Proud of service to his country
The profession of arms is not for everyone. I must disagree with writer Charles Hurlbut. Many people did whatever they had to do to avoid service in Vietnam. I don’t hold that against them whether they are presidents, other officials or ordinary citizens.
Warriors have a reason to be proud as we are different from other men, just as nurses are different, too. We know this and others do as well. Nothing is gained by trying to degrade those who didn’t serve in uniform.
President Trump hugging the flag was a demonstration of affection for America just as kneeling for the national anthem shows disrespect for America. President Trump showed no disrespect at all with his actions.
Wondering about my credentials? I enlisted in the U.S. Navy at 17 years old; I turned 21 in Vietnam. I served 10 years in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Then I served in the Army for 20 years after that for my second and third wars. I retired from the Army in 1996 and now have 22-plus years with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and am still serving. I don’t care who didn’t serve, I don’t care why. I’m glad I did. I got to serve with some of the finest people on the planet. And the best people in the world? Not counting mothers — soldiers and nurses.
Theater security shouldn’t mar visit
I was saddened to learn that Rebekah Haynie’s experience with security cast a shadow over her enjoyment of Richmond Ballet’s performance of “Cinderella.” I attended that performance with a friend and, although we’d both seen “Cinderella” multiple times, we were swept away in this gorgeous historic theater, with world-class ballet dancers and a timeless love story. In our case, the ballet had accomplished its mission to awaken and uplift our souls, far exceeding our expectations. From the faces of other attendees leaving the theater, I believe many other souls were awakened and uplifted.
I am not employed by Richmond Ballet and have nothing to gain by suggesting that Haynie attend the ballet again. We are so fortunate to have this amazing talent right here in little old Richmond, Va., and it would be such a shame for her to miss out due to security measures.
I assume the security process is required by the Carpenter Theatre, not the Richmond Ballet, as I have not experienced heightened security when attending performances at the Richmond Ballet Studio Theatre.
Unfortunately, heightened security everywhere is a factor of our society — airports, sports events, cultural events. Yes, it’s unpleasant, but has nothing to do with Richmond Ballet.
I hope to see Haynie at another Richmond Ballet performance soon.
Year-round DST a dangerous idea
I was a junior in high school in 1973. That was the year our nation tried year-round daylight saving time. I have two vivid memories of that experiment, both of them unpleasant.
I remember sitting in my first-period class while it remained completely dark outside for the entire hour. Most of my classmates and I spent at least part of that hour looking out the window for hints of the sunrise. Needless to say, our attention was diverted from the learning task at hand. It is difficult to teach or learn when our bodily clocks (and our eyes) are telling us it is still night. I don’t know about the teachers, but I do know we students didn’t really “wake up” until second period. In effect, first period was a waste of time.
My second unpleasant memory was walking to the bus stop and crossing the street at a busy four-way intersection. I was almost hit by a car whose driver did not see me. That would not have happened had it been light. I was fortunate. I am sure not all students were.
Dare we jeopardize, again, the education and safety of our children? Let us learn from the mistakes of our past, so that we don’t repeat them.
Kirby D. Smith.
Sorting fact, fiction in climate debate
There is a lot of back-and-forth between scientists worldwide who have been studying climate change for many years, and those who deny that climate change is occurring and that we should do nothing about it, or who deny that humans have any role in either causing it or preventing it. It is enough to make the brain of the average person hurt, trying to sort fact from fiction, but I think I have found a way to help people understand.
First, have the climate change scientists publish a paper on what will happen if all of the changes they feel are needed are implemented, and climate change does not occur. In other words, if they are wrong, what is Plan B?
At the same time, have those who deny climate change is occurring publish a paper on what will happen if we do nothing and climate change does occur, the predictions of the scientists happen. Again, if those who deny climate change is occurring are wrong, what is Plan B?
I believe that looking at this issue from a different perspective might help the average citizen determine what the facts and options are and are not, depending on what course is chosen.
Child care essential to working families
Already more than half of Americans live in child care deserts. For those who do have access to it, the cost is more than rent in every state, yet child care workers are among the lowest paid workers in the country. The present budget proposal creates a “race to the bottom” for child safety. To apply for funding, states would have to eliminate protections like number of adults needed in child care settings, measures like covering electrical outlets and fencing around swimming pools.
The proposal also necessitates significant cuts to programs necessary to families who live paycheck-to-paycheck — nutrition assistance, housing, Medicaid. A one-time increase in funding for child care doesn’t begin to make up for these deep cuts to benefit programs that the administration proposes.
The Child Care for Working Families Act will: lower costs for low- and middle-income families to not more than 7 percent of their household income; support universal access to high-quality preschool care to all 3- and 4-year-olds from low- and middle-income families; improve compensation and training for all child care teachers and caregivers to ensure the support they need; assist parents in finding the child care provider of their choice (a center, family, home, neighbor, etc. included); support more inclusive providers for children with disabilities; help all Head Start programs; meet new expanded duration requirements; and provide full-day, full-year programming.
Mourning attacks at Christchurch mosques
Terrorism knows no boundaries. New Zealand is a beautiful, peaceful, and friendly country. I’ve been there three times. The recent attack on the Christchurch Muslim mosques is a human tragedy. Now the whole world mourns with New Zealand.