• Several years ago, shortly after I went to New Smyrna Beach to become the editor of the newspaper there, a call came back from the front that there was a man to see me.

    This man had a full beard and shaggy hair, and some of the front office people were a little bit apprehensive. But I welcomed him back to my office, and I was glad I did.

  • The federal government lost more than 1 trillion dollars of income over the last 10 years because of the tax cuts for the top 2 percent of taxpaying Americans. The Republicans are saying that these are the people that fuel the economy of our country by creating jobs for the rest of us.

  • When a candidate says they will cut waste in government do they believe in the same waste you do?

    The candidate may personally believe Social Security and Medicare and schools and aid to children and health care for those who cannot afford it, are wasteful government spending as many of them do. If a candidate doesn’t list what they believe is wasteful government spending, how do you know whether he sees your personal need as waste in government?

  • The primaries Tuesday night showed that, despite the protests of establishment Republicans, the Tea Party is a growing force in America.

    Wins by candidates in the Delaware U.S. Senate race and the governor’s race in New York gave the Tea Party renewed optimism heading into the November elections.

    The Democrats were openly celebrating in Delaware, where they feel their candidate would easily succeed in the race to replace Vice President Joe Biden.

  • The New York morning was bright and beautiful. Visibility was clear for miles. On this Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, people hustled and bustled to get to work. Those at home were relaxing to the early morning news shows, or getting ready to perform other routine activities.

  • I annually give my pet peeves about the start of school. This year, the death of Bobby Thomson postponed my column as I replaced it with one about him, but here, a couple of weeks late, it is.

  • It’s not true that Democrats and Republicans in Congress can’t agree on anything. Over the past 10 deficit years, they agreed to increase their salaries eight times - from $141,300 in 2000 to $174,000 in 2009.

    Another matter on which Republicans and Democrats have been in agreement is lax enforcement of our immigration laws.

  • I love my country and what it stands for. Most of what we do as Americans makes me feel very proud to live in a country that helps oppressed nations and rebuilds the lives of it’s people. In our role as a leader of the free world and as a leader of the United Nations, we must help protect people from all nations from the oppressors of the world.

  • As we write this, there is a major hurricane churning toward the east coast of the United States, another smaller storm behind it and a third forming in the Atlantic.

    It’s time to take the hurricane season seriously.

    People in this area tend to get a little bit complacent because we are a slight distance inland. That’s false security.

    Those who were here in 1994 remember the series of storms that damaged our area with high winds and torrential rain. There were power failures and the loss of other services for days during that time.

  • What price do you place on your freedom? Thirty pieces of silver? A health care policy? A free house? A free car? A free education? A free whatever?

    The thought of selling my freedom never occurred to me. Silly me, I thought freedom was a priceless commodity. That, we rare humans in America are the only people in the history of mankind to ever enjoy freedom, bought with the life, and blood of so many fellow patriots.

    Now, some have so easily forgotten this fact, and they cannot wait to sell their freedom for peanuts.

  • I hope we would say our freedom, and having the ability to pass it down to future generations. I feel so blessed to have been born in this great country, having the opportunities that no other nation offers, a nation that has always honored God and puts our faith in him. I love to lead in the singing of “God Bless the USA” and feel the patriotism flowing from all who are within hearing distance. Most join in the singing of the Chorus, “I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free” and stand without being asked.

  • On Aug. 24, Jim Baker, of Oak Run, passed away leaving a hole in the hearts of his many friends and family. This is not an obituary but a celebration. A few years ago, I wrote about the passing of Jack Everson a close friend of all of us and particularly Jim. There’s another of “The Trio,” but that’s for later.

  • The members of the Forty & Eight veterans organization who meet in the State Road 200 Corridor are developing a program to honor our fallen military heroes who died in action. Six of those heroes were Marion County residents.

  • Jim Clark’s article about “The shot heard ‘round the world” brought back many memories of Bobby Thomson’s home run. I was also a rabid New York Giant fan and as a 17-year-old in 1951 sat in the living room of my home in Glendale, Queens, and watched that wonderful home run fly into the left field stands at the Polo Grounds. In those days you could sit in the center field bleachers using your G.O. card for 40 cents and watch many a Sunday afternoon doubleheader.

  • The educational bureaucracy, looking for answers to youth violence, should look in the mirror.

    • Who destroyed moral standards and substituted a non-judgmental relativistic ethic?

    • Who helped destroy the authority of parents and substituted secular government regulation?

    • Who dumbed down the curriculum to the point whereby SAT scores have been on a steady downturn for 35 years. Many graduates are so unprepared that the only job they can get is in the fast food industry?

  • When you work for a newspaper, you’re expected to defend the First Amendment. For the most part I do that, even in some unpopular causes, but there’s something that is taking place across America concerning political campaigns that bothers me.

    The campaigns are too negative, filled with hateful charges, some of them baseless. They are intrusive, disturbing the lives of many Americans who might care enough to want information without it being rammed down their throats.

    That’s why I’m proposing a couple of legislative changes all across America.

  • Charlie Crist should be congratulated for expressing his agreement with President Obama's support of the Muslim Mosque near Ground Zero. As I write this letter I'm listening to the leader of the Hamas terrorist organization describe his total agreement with our governor and president.

  • The year was 1951, and I was just a little tyke (yes, I was little at one point) getting interested in baseball.

    My earliest recollections are from 1950, when the Yankees played the Phillies in the World Series. The Phillies always fascinated me because they had these huge numbers on their uniforms.

  • We have a strong, conservative and capable public servant in Congress . . . his name is Cliff Stearns! He is a man who has served Marion County and his Congressional district in an exceptional way.

    Congressman Stearns is one of the few elected officials who still holds open town meetings throughout his district. He held several of these meetings in and around Ocala just this summer. In addition, when he is in Washington D.C., Congressman Stearns holds town meetings over the telephone, answering questions from his constituents.

  • This is a very hard letter to write because I do not want to hurt or offend anyone.

    We have had decades of many hard-working dedicated people called volunteers. We are in an economic crisis where many families are badly in need of jobs for survival. It is now a good time for the volunteers to relinquish these jobs to the desperate families who need jobs so badly. The financial upswing of spending from these working people will help these companies survive.