Letters to the editor

Oct. 27, 2013 @ 04:27 PM

Different standards?

Regarding the recent news accounts of Durham School Superintendent Eric Becoats' travels and expenses and Chairwoman Heidi Carter's statements: Mr. Becoats welcomes talks about how to improve oversight of public money that he has already spent and Ms. Carter cannot recall if he sought permission in advance for the planes, hotels and minibars.

I wonder how my children's Durham public school teachers would react if they responded in the same way as these adults. Could my seventh grader welcome a discussion about whether a missed assignment was really due? Would my ninth grader be able to claim she doesn't remember if she was told to do her homework? Would they be able to participate in an extracurricular activity if I asked that the cost be put on the school credit card and I promised to pay it back later?

You don't need Common Core to know the answers to these word problems.

Tucker Charns

Durham

Bless your heart, tea party

I would like to thank the many tea party stalwarts who take time from their busy days to flood this letters page. Their hilarious hyperbole, absurd conspiracy theories and stunning disregard for facts and common sense give me a good chuckle every few days.

More importantly, like the man who brought a huge Confederate flag to a tea party demonstration at the White House, their shocking extremism is a real benefit to the forces of sanity and progress in this country. I believe that every wild-eyed rant I read loses just a few more votes for the now-ultra-rightwing Republican Party, and for that I am duly and humbly grateful.

Almost nothing we Democrats can say has helped our party’s cause more than the fact that, thanks to the "Shutdown to Deny People Health Care," more Americans are now paying attention to the tea party and are overwhelmingly appalled. There are many reasons why the Republican Party will not win a national election again in my lifetime, and you, dear letter writers, are one small part of them.

As I said to the elderly gentleman who started publicly berating me last week at Costco for wearing a t-shirt supporting our twice duly elected President: Why bless your heart, you must watch Fox News.

Richard J. Clarke

Durham

Planes to blame?

A recent Letter to the Editor by Laura Wenzel of Carrboro cited her agreement with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that fossil-fuel burning humans are the driving force behind global warming. I do not dispute that assumption.

Late one night six or seven years ago I was watching a gentleman as he talked on TV. He alluded to what he considered fact. This gentleman would not boldly say all he wanted to say for fear of retaliation. He said that a certain industry is the major force behind global warming, but this industry is so massive and important until no one would dare have the nerve to accuse them of being the culprit.

He hinted that global warming is mostly caused by the thousands of airplanes in the air at one time puffing out poisonous emissions. The gentleman said many of our leaders know this but every one is afraid to tackle this industry (airlines) but this would put his life in jeopardy.

Surely, many human activities contribute to global warming, but consider all those thousands of planes at a time flying relatively close to the ozone layer leaving a trail of poisonous gases.

If the gentleman I heard on TV is correct (I believe him), then the rest of our lives will be filled with frequent catastrophes.

Carrie T. Smith

Durham