Letters to the editor for September 16, 2021


The Macon County News letters page is a public forum open to a wide variety of opinions as a right guaranteed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Letters are neither accepted nor rejected based on content. Letters must be signed and contact information provided. Views expressed are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of publisher, editor or staff. Writers are asked to refrain from personal attacks against individuals or businesses. 

We can choose love

There is a lot of fear in the world. It comes at us from all directions. It seems that every level of our existence is to be feared. Sadly we add to it by our treatment of each other and our harsh judgements. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the message from our leaders, media and each other was one of comfort and love, support and caring? We can get through this. We can choose not to be brought down by fear and hatred.       

Barbara Erben – Franklin, N.C.

It is possible for two good people to disagree

I reread the letters to the editor in The Macon County News for the last few months.

Some want big government. Some want small government. I am glad we can debate which is best in letters to the editor rather than in secret rooms and attics. In my opinion it is possible for two people to disagree about how much government is safe to have and neither person be evil.

For me, there is ample evidence that most people in the world are good. Most people in our country are good. If this were false there would not be more than 7 billion of us today; we would not have doubled the average life span in that last 120 years; we would not have decreased the number of wars and deaths from war so dramatically in the last 75 years; we would not have reduced violent crime almost 50% in the last 40 years; and we would not have reduced extreme poverty by 137,000 people every single day for the last 25 years. It’s not everything but I think this progress is impressive.

Make no mistake, there is much more to be done and humanity has serious challenges, but we have not been stagnant either. If most people weren’t good, I could not leave my house without fear that the veneer of civilization has fallen away and I am faced with barbarians at the end of my street. Most people are good and if a person falls for something that isn’t true, I think, in my own way, I should share my perspective. I cannot convince everyone to see things my way but some convince themselves.

A contemporary of Mark Twain (I can’t remember who) said, “It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.”  I’m afraid, from my experience, this is true.

Having very little success at changing someone’s mind in one sitting, I don’t try anymore. Lately, I share a perspective or ask a question that the other can consider in their own time. I just try to give their mind something to gnaw on. I believe more minds are changed by gnawing than by hearing anyway.  

David Hubbs – Franklin, N.C.

Ordinance needed for barking dogs

Currently there is no noise ordinance outside the city limits for barking dogs and I don’t know about anyone else but we need one. If anyone else feels the same let’s all stand up and tell the county commissioners to change it. There used to be a good neighbor policy as rule of thumb but now it seems that the constitutional right to annoy your neighbor wins out. Most neighbors have respect for their neighbors but the ones who don’t are usually disrespectful in other ways, too. Yes, people have a right to have dogs but they also have a responsibility to control them too. I understand that it’s a balancing act to make everyone happy and you can’t because of certain reasons but a noise ordinance is right for all of us. Let’s call or write our commissioners or go to a meeting and get this ordinance changed.  

 Felicia Henderson – Franklin, N.C.

Is lying still a sin?

Brianna Keilar “interviewed” Franklin Graham on CNN. That brought back memories of my mother’s powerful respect for Billy Graham. She thought he was a Christian minister, not a politician. He never endorsed a presidential candidate. Franklin, though, endorsed Donald Trump. That makes Franklin a politician. He has refused to condemn Trump’s flood of lies. He is ignoring the ninth commandment: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” Those words come from Exodus 20:16 KJV.

Have Trump and Graham “modernized” the Bible? Is it too old?

When I was a child my mother admonished me for lying. So did the preachers in the small rural Baptist churches I attended. Do mothers and preachers still do that?

Why did Moses bring those tablets down from the mount anyway? Should he have omitted number nine?

If I go to church this Sunday and confess that I have lied to/about someone maybe the preacher will say, “AWH, quit fretting over that. Let’s just move on.” Move on is what Franklin Graham is advocating.

But, doesn’t the Bible recommend atonement for sins?

Is lying still a sin?

Dave Waldrop – Webster, N.C.

Shades of gray exist in vaccination scenario

 Joe Biden has just declared war on the unvaccinated. He has a lot of support among the media sycophants who see nothing wrong with demonizing huge numbers of people. This is a cold civil war that is being waged and for the stupidest of reasons. Think with me for a moment. Biden stated that we have to protect the vaccinated from the unvaccinated! If that is the case, then vaccinations are not that effective. This further undermines confidence in the vaccine and shifts one’s cost-benefit analysis away from getting it. If the vaccinated can get and spread covid so easily, why are the unvaccinated singled out? In this scenario there is no black and white but shades of gray and the only black and white is the government’s assertion to believe such nonsense and don’t think for yourself. Also, the MAGA people are not the most vaccine hesitant and blacks as a group are the most hesitant. Check the polling on that. Does the (mal)administration really want to lose their historically biggest supporters?

For the record, I did my research and concluded it would be to my benefit to take the vaccine and have done so since I am in a higher risk group due to my age. This does not apply to everyone and each person has their own health issues that may have a bearing on the wisdom of getting the shots. This is especially true of pregnant women or those considering becoming pregnant and especially those previously infected. There is a lot we still don’t know about the long term effects of these vaccines so a little humility should be in order. If there are serious consequences 15 or 20 years down the road it won’t matter to me because I’ll be checking out anyway. For those who are younger and have very little risk of getting seriously ill it will matter a great deal. It is now clear that natural immunity is superior to that of the vaccines. If you are afraid of the virus, take what precautions are deemed necessary and let others do the same.  Let’s quit going insane over this.  

David Parker – Franklin, N.C.

‘Misinformation’ is potentially dangerous

I was amazed at the amount of misinformation in the Sept. 2, 2021, Letters to the Editor. Misinformation of the type in those letters is potentially dangerous and needs to be addressed. There is much we know about the COVID-19 virus and the mRNA vaccines. Because of overwhelming scientific evidence and outcome data we know masks work and are highly effective. They do not do more harm than good, and they do not decrease your oxygen levels. In fact, many healthcare professionals easily work in them all day long. We also know the mRNA vaccines are safe and effective. They are not mysterious or sinister. In fact, their ingredients and function are fairly easy to understand. They are the result of years of high-quality research, and we should be proud of how our country has been a leader in this research.

One of the dangers of people not getting fully vaccinated is that the continued spread allows for the development of variants. These variants are potentially more lethal and infectious. It is theoretically possible a “doomsday” variant could result unless many more people are vaccinated globally. It is astounding people will listen to the advice of those who have never studied virology and epidemiology. Television newscasts and the opinions of Fox pundits are not scientific evidence, nor is the opinion of fringe medical quacks. The peer-reviewed studies and well-designed random control trials are the evidence to which we should be paying attention. The actual evidence overwhelmingly supports the use of masks and vaccines.

The scientists at the CDC are not boogeymen out to bamboozle the populace. They are dedicated scientists and healthcare professionals who are passionate about protecting the health of our country and stopping this horrible pandemic. Do not distrust science and healthcare evidence. Distrust the uninformed and uneducated opinions.

As someone who has cared for many critically ill patients, I can assure you that you do not want to be in an intensive care unit struggling to breath and awaiting intubation so you can be placed on a ventilator. The death from COVID is horrible and lonely. Do the right thing. Get vaccinated, wear your mask indoors when indicated, wash your hands, and socially distance. Together, and with the right information, we can save lives.  

 Dr. Norman Olsen, DNP, MSN, AHN-BC – Franklin, N.C.

Veteran offended by ad in VFW magazine

I fear for my country.  The cause of my anxiety is the judgment that our nation has regressed beyond the point of no return.  A number of events have led to that conclusion, chief among them, America’s acceptance of Donald Trump’s neutralizing our collective ability to determine right from wrong.

Presently available (thru American Mint), for just $99, is the MAGA Movement Commemorative Coin Set.  To quote from the ad I saw in the August 2021 issue of the VFW Magazine (I’ll get back to that): “From visionary economic initiatives, to his strong stance and decisive actions to protect our nation against harm, President Trump has proven that his commitment to putting America first was just what the nation needed.  As President, he showed little patience for the status quo that has crippled Washington politics for decades and has taken the bold steps necessary to put America back on top as the most respected nation in the world.”

That’s simply untrue.  The 45th President betrayed the nation and the people he took an oath to protect.  He tweeted, he watched FOX News, and he golfed.  He used his power to spread lies and disinformation and poison our politics. He pandered to dictators, alienated our allies, and encouraged and emboldened white supremacists.  On top of all that, throughout his last year in office, he downplayed and actually worsened the global pandemic costing tens of thousands of Americans their lives.  He was twice impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives.  The Republican Party (in the face of overwhelming evidence) twice revealed its cowardice and complicity by acquitting him.

We have always defined the United States as a nation of laws and the incontrovertible premise that no one is above those laws.  Donald Trump and the GOP have, over and over and over again, proven that doctrine – an illusion.

Donald Trump obstructed Congress, violated his oath of office, betrayed the public trust, undermined the Constitution, disregarded the rules of law and abused the power of the presidency on occasions too numerous to list (including asking the president of a foreign power to investigate a political opponent).  As if that isn’t enough, to insure history records and reviles the presidency of this consummate liar and conman (and I truly believe history will confirm this exactly), days before leaving office he incited a deadly attack on our Capitol in a last ditch effort to overturn a free and fair election he lost.

That the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization (of which I am a Life Member and have been for decades) would agree to carry an ad glorifying such a man (in my opinion as a career veteran who served in a war zone -Vietnam) is inappropriate and discredits VFW members and all veterans who have served honorably.

I fear for our country.  I fear that our people no longer hold inviolate the principle that truth matters and that our nation cannot long survive a divided, disconnected and disengaged society.  


David Snell – Franklin, N.C.

Exercise your right to liberty from tyrannical rule

What is or is not liberty?

Let us reflect on the words of John Dalberg-Acton, a philosopher, moralist, and writer of great renown who is famous for being the first major advocate for Liberty in the true sense of the word.

“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.”

“Despotic power is always accompanied by corruption of morality.”

“Authority that does not exist for liberty is not authority but force.”

“Everybody likes to get as much power as circumstances allow, and nobody will vote for a self-denying ordinance.”

“Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.”

“Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right to do what we ought.”

The truth in Lord Acton’s words still rings true today.

Regrettably the uneducated, power hungry,  petty and despotic tyrants that have infested the political offices in America for many decades do not believe in or practice steps to insure liberty. They callously  and diligently work every day to whittle away at the God-given rights of Americans to have unfettered liberty.

Be it the open threat of “get vaccinated or I will have to impose the mask mandate again”  recently uttered in the recently published Letter to the Editor by Franklin Mayor Bob Scott, or the concurrent torrents of threats coming from  Joe Biden and his cabal, it is time for all Americans to wake up and start asking some questions of those who are supposed to be working for us, not ruling over us as do dictators.

If the Covid Vaccine is so great, why are those with the vaccine worried about those who choose not to be a lab rat?

If the Covid vaccine is so great, why are many who took the jab coming down with infections at double digit greater percentage rates than those who are unvaccinated, as the CDC recently announced on their website?

If the Covid vaccine is so great, why do doctors counsel some folks such as pregnant women, people with past cardiac problems, possible anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction), not to take the jab?

If the Covid vaccine is so great,  what are the short term and long term effects of the polyethylene glycol (similar to antifreeze chemicals), and other chemicals to the human body? Note that there cannot be a long term study since these concoctions have only been around for 18 months.

If the Covid vaccine is so great, why is there a recorded death rate attributed to VITT of 20%-50%?  See www.ehealthsask.ca/services/Manuals/Documents/COVID19-Vaccine-Contraindications-and-Precautions. Did Flip-Flop Fauci and the CDC forget to tell you something? Read the 07/23/2021 Contraindications  document cited above for an idea of what you have not been told.

The mask Nazis shriek about how masking up will protect everyone and how masks must be mandated.

If the Covid vaccine is so great, why is anyone who has taken the jab worried about who is or is not masked?

Why don’t those who are so fixated on this subject take the time to educate themselves on the truth by reading  the document titled  “Is a Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose Free from Undesirable Side Effects in Everyday Use and Free of Potential Hazards?”  found at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8072811/?

The long tabulation of the extensive research on the negative effects of mask wearing, both short term and long term, articulated by the National Institute of Health (Flip Flop Fauci’s group) document, are never heard from the lame scream media nor from the lips of those in office, yet they are obviously real.

The high prevalence of quantifiable, identifiable, statistically compelling and confirmed negative impact on the physical, neurological, psychological health and quality of life are shockingly prevalent across the extensive population wearing these devices.

Do your research and ask yourself why haven’t you been made aware of this state of affairs?

Could it be that they don’t want you to be able to make a fully informed decision on what they are telling you to do?

Could it be that they know that if you had the full truth, you might not blindly bend your knee to their dictatorial commands and do as they demand you to do?

Could it be that they know that if you had the full truth, you might weigh your decisions on balance from a position of being fully informed, exercise your right to liberty from their tyrannical rule,  say “No!” and thereby diminish their power over you?

Could it be that they know that if all of us, and there are a lot more of us than there are of them,  have the full truth, we would vote them out of office or recall them?

What could be depends on you.

God bless this great nation and all the Patriots that strive to protect it. A pox on the tyrants trying to destroy it. 


Peter K. Stern – Franklin, N.C.