Letters to the Editor for May 12

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Radicals demand rights while denying others theirs 

The so-called N.C. bathroom bill has created a lot of heat and much less light largely due to misleading and unbalanced press reporting. The NCDOT submitted a good letter to the editor lately that addressed a number of misconceptions concerning the bill. Another cause (the main one behind which the press is only tagging along) is the radical LGBT lobby and the social media lynch mob. The bill was designed to prevent the possibility of sexual predators from engaging in fraud to access women’s restrooms and also to prevent the tail from wagging the dog on the issue which would have put people unnecessarily in legal jeopardy. Just ask any Christian baker or photographer who doesn’t mind serving gays but would just rather not celebrate their wedding with them.

When Anthony Kennedy cast the deciding vote in the Supreme Court gay marriage decision, he stated his hope (vain as it turned out) that people’s religious liberty would be respected. The ink was hardly dry before lawsuits started as they had previously in states that had instituted gay marriage by judicial fiat. Kennedy should have known better. These radicals and likeminded supporters that think that tolerance is a one-way street seem to be incapable of being gracious even in victory. With victory the gloves come off and the knives come out as they furiously demonize anyone who disagrees with them. Joe McCarthy could have taken lessons from these people. We have the strange phenomenon of people claiming the moral high ground speaking out against “haters” being the most hateful of all. They noisily demand their rights while denying others theirs.

Fifteen minutes ago, relatively speaking, this wasn’t even an issue. Now, suddenly, a law passed to maintain a status quo is beyond the pale. This is truly twilight zone stuff. If anyone is up for some settled science, I refer you to the American College of Pediatrics that stated that the XX and XV genetic markers were indicative of health, not disease, and that there are only two genders. Rare medical anomalies exist but they are considered and treated as an abnormal condition. More commonly but still occurring in a small minority is the psychological disorder of gender dysphoria syndrome and related body image problems. Those with these issues are more in need of compassionate psychological counselling instead of the non-compassionate enabling of their dysfunction. In the meantime, to accommodate those of this persuasion, gender neutral bathrooms for use by them instead of their choice of men’s and women’s bathrooms has been offered and rejected by those who have no interest in good faith dealings. Don’t the feelings of the majority of women and girls concerning their privacy and safety have some validity?

Let’s have a little thought experiment. If I think I am Jesus Christ or Napoleon should people take me seriously if I self-identify that way? Will Caitlin Jenner not have to be concerned about the possibility of prostate cancer now that he is a “woman?” If he is legally a woman will his insurance pay for prostate cancer treatment if he needs it? If the insurance companies are mandated to do so by law isn’t that an admission that he really isn’t what he says he is? Will a man that thinks he is a woman and needing a drug that is known to cause birth defects be required to take birth control pills and have pregnancy testing done? Similar questions could be asked about the reverse case. The absurdities mount exponentially. Has anyone really considered the implications of all this? It is so ironic that those who are so passionate about climate science even though there are so many variables to confuse the issue not to speak of data manipulation, if they fall for transgenderism, stumble at biology 101. The take away for me is that it is not the science that anyone cares about, it is only the issue and the politics thereof. It will not end well for our society if we continue to mainstream dysfunction and target those who tell the truth and who want what’s best for everyone. There is room to live and let live if only the radicals would allow it.

David Parker — Sylva, N.C.

Dear CareNet family and friends, 

I want to thank each and every one of you for your support throughout the past three and one half years. My time here at CareNet would not have been the same, if it weren’t for the warm welcome and acceptance that I felt immediately upon taking my position as executive director for Macon County Care Network (CareNet). I have been blessed to work alongside some of the most caring, supportive, and influential people during my time with CareNet.

To my volunteers: I want to thank you for your hours of selfless giving to your neighbors in need. Your work is the lifeblood of this ministry and its efforts to serve our neighbors in need by providing food and nurturing hope…keep up the good work and never forget the ability that each of you have to make a difference in the lives of others. I will go on record now (my CareNet hat officially removed) to say that I truly believe CareNet has some of the best, most dedicated, and talented volunteers in all of Western North Carolina. There. I said it.

To my staff: Words cannot begin to express my gratitude for each of you. As a novice coming into my own as the executive director for this ministry, you all watched as I grew into the leader that you needed most. I can honestly say, if it weren’t for you all, I would be nowhere near understanding the type of leader I am destined to become. Each of you have challenged (some more than others), empowered, and motivated me in my journey towards developing as a leader – and for that, I thank you. I can honestly say that my journey is nowhere near complete, but because of each of you I can say that I fully understand the importance of not only a strong leader, but also a compassionate critic, and motivating friend. You each mean the world to me and I want you to know that although I am no longer in the building that I will always be there for you. You have my heart, forever and always.

To my board of directors (past and present): What do I say? Let’s face it…you took a chance on a young, wet behind the ears, inexperienced rookie who simply told you her number one goal was to “help people” – here’s hoping I made each of you proud and capitalized on the opportunity to prove you right. I honestly cannot express my gratitude for the many blessings each of you have bestowed upon me. I owe a great deal of my success to some of you who went above and beyond to not only provide me with support on a professional level, but were also there to offer support when I needed it personally as well. I am honored to have had each of you serve on the board during my time with the ministry.

Pastor John Brunner: There are no words to fully express how I feel about having been given the time and privilege to work with you. I can still remember the conversation we had when you first accepted your nomination to serve as chairman of the board, you reminded me of all of the qualities that I both possessed and would need to work on in order to be the best leader I could be. I sure hope I made you proud and I thank you for your continued belief in me and I can promise you that my work within the nonprofit world is not done. I’m still working on the bag of leadership for dummies books that you allowed me to borrow – I’d like to request an extension on my checkout?

To my families of CareNet: It has been a privilege to serve in my role as director, to hopefully better the experience each of you have had when visiting with us. My priority was to make a change not only in the way our ministry defined poverty, but also in how we served those who were impoverished. It is my hope that I have done right by each of you. Thank you for your patience and continued support of our ministry. It is our pleasure to serve and I do believe I speak for most when I say that you will never truly understand the impact you all have on us as individuals and as followers of Christ. Thank you and God bless each of you.

To the next executive director: You may not know this yet, but you are coming into a family of some of the most compassionate, selfless, and quite honestly invaluable group of individuals who are committed to service above self. Please, take care of them. This ministry has the potential to do great things and I have no doubt that you will continue to lead the charge! Should you ever need someone to serve as a listening ear, seek advice or ideas, wish to vent (trust me…you’ll have those days), look no further as I understand firsthand the importance of having someone to do it all with.

To all: Remember, the most important thing you can do is to continue to advocate for those who are less fortunate. Advocate doesn’t just mean you try to solve the problem facing families here in our community. Instead, share your time, smile, heart, laughter, experiences and stories with those around you – for you never know who may be in need. Thank you all for your well wishes and continued support.

Thank you. God bless. Feed the Need,

Shaina D. Adkins — Franklin, N.C.

Purpose of HB 2 just common sense 

The recent passage of HB2 has produced many comments. Unfortunately many are in error.

Forget the economic theats, unfounded conclusions and opinions and the facts are really simple.

Are we more concerned with the purpose of the bill (protection of our women and children) or other issues, real or imagined?

Forget political labels, economic issues and read the bill.

There is no discriminatory language or intent to be so.

Remember, it started in Charlotte with an ordinance that made no sense but opened up a can of worms that was ridiculous.

In the words of our legislators, HB 2 is common sense.

WH Elam — Otto, N.C.

Fantasy deal made in a back room in New York 

Please let me tell you a fantasy story about the upcoming election. It seems in the world of deals this one is great. It looks like my man Goldilocks Trump has lit a fire in the Republian Party. Now here’s my tale of the fantasy deal:

A ways back, two powerful men met and sat down in a secret room somewhere in New York. One was known in certain circles as Slick Willy, but was really Bill Clinton, the other dude was a very outgoing New Yorker referred to as Goldilocks Trump. Slick Willy says to Trump, I’ve got a deal for you. Suppose you run for president in the next election. You raise hell about everything, call them crooks, give the Republican big shots trouble. If you win, you will run against my momie. You lose and Hillary becomes president. She appoints you ambassador to any country you want. That’s my deal for you. Well, the deal was made in a back room in New York. And a deal is a deal and Trump is the master of the deal, just ask him. Well, the bottom line, I am voting for Trump who knows what may happen, hey how’s about Trump for president and Hillary for vice president, Let’s make a deal!

Wm. Trapani — Franklin, N.C.

Race and party affiliation 

There was an odd letter written to the editor last week. The logic of letter was as follows: In the 1850s Republicans were anti-slavery, while the Democrats were pro-slavery; therefore, modern-day Democrats are being hypocritical when they accuse modern-day Republicans of racism. This is what philosophers call a non-sequitur. The logic simply “does not follow.”

Not only was the logic askew, there was a problem with the author’s history as well. He mentioned the formation of the Republican Party in 1854 as a countervailing force to the Democratic Party’s pro-slavery position at the time. He failed to mention the fact that the Democratic Party of the 1850s was deeply divided between northerners and southerners. The northern faction of the party opposed slavery. The southern faction favored slavery. When the Republican Party formed in 1854, northern Democrats joined en masse, giving the newly formed Republican Party a majority in most of the northern states. One’s position on slavery in the 1850s was more indicative of one’s geographical location than one’s political affiliation.

Logic and history aside, there was a comment in the letter that needs to be addressed. It exposes the hypocritical faux outrage that is in fashion among right-wingers today and it promotes a form of soft racism advocated by Lee Atwater, Republican political adviser to Ronald Reagan.

I will quote from the author’s letter: “Frankly, if I were a black American or any other minority I would be concerned about falling into a dependency trap set by the Democrats to keep them under control.”

This kind of thinking conjures up the racist image of the inner city “welfare queen” popularized by Reagan. And it assumes that only blacks and minorities are susceptible of falling into the mythical “dependency trap.” This is one of the most thinly veiled forms of racism today and it is all-too-prevalent in our society, especially among conservatives. It is also completely at odds with the reality of government assistance and who receives it. The majority of government assistance goes to white people. In fact, white people receive more SNAP benefits than Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans combined. The portrayal of shiftless minorities sucking up all the government benefits is a well crafted narrative promoted by media, economic, and political elites to divide white working class and minority working class voters; that is, portraying government assistance as a minority problem encourages white voters to side with austerity politicians on the right and minorities to side with social justice politicians on the left. Once they’re elected, politicians on the right and the left serve the interests of the unified elites and ignore the interests of the divided working class.

Now I will quote Lee Atwater, Republican strategist for Ronald Reagan, on how to discuss race: “You start out in 1954 by saying, “N(word), n(word), n(word).” By 1968 you can’t say “n(word)”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a [heck] of a lot more abstract than “N(word), n(word).”

Looking over the platform of today’s Republican Party, you will see just how well Lee Atwater’s advice was heeded by his conservative progeny. From fighting slavery in the 1850s to the abstract and thinly veiled racist tropes of today, my how the Republican Party has changed.

Marshall Solomon — Franklin, N.C.

Airing of the Quilts a big success 

Hats off to everyone who made Airing of the Quilts a big success. For the merchants who had quilts in your windows and around the front of their stores, we thank you. The first place winner of $50 was Hazel P’s and the second place of $25 (which Betsey donated back to us) was Macon County News. Hazel P’s had a cake contest and the Franklin Garden Club had their plant sale which addded to the festivities and we heard nothing but good comments from everyone who participated in all of the activities. This was a county-wide effort and I would not attempt to name everyone for fear that I would leave someone out, but if you were in any way a part of this festival we thank you from the bottom of our heart. This is what makes our small town such a great place to live, we can do anything if we all work together.

Linda McKay

Betty Cabe

Suzanne Harouff

Deb Heatherly

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