The Opinion Shop

Bonus letters on religion, salary disparity, Medicaid, abortion, coal ash and elections

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


Questioning science

The writer of the May 22 letter “ Leaving Bible out of academia” seemed not to realize that the scientific method itself is a product of a biblical worldview in which there is an ordered natural environment about which something can be learned.

The admission of academic intolerance of science supporting a biblical world view by even liberal scholars today is a healthy development that the letter-writer seemed loath to concede. I wish the writer could concede that it is a step in the direction of academic freedom.

Does not the thinking of liberal Bible-debunking scientists also involve preconceived notions? The writer mentioned the geologic rock column but neglected to explain the absence of evidence for transitional life forms. Also I would be interested to hear his explanation of the sudden early Cambrian explosion of so many life forms fully developed without apparent forerunners.

Terry Barlow



Wrong salary example

Upon reading the June 7 letter “ Unequal salaries,” I couldn’t agree more wholeheartedly with the letter writer’s sentiment, that the disparity between the salaries of men and women doing the same job is alarming and blatantly unfair.

However, I think the example he gave is inadequate. His claim was that Joe Breschi made more money as the head of the UNC men’s lacrosse program than his female counterpart, Jenny Levy. This didn’t take into account the differences in revenue brought in by their respective teams.

According to PointAfter, the men’s department brought in about $130,000 more. Therefore, proportionally, Breschi ought to have made approximately $20,000 more. In reality, he made around $25,000 more, still a differential from what perhaps he deserved, at least at face value.

It’s notable, nevertheless, that the men’s team featured six more participants, faced more media coverage and was recruited more heavily.

Sexism is so rampant throughout many aspects of modern culture it seems childish to use college lacrosse as a scapegoat.

Ted Davis



An inclusive process

Regarding the June 3 news article “ Gov. Pat McCrory signs waiver request to feds for Medicaid changes”: We salute DHHS Secretary Rick Brajer and his team for their inclusiveness in developing the waiver and for recognizing the value of preserving North Carolina’s primary care system and infrastructure – assets that are the foundation of cost-effective, high-quality health care. It has been a pleasure to work with the secretary and his team.

At the end of the day, Medicaid reform must be about caring for patients and about supporting the thousands of physicians and other clinicians who treat them every day all across our great state. That has always been, and will continue to be, the mission of Community Care of North Carolina.

Through the transition, CCNC will continue to work closely with North Carolina’s primary care physicians, our longtime partners and other clinicians like OB/GYNs and pharmacists who help CCNC enrollees get the care they need.

Our aim will be to assure that the 1.5 million Medicaid recipients we serve have uninterrupted access to affordable, high quality health care.

L. Allen Dobson Jr.

President and CEO, Community Care of North Carolina



Lethal abortion

Regarding the May 31 Point of View article “ Standing in the way of reproductive progress”: The writer stated that “there is no scientific proof that abortion is unsafe.” This is simply untrue. In addition to being physically and mentally unsafe for mothers, it is lethal for the other person involved in an abortion: the baby in the mother’s womb.

Unborn children deserve the same right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that their mothers enjoy. Alcohol is not advised during a pregnancy for a reason.

Children in the womb are people, for “when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb (Luke 1:41).” Aborted babies will never take their first breath of air, never blow out the candles on their birthday cakes and never see the beauty of a sunset.

Blessed Mother Teresa once asked that “if we can accept that a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?”

Abortion has nothing to do with “reproductive progress” or “women’s rights.” These words mean nothing to innocent babies facing pain and death in America today.

Abortion is not a right, and it is certainly not safe!

Adam Galetti

Wake Forest


Struggling state workers

I would like someone in the Senate to tell me why a trooper, professor, chancellor or judge is more valued than a snowplow operator, sign erector, secretary or sanitation worker.

The legislators say they value all state employees but, at budget time, it seems the more someone makes the better their chances for a raise. This causes low morale, dissatisfaction and resentment.

If privatization is the goal, then just do it. Otherwise, they should honor the commitment to us when they hired us: an honest wage and treatment for an honest day’s work!

A recent article stated that our teachers had actually lost money the last decade or so from inflation and increased health care costs. Guess what? So did we! The only difference? We didn’t get all those raises and bonuses they did along the way. So, we are even further behind than they are. I am by a proud DOT employee struggling to make ends meet after 29 year service to our great state.

Michael Humphrey



Regulations cost consumers

Regarding the June 7 news article “ McCrory vetoes coal ash bill”: Senate Bill 71, recent legislation to address the coal ash issue, should stand, despite Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto.

This bill addresses McCrory’s Department of Environmental Quality’s regulations on coal ash, which are heavy handed and motivated by politics, not science. Even worse, this regulation will harm North Carolina families by driving up electricity rates.

Duke Energy has accepted responsibility for its mistakes and is working to address coal ash issues, but the DEQ’s regulations exceed what is needed to protect public health. The unnecessary costs of DEQ’s regulations will undoubtedly be passed to ratepayers through higher electricity bills. These costs cut into family budgets and hamstring local businesses.

Meanwhile, SB 71 addresses real consumer issues, requiring Duke Energy to provide a safe water source for plant neighbors.

I rarely agree with Duke’s approach to energy policy (i.e. its support for President Obama’s CO2 regulation for power plants). However, the measures being asked in this instance wrongly punish North Carolina families and businesses.

North Carolinians should tell the McCrory administration they won’t allow politically driven policies to affect their pocketbooks.

Thomas J. Pyle

President, American Energy Alliance

Washington, D.C.


Learn issues, candidates

While I was serving as a judge in my Durham precinct June 7, a woman entered and asked why the election was being held. I gave her a brief history about the decision by three federal judges that two of North Carolina’s 13 U.S. House districts were gerrymandered resulting in the postponement of congressional primaries in March and a complete reconfiguration of all 13 districts.

I also explained that a three-judge N.C. Superior Court decided the retention election for N.C. Supreme Court Associate Justice Robert Edmunds that our General Assembly approved last year was unconstitutional and that the Supreme Count with Edmunds recusing himself upheld the lower court’s decision.

The potential voter decided against voting because she was not familiar with the candidates and had not paid attention to published or broadcast news stories about both cases. At the very least this woman must have been embarrassed.

Democracy works best when voters make an effort to learn about candidates and issues.

As an election official – and more importantly as a citizen – I urge all planning to vote this fall to become familiar with the candidates and their positions before going to the polls during early voting or Nov. 8.

Mark G. Rodin