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Letters to the editor — Sunday (8-28-2016)

$400M payment to Iran was ransom after all

It now appears the U.S. paid $400 million for the release of four American hostages. Initially the administration denied it, but now concedes that the money was used as “leverage” to secure their release. Interesting interpretation and also total nonsense.

This all began back in 1979 when the U.S. sold $400 million worth or arms to the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. However, the Shah never received them because he was ousted before they arrived. Does this mean we owe the “ousters” the money? That’s the $400 million question.

Let’s pretend in 1959 the U.S. sold $100 million of weapons to Cuba on Monday. They paid on Tuesday; we said we’d deliver on Thursday, but Castro took over on Wednesday. Does that mean we owe Castro $100 million on Friday? Why? We never sold to him. He didn’t buy anything. Yet here we are 37 years later giving $400 million, plus interest, to the people of Iran for something I believe they never had a claim  for in the first place.

Our foreign policy is being dictated by a bunch of naive buffoons, and that’s why I believe the main issue in this election should be national security, not the economy. The primary purpose of the federal government is to protect its citizens, and come November we should vote for the candidate we feel is best qualified to do the job.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is great. But without life, the other two are meaningless.

— Allan Gilmour


Rowan is well worth a visit 

I was interested and encouraged to read this week’s “My Turn” column by Mr. Bill Bucher. What an enthusiastic outlook about Rowan County and all the positive benefits to be gained from increased tourism. This is an important issue for the county and should indeed lead to much needed prosperity and employment.

As the re-branding of Rowan County takes effect in the next few months, direct and aggressive marketing to potential visitors from the Charlotte, Winston Salem, Greensboro and High Point area is essential. Highlight the variety of outdoor activities available here, the areas of natural beauty, the many family oriented attractions, the county’s long relationship with the railroad and it’s deep historic roots, from Daniel Boone, to the Civil War.

Taking a day trip to beautiful Rowan County could soon be on the “to do” list of many of our close neighbors along the I-85 corridor. It has been my experience as a small-business owner that visitors from these larger towns “stumble across” the Salisbury area when they decide to drive a little further up East Innes Street instead of stopping at Starbucks! Many of them wonder how they only just discovered it. They describe it as “captivating,” “unique” and “quaint.” These visitors spend money here, supporting the local economy and our hard working downtown merchants.

Let’s not be afraid to share the well-kept “secret” that is here. After years of preserving the historic nature and proud heritage of this county, we should be confident that by inviting people to visit it, they too will appreciate its charm and beauty and want to come back for another visit.

— Mary Walker


Magazine is magnificent

Yoshiko and I think the newest editions of “Salisbury the Magazine” are fabulous. They are like coffee table collectibles to replace or complement our special Life magazines. Each page you turn is personal, glorious and enticing.

Our favorite leading editors are Mark Wineka and Elizabeth Cook. Among other outstanding members of our “go-to” circle we include: Josh Bergeron, Wayne Hinshaw, Susan Shinn, Ester Marsh, Wayne Wright, Jon C. Lakey, Shavonne Walker and other contributors.

In summary, the colorful, glossy pictures jump out at you. Blue birds and gold finches and eagle-like red-tail hawks are our favorite backyard visitors. The stories are page-turners.

— Chaplain Fleming and Yoshiko Otey


Officers need to be prepared

Regarding riot gear for sheriff’s deputies:

I believe the operative phrase here is:

It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it!

— Michael Whited




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