Eighty-three-year old Ron Kilmartin was in a hospice, dying of lung cancer. His daughter was at his bedside, cracking jokes about it. Here's one:
There was a time long ago when our forefathers envisioned a new nation based on the individual freedom of their citizens and their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That day has long since passed and the basic rights that were once guaranteed to us as American citizens have been systematically damaged under the guise that our once respectable government cares anything about the direction that its citizens desire for their country.
WASHINGTON -- In matters cultural, California has always been America's petri dish. Whatever happened in California usually infiltrated the rest of the country.
Solipsism. It's a fancy word that means that the self is the only existing reality and that the external world, including other people, are representations of one's own self and can have no independent existence. A person who follows this philosophy may believe that others see the world as he does and will behave as he would.
The Stonewall Jackson High School's "The General Gazette" staff sent me their January 2014 newsletter edition. I enjoyed it very much.
When seven Democratic senators voted with all of the Republicans to reject Debo Adegbile's nomination to serve as head of the Justice Department's civil rights division, Harry Reid cried racism. It's as if Reid was on autopilot, and the aide who usually touches his elbow to correct him wasn't available. If the aide had been there, he would have whispered, "Um, Senator, you're accusing your own side of racism."
The rules of 24-hour news cycles dictate that it's time to move on already from the heartless round of vitriol heaped on Kim Novak's face at Sunday night's Academy Awards.
The March 5th letter to the editor, "Of course you want a raise; don't we all?" misses a vital point. Almost any teacher in the Shenandoah County school system can get a raise if they want it, simply by going to teach at a better-paying school system in a nearby county, and sadly, more and more of them are doing so. Fortunately, a lot of very good teachers have remained loyal to our county and our kids, and they should be rewarded.
In response to the February 11 article, "Riverkeeper aims to move cattle out of river by 2015:"
Investigators with the Government Accountability Office tell us approximately $1.4 billion was spent by the government on autism research between 2008 and 2012. That is the good news.
There are opportunities in our commonwealth to show the country that certain responsible gun legislation is a "no brainer." Senate Bill 510 was just that opportunity. This bill would have prohibited individuals who were convicted of a misdemeanor of stalking, sexual battery, or domestic abuse from possessing a firearm for five years following their conviction. After that period of time, their right would be automatically be restored.
One of the more interesting issues to come before the House of Delegates this year was a measure to allow Virginians to hunt on private land, not within 200 yards of a place of worship, on Sundays. This is an important issue, and I received input from many constituents both supporting and opposing this measure. Since the House of Delegates' decision to support this bill will affect the entire commonwealth, I think it's important to discuss why I supported it.
For a better understanding of the ongoing battle between left and right in this country, I recommend a terrific book: "The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization, by Arthur Herman (Random House, 2013).
I wanted to fine tune some points made in articles that ran recently about Shenandoah County Free Clinic, some of our patients and the impact of Medicaid expansion.
House Speaker John Boehner says raising the minimum wage is "bad policy" because it will cause job losses.
Many American cities now enjoy an amazing reversal of fortune. Once hollowed-out shells mainly for those too poor to move -- or those so rich they didn't have to deal with the poor -- cities are again filling up with educated and aspiring young people.
Does President Barack Obama want to start a war with Russia? The United States hasn't won a war worth the sacrifice since the Cold War.
As an immigrant to the Valley from other less favored places, I have found various appealing qualities in the people who long have been here. One definitely is their devotion to local heritage and history.
In reference to Arizona's legal debate over various groups and their rights. I really don't care who serves my food, straight or otherwise, as long as they wash their hands real well beforehand.
Shenandoah County teachers and school staff packed the board room as they did in the last tax increase meeting.
There is one iron rule regarding religion in American politics, and here it is: With only one exception, ministers, priests, rabbis, and imams -- men and women of the cloth -- should stay out of American politics. The one exception? When the minister, priest, rabbi or imam in a political fight supports my side or my candidate.
President Clinton? Maybe, if Democratic voters have their way. While the Republican faithful are split between a number of contenders and not particularly enthusiastic about any of them, a new poll finds Democrats overwhelmingly united behind a Hillary Clinton candidacy for 2016. A commanding 82 percent of the party, according to the CBS News/New York Times poll, wants to see her run.
The young Ukrainians who overthrew the pro-Russian President Yanukovich and waived the flags of the European Union deserve better than the illusion of European help in lieu of concrete support. But the illusion is still there that tomorrow Ukraine will be admitted to the European Union and that this will solve all the problems of a democratic Ukraine.
Our Shenandoah County school administrator is granted, by our six member Board of Supervisors, the ability to spend a large amount of the taxpayer's money.
It's official! The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation has officially closed the trails at The Third Battle of Winchester site.
The Republicans in the House of Delegates in Virginia are wasting millions of dollars. How come we are not up in arms about this?
A new debate has arisen among prominent conservatives over whether passing an immigration overhaul would be good or bad for Americans, with syndicated columnist George Will weighing in on the pro-reform side and talk-show host Laura Ingraham arguing against. This is a good thing. Until now, few prominent conservatives have been willing to venture into the pro-immigration reform camp, which meant that the arguments advanced in favor of reform tended to be dismissed by grassroots conservatives. Now maybe the actual arguments will get proper attention.
You probably won't believe this, but I aim to help Hillary Clinton fulfill her destiny and rule the world. But the thing is, she has a problem.
"A simple recipe for violence: promise a lot, deliver a little. Lead people to believe they will be much better off, but let there be no dramatic improvement." The brilliant political scientist Aaron Wildavsky wrote these words in 1968 while America was engulfed in race riots and anti-war protests. Sadly, his words from long ago eerily describe the politics of 21st-century America.
Strasburg has prepared a Unified Development Ordinance with the laudable desire of combining all current ordinances into one complete document. After reading through it however, I wonder if these are ordinances for Strasburg or simply cookie cutter sustainable urban development concepts from cities all around the country?
Remind me to steer clear of Front Royal in the future. It's more than easy to do and may be more conducive to your pocketbook if you do so also!
I read with great dismay that Shenandoah County is facing a budget shortfall for fiscal 2015. My dismay deepened significantly as I read that shortfalls will most likely continue to occur given the funding needed to run a successful county government.
Assume for a minute the 2014 midterm elections and the 2016 presidential election create a "win" for the Republican Party in all branches of the federal government. Assume also the Supreme Court remains in its present conservative makeup. Also assume the vast majority of state governments were likewise conservative.
A Republican leader is doing something right ... and good. He is Rep. David Camp of Michigan. Camp has issued a detailed plan for simplifying the tax code. That's his duty as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, which writes tax law.
It's all too easy to find people willing to mistreat others because they can.
The Obama administration says that we need to end what it calls "the era of austerity" in Washington. Notably excluded from this admonition is the one department of government that is actually experiencing austerity worthy of the name.
If you ever wonder what's fueling America's staggering inequality, ponder Facebook's acquisition of the mobile messaging company WhatsApp.
Former House Speaker Tip O'Neill famously said that all politics is local. And it mostly was, in his time: He was first elected to the Massachusetts legislature's lower house in 1936 and became its speaker in 1949, and was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1952 and became its speaker in 1977.
Though you wouldn't necessarily know it based on news coverage, the United States in the reign of President Barack Obama is enduring the most prolonged period of slow growth and high unemployment since World War II. The president asserts that he saved us from another Great Depression, which, like his claim that the stimulus would "create or save" millions of jobs, is about as provable as the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin.
The esteemed political writer Charlie Cook recently produced a column titled "Is Hillary Clinton Too Old to Run?" Despite couching his thoughts with a mention that if Clinton were to run, she would be the same age as Ronald Reagan when he was first elected president, 69, he did venture over the sexism line.
A frank admission: Political reporters, including yours truly, absolutely cherish exit polls of voters.
I've long supported a one- term limit for every elected office in America because this would at least limit a corrupt incumbent's time in office; one term and you're gone.
"Discrimination," he said, "is horrible. It's hurtful. It has no place in civilized society..."
Fear continues to consume this nation.
By Erick Erickson According to recent polling, a majority of people who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 regret voting for him. That does not mean they wish, instead, that they had voted for Mitt Romney. They just regret voting...
Recently our propane provider took our money and only gave us 60 percent of the propane we paid for. We were told we received the full amount -- like I have lost the ability to read the meter on a tank that I have looked at over the past 20 years.
Cancel the philosophy courses, people. Oh, and we're going to be shuttering the political science, religion and pre-law departments too. We'll keep some of the English and history folks on for a while longer, but they should probably keep their resumes handy.
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