Refugees: What is Riggleman's stand?

On June 16, The New York Times reported that the youngest child separated from his parents at the border was four months old. His family fled ethnic persecution in Romania and sought political asylum within the United States — their legal right, according to both international and U.S. law.

The boy’s father cried so often in detention that his cellmates beat him to keep him quiet. When the father was deported at an airport, immigration officers promised his baby would be placed in his arms once he had taken his seat. After takeoff the baby was not returned. The boy, now a year and a half old, has been reunited with his parents but has yet to walk or speak.

This abject cruelty is carried out regularly by the Trump administration. On June 18, lawyers argued in a Ninth Circuit federal court that our government is not required to provide children with soap or toothbrushes and can force them to sleep on cold concrete floors in crowded cells.

Rather than muster moral leadership and publicly denounce, our Fifth District congressman, Rep. Denver Riggleman, embraces hardline party talking points born out of xenophobia and spite.

Is our country’s treatment of helpless, imperiled children Rep. Riggleman’s vision of American exceptionalism? How does this inhuman treatment of others align with his purported pro-life stance?

We need only look to the past to see how history will remember those who place fealty to their party and their own political power ahead of humanity.

JAY VARNER

Afton

Looking after our communnity

On June 1, Unity in Community Ministry blessed about 125 seniors in Nelson County with a Senior Appreciation Luncheon held at the Nelson Heritage Center.

Minister Hilda Rose, committee chairperson, told us, “The focus of this luncheon is to honor and show appreciation for our seniors age 60-plus.” The UIC committee worked hard to put together a nice luncheon, complete with door prizes, singing and a keynote speaker.

The keynote speaker for this special occasion was Dee Gregory of Ruckersville. She is the assistant director of admissions at Miller School of Albemarle. Her presentation was very fitting for the theme of the luncheon, “Everything Will Be All Right.”

She spoke about a young man who attended Miller School and had cancer. He continued to attend school as much as possible. He was determined to graduate. Though he experienced good and bad days, he never gave up. He did not expect extra help along the way. Day after day, this young man would go up and down those steps at Miller School to attend classes. On May 25, he received his diploma.

Sometimes we as elders don’t realize how blessed we really are, Gregory told us. Age is just a number. Sickness can happen to us at anytime or age. But we must realize that whatever happens to each of us in life “Everything Will Be All Right”!

On behalf of Unity in Community, a special thank you to those who came out to share this special time with our seniors, the many vendors/businesses who supported it, Minister Hilda Rose and her committee for their hard work and dedication and to the UIC members who donate their time and talents over and over again to help the less fortunate in Nelson County.

DELORES J. GREEN

President, Unity in Community Outreach Ministry

From trade to soccer

The United States is retreating to its love of money as the solution of its many problems around the world.

U.S./China trade talks are getting cranked up again after the Trump/Xi meeting at the G20 summit. One is led to believe that if we can get the stores stocked for the Christmas buying season all will be right in the world.

Also, Trump’s courtship with North Korea’s leader has again hit the news and the president even went as far as stepping over the border into North Korea. Well, President Trump, are they still developing rockets and nukes? Will we even find out, and do you care?

Despite Europe’s week of hellish temperatures (France experienced its hottest day ever), here at home little is being done to solve the greatest problem we face, our addiction to fossil fuels and the resulting atmospheric trauma. In fact, stupid capitalists are still proposing new infrastructure like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline that will render our land into the desolation of South Texas.

The Democrats held their first two debates this past week. It seems to this reader that little was accomplished during them other than a bit of recognition for some of the 20 candidates. After more than two years of President Trump, the Democratic Party seems ready to chuck all their old white men. Even an old progressive like Bernie Sanders is slipping in the polls as the young firebrands in the party move it further to the left. Will there be any common ground for independents to consider after the Democrats pick their candidate? Anyone who has read the history of the country leading up to the Civil War must recognize the dangerous ground we are treading upon.

Having said that, if common ground is seen as giving in to a Republican demand for millions more for the agencies that torment and torture immigrants I stand with those like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who loudly say “No!” It seems as each day passes I have less in common with members of the government that are ready to throw billions of dollars at a bloated military while refusing to pay for toilet paper, diapers and toothpaste for the thousands of children held in “concentration camps” along our southern border. I also have less in common each day with those who will cast their votes for those in government who revel in such inhumanity. When will we as citizens of this country stand up and declare “Enough!”?

I have seen no logical argument against the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, so I wonder why Virginia is one of the 10 states that hasn’t even held a hearing on this very important piece of legislation. This legislation would give the Electoral College votes of agreeing states to the winner of the presidential popular vote. A writer last week tried to portray this as some sort of insurrection. On the contrary, it seems to me as the best way to make sure the president is elected by a national majority of the voters. Come on Virginia, let’s at least hold a hearing.

Finally, this week I’d like to congratulate the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, which is now one of the four teams remaining in the competition for the 2019 Women’s World Cup. Before this is printed, they will play England to see where in the final four they end up. Their final game in the tournament will either be July 6 or 7, depending how they do on Tuesday. I wish them good luck and hope they continue to make us proud.

MIKE TABONY

Gladstone

Power to the states and people

President Reagan signed the “Immigration Control and Reform Act.” Reform was questionable and there was “no later, Congress-pledged” border control.

Immigration is the political plum in the 2020 election. Congress no longer reflects the will of the American people, but it performs for the betterment of the in power political party. As long as Democratic and Republican political leaders rule the Congress, tax dollars will be distributed to the most worthy campaign contributors to insure that the voices of the people are silenced. Political Party affiliation is not relevant.

It is clear that the Democratic campaign debate points are open borders, vote buying, spending and unfettered abortion. The Republican strategy is simply Trump. The problem is that this does nothing to correct the dictatorial role of the federal government that we have brought upon ourselves. The inability of the federal government to conduct social programs is demonstrated in the pending bankruptcies of Social Security and Medicare. Consider the disparity between the annual inflation rates and the upward adjustments in Social Security payments. “We the people” have lost our voice and the politicos have taken us into debt and submission.

There are only three issues worthy of 2020 political debate. First, repeal of the 17th Amendment, which stripped the responsibility of national leadership from the states and gave it to the political parties. Second, repeal of the 16th Amendment, which removed from citizen consideration the cost of legislation and concurrently created financial class conflict. Finally, the third is the “National Popular Vote Interstate Compact” designed to void the role of the Electoral College and a census that affirms that only citizens elect presidents.

“We the people” must return the national political power to the sovereign states to again be a nation governed by its people as intended by our Founders.

BOB DEWEY

Wintergreen

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