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Heroes and Snowflakes

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Commenter Mike Moore had some harsh words about our story last week on the refugees who had come to America ahead of President Trump's ban ["Yearning to Breathe Free," February 1]: "Ah, so all the snowflakes get their dose of 'the feelz' [sic] for the day. You see refugees. I see people who are running away from their own countries and people's problems. The heroes are the ones who stay and fight, not the quitters who run away."

For reporting this story, Timothy Hagios labels us "Hypocrites! Where were you when the Nobel Peace Prize-winner [i.e., former president Barack Obama] invaded and dropped bombs on half the countries affected by the travel ban?"

Meanwhile, Charles Winkler of Raleigh disputes the notion that Trump is a fascist, because "true fascism requires an organizing political principle. Trump's organizing principle appears to be his own ego. Still, there are alarming indications of a tendency toward fascist-like autocratic rules and behavior, such as the legally questionable and amateurishly rolled out Muslim ban."

Responding to our piece about Republicans possibly reconsidering redistricting reform [Triangulator, February 1], Lee Mortimer says that if they do so, it won't be out of self-preservation. "Since taking over the legislature," he writes, "Republicans have increased their margins from 68–52 (House) and 31–19 (Senate) in 2010 to 74–46 (House) and 35–15 (Senate) today. Democrats would have to bring Republicans down to minority status in both chambers to take control of post-2020 redistricting. Having Roy Cooper in the governor's chair won't slow GOP gerrymandering, because when the Democratic-run General Assembly passed a constitutional amendment giving the governor veto power, it specifically excluded redistricting plans. If Republicans agree to nonpartisan redistricting, it will be from a combination of losing redistricting cases in court and a fear of damaging their party's 'brand' if they attempt [to secure] another full decade of illegitimate and undeserved political power."

Moving on from politics. In response to our interview with Bob Nocek ["Don't Call It a Comeback," January 25], the former CEO of the Carolina Theatre, Harmon Poole writes: "Time to say buh-bye to Bob Nocek.  Perhaps he can make a new career in politics, because in the interview he exhibits many of the requirements for the job—denial, dissembling, avoidance, etc. What a scumbag."

Commenter pdeblin is no more forgiving: "This interview really jolted me. I was not surprised to read about the economic foibles of the theater when they occurred, but the ego and arrogance of Nocek—all I can say is wow. As a marketing and PR professional, I was never awed by the theater's marketing acumen—there were many empty seats at shows that should have sold more tickets. 

"Nocek's failure to admit responsibility for the theater's fiscal meltdown also jolted me. He arrogantly says he was 'responsible' but did not do the accounting and was unaware of the situation. He was CEO of a small staff and didn't know there were financial problems? He admits in the interview he is capable of keeping his own books for his new company, but didn't have a clue about Carolina's financial condition. I find it very difficult to believe that a CEO in a company that does less than $3 million in business would not be curious enough to know how the business is doing month to month, let alone every day. It wasn't hard to see which shows made money and which shows lost. I'm sure the theater knows the break-even point for each show and must have known income and expenses every month. Why didn't Nocek? He couldn't just yell down the hall and ask, 'How did we do with that show?' It's not like he was running Exxon."

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