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Bouncing checks

    Written to Senator Mark Warner, Virginia

    A poor man with a checking account can be a handicap person should he decide to fight for his right standing up to the laws of the banking system of the United States. You write a check these days and it is instantly flying over your head to be posted on your bank computer screen before you can get to your bank. If the check beat you to the bank you have lost the race and have to pay whatever the bank charges for bouncing checks. If you can call it that. Each bank charges different fees for just looking at a screen to see of your money is there or not. State or federal government is not looking into this matter as a serious matter. It is a matter of runaway train going over the bodies of poor people who are too frustrated or maybe embarrassed to fight for their right.

    I’ve been running a convenience store for 40 years. Most people who write checks these days are good people. Advance technology has filtered out most of the con artists. Yet those poor people have to pay for the cost of the free offers to bring business to the banks. I believe the states, if not the federal government, should look into this matter in order to control these runaway charges by the bank for bouncing checks. Many poor people prefer to keep their cash at home under the mattress and that is bad for the economy. Many people use money orders to pay their bills, if they must, because they do not trust the banks to keep their money.

    I believe all managers of all banks in the United States should have one law and one charge for all bounced checks. I believe the government should be responsible for enforcing such laws. I believe all poor people should have whatever money they do have at a bank and not somewhere else where it could be lost before it is used. It is the responsibility of the government of the United States not to manufacture more poor people by allocating government money for them before finding their own money to be used by them.

Ralph Rasoul

Blue Ridge

Fairies in the Backyard

    The choice for every person is to believe in God or Fairies in the Backyard.

    I would have greater respect for Fairies in the Backyard if they would write a book that explains the past, present, future and contains provable predictions.

    The Bible says Israel will survive and sure enough the little nation of Israel has survived even though most other nations have come and gone.

    The Bible says homosexuality is an abomination which is worthy of death and sure enough AIDS is killing more than two million people per year in a world wide pandemic.

    There are things in the Bible that are hard to understand, but they have never been proven wrong.

    As for me, I trust the 97% of the Bible that is easily understood and accept the other 3% by faith.

    The real issue is not belief, but rather that belief in God and following the Bible leads to the Christian Lifestyle which is the most environmentally friendly - socially responsible lifestyle that can exist, while believing in Fairies in the Backyard leads to the Atheistic Lifestyle of disease, death and destruction.

    Atheists like to say they do not believe in anything, but I believe they are putting their faith in humanism.  I see no proof that humanism does anything other than lead to disease, death and destruction.   Just pick up any newspaper and read about the disease, death and destruction of humanism.  The Bible says that man is born with a sin nature and needs God, which is another provable prediction.

Clifford D. Russell


Time to clean house

    What seems wrong with this picture?

    The school board is looking at way’s to cut the budget this year, yet they hired a consulting firm from Iowa to assist in finding a new superintendent at a cost of $35,000! They talk about cutting jobs and programs, freezing wages, yet they hire a person with no “management experience” at almost $5,000 a year more and $700 a month vehicle allowance! Seems like we need to clean house and get more people like Mr. Huff representing us.

    Looks like some shady dealings going on here!

Jimmy Cundiff




    We have a new school Superintendent that has the confidence of only a slim majority of the board. Not the best situation to begin such an important job especially since such a choice caused one member to resign. And one member was absent.

    Is it even legal for the board to vote on such a position without the full board voting? It certainly seems that the entire process was handled ineptly. As other past important decisions attest, when presented with an opportunity to display “how not to do something,” the Bedford County School Board excels.

    The board has taken a page straight from the Corporate Sensitivity Training Manual. Paragraph one says “Increase top management salary while neglecting those who do the real work (teachers). Issue statements defending this strategy while looking straight into the camera and shaking your finger, (review TV clip of Bill Clinton, if necessary.)”

    This entire contract should be made public. Are there other parts that guarantee salary increases? What, if any, “perks” are included? And what is Dr. Blevins getting in way of a severance package? All of this must be made public. It is taxpayer money.

     How can this board justify paying $140,000 salary in this period of economic downturn, and in an era of public revulsion at obscene salaries for top management types? Didn’t they negotiate at all? If they did, they aren’t very good at it. Even in good times, such a salary is unjustified for Bedford County, as is a $700 monthly vehicle allowance. What will he be driving, a Hummer?

    Any appointment that causes such radical action as a school board member resigning his position must be considered ill-advised and should be closely scrutinized. Who were the other five “finalists?” What were their qualifications? Who else had input into this choice? Principals? Teachers? Parents?

    Dr. Schuch’s current position is titled director of strategic planning and accountability. What does that mean? It sounds like a make-work job to me. The longer the wording in one’s job title, the bigger the pay check, and is usually negatively correlated with its importance.

David Goode


The Octomom as seen by The Quadfather

    Consider if you will, you are roused from a short thin slumber at 4:45 a.m. This will be you third arousal since lying down at 8:30 p.m. Ahead of you lay diaper changes and bottle feedings 13 through 16 if you count the round just before putting the crew down at 8:30 p.m. You wake your sleeping spouse and tell her you will warm the bottles and pull yourself up and slog half-asleep to the kitchen.

    Five minutes later, you join your spouse in the changing room with four warm bottles and change two of your little wonders as she finishes the other two. Placing two in the cribs you both take your place in a glider rocker and nod nearly napping as the bottle is slowly drained by your lovely little son, or is this a daughter. Remember you are very sleep deprived.

    You both repeat the feedings for the second set and you find a place on the floor surrounded by a wonder your parents and grandparent could not have fathomed. Quadruplets, still on a 3 hour schedule but healthy and beautiful. Finally, the fab four start to wilt and you tuck them in one by one having let your spouse go back to bed. She has to get up at 6:30 a.m. and prepare to fly to N.J. for business after the 7:45 round is over.

    She will be gone for a couple of days but your two daughters then aged 9 and 6 will help after school and the neighbors daughter will come at 1:30 p.m. to help until dinner and homework is done. The next few days will be a bear but God in His sense of humor has placed you here, provided all that is needed and will not forsake you. Settling into your bed for a quick rest you spy the clock 6:50 a.m. 55 minutes will be wonderful you murmur drifting off on another slim slumber as your wife turns off the shower.

    Now multiply the number of kids by two, subtract the spouse, add some designer lip gloss, a manicure and much anxiety about how you will provide for this group, including three more with special needs and three other for fun and you have viewed the world of Najda Suleman. All as seen from my parenting perspective as an at home dad of quadruplets plus three married to a wonderful woman and successful business entrepreneur.

    Folks I can tell you this was hard. By one year, they were on a five-hour rotation and yes, it did get better. I can also tell you this self-absorbed lady is deluded if she thinks she can pull this off.  I have bitten off half of what she is facing, chewed and swallowed. Without my wife, my daughters and my God we would have choked and never made it but we did.

    We did it without welfare, food stamps, a reality show or contributions of any type. I give God the praise and glory too. It had to be His plan because it sure was not ours. Still we have made it so far because of Him and a bunch of planning and executing of hard focused effort. Not media hype and constant handouts.

    For the last year, I have been fortunate to write a column for the #1 magazine for parents of multiples “Twins.” In that year, I have tried to share encouragement, insights and wisdom on how to make a “multi-family” into a success and not a made for TV circus sideshow. After blogging there a bit regarding Ms Suleman I unceremoniously found out I was no longer writing for them. Indeed, in that blog I had dared reference a sad little show with two lesbians each having twins and calling them Quads on TLC as an example of a made for TV train wreck. I was attacked viciously by advocates of lesbian mommy hood who have quite a presence on the Twins Web site.

    Now I cannot say the two are directly related. However, feel free to go to and check it all out at twinsmagazine.com. In any event, it saddens my family and me to see the self absorbed and narcissistic drama playing out while 14 kids suffer with no father, no stability and no hope other than a mom who wants to be a reality TV millionaire. People will emulate this dysfunction if in it she finds fame, fortune and a fan-base. That is sad but it is true. Ms Suleman is no doubt emulating what she has seen and calculated her extreme parenting plan accordingly.

    Parenting is a high calling, a privilege and a trust from God. If you believe it is about you, you are lost. My hope and prayer is that Ms. Suleman’s grand misadventure will underscore these obvious truths. Sadly, I will not be having a voice to say this to the multiples community that she has become a part of through “Twins” any longer but I will speak out.

    I will also continue to count my blessing by multiples every day. I hope someday Ms. Suleman and many parents might find my perspective correct and emulate it a bit. Because being a parent, in my case a dad not like most dads you may know has been the biggest blessing of a lifetime. It has not been easy nor made for TV but I would not trade it for anything or sell it to anyone.

Mike Poff


Mr. Change

    I have been interested in politics ever since Nixon was defeated by Kennedy in 1960.

    Out of 13 presidential elections since then only two candidates were picked by the people at large. The media destroyed the first, Barry Goldwater, but even they couldn’t stop the momentum of the people to elect Ronald Reagan. Reagan wanted no part of Papa Bush for his vice president, but “Big Money” picked his running mate. Even Reagan changed and leaned toward bigger government and more debt for the taxpayers after his attempted assassination.

    Then Bush was elected on Reagan’s coattail and government has grown at a rapid rate ever since. This last election left us with a pitiful choice of a president for the people. The media had picked the Republican candidate by early March, so the conservatives had nothing to vote for. The Democrats did fight up until the convention and presented us with Mr. Change. The people voted for Mr. Change, but the nation only changed from a president that supported the war criminals to one that supports the money changers.

    What a joke our presidential and congressional elections have become. Big money buys the candidates and big money gets rewarded by both the Republicans and the Democrats with the average Joe’s hard earned taxes.

Richard H. Ruff


The rub

    While I’m certainly not a constitutional lawyer I did pick up the ability to read somewhere back in grade school.  And because goings-on in the federal government have seemed a little fishy lately, I recently reviewed the U.S. Constitution (the document that actually establishes our government).  Section 8 of Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution, which gives the powers of the legislative branch, states that it’s Congress’ job to provide for the “common defense” and “general welfare” of the United States (that’s you and me).  And therein lies the rub.

    Does anyone really believe that Congress’ (and Obama’s) radical expansion of government is intended to do anything other than provide for their own welfare?  Look around--it’s killing the stock market and hugely burdening us and our children.

    Because the intent (of Obama and crew) is obvious and actually hurts our welfare, they are violating the Constitution that they swore to uphold.

    One other thing: The definition for Treason includes attempting to overthrow one’s own government (i.e., the Constitution).  Isn’t that exactly what these folks are doing right under our noses?

    I think we’ve got a situation on our hands.

Tom Viets


The Constitution

    Recently Rick Howell had an article “About What The Constitution Doesn’t Say.” “The Constitution means at a given time, what the court says it means.”

    What? Each judge must, in public, swear to uphold the Constitution. The judge is forever, as protector of the peoples Constitution, guardian of what the founding fathers established, word for word. Be it the judge is Protestant, Catholic or Atheist, he must by oath follow only in the laws written by our first representatives. The Judiciary may not by oath, change, create or ignore the Constitution.

    Going back to Howell’s statement “What the courts say it means.” Suppose the judge ignores his oath? A majority gains on the court? Then what? Which would be easier, a majority of five or a majority of Congress? Thomas Jefferson, in support of checks and balances, wrote that should the Judiciary error in decision, the Legislature shall correct.

    A case in point, our founding fathers established a first in the world, public schools. In order to preserve and protect, an instruction was introduced “to insure property, life and peace of society.” That was to teach “censures of the law and denunciations of religion against immorality and crime,” Daniel Webster, 1820. Monroe was president.

    Because the founding fathers school instruction was carried out into the 1980s, immorality and crime was extremely low until the U.S. Supreme Court forced the Ten Commandments out of the Kentucky public schools. Until the court decision, people left their homes unlocked, barns open, keys in their cars while shopping. Since the court decision, assault on the street and homes robbed are increasing. One can tell if crime is increasing by the news. If more police are needed, be sure your door is locked. When I was a boy, people left their windows open for air. Cars unlocked with keys inside. No home was ever entered nor car stolen. ...

     Question #1: Did the U.S. Supreme Court violate the founding fathers and the rights of the people to peace of society?

    Question #2: During WWII I was attending public school in N.Y.C. an air raid siren sounded. We were led out of class into the center hallway and told to sit down with our backs to the wall, knees up and heads down with arms up over our heads. Soon vibrations came from a squadron of B-17’s flying low over the school. When the all clear sounded, we were brought back to our classroom. Our teacher, to settle us down led a prayer of thankfulness that the planes were not German.

    Would Mr. Howell please tell us what violation occurred with the First Amendment when our teacher thanked the Lord that the B-17’s were not German?

Walter F. Heydt