EDEP, BLM, EPA: It’s maddening

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world.

Nope. Not talking about that movie back in 1963 with a cast of what seemed to be thousands.

Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Rooney, Phil Silvers, Jonathan Winters, Peter Falk, Jimmy Durante and more, many more…

No. Today’s world.

Amerika, 2014.

When the West Virginia legislature allows the Department of Environmental Protection to write its own rules and regulations to be attached to a bill that is already voted on and even signed by the governor; when the Bureau of Land Management with agents carrying M-16s tries to take over a Nevada rancher’s herd because he refused to pay grazing fees; when the federal government’s Environmental Protection Agency continues to pass regulations that are laws without the consent of Congress…

It truly is a mad, mad, mad, mad world.

And that’s only a few of the insane, previously incomprehensible things that are going on at this time. Briefly ignore Benghazi, where four Americans died and a whole bunch of politicians lied; the Internal Revenue Service investigating conservative American groups; Fast and Furious with its hundreds of illegally exported guns and the dead Americans and hundreds of Mexicans killed by them; the “not so” Affordable Care Act; bailing out General Motors and the resulting millions of taxpayer dollars lost; the closing of national monuments and parks over a 10 percent decrease in the spending increase; the Department of Justice spying on the press; or the numerous million-dollar frauds in the President’s “green” energy grants.

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Electorate also to blame
for massive government

While digging into the Cliven Bundy-Bureau of Land Management-U.S. Forest Service standoff that eased last weekend, the primary take on the whole situation – and others like it – is the size and scope of a government that “we the people” should control.

But we don’t.

The electorate, whether uninformed voters in big cities or rural counties like Wayne, has allowed certain entities and groups to take over a federal system set up by our Founders to protect us – not control us.

Special interest groups, such as environmentalists (see Bundy-Government on opposite page), have infiltrated and assumed control over those we elected into office.

Just like Hillary Clinton said following the Benghazi slaughter of four Americans, many voters have the opinion, “What difference does it make?” when it comes to casting their ballot.

It makes a helluva difference!

Before the 2008 presidential election, that comment came when a voter was warned about the proven liar that currently sleeps in the White House.

Our county, our state, our country are in bad shape economically and politically.

And yet we somehow still refuse to look at the candidates in an unbiased light. We use name recognition (lots of signs in lots of places, TV ads, etc.) and party affiliation rather than looking at the candidate’s true self, who supports them or what possible motive they could have to seek office.

“He’s got to be smart, he’s a lawyer, or doctor” or “the union is behind him so he’s for the working man,” or “he’s a Republican so he’s against poor people” or “he’s a Democrat like me,” are just some of the criteria voters use.

It’s all baloney.

There are good candidates in both parties just as there are bad.

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Our overbearing big government

Most everyone knows that last week’s confrontation between ranchers, cowboys and state’s rights advocates in Nevada ended Saturday with the Bureau of Land Management and federal government agents withdrawing from what could have been a really bad situation.

The withdrawal drew many sighs of relief from many close to the scene, but Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the sneaky, lying Senate Majority leader has come forth, saying the impasse “is not over.

“We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over,” he mumbled to a local TV station.

He’s right.

What started as a disagreement over grazing rights in the desert, compounded by environmentalists’ influence (wanting to protect the “desert tortoise” from cows), and the takeover of land by the BLM from the state of Nevada, has become a focus of what is wrong with America today.

A top-heavy bureaucracy consisting of agencies that write their own regulations and rules, backed by a lackadaisical Congress made up of career politicians and lawyers intent on maintaining their own status quo – and saying “to hell” with “we the people” and ignoring the framework of the nation.

With the heavy-handed tactics seen last week by the BLM and National Park Service (same agency that shut down parks and monuments last fall during the so-called “sequester”) – alleged snipers stationed around a ranch and tasing demonstrators who happened to leave the conflict’s “First Amendment Zone” – what’s next?

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Lawyers, knee-jerk water bill, just another way to tax?

A number of people have asked what’s in the recently passed and signed – but not completed – West Virginia water protection bill, but the only answer is “I don’t know.”

Publicized as being a bill to prevent contamination of public water supplies by toxins housed in aboveground storage tanks and other possible scenarios, the bill went further – much further.

Passed in a frenzy of election-year fervor by a bunch of politicians trying to cash in on the votes of 300,000 “mad as hell voters,” the bill, what we can find of it, is peppered with favors to this and that lobbyist group in a feverish attempt to make everybody happy, happy, happy.

The only text of the bill, found by Googling WV SB 373, is a text of the bill’s introduction on Jan. 16, 2014. Then, by scanning down the page is a list of proposed amendments, some rejected, some withdrawn and some approved.

Some 54 amendments were suggested by legislators and another – at least eight, were made from one of the various committees the bill was sent to – and were either adopted or…there was no indication of their success or failure.

The most striking characteristic is the size and scope of this monstrosity!

One of the proposed amendments (rejected) mentioned “page 84” and suggested substituting “must” for “may.”

Others were pages long and referred to “page 58” or “page 83” and only added to the length and complexity of what should have been a very simple bill.

One caller, to whom I sent a copy of the bill’s introduction that is only some 20 pages long, commented “It makes my brain hurt trying to read the darn thing.”

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Legislature’s water bill proves plumbers’ rule

Got a phone call the other day from a “Snooze” reader who said he had contacted our favorite local delegate requesting a copy of the recently passed “water protection” bill and the bill providing the Wayne County Economic Development Authority funds to close the Prichard Landfill.

The caller, who did not have access to a computer, said the delegate couldn’t help – so he called me.

No problem, I said as I hit the appropriate keys on the computer…WV SB 373 final text.

A whole list of choices pertaining to the water bill appeared on the screen. Scrolling down however, none of them offered a text of the bill.

One offered “the most recent” text, but it had strikes through many of the words and phrases contained in the content that only proved that copy to be a bill in the process of being finalized.

No “final bill” text could be found.

So we moved on to WV HB 4339, simple; made the caller a copy and got his phone number and promised to continue looking for SB 373.

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Administration of doofusses
or leaders of destruction?

Since 2009 many American citizens have been trying to figure out just who the leaders of our country really are and just what goal, or goals, they have.

I’ve been one who has “pondered” this on more than one occasion – many as a matter of fact.

Are they just a bunch of unintelligent or thoughtless people, like the Encarta Dictionary explains “doofus,” or are they intelligent, sneaky and conniving.

From the so-called stimulus fund, set up to pick up the economy and put America back to work, to the Cash for Clunkers, the GM bailout, the emphasis on “green” energy, giving illegal aliens a pass, the National Security Agency’s spying on private citizens, the Fast and Furious gun-running scheme, the Internal Revenue fiasco, the Benghazi murders and down to his signature fraud, the “not so” Affordable Care Act, this administration has done nothing but tear down the social, economic and moral fabric of the entire country.

Many Presidents, or their administrations, have made mistakes but most learned from them.
This one hasn’t.

The stimulus failed, Cash for Clunkers took a large number of cars out of the market for no appreciable return (destroying many good, affordable cars), the GM bailout has cost taxpayers billions (only unions benefited), the millions and billions spent on “green” energy projects resulted in windfall incomes for company bigwigs who bankrupted the fraudulent enterprises they headed.

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It’s the same ole, same ole:
Time for a new school song

No doubt…

Spring is just around the corner.

It has to be…

It’s time…past time, as a matter of fact.

Sure, there may be a few more cool, maybe even a couple of cold, days ahead, but with robins hopping around and birds singing in the morning – it won’t be long.

The global warming activists will really have a field day when the weather warms up, just as it always has, and a little dry spell comes along, just as they always do.

Even with the long, cold winter just past, they continued with their narcissistic diatribe.
Narcissistic?

Yes. With the size of the earth and the number of its inhabitants and the really, really small area humans occupy, coupled with the size of the atmosphere surrounding this rock –miles and miles thick – it is very egotistical of man to think the species can affect weather as much as the alarmists say.

Weather always changes from year to year and decade to decade.

Us old folks remember the winter of 1977-78.

The Ohio River froze over!

This has been a bad winter in this area, but nothing like the winter of 77-78.

Away from here however, it was really cold.

Niagara Falls froze this year – TWICE!

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Did this winter seem
like global warming?

No doubt…

Spring is just around the corner.

It has to be…

It’s time…past time, as a matter of fact.

Sure, there may be a few more cool, maybe even a couple of cold, days ahead, but with robins hopping around and birds singing in the morning – it won’t be long.

The global warming activists will really have a field day when the weather warms up, just as it always has, and a little dry spell comes along, just as they always do.

Even with the long, cold winter just past, they continued with their narcissistic diatribe.
Narcissistic?

Yes. With the size of the earth and the number of its inhabitants and the really, really small area humans occupy, coupled with the size of the atmosphere surrounding this rock –miles and miles thick – it is very egotistical of man to think the species can affect weather as much as the alarmists say.

Weather always changes from year to year and decade to decade.

Us old folks remember the winter of 1977-78.

The Ohio River froze over!

This has been a bad winter in this area, but nothing like the winter of 77-78.

Away from here however, it was really cold.

Niagara Falls froze this year – TWICE!

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Old car restoration a just tribute to a good friend

(Editor’s note: A good friend is hard to come by. One who helps without being asked, who is always there spiritually and sometimes even financially. A fortunate person may find one good friend in his (or her) life. I’ve been truly blessed in having more than one and this little story is about one of them.)

One evening in the spring of 1966, an 18-year-old Marshall freshman lost his job pumping gas and cleaning windshields (remember those days?) at a small service station in Ceredo.

Looking for another job on the way home, he stopped at a small used car lot in Kenova, walked into the tiny front office and asked the gentleman closest to the door if any work was available.

That fellow turned to another man who promptly asked, “What can you do?”

“Anything,” the young man answered.

“Can you drive?” the older man asked.

“I can drive anything,” the cocky youngster shot back.

Thus began a 21-year relationship with a self-confident, prosperous, shrewd and honest businessman who became a mentor, confidant and unquestionably one of the best friends a young man could ever want…a man with a sometimes caustic sense of humor who loved to play jokes on his friends, and managed to keep his soft heart hidden.

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Winter colds and silly legislation

Got a cold last week.

One of those nasty, slobbering, sneezing, wheezing, nose running diabolical, sent from the Devil kind of things.

Slight headache on Monday, dry, hacking cough.

Then Tuesday evening – production night – full-blown sneezes, blowing nose, aching, hot face, chapped lips…you’ve had’em, too.

Page designer was coming down with one, too.

Anyway, ‘bout 7 p.m. or so, went across the street to the drug store and bought some of that decongestant stuff. My co-worker took some of it, as well.

Not a lot of relief, but some…

Wednesday, took more of the “D.” Co-worker felt terrible, also.

Thursday, could tell it was easing.

Friday, not gone, but much better. Greg was some better.

But after this week, that “D” purchased over the counter for under $10 may be gone.

And it would be due in large part to some of our local delegates and senators in Charleston, there to further their own personal agendas, but not necessarily to help us taxpayers who happen to come down with a cold or sinus infection on occasion.

These same delegates and senators also want to raise the tax on a pack of cigarettes by a dollar.

Both these bills are silly, to say the least.

Banning pseudoephedrine in cold medicine, making it available only by prescription, is nothing more than a childish attempt to stop the production of methamphetamine.

And taxing smokers, proven to be mostly lower income earners, will hurt only them and their families and not produce any significant tax income – regardless of what bill sponsors say.

(See The Wayne County News editorial page Mar. 1, 2014)

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New board should pick
Supe, and other things

With a superintendent on the way out and three of its five members choosing to end their tenure, the Wayne County Board of Education is, one could say, rather “fowl.”
As in full of lame ducks.

Superintendent Lynn Hurt announced her retirement early this month to take effect June 30, and Chris Dean, Darik Adkins and Rob Penningon are not running for re-election, so three new members will be elected in May (and seated on the panel in early July).

Meanwhile, a search is underway for a new superintendent with the help of the West Virginia School Board Association.

No doubt viable, qualified candidates will be found – probably before the three new members are elected in May, possibly even from in-house. But the current board should make no selection – it should not even interview the candidates.

The three newly elected members, along with the two not up for election, JoAnn Hurley and Vickey Boyd, should conduct the interviews and make the selection with no input from outgoing members, the departing superintendent – or especially, the state.

And, an interim superintendent should be chosen to serve until the new, permanent superintendent is selected.

With another somewhat controversial bond issue at stake and taxpayer distrust at an all-time high, the current board and superintendent should have their hands full persuading county taxpayers to vote for the $18 million building fund.

It was suggested last week that a letter, signed by the current candidates asking the current board to take no action to obligate the newly elected board to any long-range policy or expenditure other than the proposed bond, should also be signed by the current members.

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School lunches shouldn’t
be decided by government

“Through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act championed by the First Lady and signed by” her husband, “USDA is making the first major changes in school meals in 15 years, which will help us raise a healthier generation of children.” – United States Department of Agriculture website.

B.S.

It’s just another way to control the population.

The First Lady says she is very concerned with obesity, especially in children. She advocates eating balanced vegetable and fruit laden meals – and evidently hates calories. She also promotes drinking lots of water and once in a while, suggests exercise.

With family and friends however, she likes taking vacations. But that’s another story…or two.

The FLOTUS pushed the USDA for the above campaign, and like most others, did it “for the children.”

That’s always a good excuse. Nobody wants to harm the kids.

All elected officials from a local school board member to the President all say they want to help the kids…at least it sounds good.

But the above bill, like most other politically progressive rules and regulations, only sounds good. It’s based on a good thought, but the result is not.

Limiting high school students to 850 calories a day, and trying to force them to eat what something they do not like – and does not taste good – is not in the child’s best interest.

Teenagers typically eat a lot. They are growing and maturing and at school, they should not be hungry.

It’s hard to concentrate and learn with a growling stomach.

According to the guidelines set up by the USDA and our svelte FLOTUS, high school students may be served 10-12 ounces of meat per week with nuts, tofu, cheese and eggs offered as meat “substitutes.”

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SINKHOLE vs. “sinkhole:”
Reality versus deception

News story:

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., found out Wednesday what sinkholes are all about.

According to ABC News, the hole opened up about 5:40 a.m. and swallowed up eight of the museum’s expensive showpieces.

The hole appeared in the domed section of the museum, completed in 1994. The hole is estimated to be about 40 feet across and 25 to 30 feet deep. A few feet away, other ‘Vettes sit undisturbed.

No one was in the museum at the time.

Two of the cars were on loan from General Motors. The museum owned the others.

The incident is being investigated, but apparently is the first of its kind on that site. A structural engineer has been called to assess the damage and the stability of the surrounding area.

The facility is to host the 2014 Corvette Caravan in September, marking the 20th Anniversary of the museum. According to the AP, 1,200 people have registered for the event. Officials are expecting car clubs from all 50 states and Canada.

News story:

Parents of students at Kenova Elementary School flooded the Wayne County Board of Education’s Central Office phone lines Thursday about a letter they received that day.
The letter, signed by Superintendent Gary Adkins and Principal Deidre Farley, stated that students would not be going to school for the remainder of the school year.
Why? Sinkholes were found around and under the building.

According to Adkins, weather had played a major part in the sinkholes forming around the school.

“After several days of heavy rains, early sinkholes began to appear on School (sic) property,” he said. “We immediately contacted structural engineers and architects to look at the structure.”

He said the engineers thought the building would be safe to finish out the school year, but would not sign a report stating that opinion.

Comparison:

The first story is about a sinkhole.

The second is not.

The Encarta World English Dictionary says: sinkhole n. 1. A natural depression in the land surface, especially in limestone, where a stream flows underground into a passage or cave.
Also called sink

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Pardon me, but some
questions need asked

A former writer at a bigger newspaper wrote a column once in a while called, “Pardon Me, I Was Just Asking,” and that title came to mind the other day while “pondering” some of the actions taken by our state and local leaders.

No, it was too darn cold on the porch…

But according to the official newsletter of the West Virginia Legislature, dated January 31, 2014, our state lawmakers have been very, very busy.

In addition to the wining and dining, smoozing and boozing, lunches and brunches, wheeling and dealing, and the itching and scratching, they’ve found time to come up with all sorts of new bills.

1,456 by the end of January.

Imagine that, 23 days in Charleston…and 1,456 bills.

Only 33 of that number however, were passed (17 by the House of Delegates, 16 by the Senate) and sent on to committees.

And locally, the Wayne County Board of Education is pursuing another bond issue.

Some of the new bills introduced are, well, uh…okay, I’ll say it…

Goofy!

We have legislators who, in trying to show they’re doing something in the stinky city, come up with lame-brained ideas just to let everybody know they have ARRIVED.

Last year, we had one who proposed even more tax on tobacco just “to show he had the guts.”

Pardon me, but why not come up with a tax on alcohol? How many are killed each year by being hit headon by a cigar?

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A few more thoughts on
schools, consolidation

While researching the Mark Manchin move the other day, ran into a thesis written in 2007 by a young Virginia Tech student, Amanda Beth Kelly, whose family was from McDowell County.

The paper, “Resistance to School Consolidation in a Rural Appalachian Community,” discussed the condition (poor) of the McDowell County schools and the state’s 2001 takeover of the school system, the appointment of Manchin as superintendent, and the subsequent attempts by local groups to prevent consolidation.

TOPS (Teachers, Parents, Students, and Others), was formed to combat the consolidation of schools, most notably Big Creek High School (of October Sky fame) and Iager, along with Big Creek People in Action.

TOPS even created a new plan entitled the “People’s Plan for Excellence in Education” that emphasized a desire to provide a quality education at schools in the students’ communities.

TOPS also sued the West Virginia state Superintendent of Schools, the state Board of Education, and Manchin, the appointed McDowell superintendent to prevent the combining of the schools, citing long bus rides and several other considerations.

Under the “People’s Plan,” there would have been 11 “operational schools,” including five new ones, while Manchin’s CEFP (one of the School Building Authority’s requirements) called for 17 schools, with seven new.

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Superintendent going, but
not for Manchin’s reason

Lynn Hurt, superintendent of Wayne County schools, announced her retirement Tuesday night effective June 30, but her leaving is not for the same reason as Mark Manchin’s recent departure from the West Virginia School Building Authority.

Hurt, a long time administrator with the county system, had faced – and continues to battle – problems with two local schools needing facilities, as well as the myriad other problems that normally beset school districts.

Although Hurt and I have not seen eye to eye on some issues, her heart has always seemed to be in the right place. There appears no doubt she wanted the best for Wayne County students.

She has spent 40 years in public service and says “it’s time.”

Hurt wants to spend more time with her two-year-old granddaughter and other family, including her husband. There also appears to be no doubt the politics and mumbo-jumbo of dealing with state bureaucracies would have to wear the patience and intellect of any sane person.

A conversation fairly recently with a former, well-respected board member reinforced this observation.

“A lot of people want to accomplish something when they get elected to the board,” he said (to paraphrase). “But when they find out how long it takes to get something done, they get worn out fighting all the battles it takes.

“It takes the board, with all the rules and regulations, sometimes a year to get prepared to take action – then it all has to go to Charleston (the state Department of Education) for approval.

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Raising the minimum wage a good idea?

Everybody wants to make money.

The more money brought home, the better the living conditions.

Better house, better meals, better clothes, better car.

The American way.

In 1912, a Massachusetts commission recommended minimum wages for women and children and by 1920 at least 13 states and the District of Corruption passed minimum wage laws.

In 1933, a national minimum was established at $0.25 an hour under the National Industrial Recovery Act, but this was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1935 as being unconstitutional.

The Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938 however, established the same rate, $0.25, and the Supreme Court upheld it, saying Congress had the power under the Commerce Clause to regulate employment conditions.

The quarter per hour equals $4.10 in 2012 dollars.

The rate has been changed several times since, but the highest purchasing power came in 1968 when the $1.60 minimum was the equivalent of $10.64 cents in 2012 money!

Currently the federal minimum is $7.25, the same as West Virginia’s.

Delegate Tim Manchin, a personal injury lawyer from Fairmont, submitted House Bill 3102 Jan. 9 in this year’s legislature session, to raise the West Virginia minimum to $9 beginning July 1. On that day, the minimum would go to $7.85, then to $8.25 the following year.

The bill is currently in committee.

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EPA: Rain taxes and impervious surfaces

King Canute, once King of Denmark, England, Norway and parts of Sweden, once commanded the tide to cease rising.

King Xerxes, son of Darius and himself King of Persia, commanded his men to give the Hellespont (the ancient name for the Dardenelles Strait which links the Aegean and Marmara seas dividing the Balkans) 300 lashes for creating a storm that sunk two of his three bridges. He also had his army toss a set of fetters (restraints) into the waterway to show that he controlled it.

Illustrations of tyranny, of control run amok.

The Environmental Protection Agency is another tyrant – and it’s coming to you.

In the process of regulating everything under the sun (no exaggeration), the EPA is trying to regulate what comes from clouds, too.

It all started in Maryland in 2010 when the EPA ordered the state to reduce stormwater runoff into Chesapeake Bay enough to cut nitrogen levels 22 percent and phosphorus 15 percent. But, how to pay for it?

Easy. Just tax “impervious surfaces.”

Roofs, driveways, sidewalks, patios…whatever.

These things obstruct rain.

Therefore, you must pay.

So a rain tax takes effect in Maryland’s 10 largest counties July l.

But how does the government know how much “impervious surface” a landowner has?

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Let it snow, let it snow…
It’s winter in Wayne Co.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

So says the 1945 song written in Hollywood by lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Jule Styne on one of the hottest days recorded there.

Vaughn Monroe was the first to record the song, but more than 80 other artists have put their spin on it, from Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby to Johnny Mathis to Andy Williams to Glen Campbell to Asleep at the Wheel to George Strait to the Oak Ridge Boys and even Rod Stewart.

Might as well sing it – it’s January in Wayne County – and it just might snow…like it did early Tuesday and past midday.

Bad roads early Tuesday. Route 75 to Lavalette mid-morning was snow covered, then 152 to Wayne got worse and worse as the miles ticked past. By 2 p.m. however, the roadways in the area were just wet.

Near zero degrees Tuesday night, however could mean treacherous driving today.

A couple of weeks ago, my old Army buddy in South Texas, Cruz Cantu texted me with the question, “Hey, how’s the weather?”

“One degree,” I replied. “Feels like minus13 it says, low of minus five to minus 10 tonight. This global warming thingy has icicles hanging off all four cheeks.”

Cruz came back immediately, “And I’m crying cause we’re going to get to the low 30s. I should count my lucky stars.”

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Customers deserve proper
power line maintenance

Growing up on a rural Wayne County farm in the 1950s and 60s, it was not unusual for the power to go off once in a while.

A big storm, a snowstorm or ice storm, would wreak havoc with power lines and we were not immune. The power would be off for a few hours, then come back on and everything would be hunky dory again.

This would maybe happen a couple of times a year.

But a few years back during the summer we began having a lot of power outages. One right after the other.

The outages affected only about four or five families, but it soon became very frustrating. Seemed like any rain, any wind – and the power would fail.

Calls and complaints to the power company would result in a crew coming out to inspect the lines, but they never found anything and eventually the power would come back on.

The outages continued to the extent a neighbor began to log them.

He would list the time, date, weather and how long the power was off. If memory serves correctly, at one point we had lost power some 11 times in a two-month period. Once in a while, the power would remain off for a whole day.

Once, during a major outage when the whole area was shut down, I drove around trying to find a crew to see what was going on.

Instead, I stumbled on a supervisor who was driving along Route 75 looking for a blown fuse. He found one on a pole a few feet from my driveway.

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Not ganging up on, but
why not do some good?

At the risk of being accused of “ganging up on” our Delegate Don Perdue (see Fred Says in this edition), I too, would like to know why that well-spoken, educated representative to our state government continues to promote certain bills, but refuses to consider others.

As “Fred Says” noted, Perdue is asking the legislature (for the third time) to require a prescription for the purpose of pseudoephedrine, a common drug used to combat nasal and sinus congestion.

The drug is used in such common over-the-counter medications as Actifed, Aleve D, Allegra D, Benadryl, Claritin-D, Contac, Mucinex D, Sinufed, Sudafed, Theraflu and Zyrtec-D, along with many others.

Perdue’s bill would require anyone with a stuffy nose to see a doctor for a prescription for any of the above items, before a purchase could be made.

Purpose of the proposed legislation is to make it harder for methamphetamine producers to make that illegal drug which has become a scourge on the nation’s citizens and has resulted in more robberies and burglaries than ever before.

The bill would not prevent the sale of the drug in surrounding Kentucky or Ohio, however. Those states limit the amount of drugs containing pseudoephedrine – without requiring a prescription.

A former pharmacist himself, Perdue surely isn’t asking for more work for many already overworked druggists.

Last year, the illustrious delegate proposed doubling tobacco taxes, just to show he had “the guts” to do it.

Hey, do you have enough guts to propose a bill banning alcohol sales on any school property in the state, including Morgantown?

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New study debunks more
PC, progressive activism

The Environmental Protection Agency, one of the progressive movement’s most tyrannical bureaucracies, was clobbered recently by a Journal of the National Cancer Institute study that undercut the premise of years of litigation, including a Florida case that provided for a $350 million settlement.

The report should also be bad news for the “political correct” police.

Conducted over a span of more than 10 years involving 76,000 women found no statistically significant relationship between lung cancer and exposure to passive smoke.

It did show the usual link between smoking and cancer, 13 times more common in smokers, and four times more common in former smokers.

This has been a topic for debate for years.

The notion that secondhand smoke kills was first promulgated in an EPA report in 1993, but have been discredited by a North Carolina judge whose recent ruling invalidated the basis of the EPA finding.

Judge William Osteen determined the EPA had “cherry picked” its data and manipulated “scientific procedure and scientific norms” to arrive at the agency’s preconceived conclusion that passive smoking caused 3,000 lung cancer deaths a year, according to the Cato Institute, a think tank that does nonpartisan research on any number of public policies.

It’s common knowledge that smoking is bad for the smoker’s health in many ways, but no one ever mentions the effect of alcohol consumption.

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‘Racial Grievance’ biz, and ‘white privilege’

Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and a few others have made quite good livings – and careers from what some call the “racial grievance” industry.

Whenever any – any – incident occurs and both black people and white people are involved…

Just look for these two agitators to create racial division.

Sharpton, with his slicked-back, straightened hair is probably best known for his part in the Tawana Brawley scandal in 1987 when he falsely accused a white, former assistant district attorney of raping Ms. Brawley.

The attorney, after receiving death threats and threats against his child, took Sharpton’s dare – and sued the black racist. The attorney won and Sharpton promptly announced his intention to not pay.

A couple of years later however, some of Sharpton’s pals passed the hat and collected enough to pay the debt – with interest and penalties.

In 1989 Sharpton struck again when a white jogger in Central Park was raped and nearly beaten to death. Sharpton accused the jogger’s boyfriend of the attack.

When a car driven by a Hasidic Jew killed a seven-year-old black child in a traffic accident in 1991, Sharpton turned it into a racial incident. During four nights of rock- and bottle-throwing, a young Talmudic scholar was surrounded by a mob shouting, “Kill the Jew” and stabbed to death. Nearly 100 others were injured.

During the “Million Man March” in Washington a few years later, Sharpton preached, “O.J. is home, but Mumia Abu Jamal ain’t home and we won’t stop till all our people…can come home.”

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Fakes, narcissists and death panels, oh, and dictators

Last week our President went to South Africa for a memorial service to honor a man many call a great statesman, while others use other descriptions, such as “communist.”

Nelson Mandela, a former imprisoned black man in South Africa, eventually was released, helped to end apartheid in that country and went on to become its first black president.

Many world leaders traveled to South Africa to pay tribute but it wasn’t long ago Mandela and his African National Congress political party were blacklisted by many countries for being Soviet proxies.

Mandela himself was only removed from the U.S. terrorist watch list in 2008.

During the Cold War, when Mandela was in prison, Israel, the U.S. and Great Britain backed the former apartheid government because the up-and-coming political parties in that country, like the ANC, were backed by the Soviet Union and fear of a rising communist threat created a distrust of those wanting to end the abominable institution.

Although the UN leveled sanctions against the apartheid government, Israel eventually, because of its isolation on the African Continent, became allied with South Africa militarily and helped the country remain secure through transfer of weapons.

Mandela’s rise to fame came pretty quickly once his released from prison on charges of attempting to violently over throw the Afrikaner government. He served 27 years of a life sentence after pleading guilty to 156 counts of violence, including planting bombs in public places that killed innocent women and children.

He was pals with Muammar Gaddafi of Libya and Suharto of Indonesia, interceding on their behalf and even awarding them South Africa’s highest medal. Both dictators contributed more than $10 million to Mandela’s ANC.

In 2011, British historian Stephen Ellis, published a paper saying Mandela joined the Communist Party in about 1960, several years before he began his prison sentence.

During his speech, our President went from talking about Mandela who died recently at the age of 95, to himself (as he always does).

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Of seers, oracles, diviners, psychics and the SBA

Some people can find water underground with two pieces of metal coathanger, or pieces of certain kinds of wood – divining systems.

Some can forecast what the weather will be the next day by looking at the sunset – or sunrise…”red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.”

But unlike the Oracle at Delphi, we cannot see the future.

Around 1400 B.C., the Oracle at Delphi was renowned throughout the ancient world as a fortune teller.

Vapors rising from a chasm on Mount Parnassus in Greece caused some to faint and fall in to their deaths, and others to become very agitated. Eventually the vapors were seen as having great qualities and were attributed as being sent from the Gods.

Because so many fell who came to Delphi to sample these mists fell into the abyss, a tri-pod was constructed and young virgins were forced to preside over those who came and to prophesy for them. But after one young virgin escaped and ran off with a young Thessalian, it was decided that no prophetess could be under the age of 50 (that could be another story).

A huge industry sprang up around the Oracle; temples were built, rituals and sacrifices were performed and priests interpreted the rambling rants of the prophetess who sniffed the vapors.

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BOE shouldn’t relax too much

With last Saturday’s passage of the Wayne County School District Special Levy, the board can now get back to business a little bit more and focus on two problems that need solved.

The levy, for nearly $9 million dollars, is to be used for textbook purchases, maintenance, utilities and to supplement salaries and fringe benefits paid by the state to regular, substitute and part-time employees.

That last item struck a nerve with many voters, they felt that $7,571,788 of the $8,997,628 bond was too much to put toward salaries with a known textbook shortage and proven lack of maintenance being such known quantities.

No doubt the problems at Crum and Kenova would not be as dire if proper maintenance had been conducted on a regular and thorough basis.

And, although Wayne Board of Education finance officer Ancie Hatfield said last week the county has spent $874,263 on textbooks, added to $830,541 from the state for “instructional materials and supplies,” in many cases students must still share books.

Voting taxpayers unofficially approved the special levy, 2,884 to 738, even though it meant their taxes remained the same.

If the levy had been defeated, taxes collected for the county school system would have dropped more than 54 percent on both residential and commercial property.

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‘Not so’ Affordable Care
Act proving successful

Forget about all the problems of the President’s website for Americans to sign up for his “not so” Affordable Care Act.

The website, with all its many cronies reaping millions of taxpayer dollars, is supposed to fail.

So it has been enormously successful.

All the pundits and even some major media are making a big deal over the fact the website is a fiasco and few have been able sign up for the extra-expensive, extra-idiotic care being pushed by a group of corrupt politicians and hangers-on.

First of all, the ACA (the healthcare act) was never about healthcare. It’s always been about grabbing power – to bring more power to the Executive Branch of government. The act is only the device to destroy much of the Constitution and make Americans nothing more than pawns of a domineering and tyrannical government.

Everything is going according to plan, says Doug Hagmann of Canada Free Press, and it all makes sense.

While the website is drawing all the attention, Hagmann says, the administration’s plan of creating dissension and confusion is preventing many from noticing all the behind-the-scenes and semi-covert actions already taken to further the desired result – a single-payer health care system controlled by the government.

Under this plan, all revenue is collected by the government and all treatment is controlled by the government, which gives it complete control over the entire U.S. population.

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It is time for education to be viewed as a business

It’s time our “electeds,” our “selecteds,” and all our leaders started doing their job.

John Q. Public is getting awfully tired of “electeds,” “selecteds” and others – no matter what the job is – complaining about tough decisions or saying “I didn’t know,” or “I wasn’t aware.”

Life is full of tough decisions.

On any level, decisions must be made, tough or not.

From the President down through every elected office, decisions – like elections – have consequences. When a choice is made, someone will be happy, someone won’t.

That’s life.

Many problems can be solved by a simple yes or no. Others are more complex. But tough decisions must be made.

Everyone has made them, maybe not as visible as those made by the “elected” or “selected,” but just as hard.

Ever heard of someone giving up lunch to save money for more important things?

I have.

Or a business owner giving up their own salary so an employee could be paid?

I have.

Or taking the last of your savings to pay taxes for someone else?

I have.

Or deciding to not prolong the life of a loved one, someone who had raised you, cared for you when you were sick, fed you?

I have.

That one IS tough.

Our “electeds,” “selecteds,” and leaders sought the position they have. They either ran for office, campaigned behind the scenes for office or, in some instances, bought the office.

They asked to be the one to make the decisions, hard or not.

Business people make tough decisions everyday.

If they make the right decision, the business continues. If wrong, the business stagnates or goes out of operation.

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This levy is “For the Children”

Unlike last year’s bond that would have provided two new school buildings, football field turf and several other “wish list” items, Saturday’s special levy, if used appropriately by the Wayne County Board of Education, should mostly benefit those for whom it is intended.

The kids.

Although most of the money will be spent on salaries and fringe benefits for board personnel, some of the cash will pay for textbooks and teaching supplies and maintenance.

According to specifics of the bond, 3.65 percent of the funds raised, or $328,443, will buy books for use by county students.

This however, is only slightly more than half of the 2008 levy.

For that levy, $622,077 was to be set aside for free textbooks and teaching aids and supplies.

An increase however, is found in funds to be used for heating, lighting and plumbing, repair of school buildings and improvement of playgrounds.

This levy calls for $1,023,498 to be spent on these items, while in 2008 only $559,869 was for these purposes.

No doubt, heating, lighting, water and sewage rates have increased, but let’s all hope the board spends money set aside for maintenance and repair is used for just those purposes.

If previous boards had performed adequate maintenance and repair, county taxpayers would not be so upset at being called on to once again cough up more money.

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Your Christian denomination
may depend upon a comma

With Easter weekend upon us, there has been a lot of talk about Heaven in the media this week.

The movie “Heaven is for Real” premiers this weekend. It’s based on a book in which a little boy says he went to heaven and describes to his parents what he saw.

In a recent interview with the New York Times, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was quoted as saying, “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”

There’s not enough space in this newspaper for me to point out how wrong this statement is theologically. I’ll just say he’s clearly an idiot.

Also, this week, I stumbled upon an online debate about whether or not when one dies, we immediately go to heaven or hell or just go to sleep until the judgment.

For the sake of this column, let’s think about Christian theology regarding the afterlife.

The root of this debate is Luke 23:43 where Jesus tells the repentant thief who’s being crucified next to him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Or is it “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in paradise.”

Do you see the difference? A simple comma. And that, as I told my wife, is why there are so many denominations of Protestants.

Of course there are dozens of English translations of the Bible. Your translation may vary.

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Adventures with health insurance

By JASON PERRY
Sports Writer

Obamacare doesn’t seem to be in the news as much now, but it is still there.

I know this only too well as I have been attempting to sign up for it for the last month.

Something as simple as an online application for health insurance has taken me at least four weeks, and it isn’t completed. I still have to submit forms, or at least I think that is what I have to do.

It isn’t really that clear, considering that every time I log into the website to struggle with my application, I get told something different.

At first I couldn’t even complete it, but it might have been because I was trying to beat the March 31 deadline. All this because I didn’t want to be penalized for not being a good citizen.

The penalty is 95 dollars per adult or one percent of your taxable income.

Honestly, I can’t afford to take a hit like that. I barely make enough money to pay my bills, buy groceries, and gas to get back and forth to work. 

But I digress.

The first time I logged in to start the application process, it told me that I had to confirm the miniscule information I had entered via an email, but I never received the email.

So I called the customer service help center for my state, which is Kentucky, since I recently moved to Louisa.

After being on the phone for almost an hour, I was able to get things rolling to get an extension to April 15, but that was it – they didn’t help me do anything else nor did they explain why I never got the validation email.

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Prom night not that important in grand scheme of things

By SCOTT PARSONS
Staff Writer

Sitting at home one evening, my wife, Cassie, and I were talking.

Huntington had been abuzz that afternoon with teenagers dressed in tuxedos and expensive gowns and dresses – all looking their best for prom.
“Boy, they go all out for prom, don’t they?” I said.

“What are you going to do when Claire (our daughter) wants a $300 prom dress,” Cassie asked.

“Oh, geez, I don’t know.”

“Wrong answer,” Cassie said. “The correct answer is Claire will never have a $300 prom dress.”

Proms are getting a little out of control, to be honest.

Tuxedo rentals, dresses that cost more than the cheap seats at an Elton John concert, limousines – it’s enough to bankrupt even the savviest of financial planners.

So what’s it all for? What’s the end game? To have a memorable night with your friends or significant other? Well, trust me on this gang, in the end it doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter who you went to prom with. It doesn’t matter how you looked or how much you spent on clothes or food. Want to know why?

Because in 20 years, no matter how good you think you look now, you’re going to look awkward in those prom pictures.

Take a look at the graphic I have with this column. That’s me 22 years ago. The kids fretting today about their dresses and tuxedos can look at that picture and make fun of it. Heck, I look at it and make fun of it.

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Dreams and the havoc they cause

By SCOTT PARSONS
Staff Writer

Dreams are a strange thing.

The earliest recorded mention of dreaming was 5,000 years ago in Mesopotamia. As a species, we have sought for ages to understand the meaning of the ideas that fly through our minds as we sleep.

Sigmund Freud wrote about dream interpretations. The Abrahamic religions believe that God can communicate through dreams. In fact, Jacob saw his famous ladder in a dream.

The other day my wife, Cassie, startled me with a question.

“Are you planning to divorce me?”

Apparently, my wife has been suffering from recurrent dreams in which I am divorcing her. So far these dreams haven’t explained why I’m leaving, just that I’m leaving.

I’m intrigued by psychology and the study of the human mind. So I had to know more about her dreams.

In her dreams, I’m really angry with her and won’t tell her why. The only thing she knows is I’m leaving her. I tried to assure her I wasn’t going anywhere.

“It’s just a dream. Dreams don’t mean anything,” I assured her.

Then I stood up from the couch as the kids yelled at each other. I took a step and slipped on a car left on the floor by one of the kids. When I regained my balance, I noticed the latest interpretive artwork my son had added to our living room wall with a permanent marker.

“Why would I want to leave this paradise?”

That probably wasn’t the best thing to say.

I told Cassie that, while I’m not leaving, if I were to leave I’d tell her why. I’d probably do it in a professional-looking PowerPoint presentation. I would expect the same from her.

“But what if Alyson Hannigan came to our door and said she wanted to take you away to Hollywood with her,” she wondered.

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Being in the dark shines a light on ourselves

By SCOTT PARSONS
Staff Writer

Many Wayne Countians, myself included, are descendants of hearty, pioneering people who blazed trails into the western frontier 200-some years ago in search of their own way. They fought wild animals, the elements and Native Americans to claim a slice of what would later be called the American Dream.

When the power went out for the majority of Wayne Countians on Wednesday, Facebook was flooded with statuses concerning how awful it was to be without power for a few hours.

What would our ancestors think of us?

Wednesday’s power outage wasn’t even the worst loss of modern conveniences we’ve seen in the past two years. The Derecho winds that hit our area in 2012 left some people without power for more than two weeks.

Back then I was working at a newspaper in Ashland, Ky. Ashland was swarmed by people looking for a meal. But the problem was, most of the restaurants were also without power. My boss at the time and friend, Adam Vankirk, went for his evening walk through the park and reported people standing on their porches and in their yards with blank, glazed expressions on their faces. They truly didn’t know what to do.

This led us to theorize how long it would take for humanity to devolve into a state like what is seen on “The Walking Dead” or in the pages of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road.”

The conclusion: 12 hours.

Within four hours of losing power to the Derecho, people had moved from rural areas to urban areas in search of food and supplies. Within five hours, food was scarce and supplies were all but non-existent. I appeased my own morbid curiosity and went to Walmart to see what the shelves looked like. You guessed it – they were bare. I even saw a tense exchange between two women for the last pack of D-cell batteries. All this within eight hours of losing power.

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Losing dish an end of an era

By SCOTT PARSONS
Staff Writer

It’s the end of an era on Bee Branch.

Please excuse me while I pause to wipe away a solemn tear.

A recent wind storm felled a mighty symbol of my youth and coming of age.
You see, in the ‘80s, my Mom and Dad installed a white fiberglass satellite dish in the front yard of their home. The dish stood as a beacon of late-20th century technology for 30 years.

My Dad is taking it pretty hard.

Not because the loss has somehow rendered their televisions inoperable. Far from it. The white dish hasn’t been used in more than 15 years. The reason my Dad is saddened by the loss is he now doesn’t have his go-to description when giving people directions to their house.

“Where do you live, Eugene?” someone would ask.

The directions would lead the person up the hollow and then Dad would always say “You can’t miss it. It’s the house with the big, white satellite dish in the front yard.”

The big, white satellite dish now lays in a crumpled heap in the front yard. A symbol of freedom in a pre-digital age has succumbed to the elements.

For me, it’s like losing an old friend.

The dish used to bring Disney Channel and HBO to our home. It also brought WGN which in turn helped make me a Chicago Cubs fan. In retrospect, I should be upset with the satellite dish for that, but why shoot the messenger?

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Back in the saddle, again

By SCOTT PARSONS
Staff Writer

Musicians and former drug enthusiasts Aerosmith performed the song Back in the Saddle Again. You’ll pardon me if that song has been playing in a continuous loop in my head for the past week.

It’s been about 12 and a half years since my thoughts and words have graced the pages on the Wayne County News. You’d be amazed at how things change, both personally and in the world around us, in more than a dozen years.

For me the changes have been huge. When I left in 2001 I did so with the idea of conquering the world of newspapers and journalism. However, the death of traditional media all but assured that world conquering wasn’t going to be on my list of life’s accomplishments. In fact, after losing two jobs in the past four years because of newspaper budget cuts, I’m lucky to have a job at all.

But things aren’t all doom and gloom from my adventures in journalism. I married a great girl whom I met when I was working for the newspaper in Chillicothe, Ohio. We have two wonderful kids, one five-years-old and the other two-years-old, and I’ve still got my health.

Coming back to the WCN is like trying on an old pair of fishing waders and discovering they still fit. Sure, the waders may be a little musty and need a few patches, but they will serve a purpose and it’s fun to go fishing.

So, in the interest of reintroducing myself to the readers of the Wayne County News, I would like to offer the following insights and personal beliefs to get you up to speed and take you on a walk through the rich, warm, gooey goodness of my mind.

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Michael Hupp

Lunch debate hard to digest

It’s the end of an era on Bee Branch.

Please excuse me while I pause to wipe away a solemn tear.

A recent wind storm felled a mighty symbol of my youth and coming of age.
You see, in the ‘80s, my Mom and Dad installed a white fiberglass satellite dish in the front yard of their home. The dish stood as a beacon of late-20th century technology for 30 years.

My Dad is taking it pretty hard.

Not because the loss has somehow rendered their televisions inoperable. Far from it. The white dish hasn’t been used in more than 15 years. The reason my Dad is saddened by the loss is he now doesn’t have his go-to description when giving people directions to their house.

“Where do you live, Eugene?” someone would ask.

The directions would lead the person up the hollow and then Dad would always say “You can’t miss it. It’s the house with the big, white satellite dish in the front yard.”

The big, white satellite dish now lays in a crumpled heap in the front yard. A symbol of freedom in a pre-digital age has succumbed to the elements.

For me, it’s like losing an old friend.

The dish used to bring Disney Channel and HBO to our home. It also brought WGN which in turn helped make me a Chicago Cubs fan. In retrospect, I should be upset with the satellite dish for that, but why shoot the messenger?

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Misc.

 

EPA and CO2 – a little Chemistry explanation

 

The federal Environmental Protection Agency continues to write regulations (without the input of our congress, sound familiar)?

The rules proposed are written in such a way as to make it impossible to burn coal to make electricity, unless you capture the carbon dioxide and then sequester it.

I’m sure not a genius about CO2 but I do apparently know more than the EPA and the congressmen who are questioning the director. I had to put up with the EPA often during my chemical company days.

First of all, to hear the global warming fanatics, our atmosphere is full of carbon dioxide because there are tons and tons released every day. What’s never reported is even though tons and tons are released (sounds like a lot doesn’t it), in fact the millions of tons released by human activity is minuscule as a part of the total atmosphere.

Last month CO2 was measured at the NOAA laboratory at Mauna Lea, Hawaii, the total amount of CO2 was almost 400 parts per million, that amounts to a whopping .04 percent.

Holy smokes, there is twice as much argon in the air than CO2!

About 78 percent of our atmosphere is nitrogen and 20 percent oxygen. The above measurement was done on air with zero water vapor. The ppm would have been a bit lower if they had not removed all the water vapor which, by the way, is the most important greenhouse gas, followed by hydrogen sulfide and methane. CO2 comes in fourth place.

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Gov’t a self-licking ice cream cone

 

Once upon a time (I’ve changed the names and places to protect the guilty) there was a one-horse town with a one-man police department, Officer Delmar.

Mrs. Swartz called him one night reporting that some men were breaking into the 7-11. Delmar parked his 10-year-old state police surplus cruiser a block or two away, pumped a round into his shotgun, then walked toward the store.

Sure enough three or four men were loading a pickup with stolen goods. Delmar hollered “Stop, police! Any of you run – I’ll shoot the nearest one.”

He then marched them to the two-cell town jail. Those men knew Delmar would do what he said, there was no doubt.

Our news reporters have started to notice how many government agencies have their own “security/law enforcement department.”

The Bureau of Land Management, complete with military style snipers, attempted to round up a man’s cattle grazing on public land in Nevada.

Reason? To protect a turtle.

Delmar meant business and he was all that was needed.

Nowadays, there never seems to be enough police. You have seen on TV police all over the place in a shootout and nobody can hit the target. It is quality that counts not quantity.

The FBI, ATF, CIA, IRS, NSA, BLM, TSA, GSA, DNR!

Yikes! I’m running out of letters,” carry guns, in addition to state police, city police, sheriff departments, railroads, customs officers, rent-a-cop services, truck inspectors, Secret Service, and only the Almighty knows who else!

Do we need police protection? Yes, but do we need a one-horse town equipped with an honest to goodness army surplus tank as was reported the other day?

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Opinions, facts are not the same

 

I believe that people who live in Wayne County can usually tell the difference between an opinion and a fact. A lexicon that I noticed when my family moved into Wayne County was the phrase, “my opinion,” used by some people in Wayne County when they were agreeing with you.

For those who can’t tell the difference, I’ll try to be specific in my writing so there will be less doubt about which is which.

I’ve been hard on Don Perdue about his “re-elect me” letter that he mailed to we peons, telling us how hard the legislature worked and what a great new law we have that will protect our water supplies. It really got under his thin skin when we all learned that the darn thing has not really been written yet and won’t be for several months (so says Mr. Huffman director of the DEP).

Thanks to all who have told me that you agree it was pure political and just eyewash. Telling me what you think is okay, but you must speak out against the way our legislature does business. Allowing political appointees to write the rules they will enforce is wrong.

One fella suggested the legislature should meet once every few years and asked if lawmakers can’t do the job, then why do we need them?

So please write a letter, sign a protest, make a phone call. Let our elected know that you want action instead of more hot air.

All the prospective candidates for election this fall say how they support education and how important it is but those are just throwaway lines. I brought up this education subject to Don Perdue.

The single most important thing that we can do in this state to guarantee prosperity is to provide real education for our youth. Instead of hoarding money in a rainy day fund, invest it in the best teachers we can find.

In my opinion, many of our teachers know how to teach – it is the legislature and the board of education getting in the way that is the problem. I asked Don if he’d go with me to the county BOE to see if we could get some straight answers over the poor showing of our West Virginia students every time there is a national evaluation test.

Instead of a “yes” or “no,” he asked me what I think could be done “Without spending more money?”

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More than a paint job needed at Crum

 

To Sherri and Carla I sure don’t think a paint job is the solution.

Don’t criticize the messenger for documenting the terrible conditions you describe.

I assumed the Board of Education would take action instead of blaming previous administrations. The neglect has been going on for 50 years, so says Mrs. Hunt.

Does that allow all to get a pass?

If it is as bad as you say, then the place should be condemned now and your students moved into brand new temporary quarters.

If these things are true, never mind pointing fingers. If one child is hurt or dies because of them – you will all hang.
To those readers who give me a pat on the back or tell me, “I like your columns, because they are true,” I ask – are you wiling to keep your mouth shut over the mess we have in Crum?

It is all our responsibility because “we the people” are paying for it.

We voted for the BOE members who are responsible.

At Crum we are not getting our money’s worth.

Crum Middle School is not a century-old building – so lets drop the sensationalism.

The Crum buildings are not alone when it comes to poor maintenance. The maintenance director position was not filled for nine months. Can we blame that on a previous administration too?
Passing the blame to others does not get us anywhere. President Obama has blamed his predecessor for all his troubles since he was elected. Doing that just makes things worse. Another last place was published about West Virginia; we have the lowest rate of income growth in the nation, now there’s another, that the Tri-state has the lowest esteem.

Lets consider the here and now.

How about not punish the people who will have to continue using this old building and it’s outdated sewage system. If no one is a sanitation expert, then lets get a competent plumber to Crum and find out why the system is backing up.

Sewage gas (the fowl odor) is hydrogen sulfide, a poisonous gas that is a danger to all. Is the vent not working?

A packaged sewage treatment plant is manufactured in Huntington – buy one now. Where is our Wayne County Health department? A septic tank for a school full of kids is not adequate in the first place.

When was it last inspected? Is a septic tank now even allowed? Does the BOE expect to use this junk while the new school is built?

Two men lost their lives in Lavalette from sewer gas.

This is serious, ladies.

A reliable heating plant is a school necessity. Operating with only one old unit is fool hearty. I assume this system is low-pressure steam or hot water. Who inspected it last and who is the current insurance company?

All boilers must be inspected regularly and insured. Actually hot water is a very good heating method. The plumber can inspect that while he is looking at the sewage system.

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Century old schools need more than fresh paint

 

To the readers of the Wayne County News and its editorial staff:

It is with great dismay that we continue to read editorials that assume the conditions at Crum Elementary and Middle schools are mainly aesthetic and require only minor repairs.

As principals of these schools, we see every day the problems these facilities have and why the bond election on May 13 is so important. And we’re not alone. The parents of our students and the Crum community have shown continual support for this bond, as well as the one in 2012, in the hopes that we will get new facilities.

The editorials criticize the school system for a lack of maintenance that has contributed to the rapid deterioration of our schools in Crum. While that can’t be denied, it also falls under the responsibility of past boards and past administrations, something we have no control over today.

But why punish our children and community over something not done 50 years ago? Our schools are nearing 100 years old and the issues here cannot be fixed with a fresh coat of paint and new drywall.

Among the issues we face:
-An aging septic system that frequently backs up throughout both buildings, emitting an odor that is both unpleasant and unsanitary. We are not sanitation experts, but in order to repair the problems with our system, floors would have to be taken up and an entirely new system would have to be purchased for both buildings.

-Our 1919 Columbus coal furnaces have been converted to gas but require continual care. One can no longer be repaired due to a crack in the main part of the furnace. The other must constantly be relit and cannot be regulated. When it is working, it is either on or off and there is no comfortable temperature. The last piece that had to be purchased in order to repair the furnace was no longer a stocked item and had to be special ordered at a cost of $30,000, according to maintenance records. Many days our students have had to wear coats inside the classrooms in order to stay warm.

-Despite numerous repairs, our roofs still have re-occurring leaks that can lead to mold growth.

Sincerely,
Sherri Brewer, principal of Crum Middle School
Carla Richardson, principal of Crum Elementary

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Like a church or army we must have leaders

 

Politics, just like a successful growing church or a winning army, has to have a leader. Too bad winning an election does not a leader make, and it sure shows here in West Virginia.

Nationally during my lifetime there have been only three outstanding presidents – Jack Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt.

What makes a good leader anyway?

Leaders have that special something that grants them the ability to persuade others to follow.

General Norman Schwarzkopf was an exceptional leader. During the Gulf War, he commanded many people with varied beliefs, all followed him and won the day. I recall one of his generals describing him, saying if he was in a room full of people all wearing only underwear it would only take a few minutes until Norman would be in command.

You don’t need a title or emblems of rank to lead.

How absurd was it of a wealthy city slicker from Massachusetts to talk a nation into flying to the moon, yet Kennedy did it.

Ronald Reagan did not blame others for the terrible economy he received as Obama continues to do; instead he convinced the nation that our best days are ahead and created the longest period of growth in our history.

Do you think for a minute that the squirt Vladimir Putin would dare to invade Crimea if Kennedy, Reagan or Roosevelt were in office? Roosevelt and Churchill, under insurmountable odds, took on Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan – rallied the whole world against them and won.

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‘I tried’ not good enough excuse for lawmakers

 

“I tried.”

How many more times must we hear this age-old excuse from our legislature before we try someone new?

My column about the do-nothing legislature this year got under the skin of some members and I got their usual excuse for not getting anything done.

“I tried” was Bill Clinton’s excuse and this makes my point. Having a staff member write a bill (to put it into legalese) does not a law make. Doing one’s best and not accomplishing anything is not good enough.

We need LEADERS in the statehouse, not people who bring up thousands of bills, thus gumming up the works knowing darn well they have no chance of passing. When will the legislature start repealing the laws that are so bad?

Too many members of our Legislature have been there for years and doing their best which is none too good. If you can’t cut the mustard, it is time to get out and give others a chance.

You are not a lawmaker if you can’t get one passed.

I was told that nobody disagrees that our teachers are underpaid and then was posed this question, “How do we get the $10,000 for each teacher to put us on a par with our neighbor states.”

First of all, why must we be on a par?

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Trying doesn’t mean
you are successful

 

You know the truth is hurting when you get long-winded prose from those who you write about. They divert away from the subject to blame me.

Before I get to the silly stuff, I want to say it is my opinion that calling our solders “boots on the ground” shows little respect for those who fight for our freedom. I sleep very well knowing our solders are on guard.

Most likely this was the brainchild of a dopey journalist who never spent a day in our military. I spent three years in the U.S. Army and I do not remember anyone calling me a boot – private was bad enough.

Congressman Rahall’s column writer submitted one praising all the work… Oops! Make that hard work; he does protecting Medicare and Social Security.
So many votes and so little time.

How can one justify taking credit for votes that do not accomplish anything?

Recall during the creation years of Obamacare $700 billion was stripped out of present and future Medicare funds to help balance the books – did Nicky Joe do anything to stop that?

Home health care was stripped of 14 percent that resulted in 400,000 fewer home health care workers. Did our congressman vote against that – or was there even a vote?

A lame excuse defending the cuts is they are saving us money because of eliminating waste and economies of scale. Economy of scale says you can save money if you go big.

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Is Rahall what he promises everyone

Steve Israel, a Democrat operative and spin master, said this about congressman Rahall, “As a battle-tested campaigner, Nick Joe Rahall has been the overwhelming choice of southern West Virginians because he stands for commonsense values, will protect Social Security and Medicare and will relentlessly fight for good-paying West Virginia jobs.

“We won’t stand on the sidelines while outside groups spend millions of dollars to deceive voters about an incumbent.”
I just heard that outside groups are spending millions against Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.

Darn, those nasty outside groups are everywhere.

No need to spend a dime defending Nicky Joe – his record is not defendable. Every two years his campaign people drag out the same promises and enough people fall for them to reelect the congressman.

Well, those days are gone forever. West Virginians are tired of those empty promises and now will vote for the person they feel will get the job done instead of because he or she is a Democrat.

Nick is not battle-tested, he never served a day in the military so don’t give me that battle tested crap. Every Democrat for a long way back as I can recall, always spouts that they alone will protect Social Security(SoS).

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This legislation session another waste of time

 

A Herald Dispatch headline said the “meth bill” ran out of time which implies that if only there were a few more minutes on the clock a combination of last minute bill re-writes might have done the trick.

No, I doubt our legislature could have come to a conclusion if given a month of Sundays. It was back to the good ole days of Chucky Chambers when he actually stopped the clock at midnight to get more time for debate.

The 2014 session can be summed up as much ado about nothing.

The bill that failed again was Don Perdue’s favorite drug bill that imposed doing something (anything) about the meth lab problem on the backs of our health care community.

Poor Don, his pet project and his name was not even mentioned in the bill’s obituary.

I don’t know how many hours of our time were devoted promoting the failed law, but I believe it was a lot.

Put a another way, the $20,000 each we taxpayers forked over to Delegate Perdue and others was a waste of good money.

I think we are owed a refund.

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Of course drug firms
want to make money

 

Don Perdue says, “They’re (the drug industry) moving to protect their profits against the better interest of the citizens of the state.”

Of course they are.

The principle job of corporate management is to maximize profit for the shareholders. If you have any sort of retirement account, no doubt it is invested to earn a profit.

In one way or another we all are making a living by exchanging labor for money, or investing our savings where we can earn a return (profit). If it was not for profit where would the taxes come from that are used to pay Mr. Perdue’s $20,000 salary as a delegate from Wayne County?

Don Perdue receives a retirement paid for with the Kroger Company profits. The $50,000 he gets as head of the Wayne County Economic Development Authority comes from taxes paid by Wayne County companies and citizens.

Where does the money to pay those taxes come from?

Does Mr. Perdue advocate lowering Wayne County taxes?

I doubt it.

Drug makers do not move against the very people they have been created to serve, how absurd is that?

So what is the better interest of our citizens?

It’s certainly not in the best interest to make a law forbidding them from purchasing a cheap (as Don calls them) cold medicine.

It is not in anyone’s best interest to demand a doctor spend valuable time to see a patient only to get a cold pill prescription.

Don and the rest of our legislature have been dancing around the real issue for years.

The issue is the lack of genuine punishment for those caught making, selling and getting themselves addicted. With all the brouhaha over a runny nose pill, we have not heard a single word about the people who are responsible for the meth situation.

Instead drug addicts are treated with velvet gloves as if they have contracted some exotic disease and are entitled to special care – paid for with tax money.

It is in the best interest of our citizens to punish the guilty. As it is now, our law enforcement can’t get their paperwork finished faster than the meth criminals are released.

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West Virginia again
at bottom of survey

 

The National Review printed a story about how West Virginia came in last place on a survey about well-being.

The composer of this cheap shot was Matt Berman, a snotty nosed little creep who is the best example yet of grinning like a Jackass eatin’ briers.

He reports Hawaii is in top place, along with North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota near the top. After the winter those guys are living through (except Hawaii) I don’t see how anyone could feel any well being.

Hawaiians pay about 40 percent more in living costs, but I bet their pay check is not 40 percent more. How about $7for a gallon of milk?

What is the matter with the dairy industry in Hawaii – does it not exist?

You know International Falls, Minn., always wins the coldest place in the United States and they think they are well-being.
I wonder what sort of questions Gallup asked to get these state combinations. We are mixed in with Ohio and Louisiana. What a combination – crawdads and buckeyes! Below the most well-being bunch you have a mix of Maryland, home to whinny liberals, and Alaska, conservative as they come.

Is anyone surprised about our ranking, considering the great leaders our state has sired? With men such as A. James Manchin, W.W. Barron, the vote-buying bunch in Mingo County, hot pants Bullet Bob Wise, Okie Patterson, and all the Democrat nincompoops that have been running our state for the last 80-plus years, what do you expect?

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Who makes our medicine? No, it’s not made in U.S.

 

I don’t think for a minute that our governor and legislature are intentionally destroying business by writing another batch of wacky laws.

After all this time you would think they could see the consequences of over regulation, incompetent administration, and terrible laws. The reason is no one ever reviews the laws after they are written.

The laws leave out any means to insure proper enforcement. Over and over we hear about a business not willing to locate in our state because of the unfriendly business climate.

Union history in West Virginia is a major concern, never mind that now union employment is down to about 7 percent.
It is a case of killing the geese that lays golden eggs.

Don Perdue has never spoken a kind word about the industry of which he once was a part. Among his favorites is the cockamamie idea to impose doctor prescriptions on over-the-counter cold medicine.

Several years ago a law was passed to limit the sale of such cold drugs. Now, Mr. Perdue admits this did not work because the law did not prove for enfoldment.

So what harm does it do when various industries are over regulated?
So what if you impose high taxes on coal or logging?

What about the chemical industry?

Simply put, they quit or leave. Business after all, is composed of people who don’t like being bullied, just as people in the legislature can’t stand criticism (thin-skinned Perdue for example).

A down right stupid law affected Friar Chemical Company.

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Our energy experts
are anything but

 

For the last few years all the energy experts in state government and Washington, D.C. – you know who – Don Perdue, Jay Rockefeller, Joe Manchin, Barack Obama, the list is endless; have been telling us how great it is going to be to utilize all those deep new natural gas deposits.

West Virginia could not wait to gets its hands on some of the Marcellus shale gas money so they jacked up the drilling tax before any gas was found to over $10,000.

T. Boone Pickens, one of the few who has actual knowledge about oil and gas production, says the production price now for natural gas is about $2 a thousand cubic feet. So why are we still paying upwards of $8 a thousand?

I asked a year or more ago when will the price come down, and was told new pricing was submitted.

We have allowed things in government to get so bad that now a regulated utility (gas companies) can’t lower their price with out the consent of the PSC.

We elected a constitutional scholar (his description) as president, who told us he intended to fundamentally change our way of life here in the Untied States.

A new energy policy was on the fundamental change list. Replacing coal was a top priority.

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Lots of blame for
Elk chemical spill

 

If you want to know about an election that tells you the real story of my home state, West Virginia, then stay tuned because our citizens are on the brink of not caring which party label follows your name, but instead cares about who will do the best job for your family, your community and your state.

Those who get elected over and over based on high sounding credentials and little else will have to seek employment elsewhere.

I, for one, am tired of paying these guys to go to Charleston everyday to have fellowship with each other instead of getting down to doing real work on behalf of the people who put them into office.

Tom Miller writes a column called Under The Dome.

He said in his most recent column that there is plenty of time for our legislature to carefully consider the bills introduced over the Elk River chemical spill.

Yeah, that seems to be the typical way a session is conducted – much ado about nothing, then a feverish last few days doing what we sent them to Charleston for in the first place.

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W.Va. Legislature not focusing on correct procedures

 

The legislature is off to a mediocre start pretty much like last year.

The big deal is the chemical spill into the Elk River which not one delegate or senator knows squat about. One of them was answering questions at a Kanawha County public meeting and freely admitted that despite all the state departments with inspectors – we just don’t have enough and they need better training and money.

Wait just a doggone minute!

Could it be that if only all our departments, agencies and commissions had performed the work they are charged to be doing, someone might just have caught Freedom Industries before they caused so much damage?

This meeting starred Erin Brockovich who is here to stir the manure pile on behalf of out-of-state law firms seeking to identify just who has the deepest pockets for them to take to court (and collect their 40 percent).

Who bought Miss Blockovich’s ticket to Charleston?

She said the absence of water company employees at her meeting was “telling.”
Telling to whom?

The water company sure did not dump the chemical into the river. Seems to me a lot of people will be in a fix if West Virginia Water says “We’re out of here.”

All the local law firms better think twice about where your next hot shower is coming from should you sue American Water out of existence.

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W.Va. Legislature not focusing on correct procedures

 

Tim Kinsey is our appointed apprentice delegate for Wayne County.

Tim announced he is now running for the seat to which he was appointed. During his press conference he said, “With the strong leadership we have throughout Wayne County and the number of projects we have coming to fruition, let’s keep the momentum.”

How many times have we heard a Democrat running for re-election say such things? There is always more to be done and that is the reason to seek re-election – so the job can be finished – yet they never finish.

What momentum is Tim taking about? Who are the strong leaders? Name for me any Wayne County project that is coming to fruition that any of our perpetual politicians are responsible for?
Could it be our classy multi-million dollar 911 building?

No that was done with borrowed money that we citizens must repay. The costly specifications are the reason for the price. Washington bureaucrats wrote them and our “leaders” went along with all of them.

Don Perdue and Bob Paisley both told me “never will happen” when I inquired about the million dollar price tag.

The published total cost now is well over $2 million.

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DEP, not lawmakers,
making many laws

 

Next time you read or hear from our Charleston representatives who call themselves “Lawmakers,” just remember most often they had little to do with the law they take credit for (absence of creativity and original thought don’t you know).

Many of them will add their name to a bill as a co-sponsor, which looks good on their resume.

A classic example: our legislature passed a law back in 2012 increasing the gas and oil well drilling fee from $700 to more than $10,000.

Every time I challenged Don Perdue about this he would tell me that the fee is chump change compared to the money the well will produce. His meaning was the drilling companies have plenty of money – so let’s stick it to them.

The reason for the increase was to pay for doubling the number of inspectors and to fatten up the Department of Environmental Protection (they now have 800 employees, 100 more then the state BOE). Because no one in West Virginia knew beans about deep-well drilling and the fracking process, the new inspectors had to be imported.

As bad as I hate to refer to the liberal New York Times, here is what was reported just the other day: “The Department of Environmental Protection issued a statement on Saturday saying that it ‘has aggressively pursued rule changes and legislation in recent years to ensure the state’s industries and businesses are operating in ways that are protective of the state’s natural resources.’”

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Sudafed prescription
not answer to meth

 

Our Legislature passed a law that limits the amount of Pseudoephedrine one can purchase in an attempt to stop or minimize it being used to make methamphetamine.

Did that work?

I think not because now, according to Don Perdue, meth is becoming an epidemic. If you ask any policemen they will tell you it already is.

Nobody is against coming up with a solution to eliminate meth and all the terrible things that its addiction causes.

We are against the waste of legislative time and money spent proposing and debating the same old tired solutions that have not a snowball’s change in hell of succeeding.

We pay our delegates $20,000 for the session, plus about $130 for each day they are in Charleston. Isn’t it about time we tax payers start receiving our money’s worth?

Why is Don Perdue proposing a law that will cause added expense for the people of Wayne County and the citizens of West Virginia by wasting time and the added cost of an appointment with a doctor to obtain a prescription for a cold remedy?

Surely as a former pharmacist he has to understand by the time it takes to get an appointment the cold will be over. Doctors’ offices are packed as it is now and it will get worse, thanks to the Obamacare act.

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Pointed questions
about chemical spill

 

Thankfully the Mighty Ohio River is big enough to dilute the chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, enough to make the water potable (I hope).

The whole Elk River chemical spill was handled well enough. I suppose my fellow West Virginia citizens did not panic; they followed instructions and only missed taking their regular Saturday night bath.

This incident did shine the spotlight on the cornucopia of alphabet soup associations, government regulators and know-it-all academics that proved they did not have a clue about the stuff either.
My old dangerous properties of industrial chemicals handbook says: “toxicity unknown.” That is a fine how do you do!

Now for some questions that should have been asked, but were not:

Who is the manufacturer of the stuff (MCHM)?

Since nobody knew anything, why didn’t someone call the manufacturer?

Who owns the company Freedom Industries?

NALCO Chicago, Ill., owns the patent for MCHM as a foaming agent.

Who excused Freedom from EPA inspections because they, “only store MCHM?” Strange, Friar Chemical was never excused and the patent says the agent is not 100 percent MCHM, therefore even mixing it with water would be manufacturing.

Flotation is a common method of recovering coal fines.

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We should put the squeeze on drug companies to solve this meth problem

 

Johnny One Note (Don Perdue) is at it again and says he will propose legislation that will require a prescription for the purchase of cold medicine that contains pseudoephedrine. If you believe this is a sensible approach, send Don $50 for his reelection campaign.

But if you believe this meth mess has gone on long enough, then let Perdue know you do not approve of his silly ideas.

The 2014 session will be his third try at getting such a law passed.

Don has the mistaken belief that simply adding more paperwork and a doctor visit (for a cold) will prevent people from forging a prescription or importing the cold medicine or buying it on the street to get at the drugs needed to cook meth.

His effort has failed twice, so what makes him think his solution is the one to solve our meth lab problem?

For years now the same tired debate has been raging. Every year it is the same old solution that never sees the light of day.

We need problem solvers in Charleston – not meeting attenders.

Don says, “It is only doing the right thing.”

Come on Delegate Perdue, it is not a case of the needs of the few outweighing “We the People” who only want some relief from a common cold.

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Our elected good at wasting tax dollars

The next time some politician or big mouth TV talking head says Social Security recipients will get far more Social Security payments than they paid in, tell them yes, and the reason is you (expletives deleted) spent the money faster than you took it in.

We the people have allowed our elected leaders to tell one fat lie after another for years to the point we are numb to telling the difference from a lie and the truth.

Rick Thompson told us he was going to overhaul education in our state – remember?

Teacher unions quickly canceled him and not a single new idea was put forth.

Don Perdue tells us that “He” meets with people of Wayne County every day.

Really?

As far as I know, not one public town house meeting has ever been conducted by our beloved delegate. Does he plan to prove he has guts again this session by suggesting we double tobacco taxes?

I don’t recall a peep from Perdue concerning our dismal education system.

Oh yes, he did meet with some concerning the Crum Middle School mess – has anything developed yet?

Our federal senators all voted in favor of the Obama health care fiasco, or wanted to fix a few details.

Rahall did, and he continues to say it is such a good idea. Truth be told, President Obama now wants to pursue anything and talk about anything except his signature law.

So Fred, you started out this column about how much more money our government is paying out than we put in.

Let’s have some real numbers.

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