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The Ethics of Elfland ... There's a tenet of superior leadership that the guy in charge takes responsibility, but never credit. Credit goes to those who did the work. Whether that work is routine - build a building, harvest crops, print a magazine, or less routine - invade Europe, assault Afghanistan, dive the submarine, the real work is done by a host of people, not the guy in charge. Success involves everyone. Failure, conversely, is almost universally because the organization was pointed in the wrong direction. And that means the boss was at fault. Call it the ethics of leadership. As Truman said "the buck stops here." (See Page 6, Oct 16, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Reject Senator Mark Warner ... Senator Mark Warner should be rejected from serving Virginia in the United States (U.S.) Senate for another 6 years. He has rejected the will of the majority of registered voters in Virginia. Virginia voters ratified an amendment to the Virginia State Constitution to read, "Marriage is between one man and one woman." After activist federal judges on the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals legislated that the amendment was unconstitutional, Senator Warner was quoted in the Daily Press, July 29, 2014, "I am so happy that yet another federal court agrees that Virginia's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, allowing people to marry who they love is the right thing to do, and it also strengthens our families and our communities." (See Page 7, Oct 16, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Tax imageVirginia's Fork in Road: Internet Tax or Gas Hike ... Unknown to most, Virginians are about to be slapped with an $800 million-plus tax hike that one state lawmaker calls a game of "Three-Card Monte."A little-noticed provision in the state's 2012 transportation package triggers a 45 percent increase in Virginia's gas tax if Congress fails to enact a national Internet sales tax.While Democrats in the U.S. Senate approved the Marketplace Fairness Act, the measure has languished in the Republican-controlled House. (See Page 7, Oct 16, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Selective Services ... Does the President remember registering for the draft? No matter. For those who registered since the draft ended it really hasn't meant much. But I assume he vividly recalls his nomination for the Presidency in 2008. During his acceptance speech he joked about having to repeatedly "approve this ad." But it might be instructive to him and his staff if they went back and looked at one set of ads, in particular, the ones that pingponged between candidates Obama and Clinton about 3 AM phone calls. (See Page 8, Oct 9, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Styrofoam Cups and Iron Bombs ... There was a strange news item last week: the President got off the helicopter with a Styrofoam cup and saluted the Marines with said cup in his hand. Taken alone, this isn't a big deal. Senior folks, including Secretaries and Senators, do things like that. Most Presidents have as well. By itself it means nothing. But, I know some 3 and 4 star generals; these men know the protocol and rules as well as any protocol officer; their wives do too, through simple repetition. Yet, they are still briefed for every single meeting and event, and the staffs keep an eye on things so they know"what's what." Their staffs never let them step out of the office with something in their hands, a button not right, a crooked tie, etc. Good staffs don't let it happen. (See Page 5, Oct 2, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Letter imageLetter to the Editor ... What a surprise I had when on Sunday morning while going to pick up my mother for church when I discovered a landmark in York County on the corner of Dare Road and Route 17 was gone. The sign for Grafton Baptist Church built by my father almost 50 years ago had been razed, by whom I'm not sure. My sister is a member of the church and I had told her when they were getting close to demolition (we knew it was coming) I would remove the expensive precast caps and the actual sign unit so I could rebuild the sign in a new location suitable to all ordinances and VDOT criteria. (See Page 5, Oct 2, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Bad Guys, Bad Germs and Bad Decisions ... It is often said that all politics is local. Perhaps true. But the job of the President - in particular - and of other figures in Washington requires that, from time to time, they rise above local politics and act in defense of US and western interests, doing so in a timely manner. Consider some recent events. (See Page 8, Sept 25, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Harvest time in America, Pursuing and Reaping Happiness ... Is happiness possible? Problems plague the world. They always have. The world has never been void of troubles. War, hunger and unhappiness have dominated this life. There is plenty to go around. The news gets us down. We hear about ISIS, Ebola and abusive NFL football players. We've watched communities torn apart such as Ferguson, Missouri. On top of this we cannot avoid non-stop political ads that pick opponents apart but never offer solutions on how to fix some of our troubles. (See Page 8, Sept 25, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
The President's Strategy ... The President has enunciated a strategy, consisting of the following (for clarity, the President listed four major points, but he gave seven points): The Goal: Degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL How: Through a comprehensive and sustained counter- terrorism strategy. (See Page 8, Sept 18, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
What is the Real Deal About Our Economy ... Do you have a problem - when you call a tech or service department agent and can't understand what they are saying? - that your income is not keeping up with rising prices? - with finding goods that have been made and packaged in America? - although goods cost much more than in the past they are inferior in quality and don't last nearly as long? (See Page 8, Sept 18, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
New Alternatives to a COS? ... In last week's paper you were treated to a "two-fer;" two sides of what some have called "The Great Manassas Debate" on the question of a Convention of the States. As to who won the debate, I hesitate to call it. Anyone who came with their minds already made up cannot reliably produce an unbiased opinion. Ask someone who went there with the issue still unresolved who won (does such a person still exist?). (See Page 6, Sept 11, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
ICBMs, the Long War and Minimum Wage ... The White House is struggling with the world around it (a world it helped create with its decisions over the last five years); as is often the case, the President has tried to use domestic issues to refocus the nation. (See Page 6, Sept 11, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
America's Problems, Be a Part of the Solution ... While ISIS horrifically beheaded Steven Sotloff and James Foley, some Americans were being inconvenienced on airplanes. Most of us are spoiled and when we stop and think for a minute our inconveniences are small in comparison to so much else in the world. (See Page 6, Sept 11, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Citizens Must Become Engaged in our Own Governance ... Today, the government of The United States of America is a massive, convoluted maze of rules, regulations and laws, confusing to most, and nonapproachable to almost all but a small minority. The Founders intended that, to be a successful Republic, the participation of an informed and engaged citizenry would be paramount, and so set up our Constitution with these principles in mind, but somewhere along the way of this great nation, our government has become dangerously centralized. (See Page 5, Sept 4, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Pork Poison Goes Oink ... sausage and pork chops. We raised hogs. We butchered at least one a year. There is nothing like a big skillet of fried bacon and sausage in the morning with hot biscuits, scrambled eggs and gravy. Unfortunately this lifestyle of sumptuous dining has its health risks over the long haul. I essentially gave up these breakfast choices several years ago. I can certainly remember those good old days of mommy's cooking and fine dining. (See Page 5, Sept 4, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Here is a Strategy Mr. President ... The President made an amazing statement yesterday: he plainly stated that he, and his administration, had no strategy to address ISIS. There are several possible things to conclude from this: 1) he has a strategy, but feels the need to deny it for some subtle reason - perhaps to mislead ISIS and others; 2) he has no strategy but one is in the works and this, again, is some sort of attempt at a"head fake" to mislead ISIS (and others around the world) as to US intentions; or 3) he has no strategy. (See Page 5, Sept 4, 2014 Edition) (Have a Comment?)


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