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Letters 03/21/12

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An invitation to Common Ground

    Are you sick of the corruption in our government? Are you disgusted by the way Wall Streeters manipulate the system so they get obscenely rich while wrecking our economy? Are you appalled that we now have the highest level of economic inequality since before the Great Depression? Do you wonder how business executives can ruin their companies and still get a retirement package that is far bigger than what most of us will earn in our whole lifetimes? Are you concerned with what kind of future our children will have after all our manufacturing jobs are outsourced overseas?
    It doesn’t take a taxpayer-funded study to figure out that something is drastically wrong in America, both politically and economically. The financial disaster now being called the “Great Recession” was not the first sign of trouble. And if nothing much changes it won’t be the last.        The root problem is the corruption of our government by special interests. Corruption fueled by greed. Corruption that has often been made legal while We The People wonder what happened? …
    If we are going to keep our government of, by, and for the people, then We The People must start working together to hold everyone in a position of power accountable. Changing the culture of corruption in government begins by We The People coming together. And we are hoping you will join us. We are local citizens, forming a new and non-partisan political action group to restore government accountability to the people. We don’t know all the answers, but we do have a passion for America. We believe that together We The People can figure out how to restore accountability to our government. And then, through the power of our democracy, we can restore accountability to Wall Street and big business boardrooms.
    Please join us at the Bower Center For the Arts, at 305 N. Bridge Street in Bedford, on Thursday, March 29 from 6:30 - 8 p.m. for a conversation on how we can restore accountability to our government. Together we can make a positive change.

Eric Mosley
Bedford

Downright
ugliness

    Being a volunteer for Concerned Women for America has afforded me several opportunities in the past few years to observe and learn about the legislative process here in Virginia.  ... Since getting involved around 2005, I have observed first hand and heard from discussions with legislators a very disturbing turn of events.
    I truly understand the frustration of supporting legislation and seeing that legislation being left in committee or voted down by either the House or Senate.  Those of us who identify ourselves as “Pro-life” saw countless bills left in the Senate Health and Education committee year after year.  We even renamed that committee the “death” committee because that is where all the life bills died.  So I understand the pain of defeat. 
    What I don’t understand is the reaction of the pro-abortion folks that turned into downright ugliness.   Honestly, it went beyond ugliness, and some legislators received vulgar threats.   I heard time and time about the nastiness and rudeness of phone calls and e-mails.  It appeared that all civility and respectful dialogue was gone and replaced by personal attacks.
    A group of us had planned a lobby day for February 20; the night before we were hit with some significant snow. As we approached the Bell Tower area, we noticed a group of individuals, but what really caught my eye was the police presence. 
    As we walked by a couple of policemen, I asked what group had gathered, and he stated “a women’s reproductive rights group.” When I read the accounts of this “protest,” the media reported 1000-1200 in attendance. It looked like a couple hundred at the most.  I guess that should not have surprised me as I have been in Washington, D.C., the past few years for the “March for Life” and saw with my own eyes hundreds of thousands of participants and absolutely no media coverage at all.
    You can’t trust what is reported nor can you depend on having a civil and respectful dialogue.  Shame on the pro-abortion folks who have the media in their pocket.
 
Janet Robey
Bedford
Virginia State Director
Concerned Women for America

We won’t forget

    I recently attended another board of supervisor’s meeting and once again saw the “switcharoo” and pandering to a select few of some of the board members regarding the jail inmate program to pick up trash on our, what should be, beautiful country roads.
    I was recently headed to Fredricksburg to visit some friends who, like me, are retired and happened to go through Green County in route. The county roads in Green were almost pristine—very little trash and, low and behold, on one stretch of road a jail/prisoner work group working picking up trash. I assume they were under the supervision of the sheriff or whoever runs the jail. I love Bedford County but have you noticed the trash that accumulates on our highways and byways?  Disgraceful.
    If memory serves me right, just a week or two prior to this meeting the board in a 6 - 0 vote, Mr. Arrington was absent, approved the plan that Supervisor Thomasson and the Sheriff’s department presented to the board to field a “trash gang” made up of jail inmates to help with the beautification of our county. Free labor! ...
    Well, get ready for another “low and behold” coming down the track. During this meeting, with at least two sets of eyeball focused on Mr. Steve, the vote changes to 4 – 3. What in the “Sam Hill” changed? A wild guess. Mr. Steve, for whatever reason, manipulated his marionettes and they went back on their original vote. Thank goodness for the other four and thanks to Supervisor Sharp who considered the beauty of this area and voted to push the effort forward. … And, as Mr. Sharp said: "Give it a try and if it doesn’t work we can drop back and punt.” ...
    Everyone needs to remember the slogan that was used when I was in high school in the ‘50s: “Keep Virginia Green - KVG” and, we did, or at least as I recall we did. We had a respect for our county and its beauty. Why doesn’t Mr. Arrington, Mr. Cheek and Ms. Parker have the same respect?
 
William “Bill” Fizelle
Forest

Lacking in vision

    Mr. Heydt used incorrect amounts in his letter. FDR took over when gasoline was a dime a gallon. I checked back to 1920: there was no six cent gasoline. It was a dime by 1932, because of the Great Depression.
    Gasoline in 1942 hit 19 cents per gallon, but was rationed. During the war, people didn’t jump into their cars and drive wherever they wished. There were far fewer cars for a 120 million population, some 3, 326,751 passenger vehicles versus today’s 230+ million for 310 million people. 1946, gasoline was 21 cents a gallon, and rose to 28 cents by 1952, in the Korean War. Gasoline was rationed from May of 1942 until August of 1945, covering the rest of Roosevelt’s term and kicking off Truman’s administration. Similar procedures were followed during the Korean War.
    Salaries back then were different, too. In 1932 a public school teacher averaged $1,227, while the overall average was $1,368. To make this more interesting, a U.S. Congressman got $8,663. A three room apartment cost $15 a month, apples 3 cents a pound, coffee 26 cents a pound, hamburger a dime.
    Food and electric weren’t overly abundant during war time. Many meats, eggs, butter and sugar were rationed. Shoes were rationed, as were other clothing items. Electricity? We had little use for electricity, compared to today. Most homes had a few electric lights and maybe a radio. Only late in Mr. Heydt’s time line did  TV come along.
    I’d love to see the price of gasoline drop  to $2.50 where Newt Gingrich claims he can get it. I’ve heard no details of how he plans to do that. Nothing. The U.S. is producing about 80 percent of its own oil needs, but speculators, primarily, create the current pricing, though oil companies don’t help by shutting down refineries at the peak buying season.
    With increasing demand in China and India there is going to be continuing pressure on gasoline prices. Anyone who predicts or preaches otherwise is lacking in vision and may well be mendacious.

Charlie Self
Bedford

Thanks for
helping to serve the community

    Bedford Community Christmas Station served 327 families in 2011. 
    Through the generosity of businesses, churches, clubs & organizations, families, individuals, and schools, we were able to provide each family with:  two outfits, a pair of pajamas, socks & underwear and a hat or gloves per child, 50 points per child for toys or teen gifts items (such as dolls & accessories, lego sets, board games, electronics, craft sets, jewelry, make up and cologne, sports balls, science or music toys ... 30 points per household to select items such as blankets, pillows, towels, dish sets, small appliances, utensils, and home decorations, and a box of food that includes a ham, paper products, personal care items and cleaning products.  Families were also able to choose gently used coats and shoes for family members. 
    The Christmas Station Board of Directors is very grateful to everyone who helped ensure that Christmas 2011 was a joyful time for low-income households.  We especially want to mention James Wade, who refurbished 50 donated bikes; Dewey Gunnoe, who donated 325 hams; Liberty Cowboy Church for Cowbell Services that raised almost $2,000 for our program; Greater Lynchburg Community Trust, which awarded a grant of $6,400 to the Christmas Station in 2011; and Isabel Mitchell, who had a birthday party and asked all of her guests to bring gifts for the Christmas Station!  A complete list of our donors can be seen at www.bedfordchristmas.com.
    We also appreciate our wonderful volunteers that helped raise funds, work with community organizations, purchase gift items, organize and display merchandise,  and do whatever was needed to prepare to serve families.  Thanks, also, to the 129 volunteers that gave their time on December 9-11 to help families choose gift items for household members.  Through everyone’s efforts, those three days were amazing and heartwarming.
    Once again, the Christmas Station Board wants to thank the community for supporting our mission.  We invite you to get involved as a volunteer, committee member, or donor as we prepare to serve as many as 400 families in 2012.  To find out how you can get involved, visit our Web site or call 540 492-0382.

Karen Hughes
Bedford Community Christmas Station

Atheism - Theocracy

    Atheists, Socialists, Liberals, Progressives and Democrats are always worried about America becoming a Theocracy.  America was founded as a Christian Nation, but it did not become a Theocracy even though we still have “In God We Trust” on our money and use “So Help Me God” as a part of most oaths.
    Atheists like to call their concept Secularism, but Secularism is really nothing more than the precursor to Atheism.   Secularism is a sort of a pick and choose between Christian concepts and Atheistic concepts, but Christian concepts are interlinked so either you choose all the Christian concepts or you are choosing Atheism.   If you reject the Christian concept on homosexuality and feminism then you could just as easily reject the Christian concept of Heaven.
    Atheists avoid telling people about the disease, death, destruction and poverty of Atheism.  Homosexual activity produces over two million deaths due to AIDS.  There is an epidemic of STDS due to adultery/fornication.   There is a 40 percent illegitimacy rate in America that represents instant poverty, with a gigantic health care/welfare/entitlement program needed to keep these people alive.
    I believe Christian principles are best for America, Christian principles will not become a Theocracy, Secularism is a precursor to Atheism, and Atheism will destroy any nation by the Socialism that is required to deal with the disease, death, destruction and poverty of Atheism.
    I believe Christian principles represent the most environmentally friendly, socially responsible lifestyle that can exist on earth.  The problems begin when people deviate from Christian principles.  I believe the greatest concern should be Secularism/Atheism.
    Everyone violates Christian principles, but they should not make the violation habitual, because that represents an adoption of Atheism.  God forgives sin, but there is little likelihood the habitual sinner will ever ask God to forgive them.
    No Christian should ever vote for any Democrat for any office, because the Democratic Party advocates Atheism and Socialism.  The Atheism was proven by the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the Socialism was proven by ObamaCare.

Clifford D. Russell
Forest

Virginia Spring 2012

The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia
A warm winter;
An early spring.
Colors in a splendid fling,
The lemon yellow forsythia,
White Bradford pears,
Pale green willows,
Pink maple buds,
Sun-bright jonquils.

From the mountain tops,
The sweet air drops
to the awaking meadows below.
The breeze sways the tall poplars.
The returning birds shop with song
a place to raise their young.

Dean Hensley
Bedford