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Daniel vs. LaRock

September 24, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion 1 comment

Like many of the letter-writers who support Dave LaRock for delegate, I too found him a friendly, unthreatening guy when I met him. We were both passing out leaflets for candidates on a back-to-school night in Hamilton. Between waves of incoming parents we had a chance to chat. He spent most of that time trying, earnestly and sincerely, to convince me that America is in real danger from being taken over by Sharia, the religious laws of Islam. I expressed my doubts and he promised to send me the web pages with the evidence. I gave him my email address but I never did receive any evidence.

Is this really what we want our delegate in Richmond to be spending time and effort on? Mary Daniel, a practical moderate with enormous experience who wants to work to improve the lives of Virginians, not ride off on some ideological hobby horse, is whom I am supporting.

David Williams

Where’s the Beef

September 24, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Where’s the Beef

When I hear Mary Daniel rehash over and over again how she’s a moderate just like our last moderate Delegate, I’m reminded of Walter Mondale and that old Wendy’s ad – “Where’s the beef?”

The beef isn’t in her approach to taxes, Daniel isn’t saying whether she’ll raise them, lower them, or try to keep them the same. She says the last tax hike wasn’t perfect, but she doesn’t want to change any of the bad parts, either.

There isn’t any beef on her website. There isn’t any in her interviews. I have yet to hear her even mention jobs or the economy, much less come offer a single suggestion as to how we’re going to improve our business environment here in the state. There’s not only no beef, there’s no bun. There isn’t even any lettuce. … Continue Reading

Supports LaRock

September 8, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion 4 comments

Both candidates who willingly threw their names into the hat for the 33rd district race deserve accolades for their bravery! I have a lot of respect for the hard work and dedication it must take, and we should commend them for their service.

With that being said, I still have to choose a candidate to vote for in November. I believe Dave LaRock rather than Mary Daniel is the best choice to serve our commonwealth. I have never met Daniel and have only met LaRock a handful of times at events he has participated in around Berryville. Dave isn’t a career politician, nor does he have a desire to be. He wasn’t hand-picked by his party and given instructions about what type of campaign he should run. I have yet to see any real ideas come from Daniel’s campaign, but knowing she is a Democrat tells me where she stands on the issues. Dave has laid out the best plan for lowering taxes, spending wisely, and keeping Virginia a business friendly state. He deserves a shot at taking his ideas to Richmond to work with other politicians to help Virginia families prosper in the future!

Rives Bacon

Why Not Support Educational Freedom

September 4, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion 1 comment

Last week, Democrat nominee for the 33rd House race, Mary Daniel answered a question that I didn’t know anyone was asking. On the concept of parent-directed education, Daniel gave a resounding “no.” Her comments on taxes, public schools, and educational freedom show a rigid adherence to the status quo, and a surprising unwillingness to consider funding options that have been shown to have no negative impact on public schools when implemented in the real world.

By fighting against the ability of parents to pay for the educational choice that they think is right for their kids, Daniel is showing she’s really opposed to the concept of educational freedom altogether. If she’s already unreceptive to the idea of financial options for families with kids in school now, I don’t expect her to be more receptive if and when she’s elected.

As a soon to be parent I want what’s best for my child, and I want to be able to cast my vote for someone who also cares about giving our kids the best education. We can be trusted to do what’s best for our kids, but for the life of me, I don’t understand why Democrats insist that the only educational freedom we should have is the freedom to choose public schools.

Jesse Andrews

Another Year, No More Excuses

September 4, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion 2 comments

Dear Supervisor Clark:

I would like to direct your attention once again to three pressing issues which remain unresolved for the citizens of Purcellville North whom you represent. These issues are the negative impact of poorly routed traffic, unbridled noise and unabated lighting upon public safety and the general well being of our community.

The majority of these issues revolve around the Woodgrove High School complex. In general, there is a lack of enforcement of existing traffic regulations including speed which poses a danger to the public. Additionally, the considerable number of school buses, large trucks and motor coaches using Purcellville Road as a short cut rather than using the intended Rt. 690 are causing costly damage to our narrow road and creating a hazardous situation.

Specifically, the high noise level created by both traffic and school events has become a constant day and night time occurrence throughout the school year and the summer months as well. The noise problem can be resolved by adding outdoor sound absorbing materials, such as sound curtains, or sound barriers with noise absorbing materials to the complex; or with the use of natural barriers such as a berm built around the stadium similar to other schools. … Continue Reading

Thanks To the Loudoun Babe Ruth Baseball Team

September 4, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Thanks To the Loudoun Babe Ruth Baseball Team

As many already know, there was an unfortunate and accidental collision at home plate during the World Series Game between Loudoun and Twin Cities, WA. The accident seriously injured Loudoun player Hank Biggs. The Twin Cities players (whom several Loudoun families were playing host to for the series) and their families were deeply concerned about Hank, especially their catcher, Kolby Steen. Out of care and concern, the Twin Cities players signed one of their ball caps for Hank along with a card. Loudoun followed later with a team-signed ball for Kolby. Kolby’s mother requested this note be forwarded onto the Loudoun Team. “The ball they signed really meant a lot to him (Kolby) and was such a special thing to do for him. We continue to think about Hank and pray for a complete speedy recovery. Thank you from the Steen family.” More than playing baseball, these boys were learning life lessons and forming bonds that stretch from Coast to Coast!

Mark Donofrio

Virginia Retirement System Stiffs BOS Board Aides

September 4, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Virginia Retirement System Stiffs BOS Board Aides

By Mary M. Bathory Vidaver

County staff has long relied on support from the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) in upholding Board of Supervisor aides’ “non-employment” status. In a 2009 e-mail to an aide inquiring about the process, VRS Legal Affairs and Compliance Coordinator Brian J. Goodman wrote, “Based on a review of your e-mail and the Staff Aide Policies … it appears that these staff aide positions do not function as employees of Loudoun County. In fact, it appears from the underlined portions of the FLSA [Fair Labor Standards Act] … that the staff aides would not qualify for their exclusion from FLSA coverage if they were indeed employees of Loudoun County.”

VRS manages retirement, life insurance, and disability plans for the state’s civil servants, a select group of state-level political appointees, public school teachers, and many local government employees. Virginia law requires local governments participating in the plan, as Loudoun County does, to enroll all eligible employees and defines eligible employees as “officers and employees of the political subdivision who are regularly employed full time on a salaried basis and whose tenure is not restricted as to temporary or provisional appointment.” In addition, “officers and employees of an organization other than a public school board that functions solely within the boundaries of a county, city, or town shall be deemed to be officers and employees of the county, city, or town, and not of the organization.” Either dimension would seem to encompass the Loudoun County Board of Supervisor’s (BOS) aides. … Continue Reading

We Need a Leader

August 28, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on We Need a Leader

For over 20 years Joe May represented the people of the 33 district with commitment and dedication.

Joe and I may not have agreed on everything, but I know we both wanted to do what’s best for our community. Most importantly,I always knew where he stood on the issues.

For these same reasons I am supporting Dave LaRock to represent us in Richmond. Like Joe May, I always know where Dave stands. He’s not afraid to take the tough stances needed to create jobs, grow our economy, and improve our children’s education.

In stark contrast, I have no idea what Dave’s opponent Mary Daniel stands for. Some people may be impressed by her uncanny ability to make statements that are devoid of any substance, but not I. We don’t need to elect another slick politician afraid to take a stand. We need a leader. We need Dave LaRock.

Carolyn Leeds

Guest Opinion: Supervisor Delgaudio’s Dishonor

August 8, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Guest Opinion: Supervisor Delgaudio’s Dishonor

By John Flannery

Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio’s dishonor is self-dealing, with little respect for those he was elected to serve or work with, and, all the time, pretending otherwise.

On the Board of Supervisors, Mr. Delgaudio inextricably intertwined his “private” business with Public Advocate, concerned with Mr. Delgaudio’s infamous gay-bashing, with his job as supervisor. Mr. Delgaudio had his Public Advocate staff telling his county board staff what to do. Mr. Delgaudio also engaged in abusive practices in hiring and running his office and had a low regard for the citizens who he was elected to serve. When Mr. Delgaudio gave Donna Mateer a job interview to join his staff, he did it at Chick-Fil-A. He inappropriately asked her what her religious beliefs were, also her views on marriage and on homosexuals.

After she was hired, Mr. Delgaudio put the other staffers down, and the other supervisors as well. He said the other supervisors were “idiots” and he was “the only hope for Loudoun County.” Ms. Mateer said Mr. Delgaudio made racial remarks about Asian people, making fun of the way they spoke, calling them names, and he did as much with Hispanic and black citizens. Mr. Delgaudio also used his county staff to set up meetings for him to raise funds to pay his campaign debts; so he had taxpayers underwriting his personal fund-raising efforts.
… Continue Reading

The SCR Roundabout – A Dangerous and Costly Intersection

August 7, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Editorial, Opinion 2 comments

By Valerie Cury

It didn’t take long for the first of many accidents to happen after the Purcellville roundabout near the Harris Teeter Shopping Center opened. The photo below, snapped by a bystander, shows the typical accident that occurs in a roundabout … sideswiping. This occurs when a car entering a roundabout fails to yield to one that’s already in the roundabout. The accident highlights a common problem when roundabouts are introduced into the traffic pattern of a community, as most drivers in Virginia don’t have regular experience with roundabouts.

In many states and areas of the country, roundabouts are common, in Virginia, they are relatively new. In order to accustom drivers to a new roundabout, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) recommends that a single lane rather than a double lane roundabout be used initially, so that drivers can learn how to yield and avoid accidents. … Continue Reading

Let’s Say No To a Zoning Change

August 6, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Let’s Say No To a Zoning Change

I was dismayed by the number of “unconcerned citizens” not attending the July planning commission meeting. Perhaps it’s because many people still believe elected and appointed officials have our best interest at heart. What is the purpose of zoning if in just a few short meetings a developer can convince the town to abandon its highly touted friendly small town atmosphere?

A gated community of fifty houses on the Ball property (which is zoned for 20 homes on 10 acres by-right) on 32nd Street does not say neighborhood. It says don’t walk down my street. … Continue Reading

Walking for Those Dear to My Heart

August 2, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Walking for Those Dear to My Heart

Little noticed by county residents, a troop of 35 walkers from around the country joined a dozen local climate activists on the lawn of the Loudoun County Government Center last week for the county’s first ever climate rally. The walkers were making a 100 mile journey from Camp David to the White House as a part of the Walk for Our Grandchildren, and were walking to generate the moral courage and determination policy makers need to create a greener world for future generations. They were invited to Leesburg by 350 Loudoun, a newly formed civic action group dedicated to issues related to climate. Ralliers chanted for climate action now, and called on the Board of Supervisors to dust off the county’s buried energy strategy.

I have the privilege of being a part of both 350 Loudoun and the Walk for Our Grandchildren. Over roadways and train tracks, along the river and into the nation’s capital, with blisters on my feet and sweat on my brow, I walked to lend weight to the message I want to send not only to the Board of Supervisors, but also to other leaders, businesses, and citizens around the county. … Continue Reading

350 Loudoun Demands Climate Change Policies

July 30, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on 350 Loudoun Demands Climate Change Policies

Loudoun County is home to many successful companies that base their work on science and technology, from Orbital Sciences to Howard Hughes Medical Institute to Raytheon. Our community is thriving thanks to a well-educated work force, in sectors such as health care, intelligence, defense, biomedical, aerospace, information technology, data centers, and telecommunications, all of which depend on sound science and technology.

The National Academy of Sciences, our nation’s premiere scientific organization, has been trying to get the nation’s focus on the greatest scientific and technical issue of our time — human caused climate change. In May 2009 these preeminent scientists released a Joint Statement of the National Academies of Science ?for the G8 and Five Nations, “The need for urgent action to address climate change is now indisputable.”
Source: http://www.nationalacademies.org/includes/G8+5energy-climate09.pdf … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

Not Your Father’s El Nino

15 Aug 2015


NASA and other agencies now forecast the incipient El Nino conditions to continue at least into the winter and the early part of 2016. Figure 1 compares Pacific sea surface temperature anomaly for the El Nino of 1997- 1998 with …

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Ask Dr. Mike

At Wits End

7 Aug 2015


Dr. Mike, My sister’s son is autistic, but she is in complete denial. I’ve done my research and he fits a diagnosis of autism. He is three years old and doesn’t talk or socialize. He has meltdowns that are out …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Morven Park

7 Aug 2015


I think what strikes me most about this place – as over the top as it is in many ways – is how understated it really is; I know that’ll take some explaining. I’ve been to Morven Park hundreds of …

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Mount Zion Church

1 Jul 2015


– By Tim Jon So: You’ve never given the American Civil War a great deal of thought, much less walked the grounds of Gettysburg or some of the other, major battleground sites located in our region; you may not be …

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Sushi's Corner

March Sushi

4 Mar 2015

pot of gold

Hello everyone, this is Hokie Cat from Fields of Athenry Farm. Sushi is in big trouble as we speak and is residing in doggy dungeon. I am here to fill you in on what took place. My brother Mountie loves …

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Virginia Gardening

Planting an Allergy-Free Garden

5 May 2015


By Donna Williamson Tom Ogren has a long-time interest in allergy-inducing plants. He has written several books on the topic and in February released his latest The Allergy Fighting Garden. He explains why plants can stir up allergies and has …

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Samuel Moore-Sobel

What It Means To Be a Man

7 Aug 2015


By Samuel Moore-Sobel As I have gotten older I have noticed that there are more and more young men who ask me for advice. To me it seems silly – I am often not much older than the person asking, …


Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

A Social Security Strategy Could Enhance Your Retirement Income Plan

7 Aug 2015


By Amy & Dan Smith What do you think of when someone mentions Social Security? Many people consider Social Security and retirement as one and the same. More than 90 percent of working Americans plan for Social Security to replace …

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Student News

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015


Sixty-seven Blue Ridge Middle School eighth graders have been honored for their writing during the 2014-2015 school year. Many students had their writing selected for publication by Creative Communication, a program for student writers, while others won county-wide writing contests. …

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Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015


Benjamin Robert Kellogg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Purcellville on March 29. Friends, family and troop leaders attended the celebration, including his parents, Robert and Deirdre Kellogg. …

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Blue Ridge Middle Places 11th In National Science League

1 Jul 2015


Blue Ridge National Science Day Declared Tuesday, June 10 has been officially been declared Blue Ridge National Science Day. At a recent Purcellville Town Council Meeting, Mayor Kwasi Fraser and members of the town council signed a proclamation designating this …

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September Fourth Friday at Breaux

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Rally for the Cure

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Recent Comments

  • Merlis on Congress and MWAA VS Loudoun Taxpayers: Yes! What a great idea.
  • Mark Gunderman on Gifts Within: Second Mount Olive Baptist Church, located in Hamilton, VA, was founded in 1872. The congregation desires to exalt God and...
  • Kathleen Hannon on What It Means To Be a Man: Great article Samuel! We have two daughters and we try to teach them to look for qualities such as...
  • R. Ohneiser Esq. on Congress and MWAA VS Loudoun Taxpayers: Interesting discussion but let's consider how to actually resolve this problem permanently FOR THE BENEFIT OF LOUDOUN NOT JUST FOR...
  • Nan Siegel on Remembering Mabel: A lovely, heartfelt tribute. Though I never met Mabel, I think she must have had a wonderful life, full of...

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

5 May 2015


Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them By Steady and Nobull The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input sessions June 4, 11 and 18 at 7:00 p.m. at town hall for the proposed sweeping zoning changes. These major …

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Getting Purcellville Out of the Conflicts of Interest Trap

7 Aug 2015

town of purcellville sign

Three Virginia laws address openness in government: the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA), The Virginia Public Records Act (VPRA) and The Virginia State & Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (VCOIA). VFOIA guides how public bodies conduct their meetings and regulates access to government records. VPRA establishes basic rules about what constitutes a public record and what the government’s …

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Loudoun Health Officials Remind Septic System Owners of Need to Pump Out

28 Aug 2015

Loudoun County Seal Color

The Loudoun County Health Department reminds owners of septic systems that routine pumping out of their systems can extend the system’s life and reduce the risk of untreated sewage surfacing or backing up into a house. Loudoun County requires owners of conventional onsite septic systems to have their tanks pumped out at least every five years. Tanks must be pumped …

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Historic Village Prepares for 46th Annual Bluemont Fair

25 Aug 2015


The sleepy Blue Ridge village of Bluemont in western-most Loudoun County, Virginia, is bustling with activity as it prepares for the 46th ANNUAL BLUEMONT FAIR, September 19 & 20, 2015 from 10AM to 5PM both days, rain or shine. Admission is still only $5/adults, under 10 free, with free parking available. One-way traffic and crosswalks will be enforced in the …

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Register for Rally for the Cure™

24 Aug 2015


Want to participate in a fun tournament for a great cause? Then sign up to participate in the Stoneleigh Women’s Golf Association’s annual Rally for the Cure ™ golf tournament in Support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month! This is a great opportunity to play at the golf course recently cited as being the Prettiest Golf Course in Northern Virginia by …

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Wild Loudoun

Dragonflies – To See Is To Believe

7 Aug 2015


Shadow Darner. Unicorn Clubtail. Black Shouldered Spinyleg. Blue Dasher. Ebony Jewelwing. Calico Pennant. Sanddragon. Their names conger up some magical place inhabited by devils and demons, elegant queens, daring lovers – creatures you would need to see with your own eyes to believe really existed. But, each of these, including the Calico Pennant, is actually one of the most common …

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Around Virginia

Congress and MWAA VS Loudoun Taxpayers


By Delegate Dave LaRock It’s no secret that population growth and business development have left Loudoun County, especially busy areas to the east, with some pretty challenging traffic. The process of expanding the local network of roads and transit always seems to be playing catch-up, usually tied to availability of …


Governor Signs Senator Black’s Campus Sexual Assault Bill


On Thursday, May 28, Sen. Richard Black traveled to Richmond for the bill signing ceremony of his bill, Senate Bill 712, the Campus Sexual Assault Bill. Black’s law will change the way that Virginia’s colleges and universities handle sexual assault cases.  “When I heard about the Hannah Graham case, I …

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McAuliffe Announces Movie To Film in Virginia


Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia has been selected as the filming location for “Loving,” a motion picture based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a Virginia married couple who, in 1958, were arrested for violating a state law at the time prohibiting interracial marriage. The couple …

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Drew Hunter Heading To Pan American Games

7 Aug 2015


Loudoun Valley’s Drew Hunter placed second in the United States Track and Field 1500-meter run Junior National Championship. That earned him a spot on the United States Junior Team going to the Pan American Games in Edmonton, Canada in late July. Drew lost to college freshman Blake Haney of the …

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American Legion Post 34 Hosting Mid-Atlantic Regional Baseball Tournament

5 Aug 2015


Batter up! Chartered in 1919 by an act of Congress, the American Legion is one of our country’s oldest, largest and most prestigious veteran’s organizations – dedicated to mentoring youth, sponsoring community programs, promoting national security and supporting veterans and members of the armed forces. Specific programs include scholarships, scouting, …

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This Month in History

July, 1776: Loudoun’s Revolution Within A Revolution

1 Jul 2015


– By Andrea Gaines Loudoun County was heavily invested in the fight for independence from Great Britain. Loudouner Francis Lightfoot Lee was one of 56 delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence. More Loudouners served in General George Washington’s army than any other county in Virginia, and the county’s enormous …

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Mary Rose Lunde

More Than a GPA

7 Aug 2015

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde In school we are measured in every way based on a number system from a point scale resulting in grades then translated into a GPA that can’t be easily fixed in just one semester. Students are forced to think that all they have to achieve is …

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Sarah's Closet

Go Pink … As Pink As You Like

1 Jul 2015


– By Sarah Nearis Look at these sweet and summery pink blouses and tops. Don’t you want to try one on? Some women are afraid to wear pink, thinking it’s a bit too feminine. But, pink comes in such a wide variety of shades – from soft mauves to fuchsias …

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Thank You Purcellville

7 Aug 2015

town of purcellville sign

I want to express my sincere appreciation for the outpouring of support by the local business owners and residents in relationship to my challenge to …

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Independence Won – Much Left To Be Done

1 Jul 2015


With graduations behind us and summer vacations ahead, we have much to look forward to. My summer will be full of events and opportunities to …

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Reflections for Father’s Day, a Child’s Constitutional Rights

15 Jun 2015

Bob Ohneiser

I’ve been a licensed attorney and a father since the late 80’s. Yet, I wonder about how many of our country’s legal theories – theories …

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