The Macon County News letters page is a public forum open to a wide variety of opinions. Letters are neither accepted nor rejected on the basis of the opinions expressed. Writers are asked to refrain from personal attacks against individuals or businesses. Letters are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of the publisher, editor or staff of The Macon County News. Email letters to maconcountynews@ gmail.com.
Veterans Memorial Park needs your ongoing support
I hope all you enjoyed the Veterans Day parade and program and then went down to Veterans Memorial Park and spent some time visiting our Veterans Memorial. We think it is the most beautiful of any in the Southeast. It was built to honor all veterans of all of our wars. Many have purchased Honor Bricks for friends and family and there are many who haven’t done so. You can find at the entrance, a box with envelopes with forms to do so. The Memorial Committee tries to keep it looking as beautiful as possible for your enjoyment. Up to recently, there have been enough brick sales to make this possible. The expenses now are more than the income. Some of these expenses include mowing the grass and keeping it looking good, caring for plants and trees as needed, replacing any electrical equipment (lamps, etc.) and new flags when needed. In the near future you can see the funds will be gone with this trend. One way is for enough people to volunteer to make a small annual donation for the Memorial; it would help to keep up the maintenance. This can be done by sending your donation to Veterans Memorial of Macon County, PO 474, Franklin, NC 28744. A big “Thank you” to all who are already making donations regularly. They are a big help.
Bob Litten – Franklin, N.C.
A ‘state within a state’ has no place in our Republic
What is the Deep State? Does it exist? I just read an article by Tiffany Fitzhenry, “The Deep State was Revealed This Week: Did You Notice?” She stated, “At a hearing on a Freedom of Information Act case about talking points related to the 2012 Benghazi attack, Judge Royce Lamberth complained that officials told the court that they had completed searching the agency’s records for information of the topic even through they knew that Clinton and other officials had used private email accounts for official business. “The State Department told me it had produced all the records,” Lamberth complained. “That was not true at the time. It was not true. It was a lie.” Judge Lamberth thus claimed “that he observed a lawless, rogue element within the highest and most powerful agencies of our government, working across the DOJ, FBI and State Department, operating completely outside the law in service of its own agenda. If ever there was a definition of a deep state, or a state within a state, this my friends, is it.” Secondly, Ms. Fitzhenry notes “the U.S. government revealed that it used multiple informants to obtain information against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. In court filings, government officials also revealed confidential human sources were paid for their work. The FBI relied heavily on an uncorroborated dossier to obtain warrants to spy on Page. “So, the FBI has now admitted to placing spies inside the campaign of a U.S. presidential campaign. What do you think the implications of that are? What does that really say about how the most powerful agencies of our government view “democracy?” All of this is very telling and paints a clear picture of the absolute irrefutable fact that a “state within a state” has very clearly been operating within and throughout our government. In case you’re not sure, a “deep state” is by definition the opposite of democracy.” https://tiffanyfitzhenry.com. This isn’t the world I grew up in or the way I have thought our Republic worked. Things are happening that I never expected. As Ms. Fitzhenry puts it, “People and institutions are falling from grace. Big people and big institutions, in staggering simultaneous fashion, are careening towards complete and total destruction. The church, the FBI, titans of industry, media moguls, everyday a new bomb is dropping on the world of illusion that held their false power structure in place. The power structure they built to convince us we needed them and not the other way around.” Kevin Shipp, a former CIA officer and anti-terrorism expert, has been speaking about the Shadow Government and Deep State, which he says are not the same. Videos of his lectures on YouTube are very informative. He calls himself a “Constitutionalist,” and says this is not about one political party. Shipp says that the “shadow government” is a secret government, which includes CIA, NSA, CFR (Council of Foreign Relations), and main stream media, among others. He describes the “deep state” as the system behind the government, such as the military industrial complex. Whether the name is “shadow government” or “deep state,” as Judge Lamberth observed, there have been and are people operating as a “state within a state,” outside the law. Much corruption is being exposed thanks to the persistence of people like Rep. Devin Nunes, Chair of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, and organizations such as Judicial Watch. As wrongdoing continues to be exposed and people fall from grace and face justice where crimes have been committed, it seems essential that we be thankful that truth is being revealed. Former President Eisenhower warned us about the power of the military industrial complex. Perhaps he was right. A “state within a state” has no place in our Republic. I, for one, am thankful for exposure of anyone who has been operating outside the Constitution or the laws of our great country. I pray that as Americans, in spite of differences of opinion, we will welcome exposure of wrong and be respectful and patient with each other as we see those responsible face justice.
Panthea Crawford – Franklin, N.C.
Duke “Smart Meter” subterfuge – continued
On Nov. 7, 2018, without notice, a Duke Energy contractor trespassed onto my property to replace my meter with a “smart meter.” The first indication of this activity was when the electricity in my house went off. I had computer equipment running and significant damage could have been done to equipment or data if I hadn’t had battery backups for the equipment. The Duke contractor made no attempt to notify me he was on my property, or that the electricity was going to be interrupted. I went outside and discovered the contractor working at the meter. I told him I didn’t want the “smart meter” installed. He reinstalled my former meter and promptly left. Then I started wondering — what will happen next when Duke finds the contractor didn’t get the “smart meter” installed? Will Duke charge me the $150 setup fee and $11.75 per month fee for me opting out of the “smart meter?” Even without my agreement to the charges? I called Duke’s phone number. After going through their answering system tree I finally reached a helpful representative. I told her what had just happened with the Duke contractor and told her I wanted to opt out. She then told me the cost of opting out. I told her I wanted to file the paperwork for the free opt out option. I was placed on hold, for what seemed like at least 10 minutes, until the rep returned and told me the paperwork would be mailed to me. The next afternoon a knock on the door, and it’s a Duke technician. He said he had a work order to install a new meter for those who opted out of the “smart meter” program. He told me my next bill would start charging me the opt out fee. I told him I was waiting to receive the paperwork for the free opt out. He finally agreed to cancel the work order and left. Hopefully preventing a billing nightmare for me. What’s next? Why don’t I want a “smart meter?” I simply looked at the anti-consumer results in other states where “smart meters” have been installed. “Smart meters” will provide no benefits for Duke customers, but will substantially benefit Duke. Duke can use these “smart meters” to interrupt our service at will during “brownouts.” Duke won’t need meter readers. Duke will continually acquire our usage information, potentially allowing Duke to implement time-of-use billing, resulting in customers paying more for electricity during peak power grid usage hours, and fattening Duke’s profits. If you are concerned about “smart meters,” call Duke’s “smart meter” number 844-640-4010 during business hours to get the paperwork to opt out of the “smart meter” program while you still can.
Vic Drummond – Franklin, N.C.
Election didn’t accomplish near enough
In the span of approximately the last two years, and for the first time in my lifetime, we have witnessed the erosion (the unvarnished destruction) of American power and influence throughout the world. While we may wish to believe otherwise, the United States is not invulnerable or immune to the devastating forces and human failings that brought down so many other great nations. During 4,000 years of recorded history, numerous and once powerful civilizations and empires have dissolved or have been materially reduced. Some, like the Romans, took a thousand years; others, like the British, Spanish, and Greek, much less. The common elements leading to the demise (or at least the diminishing) of practically all these great empires were repeated over and over again; greed, lust for and abuse of power, corruption, control of the many by the few, over-militarization and arrogance (all of which we nurture in abundance). Casual students of history can conjure up the vision of Nero “fiddling” while Rome burned. Fast-forward nearly 2,000 years and the image is replaced in history by Donald Trump playing his twitter phone as America figuratively burns. The policies of greed, dishonesty, the perpetual peddling of racist and xenophobic lies, and the disgraceful behavior combined with an almost total absence of morality and integrity of Trump and his Republican administration proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that we have not learned the lessons of history and the catastrophic mistakes of previous fallen empires. We may therefore, be doomed to repeating them and suffering the same fate. Let us be straightforward. The leadership in Washington has for the last two years encouraged the violence, division and unrest we’re presently experiencing. It won’t stop until the public (John Q. Citizen) decides he’s had enough and stops rewarding President Trump and other politicians who use inflammatory rhetoric and demonize everyone who doesn’t agree with them. We have no choice but to look at the top of the political pyramid, President Trump and his modus operandi committed to dividing us. It was Trump himself who called several media outlets; CNN, the N.Y. Times, CBS, “the enemy of the American people.” He continually excites and inflames his base by stimulating crowds to hackle protesters or the media covering his events. He even went so far as to praise a congressman for body-slamming a reporter. The splintering of our society along racial, gender and party lines coincides with the ascent of vitriolic campaigning and political rhetoric. These merging conditions create the breeding ground for the savagery that has permeated the national fabric and mesmerized our citizens. These relentless acts of deliberately committed brutality threaten to destroy our nation unless a major course correction is made very, very quickly. This election just past generated a slight deviation but not nearly enough. The long trail of insults, false accusations and hyped fantasies that fan the flames of the idiotic ire and anti-social behavior that has contributed so much to the bad choices an alarmingly large number of people have bought into and acted upon leads directly back to the White House and President Donald J. Trump. Nevertheless, the American people still have the power and the means to resolve this dilemma thereby legally and constitutionally controlling our own history and our own destiny. The enormous question before us remains – – do we have the will, courage, intelligence and resolve to do so?
David Snell – Franklin, N.C.
Historical facts upended in recent letter
This is in response to a letter to the editor that appeared in the Nov. 8th edition of The Macon County News. That letter was titled, “‘The Resistance’ is after your children.” Woven into the usual wing nut rhetoric about demonic Democrats brainwashing children, the letter writer also attempts to conflate fascism with socialism. To do that, historical facts have to be upended to support the writer’s claim that Nazis were socialists thus all socialists must be Nazis. I recognize the confusion wrought by the official name of the Nazi party, i.e.; The National Socialists German Workers’ Party. But, like so many political labels both then and now, what it is called is not necessarily what it is. The word, “Socialists,” would seem to imply the party was ideologically socialist in its objectives and fundamental beliefs. That, however, is an assumption which could not be more distant from fact. On the spectrum of political ideologies, where fascism is on the far most right and communism on the far most left, Democrats are, as the letter writer states, closer to socialist tenets than are Republicans, particularly ethno-nationalist Trumpian Republicans. And, just as that is true, Republicans, moving to the right on that same spectrum – and, again, particularly Trumpian Republicans on the extreme right – are closer to fascism than are Democrats. That is not to say Republicans of all stripes are fascists, rather; simply that they are closer to fascism than Democrats. Nazis, as do all fascists, hated communism which is an extreme collectivist form of socialism (sitting left of socialism on the spectrum). Nazis borrowed their extreme right-wing ideology from then current shifts in power taking place in Mussolini’s Italy where the “fascismo Italiano” ruled. Italian, Japanese and German fascists were ethno-nationalists, each with their own variation of racial/cultural superiority. In fact, key members of the German fascist Nazi party, Hitler and Goering met in 1933 with major industrialists where Hitler is recorded as stating how democracy and business were economically incompatible. He pledged to help pull workers from the grasps of socialism by ending unions and various other workers’ rights organizations. Later, he made the same assertions regarding racial / cultural diversity, i.e.; incompatible with Nazi “Herrenvolk” (master race) beliefs. The letter writer’s assertion that the Nazi state, being the socialist state he claims it was, “owned all industries” is equally misinformed. Remember the movie, “Schindler’s List?” Well, in fact, Germany’s corporate cartel including such names as Siemens, I.G. Farben, Krupp, Allianz, Hoesch, et al were the principal monetary contributors to the party in return for the opportunity to gain government contracts. Sound familiar? They profited handsomely through the early war years from their support of the Nazi party. I am pretty sure there were no socialists in that crowd. Finally, the letter writer claims to have derived his understanding of how Nazis were socialists thus enabling him to make the connection that socialists – which, in his parlance, means “Democrats”– are Nazis from educational shows on the Smithsonian Channel. I acknowledge there are few more authoritative sources for historical facts than the Smithsonian Institution. Knowing that, I seriously doubt his views are derived from anything presented or supported by that august institution. Perhaps he dozed during the more salient points of the show and let his imagination fill in the gaps. Or, maybe, he simply confused what he thought he heard on the Smithsonian Channel with what he probably picked-up from something like Dinesh D’Souza’s right-wing movie; “Death of a Nation.” One can only wonder.
Tony Deakins – Franklin, N.C.
It was just a dream
The other night I dreamed that Fox News reported two helicopters: one hovering over Washington, D.C.; the other over the U.S./Mexico border. A bearded, robed, long-haired Jew dropped thousands of leaflets from each chopper. As citizens, elected officials and appointed officials picked the leaflets up they read Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount as written in Matthew 5-7 KJV. Next one chopper flew south of the U.S. border, dropping thousands of WWJD bracelets among the asylum seekers from Central America. They each eagerly placed a bracelet on one arm as they knelt in reverent prayer to the God they worship. They prayed for compassion from the richest country in the world, safety from cruel tyrants and an opportunity to work in America. Many border patrol agents, military personnel and several senators and congressmen were touched by the Biblical verses. This question came from the lips of many: Is this a time for tough minds and soft hearts? Or, should we be led by a soft mind and a hard heart? Then Hank Williams sang, “How can I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold, cold heart?” The helicopters vanished. It was just a dream.
Dave Waldrop – Franklin, N.C.