Letters to the editor - Thursday (3-21-2013)

  • Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013 12:07 a.m.

Cooperation an essential ingredient in good government

During his inaugural address John F. Kennedy shared the following with the American people:

“If a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor ... where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.”

Rowan County needs a beachhead of cooperation. Rowan County needs to create a new endeavor, a joint one that builds bridges. Rowan County needs a majority in power that is willing to protect those that are not in power, instead of punishing them.

What is good for the city is good for the county. We need partnership, not persecution. When we work together we prosper together. All of our citizens — both city and county.

Let me provide a simple example. The city outlined a plan to partner with the county on the cost of extending the runway at the airport. They were told to go away. As a result the county will have to foot the full bill. This can’t be done without raising county taxes, or hurting our frontline employees, or reducing funding for our schools, all at a time in which our energies should be focused on putting people back to work. County residents — including those who live within city limits — will pay the price tag for the lack of cooperation.

Cooperation breeds compromise. Some take exception to both of these words.

Ronald Reagan lamented in his autobiography about his time in the California State Legislature, where some of his colleagues refused to even acknowledge the word. They considered it a dirty word.

Reagan wrote “”If you got seventy-five or eighty percent of what you were asking for, I say, you take it ... and that’s what I told those who never got used to it.”

I agree with Reagan.

— Jon Barber

Mt. Ulla

Jon Barber serves on the Rowan County Board of Commissioners.

What Obama ignores

Did anyone else notice how President Obama completely ignored certain issues last month in his annual State of the Union speech? For instance, Ambassador Chris Stevens and the other Benghazi victims; there were no kind words in remembrance, no “thank-you” for their bravery. No apologies. No explanations.

Or when he said we’ll “help allies who take the fight to terrorists,” he never mentioned Dr. Shakil Afridi, who’s been jailed and tortured in Pakistan for helping us get Bin Laden.

He didn’t mention that despite the bailouts and TARP loans, he’s giving $45 billion each and every month to Wall Street banks. Nor did he mention that no Wall Street banker ever went to jail for their role in the crisis. Remember the savings and Loan crisis? Over 1,000 people were prosecuted and almost 600 of them served jail-time; all under Republican Presidents Reagan and Bush.

OK, I know Obama can’t just give that $45 billion each month directly to the poor; that would wipe out poverty within a year and put the Democratic Party out of business.

He never mentioned that his pick for U.S. Treasury Secretary (Jack Lew) earned over $2 million in 2009 as a Wall Street hedge-fund manager with CitiGroup while CitiGroup was receiving billions in bailouts. Or why Mr. Lew’s offshore Cayman Island account isn’t an issue like Mitt Romney’s was.

Or when he said “our stock market is rebounding,” he never admitted that this is only because he’s giving Wall Street investors the $45 billion a month to invest. It’s all just another bubble that can collapse overnight.

It’s no wonder that our economy is worse now than it was four years ago. Wages are down, poverty is up, 8 million people have dropped out of the workforce, the number of people getting food-stamps rose from 32 million to 48 million, the Middle East is more unstable, North Korea and Iran are suddenly nuclear capable, and we’re more divided than ever.

— Steve Pender


There’s a simple solution

So, a “Christian” church has offered to donate $10,000 to help cover the legal fees of the Rowan County Board of Commissioners while hundreds of Rowan County children go to bed hungry, and some of them are even homeless? How “Christian” is that?

Shame on you.

So, the uninformed Rowan County board and others say the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is attempting to make money. The ACLU is a nonprofit that defends all peoples’ rights under the law.

Your right to pray is not being questioned. The law requires you to pray on your own time, not on government time.

So, the fix is simple — pray alone or together in private before the board meetings. Why is this so difficult to understand?

— M.T. Sidoli


Other ways to serve

If the three residents joining in the ACLU suit needed a project, it would have been a greater service to our country to have spent time and energy helping the IRS collect those billions of dollars of uncollected taxes from negligent citizens. According to news reports, lots of them reside in Washington, D.C., and are federal employees, so that would make the job easier. According to a previous report, a number of Hollywood stars seem to overlook this tax thing also.

— Donna Kesler


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