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Opinion Letters

Every now and then, it’s good to review some of the events and facts that got us in the mess we have now.

I’ve mentioned some of this before but it deserves to be repeated so that we can understand the issues and know how they came about.

  1. President Carter laid the groundwork for the 2007 recession by passing a law requiring banks to finance homes for folks who couldn’t afford them.
  2. President Clinton put more teeth into the law in 1994 with threats of lawsuits against banks that didn’t comply.
  3. President Bush tried several times to limit the impending disaster he saw coming only to have bills he presented to Congress killed by Franks and Dodd.

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The massive public reaction to the tragic deaths of three black teens at the hand of white police officers has led to a national call for use of body cameras to record and prevent any future mistreatment of suspects.

There is ample precedent. Animal protection activists have used body cameras to document egregious atrocities and safety violations by workers in the meat, dairy, and egg industries. The resulting videos have led to a number of corrective actions, as well as felony convictions, meat recalls, and even a $500 million civil settlement.

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Is it not great that we live in Franklin, N.C., and not Ferguson, Mo. Can you envision a 260-pound, 6-foot-plus person going into one of our convenience stores taking something without paying for it regardless of its cost physically assaulting the owner which constitutes a strong-arm robbery – a felony in every state – and then walking out in the middle of the street? When confronted by the police officer uses profanity and hostility.

The next move, the police officer tries to get out of his car and the subject pushes his door, forcing him back into the car, striking him several times with his fist, then reaching in the car for his firearm. In his defense, the police officer draws his pistol and luckily is able to get a round off striking the individual in the hand. The subject turns and runs a few feet when ordered by the police stop get on the ground he turns around and charges the police officer. At which time the police officer fires several times, some of the shots striking the subject killing him.

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Bob Wilson's letter in the opinion section of the newspaper makes erroneous assumptions about poverty, African Americans and unions. These views reflect misinformed stereotypes about poor Americans and immigrants. His comments, blaming unions and Democrats for destroying public education, are not supported by facts.

Mr. Wilson's "Government plantations," where many poor people live, are impoverished urban areas in many cities across America. Children raised in these environments generally lack proper diet and health care. Frequently they miss early educational experiences such as books and travel. Their parents with jobs, work long hours for minimum wages, with little time or money for entertaining their children. When these children start school they lag behind their peers nurtured under more fortunate circumstances. Hungry children generally make poor students. They are often sleepy or restless and cranky, lacking early reading and critical thinking skills.

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