Citizens Unite?

Dear Editor,

Calling all concerned citizens who are fed up with perceived or actual mistakes that occasionally occur in our local surgical centers and operating rooms. We are forming the first surgeon citizens review board, which will be comprised of locals who will review the professional actions during video-documented surgical procedures by Greensboro doctors. Where mistakes are made, members will democratically vote and decide whether or not to publicly sanction, chastise, berate or criminally slander the erring surgeon.

Oh, wait. We aren’t surgeons. We aren’t privy to the years of professional development, experience and continuing education that these skilled men and women endure. We couldn’t possibly possess a valid opinion on such procedures. Never mind. Bad idea.

Blair Flowers

Energetic Disagreement

Dear Editor,

The Rhino Times is the most reliable paper in the county, so it’s truly too bad that you are so uninformed about renewable energy.

Contrary to your recent assertion, there are, in fact, huge batteries to store electricity. California installed two giant storage projects this past year. We need more installations, but the technology exists and is working very well.

In the absence of storage, utilities can and do use solar power. Peak electricity demand occurs when the sun is shining. It’s much cheaper for utilities to add solar power to the grid than to start and stop expensive and inefficient peaker plants.

When Google claims to be using energy from a North Carolina wind farm at its Virginia facility, it’s not relying on anyone’s ignorance. It’s relying on “renewable energy certificates” it has purchased.

You can visit the EPA website to find out how they work and how they’re regulated.

Basically, if a company pays for generation of 100 MW of renewable energy and uses 100 MW of energy at its site, it can legitimately and legally claim to operate on renewable energy. There is a standard to regulate trading of the certificates.

Your really ought to study something besides fossil fuel industry propaganda. I certainly have not gotten my facts from renewable energy propaganda.

Companies in the fossil fuel industry will go out of business in decades. Growth in renewable technology and plunging prices guarantee it. Maybe that’s why European international oil companies invest so heavily in wind farms, unlike American companies. They’ve decided they’re in the energy business instead.

David Guion

Editor’s Note: California uses Tesla batteries that can power 15,000 homes for four hours. The other 12,985,000 or so homes in California are just out of luck. The EPA can hand out any certificate that it wants, but the electricity that powers the Google facility is the same electricity that everyone else in the area receives.

It’s the Economy

Dear Editor,

All should know by now that the “Donald” is no dummy.  Not many dummies I know of become multi-billionaires.

He says and does things that garner attention from the media and are not viewed as being very presidential.  The (fake) news sources and social media will gobble it up.  The social media will put him in closer touch with the people.  Some will find it entertaining, and some won’t.  The media (fake or whatever) is going to have a blast with him for the next four years.

The upside is that our economy has already begun to benefit from anticipated tax reforms and other incentives to entice people and businesses to spend and invest money they’ve had stashed away for a “sunny day” (You make hay when the sun is shining, not when it’s raining.) Prices of cars, trucks, boats, all commodities and most importantly, gas are coming down and people are buying. Trump knows how to make money and if some of that rubs off on Congress, Americans will overlook his brash personality and upstage antics that are his persona.  Making money is his forte, and that just may be the ticket America and Americans need to bolster a sagging economy and cure many ills.

Ramon Bell

Yet Another Division

Dear Editor,

In times past, a conservative was defined by his view of the role of government, which was limited government, low taxation and responsible stewardship of the taxpayers’ money.

Liberals, in turn, were defined by their view of government as the ultimate solution to legal, social or economic problems. Of course, in order for government to assume such a weighty role, it has to have much more money – i.e. taxpayers’ dollars – to operate. Also, the bureaucrats and regulators so often do not know when to stop, and start intruding into areas of people’s lives that were never intended, which so often results in an animosity toward government.

Now there is a new divide that defines conservatives and liberals (although neither attitude really fits the textbook definition of either side). Briefly, conservatives view America as a special country of “exceptionalism,” or become infuriated whenever anyone dares to bring up America’s fault and flaws, or in any way points out that America is less than perfect.

Liberals, on the other hand, seemingly can only see America’s faults and flaws and are always carping on these alleged shortcomings. Thus, they see America’s failure to live up to the exceptionalism that is always claimed by the conservatives as America’s foremost characteristic. Not only that, but they also see conservatives as always wanting to exclude a certain race/class/gender/ethnic group from being allowed to vote, or to move into a cerain neighborhood or even to have a decent chance at the American dream. Thus, they become even more enraged at what they see not just as conservatives, but also as a bunch of Neanderthals, and feel justified in taking any action against their bitter enemies. A few examples:

Witness all the disruptions of state government by the Moral Mondays, the recent overwhelming of a City Council meeting here in Greensboro, the recent shooting of Republican softball players in Washington, and the shouting down of conservative speakers on college campuses all across the country.

There have been numerous other divisions in America’s history: slavery, integration, Vietnam, abortion, gay/lesbian rights. At various times all these issues have incited people on both sides to fury, outrage and even violence.

But this new divide between liberals and conservatives is looming as one of the biggest divisions our country has ever known. Is America really exceptional? Or has it gotten so far off track from its original founding principles so that any action taken to get the country back on track is justified? That is the question that will continue to rend this country in two.

John Pugh

GOP: Do Your Job

Dear Editor,

I’m afraid it’s time to rail against the Republicans again, and this time I have to include the local level in my rant.

Republicans control the legislative and executive branches of government and yet can’t seem to do what they were sent there to do by the American people.

Rather than do what they were elected do, they are lining up at the gate to rush back to their home districts to “visit their constituents and listen to their needs and concerns.” That’s newspeak for campaign for reelection.

Here’s a really novel idea: Stay in Washington. Listen to what people are saying and do what they elected you to do, which is repeal Obamacare, which you promised to do if elected; reduce taxes, which you promised to do if elected; reduce the size and reach of government, which you promised to do if elected; and secure our borders and get illegal immigration under control, which you promised to do if elected.

Where does the local level come in? They need to start holding these politicians they back accountable.

They need to start looking at what these politicians are saying and doing, and quit cheerleading for them just because they are Republicans. Tell them they need to start listening to citizens, not special interests or lobbyists. Tell them to start asking straight up clear questions in these committees, and don’t accept the song and dance answer you have been getting. Make them answer the questions with yes or no answers. County and state GOP need to confront them and support the members of the party instead of the politicians. Last time I checked, without the people there would be no party.

So the question is, who do you represent and support? Who do you work for – the people of the party or the politicians who are supposed to be representing the people? If you chose the latter, buzzzzz … sorry … wrong answer. Thanks for playing. Here’s your version of the home game.

Independent and unaffiliated voters are the key to retaining the Senate, which is very much in play. And I think it’s safe to say they are not impressed by the Republican actions so far. They just might sit this one out at best, vote Democrat at worst. Repeal the 17th Amendment and this wouldn’t be a concern given how many state legislatures are Republican.

Go Galt and save the republic.

Alan Marshall

Trump is Unique

Dear Editor,

Without a doubt, President Trump is a different president.  Unlike presidents before him, he refuses to be lead by the media or even his own political party.  He seems to be a stickler for the truth and also seems to lack the tact presidents often possess to influence the opposing as well as his own party.  He is different and it will require some adapting to his style if he is to be successful. 

For me, his greatest weakness is within an ego that usually causes others to trip over. His greatest strength may well be in his ability to influence others that capitalism is still the best form of government.  Good luck. 

With the youth of our country concerned about job security and with technology replacing many current jobs, this would astonish many if not most.  On war, many suspect he will lead us into war, but war is more often precipitated by strong nations when they show weakness.  Thus, I see him as a strong leader who will ultimately decide just what kind of people we are.  When hate at first sight surfaces, our enemy will not be Trump, it will be the hater.

Ray Hylton

Ruger Hit the Mark

Dear Editor,

This is a tribute to William B. Ruger, an American icon.

To those people living in the Stone Age, the Ruger name has been synonymous with fine firearms and hunting gear for nearly 70 years. Not since John Moses Browning has a man made such an impact on the firearms industry.

Back in 1949, Bill had a dream. To build a quality .22 caliber handgun that almost anyone could afford.

Bill met Alexander Sturm, a man of wealth. (Hmm, let’s see, brains and wealth, sounds like a recipe for success, doesn’t it?)

Together they borrowed $50,000, built a small red brick building and started production of the Ruger standard model, a .22 caliber semi-auto pistol, which resembled the famous German Luger, only it shot much more reliably. The gun sold for a meager cost of $37.50 at most hardware stores. It was an instant success – so much so that Ruger made his first $1 million off of it.

Unfortunately, Sturm died in 1950. But, Bill Ruger forged on. Being the mechanical genius that he was (Did I mention that he went to engineering school right here in Chapel Hill?) he went on to design many more firearms and improved on many existing designs (the famous Colt “Peacemaker” was one of them). The Ruger Mini-14, Blackhawk and Redhawk were just a few of his masterpieces. His .22 rifle alone has sold over 8 million copies. (I wonder how many farm boys have fed their families wild game using a Ruger. 22?)

But Ruger’s expertise goes way beyond firearms. Remember the Patriot Missiles we dropped on the Middle East? The tail fins on these missiles were produced by Ruger Inc.

His list of accomplishments goes on and on. Including automobile designs.

Here’s to you, Bill, for making an indelible impression on the American sportsmen for the past 70 years.

Jon Muffley



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