Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


MCCRORY CAMPAIGN SHOULD FACE TRIAL FOR FALSE VOTER FRAUD CLAIMS: A desperate McCrory claimed massive voter fraud was the cause of his deficit. Cooper’s tally was boosted, McCrory claimed, by “counting the votes of dead people and felons.” To manufacture proof for the unfounded accusations, dozens, perhaps hundreds, of unsuspecting, civic-minded citizens were falsely and irresponsibly accused of election fraud – a felony. Their names and addresses were revealed in their communities, broadcast over the airwaves and printed on the pages of local newspapers. They have gone to court accusing the McCrory campaign and those it hired of defamation, want the record cleared and are asking for monetary damages. Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour needs to reject the defendants efforts to duck responsibility for their bad behavior. Those who were falsely accused deserve to have their day in court.

3 REASONS WHY TEACHERS ARE STRIKING NOW: First, teachers are tired of trying to educate students without enough money or adequate resources. This shared grievance goes well beyond low teacher pay. Teachers are rebelling against aging facilities, outdated teaching materials and four-day weeks – all of which are a result of reduced amounts of state and federal money flowing into public schools. In particular, funding greatly varies by school district and is often thinly spread in many states. Financial resources are particularly stretched in states that champion charter schools, which often are entitled to a piece of a state’s school dollars. According to the Education Commission of the States, 44 states and the District of Columbia permit charter schools. Of those, 25 states do not have caps on the number of charter schools that can exist. Some reporters have been quick to attribute teacher protests to #TheResistance – a movement against President Donald Trump. This assumption ignores the fact that collective action in the U.S. has been on the rise over the last few decades.

LEGISLATURE'S IDEA OF "REFORMING" STATE COURTS IS TO FURTHER POLITICIZE JUSTICE: As voters head to the polls for the May 8 primary, they’ll find something missing. For the first time since 1958 – that’s 60 years – there is no statewide race on the ballot. There should be, but the folks who run the North Carolina General Assembly decided to call off the judicial primary elections for fear that the people they want to install in office might not be the same folks North Carolina voters pick. Like some dictatorship on the other side of the planet, political strongmen in North Carolina called off an election. That’s not all. These legislators seek to change the number of judges on appeals courts; They’ve rigged the order of names on the ballot in mid-campaign; They want to gerrymander judicial and prosecutorial districts to favor one political party; and they eliminate primaries. It is all part of a plan, reminiscent of the Jim Crow era, to enshrine a narrow ideology and impose their rules.

SEXISM ISN'T JUST AN EQUALITY ISSUE--IT AFFECTS HEALTH, TOO: We found that, among women, perceptions of gender discrimination are significantly associated with worse self-reported mental health. Women who perceived sexual harassment also reported worse physical health. We did not find a significant association between gender discrimination and sexual harassment with health outcomes among men, but this may be a result of the small number of men reporting these forms of mistreatment. We also examined the combined effects of reporting multiple forms of discrimination and harassment. Here we found that respondents who perceived multiple forms of mistreatment reported significantly worse mental health than those who perceived no mistreatment, or just one form of mistreatment. Among women, the combination of age and gender discrimination was particularly detrimental for mental health. Women who reported experiencing both age and gender discrimination had an average of 9 days of poor mental health in the past 30 days.

MUELLER HAS QUESTIONS AND TRUMP NEEDS TO ANSWER THEM: Clearly the Mueller investigation has matured to the point that investigators believe they can profitably question Trump. While Mueller may feel it necessary to negotiate the logistics of such an encounter with the White House, neither the president’s high office nor his contempt for the investigation entitle him to refuse to cooperate or to insist on unreasonable conditions, such as being permitted to respond to questions in writing. It’s unclear whether Trump and his legal team understand that. Last month, when Mueller broached the possibility of subpoenaing Trump to appear before a grand jury, one of his lawyers protested: “You are screwing with the work of the president of the United States.” It’s true that the president enjoys some protections by virtue of his office. Under a long-standing Justice Department interpretation, a sitting president may not be indicted. But he is not otherwise above the law. Mueller has legitimate questions to pose to the president. It’s time for Trump to stop trash-talking and answer them.


MARY DOOLEY: IT'S TIME FOR SILENT SAM TO GO: In “Recent attacks on Confederate monuments are acts of prejudice” (May 3), Yoder completely ignores and dismisses the pain and ugliness these monuments evoke for many. Silent Sam symbolizes racism and romanticizes a long dead era of the south that we have all grown past. Comparison with the excesses of the Protestant reformation is simplistic and labored. No one is saying that we must forget the civil war and that there are not important lessons to be learned from it but that is very different from removing and putting monuments in their rightful places – museums and battlefield memorials. Silent Sam was raised during Jim Crow, when hundreds of black Americans were murdered and oppressed. It is the first thing you see entering UNC-CH campus from Franklin Street. How can oe be proud of that? Where are the monuments to UNC alumni who were veterans of other wars? The “monument” to the black workers who built the original campus stands many yards behind Sam and is no greater than a yard high. Silent Sam sits on a plinth of at least 12 feet high. It’s shameful. We have occupied the area around the statue, we have petitioned, we have telephoned, we have demonstrated at UNC Board of Governors meetings, gone to Raleigh, to no avail. Maya Little and a courageous group of UNC graduate students refused to let this travesty continue. Little and students put their blood and red paint on the statue. Referring to those of us who want these monuments removed to museums as “fellow travelers” harks back to the 1950s.

RYAN JONES: GIVE HOMELESS HELP SO THEY CAN LIVE WELL: The thing that is worst in our world is the number of homeless people. There is a few reasons that I want to share to all of you about ways to help or prevent all homeless people and maybe even animals too. My first opinion is I really want stores to give people free things until they are not homeless and have police go around towns giving homeless people a homeless card so if they need or want free water or food they have to show the cash register person the card so they can have a basket for the homeless. The next opinion I have is I want homeless shelters to be bigger so if there is like say a one-year waiting list they can just place them in another place that is close or a add-on to the homeless shelter. The second to last opinion is I want is people who fake homelessness in jail for life like if they are caught on the streets with fake dirty cloths, they need to be punished because homelessness is not a thing to joke about. The last but not least opinion I have is vending machines with a sensor that is high tech that allows the homeless to give them free cloths and they can chose their size. In conclusion I really want the homeless to live a good life like us and have a roof over their head and some food, water and cloths. (Editor's note: for those wondering why I chose to re-publish a letter with such poor grammar, the author is in elementary school. His heart is in the right place, so we'll give his head a little time to catch up.)

RUHAMA WOLLE: NC MUST COMMIT TO SUPPORTING TEACHERS AND PUBLIC SCHOOLS: It’s time. Teachers, our most undervalued leaders, have repeatedly defended themselves from politicians, lobbyists and even parents on the “teacher pay penalty problem.” So, it comes as no surprise that “School leaders across NC brace for teacher absences” (May 3) for the March for Students & Rally for Respect. As a former Wake County student and a current NCSU student, it is baffling to know that the “education exodus” worsens as teachers leave for higher pay in new states. A clear message to NC to step up and address this issue. The unprecedented teacher strikes will continue and the May 16 closing is a prime example that will continue to leave lawmakers scrambling and ultimately paying the political price. Until our elected officials make a genuine commitment to raise teacher salaries to match even just the OECD average, we will continue to lose experience and qualified teachers to states who value public education.



From the dark side

This week's loser is the N&R's "community" voice, a let's-go-back-to-the-1950's clueless conservative named Romaine Worster. They fired Doug Clark and Susan Ladd, but kept drivel like this:

In her own version of “Take Your Daughter to Work Day,” Tammy Duckworth cast a vote on the Senate floor with her infant in her arms. She was able to do that because she had proposed a Senate rule change that allowed her the right to breastfeed her baby in the Senate Chamber. That aside, it’s good to know that someone in Congress is nursing something besides a grudge.

Senator Duckworth is a double amputee, having lost both her legs serving in combat in Iraq. She deserves to be commended for her sacrifice and service to our country. She now fights for veteran causes as well as for family leave.

I, however, can’t look at her without thinking of her as a poster child for the feminist movement that made it possible for her to go into combat. If the objective of the movement was to discourage women from being barefoot and pregnant, I think I’ll pass.

Before you go slinging around "catchy" old phrases, you need to understand the roots behind them. The "barefoot" part of that has nothing to do being able to lounge around the house, it has to do with mobility. Many women were discouraged (if not outright denied) from obtaining durable footwear, to keep them from walking the f**k away from a bad situation. It isn't "cute" by any stretch of the imagination, nor was it a choice like you seem to feel was a good one.

Throughout history, women have been seen as second-class citizens. Freed slaves were granted the right to vote before American women were. It is no wonder women have taken it upon themselves to be all that they can be by emulating men, forgetting that, when it comes to real power, it is the hand that rocks the cradle that rules the world.

Instead, career women have abdicated that power to a day care, a nanny or, ultimately, an educational bureaucrat who decides what our children should be taught.

What "power" are you talking about? The power to shape the thoughts and beliefs of children? That's not power, it's responsibility. And it can be done well or poorly, depending on your innate or learned prejudices.

But for many women, it's the opposite of power. If you're busy rocking that cradle, seeking a higher education, learning new marketable skills, or simply just exploring the world outside the home, all become fierce challenges that men (for the most part) take for granted.

One more dose of idiocy and then we'll be finished:

What could women be? They could be actresses, artists, politicians, executives. You name it. They could even serve in combat. And don’t forget sex. They could have plenty of that now that — thanks to the pill and abortion — they no longer had to worry about being impeded by pregnancy on their journey to being all they could be.

However, something happened to the liberated woman. She found she couldn’t escape her biological urge to reproduce. Then, in her late 30s, 40s and (as in Duckworth’s case) even 50s found that — after years of thwarting conception — it was not so easy to conceive.

So, bye-bye warm human embrace of lovemaking and hello cold implantation of an in vitro embryo. Then have the baby and go back to work — because your mind and education were too important to waste on a child — and leave the kid with a nanny who, one hopes, has at least a high school diploma and a command of English.

Apparently your atrophied brain already forgot your introductory paragraph, where you were whining about Tammy Duckworth getting the Senate rules changed so she could bring her baby to work.

Also, that whole thing about the nanny literally undermines her entire essay. She wants a nanny who is smart (and apparently not an immigrant), but how the hell is that nanny supposed to obtain that education if she drops out of school to rock her own cradle?

Reading and analyzing this nonsense has actually drained my intellect. I'm dumber now than I was. I can't imagine growing up in the Worster household...