Rahm SHOULD be allowed to run

By Dan McDermott
Warren County Report

The Illinois Court of Appeals is wrong.

Today’s decision denying Rahm Emanuel’s residency requirement to run for Mayor of Chicago is anti-American and anti-democratic. (That’s a small ‘d’ but I suppose you could substitute either.)

This issue hits home to me.

I was born in Okinawa, Japan in 1968 because my dad was stationed there. At the time, the entire island was a U.S. military base and a U.S. territory.

As I was growing up my dad (who fought communism for the United States for over thirty years) always said it bothered him that I could never become president because I wasn’t a ‘natural born citizen.’

I am very proud of my dad’s service but I assured him there would be plenty of other reasons why I could never become president. (My freshman year of college comes to mind…)

Then John McCain announced his bid for the White House and we discovered that he had been born under similar circumstances. McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone because his dad was a US Naval officer at the time and was stationed there.

So McCain was a natural born US citizen from birth even though he wasn’t born in the 50 states.

Clearly when Rahm Emanual moved from Chicago to temporarily work in the White House it was because (like most Americans) when the President of the United States asks for you to work for him it is hard to say no.

I don’t think that going on the equivalent of a political deployment should prevent you from being a resident back home.

George W. Bush maintained his Texas residency and paid taxes there the whole time he was president. Many presidents have done the same thing.

I have no problem with that at all.

The White House wasn’t ‘his’ house any more than it was Rahm’s.

They just worked there.

Chicagoans should choose their mayor. Not two out of three judges.

Dan McDermott publishes three Virginia newspapers: Warren County Report, The Lynchburg Times and The Sherando Times. Email: dan@lynchburgtimes.com

Published in: on January 24, 2011 at 5:11 pm  Comments (1)  

An open letter to Yahoo Small Business

Dear Yahoo,

Why have you forsaken me?

On Nov. 12, 2002 I signed up for a free email account with your service. The web interface was (and is) great. It’s easy to use, fairly fast and free.

I recommended to my staff, friends and family that they get accounts and many did.

I was so impressed that I decided to buy my first domain and web hosting/email package from you on Aug. 3, 2003.

Things went well and I bought three more packages in 2004, 2008 and 2009.

Currently we use our commercial Yahoo services to host a web TV show, a local calendar of events and sites for our two popular Northern Virginia newspapers, Warren County Report and The Sherando Times.

A few years ago my account was having technical issues and it took days for you to fix. I stuck with you.

Last year you were having problems with your email search. It took months for you to fix. I stuck with you.

Then our current nightmare began.

We have a main news editor account for our newspapers. Editor@warrencountyreport.com.

With this account we get press releases from everyone from the local police department and the United Way to the Smithsonian and the White House.

People might inquire as to where to go to buy an ad or get a back issue.

We use this account to communicate with our 27,000 readers. We get complaints, praise, tips, you name it. Sometimes people just want to talk.

This account is our main method of staying in touch with the people we report on and those who read our work.

On Friday this email account was incorrectly “temporarily suspended” by you and no one could send us email. If they sent us a message it was bounced back. We have no idea who may have sent us email these past four days but it is not unusual for us to get hundreds in a day.

I didn’t discover this until Sunday because no at Yahoo bothered to tell us. You just shut it down.

I spent hours on the phone with your customer service representatives. They agreed that my account should not have been suspended but said that it should be cut back on within 48 hours.

I explained that since you agreed it shouldn’t have been cut off it should be cut back on right away or within a reasonable period, say 30 minutes. They said that the technical people didn’t work on weekends and that they would be busy on Monday but that I would probably be cut back on then.


It is now day four and I am still waiting.

We think the problem was caused when a salesperson at one of my papers got a phishing email asking for her username and password. She forwarded the email to me to ask if it was real. I forwarded it to one of my tech/design staff.

We believe that when I forwarded the email it triggered an alert that we might be sending out spam.

My mistake.

Even though I had innocently forwarded it to a tech at my paper (all within our domain) I can see that your filter might have been wary.

No problem. I don’t like spam or phishing emails any more than anyone else and I applaud you for trying to prevent it.

But after 6 years of paying you, shouldn’t you tell me if there is a problem?

Shouldn’t you alert me that you are cutting off my account and returning all of our email?

And should this occur on a Friday is it fair to make a newspaper–or any business–wait until Monday or Tuesday to get the service restored?

Do you have any idea how many days it will take to try and straighten out all of the things we missed? How many wasted days? How many angry people we will have to deal with? How many important emails we will never know were sent? Events we didn’t cover?

You call your service “Yahoo Small Business.” What business can go four days without email because your tech people don’t work weekends?

Nobody is perfect. And for the fifty bucks I send you every month I don’t feel I am entitled to my own tech support substation in my office.

But you cut us off, didn’t tell us and then left for the weekend.

I hope when you return you figure out a better way to handle this.

I hope you work harder to treat your small business customers like their business matters.

Until then I am disappointed in an old friend.

It is day 4.


Dan McDermott
Newspaper publisher and loyal Yahoo customer since 2003.

[For publication in the print and online versions of Warren County Report and The Sherando Times. ]

Published in: on May 17, 2010 at 5:31 pm  Comments (2)  

Dan McDermott: Just another tech show (VIDEO)

– Google has a new look.
– FCC push to ‘softly regulate’ broadband: http://www.pcworld.com/article/195773/
– Virgin: $25 text/data plan: http://tinyurl.com/26ty59s
– Nowmov.com is cool: http://nowmov.com
– Justin.TV CEO on live video: http://tinyurl.com/34nojx7
– Check out Larry Sabato on Twitter: http://twitter.com/larrysabato
– Dan McDermott: http://twitter.com/danielpmcdermothttp://live.warrencountyreport.comhttp://youtube.com/wcrnewshttp://warrencountyreport.comhttp://sherandotimes.com
Recorded on 5/8/2010 – Captured Live at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/warrencountyreport-com-live

The early May edition of Warren County Report

Left-click to open. Right-click to download.

McDermott & Bianchini Episode 1

Healthcare Hysteria!
– President Obama’s healthcare bill has passed. What’s in it?
– Why so much misinformation?
– People are freaking out. Is it similar to the reaction to desegregation?
– Australia spends half as much of GDP on healthcare and everyone is covered.
– Doctors say it was a bad idea to have let the health insurance companies take over health care.

Guinea Pig-Gate: A Front Royal man is charged with buying a guinea pig at a pet store, killing it and making it into a hat which he wore around his neighborhood.
– Should he be charged with a hunting violation?
– Should you be allowed to kill your pets?
– Is the man competent to stand trial?
– Is it hypocritical to say cute furry animals can’t be killed but cows can?
– What if he had fed it to a snake?

Is Front Royal about to over burden local businesses with luxury taxes?
– Front Royal, VA will not raise real estate or personal property taxes.
– The town is facing a $700,000 budget shortfall but by law must balance it’s budget.
– The town is considering some luxury tax hikes that could affect smokers, restaurants and hotels.
– People freaking out over $20 a year
– Will town businesses lose customers to Warren County?

Police Chief criticized for speaking at public hearing in uniform with gun.
– Front Royal, VA Police Chief Richard H. Furr was criticized for an email sent by an aide advocating a tax hike to fully fund his department.
– He was also criticized for speaking at a town council public hearing while wearing his uniform and gun.
– Fair charge or silly town politics?
– Town police chiefs always go to town council meetings in uniform.

Published in: on March 26, 2010 at 1:38 am  Comments (2)  

Virginia legislator: ‘My War with the Eastern Box Turtle’

(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department photo)

Dear Friend

“What do you have against turtles?”

Today I did something I never imagined I would have to do when I was elected to serve in the Senate of Virginia. I spoke and voted against legislation to make the box turtle as our state reptile (passed 24-15). That has led to some asking me, “What do you have against turtles?” It’s not a question I anticipated being asked this session, but it’s one I’ve heard more than a few times in the last few days.

For the record, I don’t have anything against the Eastern Box Turtle or terrapins in general, so there’s no need to speculate.

No, I don’t object to turtles; I object to wasting time on trivialities while seriously contemplating pushing back the budget for some later date. I have nothing against the Eastern Box, but I do have a problem with the amount of time we’ve spent this session on bills that have nothing to do with making our Commonwealth a better place, to say nothing of getting our economy back on track. This bill is just one isolated, albeit absurd (okay, even slightly amusing), example of a larger trend.

Is designating a state reptile really worth our time? We already have a state beverage, state insect, and a state gold mining interpretive center – presumably to distinguish it from the pretenders. We even have a state fossil, an extinct scallop.

I concede that Virginia trails other states in designations. We don’t have a state shrub, a state grass, or even a state donut. But if we’re to pick a state reptile, how to choose? Sure, the Eastern Box Turtle is a fine choice, but there’s something to be said for the endangered stinkpot turtle, too. And who doesn’t have a soft spot for other reptilian species, like the yellow-bellied slider, the common five-lined skink (and, of course, some would undoubtedly suggest politicians and lawyers)?

You know, we have a state shell as well. Increasingly, though, I think our state shell should be the one some in government are hiding under they we wait for the economic ill winds to pass us by. One of the counties I represent has an 11.7% unemployment rate, and they’re not alone. People are struggling to make ends meet across the Commonwealth, and they need the General Assembly to redouble its efforts to promote economic recovery, not ignore the problem in the hopes that it will just go away.

So nothing against the turtle – but if I had my way, he’d have to get in line.

Mark Obenshain
Virginia State Senator

Published in: on February 10, 2009 at 2:19 pm  Comments (10)  

Free complete print edition: Mid January, 2009

Click here to open

Inside this issue:

  • Front Royal, VA woman loses finger in domestic dispute
  • Browntown Road shooting
  • Additional charges filed in Warren County, VA house ramming incident
  • Two arrested in Papa John’s Pizza robbery
  • Be on the lookout for Daniel Eli of Bethlehem, PA
  • Driveway scams
  • Openings for Citizens Police Academy
  • R-MA teacher honored
  • State River Park attendance down
  • New Linden, VA trash site opens
  • Town of Front Royal, VA approaches liaison: Let’s talk – just not about ‘that’
  • Warren County, VA approves 5-pronged January liaison agenda
  • Capt. Richard H. Furr makes it official – applying for Front Royal, VA police chief’s job
  • Del. Clay Athey’s Report from Richmond, VA
  • Neighbors point fingers (not guns) during shooting debate
  • ‘Pawsitive Pup’ makes dog grooming more convenient
  • NFL playoffs – Still Cheering Purple Pride
  • Activities & events in Front Royal and Warren County, VA
  • Opinion: The Gaza Holocaust
  • Letter: History’s Revenge
  • Front Royal/Warren County, VA Chamber of Commerce news
  • Entire issue is free here.

Also, 2008: The Year in Review

  • 2008 – It wasn’t that great: From bad weather to a lousy economy – good riddance
  • Inventor John Kovak: Childhood machine could be key to clean energy production in Front Royal, VA
  • CPV, Dominion Power make it official – the ‘buy’ is on
  • Paying for our own noose? Front Royal, VA debates the true price of power – 50 years of coal
  • Loss of father, two young children mourned at Candlelight Vigil
  • Town of Front Royal, VA approves corridor, EDA resolutions  – Threat of litigation by Riverton Commons restaurants hovers over passage
  • First Crooked Run Center tax revenue estimates in
  • Town, FDR Services settle water-sewer rate war – Two years of litigation ends with compromise, 15-year service contract
  • Should the Dow be at 3,000? Up a grand, down a grand – Great Depression 2.0?
  • Show me the money – Brooks calls out EDA financing – EDA’s reduced municipal funding request opens a fiscal can of worms
  • Town move on EDA assets likely futile – Virginia state law protects autonomy of economic development authorities
  • Town to EDA – ‘Pretty please with sugar on top’ – Town rephrases effort to gain control of millions in EDA assets
  • Abusive driver fees’ hit the dustbin of legislative history – Refunds included in ‘civil remedial fee’ repeal signed into law by Virginia governor
  • Virginia Governor Tim Kaine cites importance of dialogue in state government
  • Va. Supreme Court rules against NVTA road taxing – Local plaintiff, delegate weigh in on decision, state funding responsibilities
  • Questions remain about Virginia state trooper collision – Public’s right to know at issue as accident investigation continues
  • Humane Society board recalled under contentious circumstances – Accusations fly over membership voting eligibility, animal care priorities
  • Wagner Shelter two weeks later – ‘a remarkable change’; In the wake of contentious board recall, humans & animals move on
  • Monk murder mystery – A personal remembrance of a soul in wonder
  • Entire issue is free here.

The Gaza Holocaust (Op-ed)

Photo by Bilal Mirza

Photo by Bilal Mirza

Israeli dissent: ‘Israel is like the abused child who grows up to be the abuser.’

By Elizabeth Molchany

The 1967 war between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, and Syria was born of a lie that Israel had to wage a pre-emptive attack to defend itself, much as George Bush said the US had to wage a pre-emptive attack against Iraq because it had weapons of mass destruction.

Declassified documents in recent years of statements by Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan reveal the contrary. Since then, in violation of more than 100 UN resolutions and the Geneva Conventions, not to mention the international standard of unlawful aggression the US held Iraq to as justification for the first Gulf War in 1991, Israel has retained control of the Occupied Territories it captured in 1967 and committed numerous atrocities reported in its own media, to which the US is complicit in its American-made, Americanpaid DC9 Caterpillars, F16s, and Apache helicopters, among other weapons.

Home made placard from Melbourne protest December 30, 2008 about Israel’s attack on Gaza. Photo by Takver taken on Swanston Street towards the back of the march.

Home made placard from Melbourne protest December 30, 2008 about Israel’s attack on Gaza. Photo by Takver taken on Swanston Street towards the back of the march.

The Occupied Territories includes the Gaza Strip, a small 25 x 6 mile area bordering the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, inhabited by 1.5 million Palestinians, 20 percent of whom and their forefathers have lived there for centuries. Eighty percent are refugees created when 750,000 Palestinians were forced or fled in fear from their homes in what is now Israel in April 1948, before the first Arab-Israeli war. They and their forefathers had lived there for 1600 years since the 7th century.

For 42 years, Israel has had tight control over Gaza, making it the world’s largest prison. No one may leave or enter without an Israeli permit. When its troops left in 2005, Israel left 44 acres of massive rubble when it demolished Jewish-only housing rather than leave it for the Gazans to use as an act of good faith since it had illegally occupied the land so long.

But Israel retained control of Gaza’s air, land, and sea, and the money they earn on produce and other products, and imposed a blockade on food, fuel, water, electricity, medicine, even ink and paper and parts and supplies necessary for a viable economy.

Because of this, thousands of Palestinians are starving, hopeless, and helpless. It is the middle of winter, they are freezing and without fuel, food or money. In an open and democratic election in 2005, Hamas was elected.

Hamas has refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist based on Israel’s refusal to accept the existence of a Palestinian state and their rights to human dignity, freedom and security. Despite this, Hamas immediately offered Israel a 10-year ceasefire and acceptance of a 2-state solution if Israel would agree to return to the 1967 borders. Israel refused. Hamas abided by its own 18-month unilateral truce.

In June 2008, Hamas and Israel agreed to a 6-month truce during which Israel was to relax its blockade.

Israel immediately breached that part, and would not even allow Gazans to fish within 3 miles of their own coast without a permit, stringently enforced.

Palestinian men bury the body of 4-year-old Lama Hamdan at Beit Hanoun cemetery in the northern Gaza Strip December 30, 2008. Lama and her sister were reportedly riding a donkey cart Tuesday near a rocket-launching site that was targeted by Israel. Photo by Amir Farshad Ebrahimi

Palestinian men bury the body of 4-year-old Lama Hamdan at Beit Hanoun cemetery in the northern Gaza Strip December 30, 2008. Lama and her sister were reportedly riding a donkey cart Tuesday near a rocket-launching site that was targeted by Israel. Photo by Amir Farshad Ebrahimi

On November 4, Israel again breached the truce by entering Gaza, killing 6 Palestinians, and sealing the borders, denying food and all necessities, foreign journalists and dignitaries, including President Carter. On Dec 27, Israel launched its massive assault despite the fact that not one Israeli had died during the past year from a Qassam Rocket. Hamas responded with its only weapons, Qassam Rockets, killing 4 Israelis. Since Israel’s attack with American weapons, hundreds of Palestinians have been killed, 3,000 wounded, and their entire infrastructure destroyed or seriously damaged, including homes, the American school, the university, dormitories, stores, markets, fishing boats, the Gaza mental heath center. This massacre, planned six months in advance, is not about Hamas or rockets but about Israel’s upcoming elections and denying the right of a Palestinian state. On January 14, nine Israeli human rights organizations issued a letter stating that “This kind of fighting constitutes a blatant violation of the laws of warfare and raises the suspicion, which we ask be investigated, of the commission of war crimes.” http://www.btselem.org/English/ See its accompanying report on “The Humanitarian Collapse in the Gaza Strip.”

Had Israel wanted peace, it would have returned the occupied territories to the Palestinians, the rightful owners under international law; it would have accepted the Saudi peace initiatives offered in 2002 and 2007, which all 21 Arab states signed, recognizing Israel and offering it permanent peace in return for an Israeli withdrawal from lands captured in 1967, establishing a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and a just solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees.

Each time, Israel said no, contradicting the notion Israel alone seeks a just and peaceful solution to regional issues. http://tinyurl.com/SA2007PlanHaaretz and http://tinyurl.com/JPAcceptInitiative

Please do not rely on the mainstream US media – you will not find the truth there. Research the alternative media on the Internet and other sources, such as Link and Free Speech TV’s “Democracy Now” daily news show, online sources such as Jewish Voices for Peace, the Electronic Intifada, or England’s print media The Independence and The Observer, which are also available online, as are the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, and Israeli organizations such “Gush Shalom,” “B’tselem” and “Breaking the Silence: Israeli Soldiers Talk About the Occupied” – the latter at www.shovrimshtika.org/index_e.asp

As one Israeli conscientious objector recently stated in a “Democracy Now” interview after being released from prison, “At least in Israel there is debate over the actions of the right-wing government, in the US you don’t even get that.”

Elizabeth Molchany is an attorney in private practice in Front Royal, VA. Ms. Molchany is a long-time student of the crisis in the Middle East. She can be reached at: emmolchanylaw@embarqmail.com

Published in: on January 9, 2009 at 9:03 pm  Comments (57)  
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