Many times, Gov. Joe Manchin, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and other West Virginia leaders denounced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for enforcing the Clean Water Act, which hinders mountaintop removal mining. Now, in the wake of the Mountain State's water crisis, they want tougher EPA enforcement of the Clean Water Act. Have they dropped their former attack -- or will they later resume blasting federal pollution controls and the Obama administration?
West Virginia native Rush Holt -- who became a physicist, "Jeopardy" champion and Congress member from New Jersey -- wants America to adopt Feb. 12 as Darwin Day, honoring the birthday of the great British naturalist who stunned the world by showing how gradual evolution shaped all living things. Good idea, we say. Evolution has become the underlying principle of modern biology.
America gradually phased out most mental hospitals -- and now thousands of psychiatric sufferers wind up in jail for minor offenses, such as self-medicating with pot. National columnist Nicholas Kristof says: "Nationwide in America, more than three times as many mentally ill people are housed in prisons and jails as in hospitals." He asks whether Americans want their penal system to take over the role once filled by mental clinics.
Bearing arms in West Virginia: Teen-age Joseph Spencer of Doddridge County was given three life sentences to shooting his parents and little sister to death.
***A retired philosophy professor (who apparently gave up trying to find the meaning of life) sent us a batch of puns, including these: A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking. Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death. A hangover is the wrath of grapes. Sea captains don't like crew cuts. Does the name Pavlov ring a bell? Reading while sunbathing makes you well-red. When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I. What's the definition of a will? (Come on, It's a dead giveaway!) In democracy your vote counts; in feudalism your count votes. If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed. A plateau is a high form of flattery. Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.