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Opinion Letters

We’ve all seen what happened in Paris, France when a group of radical Muslims decided that a news outlet had gone too far in publishing cartoons about Mohammad.

France, of course, has a long history of lampooning politicians, religion and any group that dares present themselves as having all the answers.

In America, we too have a long history of lampooning those in power. This is what keeps us safely in a Democracy as we freely debate questions of both religious faith and political ideology. No political or religious leader is above being questioned or lampooned.

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If we are going to spend billions every year on health care and food assistance programs, then we need to start investing more of that money into sustainable projects that are nearly free or can pay for themselves over time. Community farms on every block would boost every local economy in this country.

I do not think it makes sense that we pay farmers to not grow certain crops while people go hungry. Farmers should be paid for their surpluses instead. Until we meet the needs of our own people, we are a poor example to the world. Not for long though - this generation is here to unite us.

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Most of the civilized world was outraged by the killing of 12 journalist/cartoonists. Their magazine specialized in biting satirical articles and cartoons meant to offend everyone, especially the religious. For the freedom to publish this offensive material, they paid with their lives. But this is just the latest example of death in the name of religion.

Violent religious conflict can be seen in the old Testament, where the Jews spared no one in their march to the promised land. On the orders of a Pope over a million Muslims were slaughtered by the Crusaders. Shiite and Sunni have been killing each other over 1200 years. Over 3 million died in Europe during the "Thirty Years War" between Protestants and Catholics. Hundreds of thousands died as Hindu and Muslims engage in mutual genocide after India's independence. The list is as long as the history of the human race.

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This is an open invitation to all people in Macon County to meet members of the Academic Foundation Board on Thursday, Jan. 15, at 6 p.m. in the School Board Room at the school district county office (1202 Old Murphy Rd). We are especially interested in discussing our mission and accomplishments with members of the private business community upon whose support we rely every year to raise money for use in all public classrooms of Macon County.

The Macon County Academic Foundation is an all volunteer, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to raise and grant funds to teachers for classroom project materials and field trips. In 2014 alone, MCAF granted over $14,000 to programs that directly benefit our students, including the purchase of harps for a new music program at Mountain View Intermediate, clay pottery kits for East Franklin Elementary, and new P.E. equipment for Union Academy. The money raised at our yearly Academic Auction – set for May 2, 2015 at Cartoogechaye School – helps students across all grade levels in this way.

We look forward to hosting community members interested in meeting the Academic Foundation board. If you have any questions, or would like to RSVP for the meeting, email anytime: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Brian Aulisio — Franklin, N.C.

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