The Opinion Shop

Bonus letters on taxes, historic names, budget, Gov. Pat McCrory

Letters that got overrun by other issues before they could see print:


Pony up, rural areas

Regarding the Aug. 11 news article “ Senate backs plan to shift sales taxes”: The Senate wants to redistribute sales tax revenue to rural areas because the rural areas are not growing. As a result Wake County may lose $6 million.

Urban growth required Wake County to borrow $1 billion to build schools. If the Senate wants to shift disproportional sales tax revenue to rural areas, maybe the Senate should get the rural areas to help Wake County pay for their new schools. Seems fair to me!

Art Beckwith



Let’s move on from bad history

In response to Dennis Rogers’ July 28 column “ Time to quit honoring Old Hickory”: I would like to follow Rogers’ thinking and be open-minded and inclusive instead of agenda-driven as our political arena has become.

So it seems we should strip President Thomas Jefferson’s name from everything for owning all the slaves that he owned. He obviously supported slavery.

Out of respect for our Native Americans, we should remove the American flag from all public properties due to the slaughter (genocide) of Native Americans and destruction of their land and homes by the U.S. Cavalry under the American flag.

We should also bring down President Abraham Lincoln’s name from everything for being so inept in negotiations for our country that he led the United States into our most deadly war. He was in charge as almost 500,000 American lives were lost.

My ancestors came to America in the mid 1800s, never owned slaves and never fought Indians.

Our politically correct agenda should apply to all. Let’s move on and quit fighting the battles that cost so many lives years ago. The history books have been written for that era.

Lee Darch

Wake Forest


Driver also to blame

Regarding the Aug. 15 news article “ Keyshawn’s parents recount how he died”: I have read many of the articles about the tragic death of Keyshawn Gregory. The name of his alleged killer, Malik Jones, is always published in these stories. Only once have I read the name of the young man who was driving the car in which Keyshawn was riding when he was shot.

The driver and Jones had a bad history, and when he spotted Jones, he stopped the car and exchanged angry words with him. The driver’s decision to stop and vent his anger at an adversary, with others riding in his car, led to Keyshawn’s death.

What if he had driven on by, aware of his responsibility toward his passengers and not wanting to expose them to possible danger? Keyshawn would still be alive to pursue his dream of playing basketball.

It illustrates the importance of the decisions we make and how they can impact lives, for better or worse. Perhaps this tragic event can serve to make young people think responsibly and make conscious decisions to avoid courting disaster.

Cheryl Mensch

Southern Pines


Bombs started Cold War

I am a retired U.S. history teacher who approached the bombing of Japanese cities quite differently. I gave an essay question at the end of the lessons on World War II, “Should Truman have dropped the bomb?” Students responded:

▪ Yes, they attacked us.

▪ Yes, we spent all that time and money.

▪ We would have lost many American lives invading Japan.

▪ No, because we did not have to invade but simply bomb them daily and impose a naval blockade preventing them from fishing and they soon would surrender. “Historically the bombing was a monstrous mistake because we let the cat out of the bag and opened Pandora’s box for once we showed our power every other country wanted a bomb too. Thus the Cold War and all the trillions of dollars spent turning us into a paranoid military state.”

The boy who wrote the last explanation possessed a sense of history our leaders have yet to see.

James Nolan

Morehead City


Too much school rhetoric

As a taxpayer and a teacher, I am tired of the rhetoric surrounding school vouchers. Having taught in both public and parochial schools, I am amazed by the ignorance of many spouting untrue statements about nonpublic school teachers.

In the Aug. 5 Point of View “ No ‘public purpose’ in school vouchers,” Mark Dorosin and Elizabeth Haddix stated, “taxpayer funds will now flow freely to schools that are not required to have trained or certified teachers, any identified or minimum curriculum, any accreditation or criminal background checks for employees and that can discriminate on the basis of religion.”

That statement can’t be further from the truth.

Not only am I certified in North Carolina and elsewhere, have a master’s degree and have had numerous background checks throughout the years, my school does not discriminate on the basis of religion, is AdvancEd-accredited and has a more rigorous curriculum than the state of North Carolina.

Lisbeth Pfeiffer



Socialistic ideas

Regarding Vivek Wadhwa’s July 27 column “ The capitalism we need for our jobless future”: I have not been especially worried about my four grandsons’ futures economically. They are being educated at very good private schools and will in all likelihood attend competitive colleges.

However, if the “new capitalism” that Wadhwa envisions takes place, I would be very concerned. Why would anyone work if, as he suggested, one could work three days per week and then get a check for the other four? If one wanted to work only two days or none, what would it matter? His ideas sound like socialism to me.

I assume that to support most of the world working only three days, “somebody” is going to have to work seven days per week and pay a huge percentage of their incomes in taxes to support Wadhwa’s three day (or no day) a week folks.

As Margaret Thatcher so wisely pointed out, “The problem with socialism is that at some point you run out of other people’s money.”

The list of economic Cassandras is very long and goes back eons. My prediction is that Wadhwa will join Malthus, the Luddites and others.

Frank Shields

Rocky Mount


GA failing at primary job

Regarding the Aug. 13 news article “ Legislators extend longest budget impasse in 13 years”: State legislators’ main job is to decide the budget for the current year.

Public schools will open within the next few days. How can legislators justify delaying the budget, while investing their energies and tax money in combating EPA regulations and working toward a constitutional amendment that would tie the hands of North Carolina legislators for years to come?

We need clean air and water and do not need the constitutional amendment.

I plead with them to focus on their primary job. I am a voter, taxpayer and one who believes public schools deserve to know their funding before the students arrive!

Alice Tumblin



Records request costly

Regarding the July 22 Under the Dome item “ Records lawsuit filed against McCrory”: The North Carolina GOP made an outlandish Freedom of Information Request, asking for 14 years of information from Attorney General Roy Cooper. I have calculated the request would cost taxpayers more than $1 million. We could use that $1 million-plus in our schools.

The GOP request is politically motivated abuse of the N.C. Public Records Law. Simply stated, the GOP should have withdrawn the request and saved taxpayers $1 million-plus. Anyone may go and see the 14,000 pages of documents produced to date by Cooper.

Another candidate also has “a long record of involvement in key state issues.” Should Gov. Pat McCrory provide all of his documents for 14 years to the N.C. Democratic Party? The governor previously was mayor of Charlotte (1995 to 2009).

No, the governor should not be asked to provide 14 years of documents. Has McCrory stated that the GOP request was inappropriate? The answer is a resounding “no!”

By his lack of comment, McCrory is a co-conspirator to this malodorous piece of political manure. North Carolina residents recognize a waste of our tax dollars and will remember how the GOP abused the law and how kids have fewer school books.

John White