www.wvgazettemail.com http://www.wvgazettemail.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2015, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: November 30, 2015 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/OBIT01/311309984 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/OBIT01/311309984 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:01:00 -0500 Ashworth, Phyllis 11 a.m., Koontz Funeral Home, Hamlin.

Barker, Donnie III 11 a.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

Keaton, Clyde E. 2 p.m., First Baptist Church, McConnell.

Kincaid, Lena 1 p.m., Mounts Funeral Home Chapel, Gilbert.

Kiser, Leslie 1 p.m., Simons

Lanham, Homer 11 a.m., Gatens

Martin, Billy Bob 11 a.m., Cunningham

Mazzei, Frank 11 a.m., Holy Trinity Church, Nitro.

Page, Cenie 2 p.m., Long and Fisher Funeral Home, Sissonville.

Scarberry, Brandon 11 a.m., Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Sears, Geraldine E. 1 p.m., Faith Freewill Baptist Church, St. Albans.

Mollie Bowling http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/OBIT/311309987 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/OBIT/311309987 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:01:00 -0500 Mollie Clifford Bowling, 85, passed away Nov. 29, 2015, at her home in White Sulphur Springs.

She was born June 26, 1930, in Ronceverte to the late Howard Patrick and Lucy Guy McClung Clifford.

Mollie graduated from Greenbrier College for Women and worked as a traveling music teacher for Greenbrier County in 1953-1954. She had a radio program for one and two room schools. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority and was a Mu Phi Epsilon Music honorary. She went back to school in 1979 to obtain B.A. from Concord and earned her Masters Degree in 1983 from WVU, where she majored in pipe organ. She was Church Organist for many church's over the years. She taught music in White Sulphur Springs Elementary, grades K-6 from 1979 until her retirement in 1990.

Mollie was preceded in death by her husband, William Rufus Bowling Jr.; brothers, Howard Patrick Clifford, Jr. and Basil Keffer Clifford; and a sister, Elizabeth Clifford Early.

Survivors include children, William Rufus Bowling III and wife, Karen, Robert Howard Bowling and wife, Stephanie, Elizabeth Dolin and husband, Larry, Thomas Bradford Bowling and wife, Emily; grandchildren, William Rufus Bowling IV and wife, Judi, Jackson Lee Bowling, Mollie Beth Harmon, Katie Bowling, Ben Bowling Caroline Bowling and Max Bowling; great-grandchildren, William Bowling and Karsen Counts; sister, Annabell Clifford Crawford of Reedsville, Ga.

Funeral service will be 1 p.m. Wed. Dec. 2, at the White Sulphur Springs Presbyterian Church with Pastor Ike Hughes Officiating. Burial will follow at the Rosewood Cemetery in Lewisburg. The family will receive friends from 11:30 a.m. until time of service at the church.

In lieu, of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 6931 Arlington Rd, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814 or Hospice Care, 1265 Maplewood Ave., Lewisburg, WV 24901

Wallace and Wallace Fuenral Home in Lewisburg is in charge of arrangements. Please send online condolences by visiting www.WallaceandWallaceFH.com.

Mildred Bright http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/OBIT/311309985 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/OBIT/311309985 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:01:00 -0500 Mildred Lee (Lough) Bright, 78, of Webster Springs, died Sat. Nov. 28, 2015. Service will be held 1 p.m. Wed. Dec. 2, at Dodd & Reed Funeral Home, Webster Springs. Friends may join the family for visitation two hours prior to the funeral service at the funeral home. Dodd & Reed Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Bright family.

Joe Browning http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/OBIT/311309989 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/OBIT/311309989 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:01:00 -0500 Joe Thomas Browning of Hamlin, died Nov. 28, 2015. Service will be 1 p.m. Dec. 2, at Koontz Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tues. Dec. 1, at Koontz Funeral Home, Hamlin, WV.

Anthony Coleman http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/OBIT/311309991 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/OBIT/311309991 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:01:00 -0500 Anthony "Tony" Coleman, 60, of Pinch, formerly of Mammoth, W.Va., graduate of DuPont High School class of 1973, passed away at home surrounded by family on Sat. Nov. 28, 2015, after a valiant battle with cancer. 

Tony is preceded in death by his beautiful mother, Jackie Coleman; and his wonderful west coast sister, Joan Griever Coleman. 

Tony is survived by his loving and supportive wife, Melissa, with whom he enjoyed 34 years of marriage; his father, Rob Coleman; his brilliant and gorgeous children, Cody and Valerie; his daughter-in-law, Sarah; his grandson, Dylan; his ever understanding siblings, Shawn, Jacqui, Kelly, Peggy, Mark, Sandra; his mother-in-law, Bonnie Dworsky, who graciously was on the receiving end of most of his jokes and pranks, and countless other family members and friends. 

Tony's passions included excellent sub par golf, hunting of all legal animals, fishing of all things that are under water, his dog, Peebo, and making everyone and anyone laugh with his crude humor. 

Tony loved the outdoors. If he wasn't working, most likely you would find him in the woods, by the water, or on the course. In addition to the outdoors, Tony loved making everyone around him laugh. Nothing made him happier than successfully executing a joke on any innocent bystander. He will be greatly missed by everyone, as his life goals were to be successful for his family and to put a smile on everyone's face. 

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Sat. Dec. 5, 2015, at Hafer Funeral Home, Myers Chapel, 100 Verna Drive, Elkview, WV. Visitation will be two hours prior to the service with Rev. Delbert Walker officiating.

Online Condolences can be made at www.haferfuneralhome.net. Hafer Funeral Home 50 N Pinch Road is assisting the Coleman family. Additional arrangements for after the service will be made by the family.

Leona Fitzgerald http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/OBIT/311309988 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/OBIT/311309988 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:01:00 -0500 Leona Grace Parker Fitzgerald, 90, of Alderson, died Fri. Nov. 27, 2015. Arrangements by Lobban Funeral Home, Alderson, W.Va.

Mildred Harris http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/OBIT/311309992 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/OBIT/311309992 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:01:00 -0500 Mildred Ruth Harris, a long-time resident of Charleston, passed away Sat. Nov. 28, 2015, after a short illness. She was born December 27, 1924, to the late Loyd and Dollie Jackson in Little Birch, W.Va. She was also preceded in death by a sister, Helen of Chester, W.Va.

Ruth was a graduate of Sutton High School and worked for many years for the WV State government and was named a "Distinguished West Virginian." She retired as Supervisor of the State Retirement System.

Surviving, loving husband of 69 years, Kermit; son, Danny Harris and his wife, Nancy of Elkview; three grandchildren, Jennifer Harris-Somogyi and her husband, Michael of Mt. Prospect, Ill., Bradley Harris and his wife, Laura of Hoover, Ala., Rebekah Harris and her son, Dallon of Greenville, S.C.; brothers, Harold and his wife, Lucille of Kingsport, Tenn., Paul and his wife, Velma of Chester, W.Va.

Service will be 1 p.m. Wed. Dec. 2, at Bollinger Funeral Home, 420 Lee St. West, Charleston, with Rev. Archie Snedegar officiating. Entombment will be in Tyler Mt. Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at Bollinger Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in her memory to The American Red Cross, PO Box 37839, Boone, IA 50037-0839.

James Knapp II http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/OBIT/311309998 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/OBIT/311309998 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:01:00 -0500 James E. "Bubby" Knapp, II, 8, of Point Pleasant, died Fri. morning, Nov. 27, 2015. Funeral service will be noon Wed. Dec. 2, at the Crow-Hussell Funeral Home. Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 6 to 8 p.m. Tues. Dec. 1.

Beverly McCausland http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/OBIT/311309986 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/OBIT/311309986 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:01:00 -0500 Beverly Jean Myers McCausland, of Juliette, Ga., formerly of Powellton, died Sat. Nov. 21, 2015.

She was born Dec. 7, 1944, at Cannelton, W.Va. and graduated from Montgomery High School Class of 1962. Beverly was last employed by Crowley Maritime Corp. in Jacksonville, Fla., for 10 years.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Beulah Frances Myers and Lawrence Otto Myers; and sister, Jo Ann Harford.

She is survived by her husband, Thomas McCausland; son, Russell McCausland; daughter, Tiffany McCausland; and granddaughter, Cheli Jane McCausland; brothers, Lawrence O. Myers Jr. and Larry Allen Myers of Fort McCoy, Fla.; sisters, Carolyn Buchanan, Hazel NewCamp, and Pat Harford of Ocala, Fla., Maxine Black of High Point, N.C. and Kay Kozma of Pahrump, Nev.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Save A Pet, P.O. Box 933, Forsyth, Ga. 31029.

Online condolences may be sent to Russellmccausland@yahoo.com or tiffmccausland@aol.com.

Isabel McKinney http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/OBIT/311309993 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/OBIT/311309993 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:01:00 -0500 Our much loved Isabel Symbol Tolliver McKinney "Izzy," passed away suddenly on Nov. 21, 2015, after a prolonged and complicated illness. While her death has left a hole in our hearts, her passion, intelligence and exuberant love of life will be felt and remembered forever. Izzy dreamed of changing the world, hoping to someday work for an international nonprofit, where she could make a difference. And while she never got that chance, she was able to, in her short time with us, make a lasting impact on the world around her. From founding an online magazine authored by teens, who shared her vision (www.themaltshopzine.com/magazines.html), to her outspoken defense of human rights, to her loving acceptance of everyone and their life choices, Izzy's ideas were felt and mattered. Izzy had a loud voice, literally, and used it well to express her passionate views on music, fashion, politics, or anything else that might cross her mind. And if she wanted to argue why America should "Feel the Bern" or why "Bohemian Rhapsody" is the "Stairway to Heaven" of her generation, heaven help you if you stood in her way. Her quiet, introspective side was reflected in the stories and poems she wrote, the songs she played on her mandolin and the long runs she took so she could be alone with her thoughts.

Izzy was currently a sophomore at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School and spent the previous eight years at St. Catherine's School. The friendships she forged along the way formed the core of her being. She longed to be with her buddies as much as possible and drew great strength and comfort from them. Her friends describe her as spunky, confident, compassionate, unique, funny, snuggly, opinionated (in a good way), smart, fashionable and giggly, among other things. Her family describes her as the moral compass of their lives. She constantly steered us in the right direction, giving us advice, whether we wanted it or not and constantly picked us up when we were down. She was the first to hug us if we had a bad day and the first to laugh and break into a goofy dance to celebrate a good one. Izzy adored her Kentucky and West Virginia families. Though they may have lived hundreds of miles away, they were constantly in her heart. Without fail, after every visit, as we drove away, she would break into tears and ask, "Why can't we live closer to them?"

Izzy loved her little sister, Ava, more than anything in world. They were each other's best friends, confidants and guiding stars. Even as teenagers, every night when the lights went out, you could hear their voices calling to each other across the hall. "Good night, Ava, I love you." "Night, Izzy. I love you too." On her Twitter profile, Izzy described her life as "16 years of love and rage." Thank you, Izzy, so much, for sharing it with us. We love you.

She was preceded in death by her grandfathers, Raymond C. McKinney Jr. and Frank S. Tolliver.

Izzy is survived by her father, Raymond C. McKinney III; mother, Tasha L. Tolliver; sister, Ava Laine Tolliver McKinney; grandmothers, Kay McKinney (Neal Sellers) of Hopkinsville, Ky. and Nancy Tolliver of Charleston, W.Va.; aunts and uncles, Leah Tolliver, David Rogers, Amy Tolliver, Scott Duffer, Martha Land, Mike Land, Browning and Jennifer McKinney, Ward Lefler and Derrick Lefler; cousins, Nick and Olivia Rogers, Emma and Eli Duffer, Kami, Michael and Rachel Land and Katherine and Jackson McKinney; her maternal aunts and uncles, Mary Elaine and husband, Jim Waite, Eleanor Skram, Suzanne and Lou Hart, Paul Skram and Nancy Tyler, Peter and Bev Skram, Patricia Skram and Paul Turner, Chris and Alice Skram; and her beloved French Bulldog, Polo.

A celebration of Izzy will be held at First Baptist Church, 2709 Monument Ave., Richmond, Va. 23223 on Friday, December 4, at 3 p.m. Reception to follow at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to Peter Paul Development Center of Episcopal Church, where Izzy spent many afternoons working and laughing with children at the after-school program, 1719 N. 22nd St., Richmond, Va. 28223.

Bulletin Board: Nov. 30, 2015 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/GZ01/151139984 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/GZ01/151139984 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:01:00 -0500 Retired school employees

The Kanawha County Association of Retired School Employees will have a Christmas tea from 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday at Trinity Lutheran Church, Kanawha Boulevard. Fellowship and holiday music will be featured. Refreshments will be served.

Broadcasting meetings

The West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday at 600 Capitol St. The WV Public Broadcasting Foundation will meeting following the Authority meeting.

Alderson holiday events

The town of Alderson will have several events for the Christmas parade weekend Friday through Dec. 6. Some events include; Friday - 5 p.m., bonfire on the Monroe County side near True Value; 6 p.m. parade line-up followed by the Christmas Parade at 7 p.m. Warming fires and hot chocolate are located at the Train Depot and the visitors center. The parade will end at the community center where Santa will meet the kids and there will be more goodies. Dec. 5 - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church Holiday Bazaar with a soup and sandwich lunch for $6. Dec. 6 - The bazaar will continue from noon to 5 p.m. On Dec. 6 - 1 to 5 p.m., A Tour, Tea and Performance at the Cedars, a beautiful historic home on Hemlock Avenue. Tickets are $10 and available at the Alderson Visitor Center, Bridgewalk Shops and Alderson Wolf Creek Gallery. For more information call 304-445-2005.

River arts show

The 13th annual 2015 River Arts Show will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 5 at Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 520 Kanawha Blvd. W. More than 25 state artists and crafters will be featured. An artist's reception will be featured on Friday and a gourmet lunch will be held on Dec. 5. Childcare will be offered for children under age 7 on Friday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and on Dec. 5 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Admission is $3 and includes a raffle ticket to win one of the work by featured artists.

Items for Bulletin Board may be submitted by mail to the

Charleston Gazette-Mail, 1001 Virginia St. E., Charleston, WV 25301; faxed to 304-348-1233; or emailed to gazette@wvgazettemail.com. Notices will be run one time free. Please include a contact person's name and a daytime telephone number.

Monday Gazette editorial: Tax dodger http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/GZ04/151139985 GZ04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/GZ04/151139985 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:01:00 -0500 Pfizer, the giant U.S. drug-making firm worth $200 billion, will merge itself into a smaller pharmaceutical corporation that is located in New Jersey but has a sham headquarters in Ireland.

There's only one reason for this deal: to let Pfizer pretend that it's based in Ireland, where taxes on profits are low, and thus elude billions in U.S. taxes. The overseas shift is a legal form of tax-cheating.

Such deals are called "inversions" - or "spinversions" in some variations - and they rob America. The New York Times commented:

"In recent years, dozens of American companies have used similar tactics, known as inversions, to reincorporate in Ireland, Britain and other countries with lower corporate tax rates than those in the United States - at a cost to the Treasury conservatively estimated at $20 billion over 10 years. Pfizer's merger is by far the largest such move."

West Virginia was entangled in a similar mess last year. Mylan Pharmaceuticals, headed by the daughter of Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., connived to pretend that it is now a Dutch firm, thus immune from U.S. corporate taxes. The senator publicly lamented his daughter's action.

When big American corporations funnel their profits overseas to get cheaper tax rates, they can't return the money to America without paying the 35 percent U.S. corporate tax. Therefore, the money is invested abroad, creating business and jobs over there, not over here.

"It's all about tax-dodging and being a tax cheat," Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., sneered. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said such firms are "effectively renouncing their citizenship to get out of paying taxes."

President Obama drafted a plan to let such companies bring their profits back to America for just a 14 percent tax rate. But with Republicans in control of Congress, we don't know how this reform will fare.

We agree with the Times' conclusion:

"Reincorporating abroad is a sophisticated variation on the old practice of avoiding corporate taxes by renting a post office box in the Caribbean and calling it corporate headquarters. Congress put a stop to those tactics in 2004. It is past time to shut down inversions as well."

Charlotte Weber: Would-be entrepreneurs hold marathon start-up session http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/GZ04/151139986 GZ04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/GZ04/151139986 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:01:00 -0500 By Charlotte Weber By By Charlotte Weber

Innovators and entrepreneurs of all types were invited to attend the first Startup Weekend West Virginia held in Huntington at the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI) - and boy, did they show up with some engaging ideas for new startups!

For 54 hours, developers, designers, marketers and students came together to expand tech-oriented ideas, form teams and build products with the end goal of launching a startup.

The event - sponsored by the Marshall University College of Business, RCBI, the West Virginia Small Business Development Center and Advantage Valley - also welcomed coaches and mentors from both the community and academia who are dedicated to sharing their knowledge and life experiences.

These weekend heroes included Patrick Ferrell, president of Service Pump Supply; Xavier Staggs, a local restaurateur and attorney with Jenkins Fenstermaker; local entrepreneur Kim Scott; Bryan Shaw of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center and Advantage Valley; and Marshall University Lewis College of Business professors Dr. Jonathan Butler, Dr. Erik Bushey, Dr. Nancy Lankton and Dr. Ivan Muslin. Susan Moring traveled from the University of Oklahoma's Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth to serve as facilitator for the entrepreneurial weekend.

Events like Startup Weekend are so vital and exciting for our community and our state. They are a great opportunity for creatives and dreamers to come together, pitch ideas and build new startup businesses within an intense timeframe.

A diverse group of Marshall University students - Mustafa Qiam, Ashley Taylor, Jessica Thompson, Mohamad El Masri and Tyler Brandstetter - won the inaugural Startup Weekend West Virginia challenge with their innovative GPS pet-tracking device known as ChowChee. They now have the opportunity to compete in a Global Startup Battle competition.

Second place went to a group of Marshall students who developed an online delivery service and app called DeliverU. Third place went to Marshall students who created a website known as Art Kinect that enables local artists to network with people looking to buy artwork.

Startup Weekend has the potential to be the most important weekend of people's lives, that defining moment when they discover their winning formula or idea. RCBI hosted the weekend event to showcase and promote the importance of entrepreneurship.

RCBI tips our hat to Startup Weekend West Virginia and all the budding entrepreneurs who have an idea and strive to turn it into a successful venture.

Surrounded by smart, passionate people and with the best technology and approaches at your disposal, you can take giant leaps toward creating a business. RCBI is eager to connect with people driven to build something new. Help us help you discover where you are on the entrepreneur's journey and learn what it really takes to start a company.

A second Startup Weekend West Virginia is planned for Spring 2016 in Charleston.

Charlotte Weber is director & CEO of the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing.

Potpourri: Monday, Nov. 30, 2015 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/ARTICLE/151139987 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/ARTICLE/151139987 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:01:00 -0500 Just in time for Thanksgiving, two documentaries about the Pilgrims were shown last week - one on the National Geographic channel and one on PBS. In the PBS version, historian Pauline Croft said the pilgrims were "religious nutters" driven by cult-like beliefs. Less-known fact: Sponsors of the Mayflower voyage insisted that wealth-seeking "strangers" also join the shipload of travelers. Terrible winter hunger and death decimated the group - as it did earlier English settlements in the New World. But arrivals kept coming, until English colonies gradually dominated the newfound continent.

* * *

Good news: A federal survey found that homelessness across America has dropped 11 percent since 2010 - and West Virginia experienced a stunning 19 percent decrease. The tally by the Department of Housing and Urban Development counts both people living in shelters and others who camp under bridges or in makeshift enclosures.

* * *

Robert E. Murray, whose Murray Energy Corp. paid $3.5 billion for Consol Energy's West Virginia mines, is known as a tough talker. After union members filed safety complaints about the mines, Murray allegedly told them at an assembly, "If you want to fight inside, let me tell you: I'll go to a better mine and we'll close this one." A federal mine safety judge ruled that Murray violated safety laws, fined him $150,000 and ordered him to give speeches at five West Virginia mines, telling miners they have a right to file safety complaints.

* * *

Bearing arms in West Virginia: After an armed robbery, Monongalia County deputies obtained a warrant to search a Morgantown home. But they were confronted by a man with a pistol and shotgun - who was shot to death by officers.

* * *

The World Meteorological Organization announced last week that 2015 clearly will be the hottest year ever recorded on Planet Earth since readings began in 1880. Get ready for the usual bluster from coal firms and conservative politicians who say global warming is a hoax.

E.J. Dionne Jr: The United States of Contradictions http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/ARTICLE/151139988 ARTICLE http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/ARTICLE/151139988 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:01:00 -0500 With election year a month away, American politics is caught up in tensions, ironies, and a certain amount of sheer madness.

On the one hand: The U.S. economy is a marvel, driven forward by technological innovation, the promises of Big Data and Advanced Manufacturing, a relative independence in energy supply, and a population younger than most other wealthy nations.

On the other hand: Wages have been stagnating since the turn of the millennium, inequalities are widening, college is out of reach for many, suicide rates among white middle-aged working-class people are rising and, in a recent PRRI poll, 72 percent of Americans said "the economy is still in a recession."

On the one hand: Republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections and have, at best, a very narrow path to an Electoral College majority next year. The rising groups in the American electorate - Latinos, Asian-Americans and young people - are hostile to the party, a problem its presidential front-runner is making worse with his unapologetic xenophobia.

On the other: Democrats have their fewest seats in state legislatures since the 1920s, the fewest in the House of Representatives since the late 1940s, and they control only 19 governorships. In the last two midterm contests, they have suffered wipeouts.

If reality is so contradictory, we shouldn't be surprised that different groups choose to see it differently. We are divided evenly, 49 percent to 49 percent, on the question of whether "America's best days are ahead of us or behind us," according to the PRRI poll. Among liberal Democrats, 67 percent think our best days are yet to come; only 40 percent of conservative Republicans share this confidence.

One of the tasks of political analysis is to make sense of conflicting information, and a new book by Stanley Greenberg, who was a political scientist before he became a Democratic pollster, does not shy away from the messiness of our social and electoral landscape. My Dickensian "best of times, worst of times" analysis is drawn partly from Greenberg's new book, "America Ascendant." It sees Republicans in a long-term demographic "death spiral." But it is also unsparing in acknowledging that Democratic weaknesses among older white and rural voters leave the GOP "almost unopposed in nearly half of the states."

I should say that I have been an unabashed Greenberg fan for a quarter-century. Our political views are similar, and I especially like his resistance to gloom about America's future. I truly believe (and maybe this just proves I'm a liberal) that only the dysfunction of our politics will keep our country from having another good century. Yes, we face real threats, including terrorism. But we are not paying enough attention to our strengths, including the advantages of a social diversity that is causing such unease among many of our fellow citizens.

The power of Greenberg's analysis is that he doesn't dismiss the anger of these Americans, so many of whom are rallying to Donald Trump. Written before Trump's rise, the book doesn't mention him, but Greenberg treats what has become the Trump constituency with a heartfelt empathy.

They have reason to be upset, he says, because the very economic and social changes that contribute to growth also create "stark problems for people and the country that leave the public seething, frustrated, and pessimistic about the future." There are no wage gains for most, "working-class men have been left marginalized" and the proportion of children being born to single-parents has soared.

Greenberg is open to changes in our mores and insists that progressive policies on family leave, pay, taxes and prekindergarten programs are more plausible responses to these problems than sermonizing. But if his book provides Democrats with good news about their national political advantages, it pointedly challenges them to address rather than ignore or dismiss the reasons for the thunder on the right.

A dialogue I would like to see would be between Greenberg and Republican pollster Whit Ayres, who is working for Marco Rubio's presidential campaign and whose own book, "2016 and Beyond," was unstinting in facing up to the profound demographic problems the GOP confronts.

Even better, Republican presidential candidates should propose ways of easing the discontents that Trump and others in their ranks are merely exploiting. "The citizenry is ready for a cleansing era of reform that allows America to realize its promise," Greenberg writes. It would be helpful if the campaign gave us more reason to think he's right.

E.J. Dionne is a columnist for The Washington Post.

Dear Abby: Daughter dreads holiday visit to recovering addict mother http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/GZ05/151139989 GZ05 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/GZ05/151139989 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:01:00 -0500 Dear Abby: I gave birth to a baby girl two months ago. I have a wonderful husband and my in-laws are incredible. We live far away from both sides of the family.

My mom is a former cocaine and prescription pain meds addict. Her addiction diminished her mental capacities, and it's difficult to relate to her because the only things she can talk about are her health issues and all the medications she's currently taking.

Mom recently came to visit us. I hadn't seen her in two years, and when she did, I realized we have nothing in common. She and my dad are still happily married, and Dad has yet to meet my child. I'm supposed to visit them for the holidays, but I'd rather spend the time with my in-laws. Any suggestions? - Nothing in Common in Hawaii

Dear Nothing In Common: Yes. Sometimes it's important to do things we would rather not because they are the right thing to do. Your father is trying to make the best of a difficult situation, and your mother is working to overcome a serious illness - which addiction is.

Make the scheduled visit you committed to, and give your dad the chance to meet his grandchild. If, after that, you decide to permanently distance yourself from your parents, it will be your choice, but you may change your mind.

Dear Abby: My boyfriend of five years, "Jack," is funny, unique and generally very sweet. I'm currently on disability and working hard to get myself healthy enough to start working again. The problem is, Jack thinks I do nothing but sit on my butt all day.

When I worked, we used to trade massages to make each other feel relaxed because our jobs were physically demanding. Now, because I'm not working, he says it's my "job" to help him relax. I give him a massage every night, but it's never reciprocated. When I ask him for one, he puts no effort into it and acts like it's a chore.

I no longer feel loved or special. I feel like a live-in masseuse, but I'm worried that if I stop, there will be no physical contact at all between us. What would be the best way to let him know I'm tired of it? - Rubbed the wrong way in Minnesota

Dear Rubbed the wrong way: Jack doesn't sound all that "sweet" to me. Because you feel the way you do, tell him how his change of behavior is affecting you. Touch is important because it helps partners to stay connected. Could it be that Jack's unwillingness to give you massages is "punishment" because you're not contributing financially as you did while you were working?

Tell him you miss the closeness you once shared, and that if the shoe were on the other foot, you wouldn't treat him this way. Depending on what he has to say, suggest that for the sake of your relationship, a compromise may be in order because your partnership is not equal now.

Editorial cartoon for November 30, 2015 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/DM04/151139991 DM04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/DM04/151139991 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 04:00:00 -0500

Letter to the editor: Humane society works with hunters http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/DM04/151139992 DM04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/DM04/151139992 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:01:00 -0500 Delegate Chris Stansbury is wrong about The Humane Society of the United States ("Legislature works to protect hunters' rights," Nov. 23).

The Humane Society is a mainstream organization that celebrates animals and confronts cruelty. We protect all animals, not just dogs and cats. In West Virginia, our veterinary affiliate has provided medical assistance to animals in the state equaling more than $779,000 in services, while we've also continued to support and push for the passage of important legislation.

Our supporters know the good work we do, and that is why they count on us to be effective. It's because of our effectiveness that some disagree with our efforts to protect animals, and there is a lot of misinformation on the Internet.

Let's be clear: When it comes to hunting issues, we work to curb the most inhumane practices, and that's what has led us most recently to campaign vigorously against poaching, captive hunting of endangered species, steel-jawed leghold traps and contest killing - practices that the Humane Societies and many rank-and-file hunters agree are abusive and unacceptable.

We work with many hunters who follow the standards of fair chase and sportsmanship and who are working toward conservation policies such as transitioning away from toxic lead ammunition that poisons land and wildlife.

Heather Severt


Severt is WV director of state affairs for the Humane Society of the United States.

Letter to the Editor: City commended for recognizing risks of asbestos http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/DM04/151139993 DM04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/DM04/151139993 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:01:00 -0500 I want to thank Mayor Danny Jones and the Charleston City Council for proclaiming Sept. 26, 2015, as Mesothelioma Awareness Day in Charleston.

The Kanawha Valley and West Virginia have more than their share of victims of this terrible cancer caused by asbestos. Both chemical and construction workers see large percentages of their colleagues taken by the disease.

I have represented victims for years and have seen several brothers from the same family or members of the same union local taken by this disease. It even takes the children and wives of workers, because they were exposed to contaminated clothing.

The proclamation states that the "heavy use of asbestos in the manufacturing industry and construction has been recognized as the worst occupational health disaster in U.S. history." It has also disproportionately hit our state due to our high number of people working on these jobs. Exposures to asbestos "for as little as one month can result in mesothelioma 30 years later."

As the proclamation highlighted, it is also a serious concern for those first responders on 9/11. They survived that terrible day, but are now at great risk for asbestos-related diseases and cancer.

Mayor Jones and the City Council recognized this health disaster and wanted to do something about it. Local attorney Patricia Lawson should also be commended for her work on this effort.

The families of victims are already well aware of the effects of this disaster. It is proper as the proclamation states to "urge all citizens to be aware of this disease and the need to develop effective treatment for it."

Protecting the victims is the true purpose of this proclamation. That is something on which we can all agree.

Other cities have issued similar proclamations. It is great that the city of Charleston now joins them. I hope more West Virginia cities and towns join us.

William K. Schwartz


Charles Krauthammer: The Syrian immigration cul-de-sac http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/DM04/151139994 DM04 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151130/DM04/151139994 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 01:00:00 -0500 WASHINGTON - The Syrian refugee debate has become a national embarrassment.

It begins with a president, desperate to deflect attention from the collapse of his foreign policy, retreating to his one safe zone - ad hominem attacks on critics, this time for lack of compassion toward Syrian widows and orphans.

This, without a glimmer of acknowledgment of his own responsibility for these unfortunate souls becoming widowed and orphaned, displaced and homeless, in the first place. A quarter-million deaths ago, when Bashar al-Assad began making war on his own people, he unleashed his air force and helicopters. They dropped high explosives, nail-filled barrel bombs and even chemical weapons on helpless civilians. President Obama lifted not a finger.

In the earliest days, we could have stopped the slaughter: cratered Assad's airfields, taken out his planes, grounded his helicopters and created a nationwide no-fly zone. (We successfully maintained one over Kurdistan for 12 years between 1991 and 2003.)

At the time, Assad was teetering. His national security headquarters had been penetrated and bombed. High-level aides were defecting. Military officers were forming a Free Syrian Army.

Against the advice of his top civilian and military aides, Obama refused to intervene. The widows and orphans he now so ostentatiously champions are the product of his cold-hearted refusal to do anything that might sully his peacemaking image.

Obama has also charged the Republicans with cowardice, afraid to grant admittance to "3-year-old orphans." He gave zero credit to the very real concern of governors and other officials that terrorists could be embedded amid the refugees. This is no theoretical proposition. At least one of the Paris attackers came to France by way of Greece.

Obama's own officials have admitted that the absence of thorough data makes it nearly impossible to properly vet Syrian refugees. In response, many Republicans (and some Democrats) called for a pause in admitting Syrians until alternate vetting procedures are developed. In my view, it would have been better to differentiate among the refugees: Admit women, children and the elderly under the current procedures, while subjecting young men of fighting age to a new regime of far stricter scrutiny.

The concerns of GOP officials were quite reasonable. But there was no need for the Republican candidates to allow the Syria debate to be derailed into a cul-de-sac on immigration - as if the essence of the Middle East issue is a relatively small number of potential refugees rather than the abject failure of Obama's policies.

Terror is rising around the world - Sinai, Beirut, Mali, Paris. Brussels was shut down by fear itself. The president, in denial about the collapse of his Syria policy, denounced those demanding a change in course. His secretary of state actually acknowledged a rationale (if not legitimacy) for the machine-gunning of a room full of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists for offending Muslim sensibilities with a drawing.

Beyond that is the strategic surrender of the Middle East, for 40 years dominated by the United States, to Russia and Iran, who now dictate the terms. Which is why, for example, we dare not impose a protective no-fly zone. It's too dangerous. Russia has filled the Obama vacuum.

Facing a massive failure of seven years of Democratic foreign policy stewardship, the GOP candidates have instead tried to outbid each other in being tough on Syrian refugees. This descent into xenophobia was led, as usual, by Donald Trump. Amid bushels of word salad, he concurred with registering American Muslims, raised alarms about Arab-American treachery ("thousands and thousands" on TV cheering the World Trade Center collapse) and promised not only to deny entry to Syrian refugees, but to send back the ones already here.

Can you see it? Packing them onto his 757, the one with gold-plated seat belts, then dumping them - orphans, widows, the lot - into a war zone to await the next regime barrel bomb.

Other GOP candidates have issued Trumpian echoes. The Muslim registry had no takers. But some have advocated shutting out all the refugees or taking Christians only. They are chasing the polls showing strong anti-refugee sentiment.

How deeply shortsighted. It may work in the GOP primaries. But Trump-like anti-immigrant, anti-foreigner, now anti-Muslim, anti-Arab rhetoric - and don't forget those cunning Chinese stealing our jobs and ruthless Mexicans raping our women - will not play well in a general election.

Politically, it will be fatal. John Kasich has forcefully denounced this slide into the swamp. Where are the others?

Charles Krauthammer's email address is letters@charleskraut hammer.com.