Opinion

0222/Letters: Tainted election will follow Harris

Mark Harris, Republican candidate in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional race, listens to testimony during the third day of a public evidentiary hearing on the 9th Congressional District voting irregularities investigation Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, at the North Carolina State Bar in Raleigh.
Mark Harris, Republican candidate in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional race, listens to testimony during the third day of a public evidentiary hearing on the 9th Congressional District voting irregularities investigation Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, at the North Carolina State Bar in Raleigh. tlong@newsobserver.com

Tainted election

Unless there is a new election, I cannot understand why Mark Harris would want to serve as congressman for the 9th District, considering the voting irregularities.

Harris is a Baptist minister. Isn’t it important to him to be above reproach?

What McCrae Dowless did was unconscionable. It would seem to me that any upright individual, particularly a minister, would want to distance himself or herself as far as possible from such unethical and immoral conduct.

Doesn’t Harris realize that without a new election, the taint of election fraud will dog him for the rest of his life. It will remain in the minds of his constituents and his congregation, undermining his character and authority.

Why would he choose that over a new election that would lift the burden of corruption off his shoulders?

John May, Chapel Hill

Gun carnage

Thank you for your diligent work to produce summary coverage of the gun-driven carnage endemic in this country (Feb. 17).

It is astounding that it takes such effort to gather this data – thanks to the NRA and the Dickey Amendment.

The coverage of body bags helped end the Vietnam War. Perhaps coverage like yours will engender enough outrage to bring sanity to our gun laws.

Paul T. Caldwell, Durham

No to light rail

Before committing to the light rail project from Durham, take a look at the experience of the light rail system in Santa Clara County, Calif. I just moved from there.

I spent years watching trains with two to four cars going by with a couple of riders each. Per reports, VTA is facing a $25 million deficit in 2019. This is in a highly concentrated community of almost 2 million people.

Unless one both lives and works along the rails, it is of little value. VTA has been the B-2 bomber of money pits.

Go forward with this and you will read about cost overruns for the rest of your life!

Mike Caldwell, Raleigh

Green New Deal

I strongly support the Green New Deal as, finally, a serious attempt to meet climate disruption head on.

Those who argue it can’t be done may not know the history of what Americans did to win WWII. We built 50,000 planes in one year. ”We rationed gas. People pulled together in many almost inconceivable ways when they realized the threat.

Climate disruption needs this kind of commitment and we can do it. It is a clear threat – to our existence.

Ann Stuart, Chapel Hill

Cruel factory farms

Regarding “Farmers put the millions of chickens, turkeys killed by hurricane to good use,” Feb. 19:

Are we supposed to be relieved or happy that we humans got some use out of millions of chickens that drowned during Hurricane Florence?

The entire concept of factory farming these creatures, especially intelligent pigs, is inhumane and a blot on humanities mark in this century. They had no way to escape so they drowned — perhaps one way of relieving their suffering, but a mighty cruel way to do it.

Those of you in this type of animal business need to ask yourselves if this is really the way you think your time on this planet should be marked?

And those who buy chicken and pork from these producers are just as guilty as those who turned their backs while these tortured animals drowned because there was no where for them to be let go to safety.

Debra Tobin, Lincolnton

Environmental progress

The Feb. 19 article “Farmers put the millions of chickens, turkeys killed by hurricane to good use” illustrates good outcomes and reduced environmental consequences due to a coordinated, and funded, effort by the state and federal government.

As a “subject matter expert” volunteer for the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, I worked with other N.C. Cooperative Extension personnel during post-Hurricane Matthew clean-up efforts and experienced the on-farm benefits — backed up by field data — of the mass composting initiatives.

It is very likely that reasonable but robust science-based policy at the state and federal level addressing implementation of innovative animal waste treatment systems, such as carbon sequestering and renewable energy, would also yield good outcomes and benefits to the N.C. animal agriculture industry and all N.C. citizens.

C.M. “Mike” Williams, Cary

Professor Emeritus NC State University

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