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Fair and honest elections

To the editor:

The flap over the picture ID requirement to vote is another example of the Democrats not wanting a fair and honest election.

I worked in the polls for over 10 years and made the decision last year that I would quit. The primary reason is the attitude of the voters. I worked in Lake City where the Clayton State students, mostly HOPE I am sure, voted. Most of the students came into the polling place with attitude oozing out of them. They actually believe that they know more than anyone about everything.

They gave the impression that the old white folks working in the polls needed to get out of the way and let these young people take over. Some wore a sweatshirt with "VOTE OR DIE" on it. Did they not know that Rep. Charles Rangel, D, New York introduced on Jan. 7, 2003, a bill to reinstate the draft so that the "fighting force should more closely reflect the economic makeup of the nation." In other words only poor folks are in the military now and the rich should get a chance. Typical politician thinking. Some hip-hoper/rapper in the hate Bush mode said vote against him or you will be drafted and die. Secretary of Defense Rumsfield on more that one occasion said that there was no plan to reinstate the draft. Martin Luther King in his dream speech asked that his children be judged by the content of their character not by the color of their skin. In Clayton County voters did not vote for candidates based on their qualification or character but on the color of their skin. We all know the crime rate seems to be rising. There are more shootings. Law enforcement is doing an outstanding job of catching the bad guys, but I am still waiting for what the Office of the District Attorney does. She has already announced that she is not going to put people in jail like "they did in the old days." Time will tell about the photo ID. I cannot remember a single problem with IDs.

WILLIAM E. MITCHELL

Morrow

Support for Mayor Joy Day

To the editor:

As a citizen of Jonesboro for over 10 years, I support Mayor Joy Day and the City Manager, Jon Walker. I am disappointed with the citizens of Jonesboro for pulling the city apart with negativity, as if we did not have enough negative publicity in Clayton County already. Mayor Day has invested time and money in the city and takes great pride in her residence. She has a vision for this city that goes beyond business as usual. Our borders are surrounded by pawnshops, massage spas, vacant strip malls and a flea market. Inside the city limit we have a large rental base and much of the property is owned by churches and county institutions decreasing our tax base. Change is needed.

Do any Jonesboro residents have friends or family who have had free garbage pickup? I think not. It was a good thing, but it could not last. I personally have been the recipient of the good that the Jonesboro Fire Department has done for this city, but I think it's time to move beyond bad feelings. We have to address the more pressing problems like maintaining our property values while attracting young professionals and middle class families to our city. A parking lot is needed to support the commuters and tourists using the train which will hopefully bring business into our city limits. It takes expertise to write grant applications, facilitate zoning changes and other contracts needed for positive change. That is why a City Manager is needed.

This city is at a crossroad and I hope we take the right road. Wake up and smell the coffee Jonesboro residents. Oh, that's right, we don't have a coffee shop in downtown Jonesboro.

MARTY SCHILLING

Jonesboro

FTAA will help

To the editor:

Several proponents of the United States' becoming a member of proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas mention that the FTAA would do for America what the European Union (EU) has done for its 25 European nation members. We Americans can get a beforehand view of what the FTAA will accomplish by looking at what has been developing in the European Union recently.

In an interview of the 28th of February, Miguel Angel Moratinos, the Spanish foreign minister, lauded the EU's, major achievement - the abolishing of individual nation-members' sovereignty. "We are witnessing the last remnants of national politics," he said. After being asked whether the European Union would strip parliaments of their power to set policy, he replied, "Absolutely."

Although the members of the European Union have committed political suicide and have sacrificed their sovereignty, the United States does not have to do likewise by joining the similar Free Trade Area of the Americas.

For more information about the FTAA and what you can do to help, log on to www.stoptheftaa.org.

LLOYD HAMANN

Acworth, Ga.