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Breast-fed babies see benefits
The Hotline call headlined “cover up” was in the April 1 issue and at first I wondered if someone was pulling an April Fools trick.
The caller was upset that a mother was breastfeeding her baby in a park.
Actually, breastfeeding in public benefits everyone.
The World Health Organization states that breastfeeding helps protect children from ear, respiratory and gastrointestinal infections and allergies.
Mothers who breastfeed have reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancers and osteoporosis. The Virginia Department of Health continues the list of benefits to include protection for the baby from: colic, Chron’s disease, pneumonia, Hodgkin’s disease, some cancers, obesity, constipation, diabetes, diarrhea, tooth decay and SIDS.
Research shows that breastfeeding leads to optimal brain development, which equates to a higher IQ level, especially for infants born prematurely.
Breastfeeding promotes a stronger bond between mother and child, helping to develop a higher level of trust.
Women who feed their children formula miss more days of work in order to stay home and care for sick children, as compared to women whose children are breast-fed and healthier.
So, why does breastfeeding in public benefit everyone?
Breastfeeding is good for our environment. It is a natural, renewable resource, requiring no resources for advertising, packaging, shipping or disposal.
No energy is wasted sterilizing bottles or refrigerating them. There is no pollution from the manufacturing and disposal of bottles, artificial nipples and cans.
Despite all the proven benefits, our culture’s lack of acceptance of breastfeeding in public is a barrier to mothers in choosing to breastfeed their children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement on breastfeeding urges pediatricians to “promote breastfeeding as a cultural norm and encourage family and societal support for breastfeeding.”
Our culture needs to embrace breastfeeding in public as normal, natural, and healthy. This would encourage mothers to breastfeed and we would all reap the benefits.
La Leche League is the world’s foremost authority on breastfeeding. For information, call 1-877-4-LALECHE, see www.llli.org or speak with an accredited local La Leche League Leader, (276) 655-4799, 728-3231 or 236-9350.
Virtual academy is not home education
A great deal has been said about public virtual academies.
While it may appear to be a viable option for many families, make no mistake: it is NOT home education.
Carroll County Schools Superintendent Greg Smith stated to The Gazette that, “we think this is a win-win.”
And it may be for some, but not for those who desire all the benefits and freedoms afforded to legal home educators. This option is simply public education at home; not legal home education.
Parents who choose the K12 curriculum will indeed receive many free resources, but they are not offered without strings.
Enrollment in this program submits a family to the government’s authority and requirements. Parents abdicate their role as education providers to the public school and are subject to its evaluation processes — Standards of Learning, among other testing methods.
There is no flexibility regarding curriculum, no incorporation of religious instruction, one may not tailor a program to a child’s learning style, nor may one educate multiple children with a unit study approach.
Comparing virtual academies to home education is like comparing apples to oranges. There may similarities (they may both be fruit/education), but the differences are far too numerous to mention.
Smith further stated that, “educators continue to try to attract home-schoolers from the county into the program,” but those families being targeted need to truly understand what they are getting and what they are giving up.
Autonomy is the foundation of home education. According to Helen Hegener of Home Education Magazine, this is “the ability to make our own decisions about what is important and worth doing in our lives and in the lives of our children.
“Home-schooling means having the freedom to choose which talents and interests we'll encourage our children to pursue. Home-schooling means following their passions and ours wherever they may lead, without needlessly worrying about the conventional limits and restrictions of teaching and learning… This…distinguishes home-schooling from conventional public schooling.”
Southwest Virginia Home Educators is a local support group with answers about this and other home education topics. See its Web site at www.swvahe.webs.com.
Lisa Shaw, Administrator
Southwest Virginia Home Educators
You'll be sorry for opposing God
I read another news headline today about some "antichrist" people (students at a college) who want to remove the words of "our Lord" from their diploma.
They say it "directly" refers to Jesus Christ. Poor fools, they don't know that the year itself (2010) refers to the year of our Lord. Interesting that the fight is being led by a Muslim student.
I have some good news for "all" the enemies of Jesus Christ. We won't always be around to be such a thorn in your flesh. Because we're not going where "you" are.
You see, Jesus Christ is more real than you are. And He has promised us a home in heaven.
Unfortunately for you, He also has some plans for you. But they're not good. You're going to be very sorry that you ever spoke one word against the Son of God. People are discovering it every day as they leave this world by the thousands.
Christ has given everyone an invitation, but you have rejected Him. You know why Christians don't come looking to cut your head off like "some" religious people do when you offend their God?
This is what separates Christianity from all other religions. Jesus said, "Love your enemies, do good to them that despitefully use you." Only the true and living God would say that.
You know why He doesn't want us to get vengeance on you? Because He wants the pleasure of doing it Himself: “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, sayeth the Lord."
Jesus said, "their shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Again He said, "where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."
He told of one man who rejected God and then died. And Jesus said, "In hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torment." He was begging for a drop of water, because, he said, "I'm tormented in these flames."
God is pro choice. And if this is what you want, go and have yourself one "hell" of a party. The good news for you is, there won't be any Christians there to offend you.
Why Boucher really said 'no'
Your article on Rep. Rick Boucher and why he voted "no" on the Democrat's health care bill [March 26-28 edition] missed the point.
He voted "no" because his seat is being contested, and the Democrats strategically allowed his vote of "no" only after acquiring their needed votes to pass the bill. This is, of course, an attempt for him to preserve his Democrat seat in the House.
Your investigative journalistic skills are ill-advised. We are not stupid as your newspaper suggests.
And if you think this bill is for the people, then why did the Democrats have to make deals with Democrats in order to pass it? The Democrats have a majority in both houses of Congress!
The American people did not want this health care bill passed. And if Democrats can use the tactics they used to pass this bill, they can pass anything.
Our style of government “of the people, for the people and by the people" is being threatened.
Benny R. Robinson
Boucher acting like a Republican
To the good fortune of an overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens, affordable health care is now welcome reality.
It’s regretful that powerful opposing forces, vicious, dishonest and bitter, even now seem hell-bent to destroy fundamentals of this century-old dream.
Yet quality, affordable health care is our longest neglected right and must never again be sacrificed upon the altar of selfish political expediency.
Preventing illness and alleviating human suffering equate providing for the common good and promoting our general welfare. It’s in everyone’s best interest, no exceptions!
Sadly, Rep. Rick Boucher obviously thinks otherwise. Three times he took his turn at bat for health care to vote no, no and no!
Shamelessly and willfully, he attempted to strike down the most significant piece of social legislation in a century. Talk about being on the wrong side of history!
By his strange negative votes, the congressman renders himself calloused and unfeeling toward the urgent needs and deepest yearnings of his constituents. He sold us down the proverbial river.
To these irrefutable facts, Rep. Boucher now fobs a few foolishly feeble, near unbelievable, excuses like tort reform, inequitable Medicare reimbursements, and not interfering with those who already have all the health care coverage they need. Well, I have a bull in my field that squirts less potent stuff a dozen times a day.
Others are free to conclude as they choose, but I steadfastly believe when a trusted Democratic politician suddenly acts like a Republican, votes like a Republican and talks like a Republican, he must actually be a closet case Republican.
I’ve read that an impressive pool of candidates is vying for a chance to oppose Boucher in the coming election. Every citizen of the Ninth Congressional District who has ever faced medical bills and lacked funds to pay needs to hold Boucher accountable at the ballot box.
Could this just be the year for some good candidate who has freshly felt, keen understanding of human need?
I’ve believed in Rep. Boucher’s leadership and integrity throughout the years; so I feel, as do so many others, personally let down, violated and betrayed.
John A. Duvall
Candidate quizzed on Social Security
This letter was addressed to Del. Morgan Griffith, a Republican candidate for Congress in the Ninth District.
We have heard much about how the Social Security trust fund is going broke, how it is "bleeding" the treasury of the federal government and that the government can no longer pay benefits that were guaranteed to Social Security recipients.
Well, the trouble is not with the Social Security system. The Social Security system has a surplus of $2.7 trillion, which would pay benefits at the current rate until 2037.
The problem is that Congress has spent this Social Security trust money on other government programs and wars and has given the trust fund bonds (IOUs) guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.
Now, Congress does not want to have to pay back these funds to the Social Security trust.
Would you vote against any legislation, bill, joint resolution, and amendment thereto, or to any other vote that you have in the House of Representatives that will reduce, or has the effect of reducing, any current benefits under the old age, survivors, and disability insurance programs under Title II of the Social Security Act until these IOUs are repaid?
If necessary, will you raise taxes or cut other spending in order for the government to repay these IOUs to the Social Security trust fund?
Raleigh M. Cooley