Published 12:00 am Monday, April 22, 2013

Have we had enough embarrassment yet?
From the April 20 Salisbury Post: “Rowan County Commission Chairman Jim Sides promptly denied a request Friday to reconsider backing the Rowan-Salisbury School System central office project on South Main Street.”
Just when I thought Rowan County had begun to recover from the nationally embarrassing and infamous Carl Ford/Harry Warren attempt to institute Christianity as the state religion, now here comes Jim Sides. Ouch!
In North Carolina, county commissions have a “stake” in the county schools, not, typically, a city council. But in Rowan County we seem to have a role reversal. The Salisbury City Council comes across as reasonable and postured for the greater good of the larger community and our commission as mean-spirited, petty and “thumbing their noses” at the school board.
How could we have possibly gotten to this point? For one citizen, I am just incredulous! Is this the type of leadership Rowan County deserves?
Let’s pray!

— John T. Blair


Enough, already

The latest from Jim Sides regarding the Central Office Building is the last straw. I am a fiscal conservative and have typically voted Republican. The continued personal agendas displayed by all of the current county commissioners at the expense of Rowan County is enough. Their clear disregard for dissenting opinions makes them unfit for public office. The inane argument that they are representing the constituents who voted for them is small minded. Each only garnered less than 5 percent of the population of the county in the last election. This does not give them a mandate. Time to clean house next election unless they start showing better judgement soon.
— Dr. Neil Patel


The cost of prayer
Do the Rowan County commissioners know what it cost for Forsyth County to pray?
More than $200,000!

— John H. Bumgarner

No basis for ID law

With the GOP Assembly ramming a voter ID bill through, I wondered just how widespread the problem is and how much it would cost taxpayers. I called the offices of Speaker Tillis, Representative Warren, Senator Davis and Senator Lewis, the chair of the Elections Committee. I asked each office how many people had voted more than once, how many had voted under someone else’s name, how many in total had voted fraudulently and how much the voter ID program would cost.
Speaker Tillis’ office said they would get back to me, (twice) but never did. Mr. Warren’s office was busy or out. Senator Davis’ office simply didn’t know. Mr. Lewis’ staff member responsible for the bill didn’t know how many people, but said “more than one” nor did he have any idea of the cost. In a nutshell, the primary players in this effort, including their leader, don’t know or won’t tell how big the problem is or what it would cost to fix. Coming from the champions of fiscal responsibility, this is unbelievable!!!
How many fraudulent attempts to vote were there in 2012? Excluding felons, there were a whopping 42 documented cases of voter fraud, according to the Board of Elections. Most, 33, were presumably early or absentee voters trying to change their minds, leaving a whopping nine clearly fraudulent voters out of 5.9 million registered voters!!! Since I got this information in less than 30 minutes, why didn’t our legislators? Maybe they just don’t want to know. Or they do know and don’t want to admit that there is no problem!!
At what cost? According to the Associated Press (April 19 Post, page 2) the General Assembly staff estimates the cost at over $3.7 million, not counting costs to even inform the voters!
With GOP control of both the General Assembly and the governor’s office, this bill will go through, accomplishing a Tea Party/GOP goal: Make it harder for Democrats to vote. Don’t be fooled by these politicians!!
— Jack Burke


Licensing bill flawed
I read with great interest your editorial on Rep. Harry Warren’s bill (April 16, “Removing a roadblock”) and strongly agree that every driver in North Carolina should be trained, tested and licensed. Licensing is about safety and should not be conditioned on a person’s immigration status.
Unfortunately, the editorial didn’t tell the whole story about this bill. In addition to having bad consequences like the Arizona-style racial profiling of Latinos or of anyone who looks or sounds “foreign” by police, the bill is replete with other harmful provisions that seem to add more roadblocks to integrating immigrants into our communities than the bill eliminates. It would make it much harder for some immigrants to qualify for bail for something as minor as a traffic violation and also allows for the unfair impounding and even selling of people’s cars, whether or not they are U.S. citizens.
The good news is that there is another bill in the legislature, House Bill 915, that would do just what your editorial supports — allow immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses — without all the other harmful provisions included in Representative Warren’s bill.
— Raul Pinto


Raul Pinto is a staff attorney for the ACLU of North Carolina.

Speak up, voters

Regarding Sen. Tommy Tucker’s comment:
You are the senator, Mr. Tucker, and I am the citizen who pays taxes for your salary and office expenses. You are to represent us citizens and not shush us. Let’s hope the people who elected you twice already don’t do so again.
— Elfriede Trott


Draining America
We have no leadership in Washington; the president is playing politics, and Congress has failed to serve the American people. Our national debt is approaching $17 trillion. The president is fiddling as Nero did while Rome burned. Congress is sleeping and willing to see us become a third-class nation.
I’ve previously warned of the perils of war and borrowing money to give to many foreign nations. We continue to sacrifice our military in foreign wars. We are spending $2 billion a week fighting in the Middle East and for NATO. It’s time to eliminate all foreign aid.
Recently, I made a study of U.S. foreign aid. This information was provided by Sen. Richard Burr. Last year, we gave more than $100 billion to Africa, South America and Mexico. The largest amount went to Israel, which enabled its government to continue building walls and settlements on occupied land. Building walls and settlements on Palestinian land while destroying their homes is costing our country more each year. Since 1948, we’ve provided more than $500 billion in aid to Israel and all kinds of military equipment.
Now our president has guaranteed Israel our support for another war in the Middle East against Iran, our former ally in the “Iran-Iraq war.” Israel has the finest infrastructure in the world, thanks to the U.S. Perhaps we should declare Israel our 51st state so it would not receive more funds than any existing state. The president must act with Congress to govern according to the Constitution. We are not allowed to take military action and send our armed forces to war unless attacked. We can no longer afford to be the banker for the world. We have too many problems here in the USA. The president should demand that Congress end all foreign aid and remember that charity begins at home. Let’s rally around our great flag and country while demanding good and loyal government from Washington.
God bless our great nation!

— Victor S. Farrah

A great story

I wish every school child from seventh grade through graduation would read “America, The Beautiful,” by Dr. Benjamin Carson. It doesn’t matter if you’re Democrat, Republican or independent; his story is that great. I have tremendous respect for Dr. Carson. He was one of two boys raised by a single mother because their father left them. The family often lived from meal to meal while their mother worked several jobs. She encouraged them to read books because she didn’t want them living in the Chicago slums forever. They were teased all through school, but both boys rose above it to become highly educated. One became a neurosurgeon and the other an engineer.
If only we had smart educated people like this in Washington, D.C., America could possibly become the No. 1 country again. Common sense, dedication and faith in God could get America back on track.
It appears our government is working overtime to destroy America and its morals, responsibility and faith. For hundreds of years, we believed in the Founding Fathers. Now our president lies to us and has divided the nation. He uses crying mothers and dead children to push his agenda against guns, but he thinks it’s all right to kill babies by abortion.
He has big expensive dinners at taxpayers’ expense, trying to influence the GOP. He’s seemingly satisfied that our nation is becoming mediocre. When children excel in school, the system tries to bring them back down to the level of the non-caring students.
“We the people” was, and still is, the most important part of the Constitution, and now it’s being shredded. I love the John Kennedy phrase “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Remember, the government never gave anyone anything it didn’t take from someone else.
— Doloris Pender


Something’s missing
What is wrong with you people?

I buy the Salisbury Post to keep up with what the crazy county commissioners are doing this time to waste money, to read the obituaries and sports.
First you take out any mention of the college baseball standings when you have the state university, UNC, ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Then today, you take out all standings in baseball, hockey and anything else in sports.
Have you people gone crazy or are you trying to run off the subscribers that you have to the Charlotte Observer or to online totally?
Get it together up there.

— Jim Hubbard