Big & Tall Complaint

Dear Editor,

I would like to get to the “bottom” of several issues of concern to me.  First, I have great concern for us tall men and women now that I have learned about the planned Greensboro performing arts center (GPAC) seats.

An earlier article in your paper over a year ago noted that GPAC would have fewer square feet than the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), but it would have more seats than DPAC has.  For tall men and women this likely means one thing – we will not fit in these GPAC seats.

Currently both my wife and I cannot fit in our Greensboro Coliseum seats because our knees push too hard into the backs of the seats in front of us.  In order to attend the Bryan Series of lectures, the management had to move us to folding chairs on the floor of the Coliseum for this reason.  I know a variety of other tall people who never attend Coliseum events because of their tightly packed seats.  As each American generation continues to get taller on average, our future GPAC facility will exclude more and more people who cannot fit in its small seats.

Second, the Brassfield Cinema is currently installing new seats in one theater after the other.  These new seats are made of a much harder plastic (easier to keep clean and harder to damage, I would expect), but they rock forward and backward at the slightest shifting of one’s body.  It is impossible for us to sit straight up with our feet on the floor here as we did previously since the seats are made to tilt us backwards as soon as we sit down.

Similar rocking seats that we do like in other theaters each have a brake or locking feature to prevent the rocking motion once you find the position you like.  We and our group of movie fans have moved our business to other theaters due to this change.  I caution other businesses to consider the size and comfort of their seats before they encourage or even force people to spend their money elsewhere.

William D. Courter


I Heart Obamacare

Dear Editor,

Obamacare is helping millions of Americans, young and old, have health insurance with pre-existing conditions at affordable prices. Trump care will cause 24 million to lose health insurance and make it unaffordable especially for ages 55 to 64. We need to keep ACA and get more insurance companies involved with it. Especially in counties where there’s only one carrier.

Sharon Lyles



Trump is Bad Kind of Popular

Dear Editor,

Do you believe Trump is a populist? Populism is a political strategy that plays on discontents and fears in society by offering simple answers to complex problems and by scapegoating minority groups. Trump tries to make immigrants, Mexicans and Muslims the enemy. His simple solutions include building a wall and banning immigrants.

Populism should not be confused with popularity. Trump is not popular, with a rating near 31 percent, losing the election by nearly 3 million votes.

Historically, populists have appealed primarily to working class folk, by claiming to represent the working class versus the elites, and Trump’s appeal seems grounded there. But much of his agenda is more helpful to the elite rich than to the common man. For example, his proposed tax cuts provide more benefit to the rich than to common folks. He wants to do away with the Dodd-Frank regulation that helps reign in big banks. He wanted to repeal the Affordable Care Act that provides health care to an additional 15 million people, all of them common folk. He lost that, despite his talk about being able to make deals. His proposed tariffs will drive up the cost of imported goods. Beware Walmart shoppers. His budget cuts deeply into education and health departments that provide services to common people.

Another facet of populism is the idea that power should be in the hands of the little guy, not with the elite. Politicians and rich people are part of the elite, and most people believe all politicians are corrupt. Although he is very rich himself, Trump effectively casts himself, not as a rich politician, but as an outsider working against the rich and politicians. “Drain the swamp”, he tweets. However his appointments thus far have been primarily from members of his own class, the elite. They are either rich and powerful people such as Tillerson, Mnuchin and DeVos or politicians such as Sessions and Perry. Not a team with roots outside Washington among working people.

Trump has taken populism to new heights with his use of tweets to offer his simple solutions or to distract and amuse his audience. By tweeting distorted statements about healthcare reform, he avoids any discussion or understanding of the proposed legislation. Tweets, the more ridiculous the more effective for him, give him headlines for a couple of days, keep his name in front of his audience and help maintain his support from his base.

Don’t be fooled by Trump, an unpopular and loser populist.

James Bennett




Budget Could Use More Nicking

Dear Editor,

The headlines scream “Trump to Slash Funding for Domestic Programs!”  And yet, a quick check of the facts reveals that Trump’s proposed budget barely nicks the budget of any domestic social program.

Consider the Meals on Wheels program, which receives less than 2 percent of its total funding from the federal government. Thus Trump’s proposed 35 percent cut amounts to less than one-half of one percent of the Meals on Wheels total funding. That’s hardly slashing. In fact, given that Meal on Wheels employs various administrators who receive six figure salaries in exchange for less than 50 hours total work per year, one could certainly wish their budget was actually being slashed.

The list continues. So many of the various domestic social programs that receive taxpayer funding are rife with financial malfeasance and waste. Slicing a half a percent from any or all of them should not interfere with any actual work those agencies claim to be doing. Beware the over the top alarms being sounded by the alt-left media. It’s really much ado about nothing.

Frank Swanson



New Med Plan No Good

Dear Editor,

The Republican care plan would hurt all of us.

Their plan does nothing to deal with skyrocketing prices for medical care and prescription drugs.

Annie Williams



Beer Caps Hurt All

Dear Editor,

Your cover story concerning Bill Sherrill’s battle to increase production is spot-on and a clear cut example of crony capitalism in action.  In this case, government is favoring large mass market beer producers so that they can maintain their advantage over Bill (and other craft brewers like him) by controlling how this particular product can be distributed to the marketplace.

Full disclosure: I worked for Bill for four-and-a-half years and, looking back, wished I had never left his organization.  He is a stand-up man who was a stand-up boss to work for.  Perhaps someday he may see fit to bring me back aboard.  Even if he doesn’t I will still pitch his products because they are, like Bill, products of quality and uncompromised integrity.

Indeed, in this era where mediocrity is considered to be an acceptable norm, it is nice to know that there are people like Bill (and the other craft brewers like him) who choose to maintain integrity of quality instead of doing things half-way.  Bill chooses to maintain control over how his product is distributed (and has the resources to do so) so that quality is not compromised by shoddy handling practices.  The rise of craft brewers like Bill is the result of beer drinkers wanting a better product than what the “big boys” are offering.  Indeed, mass-market American beer has become the butt of many a joke.  All Bill and the other craft brewers want to do is make an honest, quality product and earn an honest dollar in the process.  What’s wrong with that?

As for state Rep. Jon Hardister, I know you and know that you are a stand-up good guy.  Please do the right thing and get legislation passed so that Bill can expand his production.  It will not only help Bill and the other craft brewers and indirectly, all the other small businessmen (and women) who have the guts to put their name on a product and stick out a sign that says “open for business.”  These people are the backbone of American industry and are responsible for creating the majority of jobs in our society.  Indeed, President Calvin Coolidge said it best:  “The business of America is business.”

Jim Bailey



GOP Falling Down

Dear Editor,

For the last 7-plus years, one of the big mantras of the Republican Party was “Repeal Obamacare.” This was the biggest thing they would use to encourage people to vote Republican.

First it was, “Give us the House and we can stop them by controlling the purse strings.” After they got the House not much happened. Actually, they started giving away the store, which was quite the opposite of what they said they would do. Next it was, “Give the House and the Senate and we can really affect things.” After they got it not much else changed. They still allowed a fire sale on about everything.

Finally it was, “All we need now is the White House and we will finally get things done.” Well, they got it all and what happened? They trotted out that favorite formation that they have almost always seemed to use – the circular firing squad.

During the reign of dear leader, they campaigned on repeal then replace Obamacare. Somewhere along the line the same thing that almost every politician does began to happen. The phrasing began to slowly morph until it went from repeal then replace to repeal and replace. And contrary to whatever spin they try to put on it, they are not the same.

The Republicans have everything they need to kill Obamacare except the guts. This thing is sucking the life out of America. Yes, people will lose coverage. But there are things that can be done to help and those would work best at the state level. The federal government needs to get out of it. All they do, and this applies to almost everything they do, is make it so cumbersome that it fails under its own weight. Not to mention that the oversight is so far from the actual operation they don’t see it. The closer to the source the better the control.

GOP, you have the chance to get it done. To put this country back on the right path. To give the American people back the control of their lives that the left took away. If you blow the tax reform, then start lining up the moving trucks because you’ll need them in 2018. You will literally hand everything back over to the left. And if that happens, may God have mercy on our souls because the left won’t.

Go Galt and save the republic.

Alan Marshall



Riled in Summerfield

Dear Editor,

I’ve lived at my current address for 26 years.  Along with my neighbor, Danny Nelson, we are largely responsible for the volunteer annexation of our end of Summerfield (west of 220) way back when. We went door to door collecting signatures to make that happen.

I’m personally offended by the recent statement in the Greensboro News & Record where David Couch said, “The well to do people of Summerfield” are against his plan.

Well, I’m not well to do. I’ve been here way before he ever thought about coming out here and I resent his plan.

My question to all town councilmembers is to please tell me your thoughts and give me some hope that the town council of Summerfield has not sold out to David Couch, because I intend to work harder than I did to annex our end of Summerfield to rally people against this change that only benefits Couch the developer.

Please let me know where you stand.

Tony Burris



All Not Created Equal

Dear Editor,

Americans are fond of believing that everyone starts out with an equal opportunity to achieve success in life: If you don’t do well, it’s because you didn’t work hard enough.

Unfortunately, this is not entirely true.  People with health problems do not have an equal opportunity.  They can’t successfully compete with healthy folks. They don’t have the energy, the endurance, the strength, the drive.  Poor health drains the body, saps the spirit and limits the possibility of achieving success.

Denying health care to the least of our brothers and sisters is to kick them when they’re already down.  If Americans are serious about wanting to level the playing field, health care for all is essential.

We need Obamacare.

Maureen Parker



Bloated Budget

Dear Editor,

Have you ever bothered to read the county school system budget statement? I spent two-and-a-half hours on it tonight and concluded that all the carefully crafted hyperbole is nothing more than a means to hide the massive waste contained in that budget from any member of the public that attempts to figure out what in the heck most of this stuff is. And almost none of it has anything to do with teaching children.

Kudos to the writer of the budget analysis – they could probably make mowing the average home lawn sound like a major scientific endeavor, while explaining why it takes 15 people to do it.

A careful study of the budget makes it apparent that our school system is no longer an educational institution, but a bloated, administration heavy, cash cow corporation that operates primarily to employ persons that do very little, and to perpetuate and grow itself ever larger each and every year.

The next time I hear somebody tell me that our school system doesn’t have enough money to pay the teachers fairly, that we’re losing teachers who leave for better paying out of state teaching jobs (not true) or that funding is so low that the schools can’t afford to buy basic supplies or toilet paper, I’m going to have to call absolute baloney.

Our school system is massively overfunded and anyone with half a brain that can read through the hyperbole contained within, will recognize why it is so important that President Trump make good on his promise to “drain the swamp.” And hopefully that will trickle down to state level and we can start with our public school system.

Frank Swanson



Blessed are Humble

Dear Editor,

In this time of political division and caustic rhetoric, it is essential that we find ways to reconnect with our moral compass in order to restore balance in our lives and thereby in our state and country.

Consider the following in this process:

“Do nothing from selfish ambition and conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.  Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.”  (Philippians 2: 2-4)

“Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience.  Above all, clothe yourselves in love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3:12,14)

“Be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is good and acceptable and perfect.  Let love be genuine; hate what is evil; hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor; extend hospitality to strangers.  Bless those who persecute you.  Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to wiser than you are.  Do not repay anyone evil for evil; live peaceably with all.”  (Romans 12:various)

We should all hope that it be said of us that we do our very best to help others.

Bob Kollar


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