Are we there yet? Preventing the triumph of evil in 2017 and beyond

By: Mike McClary
Published by: Culpeper Star-Exponent
Date Published: December 31, 2016

Welcome to what we all hope will be a happy new year. To answer the question of whether we’re there yet, we should try to figure out where we’re headed.

Is it “1984,” George Orwell’s 1949 book that highlighted a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation, dictated by a political system that persecuted individualism and independent thinking as “thought crime”?—a society ruled by an overarching Party that seeks power entirely for its own sake and is not interested in the good of others. Does this sound familiar to some of us?

Or, is it “Brave New World,” Aldous Huxley’s 1932 book, describing a different type of dystopia where people are manipulated by the State into thinking of nothing but their own pleasure. It could also be “Animal Farm,” Orwell’s previous 1945 work where the Pigs take over society and the government.

To read the entire article, click HERE.

Trump’s cabinet – what could go wrong?

By: Mike McClary
Published by: Culpeper Star-Exponent
Date Published: December 17, 2016

Tomorrow the Electoral College meets in each of the states and the District of Columbia where the electors will cast their votes for the candidate to which they are committed.

Being an elector is an honor for any member of a political party and the 7th Congressional District will be represented by Harold Boyd, chairman of the Culpeper County Democratic Committee. He will cast our district’s electoral vote for Hillary Clinton, who won Virginia by 5.3 percentage points. Culpeper should be proud of its participation in this last election because voter turnout was almost 75 percent, significantly higher than the national average of 55 percent, the lowest in 20 years.

Among many other things, the president-elect has most recently promised to “drain the swamp” of the establishment creatures that inhabit the quagmire that bubbles inside the Beltway. What do we know so far about his nominees for high posts in the new administration? Who among them might actually be “swamp things?”

To read the entire article, click HERE.

Exploring Druk Yul — The land of the Thunder Dragon

By: Mike McClary
Published by: Culpeper Star-Exponent
Date Published: December 3, 2016

In the spirit of this Christmas season, and as the angels proclaimed in Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (King James Version),” I would like to tell you about another earthly kingdom, about as far as one can get from Culpeper (10,474 miles).

Many people have never heard of Bhutan nor have any idea where it is located.

It’s bigger than Maryland but just smaller than West Virginia — about the size of Switzerland. Its population is about 770,000 — more than that of Alaska, North Dakota or Wyoming.

 To read the entire article, click HERE. 

An America in transition

By: David Reuther
Published by: Culpeper Star-Exponent
Date Published: November 20, 2016

My Depression-era mother always advised, “Be careful of what you wish for.”

Granted wishes sometimes have unintended consequences. With the election over, my Facebook page and email inbox no longer suffer tsunamis of financial appeals or memes. I now can actually find emails from friends and relatives.

In the news, we receive reports of how the newly forming administration is doing, what historical milestones it has met, who is “in” and who is “out.”

To read the entire article, click HERE

Eileen Bedell’s hopes are clear

By: J. M. Ward
Published by: Culpeper Star-Exponent
Date Published: Nov. 6, 2016

There has never been a closer race in the 7th Congressional District.

Virginia native Eileen Bedell is a lawyer in the Richmond area whose practice covers the daily needs and interests of the average person and small businesses. She has to meet a payroll herself and understands small business concerns. 

Dave Brat has never met a payroll and lives in an ivory tower far above the issues that affect the citizens of the 7th District. He is so naive about what the world needs, he has locked himself into comradeship with a shrinking minority of the House, which votes against and criticizes the House leadership.

To read the entire article, click HERE.

I’m not comfortable with Donald Trump

By: Thomas Faircloth
Published by: Culpeper Star-Exponent
Date Published: November 6, 2016

I have read and heard a long list of concerns about Donald Trump’s capability, experience and base appeals. The one that haunts me, and too many of my fellow veterans, is his claim that he knows better than the generals.

I have never heard such a blatant attack on the United States armed services, from someone who only donned a uniform for some fancy ball at a faux military academy.

Trump is saying the American taxpayer wasted its money educating Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard Academy graduates. Trump’s only expertise in education is exemplified in the lawsuits filed against his faux Trump University.

To read the entire article, click HERE. 

Vote for Eileen Bedell and against chaos

By: Mike McClary
Published by: Culpeper Star-Exponent
Date Published: November 5, 2016

Elections have consequences. Our futures and those of our children and grandchildren are at stake this week. Picking our leaders is serious business. If you want to live in the kind of fear-based world that Donald Trump, Dave Brat and their ilk obviously relish, then don’t bother to vote on Nov. 8—you’ll get your wish.

This will be a world in which the president of the United States has a higher opinion of Vladimir Putin than he does of our own American generals and admirals. He has no respect for our veterans, their sacrifices or their families. In the words of a retired Foreign Service officer writing in the American Foreign Service Association Open Forum, “He relies on affect and emotion of a crypto-fascist kind — especially on encouragement of white racial backlash, misogyny, nativism, and a neo-isolationist attitude toward United States involvement in the world.”

To read the entire article, click HERE

Vote Local

By: Thom Faircloth
Published by:  Culpeper Times
Date Published: November 3, 2016

If all politics is local, then the best candidate for the 7th Congressional District is Eileen Bedell.

She is Virginia born and raised, graduated high school at 16, and attended William and Mary law school. As a lawyer she has spent years representing the interests of the average person and small businesses. She will continue that effort as a member of Congress. As a business owner, she has met a payroll. Her Republican opponent has never met a payroll.

To read the rest of the article, click HERE.

Bedell represents everyone while Brat couldn’t be bothered

By: Charles Jameson
Published by: Culpeper Star-Exponent
Date Published: October 27, 2016

This is an important election; we need people to reach across the aisles and represent all people.

I feel, in the 7th District, our representative Dave Brat only represents a limited number of people. I don’t believe I’m being represented. I attended Mr. Brat’s book signing, purchased his book and gave him some information on George Washington Carver Regional High School Alumni Association, Inc.

I invited him to our Aug. 6 event at the school. I also informed him of the Cedar Mountain Battlefield Reenactment at the same location. I was told that Mr. Brat’s calendar would be looked at and I was left with the impression that it might be a possibility of him attending.

 To read the entire article, click HERE.

Have I seen the promised land?

By: David Reuther
Published by: Culpeper Star-Exponent
Date Published: October 22, 2016

I have seen Trump claim that the year’s election is rigged. While this may be an excuse for his own poor performance, it also says that any Republican who wins election this November did so in a rigged election.

How better to undermine the integrity of the electoral system in the world’s greatest democracy?

I have seen the rigged election chant topped by Mr. Trump’s claim that he cannot say whether he will not accept the results of an election in the greatest democracy in the world.

I have seen state officials from all over the country step up and deny Trump’s accusation about rigged elections. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, said, “Our institutions like our election system is one of the bedrocks of American democracy. We should not question it, or the legitimacy of it …[Saying the election is rigged is] irresponsible.”

To read the entire article, click HERE