Letters for June 8, 2017

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Where did Memorial Day go?

I was sitting in my favorite chair Friday afternoon and for several hours all I heard and watched were Memorial Day sales ads. If there was one there was 50. It seems the true reason for the Memorial Day celebration is lost. Our most reverent holiday has come down to bargain day sales. What happened to showing the respect to our veterans who gave all so we can be free? I am a 86-year-old veteran who served two tours in Korea as a Navy corpsman with the Marines. This day, I think about all those young men who still remain in Korea in our fields of valor. They paid the full price to give us freedom.

Memorial Day should be a special day for all of us. Maybe those special sale businesses who push their wares on Memorial Day ought to honor those young men by donating a portion of their Memorial Day profits to the local hometown veterans memorial. Or better yet, help maintain them. I just had to get it off my chest. Until you have stood in their shoes you owe them an honor day. It’s called Memorial Day.

 

Wm Trapani — Franklin, N.C.

Government schools are what they are

RE: two items in the 25th of May Macon News.

First:  “The U.S. education system has been failing American students for more than a quarter of a century.” The U.S. education system may be failing American students but it is serving teacher’s unions and education-bureaucrats and politicians very well. The customers of the U.S. education system are not students. The customers of the U.S. education system are teachers’ unions, far-away bureaucrats, and politicians. The U.S. education system is not failing its customers.

The writer is dissatisfied with the U.S. education system. It is only in exchanges between willing buyers and willing sellers that both are satisfied. When one is forced by taxation to give his money to the other, then coerced by law to send his child to the one to whom he was forced to give his money, the one on the benefiting end of all that force and coercion has no need to satisfy the one on the receiving end – force gets him what he wants.  The one on the receiving end of that force and coercion should neither expect to be satisfied nor be surprised not to be satisfied.

“Turning our education system over to the private sector … is shortsighted at best and puts the development of our most precious resource, enlightened citizens, into the hands of profiteers whose sole interest is increasing their own bank accounts.”  If this were true, we would also have to socialize car dealerships and supermarkets and Wal-Mart, etc. And that Constitution with three branches of government – better throw it out because it was written by men with the inferior education that comes from profiteers interested in increasing their own bank accounts.

The education of everyone of those students who ranked 38th in math and 24th in science, was provided by government schools, but we should throw more money at them rather than turn the direction of students’ education of children back to their parents?  If we-the-people desire that the U.S. education system serve the students, then we had better look for another system than government schooling. In the private sector, profiteers whose sole interest is increasing their own bank accounts, go out of business whenever they fail to provide what we-the-people desire – we do not continue to give them our money.  The result is not that many of them go out of business (a few do), but that many of them provide what we are willing to exchange money for.  And it has been a lot longer than a quarter of a century that the U.S. education system has been failing American students.

Local schools cannot respond to bureaucrats in Raleigh and Washington, DC, the way they would respond to local parents, if allowed. Cannot. So they cannot but fail – fail the students, not fail in their service to unions and bureaucrats and politicians. Schools will succeed (and did succeed) in providing fine education when they respond to their students’ parents for money to increase their bank accounts and will fail so long as they have to respond to far-away bureaucrats and politicians for their money – will fail the students, not the unions and bureaucrats and politicians.

There is an old saying about a zebra’s stripes or a leopard’s spots. There is also a saying about insanity being illustrated by someone who does the same thing over and over and expects different results. Government schools are what they are. Throwing money at them over and over is not going to change them. Those who year after year advocate for throwing the money, are doing good service for the establishment.  (Masters used to call their slaves, servants.)

Second: In another piece is stated, “… one teacher cannot teach all three grades.”  Why not?  Teachers have been teaching multi-level students since schooling began.  All over the world today, teachers teach multi-level students. Why can they not here in North Carolina?  When I went to school (here in North Carolina) teachers taught two-grades in the same classroom.  Ever hear of a one-room school?

Perhaps what is meant is that the teacher’s unions and education-bureaucrats and politicians have decided that they will be better off if the practice is not permitted here in North Carolina.  If the people are told that it cannot be done, enough of them will believe it that all of them can be squeezed for more money to aggrandize the unions and bureaucrats and politicians.  Not permitted is a long way from cannot be done.

 

George Crockett — Franklin, N.C.

Government schools are what they are

RE: two items in the 25th of May Macon News.

First:  “The U.S. education system has been failing American students for more than a quarter of a century.” The U.S. education system may be failing American students but it is serving teacher’s unions and education-bureaucrats and politicians very well. The customers of the U.S. education system are not students. The customers of the U.S. education system are teachers’ unions, far-away bureaucrats, and politicians. The U.S. education system is not failing its customers.

The writer is dissatisfied with the U.S. education system. It is only in exchanges between willing buyers and willing sellers that both are satisfied. When one is forced by taxation to give his money to the other, then coerced by law to send his child to the one to whom he was forced to give his money, the one on the benefiting end of all that force and coercion has no need to satisfy the one on the receiving end – force gets him what he wants.  The one on the receiving end of that force and coercion should neither expect to be satisfied nor be surprised not to be satisfied.

“Turning our education system over to the private sector … is shortsighted at best and puts the development of our most precious resource, enlightened citizens, into the hands of profiteers whose sole interest is increasing their own bank accounts.”  If this were true, we would also have to socialize car dealerships and supermarkets and Wal-Mart, etc. And that Constitution with three branches of government – better throw it out because it was written by men with the inferior education that comes from profiteers interested in increasing their own bank accounts.

The education of everyone of those students who ranked 38th in math and 24th in science, was provided by government schools, but we should throw more money at them rather than turn the direction of students’ education of children back to their parents?  If we-the-people desire that the U.S. education system serve the students, then we had better look for another system than government schooling. In the private sector, profiteers whose sole interest is increasing their own bank accounts, go out of business whenever they fail to provide what we-the-people desire – we do not continue to give them our money.  The result is not that many of them go out of business (a few do), but that many of them provide what we are willing to exchange money for.  And it has been a lot longer than a quarter of a century that the U.S. education system has been failing American students.

Local schools cannot respond to bureaucrats in Raleigh and Washington, DC, the way they would respond to local parents, if allowed. Cannot. So they cannot but fail – fail the students, not fail in their service to unions and bureaucrats and politicians. Schools will succeed (and did succeed) in providing fine education when they respond to their students’ parents for money to increase their bank accounts and will fail so long as they have to respond to far-away bureaucrats and politicians for their money – will fail the students, not the unions and bureaucrats and politicians.

There is an old saying about a zebra’s stripes or a leopard’s spots. There is also a saying about insanity being illustrated by someone who does the same thing over and over and expects different results. Government schools are what they are. Throwing money at them over and over is not going to change them. Those who year after year advocate for throwing the money, are doing good service for the establishment.  (Masters used to call their slaves, servants.)

Second: In another piece is stated, “… one teacher cannot teach all three grades.”  Why not?  Teachers have been teaching multi-level students since schooling began.  All over the world today, teachers teach multi-level students. Why can they not here in North Carolina?  When I went to school (here in North Carolina) teachers taught two-grades in the same classroom.  Ever hear of a one-room school?

Perhaps what is meant is that the teacher’s unions and education-bureaucrats and politicians have decided that they will be better off if the practice is not permitted here in North Carolina.  If the people are told that it cannot be done, enough of them will believe it that all of them can be squeezed for more money to aggrandize the unions and bureaucrats and politicians.  Not permitted is a long way from cannot be done.

 

George Crockett — Franklin, N.C.

A modern parable about real happiness

Once there was a man who was very wealthy and he thought himself very important.  He had lots of people working for him which is why he was wealthy.  He had built many large buildings that displayed his name in gold letters. Even though he had everything that money could buy he felt like he was lacking something.

He went into the forest to talk with the few animals that remained and asked: “Who is the king of the forest?”  The animals said the lion was king.  So he arranged a meeting with the lion. When they met the lion roared a mighty roar.  He was frightened at first but then said, “I can make a mightier roar than you and I will be king of the forest.” He built a super jet liner with his name on it and when it took off, it roared louder than 500 lions.  He said to himself, That should show him.”  He went back to the forest and asked the animals who was king and they all replied, “Why you are, of course!”

Then he asked the animals who was the strongest, and they replied that the elephant was certainly the strongest beast and could pull great weights and rip trees out of the ground. The man said to the animals, “We’ll see who is the strongest.” He built a luxury car with an engine that was equal to the strength of 500 horses. It could go so fast everything was a blur. He went back to the forest and asked the animals who was the strongest and they all replied that he was.

He left the forest feeling very proud of himself and a little self righteous. But he asked himself why he should share the world with all these other creatures.  He couldn’t think of a good reason, so he cut all the forests down.  He even leveled mountains which gave him more coal to run his factories. He built great ships with nets that trawled the ocean scooping up everything in its path.  He dammed rivers and flooded valleys to produce electricity.  The animals all ran and were pushed right out beyond the water’s edge.  The man met them there and said: “Now you see who is the greatest in the world.”

The animals were all afraid but began to talk to each other.  One said, “How could God make such a creature that he doesn’t know how to share anything?”  When the man was a child he hadn’t learn to share mostly because his parents were very busy making money.  Because he couldn’t share no one wanted to be his friend. Overhearing this, the man said, “I won, I can do whatever I want!”  The water was rising from climate change and all the animals drowned.

Now the man had the world to himself and at first he was satisfied, but then he discovered that inside his own body a trillion microbes were living. More microbes than he had money.  He couldn’t have this so he got the most powerful antibiotics he could buy and took them until all the microbes were dead.  He began to feel weak and sickly and went to the doctor who told him he would not survive without those microbes in his system and advised that he eat some yogurt.  At first refused to give in, but as his health failed he relented.  He had also been having some very strange dreams and in them, the animals that had perished in the flood came and talked to him.

He began to realize his great error and that he could not exist alone, so he built a great boat with many separate rooms and different kinds of food. He called it his hotel.  He traveled around the world and gathered up the few remaining animals and brought them back to and released them into forests that he had replanted.  He met with the animals once a year for a great reunion and celebration.  All the animals would gather around him and share with him wonderful food and stories.  He was the happiest man on the earth.  Everyone was his friend and he shared all his wealth with everyone.  He had found the meaning of redemption and his heart was now full of peace, joy and love. When he died, all the animals of the world gathered to pay tribute to him, because he had learned the greatest lesson: that we all need each other and that we are all in this together.  The world was a better place now.

 

Paul Chew — Franklin, N.C.

A look at definitions of religion and science

In a recent letter to the editor, the writer erroneously defines science as a religion and then proffers up some uninformed opinions about science, scientific theory, and evolution. Merriam-Webster defines religion as the service and worship of God or the supernatural. Let’s take a look at definitions of science, scientific theory, and evolution to search for these aspects of religion.

First, science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.

Second, a scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.

Third, evolution is a theory used to explain the change in the heritable characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. Evolution by natural selection is the process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring. The fossil record, genetics, and examples of local adaptations all support the theory of evolution by natural selection.

The fossil record has shown a progression of complexity in organisms over time, that some organisms that once lived on Earth are now extinct, and that transitional species and the development of new physical features within a species.

Genetics shows all species on Earth share the same universal genetic code. This is strong support that all species share a common ancestor. Scientists have been able to show genetic commonalities between species.

Local adaptations of the same species also support the theory of evolution by natural selection. The rapid change in the coloring of the peppered moths during the Industrial Revolution in England is an example a local adaptation.

If the writer wants to equate science to religion in order to debunk the theory of evolution, I suggest he also apply his belief system to the theory of electricity, the theory of gravity, the theory of cancer cells, the theory of mathematics, the theory of light, and the list of scientific theories that have a real impact on our daily lives list goes on and on.

 

John Barry — Franklin, N.C.

Truth meets the needs of a human heart

Bob Wilson wrote recently about thousands of churches that are closing their doors each year in America. But truth is not established by church attendance. And the teachings of the Bible are not necessarily the same as what is today called “Christianity.” None of the Bible’s teachings have ever been disproven. But some of what passes as Christianity isn’t consistent with what God’s word really says.

Our pastor came in one Sunday with an arrow that had another arrow stuck into the shaft of the first arrow. He says he hit the bulls-eye with the first arrow. But he didn’t say how far he stood from the target, or how big the bull’s-eye was. I don’t know if we should be impressed with his marksmanship, or write it off as just another “fish story.” But it did make a wonderful illustration, because hamartanao, the Greek word for sin, means “to miss the mark, and thus not share in the prize.” By God’s standard we are all sinners, because He requires that we hit the bull’s-eye not once or twice, but every time. He knows we can’t measure up, but He loves us. So God sent His Son, Jesus, to live a sinless life and then die in our place to satisfy God’s justice, and take the penalty for our sin. Yes, it requires faith to believe all this. But since there is ample evidence, it is not “blind” faith. To read the evidence, I suggest the book, “The Case for Christ” by former atheist, Lee Stroebel.

Another atheist, William Provine, former professor of biology at Cornell University, summed up the implications of evolutionary theory this way. “There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I’m going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.” Of course, if all that is true, there is nothing we can do about it. But what if it isn’t?

Mr. Provine’s view may be intellectually satisfying for him, but it doesn’t satisfy our need to know that there is justice. Will today’s wrongs really never be made right? Thankfully, there is another view that is not only intellectually satisfying, but also displays the justice, love, mercy, and grace of the one true and living God, Who has not been silent, but has spoken to us in His Word, the Bible.

Yes, change is needed. Those who reject the clear message of God’s Word must change. Maybe when preachers start proclaiming the truth again, people will come back to church to hear it, because it meets the needs of the human heart, as well as the mind.

You have to begin somewhere. If you begin with “natural” causes, but exclude God from acting in history, you are not conducting true science, because you are preemptively eliminating one major possible cause for what we observe. This is especially problematic when that one Cause provides the best explanation for what we observe.

I’d like to encourage Mr. Wilson to google “Unlocking the Mystery of Life,” and watch the well done video by former evolutionist scientists who have become creationists after discovering a third fundamental entity beyond matter and energy – information.

Secondly, I’d recommend a pilgrimage to Williamstown, Ky., to visit the Ark Encounter, a full scale replica of Noah’s ark. While there, why not go to the bookstore and get a copy of “Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study,” by John Woodmorrappe.

Then travel a little farther north to Cincinnati, and visit the Creation Museum. They may have the book, “The Young Earth,” by Dr. John Morris. It will answer why a growing number of scientists believe the earth is only a few thousand years old, as the Bible teaches.

 

Ed Hill — Franklin, N.C.

Thanks to Dr. Robles, nurses and staff at AMC

After having surgery on March 30, I wanted to offer my sincere thanks to Gilberto Robles, MD, his wonderful office staff, members of the surgical team and all the nurses and staff of Angel Medical Center. Dr. Robles is awesome; he is one of the nicest and easiest to talk to physicians, he takes the time to explain everything and as far as Angel Medical Center, the nurses along with everyone who came into my room were so pleasant and helpful. My sincere thank you all.

 

Peggy A. Ray — Franklin, N.C.

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