Edwards' private life
I'm somewhat surprised at how completely over John Edwards' political career seems to be ("Cast away," by Hal Crowther, Oct. 29). Though I don't condone an extramarital affair, I had assumed that the many historic precedents would have made it a politically survivable transgression. My heart goes out to Elizabeth Edwards and the Edwards children. They are the only people in a position to turn "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" on John Edwards.
Private lives are just that. John Edwards screwed up royally in his private life, but he did not cause the deaths of countless human beings or the financial ruin of countless others. Many politicians guilty on both counts with significantly less ability to be a real asset to our country will continue to "serve" us. So many Americans profess to be Christians. I'm assuming that they would prefer to be guided by the New Testament rather than the Old. Come on, folks, judge not and forgive. After all, you believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and that he absolves any who are truly repentant, right?
John Edwards is a man of extraordinary intelligence and ability. To reject him as a public servant because of his unfortunate, presumably atypical, behavior is like throwing out a very fine and promising baby with the admittedly dirty bath water.
Blaming the poor—and the schools
The continued methods of taking from the middle class and rich and handing to the poor has been proven not to work ("Protecting the poor from North Carolina's budget crisis," by Bob Geary, Nov. 19). When President Clinton signed the welfare-to-work bill, it started a trend back the other way. To paraphrase a great man in our world's history: "Teach them how to fish, not just give them the fish." Until the progressives who control our schools learn to educate 100 percent of our children, we are destined to have the poor. A 30 percent failure rate keeps proving they are failing. And the voters of North Carolina keep putting them back into power.
It is said at the end of the article that they will buy food and other needed items. Yet I still see people living in government-subsidized housing driving expensive cars and buying expensive televisions. These are the people who need to be kicked out of public housing. We should focus our government efforts strictly on those who cannot help themselves. Tell the rest of them that there are many of us not born with a silver spoon who have succeeded into the middle class. We have joined the military, educated ourselves and, yes, we have even worked hard. Come on people, get off your butts and take care of your families. Personal initiative and individual ruggedness made this country great. Why are you dragging us down?
Paul F. Terrell III