Hurricane Florence and its aftermath have taught us many things. How the impact of global warming is making storms bigger and more destructive. How quickly safe places can become dangerous places.
But we have also been reminded of the incredible generosity of the human spirit. Volunteers have come to the Carolinas from all over the country bringing ambulances and boats, emergency supplies and emotional support — all because we are undergoing a crisis.
In recent months, we have often seemed to be a deeply divided nation but this past week has revealed that at its heart we are one, united, caring country. Rescuers helping people from flooded homes don’t ask or care how people voted, whether or not they are immigrants. People sending money to relief agencies aren’t asking that their contribution be targeted to people of a particular race or gender.
We are seeing and accepting one another as fellow human beings. I only hope that this spirit of reaching out to help those who need help will continue during the long recovery process.
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Renewable energy needed
I am appalled that the meeting at Cherry Point about Hurricane Florence with President Trump, surrounded by Gov. Roy Cooper and the two senators and many other key people in North Carolina, undoubtedly failed to pose the crucial question about where the U.S. government stands on national policy on climate change.
Hurricane Florence is just a powerful warning that future hurricanes will be of higher amplitude, slower in movements and larger in creating severe floods. These are only symptoms. The cause is our CO2 emission, methane releases and coal-burning. What we need in North Carolina is the well-fined road to renewable energy that may or may not include nuclear energy.
Robert Y. George, PhD
Teachers, not sports
Regarding “Raleigh woman makes Time magazine cover about financial challenges of being a teacher” (Sept. 22 ): Remember N.C. high schools and the UNC system, combined, spend half a billion dollars every year on sports. The dollars should be used to pay teachers, not sports.
Graham off base
I am not surprised by Franklin Graham’s tweets in support of Judge Brett Kavanaugh (“Franklin Graham: Sexual assault accusation is ‘not relevant,’” Sept. 20). However, one of the statements he made on the record was so far off-base that it should never have been relevant enough to print.
When asked by an interviewer what message he was sending to victims of sexual assault, he replied that “… it’s obvious that she said no and he respected it and walked away.” This narrative is Graham’s alone. Dr. Ford has described a sexual assault, and Judge Kavanaugh has said he did not do it. No one but Graham has shared this made-up scenario.
There are some relevant truths here which lie outside of politics, though. First, that it’s wrong to dismiss an accusation merely because charges were not “immediately filed.” To quote Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, “allegations of sexual assault are one of the most unreported crimes that exist.” More importantly, however, we tell underage women that no means no when they say it, too; if we argue that boys will be boys, we’re really saying that girls don’t matter.
Avoiding the truth
The real crisis in Washington over the assault allegation against Brett Kavanaugh is the complete lack of concern on the majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee in even learning the truth. If determining the truth were the primary concern the GOP majority would be doing at least three things differently:
1) There would be no arbitrary, meaningless deadline binding the investigation. There is no urgency here.
2) There would be an investigation by professionals with experience in these types of accusations.
3) They would demand to hear from everyone with relevant information rather than setting up an artificial he said/she said two person hearing.
It’s clear that avoiding the truth is the GOP Senate’s primary goal here.
Many reasons exist for term limits. At this moment, in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s mishandling of Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, two glaring examples stand out, Senators Orin Hatch and Chuck Grassley. Neither shows he learned anything from the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearing travesty. Both are in their 80s.