Ban plastic bags
I participated in the recent volunteer program to clean the trash from a local highway.
Along with the ubiquitous mini bottles of whiskey and beer, the most common source of the roadway trash was plastic bags. The bags don’t disintegrate; they become embedded in the soil and stop the natural growth of grasses and wildflowers. The bags also hold rainwater and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
I call on Guilford County to consider prohibiting the use of plastic bags in retail stores and mandate the exclusive use of paper bags for shopping. As responsible citizens, let’s do our part now by using our own bags for transporting our shopping. We can, and we must, leave this beautiful place cleaner and better than how we found it.
Looking back over the past 20 years, Congress has passed an extremely small amount of legislation.
The Bush administration passed through Congress personal tax cuts that overheated the economy and ushered in the Great Recession of 2008/2009. The Obama administration pushed and passed the Affordable Care Act. The Trump administration passed a massive tax cut primarily for corporations and high net-worth taxpayers.
The sad legacy of those years is simple. Congress drafts tons of legislation but passes little of it. Look no further than action demanded constantly by American voters, including sensible gun-control legislation, immigration reform, domestic terrorism legislation, voting-rights legislation and infrastructure funding.
The roadblock to moving forward lies not in the House, which passes legislation by a simple majority, but in the Senate, which clings to a 60-vote majority requirement to pass most legislation (exceptions exist for some budget bills).
Partisan polarization makes this virtually impossible. This is an existential threat to our democracy.
The Founding Fathers designed both the House and Senate to use simple majorities to pass legislation. Only tinkering over time by later generations of weak legislators have resulted in this web of inaction created by the filibuster.
Let’s clean out the cobwebs and move forward decisively. The results would bring our country together and breathe new life into our democracy.
Bruce A. Hric
The cynic in my head suspects that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has found a horse that he can ride in West Virginia — that is, reaching out to Republicans to explore possible areas of compromise on infrastructure.
But does he have a clue, under the circumstances, about how to corral the trick pony of “bipartisanship” on the national scene?
Saying that the Democrats under President Biden must reach out and talk to the Senate Republicans, in a 50-50 Senate, misses the point with Sen. Mitch McConnell as the leader of their party in 2021 — as he was, lest we forget, when Barack Obama became president in 2009.
William E. Jackson Jr.
Regarding the April 15 letter “Stop the killing” in reference to the police shootings of Black people since 2012:
The simple answer to that is to “Stop resisting and running.”
In all the cases the letter mentioned, beginning with Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, etc. the results were justified. I have followed every high-profile case since Trayvon Martin forward and, with only a couple of exceptions, the police have been totally within their rights for the actions they took. The bottom line? Quit resisting arrest and stop running from the police.
How free are we?
We like to think of ourselves as free: free to speak our minds, free to possess a firearm, etc. Does that mean if you have the freedom to possess that firearm, I am not free to speak my mind, fearing that I’ll get shot?
More guns on the street are like more drugs on the street; they will lead to abuse.