Letters for September 12, 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. 

What’s my fair share of your stuff?

I want to recommend a book, which should be required reading in every high school economics or Social Studies class in America. The sub-title is, “Two Economists Drink Their Way Through the Unfree World.” Today, millions of Americans are flocking to the socialist banner and chanting, “What do we want? Socialism—the economic system that has impoverished people everywhere and resulted in the deaths of tens of millions! And when do we want it? Now!”

Most people seem somehow to have missed Economics 101 and don’t understand that Socialism isn’t where a nice, cuddly government takes care of everything for you so that you can remain an adolescent forever. No, we’ve seen it tried over and over again with catastrophic consequences.

Luckily, two semi-sober economists have toured the socialist world so you don’t have to. And they’ve come back with this stunning report: “Socialism Sucks!” And that is the title of the book. Written in a humorous style, you will enjoy reading it, even if you’re a “tee-totaler” as I am.

Along the way, you’ll learn: Why the so-called Swedish model might be attractive, but sure isn’t Socialism (Sweden is Capitalism with a big welfare state) How Socialist Venezuela went from being the toast of liberals everywhere—Viva Venezuela!—to being just toast! Why you never see new cars in Cuba. Why no one forgets to turn out the lights in North Korea (hint: there aren’t any) Why American Socialists have no idea what Socialism really is. How hard it is to find good beer—or sometimes any beer at all—in Socialist countries.

Irreverent but honest economists Robert Lawson and Benjamin Powell have all the data—and the firsthand global experience—to affirm that Socialism fails to deliver on any of the utopian promises it makes and instead is very bad for your economic (and other) health. This is a book that every American who values freedom and sound economics (and good beer) needs to read.

Mike Maloney, in his video “Socialism vs. Capitalism Meme Review,” which I also recommend, starts with a book titled, “Well, That Didn’t Work: An Abbreviated History of Communism.” (It’s not a real book, but such a book isn’t necessary, because the title says it all.) He points out that a clear definition of Socialism is hard to find. Even Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels used the terms “Socialism” and “Communism” interchangeably. These are the guys who wrote the “Communist Manifesto,” and they couldn’t tell the difference!

One of the memes shows a shoddy, overloaded boatload of people, and says,”Socialism works so well that people build boats from trash to escape it!”

Another meme shows people escaping from Socialism in Venezuela, East Berlin, Cuba, and North Korea. Below those photos, it says, “People escaping Capitalism” and says, “Image Not Found.” But Maloney points out that there really is an image of people escaping Capitalism. It is a voting booth. It is a very slow, insidious process that has “creep” to it. It usually involves politicians promising “free stuff” to a scared population that wants to be taken care of.

Another meme says, “Hard times create strong men (and women). Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times.” And the beat goes on.

Another meme depicts the endless cycle of Cocialism: 1) Socialist take over, 2) Socialism creates misery and death, 3) Some say, “It wasn’t real Socialism, so let’s do it again! Then it says, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Per Bylund, of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, says, “What causes poverty? Nothing. It’s the original state, the default and starting point. The real question is, What causes prosperity?”

Thomas Sowell, a great economist of our time, says, “Since this is an era when many people are concerned about ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice,’ what is your ‘fair share’ of what someone else has worked for?” Or, what is my fair share of what you have worked for?

Winston Churchill said, “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

Friedrich von Hayek, Nobel Prize-winner in economics, said, “If Socialists understood economics, they wouldn’t be Socialists.”

Albert Einstein said, “Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.”

Ed Hill – Franklin, N.C.

Dirt and gravel in the road dangerous for motorcycles

The state is scraping the sides of the roads. Dirt and gravel have been put on the roads and when I ride my motorcycle, it’s very dangerous and I’ve almost wrecked on a turn because of this issue. I’ve called and complained but Darryl Brooks say his guys do excellent work and they wouldn’t leave dirt and gravel on the roads but I beg to differ. This weekend I was riding on Prentiss Bridge Road and had this issue again where there is dirt and gravel on the road from the state. Who’s going to pay for my doctor bills if this is the cause of my wreck when riding my motorcycle?

 Johnny Kiser – Franklin, N.C.

‘And that’s the truth’

This is the truth and having read this you’ll likely say, “And that’s the truth.”

If you are secretly thinking of ending your life, for whatever reason, it will be the worst mistake of your life, “and that’s the truth.” I never got to that point but I am a person others want to talk to about “stuff.”

I do know about going “mind-out-of-body.” It happens. I never went to heaven, but when it happened I thought it was. Scores of people told me their “out-of-body” stories. Three of those people said they seen hell. One had been a major drug dealer. All three were so affected by what they seen that they became clergy church leaders. One in Franklin, “and that’s the truth.”

William H. Bahruth – Franklin, N.C.

Where is it we find direction?

With the uncertain times we seem to live in, where is it we can find a direction we can trust in, something truthful to anchor to, something to sink our teeth into that withstands the storms of time. What is it that can be trusted that can be given to our children, something that when the chasing of riches and pleasures find their end as we also come to life’s end, what hope and direction do we pass on to those we love? What have we taught them that makes sense out of a confused world in which we live, or do we allow them to be just as confused, only to find their own way? Unstable lives are a reflection of us within government, political and religious systems which can leave us confused.  It’s like chasing the wind and reaping the whirlwind, what compass leads us to a trusted direction that brings understanding to life? Where is this found?

A compass has direction printed into it, north, south, east and west and a guiding hand which always points north. If there’s no guiding hand you lose a sense of direction, but direction is what’s needed in making sense of where we are to go. There’s also an unseen magnetic force whether realized or not that pulls or wants to be found. As a compass has printed within itself, direction, but direction can not be found without the guiding hand that always points to the force it is drawn too. So it is with life as with the compass, we have an internal drawing for direction and purpose, yet we seek most anything except seeking where this internal force comes from and why it is drawing us. If there is no guiding hand in our life to point true north we will forever wander and the confusion will grow ever greater, for both our world and for us within it, and a lasting direction will never be found. All worldviews find their rooting in faith, faith in our human powers and abilities or a faith in a Divine being in trying to seek out a direction for making sense for living life. Religious systems differ greatly and the belief that all paths arrive at the same destiny is false, but they do share one thing in common, and that is our world is broken and is in desperate need, a need so great we go to great lengths to find a remedy, but many never find it. The compass within each of us is set to find the Divine God that gives us the choice to follow this adventure which in doing so we not only find the Divine but find ourselves in the purpose and love we were created for. Christ stated that He is “the Way – the Truth – and the Life,” believe in me. All other faiths ask that man must work towards god or self. Christ is just the opposite, in that He died and came to us, we do nothing but except what He did for us.  If humanity can’t work out its own way in our confused world, how can we make our way to God?  This is why God comes to us. If the world has you confused, start following the internal compass He’s placed within you.

Please, send me a note and share your thoughts.

Respectfully, 

  Deni Shepard – nds13@frontier.com

Simple reason behind the vaping ‘scare’

There has recently been a tremendous scare in the news about some teenagers who contracted an unknown lung disease from vaping.  While this sounds extremely scary and a reason for grave concern, I would like to present another perspective on a couple of issues.

First of all, the state and federal governments along with big pharma, the FDA and the tobacco industry have been trying for years to scare the general public concerning the “so called” dangers of vaping. They ignore and bury the facts that have been proven by independent testing agencies in many other countries. Facts that prove that vaping is practically harmless at best and 99 percent safer than smoking at worst. Why would the government, the FDA, big pharma and the tobacco industry try to shut down the vaping industry you may ask?  The answer is simple – money!

The federal government, in 2009, hauled in a whopping $8.5 billion, while state coffers took in $15.7 billion in cigarette taxes!  Any wonder why the government wants you to keep smoking?  The cancer industry is the most prosperous business in the U.S.  There are approximately 1,600,000 new cancer cases diagnosed every year – most of which are traced back directly to cigarette smoking.  The medical cost of cancer care is projected to exceed $173 billion by next year.  The cancer industry employs too many people and the profits from cancer drugs are far too great to ever allow a cure.  Let alone any business that seeks to help people quit smoking! Every time someone quits smoking, someone in the cancer industry loses money.

So, back to these teenagers who contracted lung disease through vaping.  Again, a half truth is worse than a lie.  When pressed for details, most of the teens admitted that they had been vaping “dabs.” What’s a dab, you ask?  It’s an illegal, highly concentrated form of THC, (marijuana), also known as hashish.  Dab cartridges are either smuggled in from legalized states or manufactured in your local drug dealer’s basement and sold in “head shops” or on the street. When teens purchase dab cartridges, in most cases, they are made by local drug dealers using various chemicals, such as polyethylene glycol and butane which can contaminate the THC concentrate. Not to mention the pesticides that are also highly concentrated in the process. This is what is causing lung disease. Since marijuana is illegal, people are afraid to admit they are vaping THC and just claim they were vaping.  These lies are hurting the vaping industry, whose main intent is to help people who want to kick the cigarette habit and live healthier, cancer free lives.

  

Laurie Jay – Franklin, N.C.

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