Letters for April 19, 2018

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Scandals enough to go around

The recent letter regarding the interview with Stormy Daniels mistakenly insinuated that it aired on CNN while in fact it ran on the long-running CBS Show, “60 Minutes.” The writer described anchor Anderson Cooper as a “self-professed gay man” who seemed to be making the scandal out to be that a man had sex with a woman. 

First, I’m not sure that a person stating that they are homosexual need be seen as self-professed, as if it is scandalous in itself that they dare admit somthing so publicly. 

Second, I don’t think anybody cares that a man had sex with a woman. Now, a thrice-married man who had recently had a child at the time of the alleged incident and is currently the U.S. president engaging with a porn star and then paying her $130,000 to keep quiet? Now, that is something a bit different. 

President Trump covets the evangelical support and many give it to him while either holding their nose or looking the other way. This is hardly a partisan hit job as many of us well remember the downfall of North Carolina’s own John Edwards. The shady ways that he used political donations to hide his affair were his undoing. It is not in question that Trump’s attorney paid this money to Ms. Daniels. Most of us regular folk don’t go around paying enormous sums of money to settle cases in which we know ourselves to be innocent. Trump, for one, is no stranger to the courtroom and has been involved in 3,500 legal cases. In this case though, some quick hush money was the preferred method of handling the situation. 

If you preferred Trump to Hillary, that’s your business, but let’s not act like the man has any character whatsoever. Let’s stop admiring the emperor’s new clothes and see that he has been au naturel for some time.

  

Bob Jones – Franklin, N.C.

Supreme Court affirms right to bear arms

Recently, our nation experienced the horror that occurred in Parkland, Fla.  In the wake of the shooting, fingers pointed towards many things as the root cause.  The blame for this tragic loss of life has been laid on everything from bullying, the NRA, the FBI screening process, local law enforcement, and the mental healthcare system.

As with any shooting, the incident in Parkland set off the discussion once again regarding gun control.  On the one side we have those who contend that private citizens should be able to own firearms in order to protect themselves.  On the other end of the spectrum are those who would have all firearms taken away from every citizen, leaving only military and law enforcement legally armed.  I say legally, because it is impossible to disarm America.  If every law abiding citizen who owns a gun were to turn those guns in today, this country would still have a massive amount of firearms dispersed through it.  In effect, only LEOs, military, and the bad guys would now have guns.

So let’s look at the pro-gun stance.  Should citizens be able to own guns for the purpose of self-defense?  According to the Constitution and the US Supreme Court, yes you can.  In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court held:

• The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

• The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms.

• The prefatory clause comports with the Court’s interpretation of the operative clause. The “militia” comprised all males physically capable   of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved.

What this is saying is that the founders of our country wanted the citizenry armed, as a matter of protection in the general sense and as a manner of protection from any overzealous government entities.  We the people, as in all people of the United States, are part of the “militia” that the Constitution mentions in the Second Amendment.  We are intended to be the “common defense” of this nation.  It’s not restricted to the men, either.  Supreme Court precedents on sex-equality make it very clear that this ruling covers both men and women.  Taken in this light, one could realistically consider it their patriotic duty to own a firearm.  As a matter of fact, Switzerland arms their citizens when they reach their 20th birthday, and trains them annually in marksmanship until they reach the age of 30.

That brings us to the opposing viewpoint.  When public shootings or gun accidents occur, the response is sometimes to focus only on the general question of gun ownership rather than the details of the events. Some would advocate measures to effectively prohibit all firearm ownership except for military and law enforcement purposes. That point of view is understandable from an emotional standpoint after a tragedy occurs, but it’s unwise and also inconsistent with our laws, Supreme Court rulings, and the Constitution, to follow through with this course of action.

Removing private gun ownership would infringe on hunting, animal population control, and competitive shooting.  It would also limit the self-defense capability of a private citizen from an intruder, burglar, rapist, or murderer.  Further, it would leave firearms in the hands of those who ignore the law while removing them from those who follow the law.  Finally, as our founding fathers foresaw, it would remove the protection that we have from the kind of government tyranny that we see so often in other countries, which we have not experienced as a nation since our colonial days.

Educate yourself on gun ownership.  Take a shooting class.  If you own a gun, take a CCW class.  Look up the statistics on crime in our country.  Read the Federalist Papers and the Constitution.  Get all of the facts together so you can make an educated decision about the issue of gun control in America.  Don’t let CNN or Fox tell you what to think; decide for yourself.

  

Bryan Owens – Franklin, N.C.

You were called into the grace of Christ

“Paul, an apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead,

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel;

“Which is not another, but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

“For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet please men I should not be the servant of Christ.

“Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.” Galatians 1:1, 6, 7, 10, 20

  

Floyd Cruse – Franklin, N.C.

We all need a little help understanding the world

Some people just don’t get it. They’re not savvy. Interpretation is not their strong suit. Meaning, as if a big jet airplane, flies right over their heads. So they need things to be explained to them. And that is okay. We all need a little help understanding the world sometimes. Let me explain it to Mr. Bob Wilson.

In the April 5th edition of this paper, he wrote in the “letters to the editor” section: “Here we had a self-professed gay man telling the world that a man may have had sex with a, believe it or not, a woman.  Big Woof!”

The “self-professed gay man” was Anderson Cooper. The “man” having sex was Donald Trump. The “woman” claiming to have had sex with Trump was Stormy Daniels. 

The first thing that must be said is that describing Anderson Cooper as “a self-professed gay man” in this context is completely irrelevant and inappropriate. I have zero sympathy for Cooper. To be completely honest, I’d be absolutely fine with him never doing another interview again. He’s no less a member of the privileged elite than is Donald Trump. But bringing up the fact that he is gay, while he is doing nothing other than his job, is textbook “hint, hint, wink, wink” bigoted homophobia that has absolutely no place in a society that strives to be democratic (that is, ruled by the common people) one day. The name brand of Cooper’s socks is as relevant as his sexual orientation to the CBS interview he conducted. 

Which brings me to my second point. The interview was on CBS’s 60 Minutes. Mr. Wilson’s whole brouhaha was about how horrible CNN was for airing the Stormy Daniels interview and how he was done watching CNN because of their temerity. It makes me think Mr. Wilson was feigning outrage. Or, maybe he was just parroting the faux anger of Sean Hannity? After all, who needs facts when you can stir up angry people with lies! That’s Fox’s modus operandi, as it were. 

Perhaps I’m being harsh. Mr. Wilson might have simply mixed up President Trump’s extra-marital affairs. There’s so many. Who can keep them straight? The CNN interview was with Karen McDougal, the Playboy Playmate, not Stormy Daniels, the porn star. It appears Mr. Wilson needs to boycott yet another network.

The meaning of the interviews was not “Big Woof!” a man and a woman had sexual intercourse. It was, rather, how Trump and his associates (Cohen and American Media, Inc.) treated the women after the fact. Cooper intentionally eschewed making moral judgments about Trump’s immoral actions; I guess I need to say alleged “hint, hint, wink, wink” immoral actions. As far as it goes, this was a fair tact to take. Powerful men intimidating and silencing women is a scourge on our society. When it happens, it needs to exposed and condemned. 

That said, the meaning of the interviews, for me, is the morality. Trump was recorded describing how he could grab women by their genitals and kiss them with impunity. The dishonest among us tried to dismiss this as locker room talk. I’ve played sports, served in the military, and worked construction my entire life. Never, not once, have I heard another man brag about sexually assaulting a woman. 

As it turns out, 19 women have come forward saying they were sexually assaulted or harassed just as Trump bragged about on that recording. In a civilized society, such behavior would disqualify Trump from receiving votes no matter his Democratic opponent. But, unfortunately, in ours, it didn’t. 

What was overlooked in the same recording was that the married Trump bragged about trying to have sex with a married woman, Nancy. Trump’s exact words were: “I did try and [expletive] her. She was married…I moved on her like a [expletive]. But I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony [expletive] and everything.”

It appears he was more successful in “exercising his values” with Stormy and Karen. Let’s hope, for the country’s sake, the moral and decent citizens of U.S. do a better job of “exercising their values” the next time they enter a voting booth. That way Mr. Wilson won’t have to watch a gay man interview our president’s mistresses on television anymore. 

Marshall Solomon – Franklin, N.C.

Man who follows his own deity will be silenced

The mid-18th century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau stated, “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” He looked at man’s problems as though they where caused from social institutions and its rules.  

Then in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s thinking, that the “self” could find truth and goodness to make a society moral, he stated, “Every one for himself; driven to find all his resources, hopes, rewards, society, and deity, within “himself.” 

The well known German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, which made popular the “God is Dead” philosophy, which meant the death of morality so man could be free and nothing could be valued as good or evil, and he wanted a process to achieve a superior human race.  This utopian view that the good of humanity came from within the natural man and not from any deity outside of man, was very much followed and studied by such totalitarians as Karl Marx, Lenin, Hitler and Moa. These regimes wanted a freedom and liberation from anything that reflected a deity structured in family, class, community, and church. Because any society that is structured in a supreme being, or God, has an obligation to question the state, or individual, when it steps out of its realm of governing, and forces its will on the people, because the question would imply a moral law, or a boundary each one has towards the rights and sacredness of human life and the individual. This was so much the case when Hitler came to power, the state was supreme, and he used race, education, even the church as a ploy to sway the masses. Even the intellectual and powerful followed his persuasion, and anyone dare to question, was the enemy.   

Most of this type of oppressive thinking died as the Berlin Wall came down and communism had finally breathed its last. But this worldview of the natural evolving man, being his own deity, is more with us and is ever growing. We think we can do ourselves better than the Marx, Lenin, and Hitlers of the past, because we are more modern and our thinking is clearer. But we’re following the same story line that all the others have followed and we do so blindly.                

Power is most easily gotten when it pits itself against the traditions of the past, with a new era of  progressive thinking, or beginning anew, but this enlightenment is only allowed if they, or the state they control moves this forward. And the questioner is silenced or belittled. This is why there are some who seek to rewrite our constitution because this is to be an empowerment of and by the people and not the state, and this empowerment is “endowed by our creator.” If you take God out of anything you then have a complete vacuum with no moral frame work, then the state replaces God and either coddles or forces their will upon all, then the questioner is silenced, and the state answers to no one. (2 Pet. 2:1-3) 

Except, possibly the God and Deity he’s trying to do away with?

  

Deni Shepard – Franklin, N.C.

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