We are their voices
Only surviving combat soldiers can tell their story with any accuracy.
As I was hanging my American flag up today in remembrance of Memorial Day (May 25, 2015), I was revisiting my last minutes in Vietnam after being air lifted out of the field, full of morphine with my best buddy laying next to me in a UH-1 helicopter. I was going home. I was one of the lucky ones so to speak.
More importantly to this story is my reoccurring memory not of my circumstance but of the two American soldiers that lost their earthly voices on October 27, 1967. They did not return home and their Western Union telegram to their families was much different than mine.
I didn’t know either of these two American combat soldiers but I was on the friendly side of an NVA bunker when I spotted them. These two wounded American soldiers had encountered the full wrath of enemy NVA machine gun. I will never forget the desire to help them and be close enough to know that they were so riddled with bullets that their fate was most likely sealed but we stilled tried to help them. Leave no soldier behind was instilled in us.
In the end, try as we might to help them, they perished on that day only to be remembered as true “heroes” that gave of themselves for the good of their combat partners and our country.
Though I have my own memories of my Vietnam experience, I’m alive, able and willing to help tell their story. As veterans and families of fallen soldiers, we must keep their stories alive with the hope that those who live in this country somehow appreciate the sacrifice others have paid for them.
The take-away message about these two United States combat soldiers is that there were 58,220 Armed Forces members that lost their life in Vietnam so the rest of us could try to make them proud of their service and our accomplishments.
For me, my heart has much empathy for those that serve our country and especially our combat soldiers.
What do you do to make America worth them dying for us?
Gary Chamberlain – Murphy, N.C.
Vietnam veteran 1967, Chu Lai, Vietnam
B Troop, 1st Squadron, 1st Armored Cavalry
Communism vs. Capitalism, a false choice
Recent letter writers to this paper have railed against any government interference with business interests and demonized any union actions that increase workers’ bargaining power. In their opinion anything having to do with government regulation or unions is seen as just plain wrong. It is clear to them that governments only function is to promote business interests and the creation of wealth for their owners. The recent history of this great country proves them wrong.
Without government regulation children would still be working 10 hours days as they still do in India. Without the unions there would be no middle class. If workers have no negotiation power we would all be making the same wages as Chinese workers. For example, a country with very robust government regulations and very strong unions is Germany; and it is doing just fine. As a modern industrial country, it is a mix of capitalism and social programs. Profits and a middle class can coexist with the right balance of the two.
History has shown that neither pure capitalism nor pure communism can succeed. Early in the 20th century Germany, Italy and Japan became ruled by the moneyed class. All power was concentrated in the wealthy who manipulated the population through propaganda promoting Nationalism, Xenophobia and Racisms. The constant drumbeat of victimhood wiped up the population to fight wars that only made the rich richer. It did not end well.
Pure Communism as practiced by the Soviet Union and to this day in Cuba, has been a dismal failure. The Communist ruling class in Russia using the teaching of Marx and Lenin convinced the population that all power came from the working class. They should own every means of production. The all-powerful state, on their behalf, would control every aspect of life for the benefit of all. Of course this goes against basic human nature, and so it eventually crumbled from within.
A strong Capitalist-based economy balanced with social programs that encourage and protect a thriving middle class are the hallmark of the United States. It has created the most wealth and one of highest standards of living the world has ever known. We live in a great county, let’s keep it that way.
Louis Vitale — Franklin, N.C.
Problems need rational conversation
I enjoyed reading David Snell’s comments in the March 24th issue of The Macon County News, responding to my critique of Bernie Sanders. His comments were intelligent and thoughtful and he made some good points.
His comments were quite unlike the typical response one gets from the Socialists who work hard to shut everyone up. Not long ago someone wrote that we should not watch Fox News on television because anyone who disagrees with him must be liars.
Just for the record, Mr. Snell, politicians do lengthy studies to determine who might vote for them and tailor their pitch to that group. In this case, Bernie Sanders is pitching to the young impressionable group as well as those amongst us who feel life has left them behind.
Politicians use the same Madison Avenue target marketing techniques as do large companies selling toothpaste or breakfast cereal. This is connected to the corruption we see in politics because politicians are simply looking to garner votes and some would sell their souls to get those votes.
Dr. Ben Carson recently appeared on “The View” and in an exchange with Whoopi Goldberg he found her unwilling to listen to his views and tried to shut him up. They simply didn’t want him to express an opinion that might be different than theirs. No one has a right to challenge their views. The simple fact that Socialism has failed doesn’t even enter the Left’s thought processes. Having a rational conversation is not part of the Left’s equation and this is what upset Dr. Carson so much.
Frankly, I haven’t seen much rational conversation around here either. We have our share of religious extremists, secular extremists and political extremists, and none are willing to carry on a rational conversation. The immediate response is a stuck up nose and tuning out, after all, they are much smarter than you, or so they believe. It’s called “political snobbery.”
Democracy, as many have noted, is a messy political system but through all the disorder, we get a system that works for most. And for a fact, it’s a lot better than having some “Great Leader” or political hack do our thinking for us.
Yes, Democracy has its failings. We thought we were doing the right thing for the minorities only to find that we have put them back to the point of near slavery.
Unelected bureaucrats in Washington make rules and regulations without our consent which makes running a business very difficult and expensive.
And now we plan on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour which will cause more inflation and eventually require another raise in the minimum wage.
Who is going to hire an unskilled young person for that sort of wage? Goofy is as Goofy does.
All of these problems need a rational conversation, without the politics.
All in all, however, we have the finest and most effective system of government in the world. But, the lack of a rational conversation is preventing us from solving many of the problems this country faces and it needs to change. Maybe we should try and listen for a change.
Bob Wilson — Franklin, N.C.
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law
The Bible verse Heb. 10:9 imparts, “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will O God, he taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.”
Heb. 8:7 says, “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.”
Heb. 7:19 imparts, “For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope, by the which we draw nigh unto God.”
The words of the law, “Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.” Mal. 3:8, 9
Before any part of the second can be established, the first must be taken away.
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ.” Gal. 3:13, 14a.
Floyd Cruse — Franklin, N.C.
Socialism gaining in popularity among young people
With the emergence of Bernie Sanders and the Progressive Democrats, Socialism seems to be gaining popularity, particularly among the younger generation which has been indoctrinated by our educational system in a liberal ideology.
This might be the perfect time to look back at what former leaders, statesmen and philosophers have had to say about Socialism:
Edmund Burke on the threat of Socialism: A perfect equality will indeed be produced — that is to say equal wretchedness, equal beggary, and on the part of partitioners, a woeful, helpless and desperate disappointment. Such is the event of all compulsory equalizations. They pull down what is above, they never raise what is below, they depress high and low together, beneath the level of what was originally the lowest.
Winston Churchill: Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, the gospel of envy. Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
George Bernard Shaw: Socialism means equality of income or nothing. Under Socialism, you would not be allowed to be poor. You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught and employed whether you like it or not. If it were discovered that you had no character or industry enough to be worth this trouble, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner, but while you were permitted to live you would have to live well.
Margaret Thatcher; The problem with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.
Nikita Khrushchev; Despite the differences between the stages of Communism and Socialism no wall of any kind exists between them … Communism grows from Socialism and its direct continuation.
As a teenager I remember a movement to ban the story of Robin Hood because it represented communism. He robbed from the rich and gave to the poor. That may be appealing to some who not only want everything for nothing including a free college education but, if you ask them, they do not even know what Socialism and Communism are and the oppressive society they impose upon their citizenry.
There has never been a need to require America or its people to support charities or give to the poor and oppressed. Because of our Judeo-Christian heritage, we have always done so willingly.
The success of America is based upon the fact that the immigrants who came to this country searching for the American dream knew that they had to work for it, it would not be given to them. This is contrary to today’s liberal socialist ideology in which illegal immigrants are given shelter, food stamps and welfare at the expense of the legal hard working immigrants who preceded them.
This upcoming election is undoubtedly the most important one this nation has ever faced and it is up to us to decide weather we will continue down the road to Socialism or turn back to the principles that made America great.
God bless America again.
Marshall Miller — Franklin, N.C.