Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016

Community asset

As I read and re-read Leroy Mack’s letter to the editor on Nov. 30 about the Macon Health Club’s scheduled closing Dec. 31, I recalled the session the night before for all members to discuss the closing and see if there was any possibility of keeping the doors open.

Let me assert to the Navicent Health institution our gratitude for keeping this facility open over the years — and let me share what I see inside this beautiful building:

▪  Saturday morning basketball games — children watching their fathers — witnessing the best in good sportsmanship

▪  Folks coming at lunch time, exercising and going out walking and jogging downtown

▪  Lessons with the international ballroom dance instructor Paula East teaching even me with two left feet

▪  Camaraderie among Asians, Hispanics, African-Americans and Caucasians.

Here is a place where we all feel a part of one community. One example: Willie, a man who has gone to the MHC for years, who, this year had cancer in his left jaw. At the MHC, you could witness “Willie’s army” of supporters lifting Willie up to the Lord. And now Willie has had a healing.

So many positive experiences have evolved at the MHC; so many great souls have come together in community under one roof. As Willie told me not long ago, “Mr. Watson, when the Macon Health Club closes, we won’t have anywhere to go.” What Willie was expressing was that here is a special comfort zone, unlike any other. We thank you, Navicent, for allowing all citizens to have this downtown facility where there is a culture of mutual respect on the corner of First and Cherry Streets.

Mind you, Navicent Health has been keeping the MHC open for years with the facility running in the red — an expense. Now, on the edge of closure, we are lifting up the great leaders of Navicent and our community to keep the Macon Health Club open, not as an expense, but as an investment in our community. Our hope is for a strategic plan to be put together and executed for the health and vitality of downtown and all of Macon-Bibb County.

Andy Watson Jr.,

Macon

Media oligarchy?

I would like to address Donna Williams’ letter on her version of sources for “Fake news.” In 1996, the Telecommunications Act, signed by President Bill Clinton, allowed consolidation of both the media and communications sectors. Now, just six corporations control virtually every news channel, television network, movie studio, radio network, newspaper and several major magazines. With so few controlling all of the information, it is an easy task to control the narrative. And of course they do. They have largely become mouthpieces for our current administration.

Consider “Operation Mockingbird”, I am sure it once would have been called a conspiracy theory. Exposed in 1975, it was found the CIA maintained a network of several hundred individuals around the world who provided intelligence for the CIA to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. Many of these journalists were from The New York Times, Washington Post and Time Magazine among others. Today, as you switch from channel to channel, the same phrases and words are repeated over and over again like a Mockingbird.

Spending millions of dollars in advertising, the Big Six are beholden to their corporate sponsors who include Big Pharma, agri-business, banks and financial firms etc. Is it unreasonable to assume that perhaps we may not be told the other side of the story if it goes against a sponsor?

What has happened is the new independent media has no major corporate sponsors; they can investigate and report freely. With the Internet, they are able to reach millions of people. The corporate media are having their paradigm of control destroyed. Therefore they must malign, marginalize and lie about those who are doing real investigative journalism by calling it “fake news.” Those who are demonized the most are generally the ones who are closest to the truth.

Kathy Solomon,

Perry

According to Pew Research, as of 2014, there were 1,331 daily newspapers, 300 controlled by seven publicly-traded companies. There are three 24-hour major cable news channels and three major TV networks, all with different owners. There were 833 news producing local TV stations in 2015 and 32 all news radio stations with16 different owners.

Editors

National security

Frank Gadbois’ letter to the editor on Dec. 2 shows he does not understand the handling of classified material. He uses the phrase “consciously endangering our nation’s security.” Material such as letters, reports, messages and even hardware can be classified appropriately because the disclosure of the material to unauthorized persons can be dangerous to our nation’s security.

After more than 30 years service with the Air Force both in uniform and in civilian clothing I do not recall a single word ever said that only the conscious or deliberate release of classified material is dangerous and that the accidental or careless release of classified material was not dangerous. It is the release of the classified material in any manner that is the danger.

The FBI has decided Hillary Clinton is not a criminal. However, the problem remains that she has demonstrated a deliberate carelessness and thoughtlessness in handling classifies material under her care. Did she even get her wrist slapped?

Roger M. Boan,

Bonaire

On faith

I read with interest Dr. Cummings’ article in Sunday’s paper. I believe he understands that a Christian accepts a lot of what is said in the Bible on faith. After all we were not present when Jesus walked the earth. I personally do not think early Christians were out to make claims that were not true. After all, they were being persecuted for exactly what is written in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The fact that the gospel of St. Thomas does not mention a lot of what is included in the New Testament gospels could be the reason it was left out. The early Christians were trying to come to terms with their Jewish traditions and the message of Jesus. Perhaps the author(s) of St. Thomas did not embrace what the four disciples passed down and deliberately left out important parts of the gospels we are familiar with. Also, it is entirely possible that what is reflected in the four gospels were written earlier than the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Phil Peterson,

Warner Robins

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