Letters to the Editor for April 21


Letters to the Editors

Happiness versus satisfaction 

Although the pursuit of happiness is one of our basic human rights in America, one must wonder if there is such a thing as happiness.  Certainly happiness seems to be elusive.

Too many of us spend our lives seeking happiness but all too many of us can’t find it and some end up tragically looking for it in a bottle or even drugs.

On Facebook, our young seem to live by how many “likes” they have and unless they are liked by a lot of folks, they are miserable.  No one should base their lives on the number of “likes” they have because it does not bring happiness.

Anyway, someone once said that we are truly fortunate if we have just one good friend in our lives.

It seems to me happiness is a misnomer anyway and what we are really looking for is peace of mind which only comes from satisfaction.

Satisfaction, then, is what we really should be looking for. Satisfaction comes from doing a job well and this should be what we teach our kids.  For an artist, it’s looking at a finished painting and being satisfied with his/her work.

Whether you are flipping hamburgers in a fast food restaurant or a surgeon removing someone’s gall bladder, the most important thing to you is going home feeling you did a heck of a good job today and that brings satisfaction.

Some 60 years later, I still remember walking home from my night shift job as a short order cook with the feeling I had done a good job that night.

Satisfaction is what our school kids feel when they go home at the end of the school day and knowing they did their best. The closest thing they feel to happiness is a very temporary sense of elation but satisfaction is longer lasting.  For some, satisfaction is a lifelong feeling.

For parents, seeing your kids grow up as responsible human beings and seeing them do well brings satisfaction.  For school teachers, it’s finally seeing a problem student doing well.

Wise parents can instill a sense of satisfaction in their kids when they praise them for their accomplishments, keeping in mind that they also learn from their failures.

Satisfaction can come from the small things too.  It doesn’t have to be an earth shattering event.  Seeing a smile on someone’s face when you hold a door open for them is very satisfying. Meeting the challenges of everyday life can be very satisfying.

Probably the most satisfying, and most noble, thing we can do is help others help themselves.  People find more satisfaction in life when they are able to pull themselves up but a little encouragement from others helps and both find satisfaction.

Eventually, old folks can sit in a rocking chair on the front porch and reflect on their accomplishments, finding satisfaction remembering when they gave life the best they had to give.  Not to forget that sometimes it’s the little things that bring the most satisfaction and not everyone wants to be a rocket scientist.

Bob Wilson — Franklin, N.C.

Combat ‘distracted driving’ at the voting booth 

Did I read in The Macon County News last week that Governor Pat McCrory has been charged with distracted driving? I thought that was what he has been doing all along as governor. He even states that it is a danger to everyone else. It is past time that he recognized the danger.

Now, let’s do ourselves a big favor and elect Roy Cooper our next governor with hope that he can provide leadership to benefit all North Carolinians. To quote a great modern country song by Carrie Underwood, “Jesus, take the wheel.”  I don’t know if Jesus will take the wheel from our current “distracted driving” governor, but we can in November at the voting booth.

Yes!  Let’s all combat “distracted driving” in North Carolina. It has already taken us too far down the wrong road.

Dave Waldrop — Webster, N.C.

Politicians did well in passing HB 2 

Our governor, senators and representatives did so well in passing (in one day) HB 2 to protect our families, especially our women and girls from exposure to males using bathroom, shower and other private facilities long reserved for their use.

To listen to the news or read the newspaper, you would think the legislation was discriminatory.

Too long we have sat back and watched a few people decide important issues in this country.

If you are concerned about the heat from these few against our politicians, call, email and write letter to the newspapers speaking up. Gov. Pat McCrory (800)662-7752; Sen. Jim Davis (828)342-4483; or Rep. Roger West (828)837-5246.

WH Elam — Otto, N.C.

Plans for ‘Airing of the Quilts’ coming together

We are rapidly finalizing all the details of the “Airing of the Quilts.” We have four quilt guilds participating as well as numerous individual quilters. Quilts will be displayed from the Historical Museum to Ruby City on Main Street and Cowee School and the historical area surrounding it will have a display of “Quilt Blocks” and handmade qilts. Holly Springs Community and Carson Community have also expressed a desire to participate by hanging quilts throughout their community.

We are excited that we have been receiving calls from surrounding states from visitors who plan to be in the area for the weekend. This is shaping up to be quite a success and as an incentive for our merchants, we are offering a $50 award for the best window display. The windows will be judged on originality and authenticity. (As I operate NC Mountain Made, I will disqualify our store from being in the contest.)

We hope that all of you will participate and that your business will have a successful day on Saturday, May 7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. contact Betty Cabe, Deb Heatherly or myself if you have any questions.

Linda McKay — N.C. Mountain Made

Thanks to N.C. politicians for job well done 

As you know, I am not a fan of our politicians here in N.C. But when credit is deserved I want to say thank you also including our governor, for signing the bill which will insure protection of our women and children. The bill I call The Potty Bill. It took moxie from all of them.

Tell Bruce Springsteen, the NBA and any other person or group, N.C. will stand strong on this problem. Don’t tell this old guy some predator won’t dress up in a dress to sneak into a bathroom somewhere. Hell, they have drilled holes in bathrooms, peeped into women’s bedrooms. Again, good job. Tell the world, women can go in N.C. and not worry.

William Trapani — Franklin, N.C.

Make the conversation about balance 

So much paranoia about socialism. We can talk about socialism in theory, in practice, as mixed with other economic or political models to varying degrees, but what is this really about?

It’s about power, who has it, who doesn’t, and to what effect.

Capitalism, in its purest form, is anti-democratic.  Rather than all adults having an equal voice through voting, the owners (or their managers) make all decisions within an organization in order to maximize profit for the owners, not necessarily for the benefit of the community.

Socialism, in its purest form, is a truer democracy. All adults in the community would vote for representatives who would decide on the price of food, gas, etc. Some key industries may be owned, run, or subsidized by the government for the good of the nation, ensuring, for example, that we are not dependent on foreign nations for our food, energy, transportation, or weapons.

Yet we know from history that neither pure capitalism nor extreme socialism (communism) work.

The failures of communism are legendary, as 1) there is little incentive for an individual to work hard, and 2) one-party rule usually accompanies this, and that party controls the press (lack of transparency and therefore accountability) and becomes dictatorial.

As for pure capitalism, its excesses created conditions so bad for so many people that communism actually sounded better to them.

Without appropriate government socialist intervention, child labor would still be allowed, workers could be forced to work seven days a week, there would be no overtime, no safety regulations, no minimum wage, no social security, no public parks, libraries, or roads, no clean air, water, food or drug standards, no police, fire or military force to protect us…

Today we see the results of too much corporate control of the government: lower taxes paid by the wealthy and corporations, therefore a larger tax burden for the working folks, leading to historically high income inequality, and government services being cut for the folks who need them the most.

Making socialism into a dirty word prevents serious conversations about the appropriate balance between capitalism and socialism.

Dan Kowal — Franklin, N.C.

Thanks for bringing the symphony to Franklin 

Music to our ears! Many thanks to all who made it possible to bring the N.C. Symphony to Franklin.

Candy Olson — Franklin, N.C.

Righteousness comes by the grace of God

These Bible verses communicate:

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Galatians 2:16.

“I do not frustrate the grace of God; for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Gal. 2:21.

“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” St. John 1:17.

“Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Gal. 3:6.

“But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.” Gal. 4:29.

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Gal. 5:1.

“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law, ye are fallen from grace.” Gal. 5:4.

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” Gal. 5:14,15.

Floyd Cruse — Franklin, N.C.

Comments to NCDHHS Medicaid Reform Hearings 

When the Supreme Court ruled that each state had the right to accept or reject Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act, I was 100 percent certain that North Carolina could not possibly be so stupid as to reject billions of dollars in federal funding to provided much needed medical care for poor citizens of N.C.  What made it even more certain that N.C. would expand Medicaid is that N.C. citizens had already paid for this expansion and would continue to pay the same amount in federal taxes whether we accepted federal funds or not.

I’m sure your committee must already be aware of detailed economic analysis performed by very competent economic forecasters like the Regional Economic Model, Inc. (REMI) Jan. 7, 2013, and the Urban Institute report “What is the Result of States Not Expanding Medicaid?”, August 2014.  Briefly, the REMI report forecast that from 2014 to 2021 If N.C. did not expand Medicaid, N.C. would lose 23,000 jobs, reduction in state GDP of $11,042 billion, and a reduction of $70 million annually in revenues coming into our state from fees and sales and income taxes. The Urban Institute forecast that the consequences of not expanding Medicaid over a 10-year period would be a loss of $39.6 billion in federal funding, and $11.3 billion in lost hospital reimbursement.

On a more personal level I moved to Franklin, N.C., to practice Family Medicine in 1978. Our area has an extremely high level of uninsured patients. This has made it very difficult for our local hospital to survive. I have seen dozens of primary care physicians come to Franklin, but move after a year or two because there are so many patients that have no insurance, do not qualify for Medicaid, and have no funds to pay for medical care.

For the past six years I have worked as a physician volunteer and board member of the Franklin Community Care Clinic (our free clinic). These patients are so grateful for the medical caregivers who volunteer to provide them at least some level of care that they simply could not afford. The problem is that the clinic is only open one or two evenings a week. It takes months to get an appointment and we simply do not have the personnel to provide acute care. Often when I see a patient at the clinic they cannot get a return appointment for ideal follow-up care for several weeks because of our back log of patients.  The Community Care Clinic is offering a very valuable, but also a very limited service. This level of service is so far below what the good (but poor) citizens of our state deserve it is just despicable that they are not receiving the highest level of care that they deserve if N.C. had expanded Medicaid. Virtually every one of these patients at Community Care Clinic would have been covered, and would be covered by Medicaid if N.C .expands Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act guidelines. Every year thousands of deaths could be prevented and untold suffering could be eliminated by expanding Medicaid and giving our poor citizens the medical care they need and deserve.

I urge and beg you to do the right thing for all the citizens of N.C.  Expanding Medicaid would economically benefit all middle class citizens and would provide life saving and compassionate care to our poor citizens.

Edwin Morris, MD, PhD — Franklin, N.C.

Fewer regulations is why we moved here

The people who are tired of the deer in this area, well guess what, I am not happy with you either. You move to the mountains because of its beauty, wildlife, lower taxes, and less regulations. You buy an acre of land and you want to control the 3,000 acres around it, you want to regulate what your neighbors own and families that have been here for hundreds of years.

I moved here 35 years ago just like you to get away from all those regulations. I was from eastern N.C. and my family land came all the way back from an English Land Grant. I watched the government grow with one regulation to another, I wish I had spoken up sooner to protect what we used to have.

This is my home now and I am telling you now if you don’t like the way the good people in the mountains live and you do not like the wildlife, go back to your over regulated, over taxed place you came from.

Larry Turlington — Franklin, N.C.