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Posted March 20, 2010 | comments 4 Comments

Letters

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

This past winter brought us record snowstorms and floods, continuing collapse of the housing market and partisan paralysis in Washington. I really look forward to March 20, the first day of spring, balmy weather, blooming flowers and the Great American Meatout.

Several years ago, it was a local Meatout information table that gave me a new lease on life by turning me onto a healthful, nonviolent diet of vegetables, fruits, legumes and grains. Now in its 26th year, Meatout has grown into the world's largest annual grassroots diet education campaign, with 1,000 educational events in all 50 states and 32 countries (www.meatout.org).

Meatout's simple message of nonviolence and good health is now touted by major health advocacy organizations and leading health authorities. The supportive "World Peace Diet" has become the No. 1 bestseller on Amazon.com. Adoption of the Meatout diet has been greatly simplified by the rich selection of delicious meat and dairy alternatives in our local supermarkets. Additional transition support and free recipes are available at www.tryveg.org and www.chooseveg.org.

Nelson Vrooman
1022 Lower Valley Road
Strasburg
March 16, 2010

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

In what way does the eyesore across from the Food Lion that was once a hallowed battleground in its green and natural state contribute to Strasburg's "Golden Mile" and visitors' first impression of our once unspoiled and beautiful town?

Perhaps we should burn it.

BELINDA PALMER
845 Funk Road
Strasburg
March 15, 2010

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

Anyone with an appreciation of Strasburg's history and culture would have to question Bob Wooten's definition of a "Golden Mile" (column, Feb. 27 issue).

Does he mean a historic battlefield stripped of its trees, with peculiar pipes sticking up out of the ground for no apparent reason? Does he mean the beautiful "Manassas" townhouses (half of which are unoccupied)? Does he mean the commercial "beauty" of the chain store establishments designed to keep interstate traffic away from downtown businesses?

Perhaps he should look at the historic and beautiful south end of town. I mean the view of the mountain and river, the historic homes and buildings that are certainly a treasure to native townspeople. Oh, there is the exception of a "Golden Mile" of 10 ugly yellow posts that define one of our town councilman's property lines and blocks a 100-year-old right of way.

JOHN M. PAPPAS
890 Funk Road
Strasburg
March 15, 2010

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

We would appreciate if the person or persons living on Breckenridge Court at Strasburg Meadows would keep their trash from blowing between our fence and our backyard neighbor's fence. It makes our yard look trashy.

Our neighbor has to clean the trash up before he mows grass, although he could block the end of his fence off to keep the trash from blowing between our fences.

CRAWFORD BROOKS
ELeANOR BROOKS
267 Little Sorrel Drive
Strasburg
March 16, 2010

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

If the governor or a state legislator tells you that the budget was balanced, don't believe it. If they tell you that there is not a tax increase in the budget, don't believe it. And if they tell you that the budget maintains Virginia's reputation for fiscal responsibility, don't believe it.

According to MSNBC, "The budget also assumes a savings of more than $800 million in deferred state payments into the Virginia Retirement System." In other words, the legislature will not make the payments necessary to fund the employee retirement system and this shortfall will have to be made up at some time in the future. This is the sort of tactic employed by the federal government, which has led to predictions that the Social Security system will run out of funds in mid century.

If you or I were running a private business large enough to have its own retirement system, our outside auditors would issue a finding that pensions are underfunded and require the business to address the deficiency. Under a revision of pension law in 2006, companies are required to fully fund defined benefit pension plans over seven years and loopholes were closed that previously allowed plans to skip payments. The irony is that public pension plans apparently are not covered.

The actions taken by the General Assembly are as reckless and indefensible as those taken by, and created problems for, the federal government, the state of California and Lehman Brothers and will lead to underfunding of programs in the future because of a mistaken belief that a gimmick would enable them to claim that there are no new taxes in the budget. Don't believe it.

Ed Hoole
P.O. Box 655
Basye
March 17, 2010

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

Del. Athey's plumping for Front Royal tax hikes raises questions (see your March 13 headline, "Athey statement critical of Parker vote abstention").

Why, for example, is this Virginia delegate poking his nose into the business of local government? I can't find precedent for it, only that his overreach into local issues seems perfectly in tune with his radical pro-growth history. Note: Anyone from Loudoun County will tell you that higher taxes always equal rapid growth.

And this overreaching, and this history, bring to mind the troubling appearance that there may not be enough daylight between state Del. Athey's official actions and how lawyer Athey makes his living. Isn't it improper for a state delegate to make hay as a result of his own legislative actions?

I mean, what kind of legislator concerned with proper appearances, who lawyers for the rezoning efforts of developers in Warren County, would go on to sponsor de facto rezoning legislation requiring Warren (and other similarly sized counties) to set up "urban development areas"?

Maybe legislative bodies now operate on unsavory mixtures of public and private business. Nevertheless, the appearances of such should not go without comment, especially when they confront us in broad daylight.

Richard W. Hoover
419 Liberty Hall Road
Front Royal
March 17, 2010

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

I recently learned that "Choose Life" license plates are available in Virginia. What a wonderful way to affirm the sanctity of life, which is what I plan to do.

It is also a great way to remind ourselves of the words found in our Declaration of Independence, which states, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Although most of the news we hear or read these days is bad or discouraging, we need to remember God is still in control. Celebrate life and take advantage of the freedom we have to display "Choose Life" license plates.

EVA R. GOCHENOUR
2686 Ridgeley Road
Woodstock
March 18, 2010

4 Comments |

    A CHOOSE LIFE license plate is as meaningless as most "slogans". Nancy Reagan's "Just say no" comes to mind. These are just simplistic, mindless attempts at feeling good about an opinion. Does anyone really choose death? So save an embryo - then what?

    Does anyone worry too much about children? What's the quality of life after one is born? Are you worried about the destruction of this planet?
    How about the treatment of animals? Does the treatment/torture of animals for your dining pleasure bother you? Do you like how fat and unhealthy kids are getting; thanks to this fast food garbage sold on every corner?

    Should Americans have the right to health care?
    Do you like the crooks that are currently running the show? Do you like the way the elderly (especially the poor) spend their last years?

    There are so many things one can be concerned about, but a license plate or bumper sticker message is useless, however, the DMV will appreciate the extra fee.

      Very well said, Diana! And let's not forget the Bush "pro-life" administration who sent military to a fictitious enemy (Iraq) in a multi-billion dollar boondoggle which left many good men returning home in body bags or very, very seriously disfigured, and children's lives shattered when they where told that their daddy or mommy would never return. Ever.

      Ironically, the pro-lifers voted this corrupt Bush moron into office.

      And what about stem cell research - to cure disease and save lives!! Yet this does not matter to "pro-lifers." According to them, the fact that it is an embryo or embryonic cells means that there should be not be any benefit, other than taking space in the dumpster when it is discarded by the fertility clinic. The embryo are thrown out from fertility clinics EVERY DAY, yet the hypocritical "pro-life" people fail to see that whether or not they oppose stem-cell research, the embryos still get thrown out! Why aren't they protesting fertiility clinics?

      Against abortion, gun control and for war and capital punishment, eating dead animals......pro-life? Say what?!!!!

    Yes people choose death, but abortion and euthanasia are forms of murder. Save an embryo, or don't create an embryo...it's a choice.

    Yes people do worry too much about children, to the point that they never grow up and leave mommy and daddy. The quality of life comes from the love of parents and family...either natural or adopted.

    No, I don't worry about the planet. It was here before me and it will be here after me. Animals on the dinner plate make my tummy happy, but no I'd rather they not be mistreated. Although, it depends on what your definition of mistreated is.

    Kids aren't fat because of the junk sold on the corners. They are fat because their parents don't MAKE them eat healthy food, and they're too scared to let them go out and play to lose some weight.

    No, Americans do not have the right to health care, they have the privilege of health care, and if you don't like the crooks currently running the show (I assume you mean insurance companies) you will really hate those now running the show (government, thanks to Nobamacare). If you don't like the way the elderly are treated, you won't have to worry about that now, because under the government health care they'll just be sent home with an aspirin to die...Yeah! government run health care.

    And for one final disagreement with you, license plates and bumper stickers are useful. They encourage others who hold the same beliefs as you and let people know that they are not alone. Messages are a wonderful thing.

    Dean,

    You arguments are typical ad hominiem, straw man rebuttals used to deflect the real issue--murder of innocent human life. To lump eating animals, gun control, war and captial punishment in with abortin (the killing of babies--lets call it what it is, and BTW, Roe V. Wade allows for the killing of babies during the entire 9 months of pregnancy) tells me you have no argument.

    Human life begins at the union of sperm and ovum. During that first day, this is properly termed a "fertilized egg." However, this single-celled human body divides, divides, and divides again, so that nearing the end of the first week this embryo, now called a "blastocyst," numbers several hundred cells. To obtain an embryonic stem cell, the researcher must cut open this embryo, thereby killing him or her and extracting stem cells. Bioethicist Paul Ramsey put it well in suggesting that any man of serious conscience, when discussing ethics, will have to conclude that, “there may be some things that men should never do. The good things that men do can be made complete only by the things they refuse to do."

    Refusing to destroy human embryos as a scientist does not imply any opposition to science itself, but only to unethical science, which, like unethical investment practices or unethical medicine, is invariably harmful to society. Good science is necessarily ethical science; it cannot ever be reduced merely to “efficient” science, that which might work or “solve my problems” at the expense of others.

    Remember, you are a human embryo just older.


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