2024-06-22 9:48 PM

Letters to the Editor: November 21 – 27, 2013

 There’s Nothing Wrong With J.E.B. Stuart Name


For some reason, I must respond to the Letter to the Editor regarding changing the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School. The letter was filled with errors of fact, but I will just mention two of them here and then move on.

J.E.B. Stuart was a West Point graduate, hardly a lifelong proponent of slavery. J.E.B. Stuart High School is located right near Munson’s Hill which was the closest confederate position to Washington. It’s where Stuart encamped and where he was promoted to brigadier general.

Suggesting the school change its name has more to do with someone trying to jump on the current name change bandwagon and getting their 15 seconds of recognition rather than about any real impact the name has.

The real danger here is not the school’s name but succumbing to ignorance and rewriting history– just like what was done in last week’s letter and in so much of the modern day politically correct school curriculums. We all must learn from history– the good and the bad. But let’s base it on truth and facts and not fictional history.

I know first-hand the influence of the name J.E.B. Stuart. And I can tell you it has no racial influence in business relationships, personal relationships or even who attended my wedding. My name is Jeb Stuart.

I’m sure glad its not Jeff Parker High School.

Jeb Stuart

Falls Church


Rename Offending Schools After Disney Characters


I was inspired by Jeff Parker’s letter demanding that the names on two of our older high schools be sandblasted because of their Confederate “symbolism.” Ironically, what Mr. Parker’s letter tells me is that Virginia and the nation must have made enormous strides in the area of civil rights if he is reduced to screening high school names for their political correctness.

Neo-zealots make bad historians, but that’s another story. Let’s leave Mr. Parker to renaming the offending schools after Disney characters, after which he can start on street names. Mosby’s Woods alone should keep him busy for a while.

Neil Shawen

Falls Church


Why Does Benton Take Shots at Larry Sabato?


In Nicholas Benton’s column published on November 6 concerning CNN’s election night coverage, he took several potshots at Larry Sabato. In passing, Benton described him as “over-utilized and undeserving,” and later in the column, again inferred that he shouldn’t be consulted for commentary concerning Virginia politics. Benton offered no real defense or explanation for your criticisms of Sabato, who is widely regarded as an authority on Virginian and national politics.

If Benton doesn’t like Larry Sabato, he should write an editorial telling us why. Simply insulting him off-the-cuff really isn’t kind or fair.

Andrew Parker



Take Bruni’s Advice to Avoid Hyperbole


While I largely agree with the position taken by Nicholas F. Benton regarding the antics of the Tea Party in his column entitled “Tea Party Patrons Push Coup D’Etat” last month, I take exception to the unnecessarily hyperbolic and inflammatory language used by Mr. Benton.

Referring to John Boehner as a “duplicitous excuse for a human being” implies that Mr. Boehner is somehow less than human. I may not agree with Mr. Boehner on much, but this goes too far. Indeed, the term coup d’etat typically describes a violent overthrow of the government, usually by insurgent military force. It is ironic that Mr. Benton’s column appears opposite the page from Frank Bruni’s column entitled “Nazis & Obamacare,” which wisely cautions that such “hyperbole and hysteria make any constructive debate impossible.”

There is no doubt that the Tea Party’s tactics are misguided and damaging; however, they are political tactics, not a military assault, and calling them the “the slash and burn forward phalanx” of what is “in fact, a coup d’etat,” ignores Mr. Bruni’s admonishment to avoid “ludicrous extremes” that regrettably diminish the credibility of an otherwise reasonable position.

Thomas Kearns

Falls Church


Assails Benton’s Column Attacking The Tea Party


I enjoyed Nicholas Benton’s second part of his attack on the Tea Party, particularly his complaint that “Throughout all of this, the goal has remained the same, to undermine American democratic institutions and cultivating in the population an angry, anarchist tone, an ‘each against all’ mentality.”

I’m sure that Benton’s anger stems from the 2008 presidential campaign when we were told by people supporting one of the presidential candidates that we should hate our neighbors because:

• Showing the same level of identification that is needed to buy a beer, board an airplane, or open a checking account, all in order to prevent voter fraud was somehow racist.

• Eating the wrong chicken sandwich became the equivalent of burning a rainbow-painted cross on Harvey Milk’s grave.

• Not wanting to pay for a future One Percenter’s right to potentially expose herself to, or help to spread sexually transmitted diseases equated a “War on Women.”

• And even more disturbing, the notion that women were incapable of making decisions on candidates beyond the issues of abortion and birth control pills paid for by somebody else. The notion that women should leave “big boy” issues like the economy, foreign policy, and our debt to the men of this nation sounds more like a real “War on Women.”

I look forward to seeing the editorial pages of the FCNP address these issues as soon as Mr. Benton is able to tear himself away from the breaking story about the plot by the CIA from 40 years ago to distribute LSD in order to transform a group of selfish narcissists into even greater selfish narcissists..

Jeff Walyus



Letters to the Editor may be submitted to letters@fcnp.com or via our online form here. Letters should be limited to 350 words and may be edited for content, clarity and length. To view the FCNP’s letter and submission policy, please click here.





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