Blue Louisa: A blog Covering Central Virginia & national politics from a progressive perspective
Editor Note: While Blue Louisa's normal practice is to post Democratic and progressive content, these are not normal times. And it's why the Louisa Democratic Committee is working with groups like Indivisible Louisa, and Spread the Vote to get people to the polls.
And in the interest of informing our readers we will use whatever sources are appropriate including pushing the boundaries of "fair use" where up to 3 complete paragraphs from other sources can be used. And since it's impossible to provide links to The Central Virginian's articles to non subscribers, we have included one of their recent articles in it's entirety.
A national non profit is hard at work in Louisa County, helping to ensure voting rights for people in rural communities who may be affected by recent voter ID laws.
Kat Calvin, an Los Angeles based lawyer who gave up practicing corporate law to start the non-profit Spread the Vote after the election, was in Louisa last week to meet local activists who have joined her effort.
Calvin said that after the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision, in which the United States Supreme Court struck down a key section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the passage of voter ID laws in several states around the country, “It was pretty obvious what was happening.
“I kept waiting for [lawmakers] to start doing something about the fact that all these laws are clearly being passed to prevent certain segments of the population voting,” Calvin said, “And they never did.”
She said she watched as the 2016 presidential election unfolded, the first major election without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act, and said that she could see it having a “clear effect,” as millions could not cast their ballots for a variety of reasons.
Studies from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University show that voter ID laws, ostensibly passed to prevent voter fraud, disproportionately affect poor, rural and minority voters. In its 2016 decision to strike down North Carolina’s strict voting procedures, the Fourth United States Circuit Court of Appeals said the state was targeting poor people of color with “surgical precision.”
Spread the Vote began in Georgia, where Calvin drove from Los Angeles, but she was also watching Virginia, another state that was protected under the Voting Rights Act and that has also since passed voter ID regulations.
In July, at the Virginia Women’s Conference, Calvin met local political activists Tammy Purcell, Juanita Jo Matkins, and Robin Patton, who are part of Indivisible Louisa, a grassroots group founded to resist President Donald Trump’s agenda, but who are also heavily involved in Spread the Vote.
“We never ask a person’s political affiliation,” Purcell said. “We’re not affiliated with any political party, and Spread the Vote is a completely non-partisan organization.” Patton said that Indivisible Louisa has partnered with Spread the Vote to bring voting rights and access to voter registration and identification to the whole Piedmont, not just Louisa.
“What we’re learning about the problem, we’re learning in Louisa County,” Patton said. “Here, we’re in a rural county where internet access is the worst. There’s no public transportation here. And so for people who don’t have a lot of economic means getting from place to place is a huge hurdle.”
Calvin said that a vital part of Spread the Vote is connecting with local activists and enabling them to help members of their community access the organizations that can provide them with the identification they need.
“We don’t just get voter IDs, because they are useless for anything except voting,” Calvin said. “We actually get state driver’s license IDs at the DMV. We actually have a brand-new client in Alexandria who said, ‘I want an ID so I can be a person again.’”
With the deadline for registering to vote in the 2017 elections coming up on October 16th, Spread the Vote is working hard to make sure all Virginians are aware of the time constraints and that all eligible voters are provided with the means and the documentation to do so.
“In Virginia,” Matkins said, “If someone didn’t vote in the 2016 election, they may not realize that they need a photo ID to vote.”
Spread the Vote plans to be at the Louisa County Fall Harvest Festival at Walton Park on Oct. 14, and anyone who is interested in volunteering with the organization or who may know of someone in need of their services can contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or can call or text them at (540)748-3945.
By Andrew Hollins
This November, for the first time in eight years, Louisa County residents have a choice in who represents us in the House of Delegates.
Both Melissa Dart, the Democratic nominee, and John McGuire, the Republican nominee, are political newcomers. Neither enjoys the clout of incumbency and neither possesses a clear political record.
As these candidates vie to be our voice in Richmond, we deserve to know where they stand on the critical issues that affect our lives.
On her website and in her campaign outreach, Melissa Dart makes her vision clear.
As a mother of three and a member of the Henrico County Special Education Advisory Committee, Melissa is fiercely committed to protecting funding for our public schools. Over the last eight years, Virginia’s school systems have endured nearly $800 million in state budget cuts. Melissa knows our families deserve better.
Here in Louisa County, public schools are integral to our community and a point of civic pride. Our teachers shouldn’t face overcrowded classrooms or struggle to buy necessary supplies. Our kids’ needs shouldn’t go unmet because of out-of-touch politicians in Richmond.
Melissa believes in investing in an economy that works for all of us and not just large corporations and wealthy elites. She will fight for infrastructure that improves broadband access in rural areas, a key to increasing economic opportunity for folks across Louisa County.
In this same vein, Melissa understands that Virginia must initiate and support specialized training programs that equip workers with skills for today and tomorrow. With the introduction of solar farms to Louisa County, a green economy is emerging around us. Melissa wants to ensure that local workers are prepared to build the infrastructure of the future.
When it comes to education, infrastructure, economic development and other vital issues, Melissa Dart is unafraid to take a stand. She has a strong platform built on commonsense solutions and crafted to improve the quality of life in our community.
John McGuire, on the other hand, offers scant insight into his policy positions.
On his website, he provides little more than platitudes. Lofty pronouncements like “overhauling our current regulatory scheme” and supporting “public stewards” in “their noble cause” sound nice, but what do they mean?
John doesn’t bother to mention public education or rural broadband access. Does he fail to grasp the importance of these issues?
As Nov. 7 approaches, I urge all Louisa residents to look beyond party lines and political theatrics and focus on the local issues that have a real and lasting impact on our lives.
Louisa deserves a delegate with practical knowledge and tangible ideas who will fight hard for us in Richmond. Melissa Dart has a sound plan. John McGuire does not.
Tammy Purcell Louisa
Editor’s note: This article has been reposted with the author’s permission, and appeared in the 9-28-17 edition of the Central Virginian, and is only available on-line to paying subscribers, or here.
In the upcoming elections, voters must choose candidates for public office based upon their values, authenticity and trusts. And the radical authoritarian right wing Koch brother’s front group, Americans for Prosperity, is wasting no time mailing out their deceptive propaganda. Expecting voters to believe that they are preserving and promoting American values and yet their actions trample our values and deconstruct the government agencies responsible for protecting our citizens.
In “Conservative” economic mythology the earth resources exist for human profit and for us to consume. Promoting the idea that if natural resources are not privatized, then they are of no value…. The land, water and air that we cherish are being destroyed by “conservatives” who promote privatization and deregulation as a virtue instead of a responsibility of the government to protect our common wealth.
The outsourcing of American elections through wealthy campaign contributors has made profit making our governments primary mission, and spending on public good and safety no longer one of their goals. For example, climate change is happening, yet the “Conservative” agenda is to bury scientific evidence, stop conducting research, gag government agencies and cut budgets for those investigating it, acerbating this global crisis even further.
In the “Conservative” free market world we find multi-billion dollar government bailouts, legalized bribery by lobbyist, and subsidies for industries, plus the auctioning of common wealth land, water, oil rights, etc., to corporations at a fraction of the cost of what privately owned resources cost.
Business decisions and markets driven by profits will often affect human health and life, a subject outside the scope of conservative moral judgments.
In contrast, Progressives believe that markets should serve human values, that government regulations protect the public from harmful products and fraud, they believe in fair taxation wherein the wealthy should pay more to nourish and replenish the common wealth they benefit from, and they believe in a balance of power between worker’s and corporation owners to insure a healthy workplace.
Clean drinking water and air quality are NOT commodities and industry should not decide how much contaminants American’s ingest. Progressives see fundamental freedoms of markets exist for the common good, the freedom to earn a living wage, freedom from expensive healthcare, freedom from ignorance, freedom from bigotry, hate, and fear, and the preservation of our natural world.
Conservatives see these freedoms as interferences.
So here we are at the beginning of another election cycle filled with the Conservative myths of free markets and deregulation. Do we vote for a “Conservative” party candidate intent on lowering labor costs, providing less health care coverage, abolishing environmental protections, and letting the taxpayer pay for corporate profits?
Or do we vote for a Progressive candidate whom claims the moral responsibility to care for others, believes in using common wealth for the common good not for the wealthy, and believes in protecting the natural and individual resources we share? Your vote IS VERY important for our future.
Mark S. Chapman
Editor’s note: This article has been reposted with the author’s permission, and unless you are a paying subscriber to Louisa County's paper of record, the Central Virginian it is only available here.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few weeks, you know that Senate Republicans have resurrected another version of wealth care, better known as Graham-Cassidy that like their previous plans wouldn’t start until the end of 2019.
Because they want to avoid being blamed for massive health insurance rate hikes until after the 2018 midterms were over. And there will be rate hikes next year because of their actions, or more appropriately inaction.
Unlike their past bills, Senate Republicans didn’t include any specific appropriations for Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) reimbursement payments to insurance carriers on the individual market exchanges in this round of zombie care.
Because there is no specific appropriation of CSR funds for the next two years, some carriers are dropping out, specifically citing uncertainty in being paid. Those who are sticking around are jacking up their rates dramatically to cover themselves with an average increase of fourteen percent to cover potential losses.
And our President has been threatening to pull the plug on CSR’s very month since March. And should this bill pass, unless the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee (HELP) can find a way to appropriate them separately, there won’t be any CSR payments in 2018.
So when you hear Republicans talk about how affordable health care needs to be turned over to the states to make it more “cost efficient,” remember which Party has been sabotaging it ever since the ACA’s inception. Like trying to pass it without proper hearings — or a score from the Congressional Budget Office, hoping to pass it via reconciliation with only a simple majority (51) — but reconciliation ends Saturday, the 30th.
Since they can start reconciliation anew in January, with meaner version getting scored by the CBO, with proper hearings and debate, and still pass with a simple majority, why all fuss? Because they just might pass it, even in the face of overwhelming opposition from medical associations and the American people.
Unlike Senator Chuck Grassley, claiming “You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered,” along with “But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That’s pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill.”
And when that substance is toxic, what does it say about their policy free philosophy? So how should the American people respond to a dysfunctional Party determined to take us back to the days of the Robber Barons, using the “savings” from cutting health care to fulfill their plutocratic master’s desire for more tax breaks?
By Resisting — Persisting — and Insisting in this year’s state and local elections, particularly the 56th District race, where Melissa Dart will represent your interests far better than Peter Farrell — ahem McGuire could.
Editor’s note: This article has been reposted with the author’s permission, and unless you are a paying subscriber to the Central Virginian, it is only available on-line here.
It is interesting to review some American history as we ponder our concerns about health care delivery in the United States. Going way back there was a short lived health care system of national medical care, with federal government involvement, in the South. In the 20th century the United States was influenced by progressive initiatives for universal coverage supported by a Republican presidential candidate. Theodore Roosevelt (R), in 1933, and Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) included publically funded health care programs while drafting provisions to Social Security legislation. This was eliminated in the final product.
In 1949 President Harry S. Truman (D) proposed universal health care, Lyndon B. Johnson’s (D) proposals created Medicare and Medicaid, and proposals by Ted Kennedy (D) and President Richard Nixon (R) promoted variations of universal health care along with Democrats Jimmy Carter, Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama. President Barack Obama’s universal health care plan became law with the passage of the Affordable Care Act signed in March 2010. The provision of universal health care has been a centerpiece of political campaigning since then.
Melissa Dart is a candidate for District 56 of the Virginia House of Delegates election. In addition to being a strong supporter of improved education for our children, Dart has a vast knowledge of how our health care delivery systems work and understands the difference between “access” and affordability. Melissa holds a Master’s of Science in Health Administration from VCU, has 20 years of experience in healthcare administration, finance, reimbursement, and recognizes the changes necessary to improve the Affordable Care Act. It is a fact that doctors and hospitals are incentivized to treat illness rather than maintain health. We, the public, need more transparency in the delivery of our health care so we can keep Virginians and all Americans healthier and have more money in our pockets. Vote for Melissa Dart on November 7.
Kathy Zeiler, RN
Retired Veterans Affairs Hospital Administrator
Editor’s note: This article has been reposted with the author’s permission, and after 3 weeks it was finally published Louisa County’s paper of record, the Central Virginian under a different title in their 10-12 issue, and is only available online to paying subscribers, or here.
Ben Hixon’s campaign to represent Culpeper in Virginia’s 30th House of Delegates district has been gathering momentum in recent weeks. Finance reports released last week by the State Board of Elections confirm an impressive showing of grassroots support for Hixon. He took in $26,000 during July and August, not only doubling the total raised by sitting Delegate Freitas, but also bringing in three times the total number of contributions.
"This just shows that when you stay in your district and you focus on the issues that are important to the people who live here, they appreciate it,” Hixon said in a statement after the reports were released. “It’s not about whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat. I’ve been knocking on doors here every single day, and the people I talk to know we need vocational training and reliable internet so our kids can succeed and businesses here have the freedom to grow.”
Ben Hixon is one of a new generation of Virginia candidates who eschew traditional party politics to focus on the needs of their constituents. He is a computer programmer and former National Science Foundation research fellow, and his campaign has focused on bringing freedom and opportunity back to the district by making vocational training and reliable internet access its top priority.
Hixon’s focus on the issues important to our district stands in stark contrast to the incumbent. Lately, Delegate Freitas has been all over the state: a winery in Winchester, a distillery in Afton, Liberty University, a photo-op at George Mason. Maybe he would be better off in the U.S. Senate, which the newly-launched Draft Freitas website and Facebook page lead me to believe he’s eyeing a run for, or maybe he’s just doing it for the PAC money – Raytheon PAC, Realtors PAC of Virginia, and Dominion Power all eagerly contributed to his campaign according to the new report. Meanwhile, Ben Hixon has signed a pledge to refuse all campaign contributions from Dominion Power.
I urge readers to check out Hixon’s Facebook page (Ben Hixon for Delegate) where you can hear him discuss the issues in his own words in the videos he records when he’s out knocking on doors. Here are a few sound bites:
“Let’s talk about the party system. Whether I’m a Democrat or a Republican, that’s not something I usually get asked at the doors. It’s not something a lot of people care about here. When we get stuck in our camps, when we disagree with someone simply because we’re in a different camp, that’s when nothing gets done. That’s what’s wrong with politics today. We’re stronger as a party and as a country when we can rationally disagree with each other. It’s not about who’s right, it’s about what’s right.”
“[One of my constituents] has four kids, aged 14, 15, 16, and 17. Not all her kids want to go to college. Not everybody needs a four-year degree. We need carpenters, plumbers, electricians, computer programmers, let’s give them the skills they need to succeed.”
“[One of my constituents] Just moved here from Korea. He says we don’t even know what fast internet is. Their infrastructure is so much better than ours. That’s criminal in the 21st century. Reliable, high-speed internet is necessary to work from home, to do our homework, to get jobs, to keep our property values from diminishing. I’m going to work to build rural broadband internet for everybody.”
“The opioid crisis is clearly one of Virginia’s most urgent issues. We must fight the disease of addiction as a community, working together to educate one another on drug safety, alternate coping mechanisms, treatment options, mental health and family services, and Good Samaritan laws. Law enforcement, emergency response teams, social service agencies, schools, clinics, hospitals, and treatment centers should work hand-in-hand to share information, resources, and best practices to address this crisis.”
You can find detailed discussions of Ben Hixon’s views on the issues important to the people of Culpeper on his website, http://www.benhixon.com. Check them out. Do your own research. Become informed. See what you think about Hixon’s growing support. And, be sure to vote on November 7th.
Editor’s note: This article has been reposted with the author’s permission, and was originally scheduled to appear in the September 23rd edition of the Culpeper Star Exponent, but for some reason was delayed until the 26th, where it now appears online.
If these past few weeks weren’t enough to make you realize that the Drumpf is not one to let empathy or human decency get in the way of self-aggrandizement—even in the face of hurricanes, then nothing will.
His pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio as Harvey was making landfall because the “ratings would be far higher,” was not a coincidence. It came after his remarks about Charlottesville; disingenuously declaring “blame on both sides,” while implying White Nationalist’s are “very fine people.”
According to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, his pardon signals that this Administration will indeed endorse racial profiling and intends to overlook flagrant violations of the law. And remember this is for violating a judicial order, not for federal statutes unlike previous presidential pardons.
When the president issues a pardon for criminal contempt of court, he’s interfering with the ability of another branch of government, the judiciary, to perform its constitutional duties.
And in a separate statement about his decision to end DACA within the next six months, they said “The decision is a tremendous blow to the personal dreams and ambitions of DREAMers. They now are at risk of being exploited in the workplace and deported and prevented from fully contributing to and supporting their families, communities, and country."
Still, many feel he has betrayed his allies by agreeing with the Democratic leaders to tie hurricane relief into a three-month extension of the debt ceiling and funding the government through early December without seeking any concessions whatsoever.
This what he does; play both sides against each other in order to assert his dominance. Now that Congress has been liberated from funding the government for the next few months, they can give their undivided attention to—tax cuts for the rich before the fiscal year runs out, especially if they can repeal the Affordable Care Act in the process.
Meanwhile, Replicant’s will double down on other distractions; like Brat stating “It is time we keep our promises” whenever discussing the Drumpf’s DACA proclamation. Claiming with a straight face that we are making a ”pretense of American rule of law” by upholding it when in fact, this administration has made a mockery of the law by doubling down on Party’s xenophobic policies.
Brat even implies that “wages have been flat for 40 years,” because of immigration, not even recognizing how close to the truth … I mean edge of conservative heresy he’s come by admitting that reality.
When the real pretense is Republican’s believe in anything but unchecked authoritarianism which ensures the wealth will continue to flow upwards. And it’s why John McGuire (56th district) makes a point of hanging out with some of the Commonwealth’s worse legislators; Kirk Cox, John O’Bannon and Bryce Reeves.
Or Duane Adams, running for Supervisor in the Mineral District, minimizing his son’s relationship with State Senator Bryce Reeves along with hidden support they are getting from dark money groups like Americans for Prosperity, coupled with whose bidding they would do if elected.
Editor’s Note: This is a preview of a letter submitted to Louisa’s paper of record the Central Virginian. If printed, it will only be available online to paying subscribers, or here.
When did America become such a mean country? Or, more accurately, when did one-third of America become so mean? You can read their comments for yourselves in the Opinions section of the on-line version of this newspaper as well as all over social media. Quite shocking, actually—to me, anyway. You will see them again when this column is posted.
Every day, and in every way, Donald Trump achieves new lows in bad governance – even to the point of throwing his own party under the bus by compromising with Democrats over hurricane relief and raising the debt ceiling to avoid shutting down the government. In my humble opinion, that’s good, but Dave Brat doesn’t think so.
In his latest unwise decision, Trump has announced that he will terminate the protections of the DACA program. DACA, which stands for “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors, to obtain renewable two-year periods of deferred action from deportation as well as eligibility for work permits after application and payment of $500 fees. President Obama instituted the DACA program in June 2012 because Congress failed to act.
As a result, more than 800,000 young people across America came out of the shadows because they were promised that we would let them become lawful, productive members of our society. Trump has turned his back on these Dreamers. Now, it’s okay for ICE to use all their data to root them out and ship them back to countries they have never known.
It is reported that Trump will wait six months before he drops the ax on the necks of the Dreamers. Between now and then, their lives will be thrust into limbo, and pretty much ruined. Who will hire them? Who will enroll them in school? Can Trump make this country any meaner spirited? Stay tuned, it gets worse every day.
The White House rationale is simply not true. The well-worn canard that immigrants are taking jobs from Americans is demonstrably false. A business-by-business review proves this. Those industries that really do take advantage of the undocumented immigrant are those that pay the lowest wages and maximize the drudgery and misery. Anti-immigrant regulations in the agricultural South and West did not draw white workers to the fields—the fruit and vegetables just rotted there.
The most shameful attack is that Dreamers take educational space in colleges and universities away from white citizens. Like everyone else in this country, Hispanic immigrant children can get into community college or university based on their own merit and talents. There are no quotas for them. There are no lawsuits alleging discrimination in favor of immigrants. Immigrants in education are using the most basic of American promises: work hard and you will get ahead. And, most of them do. One hundred percent of them have no criminal records. Ninety-one percent of them are employed, and they pay more than $400 million in taxes.
This latest outrage is just one more example of this administration’s moral and ethical corruption. The Republican conservative wing seems willing to rubber stamp a policy that offers neither hope nor charity. Our very own Congressman, Dave Brat, is a shameless apologist for, and enabler of, Trump’s hatred. Look at his Facebook statement (and read all the comments, too) about the termination of DACA helping to preserve the “rule of law.” This is complete nonsense—but it is hurtful nonsense. He is as cruel as his heartless idol.
Legislation has been offered year after year for decades to create some sort of mechanism to provide and adjust status commensurate with the long contributions undocumented immigrants have made. But the mean-spirited have blocked or stalled every single one. Ronald Reagan effected sweeping immigration reform. Why can’t Republicans of today do the same?
When did we start punishing children for the acts of their parents? When did equalizing white supremacists with those that oppose them become okay? When did demeaning our allies become policy? When did bullying and intimidating people become strategy? When did disparaging women on Twitter become procedure? When did fear, hate, racism and bigotry become American values, morals and ideas? You know when, and many of you should be sorry, embarrassed, and ashamed.
Poised to pounce on undocumented immigrants who have faithfully served our country in uniform, as well as in our local communities, Trump and his ilk are offering neither hope nor charity to any of them. Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durban (D-IL) have proposed bipartisan legislation to protect the Dreamers.
If Congress doesn’t act, families will be torn apart and young people forced back to countries they don’t know. Our economy will lose billions of dollars. We must all get behind opposing Donald Trump’s virulent hatred. It is time for American women and men of good will to stand up for decency.
Editors Note: This piece is re-posted with the author’s permission, and originally appeared here.
With the world becoming increasingly connected by the internet, it's important that all of us have access to this resource. For the student, it has become the book. For the business, it's the highway that connects them to the supplier and the customer. For most homes, it connects folks to their banks, friends, doctor, and entertainment.
But here in Louisa, we have large areas where coverage is poor or extremely expensive. We can and must do better.
I've been watching the candidates for local and state office to see how they would tackle this problem.
Duane Adams, a candidate for Mineral District Supervisor, published an ad calling for fiber optic cable running to every house. This would be great but seems unrealistic when we can't even get towers built giving us basic service.
Melissa Dart, the Democratic nominee for the 56th District House of Delegates seat, includes the expansion of broadband into rural areas as part of her plan to create an economy that works for everyone. She clearly sees the problem and is committed to working on it.
Her opponent, John McGuire, makes no mention of rural broadband access on his website. This leads one to assume that he is either unfamiliar with the issue or unaware of how to tackle it.
The Louisa Chamber of Commerce has invited both Melissa Dart and John McGuire to a debate on October 17 at the VFW Hall in Mineral. Melissa has accepted the Chamber’s invitation but, as far as I know, John has not.
I sincerely hope John McGuire will attend this debate and share with Louisa residents his views on broadband access in our area. The citizens of Louisa County deserve to know where those who seek to represent us stand on this and other critical issues.
Editor's note: This letter was originally submitted to the Central Virginian, and has been re-posted with the author's permission, and should appear in their next week’s edition. This article is only available online to paying subscribers or here on Blue Louisa.
I did a short tour in Korea in 1980/1981 with 2nd Infantry Division at Camp Casey not far from the DMZ. I think there were 38,000 American troop in country. We knew at that time that North Korea had tens of thousands of artillery pieces aimed south. Many were in hardened concrete bunkers and they were spread out across the entire border and in depth. A single salvo would kill hundreds of thousands in Seoul. Today, that would be millions.
Think of that when you think any President since Nixon has had a military option with North Korea. We could bomb them back to the stone age but they will get off at least one salvo and millions of people in Seoul will die. Doesn’t give you a lot of leverage. We had a deal that seemed to be working under Bill Clinton. Fuel oil for shut down of the nuke program. The North was cheating a little but not much. They wouldn’t get a nuke going at that pace, but W. Bush called them part of the Axis of Evil and stopped the fuel oil deliveries.
North Korea went back into the nuke business. Bush tried to get the deal back but failed. And less than 6 years later, they had their first nuke. Bush never had a military option. Neither did Obama. nor does Trump. Are we willing to lose 25 million people including at least one hundred and fifty thousand Americans living around Seoul? With that option gone we have only two more.
Economic sanctions don’t seem to be working so far and we just added a few more sanctions. China could turn up the screws but I think they are as cautious as we are. Russia would just like to stir the pot.
I think it is time to face reality and admit North Korea is a nuclear power. We can’t stop them. They are in the Club and they are not leaving. It is time to change our tone and negotiate directly with North Korea. This is not the option any of us want but it is the only one left. To not face reality will be really dangerous for us and our allies. This is a time we need a real deal maker in office because North Korea doesn’t succumb to threats and they haven’t in the last 40 years. We might not get a second chance.
George DeSerres U.S. Army retired Culpeper
Editor’s note: this letter to the editor has been re-posted with the author’s permission and originally appeared here.
As I started thinking about what kinds of letters members of the Louisa Democratic Committee might write to papers in support of Democratic candidates in the coming weeks, I was struck by the fact that virtually all of the “political” letters in our local paper, the Central Virginian this year were for Republicans.
Since there were six of them running for Peter Farrell’s open 56th House Delegate Seat, it stands to reason that there would be more of their letters during the primaries. And in the ensuing two and a half months, there haven’t been any letters for candidates in the CV. Whether this represents a lack of interest, or is just the calm just before the electoral storm, remains to be seen.
Although one has to put Jim Ogg’s letter about high speed internet into its own unique category, since it was timed to follow Duane Adams misleading claims in his half page ad the week before. And after reading this week’s edition of the CV, it struck me that their last two op-ed pages not only aren’t carrying any of their usual syndicated pabulum, they didn’t even print anything remotely relevant.
And that’s counting last week’s letter supporting the former chair of the Louisa Planning Commission, which given it's dated publication, seemed strangely out of synch with all of the other letters from the previous week, while suggestions that politicians be polygraphed were never relevant.
While it would be the height of hubris to expect that the CV should print every letter I submitted to them, it doesn’t change the fact that they have chosen not to print two letters discussing local issues, and political races when there clearly was space for them.
And for whatever reason, they chose to fill up this dead space with presumably nostalgic content.
A strange set of circumstances, considering that over the past seven years they have published nearly seventy of my letters, and these two are just the 2nd and 3rd letters they haven’t.
Nor is it clear if this is just a statistical glitch, or represents yet another change in their editorial policy. In the meantime, expanded versions of these letters can be found in Blue Louisa, and on the Louisa Democrats website.
The reason I an every one reading this blog should have such a problem with the CV’s promotion of the status quo at every opportunity is that such reflexive knee jerk support blinds them to recognizing what happening around them.
That they have a confederacy of dunces representing them, starting with Dave Brat. And even more insidiously, this “get along to go along” mentality is precisely what helps promote and normalizes the Replicant Party’s own intransigence, hypocrisy and incompetence.
Usually, the best their readers can hope for are some minimalistic details about what happened along with a head shot, like this one with Dave Brat in last week’s edition.
And since neither Brat nor his staff bothered to put this picture up on his Facebook pages, it did seem a little out of character for a man who never misses an opportunity to tell everyone how little he’s doing.
Or remind us that he went to seminary.
Or that he’s the only economist in Congress.
Some of you may recall that this photo-op was accompanied by a front page puff piece about Tom Garrett’s “involvement” with helping a new Libertarian nation become recognized by the United States.
Perhaps, but for an emerging country which has already survived their first foreign minister being a complete fraud and yet to evolve beyond being an unclaimed swampy island, this might prove to be a task beyond Uncle Tom’s reach.
But what’s important about this is this story is how it has become a vehicle to keep certain narratives alive in their reader’s consciousness. Like notions of a libertarian paradise, conveniently re-introduced with timely Facebook posts. And their messaging across multiple media platforms, says much about their priorities, like this FB post about one of Uncle Tom’s recent tweets.
Thus far, the best response to Garrett’s disingenuous bullshit has been, “Since I don’t like cold weather does that make me ANTIFREEZE?” And seriously, when have you ever heard of any Replicant’s ever giving a rat’s ass about fascism?
When their entire Southern Strategy depends on similar racist and misogynistic attitudes and the only libertarians … I mean patrons they ever listened to are two brothers named Koch.
Speaking of Uncle Tom’s, it should be noted that the CV hasn’t responded to any of my questions about other articles discussing previous Libertarian experiments which might have cast last weeks piece in a less favorable context.
And even after being made aware of a video which clearly shows one of his supporters, a candidate for Fluvanna School Board brazenly denying people admittance to a Replicant event, they still chose to re-post his disingenuous antifa tweet.
Considering that Garrett no longer represents the people of Louisa, one has to ask why the does the CV have such an interest in what he has to say, and why are they promoting these authoritarian narratives?
Perhaps the simplest explanation is that controversy, no matter how artificial or contrived sells papers … or at least drives traffic to their Facebook page.
One things for sure, given all the media coverage that’s being thrown at the Antifa movement recently, and the fact that the Drumpf administration has recently branded them a terrorist organization, along with a host of comments like; “left-wing thugs, … and Antifa are a scourge on our country,” from leading Replicant’s it should be clear that they’re shaping up to be their next boogeyman.
Nor is it any coincidence that we’re starting to see more and more misleading videos like this pop up. And while the CV’s Liberland fairy tale didn’t rise to the same level of duplicity as Garrett’s projectionist tweets … dividing people into those that are “with us” and those who are “fascists.”
They both rest on false assumptions; that Replicant’s care about their constituents, and aren’t misleading you with every trick in the fascist handbook.
Perhaps the CV’s staff believes that because they have posted Garrett’s tweet that they have fulfilled their responsibility to their readers. Perhaps they are convinced that it’s their duty to maintain the status quo, oblivious to the reality that the more they promote it, the more receptive their readers will be to the Replicant’s lies.
And for all I know, they really are trying to stir things up. Believing that their status and position will be maintained as conservatives rally around whatever red meat is thrown before them.
What I do know is that the CV’s history of silence and complicity has enabled and normalized the deeds of Replicant’s throughout this region, and promoting those narratives is what sycophants do. And if these past two issues are any indication, they will continue to double down on their misleading messaging.
And for the Replicant’s, they suffer from a zero sum mindset which seriously overestimates the appeal of libertarian ideology, and the depths of voter discontent.
Even in the era of his Orangeness, I seriously doubt if the states Replicant’s could improve on the performance of the last major libertarian candidate in this state who ran getting less than 7% of the popular vote, a weak brew even by Tea Party standards.
It’s also worth pointing out that ever since Garrett has been in elected office that he has promoted misleading and sometimes downright nasty narratives, and from all evidence is only willing to associate with those who share his beliefs.
Meanwhile, other Replicant’s like Duane Adams and John McGuire will follow in his and Brat’s footsteps; holding private meetings, ignoring a vast majority of their constituents while limiting their public appearances to carefully managed events.
Don’t take my word for it, take a look at their FB and a web pages, and see how few (if any) of their activities were even posted, let alone in advance, and how little their photo ops have to do with the issues.
Now the question is what are you going to do about it?
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.