Letters to the Editor

Letters: Death of journalist in Saudi Arabia was no accident

An extremist ideology

Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist who criticized the Saudi regime, was seeking marriage papers. He entered the Saudi consulate in Turkey. He was interrogated, tortured and murdered.

The Saudi government claims this was an accident; it was anything but accidental. Dissent is not tolerated in Saudi Arabia.

The PBS “Frontline” docudrama “Death of a Princess” offers rare insight into Saudi society. The use of tactics such as jailing, torturing and murdering those who are dissenters is neither a cultural or religious value. It is an atrocity, pure and simple.

Saudi Arabia nurtures an extremist ideology, Wahhabism. Saudi Arabia is a significant source of global terrorism. The murder of Jamal Khashoggi is grounds for ending the U.S.-Saudi alliance. This is not an isolated incident perpetrated by rogue elements, but a pattern of persecution of dissidents. We should not sell arms to Saudi Arabia, assist their military efforts in Yemen, or accept their long delayed and less than truthful explanation of events.

By replaying Jamal Khashoggi ‘s audio commentary, and reprinting his articles, we can defeat the Saudi effort to silence his voice. Journalists take huge risks to make the world a better place. Jamal Khashoggi lost his life doing that.

Jacqueline F. Allen


Why so friendly with assassins?

Why does this president seem to favor leaders who approve of or initiate assassinations?

This week he has refused to condemn the killing of a U.S.-based Saudi national who wrote for The Washington Post. His murder was apparently orchestrated by the Saudi crown prince who Trump considers a close ally.

In the past, the president has praised Vladimir Putin, who is widely believed to have had Russian nationals murdered in the U.K., historically our closest ally. He is approving of the Philippine president who boasts about his county’s hundreds, if not thousands, of extra-judicial killings of suspected drug dealers. His diplomatic favorite is the North Korean dictator, who had his own half brother murdered in a public assassination.

These are just four examples that are obvious to any person who pays some attention to the news. Isn’t it time that those who support the rule of law stand up and send a message that we do not support murder as a public policy?

David Kiel

Chapel Hill

Why no urgency on climate change?

In “Climate change threatens the coast and NC should act, voters of both parties say” (Oct. 11), data from two independent surveys show 83 percent of survey participants think climate change will have a negative impact on our coasts. Survey participants included both Democrats and Republicans from North Carolina.

Concern about this issue and its negative impacts on our state (and the world) have been shared and echoed by journalists, scientists, and community members alike. Why then have we seen little to no support of climate action from our elected officials? There are still no members of Congress from our state in the House Climate Solutions Caucus, and none of our elected officials have put forth legislation to act tangibly on climate change.

Justin Baumann


Judge Hill most qualified

Judge Jim Hill has my vote for re-election because of his honorable service as a District Court judge since voters first elected him in 2002. I have known Judge Hill for 40 years and absolutely believe he is the candidate most qualified to hold this position.

Among our district court judges, the chief justice of the State Supreme Court chose Judge Hill to serve as Chief District Court judge. That appointment says a lot about the integrity, leadership and the hard work done by Judge Hill. Judge

Hill has done a lot to try to improve life in Durham County. He voluntarily created a Truancy Court program at Carrington Middle School. Every Friday morning since 2007, he has taken his time at no pay to work with students, parents and staff to improve classroom attendance and achievement. He knows that students who focus on school will become a success in life and will stay out of his courtroom.

He has presided over Durham County’s Mental Health Court since its creation and had previously overseen the Youth Drug Treatment Court for five years. Both courts had a mission to tackle crime at its root causes by having offenders receive mental health or drug treatment. Those who have completed such programs have ended up with clean criminal records.

I urge Durham County voters to join me in supporting Judge Hill.

Ida B. Greenhill


Meyer inspires

Rarely in life have I encountered a leader who inspired me to examine and to act on my values; Graig Meyer is one of those leaders.

I met Graig in 2012 when I volunteered for and he was director of the Blue Ribbon Mentor Advocate program through the Chapel Hill/Carrboro school system. Throughout my career, I had never experienced such transformative training. Graig took a group of diverse volunteers and made each of us feel welcome, heard, and valued. He has an extraordinary ability to facilitate difficult conversations regarding race, class, and gender, while respecting the intrinsic worth of each individual. While we may expect such ability in the educators of our children, we should also expect (and demand!) this capacity in our elected officials.

Graig has been elected twice as a State legislator for District 50, but he truly represents all of us by bringing the voice of the people to Raleigh. He is a tireless advocate for those who are most vulnerable and whose lives depend on a government that is truly “of, by and for the people.”

Today I worry a great deal about our capacity to engage in civil discourse and listen to one another on topics that arouse our most deeply held values and beliefs. More than ever, we need leaders who can model empathy and respect in a diverse world. We also need leaders whom we can respect, trust, and count on to do the peoples’ work for all North Carolinians — and to do this work with proven skill and impeccable integrity. Graig Meyer is that kind of leader. I urge you to support his re-election on Nov. 6 (or during early voting).

Helen E. Johnson

Chapel Hill

Enough development

I agree with Catherine Gossweiler’s letter lamenting the destruction of forest in the Triangle as a result of development. The root cause of urban sprawl is population growth. North Carolina’s population has doubled since 1970 and is now over 10 million.

Evidence for this increase may be found in the profusion of hideous strip malls along our highways and in the unending construction and expansion of transportation arteries. Executives love population growth because it raises their profits, while government welcomes it because of the greater tax revenue it brings.

At what point will developers be satisfied? When Durham has a million people? Ten million?

Why must we bow before the altar of perpetual growth, which reduces the individual’s quality of life and hurts our planet?

Max Ramage


Respect for the flag

Obviously we live in a different world with reference to respect and honor for our cherished United States of America flag.

I served my country as a medical officer during the Gulf War and belong to the American Legion founded almost 100 years ago by Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing in Paris, France in 1919. At our monthly meetings we do salute the American flag. I personally met Gen. Collin Powell who is an outstanding speaker and writer, both he and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf (deceased) both,of course, have great respect for the flag.

If the LGBTQ community wants to change the red and white stripes for which Gen. George Washington had so so much respect, for the rainbow colors, they are allowed to do so because we live in a free and tolerant land.

I do wonder however how other countries I have visited such as Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Italy and the U.K. among others feel about us Americans?

Juan J. Alva


Speak up

Please send up to 300 words to letters@heraldsun.com. All submissions, online comments and Facebook posts may be edited for space and clarity. All endorsement letters must be received by Friday, Oct. 26, to be considered for publication by the Nov. 6 election.