If Carolinas Cement Company people have their way children here will have “more asthma, more hospitalization and more illness,” according to a recent letter to the Wilmington Star-News by medical doctor David L. Hill. That’s a very broad and highly questionable statement. It’s also inflammatory. Coming from a doctor I would expect a reasoned, logically argument. Come to think of it, that’s not a realistic expectation.
We all respect doctors and value their work. They are highly trained technicians who spend extraordinary years (and lots of money) to perfect their increasingly specialized skills. However, have they, in general, any greater knowledge and credibility on political and environmental issues outside their narrow fields than the rest of us? I think not.
In fact, it’s likely that many doctors could be biased—at least when it comes to human health. They spend all their working time listening to (and reading about) never-ending studies and personal stories of disease, injury and suffering. Could it be that, in some medical minds, eventually everything in our environment becomes a potential threat to health—real or perceived?
Dr. Hill says that every week he reads a new article “about the impact of pollution on children.” We all can see such articles nearly every day in newspapers and magazines. But should we assume that they are all credible or relevant?
Health has become a huge industry and a big political controversy because of Americans’ obsessive focuses. Many in the health industry, environmental groups (including self-serving nonprofits) and the press are preoccupied with environmental threats—most of them out of touch with reality and designed to frighten people into changing behavior. Some, I believe, are attacks on our liberties and economy.
It’s our proper perspective on the environment and health that’s most threatened, in my opinion. Emotion should not consume us and overpower our abilities to reason and use common sense about the inherent risks in the process of living.
It has not been shown that Carolinas Cement will cause any health hazard to adults or children in this area, but it is known that the company will, under highly controlled conditions, create a valuable product that we all use; and it will provide an improved life for many people—including their children.Read full article » No Comments »
More than 20 years ago, a girlfriend of mine was crowned the Strawberry Festival Queen in Chadbourn. I spent the next few months chauffeuring her around the region to pageants, appearances, and parades, along with several lengthy visits to the small, quiet town. It was charming.
I haven’t been to Chadbourn in a while, so I found the news of a gang shooting there to be shocking, to say the least. From the News Reporter:
One young Chadbourn male is dead, and five other males ranging in age from 19 to 27 were wounded in an outburst of gunfire from rival gangs early Saturday outside a club along Macedonia Church Road near Evergreen.
Antoine Jamal Ford, 21, living along Jackson Street in Chadbourn, died at Columbus Regional Healthcare here Saturday morning after being shot in his chest.
Nealey said the shooting began about 1:50 a.m. outside Ball’s Club when rival gang members reverted to pistols after fistfights broke out between at least four males – two from each Chadbourn group.
The gangs were identified by Nealey – after talking to witnesses — as the “HBM” group that “hangs out” and lives in the southern part of the town, and the “TBH” group that is from central Chadbourn.
Brown, the dead victim of the shootings, was a member of the “HBM” gang, Nealey said.
Again, in Chadbourn? I just don’t know what else to say. What a tragic, senseless waste of human life.Read full article » No Comments »
The Jacksonville Daily News celebrates a legislative vote last week against corporate welfare:
On Thursday night, while most of the state was not paying attention, the N.C. House voted down a bill that would have provided up to $9 million in corporate welfare to a company that bought a Washington County paper mill over the next five years.
The company, Montreal-based Domfar Corp., doesn’t plan to produce paper at the plant. Instead, it plans to use it for producing fluff pulp, which is used to make diapers.
The bill had passed earlier in the Senate. All that was left was for the House to give its blessing before being sent to Gov. Bev Perdue for her signature.
When the bill came up for a final reading, it was defeated by two votes. A later effort to revive it also failed. Efforts continued in the Senate on Friday as that chamber voted out another version of the Domfar incentives bill.
Sweetheart incentives and corporate welfare bills are bad for a number of reasons. The primary reason is that in such cases, the government ends up picking winners and losers. Such businesses, such as Dell Computers, Apple Computers, Goodyear Tire and Rubber and Federal Express, to name a few, get their tax bills lowered or get special government grants to build in North Carolina, expand here or stay here.
Meanwhile the losers, which are every other business, continue paying their share of taxes in the state and get no sweetheart deals.
Unfortunately, lawmakers soon revived the bill granting Domfar incentives, as Becki Gray explains here. The House will have one more chance today to say yes or no.Read full article » No Comments »