In his Jan. 2 letter (“No pay”), Charlie Bruce suggests that during a shutdown members of the House and Senate should not be paid. This doesn’t go far enough and has the additional problem that some legislators would be more hurt by lack of pay than others. But they all care about being re-elected.
I suggest that in the case of a government shutdown, the current members of Congress —all of them, regardless of party-- become automatically ineligible for re-election when their seat next comes up. While replacing the entire Congress, even on a staggered schedule, would be a bad thing, I suspect it would never actually happen. If a government shutdown meant they would all lose their positions, they would find some compromise to avoid it.
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Michael Jacobs’ lament regarding the intolerance of campus political culture need not be limited to UNC (“Bias stifles campus speech,” Jan. 1). The narrowness he describes reflects what columnist Lance Morrow describes as “dogmatic petit-bourgeois correctness” coupled with the “hordes of diversity bureaucrats, invidious quotas, discretionary pronouns, safe spaces and other oppressions” that define college life today. Faculty tolerate progressive bullying because it echoes their own points of view, a presumptuousness fattened on bloated self-regard, reinforced by the head-nodding of peers who, rarely venturing from their cloistered campus ‘safe spaces,’ have neither the intellect or the imagination to consider the possibility of alternatives.
What happened to being fiscally conservative? Not only have Republican administrations dramatically increased the nation’s deficit, they now want to add billions for 12th century technology on a 21st century issue. To me, this is truly backwards thinking, given that tunnels have been found under sections of border fence that are already in place. And do they plan on extending the wall into the ocean and gulf? Government statistics show that most immigrants here illegally came in the country under visas and have just stayed. Statistics show that the vast majority of violent crime is committed by American citizens. Do facts mean nothing to Republicans anymore? All they want to do is believe the lies coming out of President Trump’s mouth.
I am a graduate of UNC-CH. My family’s ties with the university go back more than 200 years. Some of my ancestors fought and died for the Confederacy. They were brave men, motivated by sincere conviction and belief, but they were wrong. Erected out of nostalgia for slavery, a symbol of Jim Crow, and an idol for the Lost Cause, Silent Sam has always been a glorification of white supremacy and oppression. It has always been and is a monument to evil. Evil is not purified by the passage of time, nor is the immoral made honorable by history, tradition, or custom. To say otherwise is to be immorally disingenuous.
The installation of Silent Sam anywhere on campus is the reaffirmation of the evils it represents. The university is meant to lift up and enrich all who encounter it. The presence of Silent Sam will degrade and shame not those whom it is intended to devalue, but the university and ourselves. Any defense of this symbol is a defense of an embodiment of racist suppression. I call upon all my fellow North Carolinians, especially my Carolina brothers and sisters, to voice their opposition to the re-establishment of this hateful symbol of bigotry
M. L. Stephenson
Returning to Raleigh after winter break, I was puzzled to find the electric scooters usually prevalent in my neighborhood gone. Only later did I learn about the city council’s reactionary and misguided measures to limit the number of electric scooters in Raleigh and tax them in a way that makes short rides, such as the one I typically take between my home and a GoTriangle bus stop about a mile away, prohibitively expensive.
As any of us who make the commute along Wade Avenue, Hillsborough Street, or any of the other hopelessly clogged thoroughfares can tell you, Raleigh’s got a traffic problem. We can build new, expensive roads, or we can reduce the number of cars. Simply put, electric scooters are a viable and market-tested way of doing the latter. City Council’s boneheaded decision to tax and limit scooters means more of us will be forced to drive when we’d rather use a scooters. The justification that scooter taxes will raise $300K rings hollow when considering Raleigh spends heavily on road improvements and building new parking lots.
The City Council should be supporting, not suffocating, innovative and environmentally-friendly public transportation options.