Reply to a Letter to the Editor

I have read a surprising letter to the editor that really grabbed me, but I planned no reply.  No desire to reply to such non-sense, but after four people brought it to my attention and really made me think about what a slap in the face it is.  Tsk, tsk… some people just don’t get it.  This is my reply to Mr. John Josey in red; his original text is in black.  The highlighted parts of the text are where I took great offense.

click to open the printable document —>  Lose the ideology to move in the proper direction EDITS (Open with AdobeAcrobat Reader)

Well… Mr. Josey is the Managing Editor of this newspaper. Write your own letter to the editor.  Tell Mr. Josey directly how your feel: John Josey, Managing Editor

(I apologize for not having the document’s text here in the blog, but because of software limitations to differentiate my text and Mr. Josey, I am posting the reply as a separate attachment.)

=============== new addition to the story 8/17/10, 11:40 pm.

Link to the original article.  I apologize for incorrectly calling it a “Letter to the Editor”, it is a “Column” piece.

The Lenoir News-Topic is going to print a 600-word portion of my posted reply.  I have also posted the author’s reply to my reply.  I have a 2nd reply in the works…. but my phone doesn’t stop ringing anymore, and I can’t get anything done.  But just think on Mr. Josey’s reply and post what you think.  There are many posts on the News-Topic website, but I can’t follow the conversation.  They’re all seem to be Libertarians and yet still fighting about the appropriate degree of freedom for the country.  :\

==================they printed my letter, Sunday, 8/22.

One letter is from me

and one is from Dennis Benfield


About Christine

I believe in the CONSERVATIVE principles and values of the Republican Party as they are written, and not how they are currently practiced by today's RINO's. Smaller government, lower taxes, more personal responsibility, states' rights, free market capitalism, and less government intrusion in our lives!
This entry was posted in Caldwell County Democrat Party, Caldwell County NC, Caldwell County NC GOP, NCGOPCON, TEA Party and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Reply to a Letter to the Editor

  1. Christine says:

    Please comment. Tell us what you think about this article and my reply. You don’t have to agree with me to comment. 😉

    The Letter to the Editor is not available online. What happened?

    • Carole Mace says:

      Subject: “Lose the ideology to move in the proper direction”

      Your letter to Editor; why is not available online? Was your reply in the paper but not on-line or unavailable in both places?

      • Christine says:

        I haven’t submitted my response for rejection yet. 🙂 I was speaking of the original letter by John Josey not being available from the News-topic online.

  2. Carole Mace says:

    Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!

    Great job Christine, all of us who believe in our country thank you for your response in stating the facts. Hopefully your continuing efforts gain the attention of those who are so poorly uninformed.

  3. Christine says:

    thank you, Carole!!! I was hoping the first comment wasn’t going to be a nasty one. Thanks for your support.

  4. Bill Sproul says:

    Good letter. What else did you do on Saturday. Bill

  5. Steve Bogdan says:

    Well, when I read the article by the managing editor of the News-Topic, my jaw dropped. I felt it was written by a very uninformed person with very biased ideas that don’t even make any sense. He seems to be out of touch with reality. Anyway, great response to John Josey’s article Christine and keep up the good work with trying to get GOD and the constitution back into our Government along with fiscally responsible ideas. Keep up your good work

  6. Liz Friend says:

    Right ON!!!

  7. Anne says:

    Thanks for replying to the John Josey editorial. We canceled our subscription to the News Topic shortly after reading the editorial. We are inundated with liberal bias in the media on the three major networks and various cable stations, and we don’t need to subscribe to the liberal media bias on the local level as well. John Josey’s editorial made me wonder if there was any factual reporting I could believe to be true in the News Topic. Thanks again for being the voice of the majority!!

  8. John Josey says:

    First off, I appreciate any opportunity to debate the issues with you. Feel free to send me a note, and we’ll discuss it in a civilized manner. Clearly, each of you have my e-mail address. A firestorm of civilized and rational debate is what this country needs instead of partisan bickering and finger-pointing.

    Secondly, I find it hard to believe that an opinion is offensive — if you and your party are the staunch Constitutionalists you claim to be, then you should adhere as strongly to the First Amendment as you do the Second. If people cannot stomach an opinion that dissents from their own, that makes them no different than the Nazis or any other tyrannical regime this nation has stood against from its birth. I may not like your opinion, but I will defend to the death your right to state it.

    Thirdly, negotiations for NAFTA began in 1986 — during Reagan’s final term. Before the negotiations were finalized, Bill Clinton came into office. While Clinton signed it into law, it was an idea hatched during the Reagan administration. While we could debate the immediate effects of the so-called trickle-down theory, the long-term effects are proving disastrous for this country. Take a drive down Morganton Boulevard and see the effects of outsourcing; there are all sorts of financial incentives built in for businesses to outsource. Wall Street carries far too much clout both as a lobbying group and as an economic indicator. The game is rigged in favor of the elite, and the haves have gained far more in the last 30 years than the rest of us. The middle class, which used to be the backbone of America, is being squeezed out, and it’s not because we are gaining more wealth. We are being shuffled toward the bottom. While I believe in free markets, there also has to be regulation and oversight to prevent another collapse like the one we saw late in 2008 and in 1929.

    In response to Mr. Borgan’s post — the Founding Fathers intentionally separated church from state in the Constitution. God, on their wishes, has no place in the Constitution or the government. That is an ideological platform. Religion is a personal matter; to make it anything else turns us into the Saudis, the Taliban or any other tyrannical/fascist theocracy. Forcing folks to worship how you would isn’t freedom. From Thomas Jefferson: “… no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.” Freedom OF religion also entails freedom FROM religion if people so choose.

    Finally, I cannot buy into this notion of a “liberal bias” in the media because you have Fox News, and a large portion of the right takes its marching orders from that TV network as well as from Limbaugh, Beck, Palin, et al. That’s the basis for my “groupthink” comment. I’ve read Orwell’s 1984, and I’ve read Animal Farm as well. The similarities to what we face today are frightening. The world has moved on, and we have to move along with it. The ideas of the past may not be what we need for the future. All of us have to be open to new ideas and differing viewpoints — that, in a nutshell, is America. That’s why I wrote the piece in the first place. General George Patton once said, “If everyone is thinking alike, someone is not thinking.”

    Again, I welcome debate as long as it is civil and rational. What everyone seems to forget nowadays is that we are all Americans first. If any one of us puts party first, we are treading down a dangerous road toward fascism. We are a democratic nation, and we have to find ways to move forward together. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

    I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

    John Josey

    • Deborah Murphy says:

      We are NOT a democratic nation Mr. Josey! We are a Constitutional Republic!
      Remember the Pledge of Allegiance….. “and to the Republic for which it stands”…! The founding fathers wanted liberty, not a democracy. The word democracy does not even appear in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States of America. Article IV section 4 of the United States Constitution states “The United States shall guarantee to every state in this Union a Republican form of Government ” The word democracy has no real constitutional basis. It is in fact mob rule, or as you may prefer to call it a redistribution of wealth! The founding fathers wanted to protect liberty and individual rights and gave us a Republic not a Democracy!

  9. Christine says:

    ** Rebuttal to Josey’s email and request to put his reply to me on this website.

    Just because I’m “offended” by your original Column, does not mean I think you should not have the right to say it. Say whatever you want, but sometimes you have to man-up a take an earful when you make someone mad. I am no Nazi. Please apologize for the Nazi reference as it was completely uncalled for. I am clear on the 1st Amendment – it doesn’t protect anyone from being offended.

    I do take issue with the fact that the News-Topic is the only newspaper in town and the readers’ presumption is neutrality. “MISSION: The News-Topic will have a positive, active presence in the community… while providing accurate, complete, fair, and balanced coverage of daily events.” That column you wrote was not neutral, fair, or balanced in my opinion. Maybe the paper should reconsider its mission and call the News-Topic what it really is – a Liberal paper. Otherwise, you are presenting news and ideas in a manner that, I believe, is deceptive. Are you speaking for the paper in the letter?

    “Take a drive down Morganton Boulevard and see the effects of outsourcing…” Outsourcing is not a fact in dispute. What is in dispute in our exchange is – who is responsible for NAFTA? We can all see the failure of outsourcing. I liked Ross Perrot’s analysis on NAFTA in 1992 – “You hear that giant suckin’ sound? That’s your jobs going to Mexico!” I don’t know what Reagan’s version of NAFTA was and I would like to believe (head in sand) the final law must have been quite different. Reagan didn’t sign it, Clinton did. More research is needed by me on this topic, but here is one damming link 

    You said this, “I cannot buy into this notion of a “liberal bias” in the media because you have Fox News,…” You can’t see liberal bias? Really? ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, MSNBC, CNN, and nearly all newspapers are very Liberal and are referred to collectively as the main stream media. FoxNews and Talk Radio are Conservative, and they are marginalized by all those mentioned above, including the President, Robert Gibbs, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, et al. FoxNews and Talk Radio are demonized by the main stream media, therefore they are not part of the main stream media. And since they are not part of the main stream media, how is it that you think there is no liberal bias? Now if you, your newspaper, and the rest of the main stream media want to begin calling FoxNews and Talk Radio part of the main stream media, then we can stop talking about “liberal bias” in the main stream media. But since the Left constantly dismisses FoxNews and Talk Radio as legitimate news sources, then we have a deep divide created by your side. Why do you assume Rush Limbaugh gives me marching orders? Should I make the same ridiculous statement about you taking marching orders from ABC, Jon Stewart, or the Daily KOS? I don’t make that assumption, it wouldn’t be fair. I assume you think for yourself, like I do.

    “In response to Mr. Borgan’s post — the Founding Fathers intentionally separated church from state in the Constitution. God, on their wishes, has no place in the Constitution or the government.” First of all, the man’s name is Bogdan. And second, YOU’RE WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who said anything about compulsory worship in this, or any other, discussion?? You are deflecting. The 1st Amendment states the government is to make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE thereof,” hence freedom OF religion. It’s not freedom FROM religion. If you’re offended by my religion, the 1st Amendment protects me. The Founders put God, not religion, in all levels of government. If you don’t believe me, then go look at the monuments in Washington and at our state capitals. Like it or not, America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Under the 1st Amendment, the government is expressly prohibited from creating a national religion like the Church of England – the official religion of England that controlled everything including politics during the time of the writing of the Constitution.

    Inscribed on the Jefferson Memorial are several of the most profound statements I have ever read. One of the interior inscriptions within the monument reads like this, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than these people are to be free. Establish the law for educating the common people.” ~Words were taken from a bill for establishing Religious Freedom, 1777. This hardly sounds like the words from men who wanted to bar God at government’s doors.
    Please see the link(s) to a compilation of all 50 states’ Constitutions that express belief in God. You will probably be very surprised by this information, as was I. (There were 25 million hits.)

    Separation of church and state is a myth of revisionist history, not the writers of the Constitution.

    If you see the alarming similarities between now and Orwell’s 1984, then let’s work together to fix it? I want LESS government. Is that a goal we can both work towards?

    As to your last paragraph, I am not putting Party first. I’m putting America first. I’m putting liberty and freedom first. I am going to share my ideas with the Republican Party and hope they embrace them as my views are already part of the NCGOP 2010 Platform. I plan to hold the GOP to its own platform as an oath for candidates. I don’t want a nanny-state, big government dictating to me “how” and “when” I can do “which” things. I’ve had enough! I’m not going to stand idly by while the ideals of Left destroy this great country. If you don’t like the American way, then you move to where Socialism already abounds and leave us here to fend for ourselves.

  10. John Josey says:

    Christine (forgive me for the informality; your last name escapes me) — the point of my column, which is MY opinion, was that we ALL have to find ways to work together and throw ideology aside. If we put the firebrands and pitchforks down for a second and rationally and reasonably discuss our differences and figure out how we can move the country forward together, we can all make the country better. It cannot be one way or the other. The Nazi comment wasn’t directed at any one person. It was merely an expression that we all have to be tolerant of opinions that differ from our own even if we do not agree. In societies where that isn’t the case, there is no freedom. No freedom of speech, no freedom of expression and no freedom of religion. In fact, folks are rounded up and jailed or executed for dissenting opinion in those societies. The comment was not directed toward you or anyone else.

    I am not offended by your God or anyone else’s. In reference to Mr. Bogdan’s post (and my apologies for not self-editing better in the heat of the moment), he stated that he wanted God in the Constitution — that sounds a lot like a national mandate to worship to me. How, if I might ask, would that be any different than sharia law? Religion is a matter of personal preference. You worship how you want, I worship how I want, and John Doe doesn’t have to worship at all if he so chooses. THAT’S freedom of (and, yes, from) religion. Am I to assume this is a mandate that everyone has to worship in some fashion?

    Again, my point was that we all need to drop the rhetoric and make our positions clear. Misunderstanding could be the greatest source of divide between left and right. I have intentionally situated myself in the middle. Do I have issues with Obama? Absolutely. The health care plan, though it is based on the GOP compromise plan to Clinton’s HCR plan, is going to be a disaster even though it fixes a great many wrongs done by the for-profit insurance industry. Am I in favor of the surge in Afghanistan? No. In fact, it’s well past time to leave because our goals there are no longer attainable. Am I in favor of his re-authorization of the Patriot Act? Most definitely not. Do you realize that a piece of legislation that sweeping and, I’ll say it, radical was signed into law on Oct. 26, 2001 — just over a month after the 9-11 attacks? How can something that so fundamentally changes how we view freedom in this country be assembled and then signed into law in less than two months unless it was “in the can” and ready to go at the first opportunity? What is your opinion of the Patriot Act? Would you call for a repeal if Republicans hold a majority on Congress or sit in the White House?

    Your last sentence is so partisan and rhetorical that it isn’t constructive to the debate at hand. We’re being civil and rational and trying to find ways to work together, are we not? Let’s stop alienating each other and assuming that if I’m not with you, I’m against you. I’m an American, just like you, and I also love my country, just like you.

    As for the media, Fox News lost all credibility it might’ve had as a news organization when its parent company gave $1 million to the Republican Governor’s Association. If the parents of any of the other networks you mentioned wrote a check to the ACLU or the Democratic governors, you would be outraged. I hope you also hold Fox to the same standard. I assume the right takes its marching orders from Fox and Rush because in discussions I’ve had with folks this week, I’ve heard the talking points regurgitated verbatim. I know that isn’t the case for everyone, but there seems to be little thought. I take everything I see, hear and read with a grain of salt. The objective in TV and radio is ratings. Howard Stern was consistently the No. 1 radio show in the country before he went to satellite. How much faith would you put in anything he says? We all can find bias where we seek it. There are far too many of us left, right and center that have faulty “BS detectors” in their heads and instead swallow everything hook, line and sinker. We cannot allow ourselves to become brainwashed robots straight out of 1984. The rhetoric is completely out of hand, which makes people emotional and irrational at a time when we need to have our wits about us. We are in a national crisis; partisan bickering and finger-pointing does no good.

    I also want smaller government; that is most definitely something we can agree upon. Just because I am a centrist doesn’t mean I want to be spoon-fed by the government — and I don’t really think we’re anywhere near that. What would I do? First and foremost, I’d cut the defense budget. We spend more on defense than the rest of the world combined. That alone would mean huge savings and alleviate a good deal of our financial strain. We cannot have a legitimate discussion on spending unless defense is on the table. Defense, Social Security and debt service make up 70 percent of our budget. There’s only one logical place to make cuts. Social Security is a vital lifeline to far too many people and has been extremely effective in keeping the elderly out of poverty. I suppose I have to ask you to define your idea of smaller government before I could give you a good answer. To me, cutting spending, especially in the Department of Defense (which is becoming a budgetary anchor around our necks), goes a long way toward creating a smaller government.

    NAFTA — Clinton signed it, but he also broke ranks with his own party and took several blue-dog Democrats with him to put it over the top. George H.W. Bush worked to fast track the process so he could sign it prior to the end of his term, but he ran out of time and had to pass the required ratification and signing into law to Clinton. I agree with Perot as well, except the jobs didn’t go to Mexico. They went to China, India and anywhere else the people don’t mind being paid 30 cents a day.

    Ms. Murphy — From Wikipedia: In contemporary usage, the term democracy refers to a government chosen by the people, whether it is direct or representative. The term republic has many different meanings but today often refers to a representative democracy with an elected head of state, such as a president, serving for a limited term, in contrast to states with a hereditary monarch as a head of state, even if these states also are representative democracies with an elected or appointed head of government such as a prime minister.

    The Founding Fathers of the United States rarely praised and often criticized democracy, which in their time tended to specifically mean direct democracy; James Madison argued, especially in The Federalist No. 10, that what distinguished a democracy from a republic was that the former became weaker as it got larger and suffered more violently from the effects of faction, whereas a republic could get stronger as it got larger and combats faction by its very structure.

    Based on the last point, this nation most definitely is a democracy and not a republic. If we were a republic, we most likely would not be engaged in this debate. Division does not make us stronger. Quite the contrary. It weakens us to the point of collapse. None of us want that. Also from Wikipedia: As Benjamin Franklin was exiting after writing the U.S. constitution, a woman asked him “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a republic or a monarchy?” He replied, “A republic — if you can keep it.”

    We haven’t done a very good job of keeping it. None of us.

    Finally — and don’t take this as criticism because it isn’t meant as such; I’m merely asking for my own education and edification — if the Tea Party just a group of concerned citizens and isn’t affiliated with a party, why the outrage at my criticism of the Republican Party? It would seem to me that disgust with the system would include disgust with both sides — which is where I find myself. I have libertarian tendencies, but I see this movement as being too aligned with the hard-line GOP for me to engage with it. I’m 100 percent in favor of a grassroots third party because the two major parties have rigged the game in their favor, but that third party cannot be aligned with the two majors for it to work. We need a whole new set of ideas, not the things that have been done in the past. Everything cannot be either black or white — there have to be some shades of gray as well. Compromise in government works; Clinton balanced the budget and left a surplus with a Republican Congress. It can be done, but there has to be a desire to make it happen without things dissolving into an endless argument over which side is right or wrong.

    In closing, I also offer you a quote from Thomas Jefferson:
    “I like the dreams for the future better than the history of the past.”

    Thanks for the debate, and thanks for keeping it civil thus far. We are well on our way to a broader understanding of one another, which will only serve to make the country we all love a better place.

  11. Chrissy M. says:

    Excuse me, Mr. Josey, I am not going to say that you are incorrect about us keeping a republic because, quite frankly, I do agree with you that we haven’t kept it.
    However, we need to get it back!! Why on Earth would we want to be a Democracy?! Look back into history and see how many democracies have succeeded. How many, you may ask, would that be? None. They have all fallen to other countries. This, Mr. Josey, is why WE are responsible for getting our country back and restoring it back to it’s Constitutional roots!!!!

    As a note to you, coming from a 14 year old high school student, even I know that Wikipedia is not a reliable source for information, because, anyone can edit it and make it say whatever they want it to say. It’s very, very disappointing that a 14 year old girl knows better than the Managing Editor of the Lenoir Newstopic than to use Wikipedia as a source for anything. 😦 Not good at all.

  12. Chrissy M. says:

    Christine- In his rely to you and my Mom, he got his definition of a republic and democracy from Wikipedia. Here is what he typed:

    “Ms. Murphy — From Wikipedia: In contemporary usage, the term democracy refers to a government chosen by the people, whether it is direct or representative. The term republic has many different meanings but today often refers to a representative democracy with an elected head of state, such as a president, serving for a limited term, in contrast to states with a hereditary monarch as a head of state, even if these states also are representative democracies with an elected or appointed head of government such as a prime minister.”

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