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Columns

  • Alien cartoon correct about the GOP

        If ever there was a political cartoon that was just perfectly brilliant, it was the one in the Roanoke Times last week.

        In it, a man and his wife step outside onto their front porch to see a space ship sitting in the front yard. They look at and listen intently to the alien who has emerged from the craft.
    He says, “We have been watching transmissions of something called ‘the Republican debates,’ and we see no reason for your species to continue.”

  • Strange stories and an amazing fact

        This election season has been one of strange stories and amazing facts.

        One of the amazing facts is that, for the first time in the 14 years that I have been covering the Bedford area, there are contested elections. During those years, most school board and board of supervisors incumbents have run for reelection unopposed.

  • Get out and Vote!

    Next Tuesday is the big day! It's the day that we get to do more than just gripe about the government. It's the day we get to do something about it. Nov. 8 is election day.

        Last month the people of the little North African country of Tunisia got to exercise a basic human right that Americans have had for more than two centuries. That country had its first free and fair election in its history and that day didn't come easy. They had to run a dictator out of the country earlier this year and some Tunisians died in the effort.

  • 5th District job creators express discouragement with government regulations

    This past week I held a jobs roundtable with nearly 60 local small business leaders in Danville to talk about the House of Representatives’ pro-growth jobs plan and to hear from our true job creators about ways to help jumpstart our economy.

     

  • Holding the Justice Department accountable

    Just days before Christmas 2010, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, a member of the Border Patrol’s elite Search, Trauma and Rescue team was on patrol with three other agents. He was ten miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border when a gun fight broke out with as many as five illegal aliens. Agent Terry was fatally wounded.

     

  • Virginia veterans benefits

    By Donald Mustard


        This month I am pleased to offer the first of two articles concerning benefits available from the Commonwealth of Virginia for veterans and, in some cases, survivors and dependents, in addition to those provided by the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  Eligibility for most state and federal benefits is based on discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions.  Benefits for survivors and dependents are based on the veteran’s eligibility. 

  • Increases in the incidence of child abuse and child poverty not coincidental

    By Jane Francis

    Executive Director, CASA of Central VA

        The numbers of children who have been abused and neglected in Central Virginia and who have been assigned to Court Appointed Special Advocates in the 24th Judicial District (Lynchburg and the counties of Amherst, Bedford, Campbell, and Nelson) have risen steadily over the past two years. 

  • Supervisors ignore citizen input on zoning

    By Nancy V. Raine

    Co-founder of Bedford Citizens for Land Preservation

        In June, 2007 the Bedford County Supervisors adopted a revised Comprehensive Plan that was developed over a six-year period by the Bedford County Planning Commission and citizens and the county planning staff with the support of professional consultants. The process of creating this plan was a bright spot in our democratic process at the local level.

  • President Obama’s foreign policy leadership

        If President Obama’s critics have any fairness about them whatsoever, even they have to admit that the foreign policy of his administration has largely been a stunning success.

        George W. Bush was full of swagger, bluster and a strong pro-war bent. “I’m a war time president,” the “Decider” used to remind us. He could politicize and propagandize the “war on terror,” he just couldn’t get results.

  • The field starts to narrow

        We should soon see the field of candidates for the Republican nomination begin to narrow. Both Chris Christie and Sarah Palin have announced that they won’t seek the nomination and it’s too late for anybody else to toss his hat in the ring and still get on the ballot in all states.