3/25 Letters: Senators Burr and Tillis let us down when they allowed McCain to be slandered.

North Carolina Sens. Thom Tillis (left) and Richard Burr.
North Carolina Sens. Thom Tillis (left) and Richard Burr.

Shame on Senators Tillis and Burr for not standing up for Sen McCain’s honor and memory. Your silence speaks volumes.

From Senators Tillis and Burr to the thousands of vets in our state apparently the dignity of a deceased war hero means nothing. Once again we have managed to reach a new low in civility.

When will it end? When Senators and others speak up in defense of those who can’t speak for themselves, whether that is a deceased war hero or children held in cages.

Robert Gilbert


Interpersonal skills

Every day in the N&O we see articles about aspects of education like teacher salaries, school start times, etc. The real elephant in the room is that our public schools are not teaching students the life skills they need to be effective members of society. Our school curriculum is almost entirely academically focused. The skills I am referring to are the interpersonal skills like how to get along with others, behaving with civility, emotional control, listening, communication, using goals and decision making.

Studies have shown that most people get fired from their job because they can’t interact appropriately with fellow workers, not because they can’t do the technical aspects of the job. Studies have shown emotional control is a better predictor of success in life than IQ. The good news is that’s trainable. Why not train all students upfront?

This is a good example of “teach them to fish or give them a fish” for our society. If we teach them they will be able to support themselves.

Ken Stephenson


Love your neighbor

The Book of Matthew paints a pretty clear picture of how we should treat our neighbors: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).

So, it was disheartening to see reports that the National Christian Foundation – America’s largest Christian charity – has funneled millions to anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim hate groups. I don’t know where these folks live, but those are my – our – neighbors you’re talking about.

Diversity is one of the reasons I love living in Durham. I can walk down the street any day of the week and come in contact with people from widely different backgrounds, lifestyles and faiths. Even that one house with all those college kids who I fear might have UNC ties.

All this just makes me want to embrace these people more. Showing support with warm conversations, offering help to those in need and obviously orchestrating the occasional cookie drop-off (my wife and son are the baking team). After all, it’s the Christian thing to do.

Ryan Boger


Side effects

The Round-Up commercials on evening television made me wonder. Why must pharmaceuticals list a host of possible side-effects while pesticides, which are known to have adverse effects on the environment and people, do not? I asked this question to no avail by calling our local station. Perhaps some of our readers can enlighten the rest of us. Meanwhile, there are many suits levied against Monsanto from individuals who suffer from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. This is one more reason to refrain from watching network TV.

Karen Moorman


Captain Marvel

I am sure the real Captain Marvel recently rolled over, wherever he is. He hit the scene around 1940 and became my hero during childhood in Durham and WWll. Billy Batson could say Shazam and would become Captain Marvel and save the world! I was fortunate to win the comic’s war bond slogan contest and have the $500 prize presented to me here in Durham at the Civitan Club. Now the Captain is female, and Shazam is another hero who I must admit looks a little more like the original. I have the books and the letter of congratulations from Captain Marvel if anyone would like to see them.

Bob Yowell MD

Chapel Hill

Missing out

A recent front page story was very bullish on the future value in NC agriculture of CBD oil extracted from hemp (“A 145-year-old tobacco company gets into the CBD oil business in North Carolina,” March 15). The real value and future of industrial hemp is not CBD oil, but other products.

We currently have textiles, furniture and cosmetics made by hemp products, and every bit of it is made outside of the US. Why? Because the US hasn’t allowed us to prosper like we are capable of doing. We are losing billions of dollars and millions of jobs. We have the ability and the resources in this country to adapt to these changing industrial challenges, and we should do it, yesterday.

There’s absolutely no reason we should be importing these everyday staples instead of making them here.

Thomas Allen