Regarding the March 4 news article “Petraeus agrees to plead guilty”: All my life I have regarded the word of a commissioned officer of the U.S. armed services as being as good as gold if not better. But no more: David Petraeus has destroyed my simple, unquestioning faith in an officer’s word. What happened to him between his cadet days at West Point and the arrival of Paula Broadwell?
I was pleased to see Jim Jenkins’ Feb. 19 column “Good kicking and screaming” extolling the benefits of the Korean martial art Taekwondo. Specifically, he listed discipline and physical fitness as two of the benefits that children receive from their studies at such a studio.
Regarding the Feb. 14 news article “N.C. task force wants shorter tests”: The task force consists of parents, teachers and administrators but no students. I am an eighth-grader at Lufkin Road Middle School, and I have been closely following this issue as it directly affects me and my fellow students.
In his Feb. 28 statement, UNC Board of Governors chair John Fennebresque wanted us to believe that the BOG considered impact, educational mission, working across disciplines and lack of adequate financial support as the basis for canceling three centers.
It’s the height of ivory tower elitism for professors to defend the UNC Center on Work, Poverty and Opportunity. It’s the height of absurdity to analogize closing the center with the censorship of E.E. Ericson and John Spencer Bassett, as Rob Christensen did in his Feb. 22 column.
I really liked Adam Linker’s Feb. 24 Point of View “McCrory’s Medicaid moment” in taking the initiative away from Washington and exercising it here in North Carolina. Sure, it will be difficult to win enough support from the troglodytes in Raleigh, but it sounds as if most of the pieces for a state-crafted solution are in existence, waiting to be put into play.
Regarding the Feb. 25 news article “Bill would let officials drop marriage duties”: Republican Sens. Buck Newton and Phil Berger are pushing a bill to exempt public officials from performing their sworn duties, ostensibly to preserve these officials’ “religious freedom.”
Regarding the Feb. 26 news article “Move to exempt magistrates rekindles debate”: I would like to thank Republican Sen. John Alexander of Wake County for his vote. By choosing to vote against SB 2, the bill seeking to confuse the civil duties of our state-employed magistrates with those of their personal religious beliefs, he showed independence of thought beyond many of our GOP elected representatives.
Regarding the Feb. 26 editorial “Emergency”: I don’t argue with the need for further funding for Brody Medical School but want to point out Brody’s mission and its success in that arena regarding production of family medicine physicians.
The Feb. 9 editorial “Help at home” discussing the efforts of the Department of Veterans Affairs to rebuild its broken health care system suggested that the arrival of a third VA clinic in Raleigh would bring with it solutions to the wait times for veterans in the area. Seriously? We’re going to throw more money at a system that has proven it is outdated?
In regard to the Feb. 14 Eugene Robinson column “Obama’s ambivalent war logic”: I am in complete agreement. President Obama’s request for authority to use military force against the Islamic State of Iraq and ISIL, while ruling out “enduring offensive ground combat operations, is perplexing, to say the least.
Regarding the Charlotte Observer column “A shortfall of candor” that you reprinted Feb. x: Taylor Batten confuses “revenue” with “budget” There is a $271 million “shortfall” from the 2014 prophecies about the 2014-2015 budget. The budget itself contains explicit language that the governor shall reduce expenditures to not exceed actual revenue. North Carolina does not print money or borrow for current expenses.
It was fascinating to read Charles Krauthammer’s Feb. 20 column “Abolish the filibuster.” After years of using the filibuster to block everything from major legislative proposals to minor administrative appointments put forward by President Obama, the shoe is now on the other foot, and it seems to be too tight.
The state Senate committee just approved a bill that would allow magistrates to declare that they will not perform any marriages (and Register of Deeds staff can recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses) based on “sincerely held” religious objections. Why does the bill not simply read “any state employee can declare that they will not preform ANY DUTIES based on ‘sincerely held’ religious objections”? Let’s just forget about separation of church and state all together!
It was fascinating to see in his Feb. 25 column that J. Peder Zane feels that our gracious country has responded to same-sex marriage “with wondrous acceptance” – and then to look back to Page 1 of the same issue to read that a state Senate subcommittee just approved a bill that “would let officials drop marriage duties” if they objected to same-sex marriages. Is North Carolina still part of our gracious country?
For millions of Americans, it is, as the Charles Dickens adage goes, the worst of times. Poverty rates are extraordinarily high, prospects for living wage work are extremely low, and rates of hunger and homelessness are off the charts. For North Carolina, it appears, as the Dickens adage continues, to be “the age of foolishness ... the epoch of incredulity ... the season of Darkness ... the winter of despair ... ” as the UNC Board of Governors considers closing the Center for Poverty, Work and Opportunity.