Letters 08/18/10

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National Night Out

    Last week, the Bedford Police Department conducted its first annual National Night Out.  This event is an opportunity for the various communities and their Police Department to make a positive statement and a collective effort to prevent crime. 
    National Night Out is a nationwide event sponsored by the National Town Watch and is designed to heighten awareness of crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for crime prevention activities, and to strengthen community-police partnerships.  One of its major goals is to send a message to criminals that we, the Police Department and citizens, will work together to fight crime in every neighborhood. 
    Attendees were able to participate in a variety of events including registering their children with the Southwest Virginia Internet Crimes against Children.
    I want to thank all of the many volunteers and organizations that helped us put on what we plan to be an annual event that grows and improves every year.  A special thanks to the West Wind Band that provided the music.
    Thanks to all who attended and we hope to see you next year!

James E. Day    
Chief of Police
City of Bedford
Campaign funds

    On July 20, 2010, The News and Advance reported that Congressman Tom Perriello has $2.3 million in campaign funds compared to Robert Hurt’s $770,000.  Yet, Congressman Perriello charges taxpayers to prepare, publish and mail shamelessly self-promotional pieces to every household in the Fifth district.
     In one of these thinly veiled campaign pieces, Congressman Perriello proclaims that he was the thriftiest Virginia Congressman in 2009, staying under his office budget by $270,000.  I seriously doubt he will be able to honestly make such a claim in 2010.  In contrast, his predecessor, Virgil Goode was the thriftiest member of the entire Congress.  He often returned $500,000 of unused funds.  This savings was largely due to his restraint in the use of the Congressional mass mailings.
    Congressman Perriello has consistently shown disregard for the taxpaying citizens of the Fifth district.  This extravagant use of the congressional mailing frank is just one small example.  If you are tired of this, please vote for Robert Hurt on November 2.

Susan Stanley

Representing the Fifth District

    I recently received an email from the Perriello campaign claiming that Robert Hurt had the lobbyists for oil, banking and insurers on his side and the grassroots were for Mr. Perriello. 
    I checked the contributions report to the Federal Election Commission (fec.gov).  I found a list of lobbyist firms (about 630 contributions).  These included just about every union you can think of. The SEIU led the pack, donating about $219,500.  Other Democratic congressional candidates and former congressmen, most from out of state, donated about $112,750.  Some were well know friends of Virginia, including, Rangle, Pelosi, Emanuel, Stupak, Ellison and Dingell. The total of these contributions from lobbyists, the Democratic party and mostly union PAC total $1,680.872.  How about the grassroots?  2,918 are listed as have given over $2M.  Many of these names are listed more than once.  The vast majority of these came from out of the 5th district, out of state and the Charlottesville area.  Is this more representative of the nation and lobbyists than the 5th district?
    Robert Hurt?  His individual contributions came from within Virginia, except 24.  None of his contributors gave more than $5,000, and none are readily identifiable as having oil, insurer or banking interests.   I think Mr Hurt is more representative of the majority of the 5th district.

Kenneth Herndon
Justifying his votes

    Unfortunately, I probably won’t be attending any of Rep. Tom Perriello’s town hall meetings. Should any of you go, and should you be lucky enough to be called on to speak, please ask him this one question:
    “Mr. Perriello, if you are re-elected, will you continue to vote for legislation that you have not read and don’t know what it contains, as you did with the health care bill and the stimulus package?” And, if you get the chance, “How do you justify doing that?”

Robert Earl Craig

No tribute for murderers
    The Central and East European Coalition (CEEC)*, an organization representing more than twenty million Americans who trace their heritage  to that region of the world, is deeply troubled that the bust of Soviet mass  murderer Josef Stalin has been installed at the National D-Day Memorial in  Bedford, Virginia, and remains there at the present time.
    The fact that a bust of this brutal communist dictator remains at the center  of a memorial dedicated to those who lost their lives fighting to liberate  millions oppressed by an evil regime, is insulting as it is historically  inaccurate. The argument from National D-Day Memorial officials that Stalin  needs to be included because he secured the eastern front so that the Allies  could launch the invasion of Western Europe is unfathomable. The  Foundation must be aware of the fact that Stalin played no role whatsoever  in securing a victory for the Allied forces on the beaches of Normandy. We  remind the Foundation that shortly before the invasion was launched, in the  winter of 1943, Stalin at the Tehran Conference was not interested in  helping to plan the invasion of Western Europe, but was instead pressing  Allied leaders to allow him to carve up Poland and most other areas of  Central and Eastern Europe.
     As long as the bust of Stalin remains, the Foundation only helps to serve the  interests of those who would like to glorify Stalin and recreate a Stalinist and  totalitarian world order. Given that the United States has always prided itself  on standing up for oppressed peoples all over the world, but especially in  areas under totalitarian communist rule, the Foundation must do the  honorable thing and remove this bust at once. As an organization  representing millions of Americans who trace their family origins back to  Central and Eastern Europe, we are particularly aware of the atrocious acts  committed by Stalin before, during, and after World War II.  Many of the  American citizens represented through our organization not only fought  bravely against Nazism, but fought to liberate the countries which fell under  Stalin’s totalitarian rule during the Cold War. The least that we can do to  show them our respect and gratitude for all that they have done and  continue to do to preserve our fundamental freedoms is to strongly urge  that the bust of Stalin be removed.
    The CEEC is comprised of 18 national membership organizations representing more  than 20 million Americans who trace their heritage to that part of the world.  The CEEC  strongly believes that the long-term national security and economic interests of the  United States demand an unwavering commitment to and sustained engagement with  the Central and East European countries.

Karl Altau
on behalf of the Central and East European Coalition (CEEC)
Washington, DC

Remove the Stalin bust
    The North Korea Freedom Coalition, an organization representing over 70 American, Korean, Japanese, and European human rights, religious and  non-governmental organizations promoting the freedom, human rights  and dignity of the North Korean people, respectfully request that the bust  of the communist leader Josef Stalin be removed from the National D-Day  Memorial.
    Although Stalin joined the Allied forces in WWII, it is also well-known that  his decision was motivated by Hitler’s violation of their non-aggression  pact and Nazi Germany’s invasion into the Soviet Union in June 1941.   While we acknowledge the fact that the Soviet Union had the greatest loss of life during World War II and that Stalin was an ally, Stalin had no role  in D-Day and has no place at the National D-Day Memorial. Americans  should never forget that Stalin, throughout his murderous reign,  contributed greatly to the death and incarceration of millions of innocents  among the people of the Soviet Union.  His dictatorship was marked by a  catastrophic famine; the establishment of Gulag labor camps; arbitrary  imprisonment, torture, and execution of innocent people during the “Great  Terror”; and discrimination through the exile of millions of ethnic  minorities. And after WWII, he succeeded in placing much of Eastern  Europe under communist dictatorships.  Furthermore, he played a key role  in the establishment of another destructive regime that has led to the  deaths of millions of Koreans.
    Stalin’s destructive leadership gave rise to the communist regime that  exists to this present day in North Korea in which 23 million are enslaved  and 200,000 languish in political prison camps.  After the Soviet Union  declared war on Japan in August 1945 and successfully invaded  Pyongyang, Stalin appointed Kim Il-Sung to head a new puppet regime in  North Korea.  Stalin not only supplied advisers and equipment to build an  army in North Korea, he also provided permission to Kim Il-Sung to attack  the south in 1950 which started the Korean War, had Soviet generals take  over the war plans, and pressed China to intervene when North Korea  experienced difficulty during the war.1 The Korean War, still unresolved,  led to the death of an estimated 2.5 million Korean civilians and hundreds  of thousands of soldiers from many nations including over 200,000  Koreans and 37,000 U.S. servicemen and servicewomen during the three  year conflict.
    Moreover, Stalin’s support for the regime in North Korea continues to  impact the lives of 23 million in North Korea where millions have died in  political prison camps and from starvation because of the regime’s policies.   In fact, the regime continues to destroy the lives of hundreds of North  Koreans daily as they suffer under a complete totalitarian regime headed  by Kim Il-Sung’s successor, Kim Jong-Il.  They lack every freedom  enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was  adopted in reaction to the atrocities of World War II.
    The placement of the Stalin statue among the leaders of the Allied Forces of World War II  is offensive to all who fight for freedom and human rights today, as well as all who died on  D-Day and all who fought and died in the Korean War. 2
     Erecting a statue portraying the image of a political leader is a deed that is customarily reserved for those whom we honor.  The bust of Stalin does nothing to promote the  memory of the suffering and death of millions of people under his cruel dictatorship, and  brings no positive tribute to those who valiantly fought to defeat the proliferation of  communism, including the twenty soldiers from Bedford who perished on D-Day.   Alternatively, it has only brought forth fervent sentiments of opposition and objection  from around the world.
    We urge the Foundation to remove the bust of Josef Stalin from the National D-Day  Memorial and return the Memorial to one that truly honors those who made the greatest  sacrifices for peace and freedom.
Suzanne Scholte
North Korea Freedom Coalition