Showing support for Black Lives Matter
As a white woman who counts among my colorful lineage more than a few drops of African blood, I often stand in solidarity with my Black family by displaying “Black Lives Matter” messages on my property.
Although I have received numerous comments of support, more than a few of my neighbors have had negative comments to make. “BLM is a Marxist organization,” alleged one woman who trespassed on my posted property to argue politics with me. “All lives matter,” more than a few have proclaimed, missing the point altogether. The worst was one fellow who zoomed by in his car, shouting at the top of his lungs: “Why don’t you go back up North?” What a sad statement that makes about Southerners, of whom I am one born and bred.
I have concluded the people who become so incensed over the sight of a Black Lives Matter message must have erroneously concluded that a word is omitted, that the message being conveyed actually is: “ONLY Black Lives Matter.”
To this, I would offer the following: A word is omitted, but it goes at the back of the statement, “Black Lives Matter, TOO.” I would be interested to know how anyone could take issue with that.
Why we’re so unhappy
The editorial of Tuesday December 31st, “Just Why Americans Are So Unhappy” is a very interesting read.
I have read it twice and am wondering why the writer left out probably the primary reason we citizens of the richest country on earth are not so happy. According to the writer’s source, the World Happiness Report, the ten happiest countries in the world are, as rated from No. 1 to No. 10, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, The Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand, Luxembourg and Austria. I generally keep up with this report and as noted, the Scandinavian countries are nearly always on this list.
The writer’s first question is, Why are Nordic countries so happy?
Strong social nets help, etc. is the partial answer, but the writer does not list these.
The number one “social net” in all probability is the fact that each and every one of these countries have some form of universal health care. Several provide some of the best health care in the world. The people in this country who do not want universal health care are the insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry, politicians who are funded by the foregoing and those citizens that do not truly understand the fundamentals of health care for all, as well as those that think they do and proclaim it to be Socialism as if this is just a terrible bad word, forgetting that this country has adopted many “social” ideas.
The U.S. is No. 1 in the world in highest spent on health care, spending 17.1 of its GDP on health care, yet, Finland, the happiest country in the world doesn’t even come in the top twenty-two countries who spend the most on health care, and the other top nine are far down the list. It is quite easy to see where all that money is going with officials in the health care industry being among the highest paid in the country, and the companies which they head are some of the most profitable.
With this pandemic in which we are now in many people have lost their jobs and, along with their jobs, their employer-funded health care. What do they do now? And those who funded their own coverage? Many are lucky to put food on the table or pay their rent, much less an overinflated health care premium.
Now is the time for the Democrats to put together a completely new universal health care plan, and not a warmed over Affordable Care Act. Health care is a basic right. You can’t live in one of the “happiest countries” when you are faced with overwhelming and overpriced health care, often leading to bankruptcy through no fault of one’s own.
My disclosure: I have no financial problems with my health care costs. I am a veteran and luckily am able to afford my supplemental. This information can easily be found on the internet as well as the 2021 edition of The Economist’s Magazine’s annual publication, “Pocket World in Figures.”
Much information also may be had in Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel’s recently published book, “which Country Has The Best Health Care?”
Face the facts: Trump lost the election
In Saturday’s Opinions, a reader wrote: “If they [the Left] are so confident that everything was by the books why are they so terrified of these claims being reviewed by our impartial judicial system?” To help this reader to become a better-informed voter, here are the facts:
As of Dec. 27, 2020 Trump and his supporters have filed 51 lawsuits disputing the validity of the presidential election. The lawsuits were heard in eight federal district courts, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth District Court, the Minnesota Supreme court, and the U.S. Supreme Court twice. Many of the federal judges and Supreme Court justices reviewing the lawsuits were appointed by Trump.
Here’s a summary of the impartial judicial results rendered by those courts and Trump’s appointees: 10 lawsuits were dropped; 26 were dismissed; seven are in on-going appeal; two are in on-going trial; six received rulings (all were against Trump). The fact is Trump’s lawsuits actually have received an exhaustive review at many levels within the impartial judicial system.
The fact is he lost 82% of these lawsuits. The fact is that the courts have ruled that the election accurately reflects the will of the people. Those are the facts, now here’s an opinion: Trump and his supporters believe the only impartial court ruling is a ruling in Trump’s favor, the only legal vote is a vote for Trump. They believe the only election that has integrity is one Trump wins.
Their real agenda is to dishonor the Constitution and subvert the will of the people while claiming they only want to reassure the American public.
Face the facts: Trump lost a fair election by the biggest landslide in recent history because the nation rejected his politics.
From the front lines
I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to the brave and capable doctors, nurses and volunteers confronting the COVID-19 crisis at Centra every day.
I tested positive on Dec. 11, spent two nights in our local hospital just before Christmas, and have made a full recovery. The care I received was exceptional. The unit was clean, quiet and efficient. Everyone working in the COVID pulmonary section followed all of the protocols to the minute detail. They did so with a positive enthusiasm that was incredible to observe. They were kind, caring and encouraging.
I can’t begin to thank everyone by name but several stood out: Dr. Mike Dunlop and Dr. Tony Farmer were outstanding and effective.
A nurse named Josh from Harrisonburg and a pre-med volunteer from Liberty named John worked as a team in tandem each night I was there, assisting my every need. Amber, Tabitha, Charity and Perla worked long hours with unrestrained energy and enthusiasm. I can’t say enough about the amazing job they are all doing to confront this dreaded virus.
Perhaps the deepest impression was left on me by April who took my blood samples. “I’ve been here since this all began in March,” she told me smiling. “People ask me why I’m doing this, and I tell them, ‘This is what I signed up for! This is no time to run away.’ “
She is a true hero, as are all the amazing “medical warriors” on the front lines of this battle. We have lived in this community now for 40 years, and I could not be prouder to call Lynchburg home and Centra our hospital.
Please remember to pray for, bless and encourage our hospital staff. They are doing an amazing job!
Dr. ED HINDSON
Dean Emeritus, School of Divinity Liberty University
Trampling on democracy
In his 2018 book, “Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic,” David Frum wrote this concerning the Republican Party: “If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. The will reject democracy.”
In light of the party’s near universal response to the election results over the past two months, I believe we are seeing exactly that.
The Republican Party had two options in the aftermath of the election. They could have embraced the loss with dignity and grace or they could fight the results tooth and nail. They chose the latter, and the courts, in turn, have almost universally rejected any attempts to modify the election results.
We ought to all be ashamed, therefore, that congressional Republicans continue to fight the results. Their actions, whether they stem from personal political ambitions or genuine zeal, are a real and present danger to the fabric of our democracy.
What makes this truly sad is the lack of evidence of fraud makes this not just a farce, but an open abandonment of the central tenants of our democratically elected republic. The party of rule of law thusly falls in the same manner Trump has governed: spectacle.
The very idea of this happening in any other democratically run country would be cause for alarm. Yet it seems the Republican Party has decided they would rather gain the world. The only question which remains is: what will it profit them, and us, to so trample upon our democratic system of government?
Becoming a has-been
I hope on Jan. 21 the media will stop covering Mr. Trump 24/7/365! Let him become a has-been. Mr. Obama was not in the news for almost four years! Surely we can ignore Mr. Trump. Let him golf in obscurity.
Focusing on what’s really important
As we leave the turmoil of 2020 behind, and hope for a better 2021, what’s really important? Our favorite candidate winning an election? Stopping the spread of COVID-19?
While both of these things matter, they should not be our real focus. Why? Because our focus should be on eternal things, rather than carnal ones.
While the world around us lives in fear of a virus, an economic crash, or any number of other things, you can have peace in knowing Jesus Christ offers freedom from and forgiveness of sins if you will just ask for this free gift, and turn our lives over to Him.
He will use you in amazing ways if you surrender yourself to His will. If you make the decision not to accept this gift, the other option is hell, where the anger of a righteous God will be poured on you for eternity.
But God is so much more than this. God is in control of everything.
He is in control of the Presidential election, He is in control of COVID-19, and, most importantly, He is in control of you. He gave you life, he gave you your resources, and He gave you the freedom to make your own decisions. He gave you the ability to choose between following Him, and between rejecting Him and suffering the punishment.
I encourage the readers of this letter to consider what I’ve just said, and make that decision to give your life to God. You do not know how much time you have left on this earth. Only God does. So please, accept the gift of salvation — before it’s too late.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” — 1st John 1:9
Protesters are courageous?
In her Jan. 3 letter, Brenda Finch commended the Virginia Tech players for kneeling during the national anthem.
She said to “live their personal truth and convictions is courageous.” She also is “Hopeful that others can join them.”
What am I missing here? Protesting to pay tribute to our great country is “courageous?” Were those who burned and looted during the protests last summer also courageous?
No, the example of what our first responders and our health care workers are doing during this health care pandemic is courageous.