Congrats: This is your fault!
The INDY endorsement of Cherie Berry three years ago resulted in the re-election of Cherie Berry ("The Triangle's scariest people," Oct. 28) as North Carolina's commissioner of labor. I ran on a platform of increasing the minimum wage, inspection of all migrant labor camps every year, and inclusion of the state's fire code as an OSHA standard. Cherie ran on a platform advocating the abolition of all federal and state minimum wages. I received over 2 million votes and carried most of the state's counties. While I was endorsed by The News & Observer, the INDY endorsed Cherie Berry, and the area of the state serviced principally by the INDY provided her whole margin of victory. Congratulations!
John C. Brooks
Sadly, this whole Wake transportation effort has also become a race to see who can get a part of $69 million in annual sales tax revenues ("Stalled on the tracks," Nov. 4). We see people and organizations on the various transportation/advisory committees jockeying for future jobs/contracts and developers jockeying for future re-zonings and other advantages. Sixty-nine million dollars is a lot of money to follow, and the chase has begun.
Barry Eriksen, via indyweek.com
Public transit sucks
"Of course, Price admits, there will be fierce competition for those federal dollars" ("Stalled"). Federal dollars do not exist, they are dollars taken from the taxpayers, sometimes borrowed, sometime printed. It is time to allow private competition to public transportation. Why do we need monopolies? Is it because they are more efficient in taking money from taxpayers? Private transportation does not have the luxury of using tax money. They must rely on the fare box. Competition is good for the public versus inefficient public transportation.
Sheldon Hayer, via indyweek.com
Enforce the laws we have
Let me first preface this by saying I think law-abiding people should be able to purchase guns (Triangulator, Nov. 4). I also think the way it is now, where it is incredibly easy to get a gun but a pain to get a concealed-carry permit, should be reversed. It should be harder to get a gun and easier to get a permit. There are a lot of things that could be done to solve this problem, and a lot of that has to do with enforcing laws already on the books. The Virginia Tech shooter should not have been able to legally purchase a gun, but because of a lack of communication between the local courts, doctors and law enforcement, he was never red-flagged.
I am all for a solution to gun violence that can actually be implemented and is actually effective. Unfortunately, the odds of something like that happening with a strong gun lobby and a tea party Congress are practically nil, so different solutions to the problem need to be conceived to improve enforcement of the laws we already have. Changes to HIPPA that allow doctors to communicate to law enforcement more easily are a start. The idea of making gun owners buy insurance (similar to car insurance—and it is already sold by the NRA, so how can they really argue against the idea?) so that victims can be compensated is worth exploring.
One thing that needs to stop is pro-gun people jumping on the "mental health, mental health, mental health" line. Yes, mental health obviously contributes to violence, but these people who cry "mental health, not guns" are the same people who elect far-right conservatives who have done nothing but slash funding for the care of the mentally ill. It has gotten to the point where a mentally ill person has to commit a violent act for anyone to intervene, and even then there are no rooms in hospitals and public facilities for treatment. If you are going to use the "mental health" card, then stop supporting politicians who are more than happy to continue gutting budget for this type of care.
Faux_newsisntreal, via indyweek.com