Socialism, capitalism and other Letters to the Editor

Difference between socialism and capitalism

My brother, a college professor for 42 years, told me once, “Education is finding out how much you don’t know about something.” Here’s an assignment for you. Look up “socialism” in the New World Dictionary, Second College Edition. I did your homework for you.

It defines socialism as “the stage of society coming between the Communist and Capitalist stage.” In laymen’s language, it is a commune with a governing few calling the shots with no opt-outs or personal freedom for the rest. Really? Is your education complete?

Or Google it, and you will find a cadre of criminal cohorts, folks like Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Gorbachev, Castro and George Orwell. Socialism is the sister of Communism.

I can’t believe a Harvard graduate recently told some young people in Argentina, a Socialistic country teetering on disaster with people starving right now, “there’s little difference between socialism, communism and capitalism.”


Democracy matters. Excuse me. How can anyone living in a free society, with all the benefits and blessings that democracy offers, vote otherwise? One of the current candidates is using the same “transformation” language in his speeches. Surely many must be confused or perhaps their education is incomplete too.

The Rev. Gene Carnell


Lions Club thanks community for support

The Black Mountain Lions Club would like to thank the community for their support and participation in our seventh annual Dip-A-Duck Fundraiser held at the Black Mountain Swimming Pool on Friday, May 27.

This year’s fundraiser was dedicated to the memory of Lion Bill Rucker, a past president of the Black Mountain Lions Club. The Black Mountain News publicized the event and Casey Conner, director of Black Mountain Recreation and Parks and his staff prepared the pool for the invasion of 277 ducks.

Mayor Mike Sobol graciously donated his time to dip the winning ducks. Community members purchased 277 tickets and over 50 merchants and businesses from the Swannanoa Valley purchased tickets, contributed gift cards, gift certificates, or donated prizes to be used for the fundraiser.

Many of these businesses have supported our fundraiser since it began seven years ago. Money raised from this event goes to help the club support the visually impaired in our community and state.

Randy Champion

Black Mountain Lions Club membership chair

Airbnb owners contribute to town too

In response to Debbie Hussey Bailey commentary against neighborhood vacation rentals (BMN May 19), our wonderful restaurants, shops, art, and fun events thrive when we have our welcomed guests and tourists. As the owner of a home listed with Airbnb, I hope to make them feel at home.

We Airbnb owners are proud that folks make the trek to Black Mountain just to take it in for a few days or weeks. We have wonderful hotels, bed and breakfast inns and online sites that have plenty of supply for our appreciated tourists. Some even allow pets.

We owners pay our taxes. All venues where guests stay overnight pay taxes. Airbnb sends it directly to Raleigh; our hands never touch the 11 percent on every dollar. Other venues send it in directly monthly or quarterly.

We pay our fair share of taxes and love this community. We volunteer and support local causes and charities. We employ many people - contractors, housekeepers, property manager, lawn care and many others - to assist in our tourism efforts, which helps our town.

Let’s make sure that we all host our guests with a smile, as they keep our town lively and vibrant. I also live in Florida and understand that if you welcome guests they will return and spend lots of money. It’s a win-win as I see it.

Sheryl King

Black Mountain

Congratulations students and thanks, scholarship donors

Each May, Charles D. Owen High school holds their annual Academic Awards Night. It is a wonderful evening to showcase both our best and brightest Owen students and our very generous community. Students are recognized for having GPAs of 3.5 and above and for achieving excellence in all academic disciplines.

We have a number of seniors who have received incredible scholarships from local organizations and from their universities. To name a few, Lucy Nelson was awarded the Tavener Family Scholarship valued at $30,000 ($7,500 per year). Emily Beaver was awarded the SECU People Helping People Scholarship worth $10,000 ($2,500 per year.)

The Buncombe County Schools Foundation, the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, and multiple local Black Mountain and Swannanoa community organizations also awarded scholarships to many deserving Owen students. There were also many students who were awarded significant scholarships from their college or university.

These are just a few of the awards and scholarships the class of 2015-16 seniors have received. We are proud of what they have done and where they are going. We are even more proud to be part of a community who recognizes these students with their generous scholarships.

Jennifer K. Abshire

Owen High School counselor

Boys and girls camps spruce up school grounds

The school communities of Black Mountain Primary and Elementary are so thankful to Camp Ridgecrest for Boys and Camp Crestridge for Girls for the blessing of their hard work to help clean up the school grounds. The service project, including weeding, mulching, pruning and more, was part of their staff training.

Margaret Hurt

Black Mountain Elementary PTO leadership team

Amy Berry, Black Mountain Primary PTO president

Why no seating in museum alley?

I want to congratulate the Swannanoa Valley Museum Board members and executive director for their very successful fund raising to renovate and upgrade the museum. Our local heritage is a precious resource and their efforts are proving to be good stewards of our valley’s history.

I have lived here since 1979, watching Black Mountain change and grow into the vibrant community that I love.

Much of this growth lies in the many small, locally owned businesses that make this place so unique. I especially appreciate the Dripolator Coffeehouse as a wonderful gathering place to serve our many visitors.

This thriving business is also an important stop for many locals. I recently learned that the museum may not allow tables and chairs in the newly bricked alley joining the two businesses because commemorative fundraising bricks will be placed there.

I ask that the SVM please reconsider this decision and allow tables and chairs to be placed along the outside wall of the Dripolator. If they are secured in place they should not damage any commemorative bricks.

There are few quiet, shaded places in Black Mountain during peak tourist season. This alley way reminds me of Van Gogh’s “Cafe Terrace at Night.”

I'm hoping some compromise can be reached to preserve this alley as a resting place and not just a pass-through.

Let’s all thank the SVM for the work they do to make the museum such an important part of our town.

Becki Janes

Black Mountain