09 March 2017
Editor’s note: This letter references a Jan. 12 editor’s note called “Popular or not, we print the news.”
Misconceptions in news media
More than half of people, reported from a national survey, named the media their primary source of news on crime. It is often hard to point out which media sources are reporting true, unbiased news. Our local newspaper, the Fluvanna Review, has done a good job at not showing favoritism in its coverage of news stories.
Sensitivity to certain news, especially in a small town like ours, is bound to happen, but it is important to keep in mind the fairness being displayed. Whether it is a community-favored individual or a topic that may upset a political view, there is a right to report all news and crime and a responsibility of the press to the community that these stories are being covered without bias.Television news reporting on crime can often display suspects differently; for example, by positively or negatively portraying one race over the other. Regardless of what reality is, the media can choose what your perception of reality is. It is important to understand that the news media often times has filters, which chooses to tell a filtered portion of a story. Having a reliable, honest, and fair source of news and factually correct source of crime information is hard to find. Luckily, the staff and editor of our local newspaper have done a good job, and personally stated, how they show no bias in the news they cover.
Be careful of what you read online, especially when regarding news and crime. There are many sources that try to alter your perception through racial biases, political viewpoints, or misconception of crime statistics. Here is a thumbs-up to the Fluvanna Review for providing true and reliable news.
Stay vigilant to protect rights
On Friday, Jan. 27 President Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending refugee admissions for 120 days and indefinitely barring the processing of refugees from Syria. It also seeks to limit immigration both on a religious basis and ethnicity as “national security concerns.”
This is not who we are, and for residents of Central Virginia, including Louisa and Fluvanna Counties, it is not who we will be. Our nation, as evidenced through the immigrant background of so many of our families, is built upon the principles of tolerance and understanding. Denying entry based on where a group of people are from or what they believe defies what our founding fathers fought for.
It is a policy we as a nation took during the buildup to World War II which led to deaths of thousands of Jewish refugees fleeing persecution in their homeland. It is a policy that can hinder our troops fighting abroad today who rely on intelligence provided from foreign nationals who stand to be denied entry based on this order.
We once stood as a beacon of hope and light for all who were forced to leave their homeland out of fear. It is time for us to stand up and fly that flag proudly once again. We also encourage and support Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s effort to obtain information on any detentions in Virginia resulting from the president’s executive order.
Even though President Trump’s travel ban order was suspended by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, we must stay vigilant to protect the liberty and civil rights for all of us.
I am a deeply patriotic member of a military family and believe that support for our veterans is essential. However, I must challenge the false statements and misinformation included in the March 2 letter to the editor entitled “Serve veterans” regarding how veteran affairs have been handled in previous administrations. The writer attributed a quote disparaging veterans to former President Obama that has been thoroughly debunked by FactCheck.org as a fabrication taken from a chain email. Please see http://www.factcheck.org/2009/05/would-obama-have-soldiers-pay-for-own-war-injuries/.
And, the writer’s use of a quote from John Kerry, likening the U.S. military to being “reminiscent of the hordes of Genghis Khan” was taken out of context from the 1971 Winter Soldier Congressional hearings. A young John Kerry, recently returned from fighting in Viet Nam, was called to testify as our Congress discussed the laws of warfare and our adherence to the Geneva Convention. His full testimony can be found here, in the Congressional Record: http://www.wintersoldier.com/index.php?topic=Testimony.
In this age of “fake news and alternative facts,” stopping the spread of misinformation is critical. In fact, I believe our democracy depends upon it. One thing in which I wholeheartedly agree with the writer is that our Veterans Administration needs reform, so to honor the brave men and women who have selflessly served our country.
Share a foxhole with Trump?
Upon returning home Thursday following a trip to the McGuire VA Medical Center, I immediately picked up the new Fluvanna Review from my cubby only to be confronted by the mal-informed, politically-biased epistle from Mr. Mullin, purportedly in support of veterans. He would have been embarrassed to make such ignorant comments to the vets and VA staff I encountered there. There are “1 percents,” the super wealthy autocrats who seem to make up Trump’s entourage, and the other “1 percents,” the vets.
With respect to timely, competent and conscientious VA medical support, I can only speak for myself. I’ve received superlative service from my VA primary care physician, the local civilian specialists whose treatment VA has coordinated, and the extensive variety of specialists and technicians who have provided me such caring and competent support over the years. In many, if not most, cases the timeliness and quality of my VA care has surpassed anything I’ve experienced in the civilian sector.
However, the nature and extent of VA care is determined by longstanding criteria based upon the nature and circumstance of military service. Not all of these 1 percenters are automatically covered. As real vets know, for every line troop there are some seven or eight essential support troops who serve in harm’s way and are subject to enemy action. But the criteria for VA service is dependent upon service-related injuries, award of the Purple Heart, and service-related disability.
The VA is a large organization – bureaucracy, if you must – which like virtually all large organizations, seems prone to mismanagement and abuse and which must be constantly monitored and reined in.
Clearly, Mr. Mullin doesn’t speak for me and my vet friends, none of whom I know voted for the draft-dodging, petulant, perpetually prevaricating new POTUS. How can one trust an untrustworthy leader who himself doesn’t trust the American people? Would I want to share a foxhole with this whining wimp? Nah!
John R. Neighbours
Be kind and vegetarian
Thanks for your article about Finn Proctor and his pet Silkie named Darla. Finn clearly knows the value of the kindness he expresses toward his pet chicken. I’d like to suggest that his message is one we should all take to heart in respect to how we treat all animals. Let’s consider the suffering and cruelty conducted on an industrial scale at factory farms (known as concentrated animal feeding operations). By eliminating animals from our diet we could take a serious step toward ending this massive cruelty. Imagine for a moment if everyone could contribute to the goal of Finn’s message: a world where everyone strives to be nice.