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The Mechanicsville Local Letters to the Editor: Week of 7/14/21
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The Mechanicsville Local Letters to the Editor: Week of 7/14/21

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Reader wants to correct falsehoods in recent letter

Responsible citizens have a need more than ever to fight falsehoods and propaganda wherever they show up, including letters to the editor in The Mechanicsville Local.

With this in mind, I would like to correct certain falsehoods in a recent letter.

“New report shows widespread non-citizen voting in Virginia”. That was an opinion column by someone referencing a “report” by a right-wing legal organization. It was not a news story that went through a vetting process for accuracy (Richmond.com).

“Thousands of non-citizens are registered to vote ...” The alleged report actually said they tried to register and had their registration revoked by the state.

“... and have voted in our elections.” No again, because Trump’s own election fraud commission couldn’t find a shred of evidence in the entire nation and quickly disbanded in disgrace.

“Per the Constitution, it is each state’s responsibility to ensure election integrity.” The Constitution actually says, “the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations”. This clause prevents rogue state legislators from squashing voters for political purposes, like we are seeing now.

“Trump did more for America in four years than we will ever see again.” Three polls of presidential historians have ranked Trump as one of the five worst presidents in American history (C-SPAN, American Political Science Association).

“Widespread voter fraud will continue.” And yet even Republican ballot counters and Republican election officials all across the country certified the election results.

“A 2020 Gallup Poll reported 59% lack confidence in our elections.” Absolutely not. The 59% reference is among people who are “very” or “somewhat” confident (Gallup.com). The drop is only among Republicans who voted for Trump and listened to his completely unproven claims about election integrity.

We will continue to suffer as a country as long as a wide number of people rely on entertainers pretending to be journalists (Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson) and on fake Facebook pages for their “news”.

Scott Bateman

Mechanicsville

Assertions in letter need investigation

In the June 30 issue, Patricia Lassiter made several interesting assertions that bear investigation.

She began by describing Biden voters as “well-informed, educated, knowledgeable people”, which is the conservative definition of elitists. It’s a common image put forward by conservatives to help divide and create a contrast with their self-image of common sense, patriotic, moral citizens.

She goes on to cite a June 2017 Richmond Times-Dispatch article that purports to show wide spread non-citizen voting and notes Heritage Foundation research that supports the claim. The article reports that, since 2011 in Virginia, 5,556 non-citizens registered to vote through the registration process associated with obtaining a driver’s license.

When the article was written, that was about 900 per year. The article also said the non-citizen registrants were discovered because they self-identified and had their status changed.

If these non-citizens were part of an organized voter fraud scheme to disrupt U.S. elections, why would they self-identify and have their status changed to non-registered? And, there was no mention that any of the registrants ever voted. All that’s claimed is they registered, likely in error because they didn’t understand the process

The article was based on data from the Heritage Foundation site subsequently mentioned.

On the site’s initial page — where it’s expected the Foundation’s more egregious, damning examples of widespread fraud would be cited, it’s asserted that, since 1988 1,852 citizens voted illegally 7,474 times. In other words, over a 30-year period the Heritage Foundation uncovered approximately 250 fraudulent votes per year.

The site goes on to note that they have documented 1,285 cases of fraud the past four years. It’s not clear whether they are included in the previously mentioned 1,852 citizens who voted illegally, but to give the Heritage Foundation the benefit of the doubt, let’s assume the 1,285 cases are new.

The site then describes “common types of fraud” with specific examples. For instance, two people voted by absentee ballot in one state while voting in person in another. Another was a city council member forced to resign because he illegally registered at his parents’ address instead of his own. Yet another person — presumably working in a registrar’s office — changed party affiliation of voters forged signatures on voter registration forms. No total number of such violations was included.

None of the examples indicated party affiliation so no way to determine if it was Democrats or Republicans.

While such examples may be “widespread” such as happening in all the states, they hardly signal a profoundly dangerous problem for the country.

Do the above statistics justify the clamor and coordinated legislation in Republican-controlled states to stamp out a dangerous problem endangering the country’s electoral integrity?

As for the assertion that Donald Trump “did more for America in four years that we will see again in history”, that’s a remarkable assertion when measured against accomplishments of Jefferson, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, to cite a few.

One accomplishment most cited by Trump and his supporters is the most booming economy of all time. That “boom” was fueled by three methods usually employed to shore up a badly cratering economy. First, a massive tax cut, the lion’s share of which went to corporations and upper income citizens, and then pressuring the Fed to lower interest rates virtually to zero and lastly deficit spending.

Prior to the pandemic, Congress had authorized and Trump signed a budget for the year with a $1 trillion deficit. There was indeed a bump in economic growth above 3% but analyses by the Wall Street Journal and other groups showed that, after the initial rise, the economy was trending down and would likely settle back to the level it was when Trump took office.

On top of that, analyses clearly showed the tax cut didn’t pay for itself and never would. In addition, specific Trump tariff policies led to spikes in appliance prices and the need for billions of dollars of subsidies to farmers whose foreign markets evaporated.

The description of President Joe Biden is a “physically and cognitively impaired puppet … who is an embarrassment on the world stage” is patently false.

Biden more than held his own when debating Trump, and has had productive meetings with members of Congress with no reports of a feeble, disabled president. Biden is a puppet of whom? What insidious cabal is controlling him?

An embarrassment on the world stage? Biden’s recent spate of meetings with European leaders and a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin reflected a very capable, highly respected president.

Trump’s primary allies were Putin, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, whose latest accomplishment is fostering more than 500,000 COVID-19 deaths in a population of 215 million, a higher per capita death rate than the U.S.

As for embarrassing, what’s more embarrassing than a president rejecting the work and analyses of his own intelligence and military analysists in favor of the word of a Russian dictator? His obsequious behavior to Putin is further documented in his efforts to eliminate or destroy any record of his meeting with Putin.

Translators’ notes were destroyed, aides and others often weren’t permitted to enter the room, and Trump said what he talked about with Putin was “none of your business”.

I look forward to many more documented examples of voter fraud, which I’m sure will emerge from the defamation and libel trials of Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Fox News.

Bill Iles

Mechanicsville

Rebuttal claims letter writer got ‘donned’

(Editor’s note: The following was submitted as a rebuttal to a recent letter from Patricia Lassiter.)

My gawd, you got “donned” big-time! You need many . . . many(!) things: beginning with a chill pill!

Your “Gallop estimate of 59%” . . . that source could be very, very interesting. Maybe ONA? Maybe Alex (Widda) Jones’ InfoWars? Maybe Fox News (false noice, Tucker Carlson, Sean “Insanity” Hannity)?

One thing for sure is that (after the Pony Express took up to 30 days to get news through to the readers) today we “want-what-we-want-and-want-it-yesterday,” you do not want truth (in the news) . . . you want the news to tell you what you want to hear.

You need to know that the “lack of confidence in our elections” and the “widespread voter fraud” are all products of the greatest con artist who ever drew a breath in human history!

You’ve been “donned.”

Just one generation ago, we didn’t throw hate spears at each other. Just one generation ago, we didn’t label each other “conservative” and “liberal” as epithets. Just one generation ago, we accepted the results of our elections. Just one generation ago, we were “the United States of America” and not the divided hate-riddled collection of tribal idiots (we’ve all) become.

Yes, we’ve got big, big problems. These problems did not begin when George Bush or Bill Clinton or Barack Obama or Ronald Reagan were in the Oval Office. These problems (the subject of your entire hate-filled rant in the June 30 edition of The Mechanicsville Local letters) began a few hundred years earlier (I draw a direct reference to your “hate-white-people-classes”). Your comments border on propaganda to join race-hate organizations (which seem to be rapidly growing [“out-of-fear?”]).

Be honest with yourself: Donald Trump’s the “Great White Hope,” ain’t he? I spent 24 years in military uniform, guarding the Constitution so folks like you can have “freedom of speech” (as shameful as it gets sometimes in the public forum).

Face it: You got “donned.”

He’s not only the “greatest con artist who ever drew a breath in human history” . . . he’s also the best I’ve ever seen at stirring up the proverbial bucket of ($£¥#%*!) then watching “others fight” . . . like at the insurrection (with glee, then told Kevin McCarthy “maybe they care more about our country than you,” then said “Mike Pence may or may not do the right thing [throw the election]”).

He’s best at seeking out folks who hate each other and then stonewalling the existing problems until they boil over (as in the same terrorist attack on “our” Capitol on Jan. 6).

Then there’s your sarcasm with the “well-informed educated people who voted for Joe Biden” (remember the Trump quote, “I love uneducated people”). Let me tell you, as much as I dislike Hillary Clinton, she was much more than just “the first woman on a major national ticket” . . . she was the most experienced candidate for President of the United States since Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower (the last decent/powerful/respected POTUS) while Trump was the all-time worst. Joe Biden is even more experienced than she was!

As for your comment “physically/cognitively impaired puppet”, are you blind? Are you certified to give such diagnostic comments?

As for “impaired” . . . go Google “FTD” (frontotemporal dementia), then watch YouTube (it’ll take all day) to witness all the extensive symptoms Trump showed the world; (trouble [with excuses] walking down a ramp at the United States Military Academy [where he recalled all to for his rambling commencement speech], crooked stance(s), slurred speech (“unnnitedStaace”), chronic rambling in day-to-day conversations, socially inappropriate jesters/behavior, etc.

Then “puppet?” Remember (I guess you can remember things you don’t want to) the numerous TrumPutin meetings: behind closed doors, with a different Russian interpreter each time (not once with an English interpreter; then what happened to these Russian interpreters?). Who’s the “puppet?”

I’m one of those voters who voted for the best candidate. My first time voting in the national election was Richard Nixon. As a youngin’ in my first election, I read as much as I could to learn about the candidates (in 1972!).

Just so happens, I voted Republican for each administration (especially Reagan!) from Nixon all the way to George W. Bush’s first term (then I found out about Dick Cheney and his dedication to the same military/industrial complex Ike warned us all about in 1960). Google “Ike’s farewell address.”

My entire point here is that you’re obviously attached at the hip with “Trumpism.” Your last (part of your letter) comments about “the end” and “dismantling” and “cut off, cut out, cut up” is going on as I write my rebuttal. The end is indeed, here already!

Thanks (you got “donned”!).

It all began on Jan. 6 at the site of the “pillars of democracy for the entire planet.” It began in 2011 with the “birther BS” (you got “donned” again then too; didn’t ya?). It began when idiots bought/sold “I’d rather be a Russian than a Democrat” T-shirts. It began when the first Black POTUS was blocked at every turn by the “Kentucky turtle.”

Your “prophesy” will inevitably come about. Your obvious love of Trumpism will indeed cause that “Civil War 2.0” t’all Trumpers want sooooo badly.

Only thing is: One side will not put the other side back together again like it did 156 years ago.

China, Russia (because Putin also is a coward and will follow China into the war-torn U.S. as Trump would: behind someone unlike him who has strength), Iran, ISIS, Syria and Kim Jung “Un-human” will all; all of our (global) enemies will swoop in and clean-it-all-up!

Then you can explain to your grandchildren who caused it all (by y’all getting “donned” over and over and over, again and again and again).

Richard Ryder

Mechanicsville

Opinions challenge relationships

(Editor’s note: The following was submitted “In response to ‘Integrity Demanded in Elections’,’ submitted by Patsy Lassiter.)

The last several years have been difficult all around the world and most keenly, here in the USA. People have taken sides in a culture war that has divided our nation to an extent not seen since the Civil War era.

The divisiveness has torn apart families, marriages, friendships, communities, churches. During this time span, I have attended to political news more closely than ever in my nearly six decades here on planet Earth.

I have friends, family and neighbors on both sides of this war and I have challenged myself to maintain my relationships regardless of differences of opinion. This has not been easy.

The culture war in which we have been tossed is not organic, it is man-made. The division is intentional -- it has been done to us for the benefit of political advantage.

We are all entitled to our own opinions. “Opinion” however, is not “fact” or “truth”. Wanting something to be “true” doesn’t make it so.

There was a time in our country, right up to the Reagan era, when opinions given through media sources were required to give equal time to the opposing viewpoint. This was the “Fairness Doctrine” and it arose after World War II as a means to mitigate the effect of propaganda. We need to reinstate it.

With the advent of the internet, information is everywhere. The average person in this era is exposed to as much information in a week as people in the 19th century accessed in their entire lives.

Think about this for a moment. At this rate, individuals are exposed to the amount of information that would have been available for 52 lifespans in one year; 520 lifetimes in 10 years. Is it any wonder we are weary?

The difference between “media” and “news” is similar to the difference between “opinion” and “fact”. We have a right to free speech, to share and embrace our own opinions.

Forgive my redundancy: Wanting something to be true doesn’t make it so. Donald Trump lost the 2020 election. Regardless of the media that claims the election was “stolen”, numerous audits have been conducted in all the places that Trump believed he should have won, by Republican State Legislatures, all arriving at the same conclusion: Joe Biden won.

Over the course of the four long years Trump held the position of president, the nation saw that he never admitted to any error, big or small. We also saw that he demanded loyalty from others but did not reciprocate loyalty to anyone who contradicted him in even the smallest matter. These facts are ignored by those who continue to embrace Trump.

Ignoring facts does not make them opinion any more than wishing opinions are truth makes them fact.

Anita Philp

Mechanicsville

Resident urges voting for Glenn Youngkin

I’m a black female Christian conservative, and I’ve got my eyes on the Virginia gubernatorial race!

I voted for Democrats from 1978 through 2013. Starting to vote differently was a slow process for me, but I didn’t stand firmly in my conservative beliefs until I read, “Please Stop Helping Us” by Jason Riley. Excellent book about how Democrat policies have failed the Black community for many years.

What I have found in my studies is that Black people basically need the same thing as any other group to succeed: strong faith, strong families, a good education and good jobs.

Glenn Youngkin has earned my vote as he is a family man who has worked his way up the corporate ladder. Glenn is a former athlete who went to college on a basketball scholarship, and he is strong on unity and hard work. He will build an effective team that will win for Virginia!

If you want a good education for Virginia’s children, lots of jobs and low crime, vote Glenn Youngkin!

Tywana Hampton

Mechanicsville

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