We don’t need more tax cuts. We have problems to fix.

Thousands of educators march in Raleigh and demand respect

On Wednesday May 16, 2018, the opening day of the legislative session, educators and their supporters from across the state traveled to Raleigh to demand more funding for public education.
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On Wednesday May 16, 2018, the opening day of the legislative session, educators and their supporters from across the state traveled to Raleigh to demand more funding for public education.

For once I fully agree with John Hood’s admonition that the incoming state legislature “enter next year with their eyes wide open and appetites in check” (“Major new initiatives in NC in ‘19? Probably not,” Nov. 27).

Unfortunately, our state has some things that need fixing. We need to rebuild our rainy day fund, from $ 1.25 billion to at least $ 1.8 billion or more; more rainy days are ahead. Just as importantly, in spite of the 6.5 percent pay raise given to teachers this year, North Carolina is 39th in the U.S. in spending per pupil, due to low teacher wages and elimination of teacher aides and other support.

Worse yet, we are 44th in quality of health care, 41st in number of insured, and 44th in health care affordability. US News and World Report ranks us 34th among all states in overall quality of life (adios Amazon!). Additional tax cuts will not fix these problems.

Robert D. Brown, Ph.D.


Taking action

During this holiday season, there is no greater gift we could give our children than to address the issue of climate change. Last week the National Climate Assessment was released. It provides clear information from multiple agencies about the effects of climate change we are already experiencing, as well as how we can expect these effects to drastically worsen.

Thankfully a bipartisan group of representatives in Congress recognize the importance of this issue. Both Republicans and Democrats joined together to introduce the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. This legislation would place a steadily increasing fee on carbon pollution and return all revenue from this fee to all US households equally. This bill is a market based approach which will drive down carbon pollution while putting money in people’s pockets. Independent analysis shows that the net effect of this legislation will be to create jobs.

It is time to set partisan differences aside and, for the good of our children, our country and the world, to start addressing climate change by enacting the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

Irene Rusnak


False equivalency

I’m extremely disappointed in your publication of the “Can Anyone Have a Civil Conversation About Silent Sam?” (Oct. 29) video.

Placing a black student next to a white, 60-year-old Sons of Confederate Veterans member is equating their points of view in an irresponsible way. You’re placing a false equivalency in their positions, when the black student is the only one actually making truthful statements. Furthermore, the video doesn’t fact check any of the wild claims that this Sons of Confederate Veterans member makes. The whole setup is lazy reporting.

Instead of wasting time and money with fake “middle ground” conversations, why don’t you do some in-depth reporting on systemic injustices that black people have to face in North Carolina every day? Why don’t you investigate the racist history of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and expose their connections to the KKK?

Don’t give precious time and energy towards these videos. With small newspapers declining, you have a lot to lose with this type of story as young people like me will not accept this reporting standard.

Colleen Muse

Masters in public policy student

Duke University


Next steps

Stetson University’s football team is named the Hatters, in honor of a founding benefactor, John B. Stetson, maker of Stetson hats. Sadly, now searching for a coaching position after his dismissal from coaching the UNC football team, what better fit could there be for Coach Fedora than the Stetson Hatters?

Bernie Cochran


Baffling support

American evangelicals constitute large part of Trump’s core supporters. I cannot understand why those who base their beliefs solidly upon the Bible can loyally support someone whose life and utterances are so at odds with biblical teachings.

Conservatives often cite the Ten Commandments from the Old Testament as fundamental to Christian morality. Trump has unrepentantly broken most of these and has endorsed the disregard of others.

The premier text defining Christianity of the New Testament is what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes. Trump goes out of his way to heap scorn on the meek, the pure in heart, and so on, and rather than serving as a peacemaker, he promotes discord.

Tom Kirby-Smith