A July Fourth message in troubling times: ‘We’re all in this together’

Jeff Siner/jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
·4 min read

A July 4 message

The writer was in Charlotte on his “A Piece of Your City” tour when he sent this letter.

The surging gas prices, high inflation, and conflicts abroad have Americans feeling the strain. There hasn’t been a time more critical to revive “Made in America” and to “go-local.”

Declaring independence in 1776, we forged a path of self-reliance that strengthened our community, instilled local pride and identity. We’ve gone backwards, relying on foreign energy and manufacturing.

I spent a year learning about craftsmanship and the value local artisans and farmers contribute to their communities. I shaped surfboards in San Diego, rolled cigars in Tampa, and molded clay in Charlotte. My main takeaway? America’s core is innovation. Today’s crisis has reignited the benefits of supporting local products and services. On July Fourth, think about your community and that “we’re all in this together.”

Daniel Seddiqui, Charlotte

NC budget

Regarding “Despite a bulging surplus and great need, GOP lawmakers offer NC a timid state budget,” (June 29 Opinion)

This piece fails to recognize that there are not only yearly budget surpluses, but deficits. The problem has always been that governments, federal and state, uniformly fail to save, spending surpluses in the good times, leaving no extra funds for the tough times and a deficit that creates a fiscal burden on the government and its citizens. Most economists are currently predicting a recession of a magnitude unknown. Knowing that a recession is now on the horizon, why not prepare for the upcoming rainy day that is sure to come either sooner or later?

Fred Becker, Mooresville

NCDOT priority?

Regarding “Toll lanes for Independence Boulevard delayed. When should drivers expect work to begin?” (June 29):

Despite assertions to the contrary from an NCDOT spokeswoman, improvements to the U.S. 74 corridor are not a “priority” for NCDOT. The state began converting Independence Boulevard to an expressway in the late 1980s. Now, the first of the project’s final two segments has been delayed until 2030. If it’s going to take 50 years to complete this much of the expressway, it can hardly be called a priority.

Tracy M. Hamm, Charlotte

Enforce limits

There was a time when I enjoyed my reasonably quiet front yard on Poindexter Drive in Charlotte, but those days are long gone. Excessive street vehicle noise, speeding and tailgating on Poindexter have made the street look and sound like a war zone. I now spend my days watching drivers tailgate, ignore the 25 mph speed limit, pass other vehicles, and delight in making as much vehicle noise as possible. I believe it’s just a matter of time before Poindexter’s first road rage incident is reported. My wish is that Charlotte police would better enforce speed limits and noise ordinances on our streets, but I’ve seen no indication of that on Poindexter.

Richard Van Hooser, Charlotte

Bank of America

Regarding “Bank of America to pay for employees to travel for abortions,” (June 28):

Bank of America and other large U.S. corporations gave millions of dollars to fund the campaigns of Republican lawmakers. Now they want praise for throwing a bone to their female employees? Shame on them.

Shannon Jefferson, Charlotte

Pulpit politics

I am a cradle Catholic. I am not for abortion. I attend Mass to celebrate the body and blood of Christ. I do not go for a political rant on abortion or a victory walk. I hear enough of this throughout the week by way of media and others who feel they must make their views known. If I must be subjected to this at Mass, I would love to hear the same enthusiasm from the pulpit concerning racism, poverty, and those on the margins of society.

Jane Francisco, Charlotte

Jan. 6 hearings

I am terrified for America when I hear people complain that they are tired of the Jan. 6 hearings. Heaven forbid that they miss watching a stranger win a trampoline on Price Is Right, or the 45th rerun of Friends.

These hearings are a moment in American history writ large! Donald Trump attempted to destroy our Constitution and end American democracy in order to become our country’s first self-proclaimed dictator, supported by one third of our nation.

This is a moment in time that will impact our country for the next 100 years or more. If you cannot set aside the petty, momentary distractions of life to take notice, then perhaps the movie “Idiocracy” is closer to truth than we would ever imagine.

Michael L. Ham, Matthews


The June 26 Opinion writer is correct: Liz Cheney has earned the Profile in Courage award. Add to that list former Vice President Mike Pence and the career civil servants in the Justice Department, Jeffrey Rosen, Richard Donoghue and Steven Engel.

The Jan. 6 hearings hearken back to the “Saturday night massacre” during Watergate, and to the McCarthy era before that.

Yes, our democracy is fragile. We need heroes like these to protect us.

Maggie Nelson, Monroe