Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Results of marijuana survey add up to bad news for future
Some 40 years ago when we moved from Darlington, S.C., to Salisbury, we found this area to be somewhat of a “Sleepy Hollow.” Pardon the pun. Everyone was friendly, polite and we were welcomed. Crime was minimal. Compared to other places we lived, Rowan and Salisbury were an ideal place to live, to educate and raise our children. And it still is despite a troublesome survey conducted recently by the Salisbury Post. For the most part, crime is still proportionately much less than in larger cities and is kept to a minimum by our outstanding police and sheriff’s offices. Even the gang problem seems to be under control, with no wars or battles other than the bitter fighting between the school board, county commissioners and city of Salisbury. You’d think we would elect leaders who solve our ills rather than create more.
Back to the “survey,” which asked this question: “A recent national poll found that a majority of Americans (52 percent) support legalizing marijuana for personal use. How do you view legalization of pot?” Of 337 responses. 40.1 percent strongly supported it, and 16.6 percent somewhat supported it. Only 32 percent strongly opposed it. While not a scientific survey, the result should send a big chill throughout Rowan and Salisbury. We already have enough folks driving in an impaired state from alcohol and drugs, and many more driving with their brains plugged into cell phones. Now we could be adding hundreds, if not thousands, of pot heads on our roads, in our schools, playgrounds and parks if marijuana became legal.
It bothers me that more than 50 percent of respondents believe pot should be legal. This says a lot about our character, morals and values. I hope and pray the survey was wrong. If not, we could be in a lot of trouble. Can you imagine a downtown “Pot Day” like they had in Denver where two people were murdered? It happened after Colorado legalized marijuana. It could happen here.
— Donald Schumacher


Defining extremism
If you were following the news last week, you know that even before details were released about the Boston Marathon bombings, channels like CNN were discussing “right-wing extremists” and “extreme right-wing individuals.” NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston even mentioned Hitler’s birthday, saying “April is a big month for anti-government and right-wing individuals;” except Hitler wasn’t anti-government. Nazi rule was absolute.
The media often uses the term “right-wing extremists” to describe Republicans, especially tea party members, even though there’s been no violence. It’s quite confusing, until you realize that there are two, very different definitions of “right-wing.”
In socialist countries, democratic socialism is considered centrist (moderate). To the right is fascism, a dictatorship, usually a brutal and racist regime, as under Hitler and Mussolini. To the left is communism, where property is owned by the government (communal), as under Stalin and Mao.
The FBI has been tracking terrorist cells in foreign countries for decades. Fascist groups, like neo-Nazi skinheads, are labeled right-wing extremists. Communist inspired groups, like the Weather Underground, were left-wing.
But these labels have nothing to do with the Republican and Democratic parties here in America. Here, in theory anyway, Republicans are right of center, desiring smaller government with less spending. Democrats are left of center, desiring bigger government with more spending. Anarchists are far right, wanting no government at all. Socialists are far left, but in varying degrees depending on whether they’re moderates, communists or fascists; they all want even bigger and more intrusive government.
Yet every day, the media purposely uses the term “right-wing extremism” without specifying whether they mean fascists or Republicans. It’s no accident that the term has been so misused that most people don’t know the difference anymore. And by constantly bashing the right (Republicans), the media is shamelessly throwing gas on the fire. In this case, they’re adding to the possibility of backlash against peaceful Muslims, and creating even more violence.
— Steve Pender


Thanksalot for ‘Spamalot’
We would like to say thank you to the Piedmont Players and the Meroney Theater for a wonderful evening. We attended the play “Spamalot.” I have never heard my residents (of Kannon Creek Assisted Living) laugh so much. They said it was the best one we’ve attended.
This is a wonderful gift you offer us. I would like to see more facilities participate. Thank you again from Kannon Creek Assisted Living.
— Jan Merrell


Jan Merrell is activity director at Kannon Creek.