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Switching to GOP is a mystery

Switching to GOP is a mystery to me


Of the myriad odd things I’ve seen in a long life, one of the real puzzlers is the sight of so many Mountaineers fleeing to the Republican Party.

What makes it so odd is Mountaineers’ apparent assumption that there is more love in the GOP than in their age old political home among the Democrats. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth. Say what you will about Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, but they have done a masterful job convincing folks that Republicans actually care about them and represent their interests.

Now if I were a poor person, which party would be more likely to help me? How about the expansion of Medicaid? Increasing the minimum wage? Extending unemployment benefits? Making health insurance available even to people without jobs or with pre-existing conditions? Do I need to answer?

So if economic self-interest does not explain this self-defeating behavior, what does? How about social issues and other hot-button topics? Right-of-center passions toward things like abortion, prayer in school, gay marriage and even race have all found fertile ground amid these lush hills. And for good measure there’s the Second Amendment, global warming, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and, of course, Benghazi, whatever and wherever it may be.

Well, just as I was warming up, I’m told it’s time for my glass of milk and bed. But when I wake up, I’ll still be a Democrat. They care about old folks, too.

John Lukens


Punish those responsible

for W.Va. water crisis


Humans and other species living on this planet are, to state the obvious, at the mercy of what flows in their rivers and streams. And that would be clean and safe water. What don’t our inadequate public officials understand about this most obvious of facts? They are lost in time, still stuck in an era when bowing down to coal, gas, chemical and timbering entities was a given. They are, in a word, greedy and power hungry to such an extent that most of them could not care less about the citizens of this state and their needs, but would rather pander to big money interests bent on destroying land, air and water of one of the most beautiful states in the country. All for the big green dollar.

Also, I’m through defending the citizens of West Virginia against negative comments. Unfortunately a large percentage of our citizens have a penchant for electing politicians whose pockets have been lined by corporate hacks. As a result of these elections, many less than qualified public officials are “serving” in positions where they should never be! I am too old to think that I will ever see this kind of pandering stopped. That is, taken seriously enough that our citizenry will stand up and say loudly and with conviction, “This is enough! We’ll no longer allow our precious resources to be squandered so that you can rent a penthouse in New York City”.

Some 300,000 people in nine counties in West Virginia have suffered dramatically as a result of the poor, inept management of our most precious commodity, and it’s way past time to declare that this kind of governing is no longer acceptable. In a perfect world, all who were involved in helping to allow this kind of debacle would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Do West Virginians want to be looking at drought conditions like California, where citizens would most likely be on cloud nine were they to have access to the abundance of water that we here in West Virginia? Or, do we want to hold accountable the people who are responsible for allowing the recent leak of MCHM into our water system? There is certainly enough guilt to go around. My hope is that people will hold our governor, legislators, senators and members of Congress responsible for what their lack of oversight and their desire to appease big business have cost us. These attitudes are what continue to keep the pressure on public officials and the shaky business practices of entities such as Freedom Industries until they have paid the price they should all pay for allowing this situation to undermine our most precious of commodities.

Barbara Hutchinson-Smith


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