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Opinion Letters

Thank you Macon County.

It was truly humbling to see the community turnout for the Homeless Symposium. The interest, support and concern was evident in the questions, comments, and suggestions.

We discussed the need to rebuild a homeless person’s support network by addressing the themes of prevention, crisis sheltering and transitioning to a home. The threads that bind all of our efforts in these areas are prayer, volunteers and funding. Our vision is to see the homeless become fruit bearing members of our community.

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The snide personal remarks made by Union Boss William Trapani against my commentary about the UAW were just not correct. If you google “Factcheck” on UAW salaries, they state that auto worker salaries are $75 an hour, including wages and benefits. This number is high because they factor in the cost of benefits for retirees. The internet is loaded with similar information, including the fact that the UAW basically bankrupted the American auto companies. U.S. funds were used to bail them out! (Amazingly, the non-union employees of Toyota made less of an hourly wage but in the end made more money than union employees because of “profit sharing”).

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I am a human being, a member of a family, an American, and a Democrat, in that order.

Notice what I didn’t list.

I could have been born in Asia, Africa, or Palestine, on a reservation, in Harlem, or in Mexico. I could have been born looking much different than I do, and treated accordingly by society, but I wasn’t. I could have been born a girl, or gay, or differently abled, but I wasn’t. I could have been raised Buddhist, Muslim, Anglican, Jewish, atheist or animist, but I wasn’t. I could have been taught only Hindi, Spanish, Russian, Swahili, or Arabic. I could have been raised only by my mother, my grandmother, or adopted, but I wasn’t. I could have been born in a different time in history, in any situation. I had no choice in the matter. In some ways I won the lottery, in other ways, I lost. Imagine that. In some ways I lost.

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The term “socialism” has been evacuated of meaning from misuse. It is nevertheless being used more and more frequently in the media, albeit incorrectly for political reasons and because of the encyclopedic ignorance of the history of socialism in our country.

To complicate things, there are many versions of socialism today. State Socialism, Democratic Socialism, Libertarian Socialism, and Anarcho-Syndicalism are the most common theoretical forms. Two are actually existing socialisms. Democratic Socialism is operative in Scandinavia, Denmark, and to a lesser degree Germany and France; while, pockets of Anarcho-Syndicalism can be found locally in co-operative structures, such as the Mondragon Corporation in Spain.

Libertarian Socialism remains an ideal for the most part. State Socialism, the one that most people vaguely have in mind when they use the word “socialism,” is essentially a square-circle. It is a logical absurdity that cannot exist, at least not as socialism. To understand why, one must understand what socialism is and what capitalism is.

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