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Following the footsteps

I am a Democrat, so much so that I once contributed to the Democratic National Committee as well as to Democratic candidates.

But all that stopped several years ago when it became obvious that national Democratic politicians were following in the footsteps of Republican politicians. In other words, strict loyalty to the party, getting reelected, and blaming the other side for the failure to solve national problems. I was disgusted with the whole Washington scene.

Now there is a politician running against Virgil Goode in Virginia's 5th Congressional District who is challenging both Democrats and Republicans to change the atmosphere in Washington and work together to solve our myriad of problems. I attended the Perriello/Goode debate in Danville on Sept. 3 and heard incumbent Goode blame Democrats (especially Nancy Pelosi) for every failed attempt to address a problem - energy, gas prices, slow economy, immigration, national security. If only they had voted the way Republicans wanted them to.

But as Tom Perriello offered his thoughts in addressing the same problems, he consistently stressed that both parties have the responsibility to work together; the future of America, its citizens, its security depended on it. I was encouraged. If others in the 5th District are as disgusted with Washington politics as I am, I ask you to look at Tom Perriello's materials, listen to what he has to say, and consider voting for him on Nov. 4.

Ann Duncan


Citizens of Bedford City & County

Lowes has come to town. Nice place to shop, has all the goodies you need.

What did we have before Lowes came to Bedford? Just to name a few, we had and still have Southern States, Coffee & Saunders, Bedford Hardware, Moneta Farm Service, Brown Construction of Virginia and Bedford Supply Co. There are more.

Most are family owned and operated. Been here for years. For some, our parents, grandparents and even great grandparents patronized and had a family type bond with these local businesses.

Point being, let's not stop patronizing these businesses just because Lowes has come to town. Granted Lowes has a larger selection of items by far. The locals have far more items than most realize, friendly, courteous and always helpful. Prices are competitive too.

Just ask, we should not want to see any of the local businesses close down and their employees and families suffer because the giant has come to town. Let's continue to support our local businesses and Lowes will still get their share.

Neal Massie


Staggering costs

As I write these words the nation is remembering that today is the 7th anniversary of 9/11, the day the World Trade Center was destroyed, the Pentagon damaged, and over 3000 lives lost. Almost since that time we've been militarily engaged on two fronts to combat the terrorist threat responsible for this disaster. We've lost over 4,000 of our military and with things heating up in Afghanistan that number will certainly grow. And the costs for all this have been and will continue to be staggering.

During World War II, across the Potomac from Washington, DC, the largest office complex in the world was built. Its official name is the Department of Defense but, because of its five-sided design, its more popularly known as the Pentagon. Containing more than 17 miles of corridors, it originally opened its doors to over 35,000 employees. Who knows how many there may now be? While most of these are civilians, it is, however, a military complex.

The Pentagon is indeed the defensive nerve center for the free world. Here our finest military minds plot, plan and carry out the strategic and tactical initiatives required in the defense of this country. Their planning has resulted in our weaponry being some of the best and most sophisticated imaginable. Our armed ships ply the oceans of the world to keep us safe. And even now there are plans for a controversial missile defense system to be located in Poland.

But why does it take such a huge building filled with thousands of workers both civilian and military to plan and carry out our defense posture? We see our protection in the form of weapons, yet those who attacked us had no weapons as such. They used our own airplanes. That took a lot of planning and ingenuity and, supposedly, these men lived and planned it in tents and mountain caves.

Do the angels of our better nature look down in wonder at our ingenuity or do they, as Shakespeare's Puck, shake their heads and state 'what fools these mortals be?'

Just some thoughts on 9/11.

Patricia Harcum


Democrats hold picnic

The morning of Sept. 6 was dark and cloudy as the remnants of hurricane Hanna passed over Bedford County. Many local Democrats were calling their local chairman to determine whether the annual picnic was to go on as scheduled for that day.

The answer given by Acting City Chair Ann Duncan (City Chair Sara Braaten was sidelined due to recent surgery) and County Chair Lew Medlin was a resounding "yes." The picnic was being held for the first time at the brand new and scenic Falling Creek Park in Bedford County. This annualgathering of Democrats is known for its great spread of good food (a southern tradition, I'm told) and good people, including influential Democrats and Democratic candidates running for office.

At 12 noon festivities began with about 70 people in attendance and a lot of late comers arriving throughout the day. While those gathered enjoyed their food, they were able to hear speeches from a representative of presidential candidate Barack Obama and senatorial candidate Mark Warner.Congressional candidates Tom Perriello (5th District candidate running against incumbent Virgil Goode) and Sam Rasoul (6th District candidate running against incumbent Bob Goodlatte) were in attendance and spoke to the crowd assembled.

People who thought the picnic would be canceled were still arriving when the festivities were over. Most notably absent was a certain local newspaper reporter, who always enjoys the food. He must have been fooled by the morning weather. All we can say to him is "sorry" you missed out because the food and speeches were great.

Rod Browne


Getting connected

I just read, and enjoyed the article in this last weeks paper about getting connected.

Having Wi-Fi in Center Town Bedford will be great. Thank you Jet Broadband! It is also great to know that our schools now will have the Internet access they need. However for the rest of us that live outside the reach of the Broadband service area, we have to relay on our local telephone company (Verizon) for our Internet access, DSL.

I, like many, many others have been on their wait list for over four years. I call at least once every two months, and am told, still no service in your area, at this time. For those of us that want the service, and are willing to pay for it, why does the phone company keep dragging there feet?

They were able to supply the people that live at the lake, this service, without a four year wait.

Old saying is true, money talks.

Charles E. Adams


Enough is enough

As a nation, we are facing some of the biggest issues in the history of our country.

Global warming, dependence on foreign oil, one war that we should never have started and another which we are losing, an education system that is failing many of its students, an economy that is flailing, and people losing their houses to foreclosure.

Who cares about pigs and lipstick?

If a candidate doesn’t have anything to say about their plans and polices to begin addressing all our problems, then they shouldn’t say anything. If all they can talk about is what their opponent did wrong, then the media shouldn’t cover the nonsense. If a candidate is proclaiming what are obviously falsehoods, then those providing coverage of this election need to challenge the misrepresentations.

Enough already. Focus on the issues and the solutions.

James R. Bennett


Thanks for help

This summer, the baseball field at Liberty High School underwent a complete infield renovation.

I would like to thank the following businesses and individuals that contributed to this. The businesses were Witt Mechanical, Brooks Food Group, Holdren, Eubank and Stanley Insurance Company, Wal-Mart, and StellarOne. The individuals that contributed to this were Craig Lawrence, GR Wiley, and the parents of the baseball program.

Without all of their help, this renovation would not have been a success. Again, I thank everyone that helped in any way financially.

Stewart Grant

Head Baseball Coach

Liberty High School

Absentee ballots

The state of Virginia allows multiple reasons to qualify for an absentee ballot for this upcoming November election.

If you have friends / family who are even slightly handicapped, will be out of town for vacation, work, armed service responsibilities, medical or other appointment, etc. then you might consider this option. This feature places your vote in the ballot box ahead of any unplanned event which might prevent you from voting on November 4. A strong voter turnout is expected.

If you can think of a neighbor who may opt not to vote for whatever reason, then you could assist that person in casting their vote for this important election. Hopefully, the local voter registrar will provide additional details in the very near future.

The application form is on the state Web site (http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/). The process includes completing a brief two page application to be submitted to your local registrar. In return you will receive your absentee ballot in the mail before the election. But don't wait too late.

If you have not registered to vote at the polls or by absentee, the deadline is Oct. 6.

Randy Scott


Shame on McCain

Shame on John McCain for putting politics first—picking someone to be one heartbeat away from the presidency who proved this week to be unready for the job.

Palin set off alarm bells this week when she gave a speech that, according to the Washington Post, "linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks." Even President Bush no longer repeats this discredited lie.

Either Palin is willing to lie to the public or she's oblivious to the lies that led us to war with Iraq in the first place. Either is unacceptable.

Then, during an interview with ABC's Charlie Gibson, Palin was asked what she thought of the Bush Doctrine that led us to war in Iraq.

The New York Times described it: "Palin most visibly stumbled when she was asked by Mr. Gibson if she agreed with the Bush doctrine. Ms. Palin did not seem to know what he was talking about. Mr. Gibson, sounding like an impatient teacher, informed her..."

How can someone who doesn't understand the policies and lies that led us into Iraq be one heartbeat away from the presidency? And how can anyone respect the judgment of the person willing to put our country in that position just to get elected?

Cynthia Rucker-Staton