Letters to the editor, Jan. 23

Jan. 22, 2014 @ 08:12 PM

Freedom can’t be bought

I’m 88, and have seen many ups and downs in my lifetime, but never seen my country in such disarray. 

Since 9/11, many young men have given their lives for our country, many are crippled for life.  From one who served in World War II and Korea, my heart goes out to these men and families of the deceased. 

The America I once knew, and loved, is not going forward, it’s being taken over from within.  The last few years we’ve lost creditability around the world.  We’ve sent diplomats, ambassadors, Secretary of State, spending billions of dollars to entice our foes and enemies to endorse freedom, accomplishing very little, or nothing. 

We have to live freedom, rather than buy it.  The last presidential election we were told Al-Qaeda was diminished and on the run.  Really!  In Iraq, Fallujah and Ramadi, Al-Qaeda has taken back over.  Government-run health care, supposed to help the poor and needy, is that their main concern?  Or do they want control over every citizen’s health? 

I grew up in a free America where we had little of this world’s goods.  We had love of family, God and country.  Today we’re living in a computerized world, where the government knows more about you than you know about yourself.  They tell you what you can and can’t do.  Is this freedom? 

Until we send people to Washington, with common sense, that know there is a higher power in control; we will never be free.

W. B. Turner

Hillsborough

Stop fast track for trade agreement

Congress is about to vote on a bill that would allow fast-track implementation of the most destructive trade agreement that has ever been devised, the Trans Pacific Partnership, popularly known as the “TPP.” 

Fast track means that Congress has an up or down vote and cannot amend or change any part of the agreement, making this and other agreements like it anti-democratic, and at the same time giving historic powers to global corporations.  Under this agreement involving 11 nations  corporations can sue nations and governments at national, state and even local level if they view laws or policies as detrimental to their profit margins. Corporate tribunals would enable them to do this.  

So if North Carolina or a municipality bans fracking, for example, a corporation can sue for unfair trade practices.  If environmental regulations that protect land, water and air are seen as an on obstruction to profits, they can sue to have them by-passed.  Sounds very scary and totalitarian, doesn’t it? 

One thing you can do is tell our senators and representatives to vote down the fast track now, they are about to vote on this.  At least that would allow the longer-term battle to stop this grab for global profits at the expense of the planet and its people a little more time.

Tim McGloin

Durham

Congratulations, UNC, on speaker

Congratulations to the Martin Luther King Jr. Committee at UNC Chapel Hill for bringing Hill Harper last night (Jan. 20) to UNC’s Memorial Hall.

Besides being an actor, author and motivational speaker, Harper is a scholar, having graduated from Brown University and Harvard University’s law and business schools. 

The message he shared with the crowd was one of hope for the future and of being mindful not to settle with the “status quo.”   He continues to suggest that we all use passion to make a difference in the lives of others less fortunate.  He reminded those in the audience that being silent when we know outside support  is needed in agencies, educational and law enforcement systems is a travesty.

What I found profoundly different with Harper, compared to some others I have met, was that he provided several actionable  suggestions to improve the world around us,  invited all to participate in making a difference and is putting his passion and energy into what appears to be viable programs.  It is great to see someone this accomplished using his acting forum positively to connect with the masses and create a much larger movement to help positively change the world.  

UNC Chapel Hill continues to be one of the great treasures of the Triangle that should continue to attract positive energy and empower students and others affiliated with the school to make a difference. 

Genevia Gee Fulbright

Durham