Why Have a City Council?

Dear Editor,

I read with interest and frustration John Hammer’s article on the City Council retreat.  My first comment is “no new taxes!” The City Council needs to work within its budget like taxpayers must.  It is inconceivable that the City Council takes no responsibility for overseeing the budget and gleefully works with a tax-and-spend mentality.  They should all be put to term limits and out to pasture.

I love the community, the people and the great geographic location of Greensboro.  However, in the nine cities I have lived in, this is the most irresponsible city governance of them all.

One need only look to larger US cities and Canada to see what raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour has done to cause massive layoffs in entry level positions.  But then again, these would be city employees and in a protected status.  More taxes and no improvement in services.

“Move Along” Yvonne Johnson didn’t want time to discuss allocations of the housing bond money.  Is there something she did not want discussed?  For what reason?

If the priorities of spending tax dollars is to be set by staff and not the City Council, why have a council at all?  To whom are staff heads accountable?  Should it not be elected officials such as the council?  Or are they turnkey figureheads on parade?

It seems that the council is only good at figuring out how to spend more taxpayers’ dollars. Isn’t it wonderful that the councilmembers are clever enough to put dots where they desire to spend the taxpayer dollars?

Henry Williamson



Guns Kill People

Dear Editor,

In an impassioned speech after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, during which 17 innocent people were killed, student survivor Emma Gonzalez spoke of the desperate need for gun control in our country. “Guns have developed at a rate that leaves me dizzy. … but our laws have not,” she said.

Truer words were never spoken.  The Second Amendment was written at a time when guns were simpler.  Its writers could not have foreseen the AR-15.

It is said by gun advocates that guns don’t kill people, people kill people.  To which I respond that guns make it a lot easier.

Maureen Parker



Laws Don’t Save People

Dear Editor,

The victims were still lying in the building. The families hadn’t been notified. But that didn’t bother the bleeding hear liberal socialists from stampeding to the nearest camera and mic and begin screaming for more gun control.

I have a question for them. Putting total confiscation and/or a repeal of the Second Amendment aside, what possible new law could have stopped this tragedy? The rifle was purchased legally. The sellers did everything by the book. So what new law could have changed things?

Answer: none. No new law would have prevented this, but enforcement of existing laws could have if the federal government had done what they are supposed to do. This makes how many times they have managed to allow Americans to be killed by a madman when they had all the information to stop it?

Then there is the rifle its self. What the uninformed and the liberal bed wetters like to refer to as that evil “assault rifle.”  Again I want to ask them a question. Can you define the term assault rifle? From the Oxford English Dictionary: “A lightweight rifle developed from the sub-machine gun, which may be set to fire automatically or semi-automatically.” An AR-15 is not an automatic rifle. It fires semi-automatically only unless modified to do otherwise. If I put a Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) next to an AR-15 and asked which one was an assault rifle, the AR would be picked 99.99 percent of the time, only because it’s black, scary and looks like a military rifle. Yet, as the name shows, the Browning is an assault rifle capable of automatic fire, but it doesn’t look scary.

I’ve come across several interesting studies concerning the deaths of young people. For instance, more kids have died texting and driving then by gunfire. Ban texting. More kids have died driving then by gunfire. Ban driving.

More people are killed each year by means other than firearms (rifles and pistols) but I don’t see a rush to regulate those things. They won’t because it doesn’t fit the agenda.

Notice these “spontaneous” rallies that have cropped up so quickly. They sure seem well organized and financed right down to the professionally printed signs. Makes you wonder.

The Second Amendment was conceived with the idea of giving individuals the tools for coming together to defend what was theirs, individually and collectively.

Go Galt and save the republic.

Alan Marshall



Thin BLue Line Gone

Dear Editor,

I don’t always agree with Chuck Mann, but I always read his letters because they are so concise and trenchant.

Last week’s letter was excellent. When police are revered in a society it is sometimes a good sign, but it is also indisputably a marker of a police state, even an incipient one. And when armed agents of the state casually and indifferently abuse the citizens they are supposed to serve, it is even more cause for alarm.

I am a law-abiding citizen. My worst transgression has been a rather bad speeding ticket. And yet I have come to believe that the police are no longer the “thin blue line” that separates us from barbarism, but rather that they are just bullies with badges, a state sanctioned refuge for high-control personalities with no better options. There is a personality type that is drawn to law enforcement, and it’s not the Mother Teresa type.

The might and power of the state provides legitimization and societal approval for violence and behavior that would normally be excoriated and condemned as deplorable and even sadistic.  So Mr. Mann’s account of the murder of a person who was merely guilty of driving with a revoked license is typical of the type. High control, low intelligence, predisposition to dominance and intimidation, these are the characteristics of the typical police officer. These people have become more emboldened over the last several decades as the pendulum has swung towards the supremacy of the state and away from the supremacy of the citizen as the repository of sovereignty.

And so, for example, where once the government was fearful of our reaction to a compulsory seatbelt law, promising only to cite drivers as a secondary offence subsequent to some primary infraction, nowadays we are boldly and aggressively threatened to “Click it or Ticket.”  And when did my personal safety become the business of my public servants?  Am I soon to be ordered to refrain from bungee jumping, skydiving, motorcycling, smoking and bacon double-cheeseburgers?  The police need to be reminded of their place.

The muscular assertion of state power over the citizen has become rampant, as has the aggression of those who assert powers which are profoundly un-American, notwithstanding their revolting self-righteousness and arrogance.

This is how a country devolves into grey submissive prostration.

This is how a country loses its freedom, conditioned to genuflect deferentially to the armed agents of the state. Law enforcement does not protect and serve; that is just the lie they sell. They harass and intimidate. You want protection? Buy a .45.

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

Austin Morris



Death Penalty As Deterrent

Dear Editor,

Does anyone beside myself find it strange how all the experts and news media come out of the woodwork after these tragedies happen? All the info about the person comes flowing out like a fountain spewing water in July. All the signs that point to a lunatic with guns and hate are on full display but nothing is ever done to stop them.

The latest shooting in Florida now shows all signs that he was planning his attack with his arsenal but not even the FBI could prevent this from happening. Cruz was on social media having a conversation with a fellow from Mississippi, the fellow from Mississippi was so concerned he called the FBI. What the FBI did, I’m not sure, but they sure didn’t prevent this from happening.

I feel we must reinstate the death penalty to be used swiftly in such as cases like this. Not 10 years on death row while lawyers fight and run up a big tab saying he’s mentally ill, etc. If you murder 17 innocent people you do not deserve to live, you are evil. If used swiftly, the death penalty is a huge deterrent regardless of what the liberal bleeding hearts say. Think about it, his weapon was used as it was manufactured for, mass killings.

If we continue the next 10 years as we have the last 10, America will not be fit to live in. I do feel sorry for my grandchildren.

Ed Byrum



It’s The Consultant Life For Me

Dear Editor,

Oh, to live the life of the consultant – raking in huge sums of tax dollars for studies comprised of numbers pulled from the air and neatly compiled in pretty pages all bound between the cover of a $3 vinyl binder.

Consider the “findings” of the study prepared for High Point’s Southwest Renewal Foundation’s greenway project. In addition to listing millions of dollars in supposed economic benefits, the study goes on to conclude that building the greenway will result in the saving of 180 lives. Yes, you read that correctly – the greenway will save 180 lives.

The study infers that this saving will occur due to reduced accidents between pedestrians, bicycles and motor vehicles, although no time frame is given. So if there are 180 lives to be saved from this project, one must conclude that there is currently enough loss of life in that area by those accidents to equate to 180 lives being lost if the greenway is not built.

But a closer look at such fatalities in the city’s southwest quadrant dating back to the city’s inception in the mid 1800s does not show more than a handful of such fatalities related to such accidents.

This leaves one to ponder just how long it will take for the greenway project, constructed at a cost of many millions of tax dollars, will require in order to save those 180 lives. Historical research indicates that it will take roughly 1,200 to 1,500 years to actually realize that number of saved lives due to a greenway being built in that area.

Such an egregiously overestimated figure in terms of the live-saving ability of the greenway only serves to cast doubt on all the other figures given in that same “study.” A classic case of consultant overreach into numbers that cannot in any way be substantiated, although they are not guaranteed and therefore will not result in the consultant being required to return the original funds paid for the study. In essence, the entire study isn’t worth a hill of beans, much less the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on it.

Oh, to live the wonderful, hugely profitable life of the “consultant.”  Particularly in High Point.

Susan Rickard



Socialist Creep

Dear Editor,

Before we idolize Bernie Sanders, who was reported to be jobless until the age of 40, or others who are offended by capitalism, listen to what Tom Hart says in support of it: “It has caused an 80 percent decline in the world wide poverty rate. In 1970, the poverty rate was 26.8 percent and by 2006 it had dropped to 5.8 percent.”

Also, thank your lucky stars you still have the freedom to use your phone, computer or tablet that you would not have enjoyed in a communistic world.

Yet, we are slowly moving towards socialism and a society that seems to think nothing good happens unless it is state sponsored and rigidly adhered to.  We, the people, know better, but will it be enough to prevent us from moving so far left that we lose our ability to become what our dreams say we are capable of becoming?  Freedom can co-exist better within capitalism, but only so long as common sense disciplines prevail.

Ray Hylton



Listen to Youth

Dear Editor,

Last Sunday, the high school youth at Guilford Park Presbyterian Church conducted the worship service and amazed with their poise, maturity and poignant message.  As adults we should listen carefully and follow their leadership, which has a strong element of caring and compassion without all the adult hang-ups and baggage.  Could our youth be directing and nudging us to a better world?  How can we live the way God wants us to live?

A prayer of the day printed in the worship bulletin points the way with a clear call to action: “Open my eyes that  they may see the deepest needs of people; move my hands that they may feed the hungry; touch my heart that it may bring warmth to the despairing; teach me the generosity that welcomes strangers; let me share my possessions to clothe the naked; give me the care that strengthens the sick; make me share the quest to set the prisoner free.  In sharing our anxieties and our love, our poverty and prosperity, we partake of your divine presence.  Amen.”

Bob Kollar



Is City Council Job Really that Hard?

Dear Editor,

It should come as no surprise that the High Point big money PAC City Council has decided to defy the will of the people and change the city charter to institute four-year terms for councilmembers beginning with the 2019 elections. Their stated reason is that councilmembers are generally not bright enough to learn the supposed vast intricacies of governing in a mere two years. Individuals elected to the United States House of Representatives can do it, but not High Point City Council persons. Just how hard is this job?

Of course, the real reason for the change in term length is simply a desire to keep the people of High Point from holding council accountable every two years. Four years allows those in power to escape responsibility for an additional two years.

In 2000, High Point voters went to the polls and overwhelmingly chose two-year terms for councilmembers. Now the PAC-elected council has found a means to override the wishes of the citizens. Term lengths should never be decided by those who hold such positions. This decision should remain in the hands of the people. Should council move to change term lengths without a referendum of the people, they will be effectively chipping away at what little is left of representative government in High Point.

Steven Williams


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