Reader Commentary

Andy Schmookler: Letting money buy power corrupts our money system, too

andyschmookler

November 25th, 2014

In its opinion in Citizens United, the Republican-appointed Supreme Court majority pretended it wasn’t true. But every sane person knows otherwise: allowing unlimited money to flow into our election process corrupts our democracy. “One person, one vote” gets replaced by “one dollar, one vote,” which means that the increasing inequalities of wealth in America subvert the democratic idea of equality of political voice among all citizens.

Commentary: Not joining is choice, not a lack of hospitality

November 21st, 2014

Recently an article was posted in local newspaper and in a commentary column in the Northern Virginia Daily by Roger Barbee. Both articles raised the concern in our communities addressing the needs of the homeless. Both sought more involvement from our community in addressing this crucial need. Then both articles raised the question of “why aren’t churches doing more for the homeless?” As a pastor of a local church, I would like to respond.

Commentary: It’s time to stop using the ‘R word’

September 18th, 2014

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.

Commentary: What Democratic confusion!

September 15th, 2014

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.

Andy Schmookler: On the wrong track

July 7th, 2014

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:

Commentary: What’s happening to our nation?

June 27th, 2014

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.

Commentary: Colonial Downs racing issue in stalemate

June 18th, 2014

The ongoing dispute in the commonwealth over thoroughbred horse racing has not been resolved because, under the current model, it is impossible to fix. Colonial Downs in New Kent County is interested in simulcast revenue and not live racing. Period. Anyone who thinks otherwise is naive or misinformed. And that is the owner’s prerogative but that does not benefit the horse industry and he should not be subsidized for it.

Commentary: The art of teaching

May 29th, 2014

With the proposed budgets for next year being discussed in public meetings, much has been said and written about the need for more monies for the school system. One part of that debate I wish to discuss is our teachers.

Commentary: Shenandoah is one of 22 counties with PDR program

April 22nd, 2014

I am writing to provide some additional information in response to a recent editorial regarding purchase of development rights (PDR) programs and related efforts in Shenandoah County. Since 2007, the Office of Farmland Preservation in the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has worked with local governments, farm and conservation organizations, and other interested parties to establish local PDR programs. We provide state matching funds to these local programs.

Commentary: Local land protection benefits all

April 15th, 2014

Conservation easement programs are an excellent way to help farmers save their farms. However, some landowners are unable to simply donate development rights. That’s why it’s critical that we have a program that makes it possible for land-rich, cash-poor farmers to protect their land. Especially when you consider that what they are doing so clearly benefits all the citizens of Shenandoah County in the long run.

Commentary: America is beginning to look alot like France

March 5th, 2014

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).

Reader commentary: Ordinances document is too vague

February 28th, 2014

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?

Commentary: We’re all on the same team

January 3rd, 2014

I have a silly confession to make: I tear up and/or get mountainous goosebumps at the end of the movie, “The Avengers.” No, it’s not from all the amazing computer generated graphical war scenes or the fact that, consistent with most epic Hollywood films, the “good guys” win. It’s because against all odds, including an insurmountable army of super-powerful extraterrestrials, a few dedicated and talented humans unite to fight, and win. I know, I’m nerdy, but please bear with me, there is a point to this.

The end of Thanksgiving? Readers react to holiday store openings

November 12th, 2013

Black Friday continues to push back into Thanksgiving with more major retailers breaking tradition and opening on the holiday rather than waiting for Black Friday to start off the holiday shopping season. We asked our Facebook readers at facebook.com/nvdaily what they thought about turning Thanksgiving into the holiday shopping day.

Commentary: This quaint valley town has an ugly underbelly

October 3rd, 2013

Poverty has a grip on Front Royal, and no one seems to care. It wasn’t until I had been here and managed a business that employed a good portion of the citizens of Front Royal that I soon came to realize that this little town had quite an underbelly.

Commentary: Republicans cutting off noses to spite their faces

October 3rd, 2013

Thursday was the anniversary of my mother’s birth. Born in 1907, she would be 106 today if had she not died at the ripe old age of 92 in 1999. Rebekah Allen Brown lived through and survived the transition from horse and buggy to the automobile, World War I, the Spanish flu epidemic, the Dust Bowl, the stock market crash of 1929, World War II etc. She watched 10 U.S. Presidents come and go.