Northern Virginia Daily


Free market ideology puts forth a survival of the fittest theory — i.e. the entity that provides a good or service better than others will succeed. Conversely, if a business does not deliver the service it offers, then it will fail. Free marketers would say that it should.

How then can the business model used by the health insurance industry succeed? The service it offers is security and peace of mind. Do the unemployed have security? Do those purged from the rolls because of illness have peace of mind? What do those in medical bankruptcy have?

If the health care industry delivered its promised service, there should be no medical bankruptcies. Seriously, that’s the whole point of insurance.

The free market theory presumes that consumers have the power to judge success or failure. But this cannot be applied to health care. The consumer has limited power to shop around for medical services and has none at all in an emergency situation.

Insurance regulation without a public option will create new vice presidents in charge of loopholes. Since our leaders seem stubbornly determined to force the medical art to live by commerce’s rules, then we must have a public option as a consumer choice.

If the public option wins out in the end, then we will have voted with our money. What could be more American?

Sharon Gochenour
222 N. Lee St.
Aug. 6, 2009

Northern Virginia Daily


In response to Eric Olson’s letter (July 29 issue), I’d like to point out that Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling has a long-standing commitment to economic development and job creation.

In 2006, 2007 and 2009, Bolling proposed additional funding and lowering the triggers for the governor’s Economic Opportunity Fund. This legislation was passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Kaine. To date, it has helped bring more than 350 new jobs and $120 million in private investment in Virginia.

Bill Bolling, Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli have unveiled new initiatives to help create jobs in Virginia. These include appointing the lieutenant governor to the position of chief jobs creation officer. They proposed dramatically increasing the size of the governor’s Economic Opportunity Fund, providing a $1,000 tax credit per job created to small businesses and establishing tax-free zones to incentivize renewable energy technologies.

Unemployment benefits were a classic bait and switch by the federal government. They demanded that Virginia increase spending without providing a long-term plan for how to pay for the benefits. The tragedy is that this is only the tip of the iceberg that can sink Virginia financially.

Our Republican ticket has unveiled a transportation plan to eliminate regulatory impediments to the completion of highway projects, improve efficiencies and modernize VDOT. The plan will secure money to build roads, bridges, mass transit and high-speed rail projects across Virginia.

Voters will have a choice in November, and McDonnell, Bolling and Cuccinelli are the leaders who have the experience to lead Virginia through these challenging times and impressive record of bipartisan results and commonsense solutions.

I’m sick of agendas. What I would like to see are sensible, affordable ideas.

President Obama already has an agenda that is both impractical and unattainable that not only imperils our nation’s ability to meet its obligations but also obligates states and localities far beyond their resources when it is fully implemented.

Please, Virginia, no more bobbleheads like Mark Warner and Tim Kaine to encourage President Obama.

424 Kerfoot Ave.
Front Royal
Aug. 3, 2009

Northern Virginia Daily


The left loves the word “stupid.” They are like children sticking out their tongues and name-calling. Sarah Palin is “stupid.” George Bush was “stupid.” Way back, Dan Quayle was “stupid.” Obama described the Cambridge police as behaving “stupidly.” And now, according to Bill Maher, the entire population of the United States is “stupid” because Sarah Palin could be president.

Let’s talk about “stupid” for a minute.

Wasn’t it stupid of the president of the United States to call out the Cambridge police in a national press conference when he said he didn’t even know the details?

Or when the president made a joke on Jay Leno comparing his bowling skills to the Special Olympics?

How stupid was it to declare the closing of Guantánamo without a clue as to what to do with the prisoners?

Wasn’t it stupid of Nancy Pelosi to continue to claim the CIA kept her in the dark even after a member of her own staff admitted that she was indeed well informed?

And, oh please, let’s talk stupid and Joe Biden’s comments:

* “Russia is on the brink of sharp decline.”

* “We misread how bad the economy was.”

* If elected, Obama would face a “generated crisis” to “test the mettle of this guy.”

* “Stand up, Chuck!” (Chuck was in a wheelchair.)

* “J-O-B-S is a three letter word.”

How stupid is it to vote for bills without even reading them?!

There’s nothing wrong with calling actions “stupid,” but to call people “stupid” with no basis is simply an ugly and mean-spirited tactic.

So the next time you hear someone on the left use the word “stupid,” remember the old adage, “stupid is as stupid does.”

Jane Silek
111 Scarlet Oak Court
Front Royal
July 29, 2009

Northern Virginia Daily


Our nation is in the grip of a raging debate over reforming a grossly misnamed “health-care” system that threatens to bankrupt our economy.

In 2008, U.S. medical costs reached $2.4 trillion, or 17 percent of our gross domestic product, growing at an astronomic annual rate of nearly 7 percent. That’s $8,000 per person or $20,000 per household. It’s a major factor in mortgage defaults underlying our economic crisis.

And these numbers don’t even begin to account for the economic toll of lost productivity or the emotional toll of crippling disease and premature death.

The tragic irony is that these outrageous costs have little or nothing to do with “health care” and everything to do with “medical care” directed mostly at alleviating chronic killer diseases that are self-inflicted through our flawed lifestyles.

Actual health care is absolutely free. It consists of regular exercise, adequate rest and abstinence from smoking, hazardous drugs and meat/dairy products.

Yes, meat and dairy. According to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 1.4 million Americans are crippled, then killed annually by heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and other chronic diseases linked conclusively with consumption of animal products. That accounts for 70 percent of deaths from known causes and, presumably, for a similar percentage of medical costs, or $14,000 per household.

We have no control over the national costs of medical care. But, each of us can exercise a great deal of control over our household’s $14,000 share every time we visit our favorite supermarket.

Nicolas Valdez
224 Featherstone Court
Aug. 6, 2009

Northern Virginia Daily


See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

Tit for tat. You hit me, I hit you back. You call me a name, I call you a name.

Some people — Asians, Europeans and Americans — believe in repaying another person with equal or similar acts.

One woman gives another woman a cake for her family. The recipient returns the favor by giving the giver a baked pie.

A Mr. Axelrod throws a groundhog across the fence into Basel’s garden. Basel retaliates by throwing two groundhogs into Axelrod’s garden. (Tit for tat motto.)

At Virginia Tech Mr. Cho, who was from Asia or had Asian parents, thought some Tech students were making fun of his looks or his religion. So he counted how many times they did this. Then he planned to pay tit for tat in retaliation. He was hurt, he was angry, so he shot 32 people.

This is my theory. So be careful what you say or do among some people. Their motto may be “tit for tat.” Speak no evil.

484 Walton St.
August 3, 2009

Northern Virginia Daily


While President Obama and Democrats in Congress are fighting to provide quality affordable health care for every American, Republicans are using lies and scare tactics to preserve the status quo for their big health insurance company friends.

We need change now. America’s middle class families, who are struggling with skyrocketing health-care costs and are having their insurance companies dictate their health-care decisions, or flat-out denying them coverage altogether, need real reform now. Fortunately, there’s a solution.

The America’s Affordable Health Choices Act will fix the broken status quo in America’s health insurance system through several innovative overhauls. All Americans would be guaranteed coverage under this bill. The days of being denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, being charged higher rates because of an illness or other discriminatory practices by insurance companies would be a thing of the past.

If you like your current coverage, your local hospital or your current physician, you will not be forced to change anything. However, you will have the option to purchase a competitive plan under a health insurance exchange that will offer private and public insurance options. In addition to competitive insurance plans, this bill would lower overall costs by promoting preventative care. In the short-term, co-pays and deductibles for preventative care will be cut.

This bill will also mean higher quality health care for everyone and alleviate the shortage of doctors and nurses in America. Through new incentives and scholarships, the House bill aims to encourage the very best and brightest to become doctors and nurses.

Doing nothing is not an option. America’s families and businesses struggling to cope with crushing health-care costs cannot afford to have this reform fall victim to the same Republican scare tactics that keep insurance companies profitable and every American paying more for health care.

Gloria Rickel
59 Apache Court
Front Royal
Aug. 7, 2009

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