Letters to Editor for July 26, 2018

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Not confident that our nation can survive Trump

Fifty-five years ago I was serving in the U.S. Navy and stationed in Scotland when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated Nov. 22, 1963. We who lived in that time can call to mind (in heart-breaking detail) that event. One crystal-clear memory has remained vivid across the decades, all of Great Britain mourned our trauma as painfully as if it were their own. British citizens approached me weeks and months later (many with tears in their eyes) to express genuine sorrow for the loss of our leader. Fast-forward five (plus) decades and I believe it’s safe to say that no such kinship presently exists between our two nations, or with any other nation in the free world.  Due to the spoiled, self-centered. class-less and clue-less man-child inhabiting the Oval Office, our allies no longer trust us, our adversaries neither fear nor respect us, and the rest of the world has no inkling where we stand on anything.  Donald Trump hasn’t the honesty, the decency or the empathetic judgment to take responsibility for anything he says or does.  In the eyes of the world he personifies, he symbolizes, the ultimate “ugly American.”  We will not soon or easily reacquire (if ever) all that we have and will sacrifice by his presidency. Trumps personal conduct aside, he has compromised our country’s fundamental national character, attributes and goodness.  This one man has destroyed lives, demolished families and devastated our global reputation.  Any country (especially this of ours) that professes to honor “human rights” to allow this to happen is, by definition, ethically and morally dead. Instead of leading the battle for human rights, America’s ambassador to the United Nations (Nikki Haley) withdrew us (on Trump’s directive I’m certain) from the 47-nation Human Rights Council leaving behind the harsh allegation the council is a “hypocritical cesspool of bias.”  For a Trump toady working in the swamp of Washington, DC to make such a claim shames us all. We survived Kennedy’s assassination, prospered and accomplished great achievements including traveling to the stars fulfilling JFK’s dream of putting a man on the moon.  The question before us now is, can we survive Trump? Frankly I’m not confident that we will.  Our once strong and vibrant institutions are almost totally corrupted by money and the desire for power.  There seems to be as many citizens committed to destroying our democratic process as there are dedicated to preserving it. And we have a president utterly unfit to hold the office who is ready, willing and able to prey on the gullibility, ignorance and naivete’ of a relatively large segment of our population; a president prone to congratulating world leaders who win fraudulent elections, who repress their own people unmercifully and criminalize beneficial dissent and debate. If the United States Congress, by its silence, is willing to endorse the bad behavior and destructive policies of this president, allowing him to flatter our adversaries and insult and denigrate our friends and allies around the world; if we the people (by our own silence and mindlessness) are okay with that, then yes, I have serious concerns about the ultimate survival of The United States of America.

David Snell – Franklin, N.C.

Why can’t Americans stand united for veterans?

For the first time in my 65 years, I have seen Americans come together and stand together and accomplish some good for the children of the illegal immigrants. Although they have not all been reunited, but some have. The Americans pay for all of their needs and care, but I wonder why Americans have not stood for our veterans in the same way Americans did for the children and brought about change for illegals and their children? Veterans fought for your right to stand up united against a wrong and bring about change. Why haven’t Americans stood united against the Veterans Administration and get the veterans their disabilities, medical, housing and whatever the veteran needs? The Veterans Administration denies claims and benefits to veterans and no one seems to care; not Congress, Senate or president. The Veterans Administration is waiting for the veterans to die and then the probelm is solved. A veteran should not have to wait for over nine years for a disability rating. A veteran should not be denied his claim for compensation due to his service during the Vietnam War. The Veterans Administration denies, denies and denies even through the evidence is in the veteran’s file but conveniently the Veterans Administration “cannot find” the files even though the veteran got the information. Even though non-VA doctors found the claims valid, the Veterans Administration could not admit they owed the veteran anything. Wy don’t Americans stand united against the Veterans Adminstration as they did for illigals and their children? Veterans were and are willing to die for the rights of Americans and their safety in America. Stand united for the veterans rights. Stand united against the wrong done to veterans by the Veterans Administration. Help veterans get their benefits promised them when they offered their life for America. I am the proud wife of a veteran.

Sharon Packlaian – Franklin, N.C.

The ‘real’ Russia collusion uncovered

A week ago Monday, Vladimir Putin dropped a “bombshell” regarding the Russia collusion narrative the MSM (Mainstream Media) has been promoting for the past 18 months. It turns out, the real Russian collusion occurred between the Clintons and the Democrats, Fusion GPS, and of course, the Russians. According to Putin, a certain Mr. William Browder, a British hedge fund CEO, who renounced his U.S. citizenship in 1998, made over $1.5 billion in Russia in the 1990s, yet never paid any taxes either in Russia or the U.S. But the money was transferred to the U.S., and $400 million of it was transferred to the Clinton campaign as a donation. Hillary has refused to deny the charge. Browder also has ties to Fusion GPS, the firm that created the infamous “Steele dossier” which we now know was paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC, to smear then candidate, Donald Trump in 2016. The Washington Post reported last year: “Here’s the bottom line: We have congressional testimony, under oath, that Clinton hired the same firm to smear Trump that Putin reportedly used to smear Magnitsky. Moreover, we also know that the Fusion GPS dossier relied on senior Russian government officials for much of the dirt it compiled, including ‘a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure’ and a ‘former top level intelligence officer still active in the Kremlin.’ Together, those are bombshell revelations.” Yet today, there is barely a peep in the mainstream media about the Clinton-Fusion-Putin connection. What all this means is that for 18 months, all we heard from the MSM was Trump/Russia “ad nauseam.” What we should have been hearing is that Clinton and the DNC hired Fusion GPS to make up dirt on Trump to cover up for what we actually have proof of now: that it was really Clinton/Russia collusion, and so much more. Many crimes were committed. Among the worst of them was interference and harassment of the Trump Presidency for nearly two years, with no evidence, while ignoring the mountain of evidence against the Clintons, Obama, Clapper, Brennan, Strzok, Comey, Rice, Lynch, Holder, Bruce and Nellie Ohr, Rosenstein, Mueller, McCain, etc. These people, and others, tried to organize a coup de’etat to take down a duly elected president, because they needed Hillary to win, so that their crimes would never be discovered and prosecuted. They should all be prosecuted for conspiracy to commit treason, sedition, and a whole list of other crimes. The reporters on the MSM who knew what was really going on, and failed to report it, and instead repeated what they knew were lies about alleged Trump/Russia collusion, should be prosecuted as well. As everyone should know by now, the DNC was not hacked by the Russians, or anyone else. (Still Report #1757, 1758) The DNC computers were downloaded directly, somewhere within the DNC. We know this by the speed by which they were downloaded—too fast to have been hacked. We also know now that Seth Rich, the DNC staffer who was murdered, always carried a thumb drive. After shooting him twice in the back, the thugs took the thumb drive, but not his wallet, credit cards, phone, or watch. Last week, an eye-witness of the murder came forward. He greatly fears for his life, so armed guards, and a complete disguise of voice and appearance have been employed. He says one of the murderers is a current employee of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) and the other of the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms). For more details, go online to The Still Report, #2313. Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange has hinted that Seth Rich may have been the source of the 20,000 emails from the DNC that were published online just before the 2016 election. He said they did not come from a government source. (Source: wnd.com, 7/9/18, 5:16PM) Kim Dotcom has offered to provide proof that it was Seth Rich who provided Wikileaks with the DNC emails. Folks, please consider that if you are relying on the MSM for all of your news, you are not getting the news. The MSM is owned and controlled by a very small group of “Deep State” operatives, who dictate the talking points. One of the big positives of the last couple of years is that millions of Americans are waking up to this reality. Please go online, and seek out alternative news sources, of which there are many. If you are still a Democrat, I highly recommend that you listen to H.A. Goodman on YouTube. He was a Democrat until very recently, but has seen enough of the corruption and crime in the party, and has switched parties, and is now an avid Trump supporter. Let him tell you why.

Ed Hill – Franklin, N.C.

Conspiracy theory is at odds with the facts

I watch and listen to a spectrum of news sources: the three broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) with local news stations, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, BBC America, NPR, and PBS. When it come to news about national politics, almost all these news sources are filing their reports on mostly the same stories, all of which tend to present a similar narrative. Almost all. There is only one exception, one news channel that regularly presents reporting that seems at odds with all the other news channels. Could it be possible that 90 percent of the national broadcasters gets the news wrong, but one news network gets it right? We have heard suggested that the majority of national news broadcasters (“mainstream media”) are part of a left wing conspiracy designed to foster “Fascist Socialism.” (sic). But why would that be the case? What would make these fierce competitors choose to band together to promote such an arcane and fatuous political point of view? National news broadcasters are profit driven businesses, corporations whose owners’ and shareholders’ singular goal is to maximize profits. The competition between broadcasters is as cutthroat as it is between car manufacturers or smart phone manufacturers. Yet, followers of this conspiracy fantasy propose that the executives and directors of Time-Warner, Disney, Comcast, and Viacom have agreed to put aside their profit motive so they can promote a political ideology which, if implemented, would yank the control of these media giants from their current corporate leaders in order to further the goals of the alleged conspiracy. So, we are supposed to believe that thousands of corporate media executives, senior managers, owners and board members are plotting to do away with with these lucrative and highly profitable businesses to achieve a collective goal of … what? A cultural change that would take away their ability to make a profit? Not likely. These broadcast workers like their big houses and expensive cars just as much as any other successful American businessmen. If there is no conspiracy, is there another explanation why the vast majority of news outlets report the same or similar news narratives? As these various news organizations compete to deliver the latest and most accurate news, it turns out that these competing news people, working independently of each other, tend to report the news as each individual reporter sees it. These competing reporters deliver similar stories because they are motivated to deliver the one thing that consumers are looking for when they access a news outlet: observed facts. Truth surfaces and presents a common reality in each reporter’s unilaterally independent reporting. When FOX News first spun up 20 years it was primarily national news, with a variety of analysts and opinionaters, with at least some coverage over the spectrum of politics. FOX had a solid representation of Republican pundits who espoused solid Republican values, such as free trade, lower debt, civic liberties, and social conservatism, all values that were broadly supported by Republicans, as well as some Independents, Libertarian last and conservative Democrats. Unfortunately FOX News has morphed from solid news channel backed by a conservative political philosophy into a cult-like platform for the most disruptive, salacious, self-serving government ever voted into power. Keep this in mind: The all-news channels reserve their 5 p.m. to 12 p.m. broadcast programs for commentary, not hard news. If you get your news from Andersen Cooper, Sean Hannity, Chris Mathews, et al, be aware these folks are presenting facts, or alleged facts, with a purposeful, political spin. If you get your news by following the pundits on just a single news channel, you are cheating yourself out of the chance to think for yourself.

John Barry – Franklin, N.C.

Mission should not control proceeds from HCA sale

The Mission Health board and CEO Ron Paulus clearly don’t get it: The system’s billions in assets do not belong to them to do with as they please. A few days ago, Mission announced the incorporation of a nonprofit foundation to receive the proceeds from the proposed sale of Mission’s six hospitals to HCA Healthcare, the nation’s largest for-profit chain. By law, proceeds from the sale must go to another nonprofit dedicated to improving regional health – but that doesn’t mean Mission gets to shape that nonprofit or decide who runs it. Nevertheless, Mission’s board not only named the foundation, it picked one of its own former members, the woman Paulus credits with bringing him to North Carolina eight years ago, to head the new board. The message couldn’t be clearer: Mission and Paulus believe it’s their right to control the money generated by the sale to HCA. That assumption is as arrogant as it is wrong. Why? Because a foundation created to serve the community should be formed by people drawn from throughout the community – not a self-selecting few who give lip service to inclusiveness while rushing to perpetuate their own power. That’s why at least nine states spell out community-focused mechanisms for creating such foundations. That’s why many of those laws prohibit or severely limit any involvement by the nonprofit hospital’s leaders in the foundation that’s formed. Fortunately, Paulus and Mission don’t get the last word. That belongs to state Attorney General Josh Stein. His role is to protect the taxpayers of North Carolina, who have, by allowing Mission to avoid paying taxes all these years, invested many millions in the system. SEARCH (Sustaining Essential and Rural Community Healthcare) calls on Stein to put the brakes on Mission’s assumption of a right that does not and should not belong to it. Anything less would short change the public whose trust he holds. (Information about SEARCH is available at searchwnc.org.)

Victoria Loe Hicks – Bakersville, N.C.

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