Regarding “‘All options on table’ following N. Korea missile launch, Trump says” (Aug. 30): our President was repeating what we have heard many times in U.S. conflicts with other nations. Saying “all options are on the table” is an implied threat that the use of nuclear weapons is possible if our adversary does not do what we want. The conditions that would require a nuclear response are never spelled out.
When U.S. presidents make that threat do they actually understand what use of a nuclear weapon would look like on the ground? The Union of Concerned Scientists provides the following description: A typical warhead with a yield of 600 million pounds of dynamite detonated above a city would incinerate or otherwise kill every person and living thing in a one-mile radius. People within 3 miles would be crushed by collapsing buildings or receive severe burns and be exposed to lethal doses of radiation.
Devastation like the above is unthinkable, impossible to comprehend. Nuclear weapons must be abolished.
Keep counties undivided
Republican legislators have adopted rules for redrawing legislative district lines are self-serving – taking voting records into account, protecting incumbents – but couldn’t they at least follow the state Constitution? That document provides that: “No county shall be divided in the formation of a Senate district”; and “No county shall be divided in the formation of a House district.”
Granted, in the past, courts have allowed these provisions to be violated under the implausible theory that it is sufficient for districts to be limited to a group of counties. But this goes against the plain wording of the Constitution, which requires that the number of divided counties be minimized. Keeping counties undivided would not prevent partisan gerrymandering but would at least conform to the constitution.
Don’t cut FEMA
I appreciated “Raleigh watching to learn flood lessons from Texas” (Aug. 31). As someone who has had my car surrounded by water in the Crabtree Mall parking lot, and a homeowner who experienced four inches of water in the basement during Matthew’s downpour last year, I am also concerned about our city’s flood preparedness. The article mentions that public officials have a good idea where to expect problems, thanks to mapping projects in cooperation with FEMA.
Trump’s budget would cut $667 million from FEMA, $62 million from the National Weather Service (including $5 million for updating its weather models), and $190 million for the National Flood Insurance Program to update maps detailing which areas of the U.S. are flood-prone, which can affect flood insurance premiums and real estate development in coastal areas. I guess ignorance is bliss under the Trump administration.