Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Saturday, April 11, 2015

Outcome doesn’t matter

The United States government has caved in to the supporters of a uniform, one world order. In order for that to exist, this economy has to shrink and the economy of Third World nations must grow until they all meet together. It is already well into progress. I do not think it will matter who is elected president.

-- C.A. Gardner

Macon

Paying for non-profits

Today I had the great displeasure of being told that our federal government authorizes who qualifies as a not-for-profit. Bibb County’s largest is Mercer University. Its campus alone is valued at $81 million. They have extensive holdings as does our Medical Center that owns roughly $70 million with a small amount taxable. Add Section 8 and all of the others and you and I are burdened with millions of dollars in taxes. The ones on fixed-incomes and are aged are truly suffering.

Our mayor and some of commissioners graduated from Mercer, so why is it not a conflict of interest when they cut deals that do not enhance our situation as taxpayers? Once again our taxpayers are getting the shaft. Reichert is seeking to serve you for a third term, but I am seeking a credible individual to support in defeating him and many of the questionable commissioners. In my opinion we are headed in the wrong directions. We have the wrong sheriff and many other department leaders.

-- Joe Hubbard

Macon

Stopping derailments

While enhanced tank cars can help reduce derailment severity and new regulations are needed, it is a mistake to expect that only modifications to tank cars will solve the problem of crude oil train derailments. We must prevent derailments before they occur. Addressing the two leading causes of train derailments -- broken rail and human error -- will make a difference. Voluntary measures taken by railroads to decrease derailment severity have been encouraging and that effort must continue. At the same time, shippers must also play a role to ensure products are made as safe as possible prior to transportation. And, steps must be taken to ensure we have sufficient emergency response capabilities.

The members of Railway Supply Institute’s Committee on Tank Cars who build and own the majority of tank cars have already invested more than $7 billion to put more than 57,000 new cars on the tracks by the end of 2015. We believe the entire fleet of tank cars in flammable liquid service should include tank jackets, steel head shields and other protections that will reduce the severity of accidents. We’re urging fast action by the U.S. and Canadian governments to implement a comprehensive, risk-based approach to prevention, mitigation and response. That is the best way to reduce the risk of moving flammable liquids by rail.

-- Tom Simpson

President of the Railway Supply Institute

Washington, D.C.

Becoming a joke

After recently viewing video of the April 26 Gordon City Council meeting I have some observations. During the meeting, Mayor Whipple-Lue called Charlotte Simmons to the front. As Simmons approached council she proceeded to turn around and instead addressed Wilkinson County Post editor Judy Bailey. She then berated Bailey concerning “newsworthy” story choices about the mayor. She accused the paper of being biased and questioned her on not retracting information also pertaining to the mayor.

My understanding is anyone who wishes to speak before council has to be approved by the mayor prior to the meeting. Thus, the mayor knew full well Simmons’ agenda, which was obviously to air her beef with another citizen all based on Simmons’ support of the mayor and not to address the council with city business.

Furthermore Simmons later approached council’s table and said she didn’t get to everything she wanted to say because she was “nervous.” Perhaps she had been previously instructed on what to say?

I currently reside in North Carolina, but Gordon is my hometown so I feel justified in saying that between the mayor holding illegal meetings, council members refusing to show up for meetings, the mayor’s interference with police procedures and now her allowing verbal attacks by citizens on citizens, it’s no wonder Gordon is quickly becoming a joke locally, and thanks to social media, even internationally.

-- Dell McCann

Whittier, N.C.

King, a hero

In Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s March 31 news conference, I was impressed with his saying Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of his heroes and had been so since Pence’s high school days. He talked about accepting Georgia Congressman John Lewis’ invitation to join Lewis and others in marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to celebrate the historical Selma, Alabama, march on its 45th anniversary in 2010. Participating in the march was a mighty fine thing for Pence and his family to do.

Dr. King did so much for America and has always been one of my heroes, too. Gov. Pence’s revelation got my attention because I don’t think I have ever heard a prominent Republican say King was one of their heroes. Why is it so few Republicans, even around King Day each January, express publicly an appreciation for King’s good words and deeds?

The Republican Party, primarily a white people’s party, makes little effort to win the black vote. The GOP getting 10 percent of the black vote in presidential elections is par for the course. I would like to hear Gov. Pence articulate why King is one of his heroes. We usually try to emulate the best qualities of our heroes. To emulate King’s quest for peace and justice, his love of all people of every race/religion and his compassion for the poor would be a good start in showing we “get” what he was teaching us.

-- Paul Lam Whiteley Sr.

Louisville, Kentucky

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