Political attitudes have attained an almost religious fervor. Many are concerned about the coarsening of our national dialogue. One candidate relies on bluster, bullying and misinformation. In his frustration, the other candidate responds with words like “shut up,” “clown” and “liar” despite…

Letters: 200 or fewer words. Commentaries: 400-500 words. Two submissions per month, exclusive to our paper and written by readers in our print circulation area. Content not accepted: attacks, allegations, insinuations, hate language, potentially libelous statements or statements that are not factual, direct endorsements (of people, businesses or products), solicitations for donations, web addresses, phone numbers, addresses, or material pulled from another source without attribution. Read more on guidelines

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Letters must be 200 or fewer words and must be addressed to the editor.

I have followed with great interest the Shenandoah County School Board’s unilateral crusade regarding the changing of school names and mascots in an effort to “condemn racism and affirm an inclusive school environment for all.” Like many parents and grandparents, I wrote to the School Board …

I am a retired, disabled veteran who served six years in the U.S. Army and 17½ years in the U.S. Navy. I was involved in every armed conflict from the War in Vietnam to Desert Shield and personally witnessed many Americans paying for our freedom with their lives (the ultimate sacrifice). I t…

Even the most responsible viewpoints on the U.S. response to COVID-19 are driven by relatively few facts that we know for sure and shaped by diligent – if hardly foolproof – analysis of how the future may unfold. Other commentators are “informed” by rumors and internet “comment section” science.

You may have heard that here in the Northern Shenandoah Valley we’re doing well in the fight against COVID-19, and what you’ve heard is true. As long as you don’t go past Page and Shenandoah counties, the community spread of the coronavirus has been modest, with a limited number of new cases…

The election deadline nears. We must determine who we will vote for to lead this country for the next four years. Unlike years in the past, the decision requires voters to question their previous alliances and values and choose American principles that have guided our democratic republic for…

Nineteen years have passed since that tragic day when America lost close to 3,000 innocent lives in those cowardly and unprovoked attacks on New York City, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon. Images of that day are forever seared in the memory and soul of our nation - from the shocking collapse o…

What is it about the word “socialism” in this country? Slick political ads have been appearing in the media, really for years now, to alert us about the so-called dangers of “socialism.” The recent crescendo in the right-wing media about leftists, radicals and socialists is just the latest i…

I grew up with the admonition to ”do the right thing” – which I sometimes did. This holds a lot of meaning for me now that I believe us to be in a dangerous and consequential time in our nation’s history. We will soon have to make a choice that needs to lay politics aside – the election of o…

I am sorry to say that America, together with its historic efforts at racial and ethnic unity, has taken a serious hit in 2020. Ongoing Black Lives Matter-linked rioting in a large number of critical urban centers has all the hallmarks of revolution and permanent separation. These include th…

I was raised by parents of the Greatest Generation who earned their way by hard work, determination and perseverance. Both were the first in their families to graduate from college, and their strong work ethic served them well throughout their careers as an attorney and a public school teacher.

Of all the wacky notions to emerge from these troubling times of protest, riot and pandemic, the one I find especially troubling is the idea that we should change our national anthem. Even more troubling is that we're considering the song "Imagine," written by John Lennon, who had nothing to…

In the 1960s, organized religion and regular church attendance were something most families shared, regardless of race, social class, or geographic location. It was the glue that held us together as a community and a nation and provided the moral compass in our lives. Unfortunately, American…

Regrettably, today’s racial turmoil and monument destruction have produced a number of writers – let’s name them “2020 Treason Hunters” – dedicated to branding Confederate soldiers “traitors.” Instead, these accusers only demonstrate the narrowest of perspectives by betraying historical inte…

Republicans style themselves as the “Daddy Party”, the mature, strategic actors, calm and calculating, ready to go on the attack. They imply that the Democrats are weak and governed by emotions and opposed to everything this country stands for. If talk could provide results, Republicans woul…

Webster’s Dictionary defines the term déjà vu as “a feeling that one has seen or heard something before.” These past few weeks I have experienced that feeling, in a most unpleasant way.

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Quaker Oats announced on June 17, 2020, that it was removing the traditional “Aunt Jemima” name and picture from its box of pancake mix and other breakfast products, The iconic figure, round smiling face and a headscarf, had been familiar to most of us all our lives. Now, in wake of renewed …

Maybe it’s just me, but it appears that the powers that be here in the good old US of A have lost their collective minds.

As a lifelong “moderate” Democrat, I have concerns regarding our country. We seem to be living in a nation of two armed camps, one on the right and one on the left. At least this is the impression that the media gives us. I, for one, believe that there is a silent majority that lies in the c…

A momentous issue is on the agenda for Thursday's Shenandoah County School Board meeting – whether or not to begin the process of renaming two schools bearing the names of Confederate generals: Stonewall Jackson High School and Ashby Lee Elementary School.

In the current and raging war against history, it's been but a short step from tearing down Confederate monuments to tearing down hosts of others, from Columbus and Lincoln to Grant and Theodore Roosevelt. Similarly, it's been a short step from destroying monuments to "purifying" other carri…

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The National Museum of African American History and American Culture opened in 2016 and is proudly situated on Washington, D.C.’s National Mall. The museum spares no effort in documenting and displaying all facets of the Black experience in America, to include the institution and experience …

“Defund the Police” has gotten a lot of play in the media lately, especially from the right. Unfortunately, it’s a poor choice of words and means something completely different. In reality, this group of proposals is advocating key changes in police functions geared toward reforming the way …

On June 10, Shenandoah County Public Schools  Superintendent Dr. Mark Johnston published a “Message to the Shenandoah County Public Schools Staff, Students, Parents, and Community,” as a reflection upon the murder of George Floyd.

Now that former Vice President Joe Biden’s characterization of racism as our “original sin,” has been sweeping the country, it might be due for a little examination. For a good Catholic like Mr. Biden, the term has great import, signifying the burden of sin each of us bears as we enter the w…

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They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Never has that been more evident than now, as droves of woke, white-privileged Americans attend protests in the name of “racial justice.” Isn’t it ironic that they pretend to fight racism by reaffirming the lines of black v. white, a w…

The old “Heaven help us” adage is timely during the current chaos and turbulent times. Never did I envision witnessing a killing of a fellow human in my lifetime – literally snuffing out his breath. Ironically, George Floyd’s death will live in history books. I suspect this occurrence will n…

Everybody knows the story of the 8 year-old child – Virginia O’Hanlon, of New York City, – who wrote to The Sun, a prominent New York City newspaper, to ask whether Santa Claus was real.

Following a major disaster or an armed conflict, representatives of the affected federal departments and agencies conduct what is known as a “hot wash” — sort of a “quick take” in advance of any formal investigations such as the Warren and 9/11 commissions.

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We encourage citizens to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 by voting absentee in the May 19 town elections and the June 23 primary elections.

Over the last two months, COVID-19 has quickly consumed our lives. We’ve all seen harrowing images of exhausted doctors and nurses struggling to keep up in virus-consumed emergency rooms and ICUs across the U.S. and around the world. Fortunately, that scenario is not a reality at Valley Heal…

Reacting to our current catastrophe by fantasizing that the best response is to splinter and disintegrate into factions and special interests reaches new depths of foolishness. Failing to stand united in the hopes of gaining a temporary advantage or even worse, as a reaction of fear and a ca…

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At this moment the Shenandoah Valley faces its greatest challenge since the Civil War. More dire than the Great Recession, 9-11 or Vietnam. Perhaps a greater threat than WWII or – may God help us – the Great Depression.

West Virginia’s Senate recently passed a resolution to remind the citizens of Frederick County, Virginia, that since West Virginia was formed in 1862, Frederick County has had a standing invitation to become part of the state of West Virginia. Times being as they are, there is now talk in so…

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Our district’s representative in the U.S. Congress – Ben Cline – has declared the impeachment process “a sham,” a display of “partisanship,” and nothing but an attempt “to overturn the results of the 2016 election.”

An October breeze surrounded the crowd of tourists around Virginia Beach’s Dairy Queen. Suddenly a loud pop rang out, narrowing the unconcerned eyes. The bang eerily resembled a gunshot. Youths, employing a time-honored prank, filled a paper bag with air, then popped it. Though the source wa…

In a letter to the editor dated Dec. 21, 2018, I stated, “I suspect the next two years will be spent in political gridlock centered on a futile effort to impeach our president while we ignore some of the long-standing issues that cry for our attention."

The Virginia Democratic majority in the General Assembly, fortunately, is significantly changing the landscape of our commonwealth. You will note that I used the word "our" commonwealth and not New England's.