www.wvgazettemail.com http://www.wvgazettemail.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2016, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: May 30, 2016 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/OBIT01/305309982 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/OBIT01/305309982 Mon, 30 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Gould, Cheryl L. 1 p.m., Ravenswood Cemetery, Ravenswood.

Koch, Russell H. 1 p.m., Kanawha Valley Memorial Gardens Chapel, Glasgow.

Rita Ann Boggs http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/OBIT/305309996 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/OBIT/305309996 Mon, 30 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Rita Ann McAlister Boggs, 77, of Linden, died May 27, 2016. Service will be 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, at Taylor-Vandale Funeral Home, Spencer. Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 31, at the funeral home.

Fredrick M. Bowen http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/OBIT/305309988 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/OBIT/305309988 Mon, 30 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Fredrick Marshall Bowen, 82, of Nitro, was escorted by angels into the presence of his Heavenly Father where his mind and body are once again whole on Friday, May 27, 2016. He is walking on streets of gold and loving on family and friends that made it there before him.

He was born March 12, 1934, in Dunbar, the son of the late Emmitt and Beulah Bowen. He graduated from Dunbar High School and stayed in contact with and met regularly with his high school friends and shared many memories and laughter with them. He attended WV State College.

Fred served as a radar operator in the United States Navy during the Korean War. He excelled and made 1st Class Petty Officer in less than four years. He worked in various plants as a pipefitter and job foreman out of Local 625. After his retirement he returned to the workforce at the Kanawha County Assessor's Office.

He was a longtime member of the Nazarene Church. He has been a church board member, Sunday school teacher, and his favorite of all, a choir member. He loved work week at the Nazarene Campgrounds in Summersville, partly because he liked to work and mostly because he liked to cut up with the guys. When he became ill and could not make the distance to his home church, he attended the Cross Lanes Methodist Church.

He has mowed many lawns, shoveled many snowy driveways and offered many prayers for those fortunate enough to call him neighbor. He was always there to lend a helping hand to anyone that needed it. If you needed something done, chances are he knew how to do it. He loved delivering food baskets with the Cross Lanes Methodist Church. He donated 123 pints of blood to the Red Cross. He was a diehard WVU fan.

He was a strong man that had a work ethic to match. He built two of the homes he and his family lived in. He loved deeply. He was a tenderhearted caregiver that stayed with his father and his mother-in-law during long illnesses. He and Carol have carried many pans of fudge to family and friends when they were sick. You never went anywhere with him that he didn't know someone. If he loved you, he picked on you, that's just how it was. The apple of his eye for the last 14 years was his granddaughter, Emily Grace. He was a giant among men.

He was married to the love of his life Carol Richardson for over 60 years. They raised four children, Robert Silman, Gary Silman (Rita), Debbie Silman Hill (Kent) and Nancy Bowen Shank (Michael). His grandchildren are Lisa Silman Gill (Darrin), Melanie Silman Glazier (Chip), Jeffrey Hughes (Karen), Laura Hill, Hollie Shank Eastin (Chris), Erin Shank Cremeans (Matt), and Emily Shank and six great-grandchildren. He has one surviving sister, Barbara Ann and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his sons, Rick and Gary; five sisters; and three brothers.

This is only a small glimpse of his blessed life. He has given us many precious memories to hold on to until we meet again. You were a good man Fred Bowen.

There will be a funeral service Thursday, June 2, at 11 a.m. at Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar, with the Rev. Charles Williams and the Rev. Dr. Gary Nelson officiating. Burial will follow at Spring Hill Cemetery, Charleston.

Friends and family may call Wednesday, June 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

Arrangements are in the care of Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Sandy Bragg http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/OBIT/305309986 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/OBIT/305309986 Mon, 30 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Sandy Bragg, 67, of Yawkey, died May 28, 2016. Service will be 6 p.m. Thursday, June 2, at Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek, with visitation one hour prior.

Mary Ellen Carden http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/OBIT/305309987 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/OBIT/305309987 Mon, 30 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Mary Ellen Carden, 78, of Madison, went to be with the Lord on May 27, 2016. She was born July 18, 1937 to the late Howard and Thelma Parsons. She had one brother, the late Howard Parsons, Jr.

Mary graduated from Morris Harvey College (University of Charleston) with a degree in teaching. She taught for 37 years at Scott High School and also had a great passion for the theatre and speech/debate while winning state championships in both categories. She also coached and sponsored numerous teams and extracurricular activities at the school. She served as the Boone County Representative in the WVEA while fighting for teachers' rights. Mary was a Christian and a member of the United Methodist Church in Madison, where she was also a member of the choir. Her favorite things to do were playing competitive bridge, attending plays, going on trips with the Red Hat Ladies and spending time with her family.

Surviving are her daughter, Kim (Rex) Mitchell of Madison; son, Paul (Lisa) Carden of Madison; grandchildren, Ali Mitchell, Mackenzie Mitchell, Misty (Dave) Galbraith of Parker, Colo., Kelsey Scott, Kali Scott and Reece Carden; and great-granddaughter, Savanna Henkels.

Service will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 31, at Madison Methodist Church with Pastor Rick Swearingen officiating. Burial will follow at Danville Memorial Park.

Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, prior to the service, at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Madison Methodist Church, Boone County Community Foundation or support the arts by taking a child to a play.

Arrangements by Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

You may express your condolences to the family at www.handleyfh.com.

Robert E. DiPietro, Jr. http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/OBIT/305309985 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/OBIT/305309985 Mon, 30 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Robert E. DiPietro, Jr. of Dunbar died May 28, 2016 after a courageous battle with cancer. Arrangements are in the care of Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Cheryl Lynn Gould http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/OBIT/305309993 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/OBIT/305309993 Mon, 30 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Cheryl Lynn Williams Gould, 68, of Murraysville, passed away after an extended illness on May 27, 2016.

She was born March 12, 1948 in Athens, Ohio, to the late Pearl Walter Williams and the late Helen Margaret Guthrie Williams. She was a graduate of Rutland High School, class of 1966, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Her family lived at State Route 143, near Pomeroy, Ohio, where they had many horses and ponies and a dairy farm. Her favorite hobbies included showing, training, racing and riding horses. Cheryl showed horses in the Ohio Valley Horse Show Organization for many years, as well as competing in several county fairs in the tri-state area, where she normally took first place. She also enjoyed spending time with family, playing with her grandchildren, camping, traveling and painting.

Cheryl was busy raising three sons and running a very successful 43-year-old pipeline and excavating company, Pete Gould and Sons, Inc., along with her husband, Harry Keith "Pete" Gould, who preceded her in death on Feb. 18, 2012.

In addition to her husband and parents, Cheryl was preceded in death by her sister, Lois Ann Williams Pauley, and brother, Robert Dean Williams.

Surviving are her three sons, Bryan Keith Gould of Ravenswood, Edwin Dale Gould of Murraysville and James William Gould and wife, Jamie Lynn of Murraysville; three grandchildren, Bryan James Bever and wife, Sierra Marie, Gracie Lynn Gould and Grayson James Gould; two great-grandsons, Carter James Bever and Hayden Matthew Heath; two sisters, Linda Williams Carson of Gallipolis, Ohio, and Sally Williams Lambert of Pomeroy, Ohio; one brother, Kenneth Dwight Williams of Phoenix, Ariz.; and numerous nieces and nephews, as well as a world of friends.

Service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, May 30, at the graveside in Ravenswood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to any Ravenswood youth organization.

Condolences may be expressed to the family at roush94@yahoo.com.

Cauley Guy Harvey http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/OBIT/305309995 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/OBIT/305309995 Mon, 30 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Cauley Guy Harvey, 84, of Tad, passed away May 26, 2016 at Valley Health Care Center, South Charleston, following a short illness.

He was a retired delivery driver and milk man for the former Valley Bell Dairy Company and a member of Big Bottom Baptist Church.

Preceding him in death were his parents, Cauley Gilbert and Naomi Masten Harvey, and brother, Donald Ray Harvey.

Guy is survived by his wife, Ella Lou Valentine Harvey; sons and daughters-in-law, Terry and Janice Harvey of St. Albans and Tim and JoAnna Harvey of Vienna; sister, Betty Patterson of Parkersburg; grandchildren, Nathan, Hannah, Leah and Sarah Harvey, Joel Harvey and his wife, Katie, and Ryan Harvey and his wife, Alanna; great-grandson, Landon Harvey; and sister-in-law, Elizabeth Harvey of Mount Carmel, Tennessee.

Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 1, at Fidler and Frame Funeral Home, Belle, with Pastor Fred Christian officiating. Interment will follow in Montgomery Memorial Park, London.

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 31, at the funeral home.

To send the family online condolences or sign the guestbook, please visit our website at fidlerandframefuneralhome.com.

Virginia Hiserman http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/OBIT/305309983 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/OBIT/305309983 Mon, 30 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Virginia Cantley Hiserman, 88, of Charleston, passed away May 28, 2016. Arrangements are forthcoming. Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home, Charleston, has been entrusted with the arrangements.

Dott Justice http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/OBIT/305309989 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/OBIT/305309989 Mon, 30 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Dott Justice, 76, of Isaban, died May 27, 2016. Service will be 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, at Isaban Church of God, Isaban. Visitation will be 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 31, at the church. Arrangements by Mounts Funeral Home, Gilbert.

Kanawha cities could use home rule to bypass county vote on brunch bill http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/GZ0116/160539980 GZ0116 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/GZ0116/160539980 Mon, 30 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Daniel Desrochers By Daniel Desrochers After Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed a bill allowing counties to vote on whether restaurants could sell alcohol before 1 p.m. on Sundays, Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said that he would put the issue on the ballot as soon as he was legally able.

Now, he's not so sure.

In May, Shepherdstown was able to use home rule to start serving alcohol before 1 p.m. on Sundays. That got other home rule cities in West Virginia talking, including Charleston.

"To me, I don't know how we can't look at doing it," said Karan Ireland, a Charleston City councilwoman. "Especially after Shepherdstown has done it."

Passing an ordinance through home rule would allow restaurants in Charleston to start serving alcohol on Sunday mornings as early as Aug. 1. If the city waits for the county to vote, it would have to wait until November.

"I think there are a lot of us who don't think we should wait," Ireland said.

But Carper said that if Charleston is able to pass an ordinance through home rule, there may not be as much support for the bill in the rest of the county.

"The question is whether or not anyone else wants us to put it on the ballot if the City of Charleston goes through with that," Carper said.

Carper said that he has only heard from Charleston restaurants who support the bill.

"There's probably a handful of places that might be interested in it," Carper said.

Alisa Bailey, CEO of the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau, thinks that more cities than just Charleston are interested in the bill.

She said that she has been talking to mayors to try to rally support.

"It's more than just having a mimosa," Bailey said. "It really is about that we are perceived as a backwards state."

Bailey has been talking to home rule cities in particular to see if they are interested in using home rule instead of waiting for their county to vote.

Charleston isn't the only home rule city in Kanawha County. Dunbar, St. Albans, South Charleston and Nitro all have some form of home rule.

In order for a city to bypass the county vote, it would have to get permission from the Municipal Home Rule Board to enact an ordinance to allow restaurants to sell alcohol before 1 p.m. on Sundays, said Paul Ellis, Charleston's city attorney.

That process would begin Friday, when the city would have to take an ad out in the newspaper to inform the public that the city is considering an ordinance.

After a holding a public hearing about the issue, the city would submit its proposal to the Home Rule Board.

If the Home Rule Board approves the proposal at its July 11 meeting, then the city can create the ordinance. The ordinance still would need to be approved by the city council.

If a city misses the deadlines for the July 11 meeting, it wouldn't be able to pass an ordinance until November.

Carper has put an item on the agenda for Tuesday's County Commission meeting to discuss if there is a reason to put the order on the ballot.

"I hope all of Kanawha County can enjoy a mimosa on a Sunday," Ireland said. "But my concern is with Charleston."

Reach Daniel Desrochers at dan.desrochers@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-4886 or follow @drdesrochers on Twitter.

Letter: $1-per-pack tobacco tax hike will boost WV's health, finances, morals http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/GZ0406/160539981 GZ0406 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/GZ0406/160539981 Mon, 30 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400


I am writing in response to the recent article about the budget impasse and the statement from Delegate Pat McGeehan, R-Hancock, chairman of the House Liberty Caucus, who described the tobacco tax proposal (of $1) as a plan to take money from the poor to fund a bloated government bureaucracy. "It's just morally and fiscally unsound, in my opinion," said McGeehan.

The toll of tobacco use on the poor is far greater than any tax that could be imposed. They include these increased risks: "For coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times; for stroke by 2 to 4 times; of men developing lung cancer by 25 times; of women developing lung cancer by 25.7 times. Smoking causes diminished overall health, increased absenteeism from work, and increased health care utilization and cost," (from the CDC website).

How can taking action that will save lives, improve the overall health of our citizens, and help prevent more young people from becoming addicted be deemed "morally unsound?"

In addition, the proposed budget cuts that will result from failing to enact this tax will fall heavily on the most at-risk and vulnerable part of the population. Which course better reflects the fundamental moral concerns shared by all people of good will? The answer seems clear to me.

The Rev. W. Patterson Lyles


Gazette editorial: Potpourri http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/GZ0404/160539982 GZ0404 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/GZ0404/160539982 Mon, 30 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 On this holiday weekend, the Vandalia Gathering on the state Capitol grounds shined its yearly spotlight on old-time mountain music. It reminded us of a child fiddler on the "Little Big Shots" show who was asked the difference between a violin and a fiddle. He replied: "A violin has strings, and a fiddle has 'strangs.'"


New Zealand just adopted a tax plan that will force smokers to pay $20 per pack of cigarettes - and also increase taxes on polluting industries. But West Virginia's GOP-controlled Legislature can't raise revenue the way that New Zealand does.


The Bill Cole for Governor campaign has launched a "Friends of Cole" group, copying the familiar "Friends of Coal" organization. Offhand, we guess that both groups have mostly the same membership.


Bearing arms in West Virginia: Coal tycoon Bennett Hatfield was found shot to death in a Mingo county cemetery. An Ohioan has been charged with his murder. Under West Virginia's new pistols-for-everyone law, the Ohioan had a legal right to take a hidden pistol to the cemetery without a permit.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: 'Roots' kindles in us the courage to confront the history that made us http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/GZ0405/160539983 GZ0405 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/GZ0405/160539983 Mon, 30 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Everything was different, the day after.

If you are a child of the millennium, if you've never known a world without 500 networks, it may be difficult for you to get this. You might find it hard to appreciate how it was when there were only three networks and no DVR nor even VCR, so that one major TV program sometimes became a communal event, a thing experienced by everybody everywhere at the same time.

So it was on a Sunday night, the 23rd of January, in 1977. I was a senior at the University of Southern California, working part time at the campus bookstore. When I went to work the next day, you could feel that something had shifted. Your black friends simmered like a pot left too long on the stove. Your white friends tiptoed past you like an unexploded bomb.

We had all watched the first episode of "Roots," had all seen the Mandinka boy Kunta Kinte grow to the cusp of manhood, had all borne witness as he was chained like an animal and stolen away from everything he had ever known. Now we no longer knew how to talk to one another.

I had a friend, a white guy named Dave Weitzel. Ordinarily, we spent much of our shift goofing on each other the way you do when you're 19 or so and nothing is all that serious. But on that day after, the space between us was filled with an awkward silence.

Finally, Dave approached me. "I'm sorry," he said, simply. "I didn't know."

It is highly unlikely the new version of "Roots," airing this week on the A&E television networks, will be the phenomenon the original was. There are, putting it mildly, more than three networks now and, with the exception of the Super Bowl, we no longer have communal television events.

But the new show will be a success if it simply kindles in us the courage to confront and confess the history that has made us. I didn't know much about that in 1977. Sixteen years of education, including four at one of the nation's finest universities, had taught me all about the Smoot-Hawley tariff, but next to nothing about how a boy could be kidnapped, chained in the fetid hold of a ship, and delivered to a far shore as property.

As a result, I had only a vague sense of bad things having happened to black people in the terrible long ago. It stirred a sense of having been cheated somehow, left holding a bad check somehow, but I didn't really know how or why.

I was as ignorant as Dave.

Small wonder. The history "Roots" represents embarrasses our national mythology. As a result, it has never been taught with any consistency. Even when we ostensibly spotlight black history in February, we concentrate on the achievements of black strivers - never the American hell they strove against. So you hear all about the dozens of uses George Washington Carver found for a peanut, but nothing about Mary Turner's newborn, stomped to death by a white man in a lynch mob.

We don't know what to do with those stories, so we ignore them, hoping that time, like a tide, will bear them away. But invariably, they wash up instead in mass incarceration, mass discrimination and the souls of kids who know their lives are shaped by bad things from long ago, even if they can't always say how.

Almost 40 years later, I'm embarrassed by the righteous vindication I got from Dave's apology. Dave Weitzel, the individual man, had not done anything to me. But like me, he had never been given the tools to face the ugly truths America hides from itself, had never been taught how to have the conversation.

So we had only his shame and my anger. Had we managed to push through those things, we might have found common humanity on the other side. But we couldn't do that because we didn't know how.

Indeed, as best I can recall, we never talked about it again.

Leonard Pitts Jr. is a columnist for the Miami Herald.

Gazette editorial: Remembrance http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/GZ0404/160539984 GZ0404 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/GZ0404/160539984 Mon, 30 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Flags and flowers dot the cemeteries. You can smell the freshly mown grass. Today, people pause to remember departed relatives and service members killed in wars. "Every day is a gift," grandparents say increasingly as they get older. Here are a few reflections for the occasion:

"People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life, which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad."

- Marcel Proust


"Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, which is the only fact we have."

- James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time


"Life is a fatal adventure. It can have only one end. So why not make it as far-ranging and free as possible?" - Alexander Eliot, New York Post, Nov. 28, 1962


"I often think of humankind as a long procession whose beginning and end are out of sight. We, the living, are an evolutionary link between all the life that has gone on before and all that is yet to be. We have no control over when or where we enter the procession, or even how long we are a part of it, but we do get to choose our marching companions. And we can all exercise some control over what direction the procession takes, what part we play and how we play it."

- former Charlestonian Marty Wilson, church commentary written in 2001, not long before her death


"Death tugs at my ear and says: 'Live, I am coming.'" - Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (1809-1894)


"He knew then that men died at haphazard like that, and lived only while blind chance spared them." - Dashiell Hammett, <I>The Maltese Falcon<P>


"Human beings have knowledge of their inexorable demise, and also of the tragic character implicit in the human condition. Life is full of danger: as soon as one is born, one is old enough to die. There is the sudden accident or the incurable illness that can overtake friend and foe alike.... No one can escape it; we are all condemned to die at some time, no matter how we may strive to stave it off." - Dr. Paul Kurtz, <I>The Transcendental Temptation<P>


"All that live must die, passing through nature to eternity." - Shakespeare, <I>Hamlet<P>


"When we fully understand the brevity of life, its fleeting joys and unavoidable pains; when we accept the fact that all men and women are approaching an inevitable doom; the consciousness of it should make us more kindly and considerate of each other. This feeling should make men and women use their best efforts to help their fellow travelers on the road, to make the path brighter and easier... for the wayfarers who must live a common life and die a common death." - Clarence Darrow, essay


"Here he lies where he longs to be / Home is the sailor, home from the sea / and the hunter home from the hill." - Robert Louis Stevenson, <I>Requiem<P>


"It is as natural to die as to be born." - Francis Bacon, 1597


"All that tread the globe are but a handful to the tribes that slumber in its bosom.... So live, that when thy summons comes to join the innumerable caravan which moves to that mysterious realm, where each shall take his chamber in the silent halls of death, thou go not like the quarry-slave at night, scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed by an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave like one that wraps the drapery of his couch about him, and lies down to pleasant dreams." - William Cullen Bryant, <I>Thanatopsis<P>


"It is a myth to think death is just for the old. Death is there from the very beginning." - Herman Feifel, <I>The New York Times<P>, July 21, 1974


"Death need not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist." - Epicurus (341-270 B.C.)


"He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces." - Isaiah 25:8


"Death be not proud, though some have called thee mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so. For those who thou think'st thou dost overthrow die not." - John Donne


"Death is a black camel which kneels at the gates of all." - Abdel Kader


"Death is but a name, a date / a milestone by the stormy road / where you may lay aside your load / and bow your face and rest and wait / defying fear, defying fate." - Joaquin Miller, <I>A Song of Creation<P>


"She died peacefully, in the certitude that death was not a calamity." - Belsen survivor, describing Anne Frank's demise


"Life's race well run / life's work well done / life's victory won / now cometh rest." - John Mills, 1878 (inscribed by Princess Alexandra of Wales on the tombstone of her old nurse)


"They say such nice things about people at their funerals it makes me sad to realize I'm going to miss mine by a few days." - Garrison Keillor


"Let us pass over the river and rest under the shade of the trees." - Stonewall Jackson's last words, 1863


"After I'm dead, I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I do have one." - Cato the Elder


"What's brave, what's noble, let's do it after the high Roman fashion, and make death proud to take us." - Shakespeare


"Biography lends to death a new terror." - Oscar Wilde


"Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light." - Dylan Thomas


"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Sir Winston Churchill


"Death is nature's way of telling you to slow down." - graffiti in Los Angeles, c. 1966

John Palmer: WV must renew 'No place for hate' (Gazette) http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/GZ0405/160539985 GZ0405 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/GZ0405/160539985 Mon, 30 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 By John Palmer By By John Palmer Not too long ago West Virginia distinguished itself with a "West Virginia is NO place for Hate" campaign. I write in hopes that this estimable effort can be resuscitated.

The reason for the first campaign was the invasion of our state by the Westboro (Kansas) "Church", specialized in inflicting its noxious perversity on communities that had been hit with grief. The hate-mongers would gather at funerals and noisily declare that those who had died were hated by God, that their deaths were the result of community sinfulness.

The current need for a renewal of community building comes from a rather different source: a bullying politician is building a following by encouraging hatred of groups who cannot easily fight back. His slogan says "Make American great again" but his sneering demeanor and constant slurs make it clear that his true philosophy is "Make America hate again".

There may be those who would regard this essay as essentially politically partisan, but it's not. There is no "Game of Thrones" hidden manipulation intended here. What you see is what you get. When West Virginia was hit by a tsunami of hate we banded together; now, I say, when we are being inundated by flood waters of hate, we should once again forthrightly and publicly repudiate it.

But, some might demur, American politics has always had a hardball aspect - thin-skinned whiners have no place in the midst of a rough-and-tumble contest. No, say I - what we are now being exposed to is quite different: It is cowardly and essentially un-American.

Take, for example, this demagogue's lashing out at a competitor who can make a reasonable claim to be a war hero. Because Sen. John McCain was shot down over Hanoi and imprisoned, he was called a "loser" and because he did not do well academically he was said to be "dumb". Since the war was lost, are all the rest of us who served (I was in the USAF in Thailand), also "losers"?

Another example: When asked by Megan Kelly during a debate about his use of the terms "fat pig", "dogs", "slobs" and "disgusting animals" to describe women he didn't like, the bully eventually responded by referring to Ms. Kelly as having "blood coming out of her whatever".

These examples are not incidental to his campaign. They are the core and essence of it. He is a bully, and he invites the rest of us to join in cruel mockery, the infliction of pain. To those who once gathered at the Capitol to "condemn hate in any form" and to re-assert their allegiance to the virtues of respect, courage and compassion, I address this plea: Please, please reassemble. We need you now as much as we did before.

John Palmer is a retired professor in Charleston.

Robert Samuelson: US wages likely haven't stagnated http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/DM0405/160539987 DM0405 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/DM0405/160539987 Mon, 30 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 WASHINGTON - How many times have you heard that Americans' wages have stagnated?

Countless commentators (including me) have repeated this complaint. Naturally, politicians of both parties - Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump - deplore it. It's conventional wisdom that wage stagnation has contributed to the sluggish recovery and the downcast attitudes of millions.

But what if it's not true?

A new study from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco suggests just that. It concludes that widely cited figures showing stagnation are mostly a statistical fluke. Workers continuously employed in full-time jobs received wage increases higher than inflation from 2002 to 2015. Last year, the gain was a 3.5 percent increase after inflation, up from 1.2 percent in 2010.

Typically, the median wage - the wage exactly in the middle of all wages - is cited as evidence of stagnation. Indeed, the Fed study confirms this.

Median wage increases have fluctuated around 2 percent, unadjusted for inflation.

But the median wage is misleading, the report argues, because it's heavily driven by demographic changes: an influx of young and part-time workers whose relatively low wages drag down the median; and the retirement of baby boom workers whose relatively higher pay no longer lifts up the median.

"Exiting workers with higher wage levels are [being] replaced by entrants to full-time employment who earn less than the median wage," says the study, which was done by economists Mary Daly and Benjamin Pyle of the San Francisco Fed and Bart Hobijn of Arizona State University.

The result is that all workers, as judged by the median wage, seem to be treading water when many workers are actually receiving modest increases.

If corroborated, the study resolves a major mystery. Economic theory suggests that, as the recovery proceeded and labor markets tightened, wage increases should have accelerated as employers had to pay more to retain and attract workers.

Yet, annual gains in the median wage seemed stuck. Now, we know that the likely explanation is that demographic forces have obscured real wage gains for millions.

The implications are significant. For starters, the study urges de-emphasizing the median wage as an indicator of labor market conditions; relying on the wage changes for full-time workers would be more accurate.

Indirectly, the study exerts pressure on the Fed to raise interest rates, because labor markets are tighter than indicated by the median wage (though even it has recently risen more rapidly).

The larger implication is that the study compromises the prevailing economic narrative, which emphasizes the stagnation of wages and living standards.

Clearly, millions of households - especially the recently unemployed - have suffered large losses, and the gains of many others are underwhelming.

But the impression that most people in the middle class are slipping backward seems overwrought. The anxiety about the future is real, but its causes must be more complicated than commonly thought.

Daily Mail editorial: Honor the sacrifices of US service members http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/DM0402/160539988 DM0402 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/DM0402/160539988 Mon, 30 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 "Land of the free, home of the brave." That's been America's mantra for centuries now, and we have our nation's military to thank for that freedom.

Today, Memorial Day, is about celebrating the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform. When duty called, many answered and fought to defend our country from fascism, communism and now terrorism. Nearly 700,000 American military members have died in combat. Many others died due to conditions related to wars, and millions of others bore or still bear the physical and psychological scars of warfare.

But it seems in some ways many Americans have forgotten about the sacrifices men and women - and their families - have made for the betterment of the country. Relationships with our allies has weakened, and our rivals are growing stronger.

"At some point, we cannot be the policeman of the world," Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, told the New York Times in March. "And unfortunately, we have a nuclear world now."

But it seems America's standing isn't something that's at risk - it has already slipped. President Obama's repeated indecision and reluctance to take strong stances on global matters - like Syria - has allowed other world leaders, most notably Russia's Vladimir Putin, to step up as a major player on the world stage.

What's more, Obama has placed America's relationships with strong, supportive allies on the back burner in favor of cultivating new friendships with countries that were once our enemies.

As the Atlantic puts it: "In the Middle East, Israel and Saudi Arabia are out, Iran is in. Similarly, in the Far East, China is out, Vietnam is in. As for a special relationship, the president would rather have one with Cuba than Britain."

Although America's stance in the world has slipped under the Obama administration, it likely wouldn't fare much better if Trump or Hillary Clinton wins the presidency in November.

At various times throughout his campaign, Trump has promised that he'd order the military to commit war crimes by torturing terrorists and killing their families; called core alliances into question; pledged to remain neutral in potential conflicts between Israel and Palestine; and lacks a coherent strategy on the Islamic State, according to the National Review.

"The entire world would be less secure with his finger on the button," the magazine writes. Ouch.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton isn't much better.

Although political observers say she's more of a foreign policy hawk than Obama, Clinton's legacy as Secretary of State is tarnished by chaos in Libya and the fall of Syria, which both contributed to the rise of ISIS.

We can do better.

Throughout the centuries, American men and women have fought and sacrificed to ensure our country's freedoms and liberties remain intact. Those battles have seldom been easy. They've required much strength, grit and determination. But through those challenges, our military has remained strong and is vital to maintaining peace around the world.

We owe it to our military veterans to never forget the price they paid for our freedom. For some, it was time away from their families, or life-altering injuries sustained on the battlefield. For others, it was their lives.

We must remember, too, why those sacrifices were made. Men and women who serve love this country, and the people in it, enough to defend it in war. They go to battle knowing they could lose a limb or die. But to them, that's part of the job. Maintaining America's freedom is more important than their own lives.

These men and women should be honored not just today, but every day. Because of their sacrifices, we remain free.

Daily Mail cartoon: May 30, 2016 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/DM0408/160539989 DM0408 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/DM0408/160539989 Mon, 30 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400

Ernest E. Blevins: Memorial Day honors citizens' ultimate sacrifice http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/DM0403/160539990 DM0403 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160530/DM0403/160539990 Mon, 30 May 2016 00:01:00 -0400 In recent years, Memorial Day has become known as the unofficial start of summer.

That's how we practice it, but in doing so, we lose the true meaning and history of this holiday meant to honor those of our country who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.

Many communities started a memorial day to honor the dead of the War Between the States. Some cite the first memorial day conducted in Kingston, Georgia, in late April 1865 for both Confederate and Union dead while the city was still occupied by remnants of Sherman's army as the longest continuous observation.

Some cite May 1, 1865, when liberated former slaves in Charleston, South Carolina, decorated the graves of Union soldiers who died as prisoners on Charleston's famous race course as originating the holiday.

Many of the first claims were one-time events. The official birthplace of Memorial Day is Waterloo, New York. The village was credited with being the birthplace because it observed the day on May 5, 1866.

This year, May 5 marks the 150th anniversary of General Order No. 11 creating Decoration Day from Maj. Gen. John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, the premier organization of Union veterans.

General Logan, who served in the 31st Illinois, is said to have been impressed by the way the South honored their dead with a special day.

He established Decoration Day on May 30 as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country and it is not the anniversary of a major battle.

On May 30, 1866, flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. Arlington was the pre-war home of Robert E. Lee and became a cemetery when the Union started burying dead on the property in retaliation for Lee following his state of Virginia out of the Union.

In 1873, surviving Lee family members sued the U.S. Government in hopes of gaining compensation for the seizure of Arlington. The United States Supreme Court ruled in their favor and ordered the government pay $150,000 for the property.

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states, while many southern states refused to celebrate due to lingering hostility toward the Union.

After World War I, Decoration Day expanded to commemorate the more recent dead of the Spanish American and World War. Some southern states began to participate, but also retained a separate holiday for their Confederate dead.

In 1915, Moina Michael, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," came up with the idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day. She sold poppies to her friends and co-workers giving the profits to servicemen in need. The tradition was carried to France by Madam Guerin who made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women from World War I.

In 1921, poppies were sold by the Franco-American Children's League for war orphans of France and Belgium. In 1922, the Veterans of Foreign Wars took over the cause and became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies.

In 1922, the Charleston papers reported the first time the "blue, grey, and khaki stood together to pay respects" demonstrating a unity and the addition Spanish-American War and World War I to the services.

In 1954, Congress changed the name from Decoration Day to Memorial Day.

Memorial Day was moved by the National Holiday Act of 1968 to the last Monday of May starting in 1971 to give federal employees a three-day weekend. The same act also moved Washington's Birthday and Veterans' Day to Monday.

In 1997, taps was played at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day observed on many radio and television stations across the nation as Americans paused to remember the men and women who have lost their lives in service to our country.

In 2000, Congressional and presidential resolutions were signed to observe the new tradition leading to S. 3181, the "National Moment of Remembrance Act" was signed into law in December 2000 codifying the tradition.

Veterans' Day was restored to Nov. 11 in 1975 effective in 1978. There is a movement to restore Memorial Day every year to May 30. In March 1989 the first bill was introduced in the Senate by the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (Hawaii) which called for the restoration of the traditional day.

Every new congress it is reintroduced and several companion bills have been introduced to the House. Since his passing Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (Hawaii) continues the push tradition. The effort is supported by several patriotic organizations.

Ernest Blevins, structural historian for the State Historic Preservation Office, is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.