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Northern Virginia Daily


I trust that the local court system is ready to stop "pussyfooting" around with ex-Middletown Police Chief Roger Ashley due to his former employment.

Ditto for ex-regional jail Superintendent Fred Hildebrand.

Remember: A drunk cares for naught, save where his next drink shall come from.

805 N. Beverly Ave.
March 20, 2010

Northern Virginia Daily


If "some operations at the Amherst Street campus compete with private businesses," perhaps city officials could review the number of patients that received any sort of financial assistance from Winchester Medical Center in the last 12 months.

If it doesn't come as any surprise, perhaps they could compare the figure to the preceding years -- and judge the trend for themselves.

Does private business come through for the neediest? Try it yourself: Make a few phone calls stating you have no insurance and see what happens.

Dana Hessling
P.O. Box 694
March 24, 2010

Northern Virginia Daily


George Washington summed it up best when he stated, "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force."

Two major issues have been in play over the past few months, the Toyota recalls and the federal government's attempt to "reform" our nation's health-care system.

Considering the recent congressional "success" when faced with the mammoth task of "comprehensive health-care reform," the same process and outcome could make Toyota's pesky problem disappear. No really, it's that easy.

Let's start with the lessons learned from health care. The legislation holds that the greedy insurance companies can no longer discriminate and deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions. Moreover, the insurance companies must issue the policy at the same rate they would to a healthy policy holder, unable to adjust for the inherent risk. Without getting into the logic and unintended consequences of the legislation, we should take Congress at its word and "hope" they are correct. After all, Congress knows best.

Now we can solve the Toyota recall and sales problem, without using the free market principle of competition. Toyota experienced a 9 percent drop in sales during February. No worries, Congress can fix this with one stroke of the pen.

As with health care, Congress should mandate that greedy Americans cannot discriminate and deny sales of Toyota vehicles with pre-existing conditions. Moreover, Americans must purchase the risky vehicle for the same price as they would a fit vehicle, unable to adjust for the intrinsic financial and personal risk.

Congress can and should act and to prevent the lewd behavior of American consumers and stop the discrimination against Toyota.

One more thing: When passing the "comprehensive Toyota reform" bill maybe Congress can insert a completely unrelated measure that will replace farm subsidies with a direct takeover of the entire agriculture industry. A minor provision, just "deem and pass," then use "reconciliation," we can update the civics textbook later on how a bill becomes law.

Happy Dependence Day!

Tim Melancon
P.O. Box 220
March 22, 2010

Northern Virginia Daily


I read the articles in your paper on March 24, and 25, regarding a man being punished for killing an animal. You even included his picture and a picture of a woman who made a trip from Loudoun County because she spends her time protecting guinea pigs.

I was appalled that such a degrading article about a person should appear on your front page when every day in our country millions of innocent human beings are being killed and that isn't worth a front page story or an article about the people performing murder every day.

What has our country come to? We respect the life of animals over the life of humans. Perhaps this is because we act more like animals than intelligent human beings. Our Declaration of Independence gives humans the right to life. We violate it every time we kill an innocent human-born or preborn.

Your article, besides being a terrible offense against a man who has had serious difficulties in his life and is trying to overcome his problems, is also an offense against your readers. You praise people who work against cruelty to animals. You offend people who work against cruelty to people.

I know you will not print this letter in your paper, but you need to know how you offend your readers.

Mary Ellen Smith
820 E. 6th St.
Front Royal
March 25, 2010

Northern Virginia Daily


I was recently vilified in a letter to the editor, as was the Food and Drug Administration, the federal agency for which I worked for 28 years. I am unconcerned with the writer's opinion of me, but the FDA deserves better.

I am proud of the years I spent at the FDA and the concomitant privilege of working with some of the best physicians, scientists, technicians and other staff that this country has to offer. These people, contrary to some popular opinion, are by and large devoted public servants who are overworked and underpaid, who regularly put in long hours without overtime pay because the agency is chronically understaffed.

Contrary to the writer's opinion, recalls are not evidence of the agency's failures, but examples of its doing its job by taking potentially dangerous products off the market. And remember, that for every recall, there are thousands of FDA-approved drugs and medical devices that are safe and effective.

If you want someone to blame for increased recalls (and its not clear there is an increase) look no further than Congress, which has caved in to industry pressure via the pharmaceutical industry's lobbyists who give out money on Capitol Hill as if it were candy.

As a consequence of industry lobbying: 1) the FDA's budget is chronically below needs. Always a good ploy to prevent effective regulation; 2) the FDA has been forced to speed up drug and device approvals, limiting its ability to require long-term and large-scale testing to ensure safety and effectiveness; and 3) finally and against all reason and the judgment of FDA management and staff, the agency was forced by Congress to allow drug companies to advertise pharmaceuticals. This has encouraged the industry to develop drugs for which there is no significant health need but which are hugely profitable, and puts huge undue stress on an already overworked agency.

Is the FDA perfect? Hardly, what human endeavor is? But we worked at it and for no personal gain. No bonuses, no lobbyist's money, no free lunches, just the satisfaction of a job well done.

Al VanDeGriek
P.O. Box 67
March 17, 2010

Northern Virginia Daily


In today's issue Rep. Goodlatte is quoted as saying that the health-care bill was passed in "complete and total disregard of the will of the American people." I support the health-care bill, as do many folks I know.

It never ceases to amaze me the broad brush with which Republicans paint "the American people." I consider myself to be one of the American people, but I thought I'd better go and check my birth certificate just to be sure since Rep. Goodlatte and his ilk seem to know so much more than we mere citizens.

Gosh, there it was -- I am an American and tired of being used by politicians.

Kathleen Crettier
516 Ellen Drive
Front Royal
March 23, 2010

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