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Reader Commentary

Commentary: A case against seven on board and the need for compromise

I want to begin by stating that I am writing this as a citizen and member of the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors and that this is my personal opinion. I am not writing it on behalf of the board. Lately, there has been much discussion about the dysfunction of our board and our 3-to-3 ...

Commentary: Give public chance to discuss tax rate

On Tuesday the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors should set its "advertised" property tax rate at a level high enough to make public debate about it worth having. This rate – the maximum possible rate the board can finally accept – will become the topic of a public hearing (now ...

Commentary: Beware of PACs seeking gifts

There has been a lot of talk lately regarding the adding of a seventh member to the Board of Supervisors, mostly coming from members of Parental Alliance for Strong Schools, a group founded to increase school spending. No one can argue or debate that there has been dysfunction on the Board of ...

Commentary: Trumpcare: Health insurance for young, wealthy

There is a huge gap between the promise of Trumpcare and the reality.  President Trump promised better, lower-cost insurance available to everyone.  In reality, Trumpcare will cost many people much more and provide less.  It isn't an exaggeration to say that millions of people in the ...

Commentary: This is not your father’s Republican Party

So much has been written about Donald Trump that at this point I feel a lot of people are starting to become numb to it all. His scandals, questionable business dealings, accusations of sexual assault, as well as what could possibly be deemed treasonous activities at some point in the very-near ...

Commentary: Quality schools are not extras

I find the story some folks tell about our community frustrating and worrisome.  That story goes something like this: "Extras, like quality schools and public safety, would be nice to have, but Shenandoah County is too old and poor to be able to provide those big-city services."  I do not ...

Commentary: Unfit, unqualified, and unwelcome

It is increasingly clear that Donald Trump possesses self-promotion and fortune building skills, but lacks qualities required in a president, or even in a city council member. His abilities made him a reality TV star, but do not translate to governance. Persuasion, empathy, or even the ability ...

Commentary: The difference between an immigrant and refugee

Wendy spoke English and worked in the health clinic in the parish of Maria, Madre de los Pobres in the impoverished barrio of La Chacra in San Salvador, El Salvador.  Since 1991, I have been visiting the parish as a home away from home. In the past, the health clinic was full on Monday ...

Commentary: Legislators need to fix our broken immigration system

In today's political climate, merely mentioning the word "immigration" evokes unease and polarization at every level from our families and neighbors, all the way up to our legislators. The problem, up until now, is that we've been having this conversation from emotional and political ...

Commentary: Big government ineptitude in a small town

I purchased an historic Strasburg home at the end of 2008, and moved in shortly afterward. I moved here from Northern Virginia because I wanted to restore an historic home, and to get away from the silliness of big government stupidity and elitist arrogance. Imagine my shock now that my new ...

Commentary: The hallmarks of tyranny

  The German people who became embroiled in, and culpable for one of the most heinous crimes in modern history, were for the most part ordinary, law-abiding citizens with strong Christian values, living under a democracy.  They were certainly not all rabid, hate-mongering ...

Commentary: On the hunt for litter critters

Recently on a dreary January morning, I decided to do what anyone in the valley would do: go hunting. On went the boots, down vest, hat, gloves, and blaze orange vest. I gathered my game bags (large orange trash bags), weapons (a paint stick to hold the bags open and a pistol grip reacher), and ...

Commentary: Americans need to take the high road

During international athletic events, American fans can be heard chanting U-S-A during important or dramatic times of a competition. The chant is used to encourage our athletes, to recognize their accomplishments, and to let our opposition know who we are. Other countries do the same, and it is ...

How will Dems cope with Trump success?

President Trump would take us toward a new American revolution, one aimed at the retrenchment, if not restoration of those American values which have become unfashionable over the past eight years. Among them: clawing back state and individual liberties taken by Washington and its judiciary, ...

Commentary: Who are the haters?

The most volatile issue facing our culture is the increasing demonization of those who oppose — anything. Allegations of hate have become the latest weapon in the war of intimidation. Nowhere is this bullying word applied more readily and frequently than to the issues of immigration, ...

Commentary: We need to remain vigilant

What a refreshing sight to view the multitude of women’s marches recently! It restores hope in values most Americans share – one of them being the ability to tell and recognize the truth. President Trump continues to create his own alternate reality to prove his arrested emotional ...

Commentary: Will love truly trump hate?

This Saturday, the day after Trump's inauguration, The Women's March is attracting masses of women and men to marches in Washington, D.C., in every state in the union and in nearly 60 countries around the world. Could this be the silver lining to Donald Trump's election? Is this evidence that ...

Commentary: The new order

Some Americans were happy with electing a flawed leader with a dubious relationship with the truth. After years of inattention, exaggerations or outright lies by segments of the media, and enabled by players eager for an advantage, many voters were ready to suspend belief and latch onto anyone ...

Commentary: We need a little Christmas

Flipping through radio channels the other day, I stumbled across the Sirius channel playing Christmas music and heard Johnny Mathis’ cover of “We Need a Little Christmas.”  An upbeat song about longing for the secular trappings of Christmas, its second verse contains a slightly darker ...

Commentary: Is history being repeated?

There once was a man named  Paul Joseph Goebbles.  He was a student of philosophy and history.  He was an admirer of a specific book, "The Prince," by a long dead Italian writer;  a loyal party member who early on befriended a veteran, highly decorated,  who also wrote a book he admired ...