Home » Op-ed » Recent Articles:

Opinion: Terrorism, Debt, and China: Oh My!

July 7, 2016 Op-ed, Opinion Comments Off on Opinion: Terrorism, Debt, and China: Oh My!
blueridge2.jpg

– By Nick Reid

world can be a very dangerous place sometimes, especially for a nation state such as the United States. Although danger is always present, the number and severity of dangers facing the United States has increased drastically in the seven and a half years of President Obama’s reign. Without any further ado, it’s time to take a look at the three most dangerous threats to the United States right now:

China: Known as the People’s Republic of China (which is, by the way, neither a republic nor governed in the interests of the people), the PRC, or just China, this Asiatic power poses a critical and sophisticated threat to the United States. Despite considerable economic ties, decades of diplomatic relations, and public cooperation, China remains hostile to US interests. Much like Japan in the decades leading up to WWII, China sees itself as future lord of Asia, a destiny which the Chinese government and military see as blocked by the presence of the US military in Asia. Since the beginning of the modernization of its vast military, China has focused on developing ship-killer missiles and satellite-killer missiles, designed to cripple the US military by destroying the bulk of American communications systems and aircraft carriers early in any potential conflict. During the Obama presidency, however, China’s actions have grown more brazen than developments of these weapons, as Chinese troops restrict freedom of the seas in Asia through new island bases. Did I mention that China is also a nuclear power?

The National Debt: Now, while the other threats on this list threaten America and our interests from the outside, our ballooning national debt threatens to corrode us from the inside. During the Obama presidency, this debt has almost doubled, standing at around $19 Trillion today. And the borrowing of money to fund the ever-expanding leviathan of the Federal Government has gotten so pervasive that 46 cents of every dollar spent by the Federal Government is borrowed money. The amount of debt racked up so far is so high that soon the interest on the debt alone will become the single largest expense by the Federal Government yearly. If the debt continues to grow, then the United States economy will collapse much like the economy of debt-laden Greece.

Islamic Terrorism: It comes in many forms, including, but by no means limited to: ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabab, the Taliban, Hamas, and Hezbollah. And although different factions clash with each other from time to time about details, the ultimate goal is clear: to spread political Islam, which uses the religion of Islam as a framework for government. This involves the subjugation of women, the murder of homosexuals, the destruction of all things deemed “un-Islamic” (mainly Western forms of entertainment and education), and the destruction or conversion of non-Muslims. Although this motley assortment of religious fanatics and cold-blooded killers that seem to be characters straight from a Mad Max movie is currently weak and disorganized, Islamic terrorism presents the greatest potential to grow as a threat if left unchecked. For example, under President Obama’s (ineffectual) watch, ISIS has emerged out of relative obscurity to destroy the fragile peace the Americans had created in Iraq, becoming the most spectacularly successful (in a morbid sense of the word) Islamic terrorist group in terms of territory held. ISIS, in particular, shows how rapidly Islamic terror can spread if not countered by strong military action to stop its spread (which the Iraqis most certainly did not provide). This speed and ease of spread is why Islamic terrorism makes this list.

This is, by no means, an exhaustive list of the threats facing the United States today. However, these threats, unless checked, will only continue to grow. This election season may very well decide whether this happens or not.

Nick Reid is a graduate of Loudoun County high schools and is currently pursuing a degree in geology and paleontology at the South Dakoda School of Mines.

Metro Money Mess Pushing West

July 6, 2016 Op-ed, Opinion 2 comments
blueridge2.jpg

– By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33rd)

A local paper recently quoted Loudoun Board Chair Phyllis Randall as saying that in her observation “some of the concerns raised by the people who opposed Metro are coming to fruition.” Chair Randall’s statement is quite accurate. I, along with many others, vocally opposed the terms Loudoun signed on to. The yet-to-be resolved concerns which were brought to the previous board over and over again are mostly financial, but will impact future development in Loudoun.

While Loudoun’s Metro commitment is referred to by some as an investment, that is a stretch. Loudoun County committed $268 million to build our shiny new Silver Line onto the existing Metro system, which is almost completely worn out. If Metro were a privately-owned business, it would have declared bankruptcy long ago. Instead it hobbles along, becoming less safe and less popular by the day.
By opting to partner on the Metro extension into Loudoun, taxpayers became a party to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Compact. That obligates Loudoun County to pay an unspecified share of the Metro funding starting when the Silver Line becomes operational in the County. The County’s estimate when it opted into the project in 2012 was for WMATA payments to be $17 million in FY2019 growing to $36 million in FY2045, a 27-year total of $721 million.

Where will Loudoun County get all that money? For now, station-area real estate taxes, and gas tax revenue. But those revenue streams won’t scratch the surface when the big ticket items hit, such as money for ongoing operation, money for long-overdue bottom-up system rebuild, money to pay for the $2.5-billion-dollar unfunded employee pension liability, and money to build the critically needed multi-billion-dollar new tunnel under the Potomac. Like it or not, these huge liabilities came with the package.

In preparation for Metro development, Loudoun County has initiated a plan to spend heavily on roads to accommodate Metro-related development, some of that development will take place on Dulles Airport property and be exempt from proffers. It is very important to note that in Virginia, with very few exceptions, roads typically are funded by VDOT or by land developers, not with county dollars.
Departing from that trend and taking on the role of developer, on April 5th of this year, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors adopted the FY17 budget, including the FY 2017-2022 Capital Improvement Program (CIP). Capital improvements include buses, school buildings, equipment, etc. Approximately 38 percent of the CIP’s projected spending for the next six fiscal years is on transportation projects; this amounts to about $723 million. Twelve projects in the FY2017-2022 CIP are directly related to improving access to Metrorail or to non-Silver-Line WMATA capital projects, accounting for $263 million, about 36 percent of all transportation spending. Those twelve projects saw a nearly 200 percent increase in funding from the previous year’s CIP, when they were slated for only $89 million.
The twelve projects also do not include three additional Metrorail-station-area projects whose funding authorization was completed last year – another $165 million. These CIP figures also do not take into account the money the County is spending on Dulles Rail construction costs, or operations and maintenance subsidies Loudoun taxpayers will be obligated to when Metro begins service to Loudoun County.

Loudoun County is in a tight spot. Paying for the Silver Line construction by taxing the developers who are profiting from Metro development is better than taxing people who never use the Metro. But by allowing more rezoning and development in exchange for proffers, you perpetuate a cycle which always leaves taxpayers on the hook. Well-established trends in Loudoun and elsewhere reveal that rezoning and the eventual new development create demand for new services and infrastructure which proffers never fully cover. By pushing forward with massive new development to provide revenue to Loudoun and riders to Metro, as a county we are digging ourselves deeper into a financial hole.

Loudoun supervisors see cash proffers as a valuable source of revenue to address the impacts of new development, impacts which would otherwise be funded through general tax revenue. I agree that counties should be allowed to protect taxpayers by accepting proffers that are fair and allowed by law. The newly revised proffer law just passed by the General Assembly allows that. Loudoun favors having broader discretion to accept proffers in exchange for rezoning to allow higher density development.
Metro has a well-established history of unmet ridership goals and funding shortages. Elected leaders are not likely to admit a mistake like committing to partner on Metro under horrible terms; instead they tend to push forward decisions which try to fix past mistakes, in this case by seeking to stimulate proffer income and Metro ridership with new development.

The easiest, but not the best, way to make Metro in Loudoun County appear successful is to ignore the promises made four years ago in the run up to opting in, promises that new development would be non-residential and be confined to the eastern part of the County. Loudoun County taxpayers should not be the backstop for the Metro money mess nor should we allow our beautiful rural countryside to be overrun with development pushing west trying to proffer our way out of the hole.

Delegate Dave LaRock was elected in November 2013 to represent the 33rd House District, including parts of Loudoun, Clarke and Frederick Counties, and the towns of Leesburg (partial), Purcellville, Berryville, Lovettsville, Round Hill, Hamilton and Hillsboro. LaRock serves on the Transportation Committee, the Science and Technology Committee and the Education Committee. Dave and his wife, Joanne, have lived in Loudoun for 29 years, building a successful family-owned general contracting business. The LaRocks reside near Hamilton with Laura, Abby and John, the youngest of their seven children.

Oh No, It’s the Christians!

February 3, 2016 Op-ed, Opinion Comments Off on Oh No, It’s the Christians!
blueridge2

By Nicholas Reid

In the hours and days following every massacre perpetrated by radical Muslims, there is one unifying theme across most news coverage of the massacre, wherever it may be. All manner of talking heads are invited on to warn the public about a possible “Christian backlash.” However, there is something that isn’t mentioned in these broadcasts. There never is a “Christian backlash,” yet the tone of such media broadcasts makes it sound as if the world’s Christians are just waiting for an excuse to start murdering Muslims in the streets. Sure, mosques and Islamic cultural centers will phone in reports of threats phoned in against them, but the validity of a vast majority of these claims is very often debunked through police investigation. … Continue Reading

This Is the Enemy 

December 2, 2015 Op-ed, Opinion 1 comment
blueridge2

By Nicholas Reid 

I was originally going to write this column about refuting the claim that America is a fundamentally racist country.  But then Paris happened and forced my hand to write about ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.  The barbarity of ISIS’s actions inside the Middle East is at a level not seen since the days of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in the Second World War.  In fact, it is even worse, because ISIS takes no prisoners.  None.  ISIS executioners utilize a bevy of barbaric execution methods, ranging from shootings to mass drownings to running prisoners over with tanks, all of which are videotaped and used as propaganda.  Worse still is the fact that ISIS’s propaganda is effective.  The Jihadist group has attracted tens of thousands of recruits, including more than 3,000 from outside the Middle East.  Why?  Well, either there are many people who just like killing others in brutally horrific fashions, or there is something else motivating them.  Something like their radical version of their faith.  It is important to point out that while not all Muslims are members of ISIS, all members of ISIS are Muslims-Muslims who believe in an especially violent and extreme form of Islam, which they justify through their twisted interpretations of quotations from the Koran and other Islamic teachings.  ISIS’s brand of Islam may be denounced by most Muslims, but the number of Muslims devoted to the organization’s form of Islam represents a giant threat to civilized people all over the world.  … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

 

Columns

The Holocene Climate

noerpel_new

(Public Input Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, 7 March, 2017) Figure 1 shows the climate variation over the last million years. The low points on the curve correspond to ice ages when glaciers up to a mile thick covered New …

Choosing To Forgive

moore-sobelnewmug

By Samuel Moore-Sobel “Truly forgiving is the ability to say, ‘Thank you for giving me that experience.’” James Arthur Ray vaulted into fame on the Oprah Winfrey Show back in the mid-2000’s. Stunned hearing these words while watching The Rise and …

Five Key Retirement Questions

Smith0035

Beyond asking yourself where you see yourself and even what your lifelong goal are, effective retirement and longevity planning begs some very big questions. Review the points below and consider how housing, transportation and health considerations all play a role …

Work Woes

drmikenewpic

By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, I’m a manager at a large tech company and my boss has directed me to fire someone on my team, but as a Christian, I just can’t do it. It’s true that the employee …

Joy or Suffering

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde No one likes to suffer. When given the chance, many people would choose to laugh rather than cry, to sit in silence with their friends rather than talk through their feelings, because not even their friends …

Wage Radio

wage

I will always remember – very fondly – the first time I ever set foot on the property at 711 Wage Drive Southwest in Leesburg, Virginia. It was a warm, sunny July morning in 1997, and I’d driven all the …

Speaking Truth to Power

noerpel_new

“With public sentiment nothing can fail. Without it nothing can succeed.” Abraham Lincoln On Thursday evening, February 23, I requested the Board of Supervisors pass a proclamation resolving to support the March for Science on Earth Day, April 22 [1]. …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016

grads_woodgrove

Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …

(Be the first to comment)

Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016

buckland

Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …

(Be the first to comment)

Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016

adamspromoted

Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …

(Be the first to comment)

Calendar

March 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
February 27, 2017 February 28, 2017 March 1, 2017 March 2, 2017 March 3, 2017

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV
March 4, 2017

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event
March 5, 2017
March 6, 2017 March 7, 2017 March 8, 2017 March 9, 2017 March 10, 2017 March 11, 2017 March 12, 2017
March 13, 2017 March 14, 2017 March 15, 2017 March 16, 2017 March 17, 2017 March 18, 2017

Wine & Chili Weekend

Wine & Chili Weekend
March 19, 2017

Joshua Carr River Safety Foundation Rummage Sale

Joshua Carr River Safety Foundation Rummage Sale
March 20, 2017 March 21, 2017 March 22, 2017 March 23, 2017 March 24, 2017

March Fourth Friday

March Fourth Friday
March 25, 2017 March 26, 2017

Spring Brunch

Spring Brunch

Spring Brunch

Spring Brunch
March 27, 2017 March 28, 2017 March 29, 2017 March 30, 2017 March 31, 2017 April 1, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

Nebbiolo Vertical Tasting

Nebbiolo Vertical Tasting

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Old Time Country Ham and Turkey Dinner

Old Time Country Ham and Turkey Dinner
April 2, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater, “One Slight Hitch”

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater, “One Slight Hitch”
Current Print Issue:
Sign up for our email newsletter:

Recent Comments

  • David on Protecting Free Speech: Constitutionally protected speech is exactly what it sounds like, protected. We all have the legal right to utter nonsensical and...
  • Martha on Protecting Free Speech: Free speech is not a cherished right at the not-quite accredited Patrick Henry College, a religious school that Del. LaRock...
  • Martha Polkey on First Look at Envision Loudoun Results: It remains to be seen whether the direction citizens have provided to the Envision process is actually incorporated into the...
  • David on Protecting Free Speech: Mr. LaRock, I assume that the only reason you weren’t at every School Board meeting in 2005 passionately defending the...
  • LongTimePville on Purcellville Emergency Meeting Postponed to March 10: I bet Kelli Grim flip flops on her conflicts of interest and transparency campaign she ran on and does not...

Steady and NoBull

Lifestyle

Sterling Library Moving To New Location

25 Mar 2017

Library

Sterling Library’s current location, 120 Enterprise St., Sterling, will close beginning Saturday, March 25, to prepare for the opening of the new Sterling Library on Saturday, April 15. Patrons can return library materials using the drop box at the new location, 22330 S. Sterling Boulevard.

(Be the first to comment)

Middleburg Gallery Presents Country Pursuits Exhibit

25 Mar 2017

Mr and Mrs Andrews 24x35 59 2016 whelan

The Gallery on Madison in Middleburg is presenting an exhibit of Brian Whelan’s (a London Irish painter now settled in Waterford) ) transcriptions of a gallery of paintings by Thomas Gainsborough, ‘Mr. and Mrs. Andrews’ through April 2. The exhibit includes 23 paintings, two masks, two graphics, and nine preparatory drawings.

(Be the first to comment)

Loudoun Workforce Resource Center Presents STEM Career Fair March 28

16 Mar 2017

Illustration of STEM education word typography design in orange theme with icon ornament elements

Anyone interested in a career in the rapidly growing field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is encouraged to attend an upcoming STEM Career Fair in Loudoun. The Loudoun Workforce Resource Center, in partnership with Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC)’s Loudoun campus and NOVA SySTEMic Solutions, is holding a STEM Career Fair Tuesday, March 28, from 1:00 to 4:00 …

(Be the first to comment)

Editorial

Priscilla Nabs Plum Planning Commission Post

Loudoun County Seal Color

Appointment Shocks Many On January 3 Supervisor Tony R. Buffington Jr. (R-Blue Ridge) nominated Tom Priscilla for the Loudoun County Planning Commission to represent the Blue Ridge District. Priscilla was …

Op-ed

Opinion: Terrorism, Debt, and China: Oh My!

blueridge2.jpg

– By Nick Reid world can be a very dangerous place sometimes, especially for a nation state such as the United States. Although danger is always present, the number and …

Metro Money Mess Pushing West

blueridge2.jpg

– By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33rd) A local paper recently quoted Loudoun Board Chair Phyllis Randall as saying that in her observation “some of the concerns raised by the people …

Dear Editor

Why Williams Gap Road Should Not Be Paved

blueridge2

Today, most residents of Loudoun County know nothing about Williams Gap, even those living on Williams Gap Road (Route 711). Knowing who “Williams” was, why a gap in the Blue …

Vote No To the Minor Special Exception

catesbyproposal

We are a group of Loudoun County citizens who will be adversely affected if the board grants a special exception for the Catesby Farm property at your upcoming meeting. You …

View From the Ridge

Broken Promises, Hidden by a Six-Foot Berm

blueridge2

By Andrea Gaines On August 9, 1825 at the age of 69, French military officer the Marquis de Lafayette was honored in Leesburg by former President James Monroe. The French-born …

Around Virginia

Virginia Schools Kick Off Statewide Campaign To Encourage Safe Teen Driving

image004

More teen drivers in Virginia will be involved in traffic crashes between the months of May and August than any other time of the year, statistics show. To help save lives and prevent such crashes during the high-risk warm weather months, Virginia schools are kicking off a statewide teen safety …

(Be the first to comment)

Protecting Free Speech

Dave_larock

By Dave LaRock (R-33) As elected officials and members of the legislature, our most fundamental responsibility is to protect God-given constitutionally protected rights. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits the government, including governmental public colleges and universities, from infringing on free speech and the free exercise of …

(3 comments)

Walbridge To Run for State Delegate in the 33rd District

Tia walbridge

Tia Walbridge announces her run for the District 33 seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Walbridge is a wife and mother of two daughters and an active member of the Round Hill community. “Like many people in our district, my family has found its prosperity in a Virginia-based small …

(Be the first to comment)

Sports

Vikings Runner-Up at the State Championship 

8 Mar 2017

vikings

The Loudoun Valley Vikings are the boy’s runner-up at the VHSL 4A State Indoor Track and Field Championships at Roanoke College.  During the 2015-2016 school year, the Loudoun County School Board approved Indoor Track and Field as a Tier 2 (self-funded) sport.  The seven boys competing scored 48 points, second …

(Be the first to comment)

WLVBC U14 Boys Finish 3rd at VA Beach Event

23 Feb 2017

WLVBC300

The Western Loudoun Volleyball Club’s U14 Boys Team garnered 3rd place in their first travel tournament of 2017, the Virginia Beach Invitational. This event was held Feb. 18-19 and featured more than 24 teams from the U14 to U18 age group. The team was second on their net on day …

(Be the first to comment)

Archives

  • +2017
  • +2016
  • +2015
  • +2014
  • +2013
  • +2012
  • +2011
  • +2010
  • +2009