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Letters 04/20/11

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Disappointed


    I was very disappointed to hear that there were some teachers advocating the closure of Bedford Primary School at the April 11 Bedford Board of Supervisors meeting.
    As an educator, I would have hoped that we would be standing together against ideas to defund facilities or programs. Such actions not only have educational impacts on the students, but put the careers of our follow educators in flux. As professionals we should always avoid being pit against one another and be leery of gains achieved at the expense of others.
    School closures have massive impacts on the lives of many: the students, the staff and the community around the school; they should always be an extreme last resort. Such divisive mindsets are major contributors to the plight teachers find ourselves in today. Please remember Ben Franklin’s advice about unity. He stated; “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”

Walt King
Bedford

Elephants
with TEA

    During the first two years of the Obama presidency efforts made by the President and the Democratic Congress have put the nation on the road to economic recovery. Mainly the economy is mending. It is estimated that it will take seven years. There is no quick fix. Remember it took eight years of Bush/Boehner care to create a $13 trillion national debt that put the nation into the worst depression since 1928. Now, the 2010 mid-term election may have begun to seal the deal in 2012 for the return of the crippling Bush/Boehner agenda leading up to 2008. In the past Republican political points for TV ads have proven to be either false or spins on the truth. (Source: Politifact)    
    Recognize that the stimulus has jump started the economy. Businesses that borrowed money have either paid back the government or are in the process of doing so. Some stimulus money has yet to be spent. The stock market is on the upswing. The general public spent 5 percent more on Christmas than in 2009. The real estate market will catch up eventually. Military troops are slowly returning. Reducing defense spending will help lower the national debt. President Obama has a 45 percent approval rating on the economy from the public. (Source: CNN 2-5-11)
    In 2010, 1.1 million jobs were created across America. In January 2011, 36,000 jobs were created. In February 2011, 192,00 jobs created. In March 2011, 216,000 jobs were created. (Source: MSNBC) The years that all these jobs were created, House Speaker Boehner referred to the health care bill as “job killing” which is totally false statement. (Source: Politifact) Before January unemployment was at 9.4 percent. In February 2011 unemployment dropped to 8.9 percent. In March 2011 unemployment downed to 8.8 percent. (Source: MSNBC) President Obama has made job creation a priority for the next two years. The truth is that the most job loss occurred between 2006 and 2007 before Obama became president. (Source: Politifact)    
    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or the real name for the 2010 health reform law is being attacked by the other side. Speaker Boehner said politically that he had not read the health care law. Rep. Hurt would not say that he had read it when asked in a TV debate with Tom Perriello. (Source: WSLS Channel 10 Campaign Debate) However Boehner supported by Hurt wants to repeal the entire health care law. How can you repeal a law that you have not read and obviously do not understand and don’t use its correct name. Oh yes! Look at the Congressional Record for 1-19-11 and see HR 2 listed for repeal as “Job-Killing Health Care Law.” (Source: U.S. House Congressional Record 1-19-2011) They repeatedly use words like “government takeover of health care” which is a totally false statement. (Source: Politifact) Tucked into the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a part that extends the solvency of Social Security benefits until 2029. Under the Bush/Boehner plan Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits would stop between 2016 and 2017. Yeah! Nobody needs those benefits, do they.
    The new Republican campaign strategy leading up to the 2012 election is to repeal as much Democratic legislation that will better the lives of most Americans. Resolutions passed by the Republican controlled House under Majority Leader Boehner and supported by Rep. Hurt include the following: stop funding that provides housing for homeless Veterans, cut funding for job training, repeal funding for transportation infrastructure projects that create jobs, stop funding environmental projects such as pollution in the Chesapeake Bay and The Clean Air Act that tracks mercury levels, soot, and green house gasses in the air that we breathe an to prevent funding to reduce American dependency on oil from foreign countries. Also, women take a hit from the Republican repeal legislation, If Planned Parenthood shuts down, HIV and disease screening, papsmears, mammograms, pregnancy counseling and other services will no longer be available to women in need. These are just a few of the repeal legislation before Congress, now.

Diana Persinger
Bedford

How do we value education?

    Once, public education was controlled by local and state resulting in being number one among nations in academics. Public education today is controlled by the federal government.
    Our Founding Fathers created public schools “for the purpose of public instruction, we regard it as a wise system of police by which property, life and peace of society are secured. By general instruction we seek to purify the whole moral atmosphere to keep good sentiments, and to turn the strong current of feelings and opinion as well as the censures of law and the denunciations of religion against immorality and crime.
    We hope to continue the time when in villages and homes there may be undisturbed sleep behind unbarred doors.” Daniel Webster, 1820.
    James Monroe, president, to reap reward of the Founding Fathers instruction in school, “we hold every man subject to taxation in proportion to his property.” Morality high, crime low. 
    Because the Supreme Court found the Founding Fathers public instructions unsatisfactory, the denunciations of religion against immorality and crime were removed. This court decision brought a huge unsolvable problem. Taxation was created for our first schools and people were rewarded with very low crime. Homes unlocked. In the 1940s parked cars were open, keys in the ignition, no thefts. Since the Court’s decision, people are continuously taxed with no reward in return as crime is up, immorality rocketing upward, homes now locked. The Court decision removed the wise system of police for safety of property, life and peace of society.
    Outright piracy of safety for young and old! School instruction today in many parts of the country are global instruction, the UN Agenda 21, Race to the Top, one element of RTTT is to infuse down into primary grades! To remedy back to our Founding Fathers instructions, the state of Virginia should remove Virginia Public Schools from federal control. Cancel out Department of Education. Return to local and state control.

Walter F. Heydt
Bedford

Biased
conservatism, capitalism

    This country is biased conservative and capitalism at its best.
    Oh where would political talk shows and their host be if it weren’t for creating good cop bad cop shows that pit a Democrat against a Republican. These shows create millions for the owners and the paid politicians.
    We are capitalism at its best, seems we have to always go to war with somebody to create jobs for the working people in our country. And worst of all we send missionaries and others to these countries, plant seeds of discontent and eventually cause conflict within that country, and other wealthier countries led by the U.S. quickly come to the aid of the peoples of which we and other wealthier countries will reap monetary gain. For the U.S. it is just good for business, spreading a chain of fast food restaurants from one end of the country to the other.
    We plant seeds of discontent, we supported Saddam’s Iraq against Iran. Then when the two countries were weakened by war, we turned on Iraq. If the Taliban were so bad, in Afghanistan, don’t you think the people would have raised up against them, especially when we had a presence in the country? If Israel is attacked, are we going to get dragged into a third world war because of what was written in the Bible?
    I have many Jewish friends who are afraid of this as I am. Millions would lose their lives, most of them below the poverty level. Of course the Bible favored the Jewish people, after all, it was written by the Jews. There are 1000s and 1000s of young people in Israel who want to live in peace and not be isolationist. It is the evil wealth and their greed in this country and planet earth that will destroy the world, not the writings in the Bible by persons who thought the world was flat. It is religion that causes more wars than any other source.
    It seems that every few years, one party yells, “Touchdown! Change sides!”: One solution may be, combine the Democrats and the Republicans into one party and call it the Conservative Party, Then create a strong socialist party, not as the one we have now who seems to keep their mouths shut.  

Kenneth Elliott Aldhizer
Moneta

Political
affiliations

    I have been a Christian Republican because of the following.
    Republicans have not proved they totally support Christian principles, but Democrats have proved they “do not” support Christian principles, because the Democratic Party supports abortion and homosexuality that are contrary to the Bible.
    However, there have been things introduced into the Republican Party that irritate me. I could never accept Romney as a Republican because Romney was the governor of Massachusetts when Homosexual Marriage became law and when Massachusetts started a forced health care system like Obamacare that most people hate.
    I was glad to see the Tea Party movement to show disgust for certain elements of the Republican Party.
    I would urge Christian Blacks to start a Black Republican or Black Independent Party to show disgust for the Atheistic direction Obama and the Democrats are leading America by the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and other pro homosexual policies.
    Some Blacks may say the Democratic Party has done a lot for Blacks, but I see a 70 percent illegitimacy rate among Blacks as being the destruction of the Black society, especially the Christian Blacks.
    I would invite all Blacks, especially Christian Blacks, to participate in the Republican Party or the Tea Party, but if you can’t see your way clear to sit with whites, then form a Black Republican Party, a Black Independent Party or any other name party.   But, please do not allow the Atheistic (adultery/homosexual) policies of the Democratic Party to wipe out Christian Blacks in America, and to destroy America.

Clifford D. Russell
Forest

Second bust of Stalin—second affront

    As if the affront of erecting one bust of Joseph Stalin were not enough, a second bust of Stalin is now on display in southwest Virginia.
    Lynchburg College on April 12 opened a display of three Allied leaders of World War II that includes sculptor Richard Pumphrey’s personal casting of the Stalin bust that he created for the National D-Day Memorial. With this display, the college has now gained the infamous distinction, I believe, of being the second institution in America to display a bust or statue of Stalin. The college’s action flies in the face of decades of history in which statues of Stalin in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe have been torn down.
    The college display features busts of Stalin alongside busts of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston S. Churchill, two honorable, democratic leaders.
    In my opinion, most reasonable people believe that statues and busts honor the persons portrayed. Roosevelt and Churchill, indeed, are men worthy of honoring.
    Stalin, however, ranks with Hitler and Mao as one of the most murderous, aggressive dictators in world history, responsible for the deaths of millions of people.
    One can wonder if the sculptor would sculpt and the college would display busts of Hitler and Mao?
    Stalin helped start four wars (WWII, the war with Finland, the Cold War, and the Korean War), ordered the massacre of 22,000 Polish military officers captured when the Soviet Union invaded Poland in 1939, and, in states occupied by the Soviet Union, deported many citizens and enslaved under communist dictatorships those remaining. As a result of Stalin’s Berlin Blockade in the late 1940s, 101 people died in the Berlin Airlift, including 31 U.S. and 40 U.K. servicemen. In the early 1950s, Stalin gave the go-ahead to North Korea to attack South Korea, provided military planning and arms for the attack, pressed the Chinese Communists to intervene, and pressured the Communist forces to continue fighting. Not until Stalin died was a truce possible. Over 37,000 American servicemen and over 1 million South Korean and other Allied military and civilians died in that war.
    So, whose idea was the Lynchburg College display, what is its purpose, and why was the display made at this time?
    I don’t know the answers.
    I do know that the sculptor, who is a member of the Lynchburg College faculty, sculpted the busts both at the National D-Day Memorial and at the college. I also know that the sculptor and the former president of the National D-Day Memorial Foundation, who bears much of the responsibility for erecting the Stalin bust at the memorial, are listed, along with their wives, as donors to the college’s Daura Gallery, where the busts are displayed. I have read that the National D-Day Memorial loaned some of the objects for the display at the college. I know that after the Stalin bust was erected at the memorial on June 1, 2010, the new president of the memorial had the bust taken down on September 28, in my view because of the overwhelming opposition. I have read that the new president intends to reinstall the Stalin bust at the memorial in a location with the other political busts, perhaps similar to what was done at the college.
    Again, whose idea was the college display, what is its purpose, and why now? Did this idea pop up independently of the National D-Day Memorial, people associated with it, and the sculptor, or are the college and students being used in an attempt to build legitimacy for the reinstallation of the Stalin bust at the memorial?
    The answers reside at Lynchburg College. Will the college share them with the public?

James W. Morrison
Moneta

A combat marine and a true patriot

    I, like the other 99.9 percent of citizens usually don’t write letters to the newspapers, but for anyone to question a real hero, combat marine and true patriot is just too much. A local writer took it upon himself to speak on our Senator Jim Webb. Seems he couldn’t understand why Senator Webb would not play politics and base his decisions on what is best for his family, state and country. How refreshing, considering our term-limit Bob and our “my daddy’s a big-time coach,” George.
    Senator Jim Webb is a true independent man. Anyone who does his research will clearly see that no matter what your beliefs are. Let me tell you a little about our Senator Jim Webb.    
     Senator Webb is a descendant of Scot-Irish settlers who were pioneers in the mountains of Southwest Virginia.    
    Senator Webb graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and received the Superintendents Commendation for Outstanding Leadership.
    Senator Webb finished first in his class of 243 at the Marine Corps Officers Basic Training Center.
    Senator Webb served in the 5th Marine Regiment in Vietnam.
    In the Hoa Basin area of battle, he received the Navy Cross, Silver Star, Two Bronze Stars and Two Purple Hearts.
    In 1982, Senator Webb led the fight to include an African American Soldier in the Vietnam Memorial Statue. He also wrote the inscription at the base of the flag.
    Senator Webb has always answered the call in service to his country in so many ways. When he was elected to the Senate in 2006, on his first day he introduced a comprehensive G.I. Bill for members of our military since 9/11.
    In only 16 months, he guided this most significant Veterans legislation since WWII through both Houses and Congress.
    Senator Webb was named by Atlantic Magazine as one of the 22 world’s “Brave Thinkers.”
    Esquire Magazine counted him among the “Seventy-five Most Influential People of the 21st Century.”
    Senator Webb is an attorney, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Emmy award winning journalist, film-maker and author of nine books.    
    Senator Webb has spent his life protecting America’s national interests and promoting economic fairness and social justice.    
     If only we had hundreds more like him serving in Washington, we could restore Honor, Duty, and Country.
    Myself and my family, along with millions of other Virginians say “Thank you for your service and your refusal to play politics.”

Steven D. Jenks
Troutville