On the virtue of charity
To the Editor:
A recent letter writer to the Sylva Herald eloquently expressed her concerns about money in America: “Lately we hear praise of Democrats and President Joe Biden, for spending trillions of dollars in aid to chosen groups.” She states further, “They are handouts shoveled out to get votes, retain power over people and for a good excuse to tax to the hilt everyone who has income.” That’s her strong opinion about the workings of American society.
Should we remind ourselves, though, of the first part of our Constitution? It states: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Reckon what the brilliant constitutional writers meant by “…promote the general Welfare?” Do you believe the tax package legislated during the Trump presidency carries out those words? Are you aware that by way of that package many individuals and businesses have increased their wealth by billions of dollars? Do people who have demonstrated the unique ability to accumulate fortunes actually need any help from the government to pile up even more money? Can someone show us a time in history when help to the “less fortunate” endangered the operation of “the wealthiest country in history?”
Gratitude is important. The Eagles sang, “Now it seems to me, some fine things have been laid upon your table. But you only want the ones that you can’t get.” How about the virtues - Faith, Hope, and Charity? Where does charity fit in the “wealthiest country in the world?” What does your preacher say about charity? What did Aristotle say? What does our Constitution say?
Dave Waldrop, Webster
Presidential responsibility and U.S. wars
To the Editor:
A recent letter was an honest overview of Vietnam titled “Presidents and war.” The so-called facts described by Gene Tunnel in a previous guest commentary read like the notable “Fake News,” mis-interpreted. I applaud Colonel Padgett’s letter as knowledgeable and accurate.
As a Vietnam soldier 1966-67, those of us that were actually there knew it was under Democratic presidents that refused to honor our agreement with the South Vietnamese to keep bullet-for-bullet replenishment for their troops. It was President Lyndon Johnson who gave South Vietnam away; it was not us that lost the war, it was him. It was the Afghanistan of today, except that Biden gave everything he could to our enemies to use against us, killing more Americans by the use of our own weapons. Thank you Colonel for your accuracy in describing the presidential blunders of Democratic presidents.
I salute you and all our troops through the world, past and present, who still protect the American Values that our country was founded upon.
Ron Raccioppi, Cullowhee
Thoughts on the state of dissent, democracy
To the Editor:
“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism” was a popular statement in George Bush’s presidency during protests against the Iraq war. Hillary Clinton and other Democrats were fond of it and the press gladly quoted them. How is this form of patriotism doing today? Not good! Questioning the 2020 election will get you labeled a conspiracy theorist if not an insurrectionist or terrorist and “a threat to our democracy.” How is “our democracy” doing?
Bush was considered an illegitimate president by many but under Obama, opposition to him was “racist.” Then the Tea Party emerged as a democratic movement to oppose Obama’s policies. The resulting shellacking produced a Republican congressional majority. In a well-functioning democracy notice would be taken of this and an attempt made to find some compromise. Instead, to prevent a repeat in 2012 some feel the IRS was used to deny or delay tax exempt status to conservative groups while allowing tax exempt status to progressive groups. This handicapped these organizations from having the same influence that they had previously while tilting the playing field in the progressive direction. Obama was re-elected and the Democrats continued to ignore democratic rumblings.
Democrats thought they had a shoo-in with Hillary but when Trump won, all hell broke loose. They blamed the loss on everyone but themselves. Instead of soul searching, they went on a search and destroy mission to undermine the Trump presidency. With the surprising success of the Trump administration despite the roadblocks, it appeared that he was cruising to re-election until COVID. Voting procedures were loosened and massive mail-in voting was instituted, often without proper legal authority. Even so, it looked like Trump was on his way to re-election. Then, inexplicably, vote counting was halted in swing states with Trump having a comfortable lead only to have it mysteriously vanish when huge batches of Biden votes came in early in the morning. There were sufficient reports and video evidence that made it reasonable to question the results. Suddenly, there was a campaign to declare the election the most secure in history and to place out of bounds any discussion to the contrary. When a legitimate protest of the election got out of hand, the rioters were not treated like BLM or Antifa , but were labeled terrorists and held without bond. Does this sound like “our democracy?”
To date, there has been a forensic audit of the election in Arizona. The results are pending and many other states are considering it, but the opposition is hysterical. Many millions of patriotic dissenters want an accounting. Courts have not ruled on the merits. If the election was as secure as so stridently claimed, then show us to be stupid and wrong by welcoming forensic audits and settle the issue.
We need it easy to vote but hard to cheat election laws. Voter suppression tropes are lies. The Democrats want to maintain a system that can be gamed. If we can’t have faith in our elections, then it is not “our democracy.”
David Parker, Sylva
Hopes statue stays where it is
To the Editor:
Recently I visited beautiful, historic Sylva from our summer place in Sugar Mountain. The rest of the year my wife and I live on the coast in Florida. My wife is a native Floridian and I spent the first 40 years of my 68 years living in New York.
Standing in front of the old Courthouse, now a library, I marveled at the beauty of the old majestic building and the beautiful statue commemorating all the past Confederate soldiers. I was so overwhelmed by the beauty that I had to walk up those 70-plus stairs to read the plaque on the statue and admire it up close. To my dismay when I got there the statue was encased by a fence and all the inscription was covered by wood planking. I thought just my luck, they’re working on the statue!
I took a few photos of the town and proceeded to make my way back to the street below. I stood in the middle of the street in front of the visitor’s center and took a few photos of the statue and library when a car stopped next to me and out of the passenger side window a senior woman said take a bunch, he will be gone soon.
I only have a high school diploma but I know how important our heritage and history are. How have we gotten to this point? What is wrong with us that we don’t see the importance of these statues? We are one Nation under God! I can’t help but feel like I’m a traitor to this great country. I pray that we come back to our senses and I pray for all you people of Sylva that you find the strength to fight and win this battle to publicly honor our heroes. God Bless.
Pete Breckwoldt, Palm Coast, Fla.
Disagrees with Cooper’s veto
To the Editor:
Gov. Roy Cooper refuses to stop indoctrination in public schools by vetoing NC HB324.
HB324 states public school units shall not promote that:
(1) One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.
(2) An individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive.
(3) An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex.
(4) An individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex.
(5) An individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.
(6) Any individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress.
(7) A meritocracy is inherently racist or sexist.
(8) The United States was created by members of a particular race or sex for the purpose of oppressing members of another race or sex.
(9) The United States government should be violently overthrown.
(10) Particular character traits, values, moral or ethical codes, privileges, or beliefs should be ascribed to a race or sex or to an individual because of the individual’s race or sex.
(11) The rule of law does not exist, but instead is a series of power relationships and struggles among racial or other groups.
(12) All Americans are not created equal and are not endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
(13) Governments should deny to any person within the government’s jurisdiction the equal protection of the law.
Keith Blaine, Sylva