Letters for April 27, 2017


Professors’ ideologies have no basis in reality

Many years ago I had lunch with a professor and we discussed a variety of subjects.  I happened to mention that I had built a small sailboat at which time he advised  me “he didn’t work with his hands.”  In fact he considered it beneath his dignity.

Subsequently I have spoken with a number of professors over the years that left me with the impression that while they knew their subject they were quite dumb when it came to everyday life.  It certainly makes one wonder how many of our professors have actually held a job in a steel plant or done manual labor.

Keep in mind that these are the professors who are teaching our kids about being politically correct and following political party lines.

What brought this all to mind is the recent stories about professors who are subject to being fired for not following politically correct rules.  One is at UCLA and another is at NYU.

This then reminds me of the time when the Nazis required German citizens to be politically correct and those who refused to follow the Nazi party line could be sent off to a concentration camp.  The Communists in Russia did the same thing and executed those who failed to follow the Communist party line.  China, Cambodia and other countries all had a politically correct line that everyone had to follow or pay the price.

No number is available but it is clear that many of our professors follow a line that espouses Socialism and students have to follow it or fail classes.

In very small countries with populations of perhaps eight million, Socialism works to some degree but keep in mind that those countries are of one race and the lazy are ostracized by their neighbors.

With America’s comparatively huge population and racial diversity Socialism becomes a horse of another color.

We end up with countless numbers of people quite content to live off the efforts of others and eventually it all collapses.  Add in the millions who are either criminals or drug dealers and the dream of Utopia fails.

With so many of our kids graduating from college with little or no understanding of reality, often neurotic, and taught by professors who are also out of touch with reality, we have a losing combination that does not bode well for our future.

As parents we teach our kids about life and reality but when they go to college, too many professors whisk them off into some strange La La land.  Real life takes a back seat to weird politically correct ideology.

A professor who professes to know enough to teach physics is probably not qualified to teach our kids about life and reality.

Last summer someone suggested that parents get together and sue some of the professors for malpractice and maybe this isn’t such a bad idea after all.


Bob Wilson — Franklin, N.C.

A form of cannibalism practiced in our culture

When I was a child, my mother read a book to us kids entitled, “White Queen of the Cannibals.” It was the fascinating life story of Mary Slessor, a single woman who left Scotland to be a missionary to heathen tribes in Africa who practiced, among other things, cannibalism. Why did they do it? Was it because they were uneducated? If that were so, then educated people would no longer hate their fellow man. Even highly educated people practice a form of cannibalism spoken of by St. Paul in Galatians 5:15. Speaking to the church in Galatia, he says, “If you keep biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” The Greek word “dakno” translated “biting” literally refers to a snake bite. The word “katesthiete” refers to animals such as the lion, that tear their prey to pieces and devour it.

People can be so cruel! We may be too sophisticated to have fingers and toes hanging out of our mouths, but we are no less hurtful to others. In our culture we use words, often spoken behind their back, to attack people we don’t like. Somehow it makes us feel better about ourselves when we damage another person in this way. Why do we do it? We are motivated by hatred. Love does not behave that way.

Elvis Pressley recorded this song quoted in part:

“Put your hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the waters

“Put your hand in the hand of the Man who calmed the sea

“Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently

“By putting your hand in the hand of the Man from Galilee. “

We need to take a good look at ourselves, and realize just how broken we really are. We need help, and the only One who can help us is that Man. If we don’t learn to “be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another just as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven us,” we will deserve what we get. (Ephesians 4:32) If not, are we really that much different from cannibals? Preying on other people is easy for us – it comes naturally. Praying for them is hard, because it requires that we humble ourselves and acknowledge that we are not better, even if we have a better job, more money, nicer clothes, or behave better (we think). That Man once said, “Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you.”

The cannibals to whom Mary Slessor ministered stopped being cannibals when they came to know Christ. Will we?


Ed Hill — Franklin, N.C.

Women’s health care ‘too expensive’

I’m writing to express a deep concern for the women of WNC. Today, Mission Hospital decided to close Angel Medical Center’s Women’s Obstetrics and Gynecological care (OB/GYN) Unit because “it is too expensive.” Angel serves as a critical access hospital to the far-reaching areas of the state and serves over 95% Medicaid women and performs about 500 births a year. Their presence and hard work has decreased infant mortality, NICU admission, teen pregnancy, abortion rates, and improved maternal outcomes (primary C-section rate of 8% compared to the national average of 37%). As a nation, we have expected not-for-profits, such as Mission Hospital to care for populations where the government should possibly be providing care. With women’s healthcare, clearly on the chopping block in healthcare reform, we can expect more private institutions to see women’s health care as, “too expensive.” I mean that is what N.C. voted for right? A president and cabinet who believe women’s health is not worth it. Well, you are finally seeing your vote at the local level. However, we don’t have to accept this. If your reading this I hope that you reach out to whomever you can to stop Mission from closing Angel’s OB/GYN unit. Additionally, vote in your local elections for the health of your community, daughters, wives, and girlfriends.


Laura Clarke — Franklin, N.C.

Drought, wildfires, and climate change

Earlier this month, The Franklin Press published an article titled “Blazes rekindle wildfire worries.” Our mountains have been typically pictured as lush, green and with plenty of water.  However, as we know, late last year, more than 20,000 acres in western North Carolina burned, “… the flames fed by trees, leaves and understory [as] dry as kindling because of severe drought in the region.” (Quillin, Martha. “18 wildfires have scorched more than 20,000 acres in western NC.” News Observer 10 Nov. 2016.)

Then, there were the tragic and monstrous fires that raged through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.  While many of the fires were arson, under normal conditions, without the severe drought, the fires would have been more manageable and less costly in terms of lives lost and property destroyed.

Late last year, even before the fires, the ladies at work (who are lifelong residents) were discussing how warm and dry it was. During the past 30 years, “North Carolinians on average experienced seven days a year of temperatures above 95°F. By mid-century, this number is expected to rise to 39 days a year. This [change] could claim up to 930 additional lives.”  (http://climatenexus.org/learn/state-fact-sheets/north-carolina)  There will also be losses in agriculture, increased food costs brought on by the diminished agriculture production, losses to tourism-generated revenue, increased energy bills, and springs and wells that dry up.

It certainly is a person’s right to deny and disbelieve that climate change contributes or even causes these recent and increasingly frequent droughts.  However, “[t]The majority of climate scientists – 97 percent – agree that climate change is real and human pollution is largely responsible.” (Howard, Jacqueline. “Scientists highlight deadly health risks of climate change.” CNN. 16 Feb. 2017.)

While we can deny and are free to debate human contribution to climate change, we cannot deny and should not debate the consequences.  We are all negatively impacted.

According to Realtytrac’s 2015 Natural Disaster Housing Risk report, North Carolina ranks fifth among states with the most homes in high risk counties for overall natural disaster, with approximately 2.3 million homes considered extremely vulnerable.  We rank second among states for hurricane impact (which does not only affect the coastal areas), and fourth among states for homes at risk of wildfires.

Regardless of your political leanings, fewer protections for our air, our water, and our planet are not beneficial. We cannot continue to allow the destruction of our homes and our lives. We cannot to sacrifice ourselves so that companies can increase their profits.

Forward! Franklin has planned a climate march in Franklin to coincide with the march taking place in Washington, DC (and other marches occurring all over the country).  Please join us on Saturday, April 29, as we march for our families, our air, our water and our land, for ourselves and our grandchildren. The event begins at 2 p.m., at the Big Bear Park Picnic Shelter on East Main Street. The march itself will start at 3 p.m.


Olga Lampkin — Franklin, N.C.

Apply parity to mental health, dental care

While the ACA is being considered I am asking why did we allow the insurance industry to convince us that the head is somehow not part of the  body? We know that dental and medical illnesses contribute to, or actually cause other illnesses. For many years mental health was not covered by insurance or covered at a lower benefit  than “medical” services. Not so long ago insurers relented and agreed to cover mental health services like any other illness.

Insurers deemed dental treatment outside of “medical” care. Those of us who have had dental insurance know  that benefits are often limited to $500 annually with many services covered at 50 percent.

Please contact your representatives and request parity for dental care and keeping mental health coverage at current levels. Emails are most effective,  you can request a reply and most representatives have websites.

Instead of tweaking the ACA, some think Medicare could be extended to all. Everyone would be covered, with few  exclusions  (except for dental care, of course). “Alternative facts” are being promulgated that Medicare is somehow socialism, but it is not paid for by the government. Participants pay a premium and co-pays are required for most benefits.


Judy  Stockinger — Franklin, N.C.

Are there more than the five human senses?

Since grade school we have known about the five basic senses … touch, hearing, sight, taste and smell. These senses give us a balance and direction in life of what can be enjoyed, or what can be harmful. The simple touch of a  loved one can comfort a troubled heart, but the touch of a burning flame can be painful. Hearing screams from a child brings panic and fear into the heart of any parent, yet hearing a child’s laughter brings delight and joy. Sights of magnificent beauty brings awe and wonder in what is seen, but sights of harm and death deeply trouble the heart. Taste and smell are enjoyed if sweet and fragrant, but bitterness and foul smells are repulsive. We all relate to these senses everyday, whether we realize they’re taking place or not. We can be handicapped by one or more of the five senses, but even within a handicap all humanity senses a need for “love and justice,” and its necessity for living life. All humanity seeks acceptance … a need for being wanted, and searches for a correction of all that’s wrong in our troubled world.

Scientists are amazed of how a microscopic living cell can be so complex and have deep within itself mind-boggling information, that one cell can produce billions of cells that make up a complex human being, they state that there must be an intelligent mind behind such magnificence.  As our world advances, it points more and more to a divine creator. God is not confined within the pages of a book,  because  He speaks through what he has created, we see this though the five senses he has given us, but more so through what he has placed within each of us … the need for love, both to be given and to be received. His existence and being is “love and justice,” and if his love is given for only the present, then He is very cruel, but if he is eternal, then his love is eternal, and he made this for us to be eternal with Him. In making sense of what we struggle with, pain, suffering, even joy and laughter, at the end is it all for nothing? Is life ending the cruelty of it all? Or are we made for something more?

God makes sense, His story makes sense, we can follow why we are what we are, and how to live life in its fullness.  Our world is broken and we all sense and want something different, with love and a peace that we all can be part of. If love was totally realized and given unselfishly by all, we would have no need for justice, but in our selfishness which we are all part of, we need justice, we all have done wrong. God’s love is pure, but within his holiness, he must also be “just.”

He’s placed this “wanting”  into the heart of us all.


Deni Shepard  – nds13@frontier.com

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