Letters to the Editor for January  26, 2017

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Education is key to success

There is little doubt that America, under Democratic control was moving toward a Socialist Welfare State, thus the reason so much wailing and crying by its supporters when Donald Trump won the election.  The deplorable working class decided they had had enough.  They decided the political class aren’t smart enough to tell them how to live their lives.

This view was dramatically brought to our attention when Congressman John Lewis and other Democrats brought shame to themselves by boycotting the inauguration. Some say John Lewis was a great Black leader but where did he lead them, to a plantation?

Watching the protestors at the inauguration it became clear that they may actually have to work for a living.

Life is really very simple.  Get an education and either learn a trade or go for a profession.  If you don’t get an education don’t expect someone else to support you.

Mike Rowe, of the reality show “Dirty Jobs,” is one of the few sane voices out there.  He’s a nuts and bolts kind of guy who runs an operation for training people in a trade.  He points out that there is a shortage of welders and a skilled one can make some big bucks. Many former gang members  have learned a trade and are doing well in life.

Not everyone wants to be a rocket scientist and some of our trades people, such as welders and steel workers, are the unsung heroes that built this country. Some trades and professions require a thorough knowledge of STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

All but ignored in our small community is the aviation field. Aviation is growing by leaps and bounds and future demand will grow considerably.  Much of it requires a solid education in STEM.  From pilots to design engineers to jet engine mechanics to aircraft maintenance, all offer good paying jobs.

Understand none of the following comments have anything  to do with our local schools.

Critical to all of this is the need for better schools in our inner cities. The failure of those schools trickles down to all of us through higher federal taxes to pay for welfare, food stamps and medical care for those who dropped out of school.

Right now, the unions are fighting Donald Trump’s selection of Betsy DeVos to head up the Department of Education. Teachers unions are all about teachers protecting their own interests and have nothing to do with our kids. The unions are concerned about the potential for competition from better performing schools.

Catholic schools, some Protestant schools and Charter Schools pose a threat to the status quo and they don’t like it. In New York City, the inner city schools spend about $20,000 per pupil while private schools only cost about $10,000 per pupil.  Give the kids a chance in life and just give them a voucher to attend a private school.

To be honest, part of the problem is the result of Liberal social experiments gone wrong.  For years Democrats believed that if we simply throw money at the inner city problems it will go away.  They didn’t go away and things have gone terribly wrong with the result that we now have more kids, of all races, from single family parents, or just careless parents, who are unwilling to raise their kids properly. Teachers are expected do the job that parents should have been dong.

At one time, young girls in Los Angeles had babies for the sole reason to collect more welfare.

We can break the problem down into two parts. One is inner city teachers are unable to control the undisciplined kids. The other factor is teachers unions fighting against improvements in failing schools.

One thing for certain, Betsy DeVos, the incoming head of the Department of Education, is about to make some big changes in education and the beneficiaries are going to be our nation’s kids and to some degree, taxpayers.  It’s time to break up the cartel teachers and their unions have and give our inner city kids a chance in life.

Finally, a breath of fresh air.

 

Bob Wilson — Franklin, N.C.

Respectful open dialogue is basis for democracy

I’ve always been a fan of The Macon County News especially the letters to the editor, regardless of whether or not I agree with the writer.  The MCN publishes a wide variety of opinions for its readers and is commended for this.  But I do notice that it is often the same folks that submit their letters. What about the rest of us?  If Trump’s election for president has done nothing else, it should begin a national discussion on what will Make America Great Again.  Campaign slogans are powerful tools to get folks to rally behind a candidate or issue. Regardless of whom we voted for and what our expectations were, now it is time as a nation to come together and move forward.

And Trump’s campaign slogan is no better place for us to begin: for us to examine, expound upon, and analyze what does make America Great and why as this slogan suggests we have been in decline. It begs us to look at who we really are as a nation and people and take an in depth look at our history. I was a poor student of history and civics and only now, in my 65th year am I beginning to grasp how our view of history shapes how we think.  Mass media tends to focus on what is happening now with little perspective on how we have gotten to where we are.  Trump brings all this to the forefront and there is no lack of issues at hand.

The other lesson that the presidential race brought to the forefront is respect or a lack of respect shown by candidates.  Since most of us aren’t running for an office we needn’t make promises or say things that disrespect others.  It is a Native Peoples tradition to allow someone to have their say and when they are done pass on the talking stick to someone else.  There isn’t any arguing.  If we are not continually trying to refute in our mind what someone else is saying  (coming up with arguments why they are wrong), we open ourselves to listening to what they have to say. And this provides an opportunity for us to examine our own beliefs and values.

Everyone has a story to tell and if we listen to these stories, and walk in each others shoes, so to speak, we can come a little closer to understanding other people, and become the great nation that we want to be. Respect doesn’t mean we have to agree or that if someone tramples on someone else’s dignity or rights that we remain silent. Democracy requires us to stand up for the values our country was built on. Open dialogue I believe is the basis for democracy. Everyone has a right to freedom of speech and I might add, respect.  Examining the past is a good starting point for us to begin coming to terms with who we are and where we are headed. It may help us understand the mistakes we have made and not repeat them again. I hope to hear more great letters to the editor with more people joining in the discussion.

 

Paul Chew — Otto, N.C.

Future data gathering will be ‘interesting’

Mike Pompeo has been confirmed as the new Director of the CIA. The government already has a great deal of information about us, but Pompeo wants more added to the government database. They can already gather details from our cell phone use, texts, emails and some social media, but the new director wants more monitoring of Twitter, Facebook and other social outlets. Pompeo says he may want to gather financial information obtained by people called “data brokers.” And get this … he has stated his interest in gathering lifestyle information. This will be interesting. Will video cameras be installed on our streets and in our homes? (Has anyone seen the TV show, “Person of Interest”?) Will our government store information on each of us, and will this information be of particular interest to hackers? Would it really be used merely to protect against terror attacks? They may tell us that but will we ever really know? It’s important that we keep a balance between our civil liberties and the government’s efforts to protect us. How much further should they go and at what cost?

 

Annette Bell — Otto, N.C.

The Lettermen bring back nostalgia

A fun time was had at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts last night as the Lettermen brought back their songs from back in the day where life was simple and music was reminiscent of our childhood.  Humor, talent and such kindness was shown to the audience as these gentlemen took many pictures with their fans and continued to do so in the lobby after the show.  It was so great to see the amount of people who came and supported these iconic gentlemen and appreciated the talent that they continue to have.  Thank you SMPCA for yet again bringing such wonderful entertainment.

 

Mary West — Franklin, N.C.

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