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Opinion Letters

The news of the last couple of weeks brings into sharp focus the divided world we live in. No longer do we have a common language or ethic to guide our thoughts or actions in this complex world.

Let's take just one example of this disconnect, "religious freedom." This country was founded on the principal of the freedom of religion. For some, it means that there should be no restriction on the practice of one's religion. For others it means that the "state" should not promote one religion over another. These, however, are not the same thing.

If there were no restriction on religious practice then the government could not ban animal sacrifice, or slavery, the legal bondage of women, or laws against inter racial marriage. At one time or another all of these ideas have been justified as deeply held religious beliefs. If the state had not acted to ban these practices, it is, in effect, promoting one person's religious beliefs over another.


Malice towards all and charity towards none are the key words of the new Republican Party. This is not my father’s party. We’re seeing something happen in America that has never happened to this degree before. The modern Republican Party is truly proving what the “trickle-down” effect is. When you remove all the hyperbole, what you’re left with is huge transfers of income from the poor and the working class, who would see severe benefit cuts, to the rich, who would see big tax cuts. The simplest way to understand these budgets is surely to suppose that they are intended to do what they would, in fact, actually do: make the rich richer and ordinary families poorer.

It's not just that the Republicans are busy transferring wealth upwards - it's that they're busy turning us against each other, too. Blatant appeals to racism, sexism, endless fear and war-mongering, religious fanaticism; all of this intended to distract us from what they're doing to the country, and to keep us from uniting against them.


Kudos to the Macon County News and Shopping Guide, who truly uphold the Constitutional right to free speech and Freedom of the Press. It is through your venue I have the right to speak to my fellow citizens on issues they need to know.

Of course, Maconians work and invest in Jackson County. The Planning Board fiasco, although outrageous, had its comedic moments. Such as find a house in Dillsboro cracking up and about to slide into the Tuckasegee River so poorly sited. Planning board members surveyor David Brooke (a proactive loud voice) tear down all the steep slope protective ordinances and get those nine-feet wide roads on there. So they can gouge out the sides of slopes to pass. It was whistle for the developers. Bring on the money. Former chairman Jack Debman got in his line of fire and was invited to plant one on his posterior. The fiasco continues as I and my fellow taxpayers are paying for around a $50,000 audit of the Permitting Dept.


I am closing in on 80 years young. Born in New York but spent a large part of my life in and around the South. Sure I’ve been called, and I quote, “That dam yankee,” and I have said, and I quote, “that dam redneck,” but it was all in good fun. We Americans, north or south, have always enjoyed rubbing it in to each other.

What happened to all those wonderful people in that church is a loss to all of us. But to jump the gun and demand the flag to be removed at the capital and the memorial will only fan the fires of hatred in a few crazies and give them an excuse to create more problems. Please remember many Americans from the South died for it and their beliefs. It’s time for all to show respect to each other. It’s time for all of us to show forgiveness to each other. Just think, I didn’t cause suffering a hundred years ago and you didn’t also. In my opinion, leave the flag where it belongs. It’s our North or South history.


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