Incorporation, if chosen by majority, a right

I share Arnold Ferguson's losses from the Battle of the Bulge (Letter, "Freedom Before Incorporation," Sept. 2 Xpress). My uncle's body survived that battle, but his mind didn't. He spent the rest of his life in VA hospitals, while those of us who loved him watched the mental torment he suffered. However, I strongly disagree with Ferguson's conclusion that Swannanoa incorporation represents a step toward Communism.

Let's be clear about the freedom for which Mr. Ferguson's brother died and my uncle suffered. The American Revolution was fought to give us the right to choose our own form of government. The Declaration of Independence states that to secure the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

The Founding Fathers recognized that governments are necessary to protect our freedoms, but that they must be limited to the "just powers" that their citizens give them. This is just as true at the local level as at the national level. I am not a resident of the Swannanoa Valley and cannot comment on whether incorporation is a good or bad idea. However, if a majority of the voters in the Swannanoa Valley provide their consent to incorporation, they will be exercising the freedom for which so many gave everything, and the government that is formed will meet the standard set by the Declaration of Independence.

We have the freedom to label things we don't agree with in emotional terms. If you are opposed to the current health-care proposals, they are "socialism." If you are opposed to Swannanoa incorporation, it is a "step toward communism." These labels don't add anything to the debate, and in most cases they are wrong.

— Lenny Berstein
Asheville

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7 thoughts on “Incorporation, if chosen by majority, a right

  1. invisiblefriend

    There are many laws on the books that are legal ways of doing things and withing the “constitution”. However, some laws are not good, sensible laws and some are set up as “loopholes”, therefore are not just. So putting this particular situation under a grand umbrella of the “declaration of Independence” is unrealistic, especially if one does not know the facts about how a small minority of people got us to this voting point in the first place. To compare and contrast information, go to http://www.swannanoa2009.com, the pro inc website, and http://www.swannanoatruth.com ,the people not for incorporation. Also, look up “Swannanoa Incorporation” on Youtube, and you will see a video that is very, very interesting.

  2. frankwhitehorse

    While I appreciate the pain that both you and Mr Fergusson must feel for the sacrifices your families made, I beg to differ with both of you. First, I know that communism is not driving the incorporation attempt in Swannanoa- it is a conception of a group of people who have moved to our area and now are trying to change things here. To them, I would say ” Go back home- wherever that is.” Secondly, If Mr Bernstein understood the way the incorporation process works, he would also know that it is neither constitutional, nor is the vote representative of the ownership of the bulk of the land that is being grabbed. Sixty % of the property to form the so-called township is totally unoccupied- no-one lives there to vote on it’s eventual disposition. Further, there is absolutely no forum, whatsoever, for dissenters to have a say in the incorporation process. Sound like democracy to you, Mr. B. Arnold is closer to the truth than you are.

  3. frankwhitehorse

    While I appreciate the pain that both you and Mr Fergusson must feel for the sacrifices your families made, I beg to differ with both of you. First, I know that communism is not driving the incorporation attempt in Swannanoa- it is a conception of a group of people who have moved to our area and now are trying to change things here. To them, I would say ” Go back home- wherever that is.” Secondly, If Mr Bernstein understood the way the incorporation process works, he would also know that it is neither constitutional, nor is the vote representative of the ownership of the bulk of the land that is being grabbed. Sixty % of the property to form the so-called township is totally unoccupied- no-one lives there to vote on it’s eventual disposition. Further, there is absolutely no forum, whatsoever, for dissenters to have a say in the incorporation process. Sound like democracy to you, Mr. B. Arnold is closer to the truth than you are.

  4. Lew

    I have to disagree with you frankwhitehorse about incorporation. I think if you took a few minutes to get to know the folks that are pro-incorporation you would see that a large majority of them were born and raised in Swannanoa, myself included. I’m so tired of the “go back home” defense, that is such a broad generalization. I AM home and I am pro-incorporation.

    I think the forum for you is “Swannanoa Truth,” whatever that means. Why don’t you go join that group of dissenters? Sounds like you would fit in just fine. That group claims that they just want Swannanoa “to stay the way it is.” Well, Swannanoa is changing all around us, incorporation or not. Why not be part of a movement that will let actual Swannanoa citizens decide what happens to our valley, not greedy developers and county commissioners? Or if not, just show your dissent by not voting.

  5. frankwhitehorse

    Lew- I took your advice and checked out Swannanoa Truth- thanks! One of the most compelling things I learned was that if it hadn’t been for Swannanoa Truth there wouldn’d even be a vote on this issue Nov. 3rd! N.C. State law doesn’t even require that common decency! What you call a group of dissenters actually performed the only act of democracy I can detect so far- they raised enough of a voice to force a referendum. So, no, I will not be staying home and expressing how I feel about the theft of a good place to live by not voting on Nov.3rd. That kind of lazy “democracy” is like letting two wolves and a sheep decide what’s for dinner! Thanks again for a good tip- I’ll be sure to spread the word to the rest of us who’ve been here forever that Swannanoa Truth .Com has a lot of good information and that they should turn out in force to vote on this issue on Nov.3rd, too.

  6. invisiblefriend

    Once again a pro incorporation person with inconsistancies.
    In the original letter, Lew qoutes “I am not a resident of the Swannanoa Valley and cannot comment on whether incorporation is a good or bad idea.”. As if he is totally unbiased, nuetral party, writing the letter that he is a neutral party on the grounds that it is a free country, or whatever.
    Next, in his reply to frankwhitehorse, he says ” I AM home and I am pro-incorporation.”

    So obviously he has an agenda. Why not be honest and write letters regarding the issues of incorporating rather hiding behind dim ideals?

  7. invisiblefriend

    After rereading my comment, I guess I am just assuming that Lew is Lenny Bernstien , the author of the letter. I got thrown off by the capital letters in “AM”. Im really sorry for that. Lew, if you could clarify that you are not Lenny, I would feel really stupid and bad.
    But I still feel Incorporation is wrong.

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