Published 12:00 am Monday, June 17, 2013

I was disheartened and sad to see the results for the recent Salisbury Post poll concerning the question of when it is appropriate for the government to take samples of a person’s DNA if they are arrested for an undefined list of crimes. There’s a difference between arrested and convicted. This is nothing but another step down that slippery slope and another step in the wrong direction that we should not be taking as a nation consisting of many people, with a large mixture of various cultures, beliefs, races and religions. I am 59 years young, and when I look at what has happened during my lifetime, I am both full of pride and scared of what is going to happen to the United States of America.
Look at the changes in our life and nation. We seem more willing to give up rights and freedoms in the hope that somehow, this will make us safer. We keep moving toward making it a nation of the government rather than a nation “of the people.” The recent revelations about the taping of phone calls by the NSA is just the tip of a very large iceberg.
We give Bibles to our prison inmates, but imagine the uproar if we dared to give the Bible to our children in school. Maybe they would not end up in prison if we did so. We keep making laws that supposedly “empower” the individual, but in actuality, they place “handcuffs” on us more and more. How long will it be before we have chips placed into our body at birth so that we may be better “protected” — or should I dare say “tracked”.
This regression has to be stopped to save this great nation and preserve the rights of all. We need to look inward and upward to find the strength, will and faith. I would dare to say that most religions teach the same basic message. But as we have been moving away from that basic message, the faith and ideas that made this nation great are being diminished.
— William McCranie


In a very biting column on the opinion page of June 12, the Post described comments made by Sen. Thom Goolsby (R) regarding the recent Moral Monday protests as “a feeble attempt to satirize the Moral Monday demonstrations at the state Capitol.” Apparently, the Post is very concerned that Senator Goolsby and Gov. Pat McCrory “revealed no such disdain for the Tea Party activism that was boiling up around the nation and state not that long ago.” The column ends by suggesting that “Goolsby and his colleagues should view them (Moral Monday protesters) as what they are — a growing group of very concerned citizens”.
Could someone please explain to me why the Post published so much criticism of the Tea Party when it emerged a few years back? Personally, I felt that the Tea Party was also a growing group of very concerned citizens. Why has the Tea Party been demonized while the Moral Monday protesters are being glorified? Why is one group considered evil and the other righteous?
I realize that many politicians on both sides of the aisle have their biases and agendas. However, isn’t it the job of the press to be unbiased and to let the people make their own decisions and come to their own conclusions?
Remember, “The truth shall make you free.”
— Elizabeth Landry


The recent article on hospitals’ fight against a sales tax brings to mind a contradiction I’ve long failed to understand.
It’s well known that hospitals seldom turn away uninsured patients and render a substantial amount of charity care. So my question is, why did we federalize the health care problem with Obamacare, which the government is bound to screw up?
I believe in market efficiencies. Why are hospitals merging? I don’t see any savings, and the resulting combinations seem to be lessening competition. If they want buying power, they can shop cooperatively.
Why not see if we can help meet the rising cost of medical care by increasing the supply of doctors? My observation is there is a good supply of applicants but nowhere to enroll them. That would seem to be the lesson of economics 101. Perhaps then some erstwhile bright law school applicants would apply!
The charlotte newspaper recently disclosed that big hospital systems are sitting on billions of dollars in reserves. Big hospitals, big government and big insurance each play to their own interests and not the public’s. At least most insurance companies don’t hide behind the non-profit cover.
Which brings me to my latest exposure to the medical industry.
Recently I underwent minor outpatient knee surgery, which took about two hours time from anesthesia to discharge. I received a statement for $10,860 for hospital charges alone. I will receive separate statements from the surgeon and anesthesiologist. If it helps reduce my future expenses, I would be glad to forego the “thank you” notes from the hospital staff, the billboards advertising your excellent care and certainly the lavish design and decor of your facilities. I would settle for the opportunity to comparison shop.
The whole system is already irrational, and now these people from the federal government are here to help us.
Back to the sales tax lament of the hospitals. I say tax away, and lower my taxes in the process. Then add that charge to my bill. At least I can understand how it’s calculated.
— M.B. Blankenship Jr.


Our politicians are embroiled in one scandalous issue after another. First, it was Benghazi where four Americans lost their lives; there is more to this than meets the eye.
Then, it was the IRS focusing on conservative organizations requesting non-profit status along with Christian organizations and other groups.
That was quickly followed by the Department of Justice going after the Associated Press to gather information regarding a journalist’s report.
Now we have the NSA gathering billions of pieces of information daily on American citizens to prevent the next 9-11.
Where is all this going? George Orwell’s “1984” has taken off on the sale chart at Amazon. It pretty much defines the direction our administration is heading. Now many of us are truly supportive of the NSA to do as much as possible to prevent atrocities in America. But at the expense of our freedom? I think not! They really need to focus on the real terrorist targets, but that might be considered not politically correct.
Did the NSA solve the Boston marathon bombing with all their gathered data?
No! They were informed by the Russians, not once but twice, of the two young men who set the bombs. The NSA effectively ignored the warning and failed to follow up with electronic surveillance that might have prevented the carnage in Boston.
Thanks to the Boston police and the FBI for quickly stepping in and solving the Boston massacre. Which leads us to several other terrorist attempts: the N.Y. Christmas bomber; the airline shoe bomber; the Fort Hood shooting; all were stopped by American citizens, not the NSA.
Now, we’re asked to “trust our government.” You have got to be kidding!
— Richard Wilson

Whispering Pines