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Columns

  • An adequate defense

  • Militarism exerts a pernicious influence

        Fifty years ago this April 4, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stepped to the podium at New York City’s Riverside Baptist Church. His subject was the Vietnam War.
        Although it wouldn’t have surprised him to know it, King could not know he was entering the exact last year of his life. He would be assassinated in another city on April 4, 1968.

  • Electrical shock drowning

    By Tom Merriman,
    SML Water Safety Council member

        A story about the danger of Electrical Shock Drowning (ESD) was on the national television news recently due to a fatality at an Alabama lake. It’s an important topic to anyone who cares about the safety of loved ones, and that includes all of us!

  • Trump makes a deal

        It looks like President Donald Trump has made a deal with Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin on Syria during the two men’s first meeting. The two have agreed to a cease fire in Southwestern Syria. The ceasefire is intended to allow anti-government forces to concentrate of fighting Islamic State.
         It still remains to be seen if this cease fire holds. Previous cease fires have failed when Syrian forces attacked U. S. supported rebels.
         This time it may hold.

  • Pentagon budget immensely wasteful

        On June 21, USA Today published a story that barely registered a ripple in the American consciousness. The Pentagon had, over a decade, wasted about $28 million on snarky camouflage uniforms for Afghan military officers.
        The information came from a report by John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. He was not happy, especially when he noted that the Afghans could have been given uniforms for free that were already owned by our government.

  • Buffer landscape committee makes presentations to two local groups

    By Rich Brager
    Buffer Landscape Committee Chairman

        The Buffer Landscape Committee is sponsored by Smith Mountain Lake Association and consists of about 15 dedicated volunteers. 
        Our objective is to educate SML residents so that we increase the number of properties using shoreline buffer landscaping techniques and promote the concept that landowners can have a beautiful lakefront while being environmentally sound.  Our mantra is: Slow the flow and filter the flow.

  • The wreck of the William Fitzgerald

        Last month the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62,) collided with a container ship southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. Yokosuka is the Fitzgerald’s home port. The collision ripped a 12 foot by 12 foot hole in her underwater hull, flooding a berthing compartment. News stories I’ve read say no collision warning alarm was sounded. The men had only a minute to escape. Seven of the men in that compartment died.

  • Even Republicans are saying: Stop tweeting!

        I’ll make a confession here at the start, which may surprise you. I truly get tired of writing about Donald Trump. But nearly every day, there’s another outrage or stupid excess that can’t be ignored.
        Often, with this weirdo, it’s his Twitter account, which no one can apparently take away from him. Last week, he disgraced himself again in his long-running feud with the co-hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

  • Money puzzles and lawmakers: make ‘em take the pledge!

        It’s a little mystery that Bedford-area voters have almost figured out, but not quite. Why are the realtors, the health industry, the beer wholesalers and bankers, coal operators and electric utilities shoving all that cash into the Virginia legislature?
        “Puzzles plus money produce the view that the money explains the puzzles,” legal scholar Lawrence Lessig has written. “In a line: We don’t trust our government.”

  • Russia would lose a war with the U . S.

        There have been a couple of incidents in the air over Syria involving U. S. aircraft and Syrian aircraft. In one incident, a Syrian unmanned arial vehicle (UAV) was approaching Syrian rebels being trained to fight Islamic State. It appeared on a run to drop or launch some sort of munition. An American plane shot it down.