Your letters, Sept. 11

September 10, 2013 

We did it!

We did it! We completed our 3,345-mile bike ride across America and raised more than $34,000 for UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Over a 10-week period, we biked through pelting rain and blistering heat; some days we rode 100-plus miles, and other days we conquered high mountain passes. We had good days and not-so-great days, but we never lost sight of our goal: to raise money for Lineberger, send two kids to Victory Junction camp for kids battling serious illnesses, and reach the Pacific Ocean. We are excited and proud to report that we completed all three.

We would like to send out a “thank you” to everyone who supported us from coast-to-coast, and especially to those in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community who helped with our fundraising. Significant donations came from Performance Bicycle, UNC’s Phillips Ambassadors Scholarship Program, L.E.K Consulting, Cirque Productions, Thomas Leech, DDS, Ideal Precast, Celeste Sloop, DDS, Julie Mol Orthodontics, Chapel Hill Children’s Clinic, Thundershirt, Carrboro Pizza Oven, Hershey and Heymann Orthodontics, Carolina Ventures, Holy Family Catholic Church, Calvert Holdings, High & Rubish Insurance, Pharpoint Research, Ruston Paving, PORCH, Calvert Holdings, Greenscape, Inc., Pieroni Family Dentistry, J.B. Buckley Construction, Keith Taylor, DDS, Auto Pro to Call, Dental Power, C&J Heating and Air, and Montessori Community School.

It was a great summer, made even better knowing that the money is going to a good cause. We biked it, and we liked it, and we are grateful for the support of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community.

The Lucky 13 Cyclists

(Paris Buedel, Kyle Ferriter, Jack Jansen, Hugh Kelley, Wes Malinchock, Arthur Mouw, D.J. Recny, Caleb Roenigk, Miles Rosen, Holden Selkirk, and co-leaders: Aidan Kelley and Brian Burnham)

Go slow on Syria

I have written to Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan and to Rep. David Price urging a “no” vote on military action against the Syrian regime.

Why – isn’t the use of chemical weapons an odious war crime that demands a response?

Yes indeed, but a response against whom? We really don’t know who used the chemical weapons. Some elements of the rebel forces seem to be pretty vile on their own. How can we be sure they didn't cleverly stage this attack to get the US and others to help them? Given the questionable competence of the US intelligence community, we can’t be even remotely sure.

And, after Mr. Obama’s “red line” comment, it’s really far-fetched to believe that Bashar Assad, brutal as he is, would be willing to risk U.S. intervention for a minor tactical advantage.

The whole thing smells fishy to me. It's a dismal situation, to be sure, but we just don’t know enough to make an informed decision. Remember the huge mess that we got into because we “knew” that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction?

Peter Aitken

Chapel Hill

Wisdom of war

I’m glad President Obama decided to call a special session of Congress, rather than go it alone. This gives the American people time to read and listen to the hawks and the doves from both sides of the aisle debate the wisdom of going to war, and let our representatives know where we stand.

I want Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan, and Rep. David Price to know my stand. I oppose ANY military strike against Syria, despite the use of chemical weapons that killed hundreds of innocent people.

Even limited objectives to “deter, disrupt, degrade and destroy” Syria’s ability to continue as before have unforeseen consequences, and it will not stop the violence or even bring those using chemical weapons to justice.

Ruth Zalph

Chapel Hill

Useless stickers

Here we go with more dogma from the left, spearheaded by the cowardly Downtown Partnership who took a position while claiming not to.

I invite the Downtown Partnership, or any business owner putting up one of these useless stickers to count the number of incidents in N.C. where a legal concealed carry permit holder committed a gun crime in a place that serves alcohol.

I think they will find less than the number of incidents of voter fraud, a topic that liberals like to constantly remind us about. They claim, quite loudly, that there is no voter fraud, so why do we need voter ID laws. Yet there is little evidence of concealed carry holders committing gun crime, yet we need more restrictions on legal gun owners.

I also worry about the perception of Chapel Hill if an inordinate number of these stickers are displayed. If I were a visitor, I would either think that Chapel Hill has a serious gun problem, or that it was inhabited by dogmatic liberals and was just plain uninviting.

I live here so I know which one is true.

Rob Reece

Chapel Hill

A right and privilege

The right to vote has been given to every citizen of the United States of America, age 18 or older, by the 26th Amendment of the Constitution.

As M. Wylly said in his recent letter, we must show identification to see a doctor, to obtain a new job, to join a local library, to receive a driver’s permit or driver’s license, to enter any government facility, to open a bank account, to obtain a credit card, to cash a check, to enter an airport terminal, to enroll children in school, to enjoy senior discounts, to enlist in the military, to obtain government assistance, to rent an apartment, to open an account with any utility company or to purchase a weapon.

I do not disagree with the need for identification for any of these actions. So why do so many people disagree with demanding identification to vote?

Voting in all elections, local, state and federal, is so very important – and a right which all citizens, 18 or older, of this great country should participate in. However, these same citizens should be informed and given both sides of all issues in order to make the best decision. Right now way too many voters do not know what the issues are or anything about the people running for the various offices. That in itself is a huge shame.

Voting is a right and privilege which should be exercised by all citizens 18 or older. I have referenced citizens several times to point out to all, regardless of political affiliation, that this right belongs only to citizens. With so many undocumented people in this country, voter identification should be mandatory in all states. And by the way, in North Carolina voter identification will be available for those seeking such a document free of charge!

Donna Maynard

Chapel Hill

Playing politics

In 2010, the Democrats controlled both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representative in the U.S Congress. At that time Democrat lawmakers enacted the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obama Care.” This law forces all Americans to purchase health care insurance.

Since the law was enacted and the Supreme Court ruled on it, Obama has changed and delayed parts of the law. By doing that, he violated the law. Obama is delaying parts of the law until after the next election because if parts of the law were implemented at the time the law calls for people would see the law is unreasonable, oppressive and will cost Americans billions of dollars in health insurance premiums. That would cause more Democrats to be voted out of office.

One of the changes Obama made in the law was not reported by the news media. That change is, Obama will subsidize 75 percent of health insurance premiums for all 535 members of Congress and all of the thousands of their staff members. Taxpayers will be forced to pay their own health insurance premiums plus 75 percent of all members of Congress’s premiums and 75 percent of all of their staff members premiums. Obama’s reasons for these subsidy is to reward Democrats and try to persuade Republican members of congress to stop opposing Obama Care.

Obama has violated the Affordable Care Act and is playing politics with the law. It is time for the Supreme Court to take a look at Obama's violations of this law.

James R. Hardy

Hillsborough

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