Letters for October 5, 2017

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President employing weapons of mass distraction

President Trump has an uncanny ability to instinctively know how to divide the American people with unerring precision by exploiting weapons of mass distraction which prevent Americans from noticing how far the Trump administration has diverged from productive and beneficial policies toward an unparalleled level of what one newspaper described as “moral squalor.”  In doing so, Trump keeps our collective focus concentrated in areas of relative unimportant sideline emotional and controversial matters diverting our attention from the economy, the burgeoning national debt, education, health care and the myriad of social and economic issues we pay our elected and appointed leaders dearly to take care of.

For example, right now we have approximately 800,000 young men and women residing in the United States, who were brought here as children, who have (by all accounts) been raised well and conducted themselves in an exemplary manner throughout their young lives but who now (through absolutely no fault of their own) find themselves at risk of being deported.  Commonly referred to as “Dreamers,” these young adults are listed under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which has, thus far, shielded them from deportation.

Congress has found every excuse imaginable not to deal with this dilemma.  Obviously the country is severely divided on whether to deport or not deport and Congress plays us ad nauseam (we’ve long ago surpassed queasiness) which is of benefit to no one and detrimental to everyone.

Congress needs to get off its duff, take appropriate steps necessary toward truly legalizing the “Dreamers,” including putting them on a fast track to citizenship, fully recognizing their contributions to their communities and to their country (our country) the United States of America. I believe the vast majority of Americans feel as I do, that our leaders need to stop worrying about who kneels and who doesn’t kneel at a football game and start paying attention to things that matter. The Dreamers matter a great deal and how we treat them will define us as a nation.

I think I can state with some degree of certainty that Donald Trump represents a grave threat to our nation’s future if not to the very survival of world democracy. It is nothing short of unconscionable for any American to remain neutral while our fundamental core values, principles and beliefs are constantly under attack. Neutrality renders us collectively impotent and inescapably complicit in our own destruction. No matter the cost, we must not allow that to happen.

As “Fighting Bob LaFollette” once put it …  “Men must be aggressive for what is right if government is to be saved from those who are aggressive for what is wrong.”

If there was ever a time for men to be aggressive for what is right and to compel, persuade, or pressure the most unprincipled and undisciplined man every elected President of the United States to resign, that time is most certainly now.

 

David L. Snell — Franklin, N.C.

Good, basic education may be the answer

It is very unfortunate some of the NFL players bring disgrace to their fellow Black Americans who fought so valiantly and died in our wars.

The Red Tail 332nd squadron comes to mind, who were the Black American pilots who flew Mustangs and protected our B-17s while bombing Germany. Not to mention those who fought and died in Vietnam or in the Middle East.

Typically NFL players make something on the order of $2 million a year when most of us could retire on that much money.  But, money does not automatically make someone wise or educated.

Obviously, they have no idea the Republican Party was organized for the very purpose of eliminating slavery or that was the Democrats who fought so hard to keep schools segregated. Or, that President Trump sued cities to force them to allow Jews and Blacks to join country clubs.

Referring to Emmet Bondurant’s letter of this past week in The Macon County News he suggested that Black Americans were more likely to end up in jail than a white person and they made up 40 percent of the prison population.  One could read this a couple of different ways.  One is judges and juries are prejudiced against Black Americans, or they simply commit more crimes.

Alternatively, when you break down the areas involved, you will most likely find the majority of crimes Black Americans commit are in the inner cities.  This is something those of us who live comfortably in a small rural area simply cannot relate to.

For example there have been over 600 shootings in South Chicago so far this year.  About 80% were Black Americans shooting each other.

One must ask what it is the NHL players would like to have done. Would they like to call off the cops entirely and allow even more deaths? Would they prefer murderers be allowed to go free?

We know most of the problems in Chicago, as well as many other large cities, stem from lousy public schools where the dropout rate is over 80%. This, combined with a lack of a normal balanced family with a father and a mother, one sees the problem only getting worse over time.

A good basic education, progressing on to either a trade school or a college education, is the only possible course of action.  Only then can Black Americans crawl their way out of the Liberal ideology that got them there in the first place.

If anything, NFL players should be rooting for President Trump’s Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos who is trying to clean out the union-controlled educational swamp.

 

Bob Wilson — Franklin, N.C.

‘Historians’ should know history before they speak

Your 21 September issue printed a letter from Marshall Solomon who doesn’t want to take down Southern statues.  He wants to take them down AND replace them.

Mr. Solomon speaks of the statues being the faces of men who defended the plantation owners who enslaved the ancestors of many Southerners. In many or most states of the Confederacy, the plantation owners opposed secession, but were outvoted.  Mr. Solomon should know the history whereof he speaks before he presents himself as a historian.

And his idea that the cause of something as complicated as a war can be something as simple as the perpetuation of plantation slavery, places him without the ranks of historians – serious ones anyway.

Our statues symbolize hate, he says.  I will reply to that by simply saying, they do not.

People of accomplishment are the only ones to make the pages of history, Mr. Solomon says.  He wants to erect statues to the people who have been oppressed along the way.  That is fair enough, but Mr. Solomon is not interested in fairness.  Mr. Solomon wants to tear down the monuments to people of accomplishment before erecting statues to oppressed people.

Mr. Solomon’s describing Stonewall Jackson as an armed thug, places Mr. Solomon among the most ignorant of all the ignoramuses ever to reveal their ignorance by opening their mouths. (And again demonstrates his lack of knowledge of history.)

Mr. Solomon is suffering culture shock.  The culture he is living in, is different from the culture that formed his ways of thinking and his ways of doing things. Thus he is unhappy. He is trying to change 50 million of the Southerners he is living among, to be more like himself.  That is a task that must fail, and the failures he experiences will make him even less happy.

There are a couple of routes to happiness for Mr. Solomon.  He could change himself to be more like the 50 million Southerners among whom he lives (It is easier to change one than to change 50 million), or he could go back to wherever it was that he was living when he became what he is.

 

George Crockett — Franklin, N.C.

We just might the magnifying glass, too

I’ve heard Christians and “TV Christians” say Trump was sent by God.

Of course they meant it in a good way like he was anointed and godly, but I just couldn’t see it. The way he talked, the hate he spewed was far from godly to me.

As a Christian, I have struggled with friends and family members supporting him. It would seem to me all he needed to do was wrap himself in an American flag, give voice to our darkest fears and prejudices and have minsters speak for him and “lay on hands” in prayer for photo opts. And then to my amazement, so many of God’s people said “Amen, that’s our man.”

But as I have watched the last long nine months of one of the most difficult, divisive and hate filled times in my adult memory and witnessed the love of power and money come before compassion and empathy for others, I have longed to find a reason, an understanding of what is happening.

So here is where I am in my search for understanding.

You know how you can get a splinter deep down and may not even realize it until you bump it a certain way and you get a sting of pain. Or maybe you didn’t notice it at all and it eventually callouses over and it becomes harden and doesn’t really hurt now, until that day you you bump it really hard.

Well, I’m thinking America’s splinters are racism, misogony, judgement and hatred of those different from us, and the lack of empathy and compassion for others, to name a few.

The “splinters” of our country have always been there causing pain from time to time, but our denial and fear of removing them by getting out that sharp needle of honesty and the tweezers of self reflection and taking that first step of digging down deep was much too painful, so we were content in our occasional discomfort.

Then there comes the day when it gets infected and it puffs up and is all red and hot , filled with the nastiness of pus and hurts like crazy all the time.

What if that’s where we are now? And Trump is our infection, causing so much discomfort and pain on so many levels that we can no longer ignore it?

Did I hear you say, alcohol? Needle? Tweezers?

I sure hope so. We’ve got to get honest and face these “splinters” prepared to take action to ever get better. And heal.

 

Barbara Pangle — Franklin, N.C.

Construction comparison is apples & oranges

A recent letter to the editor compared building the new Ingles with replacing the bridge in town.

This is comparing apples and oranges.

The Ingles store is built by a private enterprise. The owners of the store are motivated to get it built and open for business ASAP, to recover the cost of building after the project commenced as soon as possible. The budget to build a project as big as the new Ingles can run from $5 million to $8 million (Ingles would not discuss the cost of the project with me so I am using information from other similar projects to infer the possible costs of the project.)

The bridge is a public works project, paid for with public tax dollars ­– $2.1 million, quite a bit less than Ingles. Because there is no profit-droven motivation to finish the bridge as soon as possible, the county and the NCDOT can balance the cost of the project with the time needed to build it. In other words, it would cost more for the public if the construction was hurried up by putting on more workers and more equipment.

Also, consider that the bridge has much more stringent building codes to meet than a commercial building would face. Compound that with the need to ensure that the Little Tennessee River must be protected from the construction activity and materials.

Oh, and by the way, if you want a private company to quickly build this bridge for profit, you can expect to pay a toll to cross the bridge for as long as the bridge is standing.

 

John Fred Barry — Franklin, N.C.

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