Letters for October 26, 2017

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Democrats did more for Civil Rights

Bob Wilson, I take exception to some of the things you spew forth in your letters to the editor.

Bob, you are a obviously a fervent and devout follower of the Republican Party and President Trump as evidenced by your frequent letters to the editor.  You are definitely one of the people described by Trump when he said before he was elected that he could shoot somebody and not lose votes. You seem to believe that everything that Trump and the Republican party does is just absolutely the best thing in the world and everything else is burnt toast.

I agree with you that there are veterans that are upset with the NFL protests.  I am politically a moderate and see both side of the issue not just one side.  Personally I think the political parties have gone to extremes with Democrats too liberal in many instances and the Republicans too conservative.

The end of the Civil War in 1865 brought three constitutional amendments which abolished slavery, made former slaves citizens of the United States, and gave all men the right to vote, regardless of race. However, measures such as literacy tests and poll taxes were used by many states to continue the disenfranchisement of African-Americans and Jim Crow laws helped those same states to enforce segregation and condone race-based violence from groups like the Ku Klux Klan.  With the Jim Crow laws blacks were not much better off than they were as slaves. However, people today conveniently forget that not all slaves were owned by whites, some were owned by wealthy blacks.

In 1954, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483, was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional.

Many years passed with minimal action taken to enforce civil rights. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy decided it was time to act, proposing the most sweeping civil rights legislation to date. A Democrat president Bob, not a Republican.

“This nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.” — President John F. Kennedy, 1963

On June 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, which was the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. The Act prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, in public places, provided for the integration of schools and other public facilities, and made employment discrimination illegal. There was work by both Democrats and Republicans on the admendment to the constitution, but it took a Democrat president to sign it and make it law.

“Let this session of Congress be known as the session which did more for civil rights than the last hundred sessions combined.” — President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address. There was work by both parties on the drawing up of the admendment, but the Republicans’ was the most conservative and its party was the most reluctant to see its passage.

On June 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, which was the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. The Act prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, in public places, provided for the integration of schools and other public facilities, and made employment discrimination illegal.

Congress expanded the act in subsequent years, passing additional legislation in order to move toward more equality for African-Americans, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

As for rooting for Betsy Devos to clean out the union-controlled educational swamp, sure Bob, she’s a billionaire who cares so much for the common student in our education system.  She never attended a public school in her life which makes her experience and empathy with the public school system in the U.S. very questionable.  While I agree that many unions over the years were corrupted by different sources including the mafia, they at least gave the common worker some bargaining power and better working conditions.  I don’t believe one bit that Devos is the answer to our education problems.

Check your history of the very wealthy industry owners from the Industrial Revolution before unions were created and you will see how they were making employees work longer and longer hours for less money.  The owners also intimidated workers into voting for their politcal candidate or face some very serious retributions.  The owners wanted, and got in many cases, total control over both the employees work and personal lives.

As for blacks commiting most of the crimes in the U.S. I agree with you there, the statistics speak for themselves.  I belive you could give some of the blacks enough funds to get their way out of the ghettos and they would still waste the money and continue to complain. There seems to be no easy answer to getting the majority of them a decent education and have them work their way up the social ladder.

In closing, Bob, I believe if our society were left to people like you with your ideologies we would be left without discovery of scientific breakthroughs such as medicines, live in a highly controlled environment like Nazi Germany and be constantly stifled in personal and religious freedoms.

 

Robert Wilson — Franklin, N.C.

Something is amiss in hearts and minds

There’s something amiss in the country that I love. There seems that any identity to our past is looked upon with suspicion and we need a more generic worldview or global inclusion, where we look upon a new era, starting afresh, the encumberments of the past are gone, a new day is coming. Beliefs, values, morality are all inclusive, there’s no boundaries, life is unfettered from the narrow mindedness of the past.

If you want to take the knee to our flag while anthem is sung, you have a right to do so. If you want to slander and disrupt just about everything, you have a right to do so, from the president, the college campus, to our city streets, even within our families, we want to express this pent up anger and seek the freedom we think will release this turmoil from within.

This view seems a higher calling in which to follow. Many elected officials, people of prominence, college professors, many encourage this hate and outrage. We take their cue and follow what seems is our personal right. Rebellion is in vogue, and if we believe in nothing but self, we rebel in everything. But worse, if we believe in everything there’s nothing in self worth fighting for. We are a wandering people, we think of little except self. We’ve lost our way, we lack internal reasoning and direction. We’ve knocked down fences without asking why they were there in the first place. We say life is the greatest value, but live our lives in disrespect of others, … even celebrating death.

What hope do you give your children? What values do you place in them? Or are values left for them to define, because you’re lacking in values yourself? Do we just encourage them to learn more so they financially make more to satisfy a never ending quest for more? Is there anything worth hoping for that makes sense out of life than this never-ending madness we revolve around. This fence is in place for humanity’s sake and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Unbridled freedom is not freedom at all but chaos, both for a society and deep within the individual, which is so evident. The family unit is more influential than any other system on earth, and should instill respect, dignity, trust, honesty, integrity, thoughtfulness, all within a love for family, friends and the one who is the essence or embodiment of it all, God, the one we seek the least.

History is littered with past hopes of trying to find its way. There’s a hope in science, world systems, even religion, all hope that someday we can save ourselves in some distant future.  What good is this for the present? How cruel and hopeless. Deep inside we know and search for something more, not so much for the future, but for the now. God is forevermore and the never ending now.

“Now is the time” (2 Corinthians 6:2)

 

Deni Shepard — Franklin, N.C.

Hatred and division running rampant

Frankly, this is a time when it’s almost embarrassing to be a human in America.

We have a president who has earned his wealth the honest way and cannot be bribed yet the small and petty have come out of the woodwork to destroy him.

Probably worse yet, we have people who are quite willing to join in the frenzy which reminds me of the old Roman Colosseum when the crowd would cheer when a gladiator was killed.

The killing continues in a frenzy led by elites who are bent on destroying our American values as a nation.

Even sadder is that the gullible follow in a thoughtless mindset.

Although I had some reservations about President Obama, he was my president and I felt loyalty to that office because of my military experience.

Looking back, however, I can’t really see that he accomplished much save for Obamacare.

The rest just involved lots of restrictive regulations that kept the country from growing and tons of illegal immigrants arriving here to use up our resources.

About all I can say about Obama is that he is a wonderful and persuasive speaker.

Now, Obama’s wife, Michelle, is running about making speeches claiming that all Republicans are racists and sexists.

Both are intent on spreading hatred and division amongst us.

President Trump has been left with a critical situation in North Korea because no action had been taken for the past 25 years by other presidents.

Now, he is faced with the destruction wrought by major hurricanes that are going to cost billions.

He is also faced with disrupting a political move by the Socialists who had planned to take over the country and convert us to Socialism ala Bernie Sanders and others of his ilk.  Hillary Clinton was expected to finish the conversion and bring Socialism to America.

Socialism sees people as numbers and not as individuals while the political elite decide what we will or will not be allowed to do. It ain’t pretty folks.

Everywhere I look, holier than thou celebrities are calling the deplorable working class racists and any slanderous name they can come up with. Today, it’s the folks who love country western music that are to blame for supporting President Trump.  One celeb even went so far as to say those folks who died in Las Vegas deserved it because they voted for Trump.

The aim is to divide us and tear us apart and they can do it if we follow them blindly.

President Trump is working to bring America out of the economic doldrums.  His economic plans are exactly the opposite of Socialism and is why the hatred and vitriol from the Socialists side.  They lost, America won, so don’t be tricked into being part of the attempt to divide us. Don’t let the high and mighty tear us apart.

 

Bob Wilson — Franklin, N.C.

Flag represents our freedoms and right to protest

For us to enjoy free speech we must protect that right among people with whom we disagree.

I respect our flag and National Anthem. But I respect the right to protest more. After all, it is because of our rights that our flag deserves respect. The soldiers that served, were wounded or died, did so for the freedoms our flag represents. Protesting is what we do instead of flying planes into buildings. A country that requires respect of the flag sounds more like North Korea than the United States.

For too many, the principles signified by our flag remain an aspiration rather than reality. If one believes there is sufficient evidence some police officers have overstepped the boundaries of justifiable homicide I have to ask myself, who has violated the principles of liberty and disrespected our flag more — the officer who takes the life of an innocent person or the player that kneels during the Anthem?

To be clear, not all shooting incidents sensationalized in the media are unjustified. No matter how unfortunate the outcome, if a person waves a gun around and refuses to disarm themselves then police officers are justified to fear for their lives and should take action. During incidents of imminent danger, an officer only has split seconds to decide and act. Clearly though, this is often enough not the case and scrutiny is warranted. If that scrutiny is not present or not sufficient then protest is warranted. If a protest does not provoke thought and debate it is of little to no consequence.

I do not know the answer to many of the questions raised in the thoughtful letters to the editor of this paper, but I do know the plural of anecdote is not data. Yes, there is still racism in the United States. Yes, the overwhelming majority of police officers are good people doing a very risky job and deserving of our respect. Yes, there are bad police officers out there. I do not know if the problems are systemic but I think there is enough evidence to merit scrutiny of law enforcement systems.

We should constantly examine police practices anyway. It is folly to believe we have ever done enough or designed systems so perfectly that no one ever does anything wrong. We do not know everything we should about the causes, prevention or responses to criminal activity and should therefore always seek to improve the systems we have. In a free society, civilian oversight of law enforcement is warranted by the very nature of the undertaking.

I believe everyone deserves equal treatment under the law. Murder, unreasonable search and seizure, and excessive force are already illegal so we may not need more laws. If police or anyone evade the law then the system of accountability needs scrutiny also.

I submit that what needs changing is not the laws of men, but the conscience. That is something that can only be changed by conversations like this one. If a person is racist, history clearly demonstrates we are unlikely to change their minds by law or decree. We might change their behavior, but not their minds. That, they must do themselves. Likely, for them to do so requires some persuasive power on our part. It is unlikely a person’s mind will change in one sitting and even less likely that systems or cultures will change by simply being told to do so from the outside. Concerned people may have to repeat themselves many times in debates such as this before a thinking person has enough to gnaw on. More minds are changed by gnawing than by hearing anyway. Citizens and good officers must apply persuasive efforts on bad officers in the hope that bad ones change themselves from inside.

I do not think of myself as shrill and try to avoid it. However, shrill Americans still have persuasive influence on others. After all, the shrillness of those opposed to slavery and Jim Crow definitely contributed to their demise.

Put simply, respect for government, the flag and the anthem should not be required, it should be earned. Every day. To do otherwise is to saw on the limb we stand on.

 

David Hubbs — Franklin, N.C.

Speeding vehicles no way to represent Franklin

Last Friday night [10/13] some friends and I attended the Franklin High School football home game. We sat on the visitors’ (Brevard) side of the field because it is much less crowded than the other side, and we are old. We had a really good time watching our team whup up on the tough Brevard guys. There was only one thing that marred what was otherwise a fine time, and that was the incredible amount of dropouts and other losers who constantly sped their cars and trucks past the visitors’ side and through the 25-mile-per-hour signs. One clown’s hyped up truck actually spread noxious fumes all the way on the playing field. Not a good way to present others to our fair little town. Sure, I know, tradition. Me, I’d put up speed traps, make some money for the town. And maybe save a life.

 

Stephen R. Crosby — Franklin, N.C.

Mission CEO ‘clearly out of touch’

The excerpts from your email to Mission’s senior leadership (ACT 10/12/17) serve to confirm the impression that you are clearly out of touch with the good folks of WNC. Your statement that “… patients and staffers will be scared and irrational …” is absolutely untrue.  To the contrary,  staff and patients have been more than patient and understanding.  Frustrated? Yes.  Tired of the pissing contest between two big bullies? Absolutely.  But far from scared and irrational.

A more dramatic and most disturbing example of your altered perception of reality is your comparison of yourself to all those who faced near certain death charging enemy artillery on the beaches of Normandy.  I have no doubt that those who waded ashore into heavy enemy fire on June 6, 1944, my stepfather included, would beg to differ with your idea of a “… bloody slaughter.”  I have never seen nor heard such flagrant disrespect for our brave men and women in uniform.

Over the past six months, Mission Health has decimated the medical community of Macon County.  Having a leader with such an inflated ego fed on a steady diet of self aggrandizement, is it any wonder we find ourselves in this mess?

 

Gustav C Wilde  MD

Former Chief of Medical Staff, Angel Medical Center

BFD recipient of ‘Kingdom Assignment’ cash

I am a resident of the Burningtown community who recently got to experience first-hand the services of our volunteer Fire Dept.  On Wednesday afternoon, 10/11, I was engaged in the fall activity of picking apples from our orchard. It is an annual rite of autumn that I enjoy, to do the picking of the Granny Smiths in October as I have for the 13 years that we have lived here. I was on my way down the orchard ladder when one side abruptly shifted. In an attempt to avoid being caught between the heavy ladder and the ground, I jumped out of the way. Unfortunately, my technique of landing was not as I had envisioned. As I lay on the ground, I could tell that I had badly injured my ankle and immediately voiced a simple prayer to God – “Help.”

In Lower Burningtown on our property, cell service is essentially non-existent. This time, when I dialed, my cell phone connected. My husband who was in the house ran to where I was and immediately could tell that dialing “911” was the correct course of action. Soon, the first responder was with me, then the EMTs and from then on, I was attended by compassionate, caring, and competent folks. I could not have envisioned the situation being handled any better and the concern shown to me whether I was lying on the grass, having an IV started, on the stretcher, being moved, and transported into town was an answer to my prayer sent to God when I first hit the ground.

I wonder how many of us in Macon County have directly or indirectly have had our prayer of “help” answered by these first-responders who are volunteers, neighbors who do this selfless service when we cry out.

I am a member of the Franklin First United Methodist Church. There was recently an article in the Franklin Press about the “Kingdom Assignment” that we had been given by our pastor, David Beam. I was one of many who had stepped forward when asked to volunteer not knowing what I was getting into. I was given my (or should I say God’s) $100 dollar bill. I have had many thoughts go through my head of how to best use this, to perpetuate God’s work here on Earth, to give glory to our Lord.  I could never quite commit to any of those ideas. On that Wednesday afternoon, riding in the back of the ambulance to the ER, the answer revealed itself to me.

I have given that $100 bill (God’s money) to the Burningtown Volunteer Fire Dept. In addition, my husband and I gave another $100.

I challenge all in Macon County who have had their “911” cry for help answered, to make a donation to their community volunteer Fire Dept. They are all special people who attend to us whenever we are in crisis. We need to remember that reality, how much we depend on them to be there, and we need to show them our support.

 

Mary F. Williams — Franklin, N.C.

Freedom to choose to believe or not

Thank you for printing my letter and for allowing me to make my opinions known.

To the readers: Recently I have noticed in the paper comments asking people to “keep their religion to themselves” and for such comments to be left out of the editorial page. I would like to respond by expressing and explaining a few of my thoughts on this subject.  I believe I speak for many Christians.

Firstly, I call myself a Christian not because I think of myself better than others.  Being a Christian doesn’t mean I’m perfect; it just means that I’m forgiven, and, hopefully, maturing and becoming more like Jesus a little more each day. I have, however, been given a mandate by Jesus Christ to go into the world (community).  He is my Savior and my Lord, so I desire to obey His commandments.  To me, this is not grievous, but, at the same time, it’s not necessarily easy.  I share my beliefs because I desire to obey and to live as Jesus lived while He was on this earth.

Secondly, in the Bible God has revealed more details of His character to us through His many names; it is truly a fascinating study. Just a few of these are Mighty Creator, the God Who Sees Me, God Almighty, the Eternal God, God My Provider, The Lord Who Heals, the Lord My Banner (he gives us victory), the Lord My Rock, the Lord My Shepherd, the Living God, God Most High, and Father. This short list indicates that my God is not an impersonal God, but He desires to have a personal relationship with me. Why would I, a mere human with a finite mind in an earthly body, not be excited to have an intimate relationship with the only true power in the universe?  So, I, and many other Christians, desire to share this wonderful possibility with others around us.

Thirdly, Jesus instructed us to be salt in our culture.  Two of the many reasons for salt are to savor and preserve food. I believe that a relationship with God, following His precepts, and winning others to this lifestyle will be a positive flavor and preserve our society. I will be bold and state that I believe the deterioration of our society is due to other things being substituted for God in our lives.  I desire to share my Good News with others because it will enrich their lives and our society and culture as He has enriched my life. So, I “share my religion” because I believe it will help other individuals as well as my community and nation.

To date, as a Christian, I still have the opportunity to speak my mind and have my thoughts and opinions published in the paper. I do thank God for that freedom, and I do believe there may be a day coming when this doesn’t apply to Christians any longer. That will be a sad day for America, but, hopefully, I (and others) will continue sharing God’s Good News until Jesus returns to deliver us. You, dear reader, have the option to read this or not and to receive this Good News or not. Each individual has that choice.  I have made mine and I hope you choose for El Chay, the Living God.  He is the only one who can redeem and restore our nation.

 

Joan Wanson — Franklin, N.C.

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