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Sunday's letters

Sunday's letters

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Meanwhile, on Earth ...

On Feb. 18, 2021, America dropped a device on the surface of Mars, some 250 million miles away, through a rarefied atmosphere 1/1000th of the Earth's, moving at 12,000 miles an hour, onto a precise location selected months ahead of time, that came to a complete stop exactly at the surface of Mars.

And on this same day, in Texas, people huddled in their automobiles, some in sub-zero temperatures, warming themselves by burning gasoline, chancing carbon monoxide poisoning or dying for lack of a proper distribution of available electricity to heat their homes.

We have a senator in Washington who once invoked a snowball to disprove the phenomenon of climate change. His political calculus was clear. His scientific prowess not so much.

The men and women who built the Mars rover relied upon truth, science and collaboration. They did not rely upon lies, adversity and obfuscation.

Yet the politics of governance in America today is counter-intuitive to truth. That there are people in Congress responsible for our welfare who have no clue about science, who twist the truth to satisfy their own agenda, is a crime and an insult.

Kenneth Jacobs


Good idea, bad site

I woke on a icy-cold morning during a pandemic to find out that one of the most pressing needs in Greensboro is a Holocaust memorial. A memorial placed in a park where there is skating, ping pong, kids playing, a dog park and entertainment.

Make no mistake, the Holocaust was a seminal event in our history. I just don't understand why it would go in LeBauer Park.

The city of Greensboro, I am sure, will be asked to provide funding as well. I hope the City Council concentrates more on homelessness and violence, both of which are more pressing and deserve more attention.

State Rep. Jon Hardister is looking to the state to fund half of this $500,000 project. Yet, he won't support Medicaid expansion for the working poor.

This reminds me of the 9/11 memorial placed at the corner of MLK and South Elm Street by Zack Matheny and DGI with little thought, public input and context for those walking by.

Memorials and monuments are important to help remember the rights and wrongs of the past.

They deserve to be placed with more thought so they can provide an important public service.

David Craft


Defund police?

North Carolina Senate Bill 100 wants to freeze police funding, without input from community leaders.

No rational person wants to defund the police, but it’s long past time to ignore the conflict between police (public servants) and citizens (their customers).

Three questions to start this discussion.

First, what to call police: Law enforcement or a peacekeeping department? Is the primary role of police officers enforcing laws or keeping peace in their community?

Second, has militarization of police changed behavior? How have cities used Government Program 1033, which passed more than $2 billion worth of assault rifles, grenade launchers, bayonets, combat knives, helicopters, bomb-detonator robots, battle uniforms, electric wire and armored vehicles to local police and required them to either use the equipment within one year or return? For what need at what cost?

Third, the Civil Asset Forfeiture program allows police to seize and keep money and property from suspected criminals without a warrant. Is this effective or abusive?

Everything might be OK, but before pushing new legislation through let’s ask communities to join the discussion of how taxpayer dollars should be best spent to support their police mission, because the police work for the people, not the legislature.

Bruce Bower


Selective outrage

The leaders of the N.C. Republican Party were furious at Sen. Burr for voting to convict former-President Trump (N&R, Feb. 16, page A1), but apparently they were not dismayed by Mr. Trump’s despicable behavior.

Even if they opposed impeachment, I would have expected Republicans to be outraged at least by Mr. Trump’s shameful treatment of his vice president — for example, tweeting disparaging comments about Vice President Pence even after learning about the danger that Pence was in from the mob.

What kind of human being does such a thing? Who wouldn’t be outraged?

Apparently the leaders of the N.C. Republican Party.

Their anger was directed, instead, at Sen. Burr for taking a courageous, principled, honorable vote. The contrast is revealing. It seems as though loyalty to Trump is about all that matters to our state’s Republican leaders. Sad.

Richard Shull


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