Grandparents beware of phony calls for help
It was a lovely day in the neighborhood. Then the phone rang.
“Hello”, said I.
“Hi Grandma,” said the hoarse voice in the earpiece. “This is your grandson.”
“Really? Do you have a cold?” I questioned.
Some serious coughing and then, “I’m having trouble hearing you.”
“That’s OK”, said I, “because this conversation is over. Goodbye.”
You see, I don’t have a family member who calls me “Grandma,” and who would claim to be my grandson. However, I do have a friend who shared her experience recently with a similar phone call. The MO is thus: It will be a grandchild calling and the reason you can’t identify the voice is because they have a bad cold, maybe even pneumonia. If you are not suspicious, you may even say a name, and the caller will claim that identity.
They are in trouble of some kind, needing your help. Read that, “money.” And please don’t call their parents. Just wire money to the address you are given, which you likely will not recognize. This is a crafty, insidious, not to mention criminal, scam. And it works, because it’s the rare grandparent who would not respond to a grandchild in need.
If only we could live in “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” where there was no lying or cheating and the word “scam” was not in anyone’s vocabulary. But we don’t. Our reality is daily phone calls with the sole purpose of using any means possible to gain access to our bank accounts. So, grandparents especially, beware. If your grandchild calls, make sure it is indeed your grandchild before you entertain any requests from the caller.
Lenore Snell — Franklin, N.C.
New Yorkers are stand-up people
I’m just like you! I have problems with the way Trump conducts himself. We have to stick with him because of the alternative.
The strongest credo I have is “Anybody But Hillary.” A far left liberal could really do some damage as the president. I was raised and schooled in NYC, and I find that most New Yorkers are stand-up people. When I ask local people why they don’t like New Yorkers, they reply that “New Yorkers have been everywhere, done everything and know everything.” I think to myself, “well, that’s all true.”
I think they consider our accent to be rude and vulgar. Too much confidence in how they speak. In my case, I have done more than most. In the ’60s I was a cop in Times Square, a detective in Manhattan, and later I was VP of several large corporations, and then president of a major corporation. I think my biggest achievements were being an Eagle Scout and an honor graduate of the Regular Army Officer Candidate School in Ft. Sill, Okla. In every year from 1981 to 1999 I made over six figures. Now retired, without any pensions, I barely get by every month. I miss being president. I miss all the brown-nosers! If I stopped short, everybody would pile up behind me. At my first meeting, a gathering of all company personnel, I had a question for all the people that came in at 7 a.m. and left at 7 p.m. “How come it takes you people 12 hours to do what I do in 7 hours?” It was quite a trip! Somewhere, I have a box full of press clippings that hail my accomplishments.
I once borrowed $100 million from my parent company for an incredibly successful advertising campaign. I’ve always been a risk taker, but in this case it paid off. Every month, just to maintain my ego, I have to look in that box and read my scrapbook of articles. Meanwhile, how do we contain Trump? We all believe that when he becomes president, he will be courteous and respectful of others.
Ya know what? He will still be a gruff New Yorker! And, so will I. All these letters to the editor are getting to look the same: they are religious preaching or a claim that Jim Davis has done something wrong again this week. I moved here 12 years ago, and I think Jim Davis is one of the finest people I have ever met. If you knew any state senators from New York, you would agree with me. A long time ago, when I was running a large company, a group of politicians visited me at my office, and asked me to run for senator. I literally threw them out of my office! Whaddya think, I’m crazy? Now, let me give you a prediction, and I know you won’t like it. I think Trump is going to drop out of the race! He is the type of guy who does not like to lose! If he sees a poll that tells him he is going to lose, he will drop out, rather than lose. Dem New Yorkers hate to lose! Too bad you guys never supported Carly Fiorina or Ben Carson. I’m still teaching the concealed carry pistol classes. What people like the best are my war stories on the streets of New York. Maybe I’ll put them all in a book for everyone to read. A big hello to my 800 students out there. Thank you for not shooting anyone lately!
Jim Sottile — Franklin, N.C.
What have we got to lose?
I never supported Barack Obama prior to his election in 2008 because of positions he had taken in the past and was skeptical of his becoming more moderate after the election. However, after his win I decided to suspend judgement and see what he would do. It became crystal clear early on that his attitude was to be, “ I won, to hell with you.”
I then consoled myself with the now seen as naïve view that if he tried anything too outrageous the checks and balances of our system of government would restrain his worst. Then came Obamacare that was recognized as so bad that it couldn’t even pass a Democrat controlled Congress without bald-faced lies, strong arm tactics, and bribery. Remember the Louisiana Purchase and the Cornhusker Kickback? Then there was the shameless intimidation of the Supreme Court and Justice Roberts’ infantile reasoning justifying Obamacare’s “constitutionality.” Then came the Fast and Furious gun running scandal involving the “Justice” Department. It was plain that Eric Holder had plenty to hide and was uncooperative in the investigation and that his job was not to seek justice but to shield Obama at all costs. And the media watchdogs yawned, except for Fox news.
That was when a sick feeling hit the pit of my stomach as I realized that the guard rails were gone and we were on a race to the bottom with nothing to brake our fall. Since that time other scandals that have occurred – IRS abuses of conservative groups, the Benghazi cover-up, Hillary’s private server and negligence in handling classified information, the Clinton Foundation allegations, and the suspect FBI investigation among others – show that corruption has tainted Federal agencies across the board as uncooperativeness with investigators and obstruction of justice is standard procedure. A president leading a government like that can protect or destroy anyone she pleases. This should frighten anyone with a sense of decency and fair play regardless of political party.
Couple all of the above with open calls to not only restrict the second amendment but also the first as well, the inflaming of racial tensions for political purposes, the dividing of the country along racial, gender, and political lines, and calling ordinary Americans deplorables, I can see the outlines of an Orwellian State that is already becoming a reality.
I believe that Donald Trump, imperfect as he is, is God’s mercy extended to us to halt the moral and ethical plunge and the slide toward totalitarianism we are experiencing right now. If Hillary Clinton is elected she will be inheriting a culture of corruption in which she thrives and which will enable any further escapades. Donald Trump will insist on honesty, fairness, and integrity in government, will hold government officials accountable, will protect our constitutional rights, and will seek fair and equitable treatment for everyone, not just the well-connected and those whose vote she considers important. So, if anyone out there is among the 70 percent or more that think we as a country are on the wrong track, what have we got to lose?
David Parker — Sylva, N.C.
Trump makes ‘pants on fire’ statements
Please, don’t be conned by Trump. While not excited about Clinton, I can’t support an unstable, narcissist like Trump. Most disturbing is that Trump is prone to lying, making multiple racist and veiled Hillary assassination statements, and demeaning women. In fact-checking campaign statements, Politifact has found that Trump makes false or “pants on fire” statements 53% of the time versus 12% for Clinton. Hillary’s true and mostly true statements are rated 51% versus Trump’s 15%. Can you trust a billionaire with a history of ripping off blue collar workers and businesses, investors and Trump University students, and lying about his personal wealth or personal donations he has made to charity? Where are his tax returns? Where are the IRS letters to prove Trump’s assertion he’s being audited? While Clinton’s blemished, she’s at least competent, steady, and well-informed, with a career committed to America’s middle class families and children.
Brad Seiser — Franklin, N.C.
Term limits would cause Congress to work together
In 1956 as I turned 18, I voted for President Eisenhower’s second term. Four years later, I voted for President John Kennedy and many years later for Ross Perot. I have always been an independent voter listening to the candidates’ proposals regardless of their party affilitation.
Some people only vote for their favorite party regardless of the candidates’ platform or qualifications. People who vote that way only don’t necessarily care what is best for America just that their party wins, like a sporting contest. Yes, some parties’ goals may seem better than others, however, none are perfect.
When you enter the voting booth alone, please consider which candidates’ proposals are logically the best for our country, economy and our fellow citizens and if you believe they can be trusted to really try to implement them. Our economy is in shambles, national debt out of sight and many people jobless.
You may have pressure from your family and peers telling you how to vote but you don’t really have to say how you voted.
There are only two things that will make the parties truly work together. One is a national emergency like 9/11, or real term limits for the House and Senate so no more career politicians whose goal is to continue getting reelected rather than doing what is best for us. Try to pressure whoever becomes the next president into trying their best to convince our Congress into creating term limits for Congress.
Jack Hogan — Loganville, Ga., & Franklin, N.C.
Veterans’ memorial park needs community support
While attending my VFW Post 7339 of Franklin last night, I heard a report by a brother who was one of the 10 veterans who helped put our veterans’ memorial of Macon County on the map. They took it upon themselves to plan, beg, and borrow, and worked their tails off and we ended with our beautiful memorial park honoring our county veterans. When he gave his report, I am sure most residents of Macon County don’t know, that the memorial park is cared for by our veterans committee, by the sale of bricks, donations, and help from all our local veterans’ organizations. All monies taken in, 100 percent of it is used for upkeep year round. They replace the flags yearly, they hire a local landscape firm to keep the park up.
This year our brick sales have fallen off and we need our community to consider buying a brick to honor any member of their family or any friend who has served in our armed forces or if you’re able to donate, small or large donations it would really help.
I hope you can help. Visit or call the Franklin American Legion at (828)524-4306 any Monday, Tuesday or Thursday, from 12 to 8 p.m. Leave a message for Art Pittman, chairman of brick sales, leave your name and phone number and he would be happy to assist you to purchase a brick or make a donation. We really need the community to help keep the finest Veterans Memorial Park in North Carolina in great condition. We thank the community for all their past wonderful support and for any help you may give us again.
Wm. Trapani — Franklin, N.C.