Letters to the editor

Natural law and a free-market economy

Social engineers (zoning boards, city planners, environmentalists and meddlesome neighbors) think they know natural order and natural beauty when they see it. But they look only on the outward appearance while God, biologists and Libertarians look into nature’s heart.

The most complex society on earth is the Ecosphere. The Creator has been field-testing the laws governing natural order in the Ecosphere for 3 billion years. Is it any wonder that they just work better than something a bureaucrat imagined during a committee meeting?

LAW 1: Natural order requires universal individual liberty, practiced without either malicious or altruistic regard for anybody else. Those who think they see exceptions to this law in nature should read the book entitled: The Selfish Gene.

LAW 2: Natural order requires all to ignore or adapt to constant changes.

LAW 3: Natural order requires the extinction of all who cannot or will not either ignore or adapt to constant change.

These are the very same laws that govern the free-market economy! But the same people that are the most vociferous proponents of natural beauty in our community are those that oppose a totally free-market economy, because it is ugly and chaotic. But nature is, at its heart, ugly and chaotic, yet it creates the most sublime order and beauty.

Social engineers think centrally-planned order is much more orderly and neat, but it is the beauty of a plastic flower. Socialist society is not messy because it is sterile. It is sterile because it is not FREE! And that is why socialism just doesn’t work in practice. It violates the laws of nature.

Freedom is not pretty.

It’s indescribably beautiful.

— Myron Bodtker

Honor and question your heritage

Taken out of context, your headline, “Union Troops Sack Asheville” [June 3], could be seen as commentary on the many people moving to western North Carolina. If any of your readers keeps a diary, I wonder if [the current] noisy debate has made it into their personal writings? If it has, will their grandchildren understand this issue as significant, or will they chuckle at its pettiness?

Remembering one’s ancestors is an empowering experience, as members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans have discovered. How many of the rest of us can begin to fathom our great-grandparents’ thoughts and beliefs?

Yet, knowing for which side your relatives fought, and that your family did not own any slaves, provides only half the answer. It is important to consider what might not have been written about in diaries and letters, but what was certainly in the air, especially when seceding from the Union was the topic in 1860.

As you stated in your article, few western North Carolinians owned slaves, and cotton tariffs and states rights were issues that defined the Confederacy. Yet the right to own slaves was an issue that masters and many non-slave-holding Southerners held dear to their hearts. For these people and, even, for those who did not believe in this “peculiar institution,” the possibility that slaves might be set free was almost too much to bear. In 1860, few thought that slaves could be taught to work for themselves, let alone create normal households. If ex-slaves were allowed to get jobs, wouldn’t they undercut whites, who also needed to make a living? In addition, even if northern abolitionists were not successful in freeing those in bondage, that very possibility might incite the slaves to revolt, creating scenes worse than those made by Nat Turner and John Brown.

Terry Garren states in your article, “People nowadays are afraid of being ostracized for revealing their Southern heritage … .” Those who choose to honor their ancestors should be commended, and [yet,] we should not place our beliefs on people who lived 140 years ago.

Indeed, these Confederate ancestors had values we can appreciate, such as bravery and loyalty. However, glossing over some of the reasons men fought does not serve today’s society. Instead, we ought to be trying to learn more about the origins of today’s racism. For example, when the war was over, what happened to the worries and fears regarding freed slaves? By beginning to understand where we have come from, hopefully, we can find answers to the racism that still troubles us.

— Peter Koch

Bulworth’s message to Asheville

I appreciated Ashely Siegel’s review of Bulworth, the new movie by Warren Beatty. In addition to Ms. Siegel’s insights, the movie is music to the ears of left-leaning radicals like me.

The movie is an attack on Clinton’s Democratic Party and its claims about caring for the poor, minorities and the environment. It points to insurance companies and HMOs as the primary reason health care is so expensive, claiming the industry takes 25 percent of every health dollar, when national health care would take only 3 percent. It proclaims that large corporations, big oil [companies] and big banks are unconscionably raping the Earth, keeping middle- and lower-class blacks and whites at each other’s throats, and causing huge wars — all to keep their privileges. It proves that almost all the political discussion is between the 20 percent of the population who are rich and those who are being paid by the very rich. Beatty addresses many other issues never approached on the big screen, disguising the seriousness with hilarious comedy.

Bulworth also suggests solutions to our dilemma. For instance, at one time, the air waves were owned by all the people. Yet, we let our representatives sell them to the rich, so that they [now] control the political dialogue by allowing airtime only to those people with big money. Thus, to have a chance to win, all politicians must sell out to the establishment. Beatty believes that we simply need to take back the air waves we once owned, create several free political-discussion channels — and then, all sides of the political spectrum will have an equal chance to be heard.

In Asheville, this means ensuring that the new cable-franchise agreement has at least three public-access channels, with plenty of funding for production. If this means a few more dollars on our cable bill, it is a small price to pay for the billions of dollars worth of dividends that will go to 80 percent of the people — once we gain more control of our democracy from the 20 percent who [currently] rule it.

But don’t trust me, go see Bulworth to be free. Beatty burned all his bridges, so we all could have riches, and have fun while we learn liberty.

— Bill Branyon

John Lennon was a sad soul

I write to you this editorial to convey my feelings about someone I feel sorry for more than I adulate. I have read several books on the life of John Lennon [and can] simply say he was a tragic figure. I believe he meant well in some ways, and in other ways, he was probably the angriest man in the world.

I don’t mean to break the hearts of the counterculture of Asheville, but it is true that Lennon wanted to put Hitler on the cover of the Sgt. Pepper album, but Paul [McCartney] talked him out of it, saying it would offend many people. And in 1968, John was actually going to get a press conference together to tell them he was Jesus Christ. Of course, it never happened — but if it did, he would have been locked up in a psychiatric ward for a good long while.

The reason for this behavior was probably caused when, tragically, he witnessed his mother being hit by a car when he was in his teens. His father had walked out on him and his mother years before. The death of his mother destroyed him for months.

Rock ‘n’ roll was his only salvation. He rejected the church for probably the rest of his life.

Probably the saddest scene during the last weekend of 1974-75, when he was partying quite a bit. He went into a violent rage, was drunk and was so incapacitated that he came close to being arrested. He ran outside, and the biggest star in the world bent over crying, “Nobody loves me. Nobody loves me.”

John Lennon was by no means ever divine. He was just a sad soul who loved his wife and children dearly, and loved rock ‘n’ roll. He, being at the top of the world, was most realistically at the bottom.

–Robert McDowell

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