Letters for May 23, 2019

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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. Email letters to maconcountynews@ gmail.com.

Tomorrow’s outlook is looking fragile

With our current political battle going on and Socialists trying hard to impose their will on the rest of us and the Republicans fighting to maintain our freedom and liberties, tomorrow’s outlook is fragile to say the least.

While this battle continues on, we have those who would shut down our industries so that China, India and others can continue to pollute our skies as they wish and become the world’s great powers. 

In that event, The Green New Deal causes America to suffer with continuing pollution. Pollution is not local but worldwide.

One thing I am sure of is that we will be driving mostly electric cars in the future.  With fast food and even grocery stores installing charging stations one must ask what will happen to the thousands of empty gas stations?   Owners will have to find other jobs.  Will stores like 7/11 even exist?

With electric cars, how will we pay to maintain our roads and Interstate system?

Will auto mechanics become a thing of the past?  Gasoline engines have about 2,000 parts requiring expert care but an electric motor has about 20 parts.  Electric motors can be unbolted and replaced by one person in only a few minutes.  

Will law schools be needed?  Right now, one can get legal advice on the Internet and it’s said that it is more accurate than from a lawyer.  Will court cases be settled by AI computers in the future?

If lawyers are still in business at all, they will probably be highly specialized but far and few between.  

What will happen to the millions of people who worked for the oil, gas and coal industries if we shut down industries as suggested by the Green New Deal?

Yes, we need to cut back on pollution and frankly, we have ourselves in a pickle with no easy answer to it.  Do we Nuke China to stop its pollution?  

More foreboding is the fact that we are over populating the entire planet and eventually, everyone will run out of resources, totally. 

Lower population growth is needed, but then who will pay for our Medicare and Social Security if there aren’t enough young people to pay into the systems?

In the meantime, Iran realizes they will eventually be out of oil and are making plans to take control of the entire Middle East by using their earnings from oil to pay for and spread terrorism.

Typical of so many people, we buy something at the cheapest price we can get which ended up financing China’s infrastructure and war machine because we like China’s lower prices.  How can we compete when we pay an average of $25 an hour and their workers are happy with $2 a day?

We can thank the Unions for demanding higher wages and giving our industries to China.

With the threat of Socialism looming on the horizon our future is tenuous to say the least and makes predicting the future unreliable and confusing.  Will the Biblical “apocalypse” become reality when the world reaches its tipping point at 10 billion population?

Who knows?

Bob Wilson – Franklin, N.C.

We have been attacked

What if you could attack a country without building a single plane, or ship, or even one gun? What if the sacrifices that our brave veterans make every day could not stop this attack? And what if the citizens of that country were not even aware of the attack? It is not only possible, it happened to the United States of America.

“The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.” This is the first line and the major conclusion of the report by Special Counsel Robert Muller.  Whether you believe that the report exonerated the president or not, the facts are clear.  We were attacked by Russia. Since they have paid no price for putting their thumb on the scale of our election, we can be sure that they will do it again.

Chapters II and III of Volume 1, (pages 14 to 50) lays out in incredible detail how this attack took place. “Facebook estimated the IRA (Russians) reached as many as 126 million persons through its Facebook accounts.” “Twitter announced that it had identified 3,814 IRA-controlled Twitter accounts and notified approximately 1.4 million people Twitter believed may have been in contact with an IRA-controlled account.”

Some of these  Russian Facebook accounts attracted  enormous followings. “… the IRA’s ‘United Muslims of America’ Facebook group had over 300,000 followers, the ‘Don’t Shoot Us’ Facebook group had over 250,000 followers, The ‘Being Patriotic’ Facebook group had over 200,000 followers, and the ‘Secured Borders’ Facebook group had over 130,000 followers.” In “total the IRA-controlled accounts made over 80,000 posts.”

The power of social media to sway public opinion is undeniable. The  Russians have been using their mastery of it as an extremely effective and cheap weapon for years.” These operations constituted “active measures,” a term that typically refers to operations conducted by Russian security services aimed at influencing the course of international affairs.”

Given that the presidential election was decided by a mere 77,000 votes in three key targeted states, it is clear that we were successfully attacked by a foreign power. Where is the outrage?   Where is the call to action against a common enemy? Where is congress and a 911-type commission? Or is it OK for a foreign power to help pick our next president?

  Louis Vitale – Franklin, N.C.

Religion and politics don’t mix

 It’s widely viewed and with good reason, that religious systems do not mix well within political systems. The examples are numerous and touch every continent or people group in our world.  England and the Roman Catholic church,  Ireland’s Catholics against Britain’s Protestants, the Crusaders, Islamic rule mixed in government and faith, yet fights other Islamic groups within its own government and faith. Hitler’s holocaust, when  he used his own Humanistic faith within politics promoting a superior race against what he deemed a lesser race, the Jews. Many see the fault in all of this and regret how humanity is so abusive and cruel against itself. I truly am amazed and thankful that those who founded our country lived with such convictions,  but saw clearly the problems and implemented separation of church and state.Yet even as we speak, we are a more divided people than ever.  Many, whether realized or not, are falling into a Humanistic faith and government is its church, where we answer to no one to what we deem as a right, we worship the expansion of unrestrained freedom at the expense of others.  Hatred and demonizing people is now at the altar of honor and open discussions with respect for fellow human beings is nowhere to be found, whether in politics,  college campuses, or social media. We hate, really not able to explain why we hate. Hate is a total absence of love, and love and respect is the sacrifice.    

There’s a realization that the abuse of faith isn’t a true representation of faith at all, but a faith in human pride and selfishness. There’s a statement used by many that a belief in God is just a crutch to lean on,  it can also be said its opposite is the crutch for unbelief and blame as well, for if there is “nothing,” no God, just live then die, without a reason behind any of it, then our existence makes no sense at all, “period.” 

Faith is that something we all have in common in some form, whether in the Divine, self, or political  systems  Our (ideals) for life, are reset in the disappointments of life’s (realities), this causes deep (tension) within our hearts, minds, souls and with each other. Humanity can not, try as it may, resolve the problems of the world around us, because it can not solve the many problems within. How do we expect to bring peace into our world when individually we have little peace within?  Humanity has forever tried with little success to remedy humanity’s problems. If there is a God who is there, would he not have pity and a love for us in this struggle that seems to entangle us? The truth is evident, God is here but he doesn’t reveal himself in religious or political systems, he works within the heart and soul of mankind. He comes to us because He loves as nothing else can love, He speaks in that still quiet voice whispering there’s something more, come, seek and find.  He comes to the worst and the best of us, and everyone in between. Listen for the whisper …  

Searching for more,

Deni Shepard – nds13@frontier.com

Admission without merit is very wrong

Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman could go to jail for using a side door to game an already unfair education system by buying their children’s way into a college and I think that’s not only unjust but, in fact, very wrong.

A former assistant women’s soccer coach at the University of Southern California admitted (May 14) to creating fake sports profiles for the children of wealthy parents, including Lori Loughlin’s daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose, in exchange for bribes.

Loughlin and her husband are accused of paying $500,000 to Rick Singer, mastermind of the “nation’s largest-ever college admissions scandal,” so-called.   Singer pleaded guilty to bribery in March.

There are dozens (perhaps scores) of people involved in offering and accepting bribes for the purpose of obtaining a chip in the big game.  Did these people do wrong?  Of course, that goes without saying.

But here’s the thing – and I really believe we need to think this through carefully until the whole picture is revealed, beyond just the bribery angle. We’ve been granting access into our colleges and universities for decades for reasons totally unrelated to merit, why all of a sudden this immense concern?

I was active-duty Navy (in my 13th year), serving in the Mediterranean aboard the USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67), an aircraft carrier, in 1973.    During the early ’70s, the Navy (and I assume the other branches of the military) wrangled with the explosive pros and cons of “affirmative action.”

It was determined that in order to “level the playing field,” long established traditional measures of ability, aptitude, proficiency, etc., plus a long list of essential requirements and prerequisites would have to be discarded, tossed to the four winds, never to be seen again.  High standards, fundamental principles and basic but indispensable guidelines that had served our nation well up to that point were abandoned to the ash-heap of history along with Martin Luther King’s dream “that one day my children will be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.”  Almost from the moment he uttered those words we’ve been vigorously pursuing the precise opposite course for the last 50 years.

Not all that long ago UNC-Chapel Hill was found to have admitted some 3,100 students to the “Flagship University” (over a period of 18 years no less), “students” who did not have to attend classes, take tests, or perform academically in any meaningful way.  No one went to jail, in fact, no one hardly flinched. They’d still be doing it today had they not been caught.

Sonia Sotomayor proudly admits to having been accepted at Yale University under affirmative action guidelines because she was Hispanic and female.  She now sits as an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court, and for the very same reason.

Now really, what is the difference between being admitted to college under affirmative action guidelines which have been in place for half a century, or buying a seat for your son or daughter because you happen to be rich?   The fact that you can go to jail for one and not the other aside, in my view, there is no difference.

The standards for acceptance into any college or university should be high (with no exceptions), otherwise a degree from that institution is next to worthless.  The purpose of the United States Navy is to control the seas.  To reduce standard of entry and fitness jeopardizes that mission and puts lives in danger.  You have only to read the news to see the problems the military is having from the academies on down.

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong without paying a heavy price.   I see a nation, and a people, that have lost their way.  By exchanging exceptionalism for inclusion, by disregarding accountability and ignoring moral and ethical responsibility, we have turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to all that was once great about America.

 David Snell – Franklin, N.C.

What kind of legacy will I leave?

As I begin this letter, I’m sitting in a church. I awoke early and couldn’t go back to sleep. I decided to walk and hitchhike to church, about two and a half miles, I think. I soon got a ride from a neighbor.

You may not print this letter. It may be rather long. That is the power God has given you. You may even throw it in the trash can, for that is your right, but I hope you print it.

Life to me is a big show.

It’s now one week later, 7:35 a.m. on May 5, 2019. I awoke at about 4:30 a.m., and again I couldn’t go back to sleep. At about 6 a.m., I got up and about 7 a.m., I left out again on foot, walking and hitch-hiking. A young man passed me, went a ways, turned around and pulled over and picked me up. He was on his way to work, but took enough time to turn around and bring me all the way to Wells Grove Baptist Church. I invited him to come and visit us, if he didn’t have a church home. He said he might today if he had time after work. He only had an hour or so to work this morning. He’s moved here from Haywood County. He wouldn’t take money for gas either. 

Getting back to the legacy we all will leave. When you get 72, like I am now, you think of these things, especially if you feel you were put here to influence maybe millions of people.

You, as an editor of a paper, may have already influenced millions. My pastor, Terry Dixon, may have already influenced millions. 

She lived in the White House here in Franklin, The Helen White. If she didn’t, her daughters probably will, especially three of them. You may know the triplets, born about 1971, that sing gospel music. They are The White Sisters. Their dad, Rev. Joe White, had a Saturday morning radio broadcast on WFSC for about 30 years, I think. He also may have influenced millions.

If I die before the rapture of the church, how will people remember me? Some may walk by my casket and think, he was only a dreamer. Some may think, he was the biggest packrat I’ve ever know. Some may think, he was full of himself. Some may think, he was only a junk man. If I were to die today, and I very well could, none of us know when God will say, “It’s time.” If I were to die today, my wife could put this epitaph on my tombstone and it be true: World’s Greatest Dreamer and Procrastinator. I’m not dead yet though, so I hope my epitaph won’t read like that.

When this body of clay lays in a casket, and people walk by if I die before the rapture, I hope they’ll think:

1 – He love and feared God

2 – He tried to provide for his wife and daughter

3 – He loved going to God’s house. He said it was the nearest one would ever get to heaven.

4 – He was very saving; not wasteful

5 – He believed in paying cash for every vehicle he ever drove

6 – He didn’t rob and steal from God

7 – He forgave all those who done him wrong

That’s the seven things I would like for people to think as they walk by my casket, but what will they think? I do hope, more than anything, if I know my heart, that people will know and believe that I forgave all those that done me wrong. I believe that when we forgive, we are most like the one who died for us, of course, Jesus Christ.

I could write for another hour or so, but I’ll soon sign off. I’m not a reader, I’m a writer, but I hope some of those that read this letter will think more about the legacy they will leave. It’s serious.

 Jerry R. Holden – Franklin, N.C.

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