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Opinion Letters

On July 29, Bernie Sanders spoke to the entire country, using the Internet. It was an incredible event. Our tiny group of Bernie supporters suddenly exploded, in much the same way support for Bernie has exploded all over the country. The tiny town of Sylva, N.C., had two locations participating with a total of close to 70 people showing interest. And it was a diverse group of people. The oldest member at our event was in his ’90s, and retired from NASA.

And we had a group of teenagers who were excited to get their hands on voter registration forms so they could vote for Bernie, now that their 18th birthdays were getting close. We had people from Highlands and from Franklin, schedule their own house-parties to support Bernie.

What we did not have at the event was the media. We know that major corporations own the media and are suppressing information about Bernie Sanders. But we didn’t even have the local newspapers report on the event, and for this I am very disappointed.

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When I was 15, I left home because my drunken parents abused me physically and sexually. There was no love, only pain and suffering. I knew there was more to life than this, but I knew it would tough to do it on my own.

I found a part time job, and a “flop house” to stay at for $20/week and walked from my job to school and back to the “flop house” daily for two and a half years. I was not very responsible and many times forgot to pay my rent. The “flop house” kicked me out many times and I ended up living under bridges, and destitute, lonely, angry, and hopeless in the Michigan winters.

I'm telling you this because I know what it is like to be homeless. I was not a Christian at that time and could not figure out why people would bring me food and clothing. I know now that the Bible compels Christians to help the homeless and less fortunate (Job 31:19, Psalms 41:1, 72:13, 82:4). Even if you’re not a Christian, it's the right thing to do.

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The controversy in South Carolina revolving around the Confederate Flag has made me think about my southern heritage. I grew up in Georgia and spent most of my working life in South Carolina. The rationale offered by those who support prominent display of the flag is to honor their southern heritage and their ancestors who fought in the Civil War. Over 600,000 Americans died in that war, more than any other war in American history.

This war was indeed about states rights – states ensuring the right of landowners to not only own the land, but to enslave other human beings to work that land. That’s it. If that’s the heritage we’re supposed to be celebrating with the flag, I’ll pass.

Similarly, characteristics such as high levels of poverty, poor education, and ill health that characterize many of the states of the old Confederacy are part of the legacy, but hardly worth honoring or celebrating. That being said, I choose to live in the south and there are many things worth celebrating.

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Traditionally, Americans have sent lawyers to congressional offices in Washington. The assumption was that they would be able to make laws and regulations. What they actually did is cut deals and trade agreements that are killing American businesses and jobs. While you know me as the pistol instructor, my background is stronger in business, having run several major and medium size corporations. Over the years I’ve written many times that we need to send experienced businessmen/women to Washington. The government of the U.S. is one of the largest businesses in the world. Why would you send an inexperienced attorney, with no business experience to run it? A man who has never held a job, never punched a clock, never supervised people, never managed people, never created business plans, budgets or negotiated business deals? What Donald Trump is finally revealing is what I have written about for years. Fair Trade Laws that Washington negotiated served to send large parts of American business overseas. It has created severe economic results in the U.S. Our companies are not doing well, there are not enough jobs for Americans! It is difficult to achieve a middle class position.

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