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Interpreting Women's March for letter writer

It's unfortunate, but not really surprising, that Don Reid doesn't understand the purpose of the Women's March (BMN Feb. 22).  I'm happy to help him out.  

We march to say we're tired of being afraid to report instances of sexual  assault (because we'll be harassed and bullied when we do), and tired of being paid less than men for doing the same work, tired of being treated like second-class citizens who have no right to control what happens to our own bodies.

Of course, it's easy to direct our frustration to the Misogynist-in-Chief in the White House, but he isn't the problem.  The dismissive condescension so ably illustrated in Mr. Reid's letter is the problem.  

And we're tired of it.

Elizabeth Justice  

Black Mountain

Let's confront the elephant in the room 

It's interesting, curious - even appalling - how we keep circling around and around the Elephant in the Room, a.k.a. assault weapons. Legislators are considering a myriad of possibilities to get around the elephant: raising the age to acquire an assault weapon; requiring a longer waiting period; demanding more extensive background checks; arming teachers in schools; assuring a police presence at schools (and perhaps concert events, theaters, political rallies, churches, etc., etc.); eliminating bump stocks; determining and then preventing mentally incapacitated persons from acquiring assault weapons; providing more treatment for mentally ill and challenged persons .... all this, and the dangerous elephant is still in the room! 

The Elephant itself should be evicted from the room and permanently banned. Assault weapons were designed for war, not for private use. Saying the Second Amendment allows every citizen to be armed with one of them is side-stepping a moral issue. Why do we protect our gun "rights" and not our citizens' rights to life? 

Martha Jane Petersen

Black Mountain

Democrats needed to avoid "one-party state"

With all due respect to our Republican neighbors, we ought not send more Republicans to join their legislative super-majority in Raleigh.

Our Democratic legislators constitute what little restraint the Republicans have had to their efforts at underfunding our public schools, community colleges and universities, environmental protections, and economic development for rural and small town communities in North Carolina.

In the last seven years, Raleigh Republicans have raised burdens on working families, retirees, and lower income North Carolinians by increasing sales taxes, fees, tuition and health insurance premiums, to partially offset their huge income tax cuts for wealthy people and multinational corporations.

Republicans have shifted the tax burden downward through higher taxes and fees on electricity, natural gas, repair services, movie tickets, college meal plans, drivers licenses, vehicle registration, and dozens of other necessities for those struggling to join or stay in the middle class.

Rural hospitals and medical practices, including mental health services, have suffered because of the Republican failure to expand Medicaid to cover North Carolinians who make up the working poor, even though our taxes have gone to other states to cover their citizens.

Our Buncombe legislative delegation of three House members, east Buncombe Rep. John Ager, west Buncombe Rep. Brian Turner and central Buncombe Rep. Susan Fisher and one senator, Terry Van Duyn, are the only elected Democrats from west of Statesville. Our constitutional system requires checks and balances. Rubber stamps for a one-party state are not what North Carolina needs.

Keith Thomson

Black Mountain

Remember Billy Graham from a long time ago

In 1965, Ann Graham and I graduated from Owen High School. I was known as Patsy Gilliam by Anne and my classmates. 

Billy Graham came and preached our baccalaureate sermon, and that was special to me and my classmates. Dr. Graham also provided a movie called "The Restless Ones" which was shown at a theater then located on main street in Black Mountain. After the movie, students were invited to come up front and become a Christian, and a lot of us went forward.

I have also enjoyed books by Anne Graham Lotz and Franklin Graham, whose book "Rebel With a Cause" was a great blessing. Rev. Graham and his family have been a real blessing over the years

Pat Owenby

Broad River

Why there is no peace for Israel

Here are my thoughts about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Instead of genuine efforts to make peace between Israelis and Palestinians, the Israelis (with $6 billion in support from the USA) have been systematically robbing land belonging to the Palestinian people since 1917. Since 1948, there has been even more land confiscated from the Palestinian people.

Under the Balfour Declaration of 1917, Israelis were awarded a “homeland” by the British government after WWI under a false dictum: “a land without a people for a people without a land.” Palestinians have lived peaceably on this land since the 7th century. Guilt on the part of the USA and Great Britain opened a path to awarding Israelis land as a home for displaced persons.

At first, Jews and Palestinians lived side by side in villages, sharing community, drinking morning coffee together, sharing news, living in peace. At present, Israelis are grabbing land and homes belonging to Palestinians, not only confiscating land but also torturing Palestinian youth, breaking their bones, torturing them, incarcerating them in false claims of “protecting Israel.”

While Israel is trying to heap guilt on Poland, accusing Polish citizens of being complicit in the deaths of Jews in WWII, Israel is perpetuating what is comparable to its own holocaust on the Palestinians, just short of gas chambers and death camps. Palestinians have no rights under their repressive regime. Palestinians have become a people with no land, no rights, no justice.

I do not know what it will take for Americans who cherish our own God-given rights and freedoms to wake up to this truly unspeakable repression of a people, the Palestinians. I have been to the Middle East three times and have lived in the midst of this terrible injustice! I do know firsthand whereof I speak.

I believe that until there is peace between Israelis and Palestinians, there will be no peace for Israel.

Annie Hall

Black Mountain

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