Letters for September 21, 2017


MountainWise to begin Lock Your Meds Campaign

North Carolinians die every year due to prescription medication overdose. In fact, overdose is a leading cause of unintentional injury death, second only to motor vehicle crashes in North Carolina. The majority of overdose deaths in North Carolina are medication-related, occurring when people misuse or abuse those medications. Sixty-seven percent of people who abuse prescription medications get them from family and friends. They think these medications are safe. But in the wrong hands, they’re not. Prescription drug abuse in many cases leads to heroin abuse, due to the high availability and low cost of heroin and the similarity to pain killers.

The MountainWise of Macon County Substance Abuse Task Force has been selected as a recipient of Lock Your Meds Media Campaign (materials/licenses) from The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services through the 21st Century Cures Act, State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants to promote prevention. This campaign will provide us with materials and licenses to bring awareness and educate residents in Macon County on how to protect their friends and family from falling victim to this deadly crisis.

Residents can take action by talking with their doctor about quantity and other options to medications; securing and monitoring the medications in their homes (eg. Lock boxes or locked cabinets); properly disposing of old, expired or unused meds; educating themselves and family members about the most commonly abused medications and signs of misuse; and lastly, share the message with others.

We are looking forward to working together with our community and partners to create a positive change in the way medication is viewed in Macon County.


Lynn Baker

Population Health Section Administrator

Macon County Public Health

We should approach history from below

There has been a lot of debate over removing Confederate monuments from the public square in America. Two distinct groups have emerged. Both sides have become increasingly intransigent. They have hunkered down and are apparently unwilling to change their positions. On the one side, there’s the “keep-em-up” contingent. On the other, there’s the “take-em-down” contingent. The keep-em-uppers claim they are citizen historians that do not want to see the American past whitewashed. The take-em-downers are citizen activists that view the monuments as symbols of hate.

My position is neither inside of nor outside of the opposing camps. That is, I do want to “keep-em-up.” Nor do I want to “take-em-down.” I want to “repeal and replace them with something better,” as it were. I believe this solution will be amenable to both sides. The keep-em-uppers are enamored with repealing and replacing things; many of them voted for a dim-witted demagogue who ran on a repeal and replace platform, though his promised repeal and replace hasn’t gone so well. The take-em-downers do not want to see the faces of men who defended the plantation owners that enslaved their ancestors anymore.

Being both a citizen historian and an activist, on this issue, places me inside the sweet spot of the venn diagram, where the two circles (i.e., the opposing camps) converge and overlap. I do not want to see history whitewashed. But, at the same time, I do not want to venerate historical figures that symbolize hate. My solution?

We should approach history from below, rather than from above, in order to pacify both camps. Instead of interpreting the past through the lens of the oppressors, the exploiters, and the dominant, we must interpret history from the perspective of the oppressed, the exploited, and the dominated. So, for example, in the class struggle between master and slave, lord and serf, guild master and journeyman, capitalist and worker, it is the slave, the serf, the journeyman, and the worker that should be the central subject of history. The downtrodden majority should take precedence over the wealthy minority.

The Confederate monuments currently under question are the physical representations of an understanding of history from above. In all times past and present, the masters, the lords, the guild masters, and the capitalists are the subjects of history from above. Those who they oppressed have barely made the page, if at all.

We have an opportunity to correct this injustice through a repeal and replace. We can tear down the Confederate monuments and erect statues of black slave women or white indentured men or indigenous peoples from all over our land.  This should assuage the concerned citizen historian. It does not whitewash our history. In fact, it would be more historically accurate. For there were only so many plantation owners, but there were thousands of slaves raped, whipped, and executed by them. There were only so many armed thugs such as Stonewall Jackson, who fought wars to protect the plantation owners’ interests, but there were thousands of indentured servants who had their contracts broken and were illicitly forced to work the fields. There was only one Christopher Columbus, but there were hundreds of indigenous people who had their hands cut off for not fetching him enough gold.

Now, I am certain that all these concerned citizen historians, these defenders of heritage not hate, these protectors of the American past, these marchers alongside (but apparently not with!) white supremacists, would love nothing more than to have statues of black women pop up all over America’s town squares. Of course, I am assuming the keep-em-uppers’ concerns are honest and actually concerned with historical accuracy, not subterfuge…or possibly something worse. Thus, I am certain they will change their minds and support the repealing and replacing of the Confederate perpetrators of oppression with statues of the forgotten souls that they oppressed.


Marshall Solomon — Franklin, N.C.

Hilary would have been a clear and present danger

It would come as no surprise to me if the psychiatric community announced that Hillary Clinton has a serious mental disorder following her loss of the presidential election.

At least in my experience, no rational presidential candidate who lost an election has ever become so obsessed with finding reasons for the loss.

She was obviously overwhelmed by the need to write a book about her loss and this in itself is a bad sign for her mental health.

Jimmy Carter simply went back to his peanut business and George H.W. Bush went back to Texas and for the most part, we heard almost nothing from them.  They accepted their loss as did many other presidential candidates who were on the losing side.

When most of us fail at something, we try to learn from our mistakes and move on to the next project

For what my opinion is worth, here is what I feel cost her the election.

By her own words, had she been elected, she would have opened our borders to all comers. Just consider for a moment what this implied.  Half of South America would have immigrated here, huge numbers from China and the Far East and a huge number from the Middle East.  While the do-gooders would have hailed the new immigration as something wonderful, they failed as usual, to consider the unintended consequences it would have on us.  Our natural resources would have been depleted at a rate twice that of current rates.  Our fresh water is already beginning to dry up in parts of the country and we would have had to use more coal to compensate for using up our oil and gas supply. How many more people would have died from even more illegal drugs flowing across our borders?

Believe it or not, there is a tipping point of population in America and after a certain point, it’s all downhill after that.

Some pundits have suggested that the drug cartels had donated heavily to her campaign but there is no proof of that.

One must also wonder how many of the working class were offended by Hillary calling them deplorable and especially offensive to those who pay the taxes and keep this country ticking.

Probably another major boo boo was her promise to raise taxes on companies.  Nothing could have done more damage to our economy than raising taxes on companies and more would have left the country for more favorable taxes in other countries.

All this would have added up to fewer good jobs and even more taxes to compensate.

She even said she would impose an “exit tax” on companies that left but, big woof.

Trying hard to not be judgmental but listening and watching her now leaves me with a cold feeling and frankly, had she won the presidency I think she would have been a clear and present danger to the citizens of America.

More taxes, more dependency, more illegal drugs across the borders and a very real threat to our population balance which in turn would use our finite resources much earlier.

Maybe it’s time for Hillary to move on or consult a psychiatrist.


Bob Wilson — Franklin, N.C.

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