Mark Meadows: A flashback to Nixon?
Oh, boy. It’s like 1974 all over again. A high profile elected official is doing his best to dodge the scrutiny of an investigative agency looking into a sex and misappropriation of funds scandal in his office.
The official is our own Mark Meadows, congressman for the NC 11th Congressional District.
The investigative agency is the Office of Congressional Ethics. This is the independent, nonpartisan agency that is charged with reviewing the conduct of members of Congress. Their purpose is to conduct an unbiased review of questionable behavior and issue a public report on their findings.
There is another committee that serves this function, too. It’s the House Committee on Ethics – similar name, similar sounding purpose, but with a wholly different approach. It’s made up of house members—not an independent staff—who have an interest in protecting each other. And after the HEC makes its report, the report is not available to the public.
Meadows problems started in October 2014, when his chief of staff, Kenny West, made women in his congressional office “uncomfortable,” with three testifying that he sexually harassed them. The next month, Meadows moved the man out of his office, giving him an advisory title, but in essence, he did no work. However, he got paid. The same as he’d been paid as chief of staff. By April 2015, it was announced that West was no longer chief of staff, but the payments continued until August of that year. And that broke the rules outlined in the House Ethics Manual.
Meadows variously called the payments “severance” or “vacation” pay, neither of which held water with the OCE. Then Meadows refused to cooperate with the OCE, instead saying that he would cooperate only with the friendlier HEC – the one that would hide their report.
In his attempt to obscure the facts and avoid transparency in his misuse of public funds, Meadows is hiding something. Just what, he’s not saying.
So it’s time to demand the same demand that the Special Prosecutor made of Richard Nixon: Turn over the tapes so that we know what is behind your cover up.
Shirley Ches — Franklin, N.C.
‘Busted’ paper doesn’t tell the whole story
In today’s Sunday School lesson at our Baptist church, a certain lawyer tried to trick our saviour Jesus Christ by asking him, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” If you’re a Southern Baptist, you know the rest of the story. Even if you’re not a Southern Baptist, you probably know the rest of the story.
I went through a short barricade at Wells Grove Baptist Church. No construction was being done. I broke the law, though. I got pulled over by a 5700 unit. The young officer was just trying to do his job, I believe. But things turned out very different than what I anticipated. I ended up getting a ticket for DUI. I was arrested, handcuffed, and put in the back seat of a very hot 5700 unit. I was taken to jail, hand-cuffed to a countertop, and relieved of all my personal possessions, even to my wedding ring.
My name wasn’t in the arrest report in the Franklin Press or The Macon County News, but still, much damage was done to my character, or was it? How will all this turn out in court on Oct. 24, 2016?
By two miracles, I learned my picture was on the internet for being arrested, and my picture was in the “Busted” paper that cost $1. I learned about that on approximately June 28 or 29. My wife bought one, and the next day, I bought six more. I guess I’m getting famous for the wrong reasons.
I’ll admit, I would love to have some fame and fortune. It takes money to further the kingdom of God. There’s a big revival starting in Robbinsville on Sept. 5. It takes money to move big tents, etc. This big tent seats 3,500, I’m told. At the last revival, they had 1,200 saved, born again.
Pray for me that God’s will be done in my life and things will turn out good for me in court on Oct. 24. I am not guilty of DUI.
Jerry R. Holden — Franklin, N.C.
Thanks to county officials for understanding
The last few days were trying to our local veterans. We were hearing rumors that the county was about to move our local veterans office from downtown Franklin out to the recreation area on 441.
The local veterans groups banded together and contacted commissioner Gary Shields and the mayor of Franklin Bob Scott. I met with our county manager, a Mr. Derek Roland. We informed him that we were not in favor of moving our VA office. He was pleasant and after being told of our objections, he agreed not to move it.
He is a pleasant young man and was quick to help our county veterans. We all wish to say thank you to commissioner Gary Shields, Bob Scott, our town mayor and last but not least, our county manager Derek Roland. Thank you for your understanding and help.
Wm. Trapani and the commanders, members of VFW, Americn Legion, and Vietnam veterans
How a mountain community got its name
In Macon County there is an area of land some people do not know much about and why it was so named.
In the midst of the 1930s, my family, the Fred Cruse family, lived in the mountain area. In those days and years, all people, town and county visited one another. No matter what they believed, or what they did not believe.
If people cannot get along with their neighbor, how can they expect to get along with anybody?
“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” (Romans 13:9), was necessary in those days. Once, on a visit, an older person told, at their mountain spring, and as others, when it rained a short time and the sun came out, some of the time there would appear a beautiful rainbow over their spring house, a small house which was supplied with spring water channeled into the spring house to keep the milk and butter and the like cool in the summertime.
And believe it or not, about every spring house had a drinking gourd. The name Rainbow Springs came about.
Fred Cruse — Franklin, N.C.
Humans looking for someone to worship
Throughout history, going back thousands of years, humans have looked for some sort of leader who will be their savior. Archeologists have uncovered artifacts indicating the belief in a great leader dating back 40,000 years, long before the great Pharaohs of ancient Egypt.
Humans seem to carry a genetic tendency to look for someone they can worship. It is a powerful tribal instinct but it can be very dangerous.
But, problems with this tendency abound. For example, it gave us Hitler. When Hitler passed through a crowd of his worshippers in a parade, women would swoon if they touched his hand. We all know what destruction Hitler brought upon Germany and his people.
I watched this effect as a kid when Father Divine cruised by in his convertible Cadillac and people would throw money into his car.
Young girls in a theatre audience would also swoon when Frank Sinatra came on stage.
Too often, the people we elevate to high positions turn out to be megalomaniacs which is probably normal for people we elect to office. Certainly no completely sane person would want the job of telling us what we are supposed to do and what we should believe.
Recently, I watched what I felt was a scary scene when Hillary was speaking to a group. Cold chills up my spine when young ladies in the front of the audience began swooning over Hillary. For a moment I thought I was watching one of Frank Sinatra’s shows.
There is danger in this and one of the dangers is that we make them into something special above the rest of us and that’s flirting with disaster.
The other danger is that they come to believe that they are special, much like the Blue Bloods Royalty from the past. Many of the royalty believed that God had somehow anointed them and that it was pre-ordained that they should control their people. Current-day politicians have the very same problem.
We’ve seen the devastation that comes from Democratic Socialist programs that have side-lined our black Americans in some of the larger cities. Our anointed politicians’ belief in their own superior ideology has led to unmanageable young black people with lousy education, living on welfare, single parents, 30 percent unemployment and no hope for their future.
Whether a religious leader or a politician pontificating about what’s best for me, or my country purporting to know all the answers, my hackles automatically go up.
Hillary is a great believer in “trickle- down economics” as long as government bureaucrats decide who gets the money.
Obama’s “Stimulus” was a government form of “trickle-down economics” but was wasted on such things as pay increases for a company in Charleston and a new roof for a Texas yacht club. No new businesses or new jobs were created.
Hillary meets all the 11 requirements needed to be called a psychopath and as such, she certainly knows how to work the crowd. She condemns “trickle-down economics” but plans on using it. Go figure.
Don’t believe it folks; with their clothes off, they look just like you and me. They just think they are special.
Bob Wilson — Franklin, N.C.
Good parenting most important factor in education
There was once an organization founded in 1896 called the National Congress of Mothers. It later became known as the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, morphing eventually into what we know today as the PTA (Parent-Teachers Association).
The membership card my parents carried (in the 1940s) listed the purposes of the association. They were as follows: “To promote the welfare of children and youth in home, school, church, and community. To raise the standards of home life. To secure adequate laws for the care and protection of children and youth. To bring into closer relation the home and the school, that parents and teachers may cooperate intelligently in the training of the child. To develop between educators and the general public such united efforts as will secure for every child the highest advantages in physical, mental, social, and spiritual education.”
Clearly, parents and teachers were a closely knit alliance in the raising, nurturing and the education of the children of that era. It was a mutually beneficial relationship with specific goals and purposes unencumbered by social and mental health workers and all the other so-called “experts” who have wormed their way into our schools over these long decades.
During this same time a great deal, I fear, has been removed from the classroom that was once thought an invaluable part of a child’s growth and maturity. There was a time teachers recognized what children needed and instinctively sought to provide it. Experience has shown me that is no longer always true or they are prevented or do not even know to do that.
Good parenting is still the single most important factor in cultivating student achievement. In order for children to become successful at the three R’s of reading, ’riting, and ’rithmatic, parents must first teach them the other three R’s; respect, responsibility and resourcefulness. These, not a high IQ, define the educable child. When a child goes to school he takes his parents with him in the form of their discipline, their expectations, and their values.
There are two methods by which we all learn, in the halls of learning (our schools) and in the conflicts of life. We must (as parents and teachers did so very well in the 1940s and 1950s) make sure we provide our children the very best of the former in order to prepare them for when they inevitably come face to face with the latter.
David Snell — Franklin, N.C.
The corruption of us and our culture
It is truly sad to see us as Americans bowing down to such a low state of depravity. The corruption is beyond anything I have witnessed in my lifetime. We now are no different than lessor nations of self edifying rule and corruption that’s common within third world countries. We as a nation had once exemplified integrity, honest representation, strong ethical character and a desire to serve unselfishly and at times sacrificially.
Many of us remember the penetrating words of John F. Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.” These words have no meaning in our modern living, and now J.F.K’s statement is just the opposite. We seek our selfish desires and we stop at nothing to achieve this. Our country has lasted over 200-plus years and we stand for little of what we use to. And it’s not that our country has changed, it’s that we as a people have changed. We no longer can explain to our children why we are a called and special people set apart with a uniqueness that no other nation has ever had before. We have no reference because we have lost our bearing of true north, and truth is nowhere to be found.
Our new evolution and the acceptance of words that deceive and entice us are not new. We follow what seems right unto man and many in authority see this self serving opportunity within this environment and we gladly follow with little questioning of where this leads. False and deceptive representations from government as well as religious leaders can sway the masses and we’ve continually seen history repeat this. We all have been tempted within this type of setting and allurement which seems right with all its promises and our blaming of the innocent to conceal selfish motives and desires.
There is one who came to defeat this and draw us to a better way of life and living. The falsehood and deception of both government and religious systems were corrupt and were filled with selfish motives and desires, and the masses were more than willing to follow and further the cause of hatred and blame to the extreme point of allowing the sacrifice of the innocent. Christ allowed this in taking upon himself all the corruption and depravity of religious, government, and all humanity including you and me and pointing a way out through Him, ultimately freely giving His life for us. Man and all world governmental systems have continually tried keeping humanity satisfied with life and living, but we seemingly are never able to get there, and I ask, why? If we and our world’s leaders are so advanced and highly educated as ever before, why do we seem worse off that ever before? The crime of humanity against humanity, brother against brother, is sickening and depraved beyond words. There’s something deep within us that is in need of something good. And I know of only One, who fulfills this.
Deni Shepard — firstname.lastname@example.org
Otto volunteers truly appreciated
The Otto Community Development has again surpassed itself in providing free food for the children. Over two thousand were distributed to children of Otto and the Franklin High School football team during the eight weeks of summer. It could not have been accomplished without the 50 wonderful volunteers generously giving of their time. Their love of children and recognition of the need for good nutrition was greatly appreciated. Along with distributing the meal, the volunteers provided the children with books generously donated by the Macon County Library.
We want the volunteers to know how much we truly appreciate them. Thank you so very much.
Velma Zeek and Ann McClure —Program coordinators