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Columnists

Standing up for W.Va. coal miners

My Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in the House of Representatives, on which I serve as the top Democrat, recently voted to advance legislation that puts an end to the EPA's practice of retroactively revoking coal permits, like it did with the Spruce Mine in Logan County.In ...

Easter services, events slated this week

Hello from Barbour County! Is it spring? Winter? We're not really sure! Maybe I should just say Happy Easter!There will be a planned power outage in the Belington and Junior areas. This will be on Tuesday beginning at 5 p.m. and will continue until Wednesday at 1:30 a.m. Being without ...

Learning is a good guesser’s game

Playing guessing games is a great way to help children reduce their fear of failure and develop a love of learning at home. Nobody is right all the time, but everybody has to try to correct his/her own errors by observing carefully and creating logical theories about what is true.Games like "I ...

Regulatory filings are overkill

WASHINGTON - Occasionally, the Supreme Court considers questions that are answered merely by asking them. On Tuesday, the court will hear arguments about this: Should a government agency, whose members are chosen by elected officials, be empowered to fine or imprison any candidate or other ...

GOP’s anger at Obama rages on

President Barack Obama's stewardship for the last five years has been marked with some setbacks. Certainly the "roll-out" of the Affordable Care Act left his administration open to ridicule. But the glitches were corrected and Obama exceeded the seven million mark by 100,000. But Republicans in ...

Obama must defend NATO’s red lines from aggression

Last week, masked men in camouflage garb with no insignia, dressed and equipped like Russian special forces, started taking over police stations and other government buildings in the Donets basin in Eastern Ukraine. They appeared to be working in tandem with local militias in defying the ...

Biden is qualified to be the president

WASHINGTON - One of the enduring misperceptions of American politics is that the vice presidency is a steppingstone to the presidency. Of the 47 men who have held the office, only four were elected to the Oval Office as sitting standbys: Adams, Jefferson, Van Buren and, 152 years later, the ...

Condoleezza Rice being hounded

If Condoleezza Rice were as self-pitying and politically crass as Attorney General Eric Holder, she would be wondering aloud what it is about her race and gender that accounts for the hostility to her.Rice's speaking gigs on college campuses and her ascension to the board of the Internet ...

Become an Earth Angel this year

From time to time, we all need a boost, a pick-me-up, or an encouraging word. You may be running on empty either spiritually, physically, mentally or even financially, and then someone walks into your life, be it a stranger, friend or family member, and lifts a bit of the burden from off your ...

Internet makes criticism much easier

I confess, dear readers, that I'm suffering from an identity crisis. One day I think I must be a fascist toady of big business whose fondest wish is to make the poor poorer. The next I think I surely must be a commie out to take away everyone's guns. One day I drink the Democrat Kool-Aid. The ...

Statistical frauds

The "war on women" political slogan is in fact a war against common sense.It is a statistical fraud when Barack Obama and other politicians say that women earn only 77 percent of what men earn - and that this is because of discrimination.It would certainly be discrimination if women were doing ...

Kathleen Sebelius: Scapegoat

Dictionary.com offers two definitions for scapegoat: "1. A person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place; 2. Chiefly biblical. A goat let loose in the wilderness on Yom Kippur after the high priest symbolically laid the sins of the people on its head. Lev. ...

Safety first: Scanners for threats

At the beginning of this school year, Philip Barbour High School installed biometric finger scanners. Compromising civil liberties for an Orwellian environment must mean the decision was in the name of something as paramount as student safety. In a country where school violence sadly dominates ...

History’s greatest event

This week starts the anniversary celebrations of the greatest event in history. Two thousand years ago, in a rather routine and inconsequential act for that time, Roman authorities nailed a man to a cross. What happened next is subject to dispute. But since then, most of the western world has ...

Thought police on patrol

WASHINGTON - Two months ago, a petition bearing more than 110,000 signatures was delivered to The Washington Post demanding a ban on any article questioning global warming. The petition arrived the day before publication of my column, which consisted of precisely that heresy.The column ran as ...

Bush candor could win the day

Agree with him or not, you have to respect Jeb Bush's honesty. On two issues, immigration and a common core in education, Bush recently went on record stating positions at odds with some powerful activists in his own party.In a speech in Florida last week, he came out solidly for immigration ...

Obama still being cautious

Diplomacy was what Otto Von Bismarck had in mind when he stated that politics was the art of the possible. You had to hear the "footsteps of God" then "grasp onto the hem of his garment." Barack Obama has recently seemed to adhere to that doctrine. In Syria it was a "red line" which he promptly ...

Millions of pit dwellers amongst us

Joseph looked up at the cruel faces of his brothers, his eyes squinting against the sunlight that streamed into the hole they had dug for him. They walked away laughing loudly and making scornful remarks. "Get out of this one, you dreamer," one brother chanted as he left. His heart pounded and ...

What is a professional development school?

You may have read in The Inter-Mountain that Third Ward Elementary has a new banner saying that it is a Professional Development School, but what does that really mean? The three key elements of a true PDS are collaboration, professionalism, and inquiry.PDS collaboration builds a closer ...