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Opinion Letters

Can a person be trusted who will not keep a sworn oath?

Before taking office, all elected members of the N.C. Legislature must take an oath to uphold the laws of our North Carolina Constitution as well as the U.S. Constitution.

A majority of our N.C. Republican-led Legislature have broken their oaths. In their haste to try to destroy our public schools, they ignored Articles V and IX of our N.C. Constitution. They voted to give away millions of tax dollars from our public schools to private Muslim and Christian schools. Judge Hobgood ruled this unconstitutional as public money may only be used for public schools.

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The Fracking Forum in Franklin and the Mining and Energy Commission (MEC) rules hearing in Cullowhee were both enlightening. Senator Davis arranged these sessions in response to resident concerns.

The MEC is charged with writing rules to regulate fracking in North Carolina. The MEC representatives stated that the draft rules are the best in the country and will fully protect the health and safety of the citizens and environment. If that were truly the case then it is surprising that all of the speakers in Cullowhee were opposed to fracking and critical of the rigor of the rules. The commenters included concerned citizens and landowners, as well as scientists and engineers.

Many of the comments at the rules hearing were specific to deficiencies in the rules. Many others wanted to ban fracking or, at least, to restore the moratorium. Even if they wanted to, the MEC has no authority to stop fracking. They could make the rules so restrictive that it would delay the industry. However, given the degree of misrepresentation and half-truths presented at the Franklin forum, the MEC is clearly committed to supporting fracking in North Carolina.

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Back during World War Two, there was a saying in the Air Corps, “Head Up And Locked.” It meant, among other things, that a pilot was not attentive to his instruments and had landed his aircraft without extending his landing gear. His wheels were still up inside the aircraft and locked into position.

We veterans, however, have been given “second sight.” Our brains are extended. We know when we are being used as a political football. We know, for instance, that the phony “Concerned Veterans for America” is just a hole in the wall in Arlington, Va., being used as a front for the twisted ultraright-wing Koch Brother Billionaire Empire, so noted for buying-off political leaders in Washington and throughout the States.

In North Carolina the tentacles of the Koch Empire are cast by means of the media and a barrage of slick post cards from the CVA targeting veterans to vote for someone other than the outstanding U.S. Senator, Kay Hagan.

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While reading the article “School board reviews end of grade test results” in The Macon County News and Shopping Guide in which the local EOC (End of course) test scores were compared with Region 8 and state scores, I was reminded of the old phrase, “figures don’t lie, liars use figures and (expletive) liars use statistics.

Further on in the article, the school superintendent says, “Now we need to sit down and think about what we can do to push more students into higher categories.” One great place for him to start would be to stop giving those standardized tests and segregating the students based upon those test scores. Is it not true that the EOC test for 4th graders determines the level of instruction that the students will receive in the 5th grade at MVI. Is it also true, as it is rumored on the street, that the supposedly more advanced (as determined by the EOC score) students get better, more challenging instruction, more field trips, lockers, etc. than do the regular students? If additional perks are given to some, than the criteria given in the definition of discrimination appears to have been met.

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