Reader letters, March 8

Mar 06, 2014

GOP control is unfolding as planned

To the editor:

Here are a few tidbits to show that the GOP-controlled government in North Carolina is running just as they anticipated.

Tony Gurley resigned as a Wake County commissioner last Friday to take a position in Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration as head of the Office of State Budget and Management. Gurley will be making $124,915 a year in this newly created position, reporting directly to state budget director Art Pope.

McCrory said in a release, “Tony’s expertise will strengthen our efforts to streamline state government and improve operational efficiency.”

Joe Hauck was paid $310,000 for less than 11 months working as a consultant to state Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos. In December 2013, he returned to his job as an executive at a private company run by Wos’ husband.

Note that Pope and Wos were appointed by Gov. McCrory. Like Wos and her husband, records show Hauck and his wife were strong political supporters of Gov. Pat McCrory, donating $14,750 to his campaign.

Government of the people? Well, sure, for certain people. If this is your idea of efficient government, vote Republican. If not…

Bill Lusto


Thoughts on the Oscars

To the editor:

Let me be clear. I appreciate art, visual and performing. To be in the presence of a live opera, symphony, choral production, or theater performance brings me a profound sense of pleasure and of gratitude for the immense creative power within the human experience.

Film can be a most gratifying and powerful art form. Can be. I have savored the brilliance of great performers: Laurence Olivier, Peter O’toole, Judi Dench, Richard Burton, and the formidable artistry of Meryl Streep.

The list is long, and the contributions of such artists reach the deepest gulfs of our beings.

That brings me to the Academy Awards circus, that gaudy, shallow, inane, shameless exhibit of plasticity that is hyped for months, lasts interminable hours on a Sunday evening, and gets days and days of fawning attention from a media pandering to what it seems to consider the “tastes” of the American public.

Like the interminable Super Bowl, enough money is sewn into the stars’ “fashion” and parties to eradicate the national debt.

Or feed the almost 300 homeless children in Haywood County for the rest of their lives. Excuse me, but is there some reason I should care about how Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie “relax” before the Oscar show?

A few days ago, a film critic said in an interview on NPR, “Do the Oscars really mean anything?” His answer was no, and he went on to cite extraordinary films in the past that were given no mention by the Academy, while much lesser work took the prize. Just a matter of opinion.

Renee Mullinax



Don’t be fooled

To the editor:

If you have been led to believe that North Carolina’s General Assembly has been doing a good job, don’t let anyone try to sell you mining stocks or shares in a bridge at Brooklyn.

North Carolina’s teachers and school board members certainly don’t think so. Neither does anyone concerned for the environment.

Most people’s taxes are going up so that a handful of wealthy people can pay less.

And they’ve cooked up so many new roadblocks to voting that they figure you might not even try.

Such a legislature deserves to be purged.

But guess what? When filing closed last week, nearly one-third of the members were returned without opposition.

That’s 12 of the 50 senators — eight Republicans and four Democrats. Among the 120 House members, 43 are unopposed — 22 Republicans and 21 Democrats.

What’s worse, overall there are so few two-party races in November that party control is already decided in 80 of the 170 districts — nearly half.

However the people vote, it will scarcely make a difference.

That’s not democracy. It’s dictatorship.

It’s the intended result of the gerrymandering that the Republican majority perpetrated last year.

Democrats have their own sorry history in that regard. So there has been bipartisan support for legislation to put the map drawing in the hands of a professional staff. Iowa does this with great success.

But despite having 57 House co-signers last year, it didn’t even get a committee hearing and remained unseen in the Senate once again.

Rep. Joe Sam Queen was a co-sponsor. Michele Presnell, Haywood’s other representative, was not. She owes her seat to that gerrymandering.

Both have opponents. So does Sen. Jim Davis.

If you favor unrigged districting, you’ll want to know what the candidates think about it. And you’ll want to vote accordingly.

Martin A. Dyckman



Sponsor a spelling bee team

To the editor:

In today’s economy, many families look to outside sources for assistance.

Haywood COunty is well served by both faith-based organizations and civic groups.

While faith-based organizations look to the public for donations and also have fund-raisers, civic groups depend solely on their fund-raising efforts to support their assistance projects.

On the fourth of April,the Kiwanis Club of Waynesville is holding the second annual adult spelling bee at the First United Methodist Church in Waynesville.

Businesses and other organizaitons are sponsoring spelling teams of three adults. If you would like to sponsor a team or be on a spelling team, please contact George Dixon at 452-3573 or Marti Peithman at 926-3678. Come and have fun while doing good.

Also is your organization works with children, now is the time to ask for an application for one of the Kiwanis grants.

Jim Hoyt


Comments (9)
Posted by: Scott Lilly | Mar 06, 2014 18:30

"Rep. Joe Sam Queen was a co-sponsor. Michele Presnell, Haywood’s other representative, was not. She owes her seat to that gerrymandering." -- Ask Rep. Queen and Rep. Presnell their opinions on gerrymandering when Democrats are in power and Republicans are not.  I'll bet you get a complete 180 on their opinions.

Posted by: Allen Alsbrooks | Mar 06, 2014 19:43

You get a change of position every time a "different party" position is offered.

Personally, I feel both parties are the spawn of satan and cause as much  harm to my fellow Americans than any terrorist or illegal invaders.

Posted by: Phillip Wight | Mar 12, 2014 21:34

Michelle Presnell has served her seat well. She will tell you where she stands and stay there. Ms.Presnell has effectively  helped several residents of Haywood County with their issues,saving them thousands and keeping the gov't from exercising their will on the taxpayer.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Mar 14, 2014 08:37

                        Mr. Phillip Wright;


                         Explain why she intervenned and kept the will of WE the people's representatives from being done.



Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Mar 14, 2014 08:41

                There are many ways to judge the action taken on behalf of We the people by any Government administration/board. One is the number and scope of civil rights lawsuits being filed in protest of unconstitutional action. Compare mccrory to Purdue and see the difference.

                Liberals protect OUR shared constitutions. conservatives attack them.



Posted by: Scott Lilly | Mar 14, 2014 09:14

"Liberals protect OUR shared constitutions. conservatives attack them." -- I disagree.  Liberals are LARGELY in the Democratic Party.  Democrats prefer a democracy more strongly than a republic.  That means they use "majority rules" to take things from the minority -- kind of a Robin Hood kind of government: take from the rich and give to the poor in the name of "common good".


Conservatives belong more to the Republican party.  Republicans look to the Constitution to LIMIT government.  And that means they protect the rich and poor equally.  Just look at "Tea Party Republicans" who think the Constitution is even more revered than the Republican platform.  You don't hear of any "Tea Party Liberals" that want the Constitution to be respected -- although I'm sure there are a few.


I also admit neither Democrats nor Republicans respect their own founding principles at all times.  They let politics get in the way.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Mar 14, 2014 09:32

                  Cite a case whereby "conservatives" brought a civil rights case against unconstitutional action, and won.

                  "Limited government" comes from the Deistic opinion of inherited inalienable rights given by an "Almighty God" that after the original "creatiom", never interferred/intervened again. It does not apply to buisness where by it can be quite well pointed out that having too much wealth/power in too few hands is detrimental to Liberty at large. And it is a responsability of good Govt. to "provide for the ...General Wellfare".



Posted by: Scott Lilly | Mar 14, 2014 10:51

Mr. Zimmerman:


"Government" does not provide.  Government is of the People and by the People.  It's the PEOPLE that provide.  Government is just our organization to do so.  There are no public resources without the public providing those resources.  So those resources "provided by the government" originate with the people.  The government only has as much right to redistribute those resources as The People say.  And there lies the interesting debate between a democracy and a republic.


"it can be quite well pointed out that having too much wealth/power in too few hands is detrimental to Liberty at large" -- That is a point where we can agree.  Defining a "monopoly" is way too difficult in today's world of economics.  More competition and more distribution of wealth is a good thing for a lot of reasons.


I recall it being a civil rights case that George Zimmerman obeyed the law and was prosecuted nonetheless.  It wasn't liberals that came to his defense.  Any gun control measure is a civil rights issue where "conservatives" mostly win battles to preserve the 2nd Amendment.  Reliably, conservatives fight and win the right to be religious in the United States.  It's Liberals that fight to keep people from being religious -- or more predictably to fight to keep Christians from being religious.  The ACLU will fight to allow a NC girl to wear a nose ring to school because it's her religious right at the same time fighting to keep students from wearing a shirt with a cross on it.  Abraham Lincoln won the biggest civil rights battle of all time as a conservative!


The flaw in your argument is using "civil rights" to measure what's right and wrong with regards to politics.  "Civil Rights" is a fluffy and subjective term.  The Constitution is the underlying structure whereby "civil rights" are defined.  If you don't respect the Constitution, civil rights mean nothing. 


Tea Party Republicans are largely not liberal.  Tea Party Republicans uphold the Constitution above politics -- and they are pressuring the establishment Republican Party to do the same.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Mar 18, 2014 08:24

       Pure nonsense!

       We the people thru OUR elected representatives choose to use OUR resources to provide for the "General welfare" of US.

       OUR Founders quite well defined religious liberty. Trinitarians have no more rights than any other religious opinion.

        "A well regulated militia..." is the controlling phrase of the 2nd Amendment, allowing We the people to provide for the public safety by restricting the kinds of weapons citizens may own.

         Civil rights are those that each person at their birth inherit from their "creators". No one is born with a gun. OUR shared Constitutions do not "define civil rights". They prohibit what OUR govt. may do to violate the civil rights of "All persons".

           "All persons" retain their civil rights as their own property. (James Madison's "Property")



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