Just wanted to let you know I just read your article ["Durham vs. Cary: Which city has better tap water?" Nov. 21] and really enjoyed it. What a creative way to present the material; cleansing your water palate with malbec sounds like holidays around our house! This one is sure to please oenophiles and aquaphiles alike. Great job!
I want to thank you for running the article about the assassination of JFK ["JFK, Oswald and the Raleigh connection," Nov. 14]. Every since James Douglass' book, JFK and the Unspeakable, came out in 2008, I've been talking to people about it.
It has become apparent to me that an awful lot of people still see our government like a kindly mother who would never harm any of us, let alone our president. The public is poorly informed about a lot of things.
I, like Randolph Benson, have researched the researchers and have always wondered how we could maintain such denial in the face of all this. Is it mass hypnosis? Profound trance induced by television? An unwillingness to think and research independently due to fear?
Friends say to me, "But it was so long ago." Not so long that the same networks couldn't be up to something murderous as we speak. Faulkner said: "The past is never dead. It's not even past."
Meanwhile, cheers to the Indy and Randolph for working on and writing up a truly important story. Keep 'em coming!
Oswald connected to Raleigh—wow!
Randolph Benson's article held my attention to the very end. Facts were worded together into a succinct, linear progression that linked my memories disarrayed by time. New information from a local history weaved a new ending for my personal mental movie about the assassination. Troop withdrawal from Vietnam? New suspicion dangles one death over the death of thousands. Who would have such power and what could be gained?
Another historian's viewpoint adds quandaries about Kennedy and his mental state. I'm reading Nassir Ghaemi's A First-Rate Madness, which lays out the mental state of great leaders, their personality types and, in some cases, their drug use impacting historical events. Kennedy concealed his poor health with the help of his physician, who administered amphetamines and other drugs that distorted his thinking. Bobby Kennedy learned about the drugs, forced out the physician and replaced her.
The article and the book combine new information into questions. A time line would provide interesting possibilities: Was the physician at the direction of someone else? What date was the physician replaced? Was Bobby onto some revealing information? Was there a connection causing Bobby's murder? If so, by whose direction and what purpose?
Now that (most of) the dust has settled on the 2012 election, we see where we stand with the number of women in the General Assembly. As of the (unofficial) election results reported in Indy Week ["Men on top," Nov. 14], it looks like about 23 percent of the Legislature will be made up of women, holding steady to what it was prior to the election.
In the article, both parties indicated that it can be more difficult to get women to run for political office for a variety of reasons. Whether it is a male or female legislator, however, they will make policy decisions that affect everyone in the state, including women. Sometimes they will be voting on legislation that affects women directly or in unique ways. It's vital that women's voices and perspectives are heard, as legislators will need that information to decide how to best serve their constituents.
As stated in the Oct. 17 column, Exile on Jones Street ["The prospect of four years under Gov. McCrory"], "it's policy, not rhetoric, that affects people's lives."
There are many groups in N.C. that want to engage citizens in legislative advocacy, including NC Women United, a coalition founded to engage women with the policies that have a direct and/or unique effect on women and their families. NC Women United will have an advocacy day for the upcoming session, as will many of our member organizations. We encourage you to join us in our legislative actions.
Whether it is contacting your legislator about a bill, joining NCWU or other groups for their advocacy days at the General Assembly, or even just calling your representative's office to say "that group coming to visit you this morning speaks for me, too"—you can make your voice heard and continue to be a part of the democratic process.
The writer is the first vice president of NC Women United.