Letters to the Editor

10/9 Letters: Skepticism about Trump administration’s handling of Puerto Rico

Regarding “Trump lashes out at Puerto Ricans after mayor’s criticism of administration’s relief effort” (Sept. 30): It is classic Trump. Blame the victim and divert attention from the real issue. Criticizing the San Juan mayor for calling out the federal response to Hurricane Maria is exactly what everyone should expect from Trump. Nothing more, nothing less.

But why weren’t the responders and the supplies/materials they would need not pre-positioned to immediately rush to the island (yes Trump, we all know it is an island in the Atlantic Ocean that you cannot drive or walk to)? Why was the hospital ship USS Comfort not rushed to Puerto Rico within hours of the hurricane instead of more than a week? Why not parachute desperately needed supplies to the islands interior? Novel ideas, I know.

This catastrophe falls on the heels of Hurricane Irma, which slashed across the northern coast, crippling the electric grid. Maria finished it off. Puerto Rico is part of America, and its residents are American citizens.

Brian Letourneau

Durham

Replace Silent Sam

Regarding “UNC chancellor says Silent Sam draining ‘energy and goodwill’ ” (Oct. 1): Remove the statue of Silent Sam at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Leave the pedestal. On it, place indestructible plaques bearing the language of The Mecklenburg Declaration , the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

However imperfectly these three documents have been interpreted and applied for more than 200 years, they are nevertheless aspirational, hopeful, and, now, inclusive. They teach a different and more honorable history than Silent Sam has embodied and now evokes.

Rud Turnbull

Pittsboro

Stop budget

North Carolina’s U.S. senators need to provide some real leadership regarding the federal budget. The budget was designed to benefit big businesses, as though they needed any aid, and grind the faces of the poor and middle class further into the dust. Lifesaving programs like food stamps are on the chopping block. This program serves 15 percent of the North Carolina population, many of whom are working poor. How can it be otherwise in North Carolina when the minimum wage is $7.20 per hour and 25 percent of children live below the poverty line? And yet cuts are proposed to this program, Meals on Wheels and school lunches for needy children. This is utterly immoral.

The president’s proposed budget would provide tax cuts to the wealthiest families while cutting refundable tax credits for the working poor. It would eliminate the deduction for state and local taxes. It would cut the EPA, the State Department and Health and Human Services. Are there not already enough homeless families? Is dirty water and air in anybody’s interest? In such an unstable world situation, is dismantling the State Department is a good idea?

Karen Ziegler

Durham

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