Letters to the Editor for January 16, 2020


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. 

We finally have a strong president

In Mr. Waldrop’s recent letter questioning the killing of Qasem Suleimani, he begins by giving the example of David sparing the life of King Saul who was tracking him down with intent to kill him.

Just to correct Mr. Waldrop, Saul was David’s father-in-law and King, not his father.

David spared Saul’s life because he was forbidden by the Lord from doing him harm because Saul was anointed by the Lord.

To compare this to the question of whether our President Donald Trump should have spared the life of Suleimani is ridiculous.

The best example to justify the killing of Suleimani, if you want to use scriptural references, is to compare President Trump and Suleimani to David and Goliath, not David and Saul.

A question for you, Mr. Waldrop. Do you think David should have spared Goliath?

Suleimani is credited with killing over 600 of our soldiers and thousands of Iraquis and he was in the process of planning more attacks against America. He was a terrorist and as such deserved to be killed. Knowing this, it is truly distressing to think that any American would take the side of a terrorist against our president and Commander in Chief.

Finally we have a strong president who believes in protecting America instead of apologizing for who we are and attempting to appease our enemies with billions in cash which they readily use against us.

So if the Iranians attempt to retaliate for the killing of Suleimani, I’m sure our president can handle it.

Thank God for President Trump and God Bless America.

Marshall Miller – Franklin, N.C.

Re-engage Iran with statesmanship and good will

Some of our allies; France, Germany, Japan, the U.K. (and others) have never echoed Trump’s hard-line approach to Iran or shown any interest in abandoning the 2015 multilateral nuclear accord that several countries (including Iran) negotiated in good faith.

Trump is now calling upon those countries (plus Russia and China) to step back from past agreements with Iran as the United States (utilizing Trump’s haphazard, dysfunctional and extraordinarily dangerous decision-making process) doubles down on imposing punitive economic sanctions on the Iranian people.

Headlines have clearly reflected Trump’s impaired thinking since he took office.  No one knows for sure what motivates Trump (maybe his moods, his ego?) but his choices seem tethered in some fashion to his likes, dislikes, personal views of the day, and what he watches on cable news.  The assassination of Iran’s top General (Qasem Soleimani) was a roll of the dice act committed without any forethought, the consequences of which have weakened rather than strengthened U.S. influence in the region.

In addition to Trump’s imposing even more sanctions on a beleaguered people, his strategically aimless threats have only served to inflame average Iranian citizens, many of whom harbor the hope and desire to witness improved relations with the west. Trump further intimidated the Iranian public with his promise to attack Iran’s cultural sites, a clear provocation as well as potential war crime. Cooler heads prevailed but the point was made, the damage done.

A drifting U.S. foreign policy in the hands of a president and an administration that doesn’t know its own mind (much less the region),  and a team of regime changers, sanction imposers and right-wing hawks looking for a fight or simply a distraction from the impeachment could (quite easily) lead to a war neither Iran or America wants or needs.

Rather than pursue a regressive policy of sanctions which will only drive hard liners further from the global community and unnecessarily hurt the Iranian people, would it not be better to join our allies, re-engage the Iranians, not with threats and intimidations but with statesmanship and good will.

To understand the world view of Iran’s Supreme Leader (Ali Khamenei) and Iran’s President (Hassan Rouhani) it will be helpful to look at the history of U.S. intervention in Iran.

In 1953 the Eisenhower administration helped engineer a coup against the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mosaddeq and Washington became the chief supporter of Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi’s authoritarian regime, until its overthrow in 1979.  Opposition to the Shah went hand in hand with opposition to the United States and resulted in the adverse circumstances which exist today, 67 years later.

Neither the Supreme Leader nor the Iranian President are anti-western or anti-American nor do either of them believe that the U.S. and the west are responsible for all the Islamic world problems.  And, contrary to what we’re told, neither the leaders nor the Iranian people are crazy, irrational, reckless zealots looking or an opportunity for aggression.

However, negotiations with the west (especially after Trump’s having made matters worse with his idiocy) will be far more difficult considering that and their deep-rooted and well-remembered experiences of the 1950’s.   Admittedly, achieving a level of trust necessary for long-term peace just got harder.  But, there is an opportunity for the international community and Iran to move toward peace and constructive friendship and we should seize this chance and try our level best to insure our own leaders (Donald Trump  and company)  do not destroy it.

David L. Snell – Franklin, N.C.

Cold for a Cause a ‘huge success’ 

I write you all to thank you for making “Cold for a Cause 2020” a huge success! The three-day event brought in thousands of coats, blankets and canned goods. It is awesome to see a community come together and help those in need. I want to thank everyone who came out and donated to the cause. A special thanks to the following: Patrick Jenkins for his advice and trusting us with this event; Joe Sanders for his time and the use of his crane; Pastor Ben Windle and Pastor David Beam for braving the elements; Bojangles and Haywood Smokehouse for keeping us fed; Macon Funeral Home for providing their tent to help keep our awesome volunteers dry; Calvin Weeks and Tommy Pilkerton for providing spotlights to keep us visible throughout the night; and all who volunteered! We look forward to many more years of this community-binding tradition in Macon County.

Tim Hogsed

Executive Director Macon County Care Network

Why is the GA refusing to help NC citizens?

It is my understanding that the state legislature and the governor are at an impasse over the state budget because of a refusal by the General Assembly to expand Medicaid, which Governor  Cooper has strongly supported. 

Here’s the thing:  For the past five years NC taxpayers have paid $8.3 billion in federal taxes to support the cost of expanding Medicaid in 36 other states and the District of Columbia.  But our legislators refuse to take action to provide coverage to over 464,000 North Carolinians, which federal funding will fund up to 90%.

Expanding Medicaid would make health care available to many working North Carolina adults whose employers offer neither health insurance nor wages sufficient to purchase coverage on the private market.  Many of these working adults are parents whose lack of health care directly affect their children, often resulting in poor school performance and a less promising future.

The injection of billions of dollars of federal funding into the economy will spur North Carolina’s business activity and create an estimated 34,000 jobs in this year, 2020.

With Medicaid expansion, at least 665 additional people in Macon County would be covered, more jobs and more tax revenue would be created.

So why is the General Assembly refusing to help the citizens of North Carolina?  Why did they refuse to even pass a compromise expansion proposed by House Republicans?  I haven’t heard a convincing explanation, have you?

And also in this unpassed state budget is a plan for retired school personnel to receive a one-time .5% bonus.  You read that right: 5 tenths of a percent… bonus.  The Macon County North Carolina Retired School Personnel have asked for a cost of living increase to try to keep up with inflation.  For our efforts, we have received a 1% increase three times in 10 years, yet the cumulative inflation over that time period has been 18.10%. 

We didn’t serve the children of North Carolina in order to become rich, but it would be a real bonus if we retirees could keep up with inflation.

Nancy Scott – Franklin, N.C.

How low and far gone this country has become

No. 1 – I guess it’s a sign of how low and far gone this once a great country has become, when people can support a president who admits to stealing from his own charity. President Trump has paid $2 million in a court-ordered judgment for using the Trump Foundation for personal gain with funds that donors contributed for firefighters’ widows. Veterans, and other good causes, Trump illegally paid more than $250.00 to settle lawsuits against his for profit businesses. Bought a $20,000, 6-foot portrait of himself and funneled milllions into his own campaign events, back as far as 1989 he used $7.00, yes, seven dollars of the foundation’s money to pay Don Jr.’s Boy Scout initiation fee. Here’s a man who steals and rips off his own charity.

No. 2 – Federal Bueau of Economic affairs reported that through this third quarter of 2019, corperation taxes accounted for must 3.5 percent of all fedral tax revenue a sharp drop from 9 percent in 2010 and 22 percent in 1960. It’s no wonder we have a massive national debt of more than $23 trillion, don’t say much for Trumps tax cuts.

No. 3 – Trump thinks to ban vaping, this is something they want to do, nobody forces them. But when a 21-year-old goes to Walmart and shoots 22 people another young man with a semi-automatic rifle and 100 round drum magazine kills nine people including his sister, wounding 27 others in only 32 seconds, one man shoots seven motorists at random, sorry folks this is just not the second amendment to the Constitution. And there’s people who think it’s OK for a person of his sick mentality to run our country. How other countries must be laughing at us. When they hear our presidnent on TV, stand there and say “they are just pissing away money on the impeachment.” That’s the last straw.


Kathy Whitley – Franklin, N.C.

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