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FEBRUARY 28, 2013-ATLANTA: Public art Provocateur, Randy Osborne works on his "Letter A Day" project in his Inman Park apartment on Thurs. 28th, 2013. PHIL SKINNER / PSKINNER@AJC.COM

editor's note: CQ.



FEBRUARY 28, 2013-ATLANTA: Public art Provocateur, Randy Osborne works on his "Letter A Day" project in his Inman Park apartment on Thurs. 28th, 2013. PHIL SKINNER / PSKINNER@AJC.COM editor's note: CQ.

Okefenokee crisis a case of ‘boiled frog syndrome’

Twin Pines Minerals, a small Alabama company skilled at paying lobbyists and filing lawsuits, has a swamp mining plan. Almost all of the 77,000 comments the Georgia Environmental Protection Division received were against the proposed Okefenokee mine. Twin Pines Minerals has a record of not doing what it says it is going to do.

Psychologists use the “boiled frog syndrome” to explain how people often underreact to gradual changes. Frogs placed in slowly heated water cannot detect the rise in temperature until it is too late. When things go wrong at the mine, frogs will die and the company will quickly go bankrupt. But the damage to the swamp, the groundwater of Southeast Georgia and the headwaters of two rivers will endure.


Political attacks on spouses aren’t off limits for the left

Patricia Murphy’s latest knee-jerk elite liberal analysis (“Attack ad helps defeat Democratic incumbent,” AJC May 26) is that a Democratic socialist male defeated a Democratic liberal female in Cobb County by doing the unthinkable: attacking a woman over her husband’s job. “We never ask a male candidate, ‘What about your wife and what she’s done?’”

It’s remarkable how she’s conveniently forgotten the ongoing vicious attacks on Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito because of the actions of their spouses.


Lack of judicial opposition makes economic sense

The lack of election opposition in judicial races cited in Rosie Manin’s article proved correct (“Georgia judges face little opposition in May elections,” AJC April 24).

However, the main reason judges don’t draw election competition is that judicial salaries are not competitive. Many excellent lawyers aspire to the bench but won’t require their families to incur the high economic sacrifice required.

There is an adage about the day one becomes a superior court judge. First, you are being sworn in by our governor. A true honor. However, second, it is the most you will ever earn in “real dollars” during your judicial career. Currently, judges seldom get pay raises. There are no “step increases” for experience. Cost-of-living adjustments are capped, rarely matching inflation.

The lack of judicial election opposition makes economic sense. Stagnant salaries, eroded by inflation, are not realistic draws to serve as a judge. Competitive salaries will equal more competitive judicial elections. Basic judicial economics, 101.


Parents seek accountability for school shooting

Georgians concerned about the risk of gun violence in schools should pay close attention to lawsuits filed by families of the victims of the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in 2022. We all recall that tragic shooting in which 19 fourth-graders and two of their teachers were killed by a teenager who had just turned 18. The lawsuits were filed on the second anniversary of that horrible event.

The suits reportedly claim that the shooter purchased the AR-15-like rifle used in the shooting after viewing the video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare,” which prominently features that specific weapon. The families are suing Georgia-based gun manufacturer Daniel Defense and the producers and distributors of the video game in which it is featured.

It will be interesting to see the results of these lawsuits. Will those who profit from manufacturing and distributing assault weapons and from marketing video games and films that glamorize their use ever be held accountable for the harm to innocent victims caused by these weapons? Or will profitability trump accountability once again? Meanwhile, the families of the victims continue to grieve.