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Letters. Sept. 6

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A better way

To the editor:

It’s all about respect, doing what is right and it can work.

Summer maintenance for Green Hill Cemetery is a ot of work. The guys are are always helpful, friendly and they understand what we have there.

Have you ever read the rules and did you know the VA section has rules made by the VA itself? After 23 months of keeping neat, easy to mow around around flowers on my husband’s grave, I found them gone. I went looking for an answer and I found it at the public works building. I was heartbroken and upset.

I don’t agree with flowers being to many but one single bunch should be fine.

Rules in general are made for the common good of the people, so I’ll obey the VA wishes because Bill is exactly where he wants to be and I am grateful for his grave and that he rests in peace there.

If you have someone buried there, if you haven’t read the rules, you should. I was surprised by the VA rules like no flags. They fly the large flags in honor of all veterans and they place smaller ones on Memorial and Veteran’s Day and then remove them. It’s worth getting a copy.

Debby Knapik


Let’s focus on the real problem

To the editor:

The divisive letters people write, taking sides and blaming others, are getting us nowhere. After reading the letter about communists protesting in Maggie Valley, it seemed that the writer felt that the presence of communists was of more concern than racism.

No advances can be made until people either accept that racism is one of the biggest problems our country faces, or admit they do not see racism as a problem.

People of color in our country have suffered for years, decades and centuries. Protesting that injustice itself cannot be wrong. What’s wrong is the way some choose to protest.

I suspect that any protest in our country could have people whose motives are not to right a wrong or at least bring attention to that wrong. Too many have their own agendas and those agendas may not be in our country’s best interest.

We cannot determine the motives of all members of a group. Communists marching in a civil rights protest does not mean the protest is wrong and should not diminish the need for protest. We are spending too much time arguing and demeaning others.

There are positive protesters and negative protesters.

There are positive police and negative police.

There are positive leaders and negative leaders.

There are people who want everyone to be treated fairly.

There are people who avoid that issue. Can we focus on the problem of racism?

Ann Putnam


Lies and untold truths

To the editor:

Washington Post has documented 21,000+ Trump lies. Even his supporters admit he isn’t always truthful.

Untold truths can be as insidious as lies. 33+/- million Americans (10+%) are now unemployed—far surpassing previous records. Supplemental unemployment payments approved by Congress expired July 31 because Mitch McConnell refuses to discuss extending them. Trump claims to rescue those unemployed (now!) because of his mishandling coronavirus.

The money ($300/week, totaling $44,000,000,000) would come from FEMA (which should normally provide hurricane relief) … before the peak hurricane season. If dispersed for unemployment payments, FEMA could be bankrupt within five weeks. Under Trump’s plan lowest earners will get nothing.

Trump also plans to eliminate payroll tax payments that fund Social Security and Medicare. If he gets re-elected, he promises to continue that policy. Social Security will be bankrupt within a couple of years. (Trump, still bankruptcy king!) BTW, Americans don’t make payments into Social Security or Medicare if they’re unemployed. Eliminating payroll tax won’t benefit those who need help most.

One whopper (among many) from the RNC demands correction. Larry Kudlow, echoing Trump’s claim of “best economy ever”, said Trump rescued the economy from the “disastrous performance under Obama/Biden”. In fact, during 2014-2016 (Obama’s last three years) the economy grew 8.5%. During 2017-2019 (Trump’s first three years) it grew 7.6%. Net growth over Trump’s term (2017-2020) is now forecast to be near zero. Job growth 2014-2016 was 8,100,000. From 2017-2019 it was 6,500,000. Job growth in Obama’s worst year (during 2014-2016) beat Trump’s best year. All those 6,500,000 Trump jobs have now been lost plus 10,000,000+ more. Yes, the stock market rose more under Trump. Why? That huge corporate tax cut mostly went to boost stock prices, not production capacity as Trump promised.

Rethink Trump’s economic genius. Seriously.

Everett Baucom


Consider this stance on God’s will

To the editor:

The Mountaineer recently featured two opinion articles claiming that the U.S. is dangerously veering away from God’s will.

The authors use these arguments to persuade voters to vote for the Republican platform and candidates, citing that the Democratic party and its candidates will turn our country into a Marxist society, which goes against Jesus’ teachings. (I need some help finding a verse where Jesus discussed Marxism.)

One author cites Ephesians 4:30, which states “grieve not the Holy Spirit…” and professes his commitment to follow the teachings of Christ. At the risk of also being guilty of picking and choosing scripture to support a position, immediately following this verse, Paul implores the Ephesians to put away bitterness, anger and malice.

These too, are words we need to heed in this time of division and uncertainty in our country. Let’s not let fear rule the day. Let’s promote civility even as we disagree about who we want to choose as our elected officials.

Civility is not honking or hooting when someone is mowing their grass with campaign signs for candidates you don’t support.

It is not killing each other or destroying property during protests seeking justice and fair treatment for people who have been marginalized since the founding of this country.

When I reflect on the teachings of Jesus, I think about how I want to live in a society that supports the words attributed to Jesus in Mathew 25: 35-45 about how we treat the least of these.

The least of these does not exclusively refer to unborn children; it also includes prisoners, widows, the hungry and the lonely.

The least of these includes black children and families who yearn for an opportunity for a decent education, and are unjustly profiled by police, the working poor, the immigrants and farmworkers who put food on our table, and the sick who need access to affordable healthcare, including our neighbors who probably did not have aspirations of suffering from homelessness and substance use disorders.

Perhaps we should consider how we live out this charge and which candidates support policies consistent with these teachings.

Kae Livsey


History repeats itself

Your story on Aug. 30, “Video recalls polio outbreak in Haywood County” brings vivid memories of my part in the polio story.

Scientists had determined that the disease was caused by one of three related viruses which could be given by mouth for prevention.

Immunologists determined that these could be given on a sugar cube in a community drive. Haywood community determined to hold three such drives, one for each virus.

The specifics of the drive will be in The Mountaineer newspapers of the time. I remember the country wide organization that was required.

We did not have cell phones, and my assigned duty was to check at each place of immunization that all was going well: they had sufficient volunteers and vaccine, there were no long waiting lines and anything else needed.

The sheriff’s department drove me from place to place of the immunizations. I needed a presence as a physician. I did not have babysitting for my son, Jim. I took him along. His memory of these trips remain vivid.

The world will have a prevention of our current coronavirus by a vaccine. We will soon have another epidemic we can present.

History repeats itself.

Doris B. Hammett, MD


COVID has lingering effects

To the editor:

Trump’s distraction with his bogus law and order campaign is to keep people from realizing the consequences from his debacle in handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than twice as many police officers have died from COVID-19 this year than all other causes combined ( Having totally botched containment of the pandemic, Trump does not want you to know about the consequences.

COVID-19 is still killing one American every minute or two during every day. At this rate we will have more than 250 million dead by the end of the year.

Now his new quack medical advisor with no expertise in immunology is suggesting herd immunity that would require 70% to 80% of Americans become infected with more than a million dead.

The horrifying thing is that the deaths are not the only negative outcome of contracting COVID-19. About one in three who are positive for the virus experience extended problems called the Long Haul Syndrome.

It turns out that physicians are now discovering that COVID-19 is also a blood and blood vessel disease. This accounts for the blood clot deaths observed early in the pandemic. But that was just the tip of the iceberg.

COVID-19 causes prolonged problems including concentration and emotional problems, joint and muscle pains, breathing issues, loss of smell, and complete debilitation that lasts for weeks and months. They may last for years or a lifetime — we don’t know yet.

For example, one young woman was a personal trainer, but now cannot do even minimal exercises months after exposure.

Given that more than six million Americans are infected with the virus, more than two million could suffer prolonged consequences ranging from mild to debilitating medical conditions.

With herd immunity, that number could be more than 76 million. This is the context in which Trump wants people to send their kids to schools, universities to play sports, and the rest of us to pretend that the pandemic is over or under control.

Norman Hoffmann


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