Letter to the Editor: Bow Hunting

I wrote this letter today to the editor of my local newspaper:

I am most distraught by an article on the front page of the N&O today. A state agency is considering allowing bow hunting in the city limits to thin the deer population? Only in backwards North Carolina would something like this actually come to pass. This is an asinine idea. I do not want anyone in my city limits, or especially my neighborhood hunting with a bow and arrow, or any other weapon for that matter. Have people lost their minds? The deer population isn’t too high…the human population is too high! These deer live in the woods which we cut down for more strip malls and townhouses. Anyone who takes pleasure in hunting and killing an innocent animal is seriously lacking morality.

My Email Read On The BBC World Service

Something very exciting happened to me today! Most mornings when I am at work, I tune into NPR to give me something informative to listen to. Every morning at 9 AM (Eastern) they broadcast the BBC World Service, an hour-long worldwide news broadcast. I find the program to be quite outstanding.

Today, on this particular morning, they debated a story that is stirring in the United States, which until today, I was unaware of. The parents of a young disabled girl have had doctors perform surgery on her and give her some type of hormone concoction to essentially stunt her growth. She will remain a child forever and never grow into an adult. While I know they may have their own reasons for choosing this, I still find it disturbing that they call her their “Pillow Angel”.

As always, the anchor asked for listener feedback, as they do every day after a hot story. Today, shooting from the hip, I wrote them a brief email. At the end of the program, pushing 10 AM, they actually read my letter on the air! I was floored! Owen Bennet Jones was hosting today. He said, “…and here is a letter from Craig in the U.S.” They didn’t give my full name, thankfully, but as he started reading, I scrambled to pull up my computer’s Gmail window, showing my sent message. I then read along as he echoed my exact words to a worldwide, global audience. What are the chances that they would broadcast my letter, of all the ones they admitted were pouring in? I was, and still am, absolutely stunned.

Below is my letter (which I am a tad embarrassed about, since I wish I could have worded it a bit more clever than I did at the time when I hammered it out). I fully admit that I can’t imagine how difficult their daily lives must be, and I don’t really know what my opinion is of her condition or of her parents difficult decisions without experiencing it first hand. But the story made it to the news desk because it was so stirring. Hyped up on coffee, I was stirred and at that moment, I wrote:

I have just learned about the 9-year-old girl Ashley who had her growth stunted by her parents. This is outright child abuse. I don’t know their circumstances at home, and I certainly couldn’t care for this child 24/7. However, the disturbing piece of this story is the fact that they call her “Pillow Angel”. That lends me to believe that they wanted to keep her small as much for their own reasons as to whatever benefit it would have for her care. I feel like these parents are very sick people and should have their child taken away from them. –Craig

Letter to the Editor: School Budget Solution

Below is a letter I mailed to the editor of my local newspaper today:

I opened the paper today and was blasted with sticker shock at staggering amount of money that the Wake County school system claims it wants in the next ten years in order to overcome overcrowding and budget problems. 5 billion dollars? Has someone lost their mind? It is absurd that property taxes and fees will skyrocket to pay for this.

Thankfully, I have already come up with a two-part solution to the school system’s budget and overcrowding. It is important to note that my solution does not add any additional taxes to households that do not have children, such as my own. I do not believe I should have to pay for any of these extra costs and fees, since I do not have kids and have zero intentions of having any in the future. It simply is not my problem. Overcrowding and overpopulation are here to stay, forever. What about ten years from now? The school system is going to be back begging the public for money through ballot initiatives and bonds, after their five billion is gone and spent.

My statewide solution: Effective in 2006, every parent in the state of NC with a child 17 years or younger should have to pay an additional tax every year to the state in the amount of $700 PER CHILD. Where are they going to get this $700? They are going to get it from the $700 federal tax credit that Washington hands down in tax deductions every year. That money should be taken away and put to the local school coffers. This may serve as a small reminder that the more kids you churn out, the more the tax man is going to be coming to collect. Again, adults who do not have children, or whose children are over 18 do not have to pay this tax.

If that isn’t enough money to keep operations growing, then allow me to present the second part of my budget solution. Immediately put a halt to all out of town sports games for public schools statewide. Also slash, or eliminate, the budget for sports uniforms, trips, dinners, awards, ceremonies, practices, etc. Get those meat heads out selling cookies and washing cars like the poor kids in the band and drama department have to. How much does transporting sports teams around the state cost every year, dare I even ask?! Kids should not be taught in trailers when the athletics department is running away with this much funding.

If that still isn’t enough, the system will get a few dollars out of me when I buy a lottery ticket next year.