Sunday, December 31, 2017

If Jobs Come, Will We Have Workers?

After seeing years of rising unemployment, West Virginia may be on the cusp of an economic boom that is sorely needed to move the state away from its historical reliance on coal mining operations as a driver of employment

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The 2nd Amendment Doesn't Mean What Gun Owners Say It Does

The 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of the United States reads:
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
 The Bill of Rights, which includes the 2nd Amendment, was written for a definite purpose. The prevailing narrative spewed by many gun owners and the NRA has turned the 2nd Amendment's purpose inside out, upside down and backwards. They contend that the 2nd Amendment's function is to empower the American people against their own government.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Defending Trump Means Selling Your Soul

Donald Trump is known for demanding unfettered loyalty from his friends, employees and business associates. Since moving into the White House, Trump has added yet another job requirement if you're interested in working for him. You must be willing to lie, shamelessly -- day after day, week after week, month after month.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Republican Tax Cut: More Smoke and Mirrors

Republicans are praising their new tax plan as a tax cut for the middle class. However, nothing could be farther from the truth, since the vast majority of cuts would benefit the wealthiest people and corporations.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The True Snowflakes Aren't Liberals

Before 2016, using snowflake as a pejorative was a non-political dig at millennials -- who were perceived by many as coddled and poorly-equipped to face the real-world challenges of life.

During the 2016 presidential campaign and its immediate aftermath, however, snowflake evolved into a much more vicious term, an insult hurled by conservatives at liberals in general. The implication, of course, is that liberals are fragile, whining sissies -- unlike the oh-so-masculine right wing.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Big Pharma To Blame For Opioid Crisis?

A recent column in the local paper attempted to exonerate big pharma of blame concerning the nation's opioid crisis. The writer overlooked a few unsavory facts about big pharma's conduct, however.

Drug companies have made and continue to make false and misleading statements about the benefits (and risks) of opioids. Some of them have been taken to court and found liable for this conduct.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Tobacco Problem Worse Than Opioids

We see it in the local news on a regular basis -- an endless stream of police blotters and stories chronicling drug-related arrests and deaths. We see it in the obituaries -- people dying well before reaching senior citizen status, leaving behind shattered families and heartbroken friends.

Opioid  abuse has consumed southern West Virginia. The devastation has been well documented through the years as this scourge seems to successfully resist all attempts to bring things under control.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Trump Didn't and Can't Save Coal

There's been much chortling lately about the Trump administration's rollback of certain regulations pertaining to the coal industry, and fervent hopes that these actions will generate a comeback in Appalachian coal mining.

To be honest, I've seen more loaded coal cars rolling through the Bluefield, West Virginia rail yard in the past few months than I saw through all of 2016. However, I believe it's a bit early to give the administration credit for this.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Local Paper Forced To Endorse Clinton

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph got a lot of attention when it ran an editorial on October 8, 2016 endorsing Hillary Clinton for the presidency. Depending on the reader's political persuasion, the editorial board was either A) completely off its rocker, or B) incredibly brave.

I have discovered there was also an option C -- Namely, that the paper's endorsement was apparently written and passed down the pipeline by its owners, Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Who Needs Ringling Bros. When We Have The Trump Circus?

In January, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced that it would permanently end all of its performances this May after a 146-year run.

The show, whose name had become synonymous with "the circus", may soon be no more, but we don't have to worry because an even better circus has pitched its tent in Washington, DC.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Republican Hypocrisy At Its Worst

Republicans on the Hill: Spineless Hypocrites

Once upon a time - well, actually, prior to a Republican winning the White House last November - the GOP hated sweeping executive orders. Barack Obama was called a dictator; an imperial president, for issuing a string of these actions at the beginning of his presidency.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Republicans Clueless How To Replace ACA

For nearly seven years, Republicans in Congress have grumbled and made nasty faces at the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare.

For nearly seven years, Republicans in Congress have promised to "repeal and replace" Obamacare, if only voters would give them an opportunity.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

State Republicans in La-La Land Over Looming Crisis

Mitch Carmichael being sworn in as West Virginia Senate president

The ruling Republicans in Charleston are steadfast in sticking to their foolish "no new taxes" pledge. Unfortunately, West Virginia is facing such a horrendous budget shortfall that to dismiss a tax increase is not only foolhardy but outright stupid.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Obama's Departure Will Leave Local Writer Speechless

Every small town newspaper has a resident columnist or two. More often than not, these wannabe pundits work for free just so they have a pulpit to preach from.

Many of them have overinflated egos, so their column serves as a vehicle by which they can share their enormous (they think) wisdom with the great unwashed masses.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Legendary Creature Calls Point Pleasant Home

Did you know the small town of Point Pleasant was the focus of a major 2002 movie starring Richard Gere?

In The Mothman Prophecies, a reporter is drawn to Point Pleasant to investigate a series of strange events, including psychic visions of the future and the appearance of a bizarre, winged entity that appears to be a harbinger of doom.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Oldest General Store In WV Has A Fascinating History

In the rural community of Seneca Rocks, there’s a little general store where a visit feels like stepping back in time. Here you can pick up supplies, souvenirs, and have lunch while looking at one of the best views in West Virginia.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

"Inbred" Reputation Unfair to West Virginia

Author's note: I must confess to initially believing in the stereotype when the owners of the company I worked for in Chula Vista, Ca, approached me about moving here to assist in the startup and operation of a second manufacturing facility. "West Virginia??? WTF????? A land of bubbas, goobers and knuckle-dragging cousin humpers?????"

Dick Cheney, vice president under George W. Bush, once noted that his maternal grandmother was descended from someone named Cheney, then quipped, "So we had Cheneys on both sides of the family -- and we don't even live in West Virginia."

Monday, January 2, 2017

No Room For Politics In Budget Talks

In December 2016, West Virginia Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss told lawmakers in Charleston to expect a budget shortfall exceeding $400 million for the fiscal year that begins July 1. He added that he doesn't think state government can make up for the shortfall with additional cuts.