Regarding “Trump warns N. Korea that US is ‘locked and loaded’ ” (Aug. 11): There is too much loose talk in the media about President Trump being able to unilaterally launch nuclear weapons in response to threatened or actual North Korean military action. The president needs the concurrence of his military advisers in order to launch nuclear weapons, especially the secretary of defense. There are two civilians in the national military command when issuing orders to launch nuclear weapons: The president and the secretary.
There is one very important precedent: As he later confirmed, Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger, in the days leading up to President Richard Nixon’s resignation on Aug. 8, 1974, became so worried that Nixon was unstable that he instructed the military command in the Pentagon not to react to White House orders, particularly on nuclear arms, unless cleared by him or Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger. I am confident that Secretary Mattis will be in the loop when the president is contemplating ordering the use of nuclear weapons; and will insert himself into the decision-making process.
William E. Jackson Jr.
Make districts fair
Regarding “Public pans GOP maps proposed for redistricting” (Aug. 23): The public hearings on the proposed N.C. House and Senate redistricting maps drew hundreds of attendees at five locations with over 200 public comments during a five-hour period.
These comments reflect the widespread and strong dissatisfaction with our current gerrymandered state. There has been too much time and taxpayer money spent defending the 2011 voting district maps. Historically, the party in control at the time of redistricting works to create maps that will cement their power. North Carolina must take this process out of the hands of politicians and develop criteria for maps based on economic, geographical and voter representation for all North Carolinians. It is time for the judiciary to appoint an independent commission to work on this issue. This problem must be solved so elected officials will hear all voices and respond to the varied needs of everyone in our large and dynamic state.
If Sen. Thom Tillis isn’t afraid to condemn white supremacy and seems to be distancing himself from the president’s “style,” why is is so afraid to face his constituents? “Tuesdays with(out) Tillis” have been occurring at his office for months since he refuses to have town halls. He has even blocked his constituents from approaching his office in Raleigh. He has labeled these same constituents as some kind of outside fringe group, when in reality we are moms and dads, senior citizens, school teachers, doctors, grandparents and concerned residents.
Belinda R Novik