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.
What lesson are we teaching with ‘community supply’
“Stocking up school supplies is easy with the wide assortment of choices available,” reads the “School Supplies” Staples web page. The “wide assortment of choices available” is what once made back-to-school shopping exciting—one could prepare for the upcoming school year, especially in the younger grades, with fun puppy-themed folders, princess pencils, and glittery gold notebooks. Such is not the case with today’s schoolchildren. My rising third-grader was asked to provide four packs of brand-name #2 pre-sharpened pencils, and brand- and color-specific spiral notebooks, among other items, all of which was to be forcibly donated to the “community supply.” The supply list explicitly forbade me from writing my child’s name on any of the supplies purchased on his behalf, as everything would be subject to use by other children. What happened to the days when children were expected to be accountable for their own supplies, and allowed to express themselves through their selections? My child, like all of his classmates, is asked to provide supplies above and beyond what he is likely to use during the school year. The expectation is that a significant portion of his classmates will not provide the requisite supplies, so my child (and those of other compliant families) will supply extra to compensate. There is a built-in apathy factor. In a perfect world, capable families would provide all requested supplies, with surplus to cover those who are truly unable. We do not, however, live in a perfect world. Shocking as it may seem, there are families out there who will take advantage of your child’s “privileged” socioeconomic status. The percentage of those who are “unable” will continue to grow, as more and more families realize that they don’t really have to provide school supplies (most of which are available at $0.10 per item at Staples). My child is not part of the “one percent,” and certainly doesn’t eat from a silver spoon. Every member of my family works hard to ensure that bills are paid and food is on the table. I remember the days when I dithered about whether I wanted the folder with the ponies or the one with the kittens. Which would best express my individuality? Which would I proudly display on my desk on the first day of school? Today’s students need not worry. Everyone will have the same notebook, with limited variation. For example, my child was asked to provide spiral notebooks, in red, yellow, or blue only. I realize that the content, not the cover, is what counts. But what if my child wants that cool Captain America notebook that occupies a whole end cap? How do I explain to him that, even though Captain America costs the same as a plain yellow notebook ($0.79, by the way), he cannot have it (my child is used to cost comparison, as a 99-percenter)? The only individuality allowed (for now) in today’s school supply lists is the backpack! What lessons are we subliminally imparting to our children? My child is being asked to pick up the slack of students whose families have figured out how to work the system (and are okay with doing so). Perhaps next year, he will figure out that, if I don’t buy notebooks for his class, I can spend extra on phone plan data overages that month. Someone else will have notebooks, right? And why bother forming an opinion, such as a favorite color, since not everyone will appreciate it…he may as well learn to love yellow, since that’s what is approved! It may seem like small potatoes, but I am increasingly concerned about what we are teaching our youth, and what principles they will carry with them when their decisions have the potential make a far-reaching impact (such as for which candidate to vote, or which policies to approve). Will they grow up resenting the fact that they must provide for those who won’t provide for themselves? Will they grow up unable to express themselves for fear of political correctness and non-conformity? After all, as stated in Chapter II of Marx’s Communist Manifesto: “the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.”
Lynn Martin – Franklin, N.C.
Drain this swamp Trump has created
Do you know why Donald Trump has refused to reveal his income taxes as each president has for decades? Do you know why Donald Trump has not told our U.S. Intelligence organizations what the meeting between him and Vladimir Putin was about (the actual translation)? Why should any responsible president not carry out these two duties to the American people? His conscience does not require him to account to other people! Neither does he fear any consequences from his fellow Republicans in the U.S. Senate or the House of Representatives. Therefore, he can continue answering only to himself. Many elected Republicans who want to be re-elected have abandoned the oath they took to serve in a co-equal branch of government, working in the interest of all Americans. They are hiding from their duty to force Trump to come clean. Those who won’t stand up to Trump now certainly won’t stand up later. They are like algae, choking the life out of a pond. But, there is a solution in front of the American people to rid us of the nuisance and threat to our lives. We can elect people to replace them on November 6th, 2018! Newton’s third law of motion-To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. We can drain this swamp that Donald Trump has developed.
Dave Waldrop – Franklin, N.C.
Dangers of Socialism looming in America
The way things are going right now, it looks like America is headed for a rocky road ahead and danger is in the air. If we are not careful, we can lose our democracy and freedom. It should be obvious by now this is no normal battle between Republicans and Democrats and in fact is something much worse. This is a battle to force a one-party system on America called Socialism. There are many subversives at work, ranging from admitted Communists and Socialist college professors on down to high schools that allow no questions from the students. They have been working behind the lines for around 80 years even before WW II. Typically, here is what we may be facing in years to come. Socialism attempts to make everyone equal but in doing so, it destroys the people with higher ambitions as well as higher IQs. Work ethic goes out the window simply because people realize, without incentives, there is no profit in working hard since you won’t gain anything. Making it worse is that people see others are not working and goofing off, they, too, goof off. The majority of the rich, most of whom already have a lot of investments overseas, simply move to other countries and this results in less taxable income and the federal government begins to run short and must cut back programs. In a panic, they make the final Socialist move of taking over industry which only makes things worse. Many American companies simply move overseas and this brings us closer to a collapse. Since Capitalism is banned by law, Wall Street collapses and people who had 401Ks and IRAs lose savings they had been building up for retirement and in fact it involves some 175 million Americans. More than half of us lose our savings. Now we have even less taxes available to pay for federal programs. The only way a Socialist free health insurance program can survive, and Bernie Sanders has pointed this out, is to cut hospital and doctor’s fees by 40 percent which causes hospitals to go bankrupt. With lower rewards for doctors, few are willing to spend six to eight years of their lives in medical school and we end up with fewer doctors. Heck, they can become lawyers in only three years. With the loss of taxable income, things become desperate and government begins doing even more stupid things. In order to offset the loss of taxable income, the government begins to print more money which causes devaluation of the dollar and runaway inflation. We saw that in Venezuela where 45,000 people a day leave the country to find food. But, note that the only billionaires left are the political class who continue to live high on the hog. Seriously folks, country after country has played with Socialism and soon abandoned the idea. By the way, the German medical system is not free as someone recently stated. They pay for it just like we do for Medicare. Believe me, the only winners in the coming battle will be the politicians who will get rich on our suffering. Thousands of years have shown us that Capitalism and a free market has always been the best for humanity.
Bob Wilson – Franklin, N.C.
What have we become?
Today, right here in Franklin, I was verbally accosted as I was getting in my car at the grocery store. It had to do with a sticker on my car to which the mean spirited man objected to. I tried to explain why I had it on my car, but he continued to berate and mock me. Finally, I told him he did not represent the America I loved where freedom of speech and tolerance were valued and left him with “Have a good day sir!” He continued to yell at me as I closed my car door. Never in all my life has anything like this ever happen to me, nor did I expect this here in our beautiful mountain county where I have lived my whole life. But it did. Was I shook? Yes. Was I upset? Yes. But more than that, I was disappointed to think that the division and animosity led and encouraged by the president of the United States has now come to Macon County. Folks, I thought we were better than this. We have always had difference of opinions and voted passionately for the candidate of our choice without resorting to accosting people as they shop. On my way home I couldn’t help but to be saddened and in looking for a note of encouragement, I happen to hear John McCain being memorialized as I listen to the radio. I was bolstered and encouraged by the words of so many people remembering and sharing the kind of man John McCain was. While he was flawed, as we all are, he was willing to admit his mistakes and always strived to work for the greater good of all people, even to the point of correcting people in his campaign rallies when misinformation about his opponent was voiced. Why did he do this? Because he was a man of integrity and honor that loved his country more than himself or even his political party. John McCain was an example of what all Americans should strive to be. And as the flags were lowered to half staff and memories shared, what did the president of the United States, Donald J Trump do? He refused to leave the flag at the White House lowered in honor of McCain and refused to use the statement written by his staff in which McCain was referred to him as a hero. Instead he chose to tweet a short sympathy to his family with no mention of Senator McCain. Earlier he had signed a defense policy bill named for McCain but refused to say his name. And who can forget his dismissal of John McCain’s service to his country when he was a POW in the Vietnam War, by saying he wasn’t a hero, because he was captured. All of this from a man that dodged the draft five times and has called Nazis and White Supremacist “very fine people.” My question is where are the good folks that have honor, integrity and will defend what is right and admit when they have made a mistake. Where are the military service members that have and are serving our country that would allow one of their own to be spoken to and treated this way both in life and in death. What have we become? And more importantly, what are we willing to do about it?
Barbara Elliott-Pangle – Franklin, N.C.
So much hatred building up in our country
Been reading letters in the Macon County News for some time. I am 89 years old, I have never heard a president of our country spread the hatred that Donald Trump seems to be doing. Reading Bob Wilson’s letters is a fine example. His letters are getting scarey. Seems to be so much hatred building up in our country. If you’ll notice, Putin gets rid of every one on his staff that don’t agree with him. Trump is a very domineering and overbearing person. He assumes absolute control in government no free consent of the people, that all adds up to a dictator. If he’s not guilty and has nothing to hide, why is he getting rid of every one who is doing the investigation. If you’ve not done any wrong, there’s nothing to worry about. Trump is getting more like Putin and is great cause for alarm. As far as cutting taxes for the wealthy, some one has to pay to run a country. The poor people can’t do it alone. There will be a lot of cutbacks as there will be no money to take care of payroll for the police, firemen, teachers, and roads and bridges that we all want to feel safe, as for Kim Jong Un, should never be trusted. Never let your guard down He will shake your hand with one and all the time stabbing you in the back with the other.
Kathy Whitley – Franklin, N.C.