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Things got a little hectic around the Review office this week, so here’s a column I wrote in 2012 that still yanks my chain today.

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If they had done what they did a few weeks ago as a military operation — wearing uniforms, carrying weapons — the world would have been transfixed, our adversaries carried out of the arena in a dead faint.

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Thank God the elections are finally over. Even though I would have liked to see a different outcome, I’m grateful that this is done.

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More than once in my life — but not often — an event has occurred or a realization has hit me that came out of left field in its intensity.

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Years ago the big red barn on Depot Street held the bounty of the farmlands surrounding it — all owned by the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind.

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Of all the dates that are marked on my annual calendar in red, the ones we observe mostly by shopping with wild abandon or traveling aimlessly around the planet, the one that has always affected me more than any others is Election Day.

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Wow — 3 weeks from the election and Nancy Pelosi and her gang are trying to remove the President from office because of COVID.

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I have been wondering about the protests where people have taken to the streets to speak up about and against the inequalities in our country. One term I keep hearing is that of “antifa.”

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If you looked at the front page of this week’s Review before you eagerly turned the page to read my column, you might have seen that this paper was once again named the state’s best big weekly newspaper.

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Suppose you and I were alive and living in America on July 4, 1776. For the rest of our lives, the people we met would ask: where were you, what did you see, whose side were you on, what did you do?

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What is an addiction? Per Psychology Today magazine, “Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (e.g., gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable, but the continuation of which becomes compulsive…

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Sometimes, there’s no winning for losing. When I’m in a situation like that, I procrastinate, hoping the situation will go away.

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Over in Parkersburg is the headquarters for a bureaucracy called the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission.

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In a twist that must be encouraging to gun owners, some new programs in northeastern states have been able to sharply reduce gun murders without traditional gun control measures, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

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I realized something during my research and that is individuals and organizations can censor you. The government can’t. How’s that? Pretty cool, right? Not. But it appears to be true.

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I am wondering about ideas, hopes, possibilities and dreams for the future — the “new normal.”

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With all the nonsense that’s being spewed as gospel right around now, this column from 2012 bears repeating.

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Circle Nov. 3 on your calendars because across West Virginia, and the rest of the United States, voters have one very important ballot to cast that day.

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In the best of times, the people on the front lines of our healthcare system are busy and vigilant.

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Before the coronavirus pandemic, one of the greatest failures of government in this country — one that has deeply affected West Virginia — was its refusal to understand the difference between marijuana and hemp, and its stubborn criminalization of hemp.

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Editor’s note: Life got busy this week, so we’re pulling out a column Jim wrote 5 years ago about the courts in Hampshire County. Hampshire County hasn’t had a felony criminal trial in more than 3 years.

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The biggest decision I will have to make this year doesn’t have anything to do with COVID-19, a mask, a vaccine, social distancing or living out the hermit life I have created for myself the past few years. You could say I am a social-distancing expert.

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Throughout my childhood and carrying into adulthood, this has always been the month for vacations in my family.

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“I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of the way and let them have it.”

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The economic calamity tied to the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t punched us here like it has other places.

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The social media, among other forums, here in Hampshire and around the country, is alive with the heated expressions of people proclaiming their constitutional rights: to refuse to wear a protective mask or get a vaccination; to crowd into churches and bars contrary to government limitations…

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Central Hampshire Park looked pretty normal Saturday — a few walkers, a few kids playing.

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West Virginia Governor Jim Justice issued the mandate nearly a week ago that in order to cut down on the spread of COVID-19, residents must wear masks in public places.

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If you look around you, you will notice that the sports world that was once so vibrant remains on pause due to the pandemic, but the chatter has picked up.

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As I have been watching all that has been going on in America I am appalled at the fact that it has met with virtually no true response from a single politician worth his or her weight in salt.

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I am wondering, as are we all, just where we are going and how we will get there. The COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t show any sign of slowing down, although some areas seem to be doing better than others. But in too many places the numbers just keep going up.

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On Saturday, we celebrate the 244th birthday of the United States of America, and – yes, you guessed it — we will have to do it COVID-19 style.

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Sometimes one column speaks my mind so well I don’t want to try variations on it. An Independence Day piece I wrote in 2011 is one of those that bears repeating, not replacing:

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For some reason I caught myself up until last week thinking we are still in winter. There is an honest reason for that which I am sure you all can relate to.

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West Virginia Day is Saturday, so I’ve polished up a column I first wrote for the day in 2016.

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Have you ever felt violated and then angered? Well, I felt that way on Wednesday of last week.

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With no apologies to Tennyson; look up both the word’s definition and the man.

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The pandemic may be lifting, but we should still use caution

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We are all wondering when it will be “safe” to visit family and friends. How long do we stay in our homes (with occasional protected forays for groceries) without becoming ill from covid-19 and guess that it is safe to visit a loved one?

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!