Feedback: Sept. 24, 2020

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Local 9/11 service elicits memories from war

Memories: Standing among the crowd at a ceremony remembering the events of 9/11, I looked around at all the people knowing that each one has a story. There was music of patriotic songs and several speakers with kind words of remembrance. In a flash I joined those fleeing collapsing buildings. I can see the expressions on those faces. It is more than expressions of fear.

There is no apparent anger in this moment of pandemonium. I see confused and bewildered faces. Is this really happening? I join the scene of those fleeing and then I look back wondering about those behind in the devastation. Then I am transported back 50 years. In an ambush I am separated from my teammate. Tony was behind me as our company patrol was headed back to base camp. We were a four-man right-flank team during the patrol. One was wounded. One breathed his last breath in my arms. There was no decision to make. Me and Tony were a team. I went back to Tony, toward the enemy.

As it turned out, we went from defense to offense when we saw the enemy up close and personal as they proceeded to kill our men from the rear. On 9/11 a flood of memories came back to me. A man jumping out of a helicopter to his death. The skeletal remains of a pilot who may have weighed 40 pounds, a young man riddled with bullets with fists clenched as though he was trying his best to live. Scattered bodies of a 15-man squad laying in the sun for days. A gunny sergeant with the top of his head removed who had come to rest about eight feet from his brains.

They were in a neat pile seemingly intact just like the picture in a health book or the one etched in my mind. I could go on, but I think not. Let me just say this. Stay strong America so that our enemies respect and fear us. Not to wage war but to deter aggression. Seek to make peace and be at peace with all nations possible. Should we consider entering another major conflict, let us first draft 12 front line soldiers. Two from the Senate and 10 from Congress. Maybe if Congress or their children had to go to the front lines, we would be slower to give away the lives of our young men and women.

Dwight Moss


Ralph Myers: All who know him are fortunate

Congratulations to Ralph Myers for reaching 95 years of age while still looking 70. His wonderful smile shows me that he has had a happy life making friends and being helpful to many folks through the years. Those of you who know him must feel very fortunate.

Barbara Harmon


Important to be counted in this year’s census

Every 10 years the federal government conducts a census to evaluate the population of our nation. This information is used to allocate funds, develop resources and assist our developing communities. Your response is needed. Sept. 30 is the deadline for filling out the U.S. Census. In North Carolina, 40 percent of the households have not yet responded. That’s 4 million people not being counted. It takes only 10 minutes and there are no trick questions.

There are no questions about religious affiliations, social security numbers, citizenship status, financial information, or political preferences. What do you have to lose? Politically, we may lose a seat in the House and we would be underrepresented in Congress. Economically, we would lose federal funds for hospitals, road repairs, infrastructure improvements, emergency services, senior services, food programs and housing assistance.

Educationally, major programs such as Pell Grants, vocational training, educational grants and financial support for our community schools, colleges and universities are affected. This is important. Be a patriotic citizen and respond to our government’s request to be counted. Visit: We are in this together,

Thank you, Dan Goff


Trump’s antics no match for Biden’s experience

In the final weeks before an election that will determine whether our country will succumb to death by Trumpism or come out of intensive care with a severely damaged immune system I find myself confounded by the unrelenting delusional and blind nature of all Trumpists. It is one thing in normal electoral politics for someone like Austella Miller to offer a conservative opinion if the choice were between, say Joe Biden and John Kasich.

There would be the usual debates between liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans. Harsh and stringent opinions would be bandied about, mostly on policy, very little on personal attacks. Trump, however, politically, is from another planet, one intent on subduing humanity and this is

not politics as usual. Then you have someone like Kathy Waters who wants to know what positive attributes Biden has because she knows what to expect from Trump. Although I believe Biden has many positive attributes, the most powerful and important one is that he is not Trump. I say that not to denigrate Biden’s qualities but to illustrate that the difference between these two is like choosing between a deranged narcissist desperate to stay in office in order not to be held accountable for his malfeasance and an experienced candidate with knowledge of the operations of govern — Oh wait.

Just to be clear about the delusional and blind nature of all Trumpists, never have we had a president who would have:

• Mismanaged the devastating aftermath of hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico or the COVID pandemic resulting in, to date, almost 200,000 deaths, knowing all along how deadly it is and lying about it.

• So cozied up to Putin that he has allowed the bounties on American troops to go unanswered.

• Publicly and privately dissed military service as a place for losers while resting on his bone spurs.

• Abused the power of pardon by commuting the sentence of a convicted felon and political crony.

• Stripped all cabinet posts of professional operatives and replaced them with ill informed and unqualified shills.

It is not an exaggeration to say that many could write volumes, film countless documentaries, perform songs and opera (and this will occur if the idea of a United States recovers) for decades to come. Last, and not least, none of this would be possible without the total complicity of the so called Republican Party. There really is no longer such a party. Many, if not most of the former members have become never-Trumpers and members of the Lincoln Project. My hat is off to them. Expect the worst, hope for the best.

Bill Bagwell


President Trump deserves respect not constant stream of criticism

Hayesville is supposedly a Christian community of God fearing people and I see the Clay newspaper and its readers are still Trump haters after all this man has done for you. After all he is your Commander in Chief he does deserve your respect. He has done more for this country in four years than any president in history. He is a God fearing man who cares about the country and its people.

He wants prosperity for the country and yet you spit on him and make up all kinds of lies. His accomplishments are too many to list here but here are some: He rebuilt the military; withdrew from the terrible Iran deal; moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem; withdrew the United States from the job killing Paris Climate accord; signed the VA choice act; and signed the biggest tax cuts which help small businesses survive. Plus bringing back manufacturing jobs to the United States. Do you not have the intelligence to understand what the Democrats have been doing starting with the Obama administration and his alliance to his Muslim Brotherhood not to mention all the U.S. dollars he sent them. Do you remember Bengazi and the four dead Americans, the total let down and the lies.

Hillary Clinton and the 30,000 destroyed emails, the smashed cell phones and the crooked politicians like Nadler and Schiff and Pelosi. The attempts to “get” Trump anyway they could. When they failed we have all the riots in all the Democratic run cities. These are the people who want to kill all the unborn children and even killing them after they are born. Is this what your Christian community believes in? Do you really support abortion. Do you really enjoy attacking someone who is trying to save the country you live in from socialism. Do you really want the Harris-Biden team because make no mistake it will be a Harris administration Joe will fade into the background. Harris is a socialist which means a socialist could be one heart beat away from the resolute desk in the oval office.

You people are no better than the rioters in Oregon. You have a president who cares about America, he is a family man and a good man and he believes in God, yet this little “Christian” town hates his guts for no reason. As for this being a friendly little town — it is not.

Ruth Newsome


There are good and bad doctors, but it’s not about trusting politicians

I had written an article for this week on how to understand medical trials for treatments, but Jim Davis’ new editorial, “Some trust doctors treating patients, others trust politicians,” requires a response. Trusting politicians on medical issues is not something any reasonable person would do. There are good doctors and bad doctors. I actually laughed at Davis’ article because he chose the worst of the narcissist self-promoting doctors as his best sources.

Good doctors don’t promote miracle cures on YouTube. They write medical studies in a team, studies that are then peer reviewed. Jim likes Drs. Simone Gold, Stella Immanuel and Chris Martenson. Davis got the spelling of the name and the link wrong for Chris. Chris Martenson is an economist, not a doctor who is famous for self-promotion and ostensibly intelligent criticism of good science. The other two are well-known quacks. Dr. Immanuel is known as the “COVID-19 disinfo doctor,” and says face masks are unnecessary. She has a history of making bizarre claims about medical topics and other issues. She has often claimed that gynecological problems like cysts and endometriosis are in fact caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches.

Many of the HCQ posts of all three have been taken down by Facebook, YouTube and Twitter for spreading misinformation. You either believe it’s because they claim untruths or because there’s some major political conspiracy. Well, political conspiracies don’t have any effect on medical studies. All medical studies appear in a fairly small number of worldwide databases and are subject to peer review from specialists all around the globe. Many are rejected and withdrawn. Fake studies have no way to survive in that world. I would listen to the major virologists, epidemiologists, statistical data scientists, biostatisticians, biochemists and molecular biologists who know how to do studies, interpret data and document their results. Individual practicing doctors promoting cures are dangerous.

Having an article discredited and withdrawn is normal and I have never cited one of those as valid. If I were still working and posted links like Davis’ I would be charged with serious professional misconduct and walked to the door. Davis also accused me of ignoring a 2005 study that couldn’t possibly have any bearing on COVID-19. Then there’s his totally misleading claim that only about 6 percent or fewer than 11,000 deaths occurred solely because of COVID-19.

That’s nonsense and a quirk of how reporting works. A death isn’t excluded from the COVID-19 tally just because the person was obese or had diabetes or dementia. Someone with heart problems can still be killed by COVID-19 and the death certificate could mention both as contributing. “The underlying cause of death is the condition that began the chain of events that ultimately led to the person’s death,” Dr. Robert Anderson, who oversees the CDC’s death statistics work, said in a statement. “In 92 percent of all deaths that mention COVID-19 — COVID-19 is listed as the underlying cause of death.”

Michael Gora


Community Foundation contributes to emergency, disaster relief fund

The St. Vincent de Paul Society-IHM Conference is deeply indebted to and thankful for the Community Foundation of western North Carolina for the $5,000 grant contributed as an emergency and disaster relief fund responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in our community. The Community Foundation is a nonprofit serving the 18 counties in western North Carolina. It is a permanent regional resource that facilitated $20 million in charitable giving last year.

The Community Foundation of western North Carolina inspires philanthropy and mobilizes resources to enrich lives and communities in western North Carolina. The SVdP is an international organization founded in 1833 to help alleviate suffering or deprivation and promote human dignity and personal integrity in all of their dimensions. The local SVdP-IHM Conference is an all-volunteer, 501 (c)(3), nonprofit organization that serves Clay County by providing emergency funds to individuals and families in crisis. All funds to the society are donated by individuals, churches, organizations and grants for emergency support in our county.

The COVID-19 virus has increased demand for our services throughout the county and the grant from the Community Foundation of WNC has allowed the society to respond to our community with substantial assistance necessary because of the virus. We deeply appreciate the Community Foundation of western North Carolina for their generosity, caring and commitment.

Bob McGinnis, President, St. Vincent de Paul Society-IHM Conference


Trump wasn’t misinformed, the president just plain lied to Americans

In a Sept.11 editorial in “Science,” a leading United States scientific journal, the editor expressed his true feelings about Donald Trump’s Covid-19 response, in light of Trump’s recorded interviews with Bob Woodward. The president acknowledged he was fully aware early on of the deadly nature of the virus, that it was airborne as well as contact spread and that it was spread by children as well as adults.

One only needs to play back the dozens of videos from that time period to see Trump was feeding the American public the exact opposite of those facts.The editor states: “As he was playing down the virus to the public, Trump was not confused or inadequately briefed: He flat-out lied, repeatedly, about science to the American people. These lies demoralized the scientific community and cost countless lives in the United States.” I’m sure Trump saw a pandemic showing up just as his reelection drive was kicking off as threatening. I’m sure he worried how his falsely claimed, “world’s best economy ever” would fare and how his beloved Dow Jones Industrial Average might tumble.

I’m sure he fretted about losing his mass rally opportunities to throw buckets of red meat to his base. I’m sure he worried entirely about himself. Even now he’s holding even more rallies which will kill even more people because he simply doesn’t care. Having under 5 percent of the world’s population and over 20 percent of the world’s COVID-19 deaths proves beyond doubt the murderous effect of Trump’s “playing it down.” Trump says he just hid the facts to protect you, when obviously he did it to protect himself. Ask the families of the 200,000 American dead how protected they feel.

James Messmer


Reading and research behind decision to support Biden ticket

Thank you Kathy Waters, for writing so clearly and honestly about your 2020 presidential election concerns. Our voting privilege is precious and I can understand why you want your vote to be an informed vote. As an unaffiliated voter, I, too, look at the candidates, and not the party, when making a decision about my votes.

Like you, I have done extensive reading and researching on my own and we both have experienced the current administration’s policies and agendas during these past four years. I would like you to consider casting your ballot for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and I feel comfortable sharing a few positive Biden and Harris highlights that align with my concerns about our country.

Biden has a plan that includes middle class tax cuts and financial support for working families, especially those of us struggling with the challenges that have presented with COVID-19. Somehow there’s also been a terrible shift within our country and we are neglecting to support the hardworking parents who care about the future for their children. As a parent, grandmother and retired elementary school teacher, a lot of what I look for in a candidate focuses on plans to support the health and safety for future generations. Biden has made public plans to create more jobs, deal with the pandemic and begin the process of building a better economy.

Biden’s vision also includes support for our farmers, racial equality, equality for people with disabilities, equality for women, financial support for family caregivers and childcare facilities and early childhood education. Strong environmental protections, jobs and a willingness to listen to scientists and empower people to help make decisions are essential components in Biden’s plan for a clean energy future. Safe drinking water, climate change, maintained roads, bridges, rails, and planes and broadband access for all have also been addressed within his platform. I have never served in the military, yet I completely embrace the way Biden and Harris share concerns, and have a plan, to support our troops and their families before, during and after their service to our country.

I am voting for Biden and Harris, without reservations, because I believe they will stand with us as we move our nation forward along a healing, helping and hopeful path.

Respectfully, Cathy Mulvey


Biden will continue to protect our environment

Since Joe Biden served as vice president of the United States from 2009 to 2017 and as a U.S. Senator for Delaware from 1973 to 2009, he is hardly an unknown quantity. There are long-standing records about what he stands for and the positions he has on various issues affecting Americans. Having volunteered with Biden’s campaign and watched the energy and passion he has poured into it, I find the notion that he would get elected and then resign to be ludicrous and won’t comment further on rumors.

There are many reasons why I’m voting for Joe Biden for president; however, I will focus my comments on the subject I know best — the environment. Everyone I’ve spoken with locally loves our beautiful forested mountains, clean water and scenic views, as do I. Unfortunately, from day one President Trump has been relentlessly working to strip the environmental and public lands protections we have. People have tried to write off his actions by saying, “Well, President Obama took environmental restrictions too far to the left,” but many of the actions in the long list of policy reversals have nothing to do with the Obama administration.

One of the latest and arguably most serious attacks is on the National Environmental Policy Act which was passed in 1969 by the House 372/15 and unanimously in the Senate. President Nixon signed it on Jan. 1, 1970 and it has remained relatively unchanged in the 50 years since. Biden understands that our bedrock environmental laws are the reason we enjoy such a healthy environment. Biden rejects proposals to mine uranium in the Grand Canyon, expand offshore drilling in the Atlantic and Gulf and resource extraction in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Instead Biden’s clean energy plan will make a federal investment of $1.7 trillion over 10 years, leveraging additional investments to total $5 trillion, to create clean energy jobs and infrastructure here at home, so that our solar panels no longer have to be imported from China, for example. He will pay for it by reversing the excesses of the Trump tax cuts for large corporations, reducing incentives for tax havens, evasion and outsourcing, closing loopholes that reward wealth not work, and ending subsidies for fossil fuel development. I know that many people reading this letter have way more pressing problems than tracking changes in environmental policy. Biden has plans to tackle whatever the concerns are and I encourage everyone to take a few minutes to consider them before casting your vote: https://joebiden. com/joes-vision/.

Respectfully submitted, Callie Moore


Visit congressional candidate Davis Thursday on Hayesville town square

If you want honesty and integrity in government, affordable healthcare and policies that will boost the working class rather than billionaires, you will want to meet and talk to Democrat Moe Davis. With social distancing in place, he will speak at the gazebo on the Hayesville town square at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept.24. Davis, who is running for Congress in NC-11, is also a strong advocate for veterans.

As a retired Air Force colonel with 25 years of service and a partially disabled veteran himself, Davis understands that veteran healthcare is at risk. During his military career, he was director of the Air Force Judiciary and was chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay. He was awarded the Legion of Merit, six Meritorious Service Medals, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Service Meda, and Headquarters Air Force Judge Advocate of the Year award, among others.

He pledges that as our NC-11 congressman, he will fight to protect the VA and veteran healthcare. A stellar military career is not the only accomplishment that makes Davis the right candidate to represent NC’s 11th District in Congress. What makes him right is the series of decisions he has made and stands he has taken at critical moments. For example, in 2007, while serving as chief prosecutor for terrorism trials at Guantanamo Bay, Davis refused an order to use evidence obtained through torture, because he believed that it was illegal and immoral and produced unreliable evidence. Because he publicly bucked the Bush administration, the colonel had to resign his position. But he was upholding his principles and maintaining his oath to the U.S. Constitution. Then again in 2009, retired from the Air Force and working in national security for the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress, Davis wrote an opinion piece for “The Wall Street Journal” that criticized the Obama administration’s handing of prosecutions at Guantanamo Bay. He was fired from his position.

Why did Davis take strong stands and risk his career again and again? In words that he borrows from Martin Luther King, Davis says, “It’s always the right time to do the right thing.” Davis, who was born and reared in Shelby, N.C., is an Appalachian State graduate with a law degree from N.C. Central University. After his careers in the military and national security, he became a law professor at Howard University and served four years as a judge with the U.S. Department of Labor. Now he lives in Asheville with his wife Lisa. Their daughter Ashley lives in Falls Church, Va. North Carolinians have the clear opportunity to elect a candidate with experience, leadership and integrity, a man who will provide us a strong voice in Washington. He will not waver in his efforts to provide affordable healthcare for all of us, a $15 living wage, green jobs and green technology, energy independence, improved teacher pay and K-12 education, and common sense gun reform. For more information about his positions and ideals, visit his website: moedavis for Come meet Moe.

Karen Sirmans