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Columns

  • A Mythiopian society

    By James F. Burns

        In the land of Mythiopia, each day an artist painted a colorful rainbow on a new canvas delivered that morning.  The artist sold each painting at day’s end, donating part of the proceeds for the purchase of tickets so that Mythiopians might attend that night’s concert.  In turn, their talented musician used part of the ticket sales to buy a fresh canvas for the artist to use the next day.

  • Celebrating Amtrak’s return to Roanoke

    By Barrett F. (Bart) Warner
    Town Manager
    Town of Bedford

        Congratulations are in order for everyone who made it possible for passenger rail service to return to Roanoke after a 38-year hiatus. In the late 1800’s, rail helped transform the sleepy hamlet of “Big Lick” into the thriving city of Roanoke. The return of passenger rail promises to deliver substantial economic development benefits and additional travel options throughout Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and beyond.

  • Conservatives fear strong women

        In a recent interview after the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Hillary Clinton talked about how rampant sexual harassment has always been.
        As with the epidemic of husbands beating their wives, there was a time when social pressures kept women quiet on these subjects. But no more, and that’s definitely progress. Weinstein is getting his goose cooked, just as he deserves, the same way those “Fox News” icons Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly deserved.

  • Military exercises are defensive

        While most U. S. news media has focused on North Korea, Donald Trump and, most recently Harvey Weinstein, there have been a number of news stories about big Russian military exercises.

  • Sports Day-ly: The NBA Superhero Comparison

     The NBA season is officially underway and I am incredibly excited. I love basketball in fact recently it has become my favorite sport.
      

    One thing I also have recently re-fell in love with is superheroes. For whatever reason when I was 20 I really started to get back into superheroes. Even now at 22-years old I often walk about with a Batman backpack that is originally meant for a 10-year old.
      

  • Much can be done to improve health care in Virginia

    As the dust settles from the currently stalled efforts by Congress to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), concerns about the future of healthcare for Virginians remain at the forefront of the debate.

  • Religion often keeps people backward

         If, as many people believe, religion is man’s first attempt at explaining his world, then we may well need a second one, if we can keep our planet safe and healthy from climate change deniers, who sometimes use religion to justify their rejection of science.
        There are probably thousands of different religions in the world, but most religious people are Christians, Jews, or Muslims. Most of them live quietly within their beliefs.

  • Don’t be too quick

        The concept plan for Urban Development Areas  (UDA) in the Forest and New London areas of the county drew a vocal turnout to a public meeting two weeks ago. It was a larger crowd than the folks who organized the meeting expected, so the room they reserved at the Forest Library was too small for the number of people who showed up. Most seemed to have been already upset when they arrived and the crowding — Americans really don’t like being crowded — probably didn’t help their mood. Most opposed the UDA idea.

  • May small lights get bigger

    By James F. Burns
    Retired professor
    University of Florida.  

        The mystery of the motivation behind the machine-gun massacre in Las Vegas—59 dead and 527 wounded—may literally be a blank.  Yes, a fill-in-the-blank exam in which the blank is the answer.

  • Why can’t a Muslim speak at Liberty?

        Liberty University has worked hard to gain its reputation as an arm of the national Republican Party, given that founder Jerry Falwell Sr. began the myths of “Christian conservatism,” the notion that, somehow, Christian teachings are consistent with right-wing American politics.
        It’s not true, of course, but legions of rural Americans fall for it, because of the stuff they hear in their fundamentalist churches, particularly about abortion and homosexuality.