A ToysRUs moment
I was beyond words, when after a long stressful day, two women from the Revolve Church stepped in front of me at the Durham ToysRUs store, and paid for my shopping cart full of toys.
“Why?” I asked.
“To spread Christmas cheer,” they replied.
“What should I do?” I asked, still confused.
“Just return the favor” was the answer.
In a time full of rushing and stressing, how awesome is that. I will definitely remember this Xmas. A lesson for my children, as well as myself – the gift of giving and helping – I cannot wait to “pass the favor!”Jacki ChaseTwo little Noahs
I am a proud American who firmly believes in the Second Amendment. To me, its meaning isn’t just about the right to bear arms, but rather the right for citizens to defend themselves against the tyranny of the government – should this ever occur. And, should it ever happen, I will gladly join in repelling such a threat to our Liberty.
Yet, in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., I find myself struggling to make sense of what this nation needs to do in order to ensure that no more of our children fall victim to senseless murder like the 20 of those who are now with our Heavenly Father.
As I write this letter, my 2 1/2-year-old son sleeps peacefully in the next room. His name is Noah, and one of the little boys who needlessly died in the school shooting was also named Noah. I cannot help but wonder what I would have done or how I would have reacted should my son have been killed. It is too much to bear. Further, as Noah prepares to start pre-school, I never thought that my first question to potential pre-schools would be, “what precautions are you taking to ensure that what happened on December 14, 2012 doesn’t happen at this school?”
Reflecting upon this tragedy as both a father and a citizen, I am convinced that, for our children’s future and safety, we no longer can continue down the road of interpreting the Second Amendment so broadly. The right to bear arms is a responsibility given to us as citizens to defend against tyranny of the government. It is not about owning and stockpiling military-grade or high-powered guns like those used to massacre innocent children on Friday morning. This is, I believe, a dangerous interpretation that only promises to take more lives and do nothing to heal our nation or move us forward.
Thus, after much prayer and consideration, I have decided to end my membership to the National Rifle Association. After this tragedy, I no longer hold the belief that Americans should have the “right” to possess these types of guns. I pray that the NRA will also change its views, too – not for us adults, but for our children who are the future of our great nation. As Robbie Parker, father of shooting victim 6-year old Emilie Parker said this evening, “This tragedy should not turn into something that defines us, but something that inspires us to be better, to be more compassionate and more humble people.”Nathaniel H. Goetz DurhamGood column, Kifu
I always enjoy sitting down to my Durham News, but Kifu Faruq’s My View column (DN. dec. 9) brought a particular smile to my face.
I haven’t lived here as long as she (2000-present), but this town has its hooks in me for all the reasons she illustrates, and others that defy description. As for Durham being an “Urban Mayberry”… I hope she doesn’t mind if I borrow that.
Well done!Alan Dippy DurhamOoh, ooh, that smell
This Thanksgiving I traveled up to Billings, Mont., for the first time to spend the holiday with my mother and stepfather. It was a very sobering experience to see Billings, as the oil refinery is the primary employer for these 105,000 people.
Billings is home to not one but three refineries, one of which sits directly across the street from my parent’s home. It was the temporary contract work that originally brought my parents to Billings and it is the construction of housing units for the oil boom in the Dakotas that continues to employ my stepfather.
The most striking aspect of this industrial town is the constant, unrelenting burnt smell in the air that is immovable, even by the famous windy gusts that frequent the northern Great Plains. This once immaculate place where the air and water flowed down from the Northern Rockies has now reach a point of industrial saturation. The air is sour and the water requires filtration to be palatable. After a few days I was more than happy to return to the sweet air of the Carolinas.
The fact that the fossil fuel industry provides and supports jobs comes up frequently during discussions around jobs and energy, but this is a real-life example of what kind of jobs these are. The question is what would happen to Billings if we put a price on carbon? Would the refineries shut down and turn Billings into a ghost town while putting my family out of work?
It could, but what if instead of refining oil, Billings manufactured and installed thousands of windmills? The construction skill sets required to work at refinery are similar to the types of skills needed in windmill manufacturing and installation. The jobs would not just vanish but instead be transformed into green jobs that could support a thriving Billings.
We can make it our goal to create an opportunity for people, like my family, to be a part of the green energy revolution and in doing so protect and expand the right to earn a living wage.Donald Addu Durham The writer is a member of the Citizens Climate Lobby.Start the better times
I believe the lyrics from John Lennon, “So this is Christmas,” is an appropriate way to start this letter. It is the Christmas season all over the world. As I acknowledge this, I cannot help but wonder, which country and/or who are the people that keep and honor Christmas in the most fitting way? Is it The United States? Is it because we have 8 percent unemployment due in part to the fact that so, so many of our Christmas gifts come from other countries? Is it because our very own government cannot agree that all, I repeat, all Americans need health insurance? Is it because U.S. troops (human beings) are fighting and dying in two countries where it is highly rumored these governments are very corrupt? Is it because after more than 200 years of being a country, we still have bigotry and prejudice?
If you are like me and don’t like the answers to these questions, it is not too late to make the answers more positive for the sake of our future. We have got to come to some understanding that we cannot continue to purchase almost everything that is made in other countries! We have got to understand that U.S. troops are also moms, dads, sons and daughters. Our U.S. troops need, I repeat, need to be brought home now. As for the bigotry and the denial of health insurance, I believe these go hand-in-hand. How can a society claim to be civilized when so, so many millions of our citizens are without the very, very necessary safety net of health insurance?
Perhaps this Christmas will be the start of better times in our country. If we all truly understand the real meaning of Christmas, we can change things for the better.Timothy (Tim) Monroe Bledsoe North Augusta, S.C.
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