Don't forget to vote
May 1 is an unusual day for an election. Please don't let this election day slip your mind -- mark your calendar today and plan to vote.
In small town elections, every vote really does count and each vote carries considerable weight. Mount Jackson has about 942 registered voters. I've seen town elections in the past where less than 100 people showed up to vote. Decades ago, some elections wound up in court because a clear winner could not be determined. Many voters had just not bothered to make their views known on election day.
"If I would have known the election was going to be that close, I would have voted." Those missing voters said after the fact.
Every two years, Mount Jackson residents have the opportunity to reelect or change council members. I look on it as a 'how are we doing?' referendum on the council's track record of conducting our town's business. I've documented our town's progress over the past 14 years in previous letters.
In this election, five people are on the ballot for three council seats. We are lucky in Mount Jackson that we have citizens willing to offer themselves as candidates so that we have choices on election day.
Yes, I am one of those candidates. With your support, I am happyto serve another term to look after Mount Jackson's community, maintain our progress into the 21st. century, and continue our tradition of calm, common sense government.
Please make the effort to get to the Town Hall on Tuesday, May 1, and cast your vote so that your voice is heard.
Rodney Shepherd, Mount Jackson
Don't focus on negatives
A majority of news stories cover disasters, human cruelties, uncivil discourse, or similar tragedies. Media reports on what sells and what sells equates to what shocks. A good story exudes mystery, incredulity, and a look at the sinful side of humanity that we don't understand (but with which we seem to have a fascination).
Perhaps if the news would endeavor to inspire, rather than dishearten; to encourage moral principles, rather than highlight immoral activities; to challenge good, rather than promote evil, these improved examples would emerge in larger society. Parents and teachers often spout that one should praise good behavior so that it is repeated. And yet, this is a standard not enforced by our society. Instead, we are quick to spotlight fumbles, atrocities, and failures; to shake our heads at the misfortunes of others, while secretly thanking Fortune that those did not befall us.
Ignorance is not bliss. We need to know about the realities of life: war, famine, pestilence, death. But, humanity also needs to see the glimmer of hope amidst the strife of daily life.
So, instead of always focusing on the negatives, what is right in the world?
Sarah Kohrs, Mt. Jackson
Hybrids and Big Oil
The hype over hybrids is gone. Less than 3 percent of all cars on the road are hybrids, even though they have been around since 1997. There are three types of hybrid cars, the series hybrid, mild parallel hybrid and series parallel hybrid, but you never see that mentioned in a TV car commercial. Everyone seems to want and know how to use the latest electronic gadgets, but hybrid technology has little interest.
President Obama once said in the near future we could trade in our "beaters" on cars that will get 55 mpg and reduce our dependency on crude oil. Even if every car is a hybrid, it would not even make a dent in the demand for gasoline.
Apparently, Big Oil does not want the Keystone pipeline built. They would rather process "sweet" crude oil from OPEC. Big Oil does not want electric, CNG (compressed natural gas) or hydrogen cars. Big Oil does not want to make more natural gas available for tractor trailers, garbage trucks, buses and farm equipment. Big Oil is retarding our economic recovery with high gas prices.
Newt Gingrich promises $2.50 a gallon gasoline if elected, but gives no details as to how this will be accomplished.
Mitt Romney said Obama was an anti-energy president. Politicians know as much about energy as a beauty queen, which is why they hardly ever talk about it.
One more thing, Mr. President, please do not refer to our cars as beaters.
David Tankersley III, Maurertown
Certain organizations have a commanding influence on people's lives. If asked to name by category three such organizations, there is a good chance that most Americans will not mention, arguably, the most influential. That important type is the corporation - specifically, giant corporations.
When such organizations and allied entities unite around a common goal, they become a confederation of special interests. Together and individually, they have, directly and indirectly, become a highly destructive and corrupting influence - and since then, because of global expansion, totally so worldwide.
Lord Acton, an English Baron, is often quoted as having said some years ago, "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely." If not true, it would not be so often quoted. The giant corporations, through their power, have and continue to corrupt all aspects of our lives. Reflect the following:
Thanks to a controversial ruling by the Supreme Court, corporations now have unlimited, "free speech" rights; namely, to spend as much of their enormous financial resources toward influencing legislation and elections as they pretty much well please. We ordinary citizens have no such huge countermanding dollars at our disposal.
At one time among some men, cynically joking about controlling women, it was considered smart to say they need only be kept barefoot and pregnant. Corporations have their own ways of keeping us "barefoot and pregnant." One such way could be characterized as "Keep the Crumbs, dumb and numb" - and, for the most part, they have been doing that quite effectively.
onsider just two of many examples: Fifty million of our citizens have no health insurance. Even so, the special interests have succeeded, through lies and distortions, in convincing a significant number of our citizenry to vehemently protest such legislation as a bad idea - as not in their best interest.
Moreover, certain other special interests have convinced a major portion of our populace, much to our future grief, that global warming is a fraud - that we can continue, ad infinitum, polluting our environment with no adverse consequences.
If, with others, these falsehoods are imposed on future generations, we will deservedly merit their condemnation.
Thomas M. Harrison, Front Royal