After a self-congratulatory rollout to rival the ruckus of God's six days of earth-making, Marriott International has begun leaving envelopes in hotel rooms to encourage guests to tip housekeepers the corporation refuses to pay a living wage.
First of all I know full well you can't print a newspaper or anything else for that matter and please everyone. The greatest man who ever lived could please very few when he walked the Earth over 2,000 years ago, so we can't be expected to be anywhere near his category.
I read an interesting article in a recent issue of a Washington, D.C., paper. It was on the Opinion page and was by a former player for the Washington NFL team. And he just happens to be a member of the Coquille Tribe of southwest Oregon. He made a point that the emblem on his helmet was not him. He was a defensive end for Washington in 1970. As he said, he is not an Indian, he is a Coquille. And that leads me to what follows.
I was phoned the other night in middle of dinner by an earnest young man named Spencer, who said he was doing a survey.
"Oh, it's a shame when you have a wan, diffident, professorial president with no foreign policy other than 'don't do stupid things.'" So griped President Obama to a select (and loose-lipped) group of dinner guests the other night. The president is annoyed that critics cannot see the wisdom in his prudence. "I do not make apologies for being careful in these areas, even if it doesn't make for good theater."
The tea party mantra, "I want my country back," resonates with many. The racial undertones can be ugly (as well as pointless). But the longing for an economically secure America centered on a strong middle class is on point and widely shared.
The House of Delegates will meet Thursday to take up HR 541. I'm asking everyone to contact their delegate and Speaker William J. Howell and ask them to support this resolution authorizing the House speaker to hire legal counsel to defend Virginia's constitution in federal court.
President Obama would rather have been anywhere else on Earth but at that White House podium Wednesday night unveiling a new counterterror strategy for dealing with the Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL) in Iraq and Syria.
If. Two letters long, it is arguably the most fruitless word in the English language, an evocation of paths not taken, possibilities foreclosed, regrets stacked high -- and it lies like a pall of smoke over President Obama's Wednesday night announcement that this country is returning to war, albeit with air strikes only, in a place we just left behind in 2011 after spending almost nine years, over a trillion dollars and 4,425 lives.
I have just finished reading Andy Schmookler's commentary in the Northern Virginia Daily. Congratulations! I think he has identified a basic problem.
The statistics are easy to find. One in every 3 women in the United States will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
Let us hope Department of Homeland Security officials took note of recent remarks by their boss, Jeh Johnson, on a major terrorism threat.
The United States Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are people with all the rights of flesh-and-bone citizens -- beginning, of course, with the First Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts of money in American election campaigns. But corporations, it turns out, do not have the same responsibilities as do their fellow citizens.
Has there ever been a junior varsity guest columnist who, all at once, takes on the outpourings of two award-winning professional commentators -- in this case, the two who starred in last Saturday's Opinion Page? Taken together, Andy Schmookler and Robert Reich rail against white, male and heterosexual privilege, champion "justice" in the form of social and economic equality and, in order to fulfill what Reich calls "our obligations to one another," would vigorously bleed the capitalist system to the advantage of their long-devalued and disadvantaged constituents.
There's this scene in Shakespeare where the straight-talking Rosalind tries to make sense of Jaques, a guy who travels all the time and is plagued by melancholy.
President Obama's health care law is the gift that keeps on giving to the GOP. In 2010, of course, passage of the law powered the Republican gains of 62 seats in the House of Representatives and pickups of more than 700 state legislative seats across the nation.
If we're talking clarity, I'd say the Islamic State is clearly not Mormon. Or Lutheran. Or Buddhist. It most certainly is not the most extreme example of Quakers gone bad ever recorded.
The NFL is all about making billions of dollars a year selling its brand of glitzy gladiatorial violence and power. The kind of violence and power Ray Rice showed.
A friend of mine, who is liberal, told me recently, "Having grown up in the South in the 1950s, I know something about how it feels to be part of a group you're told is superior. It feels really good. It's a feeling that shouldn't be under-estimated."
Detroit is the largest city ever to seek bankruptcy protection, so its bankruptcy is seen as a potential model for other American cities now teetering on the edge.
In response to Gayle Crowder Ryman's opinion of cursive being outdated, published on Sept. 5:
Apologies for the blunt language, but can we please cut the crap? Meaning: can we stop pretending we know something now that we didn't before about what Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice did to his then-fiancee in the elevator of that Atlantic City casino? Can we stop pretending new information has come to light?
Should we have seen the video of Ray Rice pummeling Janay Palmer Rice into unconsciousness? Unequivocally, I say yes.
"I should have anticipated the optics," President Obama said by way of acknowledging that golfing right after making a statement about the beheading of James Foley looked bad. "Part of this job is also the theater of it," he said. "It's not something that always comes naturally to me. But it matters."
It has been over a month since Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Mo., and we have yet to hear the police officer's version of events. Was Officer Darren Wilson badly injured in his scuffle with Brown? Did Brown attempt to seize the officer's weapon? Did Wilson have reason to fear for his own life?
No one will ever mistake President Barack Obama for Lyndon Johnson, the master legislator as president. He doesn't really do congressional schmoozing or arm-twisting. Compromise and deal-cutting are beneath him. Once he lost the Democratic supermajorities of 2009-2010 and the power to push things through Congress by sheer brute force, his legislating essentially came to an end.
First they criticized fast-food joints over nutritional content. Now they're getting picky about tax and labor practices.
OK, so about the hacking of certain actresses' computer files and the posting of nude photos found therein: Can we be frank?
The video for the Bruce Springsteen song "Atlantic City" opens with a scene of the grand Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel imploding into a pile of dust. That was almost 40 years ago. The Traymore Hotel and other grand hotels were leveled in much the same spectacular fashion.
By Scott Rasmussen The lovable legend of Robin Hood with his band of Merry Men making life difficult for the Sheriff of Nottingham offers a great way to understand the politics of 21st-century America. As with any such story, casting...
Labor Day is in the rearview mirror, and the summer season has been officially declared as over, even though the calendar says autumn is still weeks away. With vacations behind us and the kids back in school, this is the time we traditionally return full attention to our work.
After enduring lavish praise while receiving an award before a big Hollywood dinner crowd, Jack Benny expertly deflected all the fawning with these words: "I don't deserve this honor, but then I have arthritis and I don't deserve that, either."
Today the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors will vote on an important issue: to allow more rendering to take place next to Georges or to protect our beautiful environment.
I'm not really into the political cannibal thing. And I'm old-fashioned enough to believe that eating humans -- even in metaphor -- is still a sin.
I have a question for my Republican friends. Yes, that sounds like the setup for a smackdown, but though the question is pointed, it is also in earnest. I'd seriously like to know:
Betrothed women of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your husbands' names.
A notion struck me as I studied the continuing stream of news about the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri. After his funeral, I wondered, could we be witnessing the birth of another historic civil rights movement?
This is in response to the Aug. 26 article of opinion by Roger Barbee. There is a lot of debate going on as to whether cursive writing instruction is really necessary. These days, penmanship is becoming a thing of the past due to the rise of technology.
We've all heard the expression: "A man's best friend is his equipment." You haven't? Well you must not work for the Pentagon. There, military dogs are considered mere "equipment" and as such can be left behind when the troops come home.
This week, millions of young people head to college and universities, aiming for a four-year liberal arts degree. They assume that degree is the only gateway to the American middle class.
A Sept. 2 letter to the editor by Priestess Maya Sparks of Stephens City applauded the community for affording those practicing divination/psychic services access to operate their business in Front Royal. Her idea that scientific research is proving those activities beneficial is disturbing. Where in the world did that come from?
There are no words for the horror of Rotherham. More than 1,400 young girls have been raped and brutally exploited in the northern England town of roughly 250,000 over the past 16 years, while nearly everyone in authority did all he or she could to look the other way.
They are calling the fighting in Eastern Ukraine "the invisible war." Some even talk of that clash as part of the "third world war."
A nation such as ours is made up of many parts. Few would disagree, however, that its life blood is voting by its people.
With folks yapping all day on social media -- Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and the rest -- how can there be such a thing as a "spiral of silence" online?
Sometimes you read a sentence and you think to yourself: only here, only us. Here's one such sentence. "A 9-year-old girl from New Jersey accidentally shot and killed her instructor with an Uzi submachine gun while he stood to her left side, trying to guide her."
As the priestess/tarot card reader who was banned from reading the cards on Main Street in Front Royal, I applaud the decision of the Front Royal Town Council to repeal the ban on Gypsies and magic arts.
Tech companies are finally spilling some of their most sought-after secrets. No, not related to their R&D. I'm referring instead to other tightly guarded information they once declared "trade secrets": data about the number of women and minorities on their payrolls.
A recent column on Vox.com
may have inadvertently highlighted the gap between the nation's political elites and the rest of the nation. Vox is an "explanatory journalism" site founded by former Washington Post columnist and blogger Ezra Klein.
On Aug. 21, you published a letter by Paula Becker of Cross Junction. Becker, although noting Obamacare's many flaws, wrote in general approval of the bill and of Sen. Mark Warner's handling of the issue.
American kids are heading back to school. But the schools they're heading back to differ dramatically by family income.
Our country in September 2014 needs an open, serious and honest public debate so that this time, we can make an informed decision on whether to once again send Americans into war in Iraq. Tragically, the most recent time, 12 years ago, before the United States invaded and occupied Iraq, there was no such honest public debate. Republicans on Capitol Hill failed to question the Bush administration's campaign of misinformation in support of military action, while too many Democrats, apparently fearful of being tagged "soft" on terrorism on the eve of a national election, followed suit.
I never liked it when George W. Bush used the term "evildoers" to describe al-Qaeda and other terrorists. A lot of other people objected as well, but for different reasons. I didn't like the term because it always sounded to me like he was saying "evil Dewar's," as in the blended Scotch. (This always made some of Bush's statements chuckle-worthy -- "We will not rest until we find the evil Dewar's!") I prefer single malts, but "evil" always seemed unduly harsh.
Americans are in the dumps about their future. What does that have to do with legroom in economy class? Everything.
This is the month of departure for many parents, the time of year when they brace themselves for new versions of their children getting on with life.
This letter is about those who vandalized the Faithful and True Catholic Books & Gifts in Front Royal sometime Sunday night or early Monday morning by spray painting the windows with a peace sign and at least one message about loving everyone.
I would like to thank everyone in the community who worked together to make the Inaugural Waggin' for Dragons dragon boat race to benefit the Humane Society of Warren County a huge success.
Over the past several months, Front Royal's "conversation" about tarot card readers has gone way off target. The actual motion and issue before the Front Royal Town Council last Monday night and the subject matter that has been discussed over the past two weeks on the news, social media and at the public hearings are not the same. Ordinance 110-17 banned the economic activity of tarot card readers and others who charge to perform "magic arts." In other words, can or should we ban a legal business in Front Royal?
With all due respect to letter writer Tom Demski, I would suggest that he refrain from taking my words out of context. My words were specific: Christianity as we know it will die, the key words being "as we know it."
The unsinkable Charles B. Rangel appeared on C-SPAN over the weekend. Why unsinkable? Well, the House of Representatives censured the New York Democrat in 2010 by a vote of 333 to 79 (when the body was still majority Democrat) for violating 11 ethics rules and "bringing discredit to the House." The New York Times called it a "staggering fall" for the senior Democrat. But fall-schmall, he's since been reelected and will retire at his leisure.
The unofficial end of summer, Labor Day, may serve as a bookend to a scandal that exploded around the unofficial start, Memorial Day. We speak of the very long wait times to see primary care providers at veterans hospitals and, more seriously, the doctoring of records by some hospital administrators to hide that reality.
In the article "Military transfer program helps equip local law enforcement" by Joe Beck, local law enforcement agencies continue to justify their militarization courtesy of the Department of Defense. There are a good many citizens, like myself, who find this troubling. If the Shenandoah Valley has been beset by rioting and AR-15 shootouts, I'm not aware of any. Even the peaceful town of Culpeper finds itself somehow in need of an MRAP armored vehicle!
In response to the Aug. 7 article, "Riverkeeper files intent to sue EPA over algae in river."
A truism: Almost nobody looks good in his booking photo.
The chant "No justice, no peace" is an apt rallying cry for Ferguson, Missouri, where protesters don't truly want justice and there has been no peace.
From the moment the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, burst upon the national consciousness, people all across the nation have tried to fit the storyline into their own preconceived notions.
Does the president think the world is a TV show?
By Rachel Marsden A cyberattack on Community Health Systems Inc., a private hospital network, in April and June resulted in the theft of non-medical data of 4.5 million Americans, including names, addresses, birthdates, phone numbers and Social Security numbers, according...
On the afternoon of July 3, a "super-cell" hovering over Strasburg unleashed its 20-minute destructive fury, with high winds, hail and rain. My wife and I have resided in the Meadows (Junction) subdivision for the past 15 years.
I have to wonder why the fight over the same-sex issue isn't being argued as a separation of church and state issue.
Earlier this week, I arrived for a scheduled visit with a medical professional and left reeling over just how divided we remain in this country about race.
America tells stories to itself in images, funny ones, sad ones, selfies we send out over our phones with snarky comments.
The fruit of the spirit in the Christian Bible calls for love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control.
A typical thing for new administrations to do is make the previous administration look as bad as possible because that way, anything they do will look good. Virginia seems to be doing that in spades.
The story of a young man's speed-hiking the 2,663-mile Pacific Crest Trail has raised some environmentalist eyebrows, albeit only slightly. He was racing from California's border with Mexico to Washington state's with Canada.
Americans are sick of politics. Only 13 percent approve of the job Congress is doing, a near-record low. The president's approval ratings are also in the basement.
The Northern Virginia Daily account on Aug. 1 of Sen. Mark Warner's visit to Shenandoah County reminded me of why I keep voting for him even when we occasionally disagree on specific issues.
Health care is a resource to be used wisely. I am exhausted by the gridlock and finger-pointing in Congress. "Repeal" is not the answer.
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