Letters to the editor
Posted: March 2, 2013
Ah! A Confederate response (Your Views, Feb. 28). Of course, it avoids the real issues I raised.
Most of the "bad" that Jubal Early did was done after Robert E. Lee’s death. So Lee's comment is irrelevant. (Interestingly, Charles Bachman here follows Early's example of abusing Lee’s prestige to advance his own ideas.)
The central issue I raised, and which Mr. Bachman ignores, was the attitude of these two men towards their fellow human beings. Milroy, as a devout Christian, believed, from before the war, that slavery must be ended. He also understood strategically that emancipation would win the war, as it did. Finally, he understood that he was administering a city where an illegal rebellion on slavery’s behalf had many fanatical supporters, and he had to maintain law and order.
Early glorified the slavery system to the end of his life, even in a posthumous publication. By publishing reams of phony history, he gave morally blind white Southerners the Lost Cause ideology they used to create the Jim Crow system, which was in turn a model for Nazism and apartheid.
But Mr. Bachman has done enough homework to find out Milroy lost a battle! Congratulations on that! But if he read just a little farther ahead in his history books, he might be surprised to learn that Lee and his pals not only lost a whole bunch of battles, but also lost an entire war! Who knew?
It’s appropriate that Mr. Bachman signs off with an imaginary rank in an army that was demobilized in defeat almost 150 years ago. After all, the whole “Confederacy” was an imaginary country, a gimmick to preserve slavery.
Mr. Bachman’s is the first negative response I’ve gotten. Other Winchester residents have gone out of their way to support my comments. Sentiment in Winchester seem to be changing — or perhaps the majority feels less intimidated.
Is Mr. Bachman, or his pretend soldier buddies, willing to publicly defend Early as a moral example worth commemorating, as contrasted to Milroy? Will they risk finding out how little support they have, and how weak their position is without the support of the old segregationist regime?
I stand ready to debate the real issue: whether it is more appropriate for Winchester to officially commemorate Jubal Early’s life or Robert Milroy’s — in a mutually agreed-on public forum.
Parroting party talking points?
Does The Winchester Star stand behind the assertion made by your reporter, Conor Gallagher, in his front-page article of Feb. 27? In that article, reporting on the pending federal budget cuts, Mr. Gallagher made the following unqualified statement: “The automatic cuts . . . are the result of a 2011 standoff over Republicans’ refusal to allow the country to pay back money it had already borrowed.”
This is a Democratic party talking point, often repeated by President Obama and other spokesmen. It is also, quite simply, not true. Refusal to increase the federal government’s debt ceiling in no way precludes it from making full payments on all interest due on current debt and even paying down principal on that debt.
As noted on Page 104 of the IRS’ 2012 Form 1040 instruction book, payments for net interest on the federal debt in Fiscal Year 2011 required only 6 percent of all federal outlays. Current federal cash-flow is more than sufficient to allow the government to continue to service this debt without interruption.
I wasn’t surprised when Democratic politicians, including the president, falsely asserted the consequences of failure to raise the debt ceiling. I am very surprised to see one of your reporters parroting this assertion in a news article as if it were a statement of fact accepted by all concerned. I am left to wonder about the editorial process in place at The Star when an item such as this one appears on the front page of your paper.