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As a visitor — and now a resident — of the Shenandoah Valley for over 50 years, our valley’s majestic beauty and grandeur never cease to amaze me. Having set foot on every continent of the world while serving on military active duty, I can truly say our valley is a unique natural treasure wi…

There are times in our lives when we are called to remember the “better angels of our nature.” Those times include our relationships with each other and our conduct as a culture and as a nation. When Abraham Lincoln issued such a call, deep social wounds roiled the nation – as they do now.

Leaders of our society are held to higher standards of conduct than the general population due to their positions of leadership or responsibility for the lives of others. Members of the military, police, and our elected officials quickly come to mind.

Certainly, it is discouraging to find that our leaders have serious moral failings – e.g., involving the treatment of black Americans by white, or the treatment of women by men. And it makes sense, when those failings reach a certain level of seriousness, to remove flawed office-holders from…

Recently, a bi-partisan group of Virginia lawmakers along with Gov. Northam has called for a series of tolls on Interstate 81, with the understanding that these tolls will go toward improvements on I-81. Supporters of the bi-partisan plan state that these tolls are mostly meant to impact on …

I confess that, when I ran for the Virginia state Senate four years ago, I didn’t talk about the opioid crisis. Not that I was indifferent to the human suffering; I just wasn’t fully aware of this fast-emerging problem in our area, and in America.

It doesn’t take much to get this old fool to occasionally weep over things worth weeping about – especially at this time of year when we should all soften our hearts just a bit more than usual, as we’re reminded of what love really means, with all the of the philosophical, temporal and etern…

Several months ago, I wrote a column here saying I feel sure that my parents – who were lifelong Republicans – would never support what today’s Republican Party has become. They had values important to them – e.g. “honesty, integrity, doing one’s duty for the good of the nation, respect for …

Moral responsibilities regarding the immigrant caravan have become yet another issue dividing our nation. In the clamor to find either a persuasive, or guilt inducing voice to settle the dispute, Jesus, the humble Galilean prophet, advocating justice and mercy, has entered the fray. But it i…

In a few months, my “son” Johnny will be graduating from Liberty University, and entering into the Air Force as a second lieutenant. For the record, I have no children of my own, but am the legal guardian of a 22-year-old named Johnny and his 20-year-old sister Laila. I write this thinking o…

James Fallows is a writer for the magazine The Atlantic Monthly. He and his wife Deborah undertook a fascinating project: they spent the better part of five years in a small propeller plane traveling from town to town across the U.S. They spent days or weeks in dozens of towns ranging in siz…

For humanity’s sake, we must embrace perspective! In this time of frenzied, sensory overload with tech gadgets growing from our hands and nursing our myopic, tribal views of the world, we need to pause, take a long breath, and reflect to consider what is truly important to our very existence…

A trio of articles in the latest Foreign Service Journal typifies the diversity mania sweeping the Foreign Service. Each largely ignores diversity’s elephant-in-the-room question, the double-edged sword: what exactly does diversity bring to the table in terms of achieving optimal foreign pol…

Recently, the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors heard a request for the board to sign a resolution in support of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The ERA would constitutionalize the prohibition of discrimination of persons based on gender.

One implication of this title is that hate is and has been a problem throughout human history. From that angle it’s a large, pressing issue not a small, insignificant word. The second relates to how four-letter words lack the negative significance they once held in our increasingly profane, …

America is in the midst of a crisis centered primarily on our current president, Donald Trump. The crisis itself is that Trump’s harsh, untruthful rhetoric has further divided Americans into opposing hostile camps with very different views of reality. This polarization makes solving any of o…

Who would’ve imagined that the United States of America would ever have found itself in this situation?

To the Strasburg, Central and Stonewall Jackson classes of 2018: As you prepare to walk across the stage into early adulthood this weekend, I’m sure you are aware of many people who are proud of you: your families, relatives, teachers, coaches, and friends. However, there is one group whose …

This week, I am looking forward to visiting Front Royal. Nestled in the Shenandoah Valley with rivers and mountains to explore, it reminds me of my home in Japan, where peaks and valleys dot the countryside. It is not just the similar landscapes that connect Front Royal and Japan. They are a…

Roughly every five years, Congress passes a Farm Bill – legislation that affects every aspect of America’s agricultural industry. From programs for farmers and ranchers and shifts in trade policy to conservation efforts and nutrition assistance, the Farm Bill is a vital piece of legislation …

People called to public service have a common belief in helping their fellow men and women. That’s what inspired me during my 16 years in the Virginia Senate. Many of those I served with over the years shared that commitment to helping Virginians.

“We must especially beware of that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the American Eagle in order to feather their own nests.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

The Trump Administration announced the continuation of its ongoing transgender military ban. Though inflammatory to far-left liberals the decision reflects the growing numbers who are wary of transgender ideology.

We are once again engaged in national ferment that always follows one of the mass shootings of students in their schools. They generate more heat than mass shootings of other people, often in greater numbers than in the school killings.

A recent article in the Feb. 26 Northern Virginia Daily,  “A Place of Lost History and Identity,” addressed the search for the graves, markers, and names of those buried in an African-American cemetery.

Shel Silverstein put it simply: there is a place where the sidewalk ends. In his collection of children’s poems by the same name, “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” he recounts and describes the way a simple sidewalk, one walked on by many, full of promise with the sun and green grass, can come to a…

Over a year ago, American patriots led by Ken Adams, Anne Fitzgerald, Matt Tederick and Scott Sayre brought a lawsuit into federal court, the object of which was to remove Virginia code section 24.2-509, otherwise known as the Incumbent Protection Act. This piece of code, a holdover from the…

Ten years from now, when some of the “best people” are still serving time from their association with our 45th president, a popular pastime for historians will be explaining how America tumbled down a black hole.

I regret that our president – if true – described countries in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean as “s—holes.” (In Foreign Service days, we did our best to keep bilateral relations on an even keel) Several who were there at the DACA meeting – Senators Cotton and Perdue among them – s…

I wonder how the people of Wall Street and the infamous swamp felt in 2016 when they heard Trump rail against lobbyists, hedge fund managers and CEO’s all taking advantage of the forgotten people. They are surely relieved by the Christmas present bestowed upon them now.

The hidden side of  historical figures is often illumined by examining both the symbols that surrounded them and the earlier historical figures who inspired them. Francis I chose for his emblem the mythologically indestructible salamander — not inappropriate for a king who, deep in the Itali…

Lately there has been a lot of bad news coming out of my adopted home town, Strasburg.  From allegations of sexual assault on a school bus two years ago, to having volunteer first responders allegedly being involved in having sex with a minor.  Quite a few of my neighbors are rather embarras…

I remember a long-ago NPR discussion on how the surging popularity of the internet and its biased websites threatened to swamp the objective and incorruptible reporting of the newsprint media.Indeed, I also remember when objective front page reporting was a newspaper’s  pride, when personal …