Much more than simply 'thanks'

I wish to express my thanks and appreciation to Billy Coleman and members of the Massies Mill Ruritan Club for putting on the Veterans Day dinner on Nov. 11. It was a very nice event and was a wonderful celebration of community spirit in small-town America.

Many thanks also to the ladies of the Bethlehem United Methodist Church for the great meal they provided. Everyone in Nelson County knows what good cooks they are.

A special thanks to Ray Van Wagner for both his military service and the patriotic music he provided for the evening. I personally thank David Hight for his invitation asking my wife and me to participate in the event and to Ann and Joe Yeager for acting as our sponsors for the evening. I am confident that I speak for all my fellow veterans who attended the dinner when I say how honored and humbled we were to be recognized by our friends and neighbors for our military service.

In one sense, it was also reassuring that real people living in real small-town America took the time and put forth the effort to say “Thank You” to the guardians of our personal freedoms and liberties. In today’s world where Washington politicians and bureaucrats engage in vitriolic rhetoric and divisive ideologies, is it any wonder why our country has become so divided and fractured? When our national leaders exhibit their collective hatreds toward each other and our fundamental principles of liberty and justice is it any wonder that our young people protest in violent acts to shut down free speech no matter how distasteful such speech might be?

Socialism plus violence equals communism. It is very instructive that while American youngsters protest and endeavor to shut down free speech in our country that youngsters in Hong Kong protest for the right to have free speech. Make no mistake, President Xi will have his way in Hong Kong. He will continue the brutal legacy of Mao Zedong and will crush the spark of freedom in Hong Kong one way or another. Tyranny cannot tolerate truth. We see similar conditions now rising in Central and South America, where the people in places like Honduras, Bolivia and Chile are desperately trying to crawl out from under the heels of oppressive totalitarian rule. And at the same time we witness the efforts of socialists and communists who seek to install one-party rule in America.

Unlike many other countries around the world, the United States of America has never used its military forces to subjugate our citizens to enforce the will of a dictator. Our armed services protect our Constitution and the rule of law. Your veterans put on their military uniforms to protect the idea of America. So, as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we should not only give thanks for the spiritual and material blessings we enjoy in America, but also for the blessings of our freedoms and our liberties. That is why Veterans Day dinners put on by real Americans in real, small-town America are so important. Those dinners give thanks for our freedoms and our liberties.

EDWARD H. ELY

Roseland

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired major, serving in the U.S. Army.

Thanks for your support

Dear Nelsonians, I would like to thank the people of Nelson County for their votes and support.

Our participation in democracy has been a significant learning experience for me.

I look forward to doing my best to represent all the people of Nelson County and particularly those of the South District. I want to be part of a dialogue that explores possibilities in the spheres of economics, education and every day life. We are all in this together.

BIP BARTON

Lovingston

Editor’s note: The writer is supervisor-elect to represent the South District on the Nelson County Board of Supervisors.

What don’t they understand?

In life there are two, sometimes three or more sides to everything. But in order to live your life you sometimes have to choose what it true and what is not. So, I wonder how there can be two sides to:

» Russia interfered in the 2016 election, not Ukraine.

» Russia continues to promote the fiction that Ukraine interfered as a way to spread discord.

» Numerous nonpolitical members of government have testified, under oath, that the president attempted to bribe the Ukrainian government.

» The so-called Three Amigos were operating under orders from President Trump.

So, I say to the Republicans in Nelson County, it is impossible that everybody is lying in order to overturn the results of the 2016 election. Also, if the country persists in having two sides of these events, we are in danger of making the normal give and take of politics impossible to pursue. I say this only concerning impeachment as I am not asking you to become Democrats and accept numerous cultural issues you find abhorrent. For the good of all of us, the president has violated his oath of office and needs to be removed. It is your interest as much as mine.

LOUIS HARPSTER

Shipman

Resistance or a coup?

For nearly 250 years, our country prided itself in respecting the results of elections and peacefully transferring power whenever a new president was elected. After the 2016 election, many Democrats, particularly members of the “deep state,” made a conscious decision not to accept the result. They called themselves “The Resistance” after the World War II French who covertly worked to sabotage and overthrow the Nazi occupation of France.

The problem is, the Democratic “Resistance” of today is not trying to sabotage and overthrow an illegal Nazi occupation, they are trying to sabotage and overthrow a duly elected president. Those who engaged in the French “Resistance” were heroes and patriots. Anyone trying to sabotage or overthrow a duly elected president is a traitor engaged in a coup attempt.

The outlines of this coup attempt were apparent almost immediately. Nine days after Trump was sworn in, the lawyer who is now representing the Ukraine leaker/whistleblower, was publicly calling for a coup disguised as impeachment (do an internet search). The mainstream media happily obliged by calling for impeachment within minutes of inauguration. The first attempt was the Russia collusion hoax. When that failed, they accused him of “obstructing” their witch hunt. They briefly toyed with abuse of power and the emoluments clause. Failing to make any of those charges stick, they moved on to the Ukraine hoax. It now appears that charge has collapsed by virtue of the fact that not a single witness has testified to having any first-hand knowledge of Trump doing that for which he is accused.

Meanwhile, the “Resistance” had other strategies designed to prevent Trump from governing while they worked to remove him completely. They shopped until they could find liberal judges willing to issue nationwide injunctions against any policy initiatives they didn’t like, even if they knew the injunctions would eventually be overturned by higher courts.

Democrats in the Senate did everything they could to prevent Trump from assembling his governing team by filibustering his nominees. Lacking a majority, Democrats didn’t have the votes to deny them, but the filibusters served to delay. To date they have filibustered about 250 of Trump’s nominees compared to 17 filibustered by Republicans during the entire first term of the Obama administration. If Trump had not had a Senate majority, he would have been completely denied the opportunity to staff his branch of government. Let that sink in. Based on this precedent, if a future president does not have a majority in the Senate, and that Senate majority of the opposing party does not wish to accept his election, they can deny the president the ability to staff the executive branch.

In summary, the tactics the Democrats have employed to “resist” accepting a duly elected president are establishing precedents that could bring down our entire system of government. It appears they are willing to sacrifice the country if that is what it takes to get rid of Trump, seize power, and adopt their socialist agenda.

The opinions expressed herein have not been endorsed by any group with which I am affiliated.

CARLTON BALLOWE

Faber

The impeachment hearings

What a week for justice and truth! There were two very important witnesses in the impeachment hearings that debunked the “no quid pro quo” and “Ukrainian 2016 election interference” conspiracies. I’m being kind here: These conspiracies are right up there with the new “flat-Earth” conspiracy that seems to be taking over the Web.

I truly have no idea how people can believe such things. Ambassador Gordon Sondland not only verified that Trump required the Ukrainian president to announce an investigation into Hunter Biden and Burisma, but he made it very plain that pretty much everyone knew it. That everyone included Vice President Mike Pence so he is about as guilty as Donald Trump. On the next day, Fiona Hill ridiculed the representatives and anyone else who still believed the 2016 election suffered interference from the Ukrainians. She, in a rare display of justified anger, stated the interference was done by Russia, the deflection to blame Ukraine was also a Russian operation, and anyone but a fool should be able to discern that. Watching her, I wondered if she was disgusted at herself for taking a job where she had to work for such weak-minded people.

I also spent some of last week thinking about the mountains of lies told to the American electorate over the past 60 years as presidents justified our militaristic catastrophes and worship of the dollar. The last president who tried to be honest with Americans was Jimmy Carter. He earned the ridicule of the citizenry for the effort. They preferred the lies of Jack Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W, Bush and, yes, Barack Obama. And then we got Donald Trump who has made lying his modus operandi. As bad as the others were “The Donald” has taken spewing untruths to a whole new level. His entire life has been one sociopathic experience where he’s lied so much for so long that he is no longer able to see anything of value in truth: only money is valuable.

Such a sad pathetic existence deserves our pity, but never our vote. Amazingly, about 40 percent of the American electorate still believes and follows him. Last week he said, “I want a trial.” Doesn’t he know that is exactly what he is going to get in the U.S. Senate? Doesn’t he even know the procedure of impeachment? I suspect not; so it is up to us to educate him about the great experiment of the Republic. Benjamin Franklin’s label still holds but his warning “If you can keep it” has never been more relevant.

Finally, I’d urge the new Virginia delegates to pass laws that will add to the freedoms of the Virginians like passing the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. They should make it more difficult for corporations or the state to trample the rights and property of citizens. It’s time to do better in Richmond.

MIKE TABONY

Gladstone

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