Court puts all privacy rights at risk
To the Editor:
This session, the Supreme Court decided that women should have no autonomy in making medical decisions regarding their access to abortion, that states should have fewer tools to address gun violence, and that agencies that know the most about climate change should not exercise the power that Congress clearly delegated to them.
The abortion case, which will ultimately put all privacy rights at risk, was based in part upon concepts that look at the text of the Constitution or look at how the document was understood at the time it was written (originalism and textualism). These methods of interpretation provide no clarity or consistency.
I am certain the founders did not consider a black man to be a whole person (Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 references the 3/5ths compromise). They most certainly did not envision black men and women exercising the right to vote or hold elective office. And they could not imagine that a black man with a white wife would sit on the Supreme Court.
The conservative justices who claim to be “textualists” or “originalists” are laughably disingenuous to rely upon the fact that the Constitution makes no reference to abortion. The Court also noted that the right to abortion was not “deeply rooted in this nation’s history and tradition.” Given that abortion has existed in this country since it was a group of colonies, this argument fails.
The majority justices revealed their true nature and radical conservative political agenda; they are angry men (mostly) who do not care that a significant majority of Americans favor Roe v. Wade, women’s civil rights, responsible gun safety regulations and environmental protection. Vote this November.
Ann Fulton, Sylva
Earth: Love it, ‘cause we can’t leave it
To the Editor:
People ask why is the United States the only county in the world where mass shootings occur? I am not a psychologist, but I have thought for a long time that children in the United States are taught, what are, unreachable expectations.
Every child that plays youth sports – baseball, football, basketball and the like – are told by their coach, parents, and the media, that if they work hard enough, they will be able to play on a professional team and earn millions of dollars. This is far from the truth. The truth is, only one in many millions will ever reach a goal that is set so high. We should teach and encourage young people to dream and make goals that are possible and help them reach what they dream of, and that is OK to change goals as they mature.
Most children will be able to accept the truth, when they grow up, but it seems that some are not able to accept the truth and they sometimes, lash out at the world and go so far as to kill people who they don’t know and had nothing to do with their inability to reach the goals they aspired.
Everybody cannot come in first place. There has to be second and third place. Why don’t people do things for the fun of it? Run a race for exercise and companionship and not to win and berate the losers. Wouldn’t it be better if the winner offered to help the ones he beat to do better the next time? The world needs more cooperation, less competition, more love than hate, and more understanding of the rights and aspirations of others. We all live on a little blue-green ball that floats in outer space. As our population grows, the earth stays the same size. We must learn to live with the people and other animals we share our planet with. Earth is all we have. Love it. You can’t leave it.
Harold Sims, Cullowhee
An unpleasant time brings some comfort
To the Editor:
I just wanted to commend the Harris EMTs and the hospital itself for my recent experience with them.
Experiencing chest pain last Friday beginning in the early morning hours along with intense sweating and nausea, I didn’t think I was having a heart attack, but needed to know for sure, so after a few hours I bit the bullet and called 911 around 5 a.m. The crew’s presence might’ve seemed a bit overkill, with the ambulance and two other vehicles, but I welcomed whoever wanted to help. They were so warm and friendly (“What are you feeling, Love?’” “Let me help you with this, Darlin’.”) without being condescending, proving their competence immediately. And while this was one of the scariest experiences of my life, all of the men and one woman were very reassuring and comforting, helping me stay calm and relax and respecting my privacy. Even after being delivered to the ER, there was some followup involved until I was totally turned over to the hospital staff.
From the doctor to the nurses and tech staff, I was treated with respect and dignity, receiving explanations of any tests I was experiencing. While they were in my presence, I was made to feel I was the only patient they had. Finally, the doctor explained that the tests were pretty conclusive I hadn’t had a heart attack, but provided information to follow up with a cardiologist, who I’ll see next month. Also recommended was setting up an appointment with my primary care physician, which is set for this week.
For what was such a frightening experience, I felt the care and treatment I received was the best I could get! How fortunate to have EMTs and a hospital not only nearby, but staffed with competent employees, and for that I’m very grateful.
Sue Resnik, Sylva
Pay attention to the Jan. 6 hearings
To the Editor:
Don’t you know that most people with a good brain and the willingness to use it to seek out the truth knew long ago that Trump was nothing more than a corrupt maniac who sold out to Putin decades ago and continues to work for him in his efforts to compromise our democratic Republic to this day. The Russian TV network is now talking about “re-installing” their “partner” Trump as our president.
I said “most” because we’ve still got MAGA nuts who believe in QAnon and people who willingly want to believe Trump’s lies for various selfish reasons. The ultra-rich, like Rupert Murdoch, do not want to pay any taxes and realize that democracy is more expensive for them than fascism would be. So he and his ilk pour dark money into our system in a constant effort to fool people into believing the misinformation they spout.
And unfortunately, it really works. Don’t you wonder every time you pass a vehicle that still has a Trump sticker on it just which sort of delusional world that driver must live in? I’ve made more mistakes than most people who live 100 years, and will admit that I voted against Hillary and for Putin’s puppet in 2016. Took me around six months to see just how little he cared about our democracy and how much he was like Putin or the devil himself.
Any citizen worth his salt should at least be listening to the honorable Republicans with the courage to protect our Constitution rather than the millions in dark campaign donations they receive. It’s on record that even the slimy Kevin McCarthy “swore to God that Trump was getting Putin money” years ago.
But maybe his own niece, Mary Trump, summed up this her feelings on the cult with this rewteet: “History will speak to the cult; How easily they were gaslit; How they railed around grievance; and culture; rallied against their own interests; believed an obvious con. But the true disaster was normalization of a madman.”
So all you folks who either can’t handle or are unwilling to accept the truth, just keep badmouthing the most important congressional hearings there will likely be in your lifetime.
Mike Clark, Cullowhee
Backs Clayton in runoff election
To the Editor:
The survival of public education that serves all of our children is the true concern of the July 26 school board election. Public education is not, nor was it intended to be, religious education.
We have a choice of an incumbent, Abigail Clayton, that has family in the school system. Or the other choice is someone that is a strategic widget of those that fear teaching bona fide history, and prefer to mix public education into teaching Christianity and prayer in a public school. More bluntly, the other choice, the other candidate, is part of the warped philosophy that wants to blend her own flavor of religion into public education.
And, it becomes more and more clear that we better pay attention, and hope that our children can overcome the hot mess “we” have created losing sight of the purpose of public education. We can only hope that today’s children can right the ship of a country that is not acting in their best interest by teaching facts and critical thinking rather than religion in public schools.
So who are “we”? “We” are voters, or maybe even the sometimes nonvoters that have placed or allowed to be placed “representatives” in Washington, D.C., and Raleigh that find that public law does not apply to them, and basically set an example of the very behavior we would not accept in our children. This behavior violates not religious standards, but violates common law abiding standards consistent with our state and federal constitutions. Religious teaching belongs in religious institutions. We are seeing a trend in the leadership of the United States and North Carolina, and now maybe our school board, leaning toward a government that does not consider the needs of the future generation, (climate change, for example) and attempting to substitute true public education with religion.
But, we have a choice. We can choose to avoid the misguided candidate that wants to change the purpose of public education. The only real choice is to vote for Abigail Clayton, who has the best interest of our children and their future, public education, and will continue to work for Jackson County students.
Pamela Krauss, Webster
Backs Buchanan in runoff election
To the Editor:
Should we re-elect the incumbent, Abigail Clayton, for Board of Education District 2 or does the Jackson County Public School system need new leadership with Lisa R. Buchanan?
The N.C. Department of Public Instruction report card for Jackson County Public Schools indicates three out of eight schools are low performing (grade of D or F) as of the last required testing in 2019 due to the pandemic. The surrounding counties have one out of 53 low performing schools.
JCPS has one school which has been low performing since 2014 and this school was planning a privilege race as part of their 2022 improvement plan. The privilege race is promoted as “diversity” training which has nothing to do with academics. This shows the Board is not providing the proper oversight with the low-performing schools’ improvement plans or seeking the root cause(s) of the low-performing schools.
The 2021 mid-year reading test scores for grades 3-8 show two of three students are at least one grade level behind of which one of four are three or more grade levels behind. This information was presented at the February 22 Board of Education meeting and there was not a single question or any discussion by the Board. At the same meeting, the Board approved over $20 million in funding with no questions or discussion.
This is the norm with the current Board of Education to not ask any discerning questions or to have any discussion. N.C. has open meeting laws, so the Board of Education cannot discuss these proposals privately.
Based on discussing topics with both candidates during their campaign meet and greets, Lisa Buchanan’s level of critical thinking, decision-making skills, and unwavering support for teachers, students and parents is very apparent.
Based on the following facts:
1) JCPS has the most low performing public schools west of Buncombe County with little to no oversight/accountability by the Board.
2) Two out of three of the JCPS students in grades 3-8 are reading below grade level with little to no oversight/accountability by the Board.
3) The Board’s lack of ability or willingness to discussion million dollar proposals; and
4) Buchanan’s analytical skills, decision-making ability, and passion to improve our schools.
Who should you vote for? I support voting in new leadership.
Keith Blaine, Sylva
Praises Trump for high court picks
To the Editor:
I would like to thank former President Donald Trump for his God-sent decision and courage to appoint three conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. This made it possible for the infamous Roe vs. Wade (1973) decision to finally be reversed.
Why the resolve? Roe was not just a misguided decision. It was a deliberate, perjurious lie. The lead witness in the Roe case (Norma McCorvey) admitted to committing perjury under oath. (NBC News, Sept. 1987). There is no mandate in the U.S. Constitution for a non-emergency abortion, a freedom of choice, or a right to privacy, nor has there ever been.
Mr. Trump helped to set the framework for a major judicial victory for the unborn human children. May God bless him for this.
School races are nonpartisan for a reason
To the Editor:
In the Herald’s front-page article about the school board runoff election (June 30), Jackson County Board of Elections Director Lisa Lovedahl was quoted as saying “Non-partisan means there are no political requirements on file for that office. It does not mean that political parties cannot have their choices...”
According to Merriam-Webster, nonpartisan means “free from party affiliation, bias, or designation.” While it’s true that it’s acceptable for a political party to support a nonpartisan candidate, it doesn’t mean it’s OK for the candidate to align themselves with a party that is supporting them. When a nonpartisan candidate is campaigning as a “conservative” or “progressive” or any other buzzword associated with a specific political party, the election is no longer nonpartisan.
School board positions are nonpartisan for a reason. Bringing partisan politics into a nonpartisan campaign is neither productive nor appropriate, and to me, indicates that they don’t understand the job, and may not be deserving of the position they are seeking. Partisan or not, it is far smarter to vote for a candidate whose priority is respecting the responsibilities of the job they are applying for and the highest needs of the people it serves, rather than a candidate whose priority is being loyal to a specific group or interest – political, religious or otherwise.
Mark Stein, Webster
Editor’s note: Per Herald policy, candidate endorsement letters will not be accepted for the July 21 edition ahead of the July 26 primary.