Letters to the Editor

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The Macon County News letters page is a public forum open to a wide variety of opinions. Letters are neither accepted nor rejected on the basis of the opinions expressed. Writers are asked to refrain from personal attacks against individuals or businesses. Letters are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of the publisher, editor or staff of The Macon County News. Email letters to maconcountynews@ gmail.com.The Macon County News letters page is a public forum open to a wide variety of opinions. Letters are neither accepted nor rejected on the basis of the opinions expressed. Writers are asked to refrain from personal attacks against individuals or businesses. Letters are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of the publisher, editor or staff of The Macon County News. Email letters to maconcountynews@ gmail.com.

Supreme Court should not be political

Long ago, George Washington warned political parties could spell doom for our democracy. With a potential for mob rule, politicians simply say things which will get them elected and then do something else. In this manner, they can keep the mobs happy, regardless of the damage to the country. For right now, chance to say 90% of the people protesting Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment to SCOTUS have no idea of what he really is all about. Mobs are generally gullible and led by egotists looking for fame. Anyway, doing what’s best for America is far more important than what’s best for a political party. It should not play out like a soccer or football game where fans want their team to win at any cost. Therein lies the problem partisans have with President Trump; he’s not a politician. Mobs want someone who is in the political gambit and resent the fact he is simply a businessman working to better the country rather than seeking power. In truth, he is neither Republican nor Democrat. Supreme Court Justice Ginsberg, to my surprise, commenting in the past, spoke in political terms which astounded me. Naïve perhaps, but I have always thought of the Supreme Court as something like a machine that simply ruled on law and what’s right and never understood they were political in nature. This is sad because politics has never, ever, solved any problems any more than winning a soccer game solves problems. Politics is inherently, well, simply nutty. I can certainly empathize with women who have been victims of sexual assault but one must wonder if a lot of the response against Brett Kavanaugh is emotional rather than a reasoned decision. They want to be believed and certainly want to be heard. Judge Kavanaugh was between a rock and a hard place because there is no way he can prove his innocence nor can Professor Ford prove he attacked her. We’ve always known you cannot prove a negative. However, for years now, we have been changing the rules and now for example, freshman boys and girls are encouraged by universities to “hook up” and sexual activity is expected. Additionally, boys and girls are living in the same coed dorms. Frankly, while this may infuriate some, it appears college leadership and many professors are getting a sexually titillating charge out of this. Given all this, one must wonder what the solution might be if we are to solve the problem of sexual assault and harassment of women? We know a number of colleges kicked out male students who were accused of sexual assault without due process. The colleges simply bypassed “due process” because the accused were men. Fortunately, some 50 young men have sued the colleges and won their cases with more to come. This may sound crude but what does anyone expect when girls and boys are living in the same quarters? Does anyone really believe boys and girls can ignore their biological instincts? Do we want to be more like the Muslims who keep men and women separated at all times? Or, do we run things by mob rule? The entire question is complicated and obviously, there is no easy answer.

Bob Wilson – Franklin, N.C.

Our local economy by the numbers

As political flyers, signs, and incumbent politicians proclaim that our economy is booming, it is clear that the stock market, although a bit shaky, is doing well.  This is what happens when big corporations and wealthy individuals receive huge tax cuts.  But are we doing as well in Macon County?  Some data you might find interesting: – $57,617 – Median household income in the US this year. – $39,593 – Median household income in Macon County this year. – 12.7% – Number of U.S. households living below the poverty level. – 18.4% – Number of Macon County households living below the poverty level. – 1.18% – Increase in the median household income this year in Macon County – 2.1 % – Inflation rate in the last year. Adjusted for inflation, we earn less than last year. – $70/month – Median tax cut this year in Macon County. – $255/month – Amount added to the national debt for each person in the US.  This is your share of our soon-to-be one trillion dollar annual federal deficit, the highest ever in the history of the US.  If we are doing so great, why are we borrowing more money than we ever have before? – 39 – The number of states that spend more per pupil in public schools than our state does this year.    – 5 – Number of rural hospitals that have closed in NC since 2010.  This is important because both county and town officials are worried that Angel Hospital might          also close as HCA (a for-profit consortium buys Mission).  This has been a serious problem in states that have refused to expand Medicaid over and over again. We have lost Kmart, the bowling alley/skating rink, the Whistle Stop, Labor and Delivery, doctors, and several small businesses and restaurants.  Internet and cell services are really bad for many residents. Please don’t be fooled by those flyers, signs and politicians. All of these are paid for by the very folks who are filling their pockets with our tax money as Macon County limps along.

Sandra Gladden – Franklin, N.C.

Republicans afflicted with ‘moral nihilism’

The moral nihilism of the Republican Party has reached a low beyond all imagination. I am not referring to the cavalier handling of sexual assault allegations during Brett Kavanaugh confirmation. We do not know if Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Blasey-Ford. The evidence suggests he did. The evidence does not prove he did. There is, however, irrefutable evidence that Kavanaugh is a liar. He lied, perjured himself, in front of the Senate. He lied about rather trivial things, such as claiming his reference to a “devil’s triangle” was a drinking game when it was actually a reference to a sexual conquest– two males and one female makes three. He lied about more important things, such as his knowledge of sexual assault and harassment by a judge he clerked for and his role in the torture policies of Bush and his judicial opinions on various topics. These are documented facts. He lied. He is a liar. It feels strange having to tell adults this moral truism: lying is bad. I’m going to repeat that. Lying is bad. We should not lie. We should not let children lie. We should not let adults lie, especially if they are up for a Supreme Court nomination. Now, let me preempt the response from Republicans. It won’t be, “he didn’t lie.” The proof he lied is documented and incontrovertible. The Republican response will be something along the lines of: “Obama lied to us about being able to keep our doctors.” Yes, he did. So what? Democrats lie, too, albeit to a lesser degree. This response, which I hear so often, demonstrates the moral nihilism of the Republican Party. To be perfectly clear, responding to lies with a “what-about-ism” is morally unacceptable and unimaginably infantile. The pattern of Republicans justifying their lies on the basis of another entity lying demonstrates how deeply they have regressed. Their method of moral reasoning, if I may stretch the meaning of that term, reflects the method of a child. I know because I was a child. When I got caught in a lie or doing something wrong as a child, my response would be, “what about this person or what about that person; they are doing the same thing.” This is fitting for a child. It is a teaching moment for adults. They can explain to their children how the morality of lying is not relative to inter- subjective standards. “Just because Billy down the street lies, it doesn’t mean that it’s okay for you to lie too, son.” We live in an age where this lesson must be taught to adults, a whole regressive gang of them, the Republican Party. Another example of moral nihilism, perhaps the most glaring, is the different treatment afforded to Obama and Trump by the (putatively) Christian Right. Full disclosure, I did not vote for Obama. If I were king for the day, I would have Obama standing shoulder-to-shoulder with George W. Bush in front of an international tribunal where they would give account for the heinous war crimes committed under their direction. This procedure will obviously never happen, but if it did, rest assured that both men would be behind bars if justice prevailed. Needless to say, I’m not an Obama fan. I am a fan of reality and the truth, though. And the reality and truth of Obama’s claim to being a Christian is undeniable. Trumps claim to being a Christian is tenuous, at best. Yet the Christian Right overwhelmingly supported Trump in the 2016 presidential election on the pretension he had “seen the light.” Some have even concocted blasphemous messiah narratives about Trump, the Modern Day King David. This is a glaring example of moral nihilism at its worst. The CR has played a fool’s game of situational ethics by unapologetically supporting a politician who belies the supposedly non-negotiable moral standards they claim to live by. What’s more, the majority of the CR still believes Obama is a Muslim (over 60%), despite his having a long history of church attendance, quoting scripture on the floor of Congress, and his frequent appeals to Reinhold Niebuhr – a universally recognized leading Christian Theologian of the twentieth century – for moral guidance. At the same time, the CR has latched on to Trump. They have no doubt he is a Christian. He never goes to church. It has been reported by multiple sources he mocks Christians behind closed doors. He has recently been recorded using the term god-(expletive). When he quotes scripture, he does so incorrectly. He couldn’t pronounce Reinhold Niebuhr’s name accurately if his life depended on it. Yet, according to the CR, his status as a Christian is unquestioned while Obama is looked at with cynical suspicion. All of this rank hypocrisy, for the sole purpose of giving power to a person with a (R) by his name, has undermined the sliver of moral high ground that the CR stood upon before Trump. Simply put, the moral claims of the CR mean nothing (nihilism) when their standards are applied so unjustly and evenly on the basis of tribal association. If you are a Republican and you want to understand the rage and the protest of the opposition, you will have to come to a reckoning with your moral nihilism. It has become a cancerous disease that is metastasizing and destroying the precarious moral health of your Party. The rage and protest is justified. It will continue until your disease is cured.

Marshall Solomon – Franklin, N.C.

Thankful for quick response during heart attack

Many thanks to the trained and dedicated doctors and techs in Angel’s Emergency Room. I was surprised by a heart attack and they quickly assessed how serious it was and called an ambulance to get me to Asheville Cardiology ASAP. Outside Sylva, things got worse and ambulance EMTs Michelle and Jonathan pulled over and called doctors in Asheville to stabilize me again. When they got me to doctors, there they were, already waiting! They fixed my problem and I’m here today because of all those great people. We are very lucky to have people like them to help us when we need it most. Thank you very much,

Ken Rueckert – Franklin, N.C.

Navigating in a confused world

I have the privilege of knowing a couple of gentlemen, one of which claims being of faith, but if you don’t follow his ideas, you are confronted with scorn and correction. His past and present are littered with broken relationships with the feeling of no restoration. The other lives in the past along with the legend he once had and wanting it back desperately. He’s proud and boastful of living wild and free. Both see no need of change, or altering their lives, being abrasive and right in their own minds. This living and this reality is seen in our every day modern world in which we live. The self is the essence of living. Our modern culture even embraces and instills this self demanding right as normal. Our elementary educational system on one hand tries its best to correct this abrasive behavior by instilling respect. Those less fortunate are grateful for what they have without envy. And to those that have much, help those who have little. This respect of others is not only in material, but with internal things as well. The young bully that forces their will on others has always been at war of sorts in every education system. But our eroding culture doesn’t have this view any longer. Now in the higher educational systems they negate the lower in that rebellion is flouted and encouraged, everything is wrong except my rights, like a child, it’s “my way.” No exchange of thought or ideas, no boundaries, no compass that leads. We become our own destinies and answer to no one. Even killing is viewed with a turned head because of oppression or lack of freedom or ethnicity. Race, inequality, the haves and have nots, all can feel a personal alienation, so acceptance is forced to make it fit, then we feel our “norms” for living are just, and over time to become acceptable. Our culture cannot live in a moral vacuum. At the point of saying you have a “right,” you are claiming a morality, but this can be a very distorted morality. Our laws are a moral statement of how society is to live and behave, and just as Dr. Martin Luther King had stated, “there are just laws and unjust laws.” Society’s laws are evidence of a God who is there and comes not from nature, but outside of nature or mankind. It is man that distorts the law. Nature has its laws, jumping out of a airplane without a parachute is disastrous, but with a parachute it is working within the laws of nature. So it is in the laws that govern mankind, the laws set by a perfect God are a guide to show we can never live this out fully, because we ourselves are imperfect. A perfect God knowing we can not live in his perfection gave his life for our inability to achieve such a high standard. We all fail even when not wanting to. Where do we find acceptance and love that touches the depths of the soul? In Christ giving His life, He gives us life. How do you explain to a questioning child the confused world which we live that makes sense? I cannot think of anything which tells of history and us in it so well as this and finding a oneness with the creator, God.

Deni Shepard – nds13@frontier.com

We can’t just set back and leave it to our children

America is losing its place as world leader is very unsettling when United Nations General Assembly are laughing – at, not with – a sitting U.S. president. The laughter came after Donald Trump boasted that in less than two years, his administration has accomplished more than any administration in the history of our country. He is largely responsible for the booming U.S. economy. He should know that history has shown that trade disputes often escalate into trade wars and those who suffer most are the workers. America’s recent withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council, his assault on NAFTA and his growing list of tariffs against China and other U.S. trading partners, which in time will cost jobs. He values sovereignty above universal human rights. He praises leaders like Poland, Philippines, Russia and North Korea. Is this what we want to just set back and leave to our children? We can’t just set back and leave it to our military to protect us. We have to do something ourselves here at home.

Kathy Whitley – Franklin, N.C.

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