Readers Write 3/4

Kyle Wingfield fails to see the humor in Rep. Yasmin Neal’s proposed vasectomy legislation (“The joke is on the satirist,” Opinion, Feb. 26). He says anti-abortion sentiment centers on the desire “to protect unborn children.” Why do some lives take precedence over others in Georgia? If our legislators were truly interested in protecting human life, they would put a $5-per-pack tax on cigarettes and a $10 tax on each 750 milliliter bottle of booze sold here. They would mandate that Georgia schoolchildren get at least one hour per day of hard exercise in physical education classes. They would increase the penalties for drunken driving, reckless driving, speeding, etc. They could even outlaw the death penalty.

These are perfectly worthy ideas, but we never hear them debated under the Gold Dome. Is it because not one of them attempts to tell a grown woman what she can do with her own body?

Cliff Green, Atlanta

Special sales tax can get us back on track

In the Feb. 26 edition, metro Atlantans were reminded of the importance of transportation to the standard of living and the economic future of this area (“Gridlock slows economy too,” Opinion).

It increasingly appears that many have forgotten (or never knew) about transportation’s role in putting Atlanta on the map of thriving, major American communities. In recent years, slumber has characterized attention to transportation challenges facing much of  Georgia. Fortunately, there are new opportunities to break from this failure to keep up. One opportunity that can get the metro region (and state) back on the road to substantial, renewed economic growth involves reduced highway congestion, a cleaner environment and more commuter options.

The upcoming transportation special purpose local option sales tax is deserving of the enthusiastic support of an informed and concerned electorate. It would be more than shameful to let those without vision or knowledge defeat this all-too-rare opportunity to move forward again.

RICHARD HODGES, Marietta

SB 469 is an attempt to silence workers

I just read Georgia’s Senate Bill 469. It is just another approach to the ongoing conservative effort to take away the voices of the working man in America and replace them with total corporate control over wages and working conditions.

Despite concerted Republican efforts to substitute corporatism for morality in the United States, I insist that man should be at the focus of all political activity and considerations. This bill attempts to silence the political concerns of a very large number of our residents. This bill takes away the freedoms labor unions have fought for (and men have died for) in more than 100 years of effort to make their voices heard.

Conservatives, it would appear, are contemplating using a highly repressive law to prevent workers from expressing legitimate concerns (not unlike the methods used to bust the Pullman Strike in 1894).

My guess is it won’t stand the court test, so why waste our time and taxpayer money?

Steve Wilkerson, Lilburn

Coyotes

Response to “Predator now prey,” Living, Feb. 26

While I appreciate the need to remove coyotes from residential areas, it is deplorable and sad that trappers must resort to the use of these traps when there are more humane methods. This trapping has been banned in England and Wales for years, and 87 other countries have banned their use as they recognize that animals often die an agonizing, excruciating slow death. It is high time for the United States to follow suit — unless we have become indifferent to the suffering of wild animals. I applaud the Atlanta homeowner who refused to allow these cruel traps on her land.

COLIN MASON, ATLANTA

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