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MENLO PARK, Calif. -- Fifty Julys ago, up the road near San Francisco, in the unfortunately named Cow Palace, the Republican National Convention gave its presidential nomination to Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, who knew he would lose: Americans were not going to have a third president in 14 months. Besides, his don't-fence-me-in libertarian conservatism was ahead of its time. His agenda, however, was to change his party's national brand. comments


Masthead

Mike Gochenour,
Publisher

Linda Ash,
Editor

Wm. E. Keister,
Publisher, 1972-1996

E. Earl Keister,
Publisher, 1932-1972

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Days before two federal courts issued dueling interpretations of the Affordable Care Act, I came across a 1958 photo of my paternal grandmother and felt the familiar onslaught of what-ifs. comments


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Regarding the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail issues: I'm sorry about the inhuman conditions, but it's par for the course. comments


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By Robert B. Reich In a new Pew poll, more than three-quarters of self-described conservatives believe "poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything." In reality, most of America's poor work hard, often in... comments


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This could be a terrifying tale right out of the Book of Meat Science Fiction, only this one isn't fiction. comments


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There's an old saying, "give them enough rope and they'll hang themselves." The recent Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case that allows employers to deny affordable birth control to their employees is but another step, albeit a small one, in tightening the metaphorical noose that will eventually make religious fundamentalism irrelevant in the affairs of Americans. comments


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Lee Boyd Malvo, inmate No. 330873, incarcerated at the super-maximum Red Onion State Prison in Virginia ,has a business plan to make himself some money. He either doesn't know it is against the law or he doesn't care. comments


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It is often said, believed and undoubtedly right that the Republicans' ace in midterm elections is apathetic Democrats not showing up at the polls. But that once predictable waltz into November is threatened by blabbermouths of the right's seeking self-aggrandizement by hurling darts at the sleeping Democratic bear. comments


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The recent decision by the Shenandoah County School Board to give School Superintendent Jeremy Raley a pay increase is simply outrageous and ludicrous from any standpoint. comments


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From time to time, the late New York sports-writing legend Jimmy Cannon used to do a column composed of witty, sentimental short takes he called, "Nobody Asked Me, but." It was Cannon who wrote of the longtime African-American heavyweight-boxing champion: "Joe Louis is a credit to his race ... the human race." Another Cannon one-liner: "I can't say I ever remember staying for the end of a movie in which the actors wore togas." comments


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So, Todd Akin is back and he's talking rape again. comments


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Comments on a recent Hobby Lobby letter to the editor are generating quickly, but let's set something straight: Hobby Lobby is not taking rights away from women. Do not fall for such ignorance. The will not pay for killing babies! Period. comments


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The economic data that drives so much political debate is becoming increasingly less reliable in the digital era. That's because new technology makes it hard to compare the 21st-century economy to anything that came before it. comments


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Here we go again. Same stuff, different day. Deja vu all over again. comments


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I am very upset with the town of Woodstock, other towns and Shenandoah County about the decision to change refuse pickup. comments


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Last February, I was in my backyard in Linden's Skyland Estates and suddenly heard beautiful live bagpipe music being played. But because it echoed around our steep mountain slope, I couldn't tell exactly where it was coming from. comments


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The Rev. German Calix, director of a Catholic relief agency in Honduras, described how gang members killed five children ages 5 to 13 in May: "They cut their bodies into quarters as a warning to others because the children didn't want to distribute drugs in their neighborhood." comments


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On television, summer reruns are becoming a thing of the past. Noting a jump in demand for fresh entertainment in the hot months, TV execs are responding with original programming. comments


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If you're from the Midwest, you probably hated LeBron James. comments


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A Roman general, Gnaeus Julius Agricula, was the author of a lapidary description of Rome's power, as applied to the destruction of Carthage: "They made it a desert, and they called it peace". It is a judgment that fits the merciless Israeli bombing of Gaza and the killing of hundreds of innocent civilians, many of them children. comments


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The Obama administration is trying to hide a disaster of its own making concerning the flood of juveniles storming our southern border and entering the country illegally. comments


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How did it come to this? How did our political life in America get to be so drenched in hostility? comments


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Dozens of big U.S. corporations are considering leaving the United States in order to reduce their tax bills. comments


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With this letter, I wish to reference the work of Leonard Pitts Jr., featured frequently on the Opinion page of the Northern Virginia Daily. Pitts, a syndicated columnist with the Miami Herald, is an American interior-design, faith-keeper of our culture. He upholds our 238-year-old oath of freedom, waving it before our fickle eyes, when we fail to treasure our codified early American values, those holding "these truths" to be "self evident, that all men are created equal..." comments


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All you need to do is look at the headlines out of Central America to see why tens of thousands of children are ending up at our border. comments


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It is a case of Supreme hypocrisy. comments


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OK, by a show of hands, how many readers have actually sat inside a courtroom and watched a trial? Having been assigned to cover countless high-profile trials over the years, I have to admit I relish it. comments


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In his weekly column for CNN.com, Julian Zelizer makes a reasonable case that "Distrustful Americans still live in age of Watergate." In his eyes, this helps explain why the president's health care law and other initiatives have encountered so much resistance. comments


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I dimly recall being rousted out of my bunk bed as a young child before sunrise on Oct. 27, 1948, so I could stand at an intersection in my hometown of Weymouth, Massachusetts, to catch a brief glimpse of President Harry Truman as he drove by on his way to a campaign event in the more populous Brockton some 10 miles away. I later learned there were no prominent Massachusetts Democrats traveling with Truman that day -- the candidates for governor and U.S. senator were otherwise committed -- because in just six days, as all the smart money knew, Truman was going to lose big-time to Republican Tom Dewey. comments


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PARIS -- Billionaire Hungarian-American oligarch George Soros is an extremely concerned humanitarian who can be counted on to put his considerable bank balance where his concerns are. Lately, those concerns have included Ukraine and other former Soviet satellite states; Syria; immigration rights in America; the U.S. banking system; and the Great Lakes region of Africa, where all the mining opportunities just happen to be. Perhaps he could lay off the generosity long enough for us to recover from it all. comments


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Greetings from Cleveland, the birthplace of Superman. You knew that, right? comments


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A jazz great died this month. Though revered by fans around the world, Horace Silver is not a household name in his own country, where the popular taste tends more toward rock and country than it does toward jazz. Silver's most widely recognizable tune, "Song for My Father," is recognizable mainly because the rock band Steely Dan used it in the opening riff of one of their biggest hits, "Rikki Don't Lose That Number." comments


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The article I read in the June 23 Northern Virginia Daily gave me pause to think a bit. The article stated that once an animal is trapped, it must be destroyed, according to state law. Am I missing something? Oh, wait, I get it! You can't relocate the animal because there's no place to release it that isn't near a human habitat. No one can figure out why animals are invading "our" territory. Hello! That's because we have taken over "their" territory. comments


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Government just doesn't work very well. That's the persuasive thesis of three important books published this year. comments


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In the film "Obvious Child," Jenny Slate plays Donna Stern, a stand-up comedian who specializes in making jokes about her private parts, with the occasional foray into fart humor. She is about to go onstage. Her friend offers her some encouragement: "You are going to kill it out there!" comments


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Just two pages into the book "Unbroken," its protagonist is in the water, hiding beneath the deteriorating life raft in which he has been drifting across the Pacific Ocean for almost a month. Overhead, Japanese bombers are circling back to strafe him a second time. And sharks are approaching from below. comments


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Christopher Lee George of Front Royal tortured and killed a dog on May 2, according to the story in Wednesday's Northern Virginia Daily. Once again our legal system has sent out a message, loud and clear, that animals have no rights in this society. Every time I read another sickening account of cruelty to animals, I wonder where the outrage is comments


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Could the flood of underage, would-be immigrants over the southern border be "Obama's Katrina" as Susan Page of USA Today warned? No, it's worse. Even the most virulent George W. Bush denigrator would not suggest that the former president actually created the hurricane. This president, by contrast, bears a heavy responsibility for creating the deluge of unaccompanied minors who have recently crashed ashore. comments


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Last week the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Affordable Care Act, ruling that privately owned corporations don't have to offer their employees contraceptive coverage that conflicts with the corporate owners' religious beliefs. comments


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We're known as a creative people. But until the other day we didn't realize how vigorously the Supreme Court practices this talent. comments


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The boarding pass typically lists two times: the time of departure and the time of boarding. For many airline passengers, the only significant one is time of departure. comments


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For most of the country, July Fourth weekend means hot dogs, fireworks and relaxing time with family. In certain neighborhoods in Chicago, it means something very different. comments


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For years, Americans have been unhappy about where our nation is headed. But we don't all see the same dangers or agree on what to do about them. For example, the fear of millions that Obamacare is another step toward a socialist tyranny has little to do with reality. This distraction is just one symptom of what's gone wrong. Here are my two most important areas of concern: comments


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You wouldn't think, five years into the Obama presidency, that so many liberal Americans wouldn't like America. comments


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A while back, after the Gallup poll had reported that public confidence in Congress had fallen to a then-record low of 9 percent, Arizona Sen. John McCain observed that for Congress, "9 percent" meant we were down to "paid staffers and blood relatives." When a more recent Gallup poll found public confidence in Congress had dropped even further to only 7 percent, McCain amended his analysis. Reporting that he had just received a blunt call from his mother Roberta, still remarkable at 102 years old, he said, "I can report that we are now down to just paid staffers." comments


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It has long been suspected that the Supreme Court hates women, although it took the court's 5-4 decision in the Hobby Lobby case to fully reveal its blatant misogyny. comments


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Relax. This is not a slippery slope. comments


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An aspiring rapper posts his lyrics on Facebook, suggesting a Halloween costume with his estranged wife's "head on a stick." comments


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What's the reason for the tempest in the teapot of Hillary and Bill Clinton's personal finances? comments


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Abortion-rights protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court building on Monday holding signs that read "Birth Control: Not My Boss's Business." comments


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There's no better time than now to do away with the IRS, except for corporations, and go with a flat tax on items purchased so that everybody pays taxes, with no discrimination, and nobody left out of paying taxes. comments


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Thank you for featuring the work of A Small Hand. Government supplemental feeding programs are indeed the major source of nutrition for infants being raised in low-income families. But I would not want your readers to read the clarification in the June 28 paper and conclude that A Small Hand is giving away formula to parents who do not need it. We would be the first to cut back if we could, because it is costing us over $2,000 each month. comments


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Sen. Richard Russell called it a work of "manifold evils." Sen. Barry Goldwater called it a "threat to the very essence" of America. Rep. Howard Smith called it a "monstrous instrument of oppression." comments


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Today, with so many of our freedoms being challenged, one has to dig a little deeper to get excited about our national celebration, Independence Day. comments


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Last week, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling against the president's right to get around Congress by making recess appointments. This is frustrating to President Barack Obama at the moment and will undoubtedly aggravate some future Republican president. comments


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Global Positioning Satellite systems can pinpoint our location no matter where we are in the world and tell us precisely where to turn to get to our destination. U.S. satellites monitor just about anything on earth -- from the path of a forest fire to the route of a convoy of trucks. We know for a fact that the National Security Agency has had eyes and ears on just about every phone call and email sent or received, worldwide. comments


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From the happy reports, you'd think that liberals had only to celebrate the tea party's recent Mississippi defeat. True, Sen. Thad Cochran's winning strategy -- reaching out to Democrats, in particular African-Americans -- made for an especially gratifying runoff victory. comments


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It's interesting to watch people and listen to their responses after posing a question about their opinion on the most recent political scandal in America. Some roll their eyes and others just shake their heads. Short answers include unbelievable, incredible, what's next and what's happening to this country. It must be a sign of the times. Under the current administrative watch, an ongoing deluge of scandal and failed policy has created a sense of America in decline. comments


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PARIS -- An estimated 50,000 Iranian exiles and supporters from Europe and North America are here to remind the world that no cooperation with the brutal, expansionist regime in Tehran can possibly advance Western interests. comments


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Back in the dark days -- before the invention of cable news, texting and Twitter -- there were a couple-dozen, mostly newspaper, almost all male reporters who covered U.S. politics nearly full time. They could be found in the last weeks before the Iowa presidential caucuses, up until "last call" at the bar of the Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel. Later the political press moved to New Hampshire and after-hours refreshments at Manchester's Sheraton Wayfarer. During those late-night sessions, when reporters' private opinions that never made it into print were voiced, I remember the personal presidential preference of the allegedly liberal political press, more often than not, being a short, southern Republican -- Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee. comments


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By Leonard Pitts Jr. His family doesn't know if Zack actually heard any of it firsthand. Maybe he was at that City Council meeting (some people swear he was) or maybe not. Either way, they figure he probably knew about... comments


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PARIS -- The irony of recent U.S. foreign interventions is that despite Uncle Sam's best efforts, the ultimate benefactor ends up being America's primary economic rival in the area in question. It should come as no surprise that the two economic rivals who usually benefit are China and Russia, both absolute masters of subversion. comments


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Lois Lerner managed to contain her disappointment when she learned in 2011 that she had lost two years' worth of emails -- forever. After being told that her data was being sent to the "hard drive cemetery," never to return, Lerner replied with philosophical equanimity, "Sometimes stuff just happens." comments


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WASHINGTON -- Amanda Blackhorse, a Navajo who successfully moved a federal agency to withdraw trademark protections from the Washington Redskins because it considers the team's name derogatory, lives on a reservation where Navajos root for the Red Mesa High School Redskins. She opposes this name; the Native Americans who picked and retain it evidently do not. comments


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I read in a recent article in a newspaper that Ed Gillespie made his first campaign stop in Harrisonburg as part of his "economic growth" tour. While Gillespie highlighted his plan for economic growth, I found very little in terms of real policy reforms behind the shiny proposal he put out. This must be due in some part to his relatively little economic experience -- unlike his Democratic challenger Sen. Mark Warner. comments


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Strasburg's town manager, Judson Rex, and the town's maintenance crew deserve a major shout-out for dealing quickly and efficiently with debris that littered the town after our recent violent micro-burst. comments


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Paging Elizabeth Warren: This is your moment. comments


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By Linda Chavez House Speaker John Boehner has had enough of executive usurpation of power. He announced this week that he will ask the House of Representatives to file suit against President Obama for ignoring laws the president doesn't like... comments


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Increasingly in my travels, a person will discover I'm from Cleveland and want to talk about Chief Wahoo. Thank you, Washington Redskins, for this sign of progress. comments


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The tea partyers made a serious blunder in Mississippi, costing them a runoff win: They carelessly slipped their magic passion potion to the opposition. comments


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It's a fact of human nature that it's easier to talk about who's to blame for a problem than it is to figure out what to do about the problem. comments


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It is too bad that most of of the general public feels that they have to vote a strict party ticket just because they always have. None of the parties have all the best or most qualified people, or would best serve the public. My father used to study the political position and then the qualifications of each person running for that position and vote for him or her regardless of party. comments


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The United States has multiple ways to dump the heads of allied countries that after receiving long, abundant and mostly undeserved support have become a liability. It happened to heads of state like the shah of Iran, who was unceremoniously abandoned to his destiny, and to South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, whose overthrow was secretly approved by President Kennedy. comments


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A few weeks ago I was visited in my office by the chairman of one of the country's biggest high-tech firms. He wanted to talk about the causes and consequences of widening inequality and the shrinking middle class, and what to do about it. comments


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Now that the dust has settled on the second annual Hop Blossom Craft Beer Festival, we are excited to report another successful Old Town event. We are happy to announce that we were able to raise $11,000, which will enable the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke County and GoodDogz.org to help homeless dogs throughout the area. We estimate that 2,300 guests participated in this year's festival and a total attendance of 5,000 visitors to Old Town throughout the day. We have also been told that many businesses in Old Town were packed with new faces, visitors and residents. comments




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