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Letters

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Use some

common sense

    I have been reading the paper and talking to people about the way our school board handled the hiring of our new school superintendent and no one is very happy.

    We spent $30,000 to pay someone to look for someone to fill the job, when we had a good person here in the system that had experience and doing a good job.

    So my question is why did we spend all this money looking when we had a good assistant superintendent that should have gotten the job?

    Bedford has always thought they did something big if they could hire someone out of state or county. You don’t need someone with four or five degrees; experience and common sense is better any time. But we don’t use it anymore and you can see the mess our country is in.

    I hope we don’t spend another $30,000 to find an assistant superintendent.

    If we need to look, try running an ad in the paper. I believe this will work and be much cheaper.

    So let’s wake up school board and use some common sense and quit wasting my money.

Harold Williams

Bedford County

A phone call

    It started with a phone call. 

    A wonderful man named “Bob” called my house and introduced himself to me.  He had read the story of our home intrusion in the Bedford Bulletin and had seen the coverage on the news.  As an Army Veteran, he understood the horrible feelings that my husband was feeling from the theft of his USMC Challenge Coins.  Secretly we plotted to surprise my husband to help with the pain. 

    With the help from Manuel Quinones - WSET 13 Reporter, and “Bob”, we ambushed Chad at the Lynchburg Marine Corps League.  Not only did these wonderful men and women donate their own personal Challenge Coins, but they even asked friends and fellow Military Members to help.   Also presented to Chad was a handmade walking stick from a wonderful man who inscribed Chad’s tours of Iraq on it. 

    The Marine Corps League also invited Chad to join their organization. By the end of the night my husband was actually smiling, laughing and talking with his fellow veterans.  Quite a few were older, but the same camaraderie was there.  Things that they couldn’t tell their wives or families that someone who had ‘been there’ only understood. 

    I sat back and watched as USMC, Army, Navy and Air Force laughed and joked about good times and bad and about those that made a difference in their lives.  Pictures of families and loved ones were shared and a great time was had by all.   The complete awe of typical strangers that took it upon themselves to help one of their own is amazing. 

    Words cannot fully express the happiness, joy and wonderment that I feel for these people from Manuel to “Bob” to the Marine Corps League in Lynchburg and Brian Damewood who covered the story that night and who presented Chad with a coin from a military member who is stationed in Iraq and to Investigator Mayhew from the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office who has tirelessly looked for our belongings.  There are several others who worked behind the scenes who were very instrumental in making this happen and I am very pleased to know they are around – they do however wish to remain anonymous.  My deepest heartfelt thanks to all of you and what you have done to help my husband during this time.  There is no way that I can ever repay you for all that you have done for Chad and to help him cope with all of this.  “Bob” will always have a special place in our family – and I promise one of these days I will quit saying “Thank you.”

    Although the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office has not located our stolen personal belongings, this is by no means their fault, what these veterans have given Chad takes away the sting.  We have come to accept the fact that our belongings have been either discarded or destroyed, which is terribly heart wrenching because of the personal memories not financial meaning these items had.  But those person(s) have to live with themselves for the rest of their lives and we have the love and friendship of others to get by with.

    These men and women are just a few of the members of our Military Members that are around the area.  They have wonderful stories to share and even more wisdom to impart.   Tell a veteran ‘Thank you’ or just ask how they are doing – believe me it is worth it!

Charlotte E B Krantz

Bedford County

No right to be morally wrong

    Two of Rick Howell’s recent “Liberal Agenda” columns, and some subsequent email correspondence with him, have proven sufficient to conclude that Howell’s perspective on abortion is so ideologically driven, decidedly biased, shockingly ignorant, it’s therefore unworthy of our attention.

    In his 03/25/09 column, applauding the hopes of reopening the taxpayer’s treasuries for embryonic stem cell research and elective abortion, Howell strategically used the rhetorically sanitized terms “fetus” and “embryo” in reference to the preborn.  Conversely, in his 04/09/09 article regarding Lori Berenson, the American “journalist” being held in a Peruvian prison, Howell referred to her preborn as both a “child” and a “baby.”

    Assuming the latter to be an unguarded moment, I emailed Howell and asked him the reasons for his arbitrary use of the terms.  In response, he offered several points trying to vindicate his terminological carelessness and pro-abortion perspective. 

    Howell began by insisting that Berenson is not having a “fetus” but a “baby,” since her pregnancy is “at a place where no one would consider abortion.”  This comment is perplexing, especially coming from someone supposedly so savoir-faire on the issue.

    Pretending he’s right, though, how then do we account for the reality of late-term abortions?  Numbers of clinics nationwide specialize in abortions through to the delivery date.  Howell is either deceived or deluded.

    Furthermore, Howell has an obvious mental vacancy regarding the entailments of the Roe v. Wade decision.  This decision, he conjectured, “allows for abortion only in the first trimester of pregnancy”!

    Fact: Elective abortion is legal for any reason at any time during a pregnancy, precisely because of the Roe decision.

    Dilation and Evacuation, Saline, Prostaglandin, and Hysterotomy are abortive techniques designed for the dismemberment, burning to death, and/or crushing of preborns from 13 weeks to full term—those who are too developed for the first trimester methods of dismemberment by suction or uterine scraping.

    Secondly, as do most abortion-rights ideologues, Howell twice alleged that popular opinion concerning abortion was on his side, saying, “That’s where most people in the country are, and I think we’re right.”  This, however, is contrary to fact.

    National polls conducted by Gallop, The Boston Globe, and The Los Angeles Time reveal that 77 percent of Americans believe that abortion takes an innocent human life; 61 percent think it’s immoral; 57 percent believe it’s murder, and 78 percent would keep abortion legal in only those circumstances which comprise about 3 percent of actual cases.

    Howell, therefore, fights truth and reality to maintain his perspective.

    Finally, he arbitrarily posited the baby’s viability as definitive in deciding who is and who is not a person. “In my view, a fetus that can’t live outside the womb is certainly not a person as we know people.”

    Howell, therefore, believes that the value, worth, and meaningfulness of a human life are contingent upon one’s physiological development and/or social dependency.  We must conclude thereby that newborns are somehow less valuable than toddlers, toddlers than adolescents, and adolescents than adults.

    Similarly, because of her other-dependency, a baby in an incubator can’t be as valuable as one in her mother’s arms.  For Howell, then, personhood is relative to self-sufficiency.

    How many of your loved ones would be legally killable in a Howellian society?

    Also significant is that the point of viability has dropped from 30 to 20 weeks in the last 30 years, due to advancements in obstetric technologies.  Today we can better aid those with insufficiently developed lungs, who are unable to process oxygen in their new environment.  Nevertheless, the baby has been taking in oxygen in the womb; birth merely changes how that happens.   Hence, Howell says that the moral justification for killing babies swings on their type of respiration.

    Frankly, though, who cares what Howell’s capricious criterion is?  The only objective, scientifically proven point at which a new human individual/person comes into existence is conception.  

    A full disclosure of Rick Howell’s radical abortion-rights perspective demonstrates that his writing about abortion is not the use, but the abuse of his free speech rights.  His understanding of the issue is contemptibly uninformed; and his boisterous, self-described expertise makes his gross ignorance culpable.

    It is one thing for Howell to wallow in his self-deluded perspective, it is quite another when he seeks to use his freedom of speech to persuade others in the rightness of doing moral wrong.

    In the time you took to read this letter, in America alone, 16 babies died in the refuge of their mother’s womb.  Howell simply doesn’t have the right to be this wrong about such a grave issue, and therefore does not deserve our attention.  

Kevin Stevenson

Big Island

Globalization, economy and the Middle Class

    With Barack Obama’s election into office has come a new air of globalization- shaking hands with foreign administrators and invoking warmth in foreign statesmen. Working under an illusion of peace, he wants very much that all nations cooperate rather than fall apart during this global economic epidemic. And yet what Obama fails to see, or wants not to see, is that globalizing the economy and the government will do nothing but dismember America.

    And why do I say this? Well, simply put, America is not a superpower. It is not a world leader. And it is very well not a joined country. Economic turmoil fills the streets and unemployment continues to rise each day. And as Geoffrey Garrrett tells in an article in Foreign Affairs, “While globalization has benefited many, it has squeezed the middle class, both within societies and in the international system.” And without the very substance of America, the middle class, America will surely fall to the giants of globalization. And yet how is the middle class being ‘squeezed.’ By looking at three very important points you can plainly see how such is so.

    First, outsourcing overseas has caused major problems within the middle class. Rather than using their own soil to manufacture cars and textiles, American businessmen thrive under the thumb of ‘cheap labor in foreign countries’. Thea Lee, Policy Director of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization, wrote for the Congressional Quarterly in March of this year telling that, “We won’t be able to rebuild our real economy and the middle class if we can’t figure out how to use trade, tax, currency and national investment policies to reward efficient production at home — not send it offshore.” And she is very right in what she says. Without a sturdy economy in America how can we even begin to send products overseas to be produced. And yet as long as such businesses are making profit, why should it matter? Well, it does matter because with a strong middle class where is America?

    Second, unruly optimism causes further problems within the country. Gabor Steingart says in an issue of the German-based magazine, Spiegel, “Nowhere in the world can you find such a high concentration of optimism and daring.” And with such optimism, America continues to do business in its own currency while filling people with hollow hopes. And yet America is wrong again. They use the dollar as a sign of power as they pay off countries like China, and yet if a country very much wanted to they could completely destroy the dollar that America uses. Though it seems that the dollar is a dollar, in foreign affairs another country could completely take control of the United States by using this very same powerful enigma of the dollar against the country. And delving further into America’s hallucinatory optimism, it is very plain to see that the government masks the bad and exploits the good, within it’s own framework. It works to ensure that all Americans stay far from paranoia, blinding the country and hiding the fact that it may well be falling apart.

    And last, America is not a joined country. Gabor Steingart, again, says “The United States is radically global. Its very origins -- in the rebellious citizens from every country in the world who assembled on the territory that is now the United States -- mark its people as true children of the world.” And with such an idea at hand, it is hard to bring the country together. Being children of the world means that there are no children of America, but rather a band of diverse individuals who mirror the global unsteadiness. As the nation tries to come together so does the world. And yet without a sense of nationalism with the sovereign of the United States, we truly are powerless. No one really defines themselves as “American” in our society, but rather the ancestors they descended from. And yet if we could all come together and disregard (to an extent) the fight over civil rights and equality then maybe America would have a chance in the inevitable globalization of the world.

    And though it is globalization is inevitable, there are certain steps that America should take before going heads over heels for such ideology. We need to truly find power and nationalism within our own borders and not forget that the middle class is what holds the meat of the nation together. If we can first ‘globalize’ our own borders then maybe we will be able to globalize the world.

Key Levi

Bedford

Farmers market

    I am pleased to let everyone know that after a month long of hard campaign for a location of our market ... I have stumbled on a winner!

    The American National Bank, feels the pain of everyone during this economic hardship, has step to the plate by generously donating a beautiful and large open field for the community market site this year. Without this sponsor, the market would not be in existence. Their far sight and unselfish deed is deeply appreciated by all vendors and customers who frequent the market.

    Our new market site is south of the Resurrection Catholic church on 122. We will be open every Saturday from May to October from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    Having said that I have another “bridge” to cross and I am again doing what I am doing best “begging.” 

    The success of our Community market depends on every one of us both in Bedford and Franklin County.  Many of the “would be vendors” are waiting on the sideline for more customers and the “would be” customers are also waiting on the sideline for more vendors.

    With this unproductive and unrealistic attitude our market will withered and die and all of us will not reap a benefits of a vibrant-productive farmers market. I am begging everyone to shop and to sell at our market.  The more you come to shop with us, the more vendors will participate and thus make it a great market and help stimulate the economy in our town.

    I am proud to announced that in our 2nd year of the market we have attracted many great vendors and here are the sample: Peaches, apples and vegetables from Gross and Skinnell orchards, local honey, organic vegetables, free range chicken and eggs from Our father farm, herbs and goat milk products, Artisan breads and bakery, local plants,, flowering baskets, quality wood crafts and  authentic Thai food. In September we will have fresh shrimp from a shrimp farm in Penhook, and when the summer time arrives, I am certain that we will have even more fruits, vegetables and plants to offer to customers at an affordable price. 

    The beauty of all of this is that all of our quality fruits, vegetables and farm products travel less than 50 miles to our market and when you shop with us you put the money back into our community and not to Chile, Mexico or other country.

    I am begging everyone to do the right thing and help your community by shopping with us. 

Mantana Heim

Moneta

Yet to see it all

    In this generation man has yet to see it all.

    We cannot have a lasting peace in the Middle East by pretending God is out of the game.  The need for God to prove his existence to the scientists today will demand a logical and forceful change in understanding all religions. 

    Most Muslims will be shocked to know of the double personality in their religion and most Christians will know the truth after Israel has completed taking over the other half of Jerusalem for 42 years.  In June 2009, Muslims and Jews can tell the Christians that the theory of 42 months in the Bible is not the same for them. 

    In June 2009, President Obama will meet with some leaders of the Middle East who should be responsible for proving peace for Israel.  Is it a man or is it just another man....?

Ralph Rasoul

Blue Ridge