When does war begin? Our Constitution requires we know, you know. It says Congress declares war and the president carries it out. So, for war to begin, you’d think Congress would say so. Hasn’t been that way for years. It’s more complex than that. Here are details.

As President Trump and his advisers contemplate the next steps to take in the conflict he instigated with Iran, they are focused primarily on two historical events. First, the seizure of the 52 American hostages at our embassy in Iran in 1979 and Iran’s role in killing hundreds of our troops…

President Donald Trump’s defenders routinely say that, while they may not like his style, they like his policies. Presumably they include in his style that he lies all the time and that he makes decisions based on nothing more than what his gut tells him in the moment. Even though it is hard…

Years ago, while shell collecting in the placid shallows of the inland side of a barrier island, I reached down to grasp and examine an apparently empty shell specimen. Ankle deep on firm ground in this pleasantly sunny and somewhat exotic milieu, I was expecting no trouble. Without warning,…

My law office walls do not include my diplomas and certificates. The West Virginia Bar does not require it. They are in a box somewhere. By law, I am required to post my real estate broker license, renewed each year with a $150 payment. My notary public commission sits in a desk drawer at th…

Some criticize the Democratic debates as lacking diversity. Well, here’s some news: The debates are an elimination process leading to less diversity by design. But it begs the question as to how diverse the starting field was and how it was winnowed. Let’s take a closer look as the problem f…

It is ironic for those who volunteer for practically nothing in the fight for healthy water to be attacked by highly paid executives like Robert Burton of West Virginia American Water, for doing the same job they proclaim to do. Burton is not a saint. He does his job questionably, as 231,000…

I have no idea why former West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation instructor Karrie Byrd thought it was flattering for her trainees to flash the Nazi “Sieg Heil” salute in reference to her toughness. According to a state investigation, she encouraged it.

In days of yore, medieval castles were built with concentric layers of security. After the moat, came the outer wall. If attackers could breach the outer wall, there was still the keep, the inner wall and then the main tower to which desperate defenders could retreat.

The 2010s come to an end tonight. They began amid a global financial crisis and international recession and they end with, “Well, we made it.” Not all the data is in yet, but here’s my review of West Virginia’s past decade. Let’s dig in.

In 1897, Francis Pharcellus Church of The New York Sun, assured 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon and the rest of America that, yes indeed, there is a Santa Claus. On this Christmas eve 122 years later, we’re apprehensive about a more somber matter: the impeachment of our president. Regardless of…

This is the season when, in our dreamier moments, the long ago times return. They tap us on the shoulder and linger a moment, only to flit fastly away to other places. Among our reveries are happy occasions, spiced with warmly tinted visions of those whom we will not see again on this side o…

The House of Representatives passed and sent to the Senate the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drugs Now Act (House Resolution 3). It’s a complex piece of legislation that, among other things, gives the secretary of Health and Human Services the ability to negotiate prices directly with drug manufa…

I am trying to avoid images of Republican Congress members, sitting alone in their offices at night, staring at desktop photos of their children and grandchildren and asking themselves, “Shall I go on pretending that the president has done nothing to trigger his removal, even though history …

It’s been nearly 10 years since I made a pilgrimage to Okinawa. When I was there, I made friends with a freelance writer who likes to ping me on days when some weird news story breaks from West Virginia ... which is to say, we’ve been in touch a lot.

Measles. What’s the harm? All us old folks had them. Didn’t kill us and besides, there wasn’t a vaccine until 1963. Probably should just expose the kids to measles and keep them comfortable. That’s the view of at least some anti-vaccine activists within our community posting on Facebook. The…

Reuters reports, “Support for U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren dropped nationally to its lowest level in four months, and nearly one in three potential Democratic primary voters say they do not know which candidate to pick with the first nominating contests less than t…

Elizabeth Warren had great momentum for a while. Then her poll numbers leveled and fell. The standard explanation is that the Democrat’s “Medicare for All” plan comes across as too radical — both the price and the part that would force over 150 million Americans off their employers’ private …

In her diary entry for July 15, 1944, Anne Frank wrote words that would harrow and challenge generations not yet born: “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”

We all know that fresh water is essential for life. During recent decades, careless industrial usage, industrial agriculture and poor waste management caused significant damage to earth’s largest aquifers.

The focus here isn’t President Donald Trump. He is a creature unto himself. Rather, this is about his spineless political party, which stands mute, or even supportive, as he breaks U.S. military discipline, morale and leadership.

Reporters dug into the details of Gov. Jim Justice’s announcement on Monday that the “number of West Virginians who have jobs is now the highest it’s been in more than a decade.” Justice claimed that 19,000 more people were working in the state than a year ago.

While half of us are fixated on the incessant impeachment inquiry and the other half are fixated on avoiding the incessant impeachment inquiry, my thoughts turned to the wall. Yes, that wall. The one being built on our southern border. How’s that going? Here’s what I found.

It didn’t take long during the second day of public impeachment hearings, in which the House Intelligence Committee was questioning former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, to get not one, not two, but three examples of how President Donald Trump undermines those who try to defend him.

I’d like to personally bop over the head the next Democrat who says that Michael Bloomberg shouldn’t be running for president because he’s a billionaire. Let’s give thanks that a simple-minded dismissal of rich candidates didn’t sink FDR’s chances.

Nearly 15 years ago, comedian and singer/songwriter Stephen Lynch released the song “Little Tiny Mustache” on a live album. The ballad follows the first-person perspective of a dull-witted boyfriend who begins to put things together, realizing his girlfriend is a white supremacist and he nee…

FUNERALS FOR TODAY JANUARY 21, 2020

Campbell, Virginia - 2 p.m., Wallace Funeral Home & Chapel, Barboursville.

Fisher, Helen - 6 p.m., Cunningham - Parker - Johnson Funeral Home, Charleston.

Johnson, Linda - 2 p.m., Highland Memory Gardens, Chapmanville.

Kessler, Carolyn - 5 p.m., Gatens-Harding Funeral Home Chapel, Poca.

King, Charles - Noon, Cooke Funeral Home Chapel, Nitro.

Pauley, Bernice - 11 a.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

Sigman, Christopher - 2 p.m., Propps Family Cemetery, Summersville.

Williams, Archie - 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.