Regarding “Plan gives taxpayers’ dollars to pro-life clinic, Christian hunting club” (May 30): Twelve thousand North Carolina children with severe intellectual disabilities and autism are desperately waiting for services from our state. Many are like my daughter Meg – nonverbal, sleeping only a few hours at a time and not toilet trained, even at age 14. Many have hardworking parents who are struggling with how to care for these children at home.
North Carolina has a Medicaid waiver program designed to help provide services to families like mine. The goal of this waiver is to keep these children in their own homes and out of institutions. But it can’t work if it’s not funded, and our state legislature continues to choose other ways to spend our tax dollars.
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Every year, the waiting list for these services grows. Most people on the list have been waiting for several years now. This year our state legislature has chosen to provide $1.25 million to religious-based anti-abortion clinics that provide no actual health care services, only anti-abortion counseling and referrals. That’s over $1 million that will not go to the 12,000 disabled children waiting for health care services.
What does being pro-life mean if it is not to help disabled children and their families live productive and happy lives? If the hypocrisy of this funding plan wasn’t enough, this budget was written in secret by a handful of Republican lawmakers.
It’s time for the term “pro-life” to truly mean better lives for children in North Carolina.
Regarding “District warns of major cuts to close school budget gap” (June 6): Over the years I have observed the annual funding spats between the Wake County commissioners and the school board.
I have a suggestion. Why not for one year devote the entire county budget to the school board? My bet is the schools wouldn’t have the money to buy pencils by March.
Rocky Mount, NC
Regarding “You want solutions, so we’ve started this project to help find them before you vote” (June 5): The full page in Tuesday’s edition announcing that a group of “influencers” has been recruited to tell us what the issues are and what we should do about them seems to be evidence of journalistic confusion. This concept turns traditional journalism principles upside down.
These “influencers” are largely the “well fixed,” the comfortable, the educated elite. They are influential because they hold positions of authority and power. They are the very people journalists should be wary of. Some of them were targets of N&O investigations that exposed incompetence and wrongdoing.
Those who hold positions in politics, big business, trade associations and advocacy groups have many ways to express their views –frequently through paid lobbyists and public relations specialists.
Certainly they have a right to express themselves, but journalism has an obligation – not to assist them, but to challenge those views, to consider their positions with a large “grain of salt.”
Regarding “Trump says ‘let Russia back in’ as he heads for G-7 summit” (June 8): The question of whether there was actual collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government will be answered in in good time. Proper investigations take a while.
Of more immediate concern is why the current administration seems willing to weaken the western alliance system that has been in place since the end of World War II.
Certainly, Russian strongman Putin has made no secret of the fact that he wants to restore Russia to what he sees as its rightful place as a great power. To do so he must diminish the power of NATO and undermine the longstanding alliance between the U.S. and the nations of Western Europe.
Whether by accident or design, Trump is playing Putin’s game. Kicking off a trade war and withdrawing from various treaties and agreements will drive a wedge between the U.S. and our allies. A weaker NATO alliance means a potentially stronger Russia.
If the U.S. continues its “America First” (America alone?) stance and withdraws from world affairs, a power vacuum will be created and our rivals – chiefly Russia and China – will be the chief beneficiaries.