Letters to the editor

T.I.G.E.R. sets the constitutional record straight

I take issue with Mr. [John] Sanders’ and Mr. [Tad] Boggs’ flawed and misleading statements [as reported in “T.I.G.E.R. by the tail,” Xpress, Aug. 9].

John Sanders feels that the creation of the “new” North Carolina was legitimized by the fact that Mr. [William Woods] Holden was elected [governor in 1868]. Mr. Sanders avoids the issue that Gov. Worth was elected also. Mr. Boggs states that “the governor would beg to differ with their opinion [i.e., with those who believe the current government of North Carolina is unconstitutional and not lawfully created] and that [such groups] want “nothing much — just the dissolution of the state of North Carolina.”

I will respond to these items together.

Both Mr. Boggs and Mr. Sanders scoff at the factual conclusion that the present State of North Carolina is not a lawful and constitutional entity. Yet neither addressed the issue of constitutionality. It is a well-known fact that the current “state” maintains its authority by force and avoidance of the issue of constitutionality.

Mr. Sanders’ claims that Mr. Holden was elected. He avoids the issue that Gov. Worth was elected, and yet was removed from office by military order. Reconstruction created the office that Mr. Holden was placed into by military force — the office that Mr. Hunt holds presently In order for Mr. Holden’s — and therefore Mr. Hunt’s — office to be legitimate, the Reconstruction Acts had to be constitutional.

When the constitutionality of reconstruction went before the Supreme Court in Georgia vs. Stanton in December of 1867, the Supreme Court sidestepped the issue by not accepting jurisdiction, issuing the following statement: “A bill to restrain the defendants who represent the executive authority of the government, from carrying into execution certain Acts of Congress (Reconstruction), inasmuch as such execution would annul and totally abolish the existing State Government of Georgia, is not within the jurisdiction of this court.”

Now let’s look at Mr. Boggs’ statement. Upon careful review of the facts, it is easy to see that it is Mr. Boggs who is in fact acting for the entity desirous of maintaining the annulment and abolition (dissolution) of an existing state government (North-Carolina) in times of peace, without constitutional authority.

The next time the constitutionality of reconstruction made its way to the Supreme Court was in the case of ex parte McCardle, heard in March of 1868. The Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction. The arguments were completed. Before the court could issue its decision, Congress enacted a law which took away the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction to hear the case. The bill was vetoed by the president as unconstitutional, but Congress passed it over his veto. The Supreme Court then refused to render its decision.

Today, we are bringing these issues to the courts of North Carolina, based upon their unresolved status. The courts have consistently refused to allow these legal arguments to be addressed, therefore maintaining the dissolution of the lawful government.

Amazing as it may seem, the people of North Carolina currently live in a state where the most fearful threat to those in positions of authority is the truth, and the single most dangerous threat to the courts are issues of law.

I accept Mr. Hunt’s begging to differ with these issues. I also stand firm on the fact that Mr. Boggs’ and Mr. Sanders’ statements are nothing more than the thief crying “Stop, thief!” first. It is they, and not I, who want to maintain the dissolution of the rightful State of North Carolina, with their fanciful theoretical arguments that are without substance. They want to maintain the theft of the peoples’ right to a lawful and constitutional government.

I look forward to both of these men and Mr. Hunt providing the facts that Reconstruction was both constitutional and fulfilled the object of the war, as resolved by Congress in July 1861. A co-conspiracy between Congress and the Supreme Court to allow congressional annulment of states does not “legitimize” that annulment. Lawfully delegated powers do, and regardless of the current regime’s pleas to the contrary, those powers do not exist.

The State of North Carolina represented by Hunt, Boggs and Sanders was not lawfully created. It was created and is currently being maintained by belligerent actions designed to depose the de jure government.

The current dissolution of lawful government will remain as long as the misinformation of people like Sanders and Boggs continues to intimidate people from exercising their rights.

The unconstitutional Reconstruction Acts are perpetual articles of war against the people of North Carolina, who are organized under the North Carolina Constitution of Dec. 18, 1776 — a constitution which has never been lawfully abrogated.

To fully understand these comments, the following definitions will be helpful:

• Government de facto: Government that exists in fact, but not established according to the Constitution; illegal.

• Government de jure: Government that exists according to the Constitution, entitled to lawful recognition.

• Belligerency: The status of de facto statehood legalizing hostilities against de jure government; the state of waging war.

• Usurper of a public office: Any person attempting to fill a pretended office created by an unconstitutional law.

The Supreme Court clearly states that an unconstitutional act is not a law. It confers no rights. It imposes no duties. It affords no protection. It creates no office. It is, in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed. Therefore, an unconstitutional act purporting to create an office gives no validity to the acts of a person acting under color of its authority.

— John C. Ainsworth, tigerja@bellsouth.net
founder of Truth in Government, Everybody’s Responsible (T.I.G.E.R.)

Speak your mind on the “Wal-Marting” of Asheville

Kudos on your excellent article about the “Wal-Marting” of Asheville [“A tale of two Wal-Marts … and one city,” Aug. 23]. It is quite a different story when one sees the bigger picture of two supercenters within only about 13 miles of each other, proposed for our small city. Also, it is hard to grasp the power of these developers to get their way. Concerned citizens with limited resources and time are at a distinct disadvantage.

— Bill Evans

Vote Democratic instead of Green Party, says Sierra Club

Readers of Mountain Xpress who are concerned about the quality of our air and water, global warming and other environmental issues should read the lead article of the September/October issue of the Sierra Club’s magazine (Sierra), entitled “Why Vote?” In it, Sierra Club President Carl Pope and Sierra Editor Paul Rauber make a persuasive argument for environmentalists to get out and vote in November — for Democratic candidates. They urge their members not to waste their vote on Green Party candidate Ralph Nader because, “If environmental voters throw the election to Bush, they will be casting away the opportunity of a lifetime.” Pope and Rauber believe that, with all three branches of government up for grabs in this election, environmentalists could win big this time.

They point out that a green president working with a greener Congress could make real progress. Also, with three or four Supreme Court seats to be appointed by the next president, there is a strong danger that a Republican president could appoint a court that would impede environmental legislation for a generation.

Those who care about population control and women’s rights should be concerned that, according to the magazine, George W. Bush has vowed to prevent the approval of RU-486 by the Food and Drug Administration. That drug has been proven to be a safe and effective method for early abortion, as used by large numbers of women in other countries. Approval of RU-486 in the United States would make the decision about pregnancy termination a completely private one between a woman and her physician, and would remove abortion clinics and health-care providers as targets of anti-abortion activists.

— Paula I. Robbins

“We Still Pray” goes against scripture

I ask the good citizens of this community to beware. You are being misled into false doctrine by men who seek only to glorify themselves.

Let me be clear about this. “We Still Pray” is not biblical. My authority for this statement can be found in the Gospel of Saint Matthew, chapter 6, verses 1-9. Verse 5 reads: “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.”

I urge you all, regardless of your belief, to read this passage and know the true doctrine given in the scriptural word of Jesus.

— Robert Carr

Dairy products can hinder survival

So the milk industry has chosen the “survivors” [from the TV show of the same name] as poster children for their “milk-mustache” ads. What these folks need to know is that consumption of milk is not very conducive to long-term survival.

Milk is designed for baby bovines and is definitely “unnatural” for human beings. In fact, 95 percent of Asian-Americans, 70 percent of African-Americans and Native Americans, more than 50 percent of Mexican-Americans, and 15 to 20 percent of Caucasian Americans are unable to even digest the milk sugar, lactose.

Dairy consumption raises the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. In addition to the saturated fat and cholesterol common to all animal foods, dairy products contain pesticides, hormones and antibiotics. A 12-year study of 78,000 nurses found that those regularly consuming dairy products suffered more bone fractures than those who rarely or never did.

I plan to promote my and my family’s survival by partaking of the rich variety of soy-, nut- and rice-milk products available.

— Anthony Taber

Visit San Cristobal, but look beyond tourist image

San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, is indeed a lot like Asheville [Commentary, “Feeling right at home in San Cristobal,” Aug. 16]. It is a small city nestled in ancient mountains. On a recent, first-time visit, I was surprised to feel so at home. Perhaps that is why it was such a struggle to be there.

For many years, I had heard news of Chiapas: the survival of timeless, indigenous ways; the oppression against the poor who were trying to maintain farmland for survival; the seizure of San Cristobal by armed revolutionaries in 1994; and the close relationship of the U.S. government and the Mexican army through the School of the Americas (which recently underwent a cosmetic name change). The SOA is a special school at Ft. Benning, Ga., where the United States provides training to Latin American (currently Mexican) soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques. According to training manuals released by the Pentagon, the SOA has promoted courses in forced interrogation and other torturous methods. SOA graduates are implicated in human-rights atrocities throughout Latin America.

With this consciousness, I arrived in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, expecting to be hassled for being an outsider in a war zone. While the San Andres accords were signed in 1997, the government and its civilian corps of paramilitaries has continued to perpetuate a low-intensity war against the indigenous poor. According to a representative from Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center, a manual is now in use in Chiapas — entitled “Low-Intensity Warfare” — written by General Renan-Castillo, who is a graduate of the SOA.

However, in my brief time in San Cristobal, I found that this low-intensity war was protecting the very economy in which I was participating — indeed, protecting me. Every day, green trucks full of green-uniformed men with guns passed me by. As I walked down the main avenue, Real de Guadalupe — past countless Internet cafes and clean restaurants — I was bewildered at the “business as usual” image. I wondered what I was not seeing.

Then I happened upon a demonstration in the main square’s cathedral courtyard. Hundreds of indigenous people had marched down from their villages in the mountains — some starting at 4 a.m. — to demonstrate their opposition to the presence of armed forces in their communities. In 1997, these armed forces massacred a group of 45 children, women and men in Acteal, Chenalho, as they prayed for peace. They were part of “Las Abejas,” a nonviolent Christian association that shares some ideas with the armed, revolutionary Zapatistas; specifically, they advocate autonomy for indigenous communities.

I stood amidst this crowd of people, many of whom were muddy from the journey, and watched them raise homemade banners calling for “demilitarization now.” They called attention to the 30,000 “displaced” people who have been driven from their villages in the mountains down into the “misery belt,” which is composed of makeshift houses on the outskirts of San Cristobal. I watched a little girl collect wooden popsicle sticks from the ground into a small plastic bag. These same popsicle sticks are used to make dolls representing two Zapatista leaders, Marcos and Ramona, which are then sold to tourists.

There are many organizations working in solidarity with indigenous people who are being persecuted. In fact, Diego Cadenas of Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center will visit Asheville on Nov. 8 (location TBA). I encourage my neighbors to come and listen to Diego speak of the struggle to do a legitimate job: provide legal counsel. In a recent case, the Center represented a group of widows whose spouses were massacred. Said Diego, “How much is the life of an indigenous person worth? Each widow received less than the cost of a horse.”

San Cristobal is Asheville’s Sister City. I encourage my neighbors to visit. It’s not expensive. I also encourage my neighbors to look beyond the image of what caters to us, both here and abroad. Listen beyond the sounds of convenience and instant pleasure. Take in things beyond what can be bought.

— Sharon Bigger

Anti-environmentalists first in line for Jesus’ ire

In response to George Smith’s letter [“Jesus not so tolerant after all,” Aug. 23], in which he attempted to speak for Jesus (even after condemning someone for supposedly doing likewise), if he’s a Republican he’d better watch out (“Maybe Jesus would turn those Liberal Democrats into Republicans … talk about miracles.”). If Jesus were here on earth and casting down fire and brimstone like Mr. Smith said (which the loving Jesus I believe in would not do), the Republicans — most of whom are notoriously anti-environmental — will be first in line for damnation.

I know in my heart Jesus is ashamed of what has happened to our beautiful earth, filled with amazing wildlife and plantlife that was created for us to enjoy and utilize, but not destroy. Read Job 12:7-10: “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee; or speak to the earth and it shall teach thee; and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.”

Our earth has been raped by political and corporate fat-cats all in the name of greed. All the horrible evils in the world come back to one main sin: greed. Stop telling lies (to use your words) about what Jesus would and would not do, Mr. Smith, and ask Jesus for guidance on how you could rid yourself of your anger and truly help create a more loving, peaceful world.

I will pray for you.

— Suzanne Baldwin

Note to county: Clean up school buses’ foul exhausts

I have the taste of vehicle exhaust in my mouth as I write these words. On the afternoon of Aug. 2, I was driving east on I-240 behind a caravan of five or six Buncombe County school buses, including bus number 640. All but one of these buses were spewing thick, black smoke from their tailpipes into the air.

I know I am not alone in experiencing the damaging health effects of breathing such exhaust. On this day, since it was the day before school started, I thought, perhaps, the buses were on their way to a maintenance service that would correct this problem.

Apparently not. This afternoon, I had the misfortune again to be driving on I-240 East behind Buncombe County’s school bus number 640 — and behind the thick, black smoke spewing from its tailpipe.

Buncombe County government describes itself as promoting “a healthy, safe, well-educated and thriving community with sustainable quality of life. … effective and efficient government our citizens can trust … delivering needed services through a responsive workforce committed to excellence, integrity and teamwork.”

I urge the county to make good its commitment to a healthy community, a sustainable quality of life and a responsive workforce by addressing its own contribution to air pollution: Clean up these sickening emissions from your school buses.

As for promoting a well-educated community, why bother teaching students environmental science in the classroom? The county is telling students twice a day, on their bus rides to and from school, that it’s OK to pollute. I urge the county to demonstrate a different lesson.

Further, please remember that many citizens pay county taxes, yet do not send any children to the county’s schools. If our only contact with the schools is breathing the buses’ foul exhaust, we’re less likely to support school bonds and tax increases. If nothing else, correcting this problem is a matter of public relations.

For all these reasons, I ask the county — from the school bus drivers to the commissioners — to ensure that their buses operate efficiently, minimizing the emissions they produce and reducing their role in polluting our air.

— Lisa Sarasohn

Jesus was the epitome of unconditional love and acceptance

Upon reading George Smith’s judgmental, intolerable, and otherwise blasphemous statement of his fundamentalist Christian world view [“Jesus not so tolerant after all,” Letters, Aug. 23], I felt the urge to hurry a reply … in order to expose some religious lies about our friend Jesus.

This debate concerns the tolerance of Jesus, who — unlike his “followers” — is the epitome of unconditional acceptance. Wandering city to city, making friends with “lepers and whores,” the Son of God does not persecute. Rather, he embraces the oppressed and gives them hope, healing them with words and gestures of the most tolerant kind. He does not single out groups because of their sexual preference and curse them to hell, no matter how socially deviant these people may be. Indeed, the Jesus I know is compassionate for the tragic oppression that homosexuals and other groups must suffer every day, though most of the hate is coming from his “followers.”

This bitter irony leaves a bad taste in the mouths of the open-minded folks who are now aware of Christian hypocrisy. “Judge not” is no longer practiced by the fundamentalists, as it is a philosophy not well-suited for political and religious agendas. Nowadays, it is fashionable for Christians to persecute, though the founder of their belief system was killed by religious intolerance. Is that the significance of the cross? Maybe, but the symbol of Jesus is more important.

Jesus is a symbolic figure standing for sacrifice, wisdom, compassion and unconditional love. Fundamentalists tend to portray him as judgmental, vengeful, and intolerant towards particular groups that stray from the status quo. Because Christianity is the “only way,” any other belief is cast aside as hell-bound philosophy. This causes division, because not all people can submit to religion — especially ones that breed hate and fear. I choose to believe in a God whose love is all-encompassing, uniting the one human race and allowing us to choose our path to truth. While Mr. Smith is voting for Republicans and preaching out against sodomites and whores, I will be on the streets sharing my life, food and love with those groups who are oppressed by such people.

This is the lesson that Jesus was teaching: Be kind to one another. Embrace the diversity of existence. Accept that all things are of God.

— J. Moon

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