Letter: Building a healthier, safer and more caring future

Graphic by Lori Deaton

On Jan. 7, I participated in a group discussion with the local Only One Earth Coalition group. The major topic rotated around the idea of communicating with each other and the local people. The group is dedicated to building a healthier, safer and more caring future for our children and grandchildren. This includes meaningful jobs, living wages, health care, supporting families and a sustainable environment.

Attending this meeting at the Land of the Sky church were 15 groups like the Asheville Survival Program, Asheville Friends, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Veterans for Peace and college groups including those from UNC Asheville and Warren Wilson. The speakers did not spend time voicing criticisms but focused on speaking “truth to power.” How to communicate.

Lack of money prevents the coalition from buying ads in Mountain Xpress or flooding the public with mailings advocating social programs that support meaningful jobs. Without funds, many locals demonstrate in Asheville for social programs and peace. We cannot compete with the big money of corporations.

This brings me to a recent mailing I found in my mailbox. Raytheon is spending big money to influence our community. A large, colorful postcard, titled “Pratt & Whitney Joins the Asheville Community” arrived in my mailbox. Pratt & Whitney is an American aerospace manufacturer, a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies now in Asheville. Its headquarters are in Arlington, Va., and thousands of its workers were laid off over the past few years. To get a better understanding, see Ken Jones’ letter in Mountain Xpress: “New Plant Is Leading Us in Wrong Direction” [Nov. 30].

Raytheon is an important link in the military-industrial complex, which has the excessive influence on our society that President Eisenhower warned against in 1953: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of the scientists, the hopes of its children. … This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”

Also, our fourth president, James Madison, 1809-17, wrote: “Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.” He went on to say war extends the influence of the president, seducing the mind and controlling the power of the people. This, he said, can be traced to “the inequality of fortunes, and opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals. … No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

Do yourself a favor. Educate yourself. Study all sides of issues and then act. Learning keeps life moving forward. What you do now can put you on a trajectory that determines your whole life. And, at age 87, you can still live a thriving and active life.

Let us live each day, be compassionate of heart, thought and action. Be gentle in words, gracious in your longing for goodness, truth and beauty, and, above all, be generous in love.

Give thought to poet Mary Oliver’s question: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Email esacco189@gmail.com for resources.

— Ed Sacco


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5 thoughts on “Letter: Building a healthier, safer and more caring future

  1. WNC

    The best way to prevent war is to be ready, willing and able to defend.
    When a criminal observes a large athletic man walking on the left side of the street and a smaller elderly lady walking on the right side the mugger takes a right,

  2. indy499

    Ed, your posts are repetitive, boring and illogical. When someone throws in the kitchen sink in an argument they lose credibility. I for one would think you would be pro Raytheon layoffs given your ongoing comments about the company that lives in your head.

  3. Prop Joe

    Eisenhower is not president and it’s not 1953. Until you and your anti-Raytheon pals propose a sensible solution to deter maniacs like Putin and Xi your frequent ramblings about the horrors of war will go largely unheard.

    • kw

      And also our own inbred election-denying terrorists who try to overthrow Democracy and hang Mike Pence. Let’s not forget them!

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