Acts of kindness 

alive and well 


A few weeks ago I noticed a man feeding stray cats behind a grocery store. I went over and talked with him and thanked him for his kindness. He said he feeds them every morning. I was happy because there are so many homeless, stray cats here in Jefferson and Berkeley counties. But many folks do what they can.

Here’s my part of this story.

This past winter a pretty little cat showed up on my back porch. She would not come in but preferred to live outside and made her new home on and under my back porch. Some folks believe it is best to capture these homeless felines and have them euthanized. But I think these cats deserve a fighting chance so I fed her. She appeared to be healthy.

Come spring she showed me her three kittens and bragged about how sweet they were. Well, as you can guess, I fed them too. And now they are three months old and beautiful.

I sure did not want any more kittens so I called around to find out about having her spayed.

I was shocked to find out that the cost had gone up to $130 at Hillside Vet Hospital in Charles Town. Then I called Spay Today and found a price I could afford — $49 if I could take her to the new clinic in Stephens City. So that’s just what I did. I paid over the phone with my credit card and the following week was on my way to the spay-neuter clinic in Stephens City with Ms. Mama Cat in my cat carrier as mad as all get out.

I was surprised to learn that I could get a $15 off coupon from the Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County. So that was a big help.

This scenario is repeated time and time again all over Jefferson, Berkeley and Washington counties. And still Briggs Animal Adoption Center is full. And the Animal welfare Society in Leetown has 80 cats that need homes and can take on no more.

Spay Today has been around a long time. Their phone number is 304-728-8330. The Animal Welfare Society phone number is 304-725-0589.

So now mama cat is spayed and soon all three of her kittens will be neutered and spayed. One small victory for all of who believe in and work for no more homeless pets.


Diane Harvest Boward



Wrong about Zimmerman


Editor Robert Snyder’s July 24 column, “Ceding ground saves lives, too,” is in direct reference to the Zimmerman case. He and others are using this case to rev-up sympathy for their own agenda.

If they want to attack and do away with the “stand your ground” law, proceed on, but they should not use a case that was not based on their cause. Like it or not, Zimmerman was found innocent because of “self defense;” in his column, Snyder is making untrue accusations which do no good.

Aside from referring to Stand your Ground, which was not used in this case, Snyder also writes that Zimmerman was “prowling the streets.” He is trying to set a scene where some serial killer or the like is out to kill. It’s called “community watch.” There is a sign on my street near my driveway that states that this area is under a community watch, placed there by a state trooper.

About Trayvon Martin’s being an unarmed black teenager: all the press wants to do is show a picture of the little innocent kid, who, by the way, had been kicked out of school, his parent’s home and aunt and uncle’s home. Drugs in his blood had grown this little innocent boy into an aggressive young adult.

Zimmerman had every right to approach and confront Martin. Martin should have left after being confronted, but he didn’t. He wanted a piece of Zimmerman.

In his column, Snyder says Zimmerman should have retreated. Question? How do you run away when someone is on top of you, beating and pounding your heading into the concrete?

I need to end this because I know it is falling on deaf ears. Just a little footnote: A happy, together home with disciple and love — that’s what could have saved Trayvon. May he find that with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.


Michael C. Goode

Charles Town


Prison gangs and political parties


If the word “politics” is defined as the adjudication of power, then in the current state of America the comparison of prison gangs and political parties is sadly, most appropriate.

I think we’ve all watched enough television shows or read enough newspaper articles to know that in prisons, there are two basic types of inmates; gang members and non-gang members. Gang members join gangs out of an existential need to survive and to have some measure of control over others within the very tangible walls of concrete and concertina wire. Let’s call them type “A’s.” Non-gang members eschew membership and wish only to be left alone to serve out their time in relative obscurity and generally have no interest in wielding political power or influence; type “B.” Type B’s perhaps understand that it’s not in their nature to control others so they hope for the best as they go about their daily routines and try not to come between warring power bases; gangs, lest they become victims of the incessant tension inherent in the struggle of latent allies, disguised as bitter rivals.

In “Prison America,” we too have rival gangs full of miscreant bullies and tyrants, operating as separate power bases and gate keepers to political access at the expense of “the supreme law of the land”; we call them political parties. The vast majority of us are not in the ruling hierarchy of these gangs, but are groupies and devotees of the two main gangs’ stated goals and philosophies; useful idiots. In a union of sovereign states, founded for the protection of individual rights, not group rights, not social contracts, not “civil” rights, we have become powerless gang associates on the eager periphery. We are mostly content to watch the sociopathic leaders of the particular gang we’ve decided worthy of our loyalty build the walls that are for now, an intangible, but de facto prison. But be under no illusion, the prison is being built right under our noses and we are all the inmates of our ignorance and their mischief.

It isn’t an imposed prison of a few acres and twenty foot walls, but rather a jailer’s dream: free-range and trained beasts without natural rights; graduates of a pavlovian experiment that require no fencing whatever! We have faithfully come to accept, through incrementalism and politically based legal precedent, notions, practices, and unlawfulness that would have even roused the passions of Loyalist Tories during the American Revolution. We have come to accept the legitimacy of utterly unconstitutional national level police agencies: FBI, TSA, ATF, Homeland Security et al, and 20,000 criminal statutes. We accept the notion that we are in a constant state of war on terrorism and the world is a battlefield, therefore making us all potential combatants or future victims of collateral damage, and thereby bestowing on the chief executive permanent Commander in Chief status to conduct war at his pleasure. Many people loquaciously discuss, in grassroots groups and at their dinner tables, the relative merits and efficacies of an endless number of illegal government programs without even considering the Constitutionality of them. We allow unelected bureaucrats to write regulations that govern every aspect of our lives. We anger briefly at our gang leaders for an errant vote, then forgive them, then re-elect them. The circle is complete, the fence is closed, and we have at long last, achieved democracy. Yeah!

All that said, I affiliated with a political party this week. After being independent for all my adult life (type B), except for brief stints to vote in primaries, I am now a card carrying member of a gang. Which one? It doesn’t matter. Then why? Because I may run for office and you can’t “adjudicate power” if you’re not a member of a gang. Not that I have any interest in power, but I do have a deep desire to help people live their lives as they see fit. See y’all in the exercise yard; I’ll be wearing my bitter, borrowed “colors” and rhetorical shank.


Jim Shimer

Harpers Ferry 


Thank you, Cannons


Charles Town and Jefferson County were treated to a great summer of baseball by the Charles Town Cannons, one of the summer collegiate baseball teams of the Shenandoah Valley League.

This is the first year one of the Valley League Teams has played in West Virginia. For any baseball fan, it was the chance to spend a beautiful summer evening watching top-notch college ball up close. These were cream-of-the-crop players from colleges and universities around the country. Since its founding in 1923, the Valley League has produced over 1,000 major league baseball players. So we were very likely seeing some future major league players making their start.

Two of the highlights of the season were the perfect game pitched by Adam Park, a junior from Liberty University, and the grand slam home run hit in the last game of the season by Waldyvan Estrada, a sophomore from Florida International University.

Thanks to the players, coaches and everyone in the Cannons’ organization for bringing us a great summer of baseball. Congratulations for ending your first season ranked second in your division and making it into the League playoffs. I am one fan who is already looking forward to next summer’s opening pitch.


Walter Washington

Charles Town

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