Letters for March 8, 2018

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Ruling class furthering global corporatist agenda

You have heard the position of the communists.  Now hear from one of us who supports monuments that honor the cause of the Confederacy and the soldiers who fought in the War of Northern Aggression.

It is the position of communists that Confederate monuments glorify white supremacy. Your average citizen and neighbor does not hold that position.  And the communists are just being used by the ruling class to eliminate opponents of its global corporatist agenda.

If the communists and the Ku Klux Klan have the right to use Confederate flags to foment racial hatred, people opposed to empire and tyranny have the right to honor Confederate flags as symbols of opposition to empire and tyranny, and Confederate Americans have a right to display the Confederate battleflag as a symbol of where they are from. Communists are not the only ones with rights.

We have no objection to monuments honoring other groups.  Most of the Confederate monuments were put up by private initiative, and so far as I know, private initiative has not been outlawed. But be careful who you put up monuments for.

Very few abolitionists aided the underground railroad.  Most slaves who went north, did it on their own.  It is a northern myth that blacks were too docile and simple to make the trip without the beneficence of northern whites, and that myth is racist.  Don’t promote it with a monument.

To express a belief that white supremacy was the only or even primary reason Confederate soldiers fought, exposes a great lack of knowledge (or an attempt to deceive).

Nor were all of the Confederate soldiers white.  More free blacks lived in the South in 1860, than in the North.  And millions of slaves. Their families and their homes were in the South. The serfs defended Mother Russia.  To think the Southern black was a lesser man than the Russian serf, is racist. When Jackson’s corps went through Maryland in 1862, a doctor who was also a federal bureaucrat (to establish his loyalties), estimated 3,000 armed black soldiers among them.  That number is equivalent to a division, but they were integrated, not segregated as the Radical Republicans would do when they took blacks into their army.

From the tiny percentage of Macon County’s 1860 population that was free black, a good number enrolled in the Confederate Army – one historian has documented nineteen.

The ruling class has already wiped from history the thousands of unofficial (because enslaved) black soldiers of the Confederate army and the thousands of officially enrolled freeblack soldiers of the Confederate army.

It occurs to me that since many people oppose the ruling class’s global and corporatist agendas, as soon as Confederate Americans are wiped from history will be time to unleash the communists on some other group that has a record of opposing tyranny – perhaps Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution.

 

George Crockett – Franklin, N.C.

States, not the federal government, should act

Trump and others are seeking federal government action to reduce the complex issue of gun violence. The expressed motivation is school mass shootings. Already, the focus of the question is misdirected from school shooting to general gun violence.

They may create some law. That law will probably leave the real problem unsolved and will have many negative effects on other aspects of society – as before. Seems like typical Big Government.

The last 50-plus years have shown many examples of the regulations of the federal government having unintended, negative consequences at great cost to taxpayers. Many of the consequences were contrary to the stated objective and were unforeseen.

The fundamental problem is that any federal regulation has direct and indirect consequences in all spheres of society. We humans lack the understanding to foresee the outcome of our laws in this complex society. The same applies to moral propositions.

Our current approach is to have a set of moral values that find their way into laws such as the Declaration Of Independence leading to the Constitution. Later amendments diluted the original morals. The measure is prosperity and takes several decades if not centuries. The U.S. has drifted away from the Founding ideas as Constitutional amendments were added. Prosperity and growth have changed to decline.

Another way to solve problems with unknown characteristics is to try many solutions and choose the best results. That is, let the states try different sets of laws and allow citizens to vote with their feet (the only true freedom). For example, productive people are leaving California.

I think this is the intention of the Constitutional Convention (1787). This convention rejected the Bill Of Rights. Instead the politician in the states adopted the Bill Of Right amendments even though the states each had their version. Another example is that the Federal government adopted laws requiring Northern states to return slaves. Later measures expanded this philosophy. If this viewpoint had been rejected as violating states rights, the Civil War may have been avoided. Perhaps, the primacy of states rights is the true lesson of the Civil War.

 

John Hodge – Franklin, N.C.

Senators from N.C. bought and paid for by NRA

Our senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, have consistently opposed even the most modest form of gun reform. As reported in the Charlotte Observer (10/4/17) Burr received nearly $7 million from the National Rifle Association, while Tillis received $4.5 million. Only one other U.S. senator received more from the NRA than Burr. Only three, including Burr, received more than Tillis. Both have A+ ratings on legislation by the NRA. These are our guys in the Senate. Bought and paid for.

 

Robert Michael Jones – Sylva, N.C.

More counselors are needed in N.C. schools

I was in the process of writing about the need for school nurses when the Parkland school shooting happened on Valentine’s Day. As the president of the North Carolina Parent Teacher Association and an educator, I know that we have too few nurses per students—leaving many schools with a nurse one day a week or less and with teachers and administrators needing to respond to health emergencies and manage the daily needs of our children’s many chronic health needs. Each school nurse in the state serves an average of 1,112 students, serving far more students than the federally recommended ratio of one nurse per 750 students.

We need more school nurses and it is a worthwhile investment, but after the school shooting in Florida, we must also revisit our need for school counselors, school psychologists, and school social workers. We have one school counselor for every 375 students; this is 50% more than the recommended ratio of one counselor for every 250 students. The nationally recommended ratio for school psychologists is one for every 700 students. Currently, the North Carolina ratio is one for every 2,100 students—each one is serving three times as many students as is recommended for comprehensive services. There are also far too few school social workers serving far too many students: the state average is one school social worker for every 1,719 students, nearly five times the national recommendation of one for every 250 students.

When there are not enough nurses, counselors, psychologists, and social workers in our schools, teachers and principals inevitably fill those roles to the best of their abilities. They are not professionals in these areas, and time spent providing these ancillary services is time not spent teaching our children and preparing them to be curious and innovative forces in our state’s future. Without enough nurses, counselors, psychologists, and social workers in our schools, there are simply not enough professionals keeping our students healthy and safe.

NCPTA is the state’s oldest and largest volunteer organization advocating for the education, health, safety and success of all children and youth while building strong families and communities. As we discuss class sizes and school safety, let’s discuss the role of these professions in allowing educators to teach, students to learn, and schools to be safe. As we discuss what successful schools, strong families, and healthy communities look like, let’s discuss fully funding and staffing these important jobs in our schools. Our children deserve it.

 

Virginia Jicha

President, North Carolina PTA

Gun ownership must change

At times that the U.S. Constitution has been deemed to be out of tune with the times,. Congress has amended it. Emmett Bondurant’s letter last week eloquently described how a change is desperately needed now with regard to the Second Amendment. We have a standing army second to none in the world. We have the National Guard. Few civilian gun owners would claim they are part of a “well-regulated” militia.

Yet, National Rifle Association spokespeople steadily mislead people into believing that “liberals” want to disarm them. They pretend that any proposed gun regulations are only the first step to denying Americans their Second Amendment right.

I am a “liberal” who owns guns. My friends and neighbors almost unanimously agree there is no need for assault weapons in the civilian sector. I will join millions of liberals to oppose any attempt to take reasonable guns away from people.

All Americans should place a high value on human life. We have a duty to protect each other from assault under the guise of “gun rights.” If our churches and schools aren’t safe these days something is very wrong in America. Gun rights must be changed.

 

Dave Waldrop – Webster, N.C.

How long evolution took is irrelevant

It amazes me to hear someone say humanity was created in six days based on the Hebrew, and later Christian, version of the Old Testament [OT].

Genesis entirely ignores the problem of inbreeding amongst family members.

The Hebrew version in the original OT and tells us that Cain was kicked out and moved to the Land of Nod where he found a wife and had a son named Enoch.

Obviously, there were other people on the planet besides Adam and Eve.

Because the story of creation is so outrageous Billy Graham avoided the OT entirely and concentrated on preaching the gospel of Jesus.

Yes, Billy Graham accepted evolution as do most of the mainstream churches in America.  He felt that religion and science could get along just fine.

He also felt most of the OT is filled with allegories and metaphors designed to get a point across but not necessarily true stories.

Who the heck are we to tell God how long it took to put the entire universe and humanity together?  Seems we are very pompous to tell God how things are done.

To God, a billion years may just be a tick of the clock or perhaps time doesn’t even exist for God.  Yesterday may be today for God.

That being said, it’s only a short hop to understand  humans have evolved over millions of years and the universe over billions of years.

Does one have to accept the OT as factual in order to be a good Christian?

Absolutely not, Christianity is all about Jesus and the NT [New Testament]. How we came about involved evolution and our growth as humans and how long it took is irrelevant.

Let’s let God decide how long it took.

One of the side effects of lying to our kids about Creationism is inevitably they learn enough natural science to realize they’ve been lied to and rebel which unfortunately, leads to joining the Liberal Left where anything goes.  We see this now in most of our colleges around the country.

If the Pope, Billy Graham and other great theologians can accept evolution, so can the rest of us.

If we could teach religion in our public schools, it would give our children a basis for morality and ethics.  Unfortunately, the cost would be far too expensive since we would need to provide religious studies for Buddhists, Hindus, Catholics, Muslims, Coptics, Jews, Christians and an assortment of religions.

Taxpayers would rebel at the cost.

But, all is not lost because we might take a lesson from the Japanese.

Japan has long taught ethics and morality in public schools, beginning in the first grade.  The classes are the same as a normal class on spelling, math or any other subject.  Kids learn how to get along with each other and to live honest lives. Judging from what we see around the country, we aren’t doing a great job and had better study the Japanese system.  Above all, however, we need to tell them the truth as they are going to find out anyway.

 

Bob Wilson – Franklin, N.C.

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