased reliance on college test scores would lead to a freshmen class of “Chinese Nationals” which he rejected as a “campus of clones.” He ignores the reality that ethnically Chinese applicants, whether raised in China or the U.S., are remarkably diverse; their race does not define them. They are not clones. Having read Mr. Krohn’s quote, do I think my Chinese-American daughters (born in China) would face racial discrimination in Mr. Krohn’s admissions process? You bet I do.


Government can’t create private jobs

Jay Bookman in “Perdue isn’t all self-made,” (Opinion, Oct. 26), chides U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue for claiming “Government can’t create jobs, but bad government policies sure can kill them.” He points out some of the obvious thousands of existing government jobs. He could have also gone on to reference the military, police, firefighters and arrays of other bureaucrats. The implication is to accuse Perdue of being dishonest, blind, or simply stupid. We know well that governments can extract enormous sums of tax dollars to create government jobs. Those positions expand alarmingly over decades. The context of Perdue’s statement, however, was simply that government can’t create private industry jobs. Bookman has built a straw man, set it ablaze, and dusted off his hands. This is incredibly disappointing commentary. He owes his readers better.