Regarding “North Korea says US ruining mood of detente” (May 7): For the first time ever I agree with North Korea: Trump is not responsible for the overtures toward peace in Korea, other than as a bad example. They have seen how bellicose, inconsistent, and unstable he is and realized that they can no longer depend on the United States for diplomacy, statesmanship or support. They saw that they have to do it themselves.
Trump has made the U.S. irrelevant in this regard in Korea, Europe, and the Middle East so we are no longer functionally at the table when leaders meet and lead. Our economy keeps us from being completely dismissed.
As for the laughable calls for a Nobel Peace Prize for Trump – well, if your horse goes berserk and kicks out your barn, you don’t give it an architectural design award for the window you put in to deal with the hole.
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Bridge coverage gap
In 2013 North Carolina declined to expand Medicaid, claiming it would cost too much. Mark Hall now challenges that claim in “Note to NC: States that expanded Medicaid have no regrets” (May 1). After analyzing experiences in expansion states, he concludes that “actual costs to states so far ... are negligible or minor” and “states across the political spectrum do not regret their decision to expand Medicaid.”
Since it now appears that cost is not a major issue, it is time to provide health coverage to the 300,000 North Carolinians in the “coverage gap,” not eligible for either Medicaid or subsidized insurance. Access to coverage is urgently needed: the opioid crisis is becoming out of control, with North Carolina overdose deaths doubling in just four years, from two per day in 2013 to four in 2016. Many with opioid use disorder are trapped in the coverage gap, with no way to pay for treatment and no hope of recovering.
Efforts to resolve the opioid crisis will fail unless people have access to health coverage. The General Assembly could provide this access now, with legislation tailored to fit North Carolina’s needs. We can’t afford to wait, and we will not regret it.
James Foster, M.D.
Keep dress code
Regarding “School officials weighing gender-neutral dress code” (Apr. 27): Officials are looking at a Portland, Oregon, dress code that gives female students freedom to wear “bare-midriff tops, tank tops, strapless shirts, spaghetti straps, and shorts that some might say are too short.”
The current dress code focuses on clothing deemed to be distracting or sexually suggestive, and some parents feel that it unduly impacts girls. Students objected that some of the permitted clothing is unavailable or too restrictive, and that boys should not be distracted because “boys should be more focused, regardless.”
There is a reason why children are not in charge of decision-making regarding certain rules and conduct. Their developing brains and life experiences are not mature enough to fully understand causes and consequences. Regarding parents who favor loosening the restrictions, I believe that some would be the first to blame school administration and staff if an incident of sexual harassment or worse should happen at school, followed by a lawsuit.
School dress codes were implemented to create a learning environment that minimizes the distractions and problems due to the development stage of its students.
Preserve Outer Banks
“‘Sunny day flooding’ worsens at NC beaches - a sign sea rise is decades too soon, studies say” (May 7) highlights what many folks who enjoy the Outer Banks have seen for years.
Every Memorial Day weekend my wife and I, along with six friends, head down to Topsail Island for a lot of sun and fun. We have seen the damage to the northern part of the island and efforts to sure up the dunes. The fact is the island will not be a destination spot for the next generation unless we act, and fast.
There are a lot of solutions that can help us reduce the impacts of climate change. One is a carbon fee and dividend that would put a steadily rising fee on fossil fuels and return that fee to every American. This is one idea being considered by the bipartisan Climate Solution Caucus in the US House. Democrats and Republicans join in pairs and we need a NC Republican to step up and join the conversation if want to be able to share Topsail, Nags Head and Cape Hatteras with our kids.