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Opinion Letters

In his letter to the editor (Sept. 22) Sen. Jim Davis purports to correct the “facts” of his political opponents by providing us with the “real facts” and figures. Most of us know, of course, that facts are often murky and can be bent to any purpose.

As Mark Twain reminded us, “Facts are stubborn things but statistics are pliable.” What does seem certain is that any hope of cooperation with the other party for the good of all of us is not going to happen. It will be business as usual: recrimination, fingerpointing, blamegaming and ideology first, people second.

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In a recent guest commentary Senator Davis attacked Ben Utley for an editorial Mr. Utley wrote presenting “facts” about the educational budget recently passed by the NC legislature. Senator Davis says Mr. Utley “hurled facts by the wayside” in an “apparent attempt to demagogue for political gain.” Reviewing Mr. Utley’s editorial there were at least nine separate factual figures presented in the editorial, however, Senator Davis gave not a single example of any of this specific information being wrong. Senator Davis does, however, present some of his own “facts.” He states that the Democratic Party has driven North Carolina to the bottom in national graduation rate rankings. Let’s look at some detailed numbers about those graduation rates.

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I have been the face painter for the Memorial Day and Labor Day festivals in Highlands for the past four years. Just before this past Labor Day festival, I heard that some of the local store owners thought we were taking business away from them. From my past experience, this is exactly the opposite from the truth. First, most of the vendors themselves (80 or more of them) eat their evening meals after the festival in your fine restaurants, and I’ve been known to take the opportunity to shop your lovely stores myself, as I’m sure do other vendors. Besides this, my husband, who has free reign while I man our booth, does his own share of shopping and he says that there are few free parking spaces available in your beautiful shopping district plus most of the stores seem to be doing good business. I, therefore, took it upon myself to take an unofficial survey. My question was: Did you come into town only because of the festival? 12-yes — 6-yes, but we’ll eat lunch here, too; 7-yes, but we plan to shop in a local store; 8-no we had business in town, but wanted to see the festival.

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I want to talk a little bit about politics and government.

I want to talk about whether our form of government is or should be a republic.

In a nutshell, democratic government is rule by the majority, while republican government is rule by a majority of minorities.

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published: 10/18/2013
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