Letters to the Editor, April 9

Apr. 07, 2014 @ 11:34 PM

Oligarchy, not democracy

It’s finally spring! Like daffodils and dogwood, campaign yard signs are sprouting throughout the Piedmont. Once again, we are being bombarded with political advertising for candidates who will be making life-and-death decisions for us for years to come.

But who will those politicians truly represent?

In 2010, five conservative Supreme Court justices ruled that corporations could spend enormous amounts of money supporting candidates who favored business interests. Once elected, those politicians lost no time in passing legislation that put profit before the needs of the people. They reversed previously enacted laws and ended previously successful programs that protected our health and safety, our jobs and our environment, with callous disregard for the people they were elected to serve.

With the McCutcheon decision of April 1st, those same five justices now have ruled that individuals, like corporations, may finance campaigns without limit. That means one wealthy individual donating $3 million will have the same political clout as 300,000 people donating $10 each.

This is not “one-man, one-vote” democracy. It’s oligarchy. But there are things we can do to restore our political power. By moving our money from banks into local credit unions, by building community-based solar and wind power plants and by shopping only at locally owned shops and farmers’ markets, we can stop supporting the profiteers who are buying our elections. At the same time, we’d be building more economically resilient and environmentally healthy communities.

And, most importantly, we still can vote out politicians who fail to serve us.

Vicki Ryder

Durham

George Orwell’s America underway

With the firing (he stepped down, right) of Brendan Eich, Mozilla becomes the latest reduction to a whimper in a world of voluntary invertebrates melting before gay activists like toilet paper in the rain.

Mozilla’s CEO Mitchell Baker writes, “Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech.” The word I have for that is not printable here. It’s becoming increasingly clear that street thugs have nothing on gay activist thugs. Their cry for tolerance was only a prelude to a new and particularly nasty intolerance.

They will call my words hate while what they practice is so smothering that hate doesn’t describe it. George Orwell’s America is well underway.

Bruce Newman

Durham

Less assistance, more freedom

In the April 7 edition of this newspaper, we were treated once again to one of Larry Bumgardner’s letters bemoaning the fact that convicted criminals are mistreated and misunderstood.

According to Mr. Bumgardner even bank robbers and other violent offenders are “not necessarily to be feared”. Some of them just need a “little maturity”.

He is upset that “for certain drug crimes, an ex-offender may never receive food stamps or housing assistance”. Imagine that. A man breaks the law and the tax paying public is not obligated to feed and house him upon release. Unbelievable right?

Instead of focusing on how cruel our justice system is, perhaps Mr. Bumgarder would like to discuss ways to keep these immature folks from committing the crimes in the first place.

America is changing rapidly. Our work ethic is disappearing. Church attendance is decreasing annually. The government mandated exclusion of God everywhere outside the church is undermining our nation’s morality. The traditional American family unit is headed toward obsolescence.

A recent study showed 71 percent of high school dropouts and 70 percent of all prison inmates come from fatherless homes.

When our government began to take the place of the father in American homes with welfare and food stamps, these numbers began increasing. Illegitimacy, illiteracy, abortion rates and gang activity also began to rise. 

Maybe, just maybe, if these criminals had grown up with fathers in a solid family unit they wouldn’t be lacking in the “maturity” needed to keep them out of prison.

Jamie Huff

Oxford