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Readers' Hotline 10/23/13

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Recall everybody
I think they need to recall everybody in Congress and fire them like they did in Colorado.
Editor’s note: The caller refers to the ouster of two state senators in Colorado last month, as reported by the New York Times — “Two Colorado Democrats who provided crucial support for a package of state gun laws were voted out of office [Sept. 10] in special elections seen as a test of whether swing-state voters would accept gun restrictions after mass shootings at a Colorado movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.”

Pray for His will
This is in response to “better pray,” Oct. 7. Israel was the most blessed nation because God chose them out of all others to become a special property to him. In order for the nation of Israel to remain in that covenant relationship with Jehovah, there were requirements to meet. They failed time and again to uphold their sworn commitment. The nation sent God’s own son to be tried and killed the Romans. They lost any hope as a nation of remaining in that covenant relationship. This country has never been in such a covenant relationship with God. While I agree that Jehovah God is ultimately in control, the Bible clearly shows that he has placed the Earth and its inhabitants in Satan’s control. We need to pray that as Kingdom comes, and that His will takes place as in Heaven, also upon the Earth. We all have a responsibility, whether we recognize or accept that. He is our creator and this universal sovereign has the right to set the standard for our living. We would be exercising great faith and wisdom if we were to look to that standard and the model that Jesus Christ set for us.

Feeling blackmailed
I don’t care if you are Democrat, Republican or independent. You need to listen. Republicans offered Obama a deal. If he would cut Social Security and cut Medicare — they call it entitlements, even though people worked all their life to get what they have — then they would agree to a deal. What kind of deal is that? I need my Social Security and Medicare. It’s all I have and a lot of people are the same way I am. You need to think about this. I think that is blackmail if you ask me.

Looking to the government
Thank you for that page one story Oct. 7 about the new healthcare marketplace. The healthcare act is going to save lives. A lot of people don’t realize that if you don’t have the money to buy that insurance, the government will pay it for you. This is a tax I am glad to pay. It used to be that you could take a sick child to the emergency room and they could not turn you away. But, this is not always the case.
Editor’s note: It is not clear if the caller refers to emergency rooms elsewhere or locally. Twin County Regional Hospital has said that its policy is “treatment is never delayed or denied due to the patient’s ability to pay.”

Time to go
I’m just calling in my subjective opinion about [U.S. Secretary of Defense] Chuck Hagel. He looks like he is brain dead. After this episode about these military people, he should go. He has taken the bullet for Obama like Hillary took the bullet for Bengazi and like Lois Lerner took the bullet for the IRS. He should be gone. He has done his job. Let him go.

Should be a law
What a messed up country we have. There should be some law enacted where if people are not doing their job they get fired and everybody in Washington — Congress, senate and president, too — needs to be fired.

Hillsville’s example
Taxpayers of Hillsville, this is what we need to be doing. Go to our town council meetings. Instead of being so concerned about what the mayor or anyone else on the town council or anyone in Hillsville is doing in their private life, perhaps we need to get people to a meeting so they can really see what our council and mayor are doing. They have upgraded our walking trail, not just put a Band-Aid on it. They have completed GPS mapping for water and sewer. We had our first Christian cruise-in. Bet there wasn’t any beer drinking going on. We have a new farmers’ market and new music stage in the works. They balanced our budget. That is a miracle considering the previous board gave away $95,000 to former town employees as a severance package. For the first time in probably 20 years or more, council is working closely with the board of supervisors. Since council can do all this, one would think Congress could get it together. Maybe some of them should come to little Hillsville. See what it’s like for people to work together for the betterment of our town.

The naked truth
I’m responding to “not a stitch” in the Hotline. I think a little respect and compassion is called for. After all, winter is coming on. Don’t you think parading around in the buff in the cool part of the year would be inadvisable? Also, have you been through any of the box stores lately? Be careful what you wish for my man. Signed: a little terrified.

Parades without notice
I found it interesting that the Oct. 11 newspaper had results from some of the fire prevention parades. However, I don’t understand why there was no mention of the fire prevention parades coming up with any kind of schedule in the newspaper. I would have liked to have gone to the fire prevention parades if I had known when they were. I don’t understand why, if the fire departments would like for the community to stand behind them and to come out and participate and watch these parades, they don’t put it in the newspaper so people will know.

Top secret
If I were a Republican, I sure wouldn’t want anybody to know it.

You’re the problem
Anyone who has stood for and helped Obama get elected is not going to get my vote. He is destroying this nation. Your support for him and his cohorts make you part of the problem.

Money doesn’t help
There seems to be confusion that AEP is responsible for the rise in electricity rates, when in reality one party has gone after coal companies. They have the war on coal. This causes the price of coal to go up and when the price of coal goes up, so does electricity cost. Also, all candidates use education as a platform. That doesn’t get it anymore. The government throws more and more money into education and it isn’t making a difference. Scores keep going down and our schools’ ranking in the world keeps dropping. It would be better spent if they took taxpayers’ money and paid on the debt and not more on education.

Too cute
I was just reading The Gazette from Oct. 11 and want to point out the poor grammar in the headline “there be pumpkins in Carroll” for the picture of the Southwest Virginia Farmers’ Market and all the pumpkins and squash to be delivered to local stores. Last I checked, that is not correct grammar. So, if you are looking for a new editor, feel free to call me back.
Editor’s note: The headline was tongue-in-cheek and apparently too cute for some.

Benefits delayed
The EBT system temporarily shut down Saturday, the 12th of October, striking fear into those that misuse the system. For a few hours, their cash dollars had to be spent on food purchases instead of on beer, cigarettes and lottery tickets.
Editor’s note: People in 17 states were briefly unable to use their EBT food stamp debit-style cards this month after a routine test of backup systems by the cards vendor led to a system failure. EBT cards cannot be used to legally purchase the items mentioned by the caller.

Missing the boat
Fancy Gap is the second most-visited entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Which, by the way, is the most visited national park. The pickin’ porch electronic kiosk and Blue Ridge Host visitors’ center can barely be seen from the road. If you blink, the information sign will be missed. To add to this fact, it’s a huge junky tractor trailer container that has been parked there for years. If the trailer can’t be moved, maybe have a local artist paint it with a beautiful mountain scene or something advertising the visitors’ center, like a directional arrow. I would think the county would make owners of business properties on U.S. 52 clean up their act. I’m not talking about rustic antique businesses, which are an attraction to a country town, but the rundown buildings with unmowed lawns with the junky trash, which are clearly not antiques, piled around the structures. I’m talking about the abandoned buildings, which could appeal to a new business. Clean up Route 52 and tourists just may want to stay in our county to visit some of our great businesses. There is a lot to experience in our beautiful area. We are missing the boat when it comes to tourist dollars.

Increasing debt
I have usually leaned toward the Republican Party, but the government shutdown is not to be blamed on just one side. Neither side — Republican nor Democrat — wants to make any changes to their policies because it may look like they were wrong. I just hope the American people will remind members of both parties of the increasing debt we are coming involved in because of this shut down.

Told you so
I am calling in response to “voters at fault.” Maybe whoever called this in is responsible for these people being in office, but I didn’t vote for them, so I am not at fault. I voted for other people who didn’t get elected.
 
Electioneering
I’d like to know when it became acceptable for law enforcement to put up personal campaign signs on my property that I told a deputy not to. Then that deputy called an on-duty officer and harassed me because I took the signs down. I watch this same deputy campaign all the time. There is a fundamental issue with this entire event.
Editor’s note: There are no local elections for law enforcement leadership in 2013, so we are puzzled as to whom is campaigning for what?

Close kin
I am calling to see if I can get an answer to my question. Is it legal and ethical for people of close kin, such as a brother and sister, to hold top offices such as county administrator and a [constitutional office] of a county in Virginia?
Editor’s note: Yes, it’s legal. And to clarify, because we have received inquiries about this: any constitutional officer of a county is an independent official who reports only to the voters and not to another county or state official.

Abandoned houses
It seems we now have slumlords in Galax. All these people are buying houses in neighborhoods and renting them out and then houses have been condemned. Weeds and grass are growing up over them. It is awful. They don’t have these houses in their neighborhood, just in everybody else’s neighborhood. Looks like city council could pass some kind of ordinance to stop this destruction and awful looking stuff in Galax with all these abandoned houses. They have been condemned. They need to be torn down or the owners need to be responsible.