Letters for September 28, 2017

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What motivated the knee-bending in the first place

In the press coverage of the fight Trump has picked with the NFL, virtually none has provided the essential context of what motivated Colin Kaepernick and others to take a knee during the national anthem in the first place.

Black men make up 6% percent of the U.S. population, but account for 40% of the unarmed men shot to death by police.

Blacks are more than five times more likely to be incarcerated than Whites, and are given 20% longer sentences than Whites. Blacks make up 13.2% of the U.S. population, but 40% of America’s prison population, 56.4% of those serving life without parole for nonviolent offenses, and 40% of Death Row. Blacks comprise approximately 13% of drug users but account for 36% of drug arrests and 46% of drug convictions.

White per capita income is $31,313; for Blacks, it is $18,406. Black unemployment and poverty rates are consistently more than twice that of Whites.

The evidence of systemic institutional racism is both overwhelming and irrefutable.

As to the propriety of athletes’ chosen modus operandi, the Supreme Court’s opinion in W. VA BOE v. Barnette from 70 years ago still resonates;

“To believe that patriotism will not flourish if patriotic ceremonies are voluntary and spontaneous, instead of a compulsory routine, is to make an unflattering estimate of the appeal of our institutions to free minds. We can have intellectual individualism and the rich cultural diversities that we owe to exceptional minds only at the price of occasional eccentricity and abnormal attitudes. When they are so harmless to others or to the State as those we deal with here, the price is not too great. But freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order. If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”

Kaepernick, et al. are making a point which should both deeply shame and shock the conscience of every American, and whether or not you agree with their message or methodology, as an American you have to support your fellow American’s Constitutional rights; otherwise, these symbols and rituals Trump pretends to defend are rendered entirely moot if you allow him to attack the deeper meaning behind them. In disgracefully cursing our fellow citizens for exercising their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights in a speech reminiscent of his bellicose exhortations to political violence during his campaign, the only one I see being un-American is Donald Trump. To demand obsequious blind obeisance from one’s subjects isn’t patriotic; it’s despotic, and should offend anyone who values the principles upon which this country was founded.

 

Emmet Bondurant — Franklin, N.C.

Local construction projects illustrate civic lesson

A friend of mine recently pointed out that we, as residents of Franklin, have an excellent opportunity to witness an important Civic lesson, and that is the comparison between Government and the Capitalistic system of Free Enterprise.

Government (NCDOT) has undertaken the task of rebuilding the town bridge while Ingles under the Free Enterprise system has undertaken the task of building a new facility.

The first order of business for the NCDOT was to demolish the old bridge. They have been at this for a couple of months and it appears the demolition of the first lane may have been completed. Once that has been done the next step will be reconstruct the bridge in that lane, then will come the demolition and reconstruction of the other lane.

Meanwhile Ingles’ first order of business was to demolish the old Whistle Stop Mall, remove all construction debris, and prepare the site for their new facility which began construction immediately following site preparation.

When both lanes of the bridge will be completed I don’t know but at the present rate it could take years. On the other hand, Ingles’ new facility will open next month.

For those who place their faith in Government to get things done, I am sorry to inform you that American ingenuity under the Capitalistic system of Free Enterprise is the only dependable solution.

God bless America,

 

Buck Miller — Franklin, N.C.

Follow the money behind the protesters

In an era of political correctness this publication is a brave voice for those with a love of this country and its history. I applauded your publication of Robert Shook’s well written and well researched letter with respect to southern pride and southern history.

The “One Worlders” would have us open our borders with unfettered access to all, grant rights and privileges to all who choose to enter the United States illegally.

Illegal aliens are openly demanding rights and privileges reserved for citizens of this country.

Other are demanding President Trump, our legally elected president resign, quote, “because he is not fit to hold the office of president and Commander In Chief.”

We have those who would have us believe the recent disastrous and destructive hurricanes are due to climate change caused by carbon emissions.

These well planned and orchestrated acts are by design and are a part of the master plan to achieve world domination by a few select families.

There are people protesting on college campuses in the streets of St. Louis and other cities who are bussed in. Many don’t know what they are protesting. “Follow the money.”

 

Philip Powell — Highlands, N.C.

Constant plea for contributions border on flim-fam

I like being a part of organized groups. What I don’t like is the feeling I’m being flim-flammed by organizations I belong to, most of which make periodic requests for money in a way that makes you feel that you and you alone are saving the world with your donation, that you’re truly making a difference.

Many of the organizations I’ve joined over the years call themselves “not-for-profit” (a real misnomer) and sending them money invariably seems to trigger another request for even more money. One organization, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has raised the business of solicitation to an art form.

I’ve belonged to AARP since 1983 (34 years), shortly after retiring from the U.S. Navy.  Now granted, AARP offers seniors and retired people a lot of worthwhile benefits and for us is a valuable source of helpful information and services.

But here’s the rub, the catch, the gimmick, the subterfuge (if you will), bear with me, please.  About two or three times a year I receive a form letter from the CEO of AARP (presently that person is Jo Ann C. Jenkins).   Accompanying this letter is a questionnaire asking what I think about the future of Medicare and Social Security, that my opinion is important, and that with my contribution AARP will have the strength and resources necessary to protect these programs for me and for future generations (programs which are of course being imminently threatened by our elected leaders in Washington).

Number one, if my opinion mattered would it be necessary to confirm it with the same questions (and answers) three times a year? Not only do I dislike being hoodwinked, I also detest being thought a fool.

In addition to this periodic questionnaire, approximately every three weeks I receive another letter stating “AARP urgently needs your help to fight back against efforts to cut Medicare benefits,” etc., etc., and etcetera.  Accompanying this urgent request for money are petitions I’m supposed to sign, addressed to our two U.S. Senators (Burr and Tillis) and our Representative in the House (Mark Meadows).   The petition states, “as one of your constituents, and a member of AARP, I urge you to” blah, blah, and blah.

Having written to these three men personally about my various concerns regarding a number of issues affecting seniors and other citizens I am convinced, beyond all reasonable doubt, that our elected leaders in Washington don’t give a hoot in the hot place what I think about anything.  So, even if I believed Jo Ann Jenkins was going to personally lay these petitions on their desks every three weeks (which I don’t) I’m not about to send her $25 to tell anyone in Washington what I can adequately tell them myself with a free phone call or a 50 cent stamp.

 

David L. Snell — Franklin, N.C.

Ingrained with the promise for more

Within our world, it seems as though we are in a continued repeat of sorts. We seem to revolve in never ending confusion in just how humanity can solve our enormous problems we face both within our world and deep within ourselves. Just watch the news, hear people’s conversations, listen to your friends over coffee. Even though all is not bad in our world, there does seem to be an anguish or unnerving feeling many sense and feel.

Our unstable world and fast pace lives have little stability when life gets unraveled or disrupted by the unexpected. It seems we as individuals face pressures that older generations never felt before. Problems have always plagued us, but never more so than the present.

Our unending information and knowledge that is at our fingertips shrinks our world, and is viewed instantly within the palm of the hand; whatever enters the mind of man can be found, whether it be good or evil. and the evil has no boundaries. The tricking of emotions, and sensations, are now induced synthetically by viewing a technical screen, whether on a iPad, movie screen or in amusement parks. While life is enjoyed it also seems less real, but searching for something more real seems always out of reach. We wait on the edge of our chairs addicted to the promise that there is more, like a good movie or play, and half way though, the intermission comes, and anticipation builds in that there’s more to come.  The promise that there’s more to come is met with excitement from our youth, but as our youth fades, hope in what our world offers seems more faded and stale. We are built for searching more in how our world works, inventing and creating through the expression in the arts and in everything that is human. But why is the desire for more so ingrained? Science, government, social groups, even in you and me, we’re anxious for what lies ahead and having answers towards our future, always in the quest for more.

God placed this “promise of more” within each of us. He creates and wants us to be creative, and in doing so we discover more about Him. His love is for you; and He demonstrated this in dying for you.  When as a parent you create life there’s a responsibility within a deep felt love, care and protection for the child, even to the point of sacrificial death. Why would you not think God, who is our parent, (creator) not have that deep and sacrificial love and care for you? “His promise of more” is real in the most complete and satisfying way, both for the now and beyond. Life’s manual for living (Bible) displays, describes, and shows this so profoundly, of wanting this relationship with His child – you – even though you’re imperfect, just accept His love. In this He promises the most fulfilling life … and there’s always more to come.

 

Deni Shepard — Franklin, N.C.

Ingrained with the promise for more

Within our world, it seems as though we are in a continued repeat of sorts. We seem to revolve in never ending confusion in just how humanity can solve our enormous problems we face both within our world and deep within ourselves. Just watch the news, hear people’s conversations, listen to your friends over coffee. Even though all is not bad in our world, there does seem to be an anguish or unnerving feeling many sense and feel.

Our unstable world and fast pace lives have little stability when life gets unraveled or disrupted by the unexpected. It seems we as individuals face pressures that older generations never felt before. Problems have always plagued us, but never more so than the present.

Our unending information and knowledge that is at our fingertips shrinks our world, and is viewed instantly within the palm of the hand; whatever enters the mind of man can be found, whether it be good or evil. and the evil has no boundaries. The tricking of emotions, and sensations, are now induced synthetically by viewing a technical screen, whether on a iPad, movie screen or in amusement parks. While life is enjoyed it also seems less real, but searching for something more real seems always out of reach. We wait on the edge of our chairs addicted to the promise that there is more, like a good movie or play, and half way though, the intermission comes, and anticipation builds in that there’s more to come.  The promise that there’s more to come is met with excitement from our youth, but as our youth fades, hope in what our world offers seems more faded and stale. We are built for searching more in how our world works, inventing and creating through the expression in the arts and in everything that is human. But why is the desire for more so ingrained? Science, government, social groups, even in you and me, we’re anxious for what lies ahead and having answers towards our future, always in the quest for more.

God placed this “promise of more” within each of us. He creates and wants us to be creative, and in doing so we discover more about Him. His love is for you; and He demonstrated this in dying for you.  When as a parent you create life there’s a responsibility within a deep felt love, care and protection for the child, even to the point of sacrificial death. Why would you not think God, who is our parent, (creator) not have that deep and sacrificial love and care for you? “His promise of more” is real in the most complete and satisfying way, both for the now and beyond. Life’s manual for living (Bible) displays, describes, and shows this so profoundly, of wanting this relationship with His child – you – even though you’re imperfect, just accept His love. In this He promises the most fulfilling life … and there’s always more to come.

 

Deni Shepard — Franklin, N.C.

Macon library provided support for evacuees

As Hurricane Irma approached south Florida last week, my nephew and his wife quickly decided to evacuate to Franklin with their three small daughters, their dog and their cat.  I wanted to thank the Macon County Library for providing us with such excellent support for this displaced family. The girls enjoyed story hour on multiple days and checked out lots of books while they were here.  They loved the library. My nephew was able to continue working at his job remotely because of the good internet support at the library. Evacuation is always a difficult time for a family, but our wonderful library helped them through it.

 

Sandra Gladden — Franklin, N.C.

Just how much does the county on recycling?

I just came from doing my husbandly duties like garbage day. For many years I’ve separated cardboard, glass, cans to deposit in the proper containers doing my civic duties and I finally stopped and wondered, where does all the money the county gets for it go?

I never saw any reports about how much does the county make on all of us doing our job? How’s about somebody in the county telling us how much we have given back to them? I know my garbage cost went up again. How’s about your taxes?

 

Wm. Trapani — Franklin, N.C.

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