October 25, 2014

To use a movie cliche...

...here's a look at WV today:

Cliche: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. In that order.

THE GOOD. One WV bright spot is state Senate President Jeff Kessler's initiative to promote economic diversity and revival in the southern coalfields. Here's a supportive editorial from the Beckley WV newspaper.

THE BAD. God (and the gas industry) only know what kind of toxic crap is being generously shared in WV's northern gas lands. We owe our lack of knowledge of such things to that universally beloved benefactor of the human race, to wit, former vice president Dick Cheney.

THE UGLY. That's easy: WV elections, where truth is the first casualty.

October 24, 2014

It's not just WV

Some readers of this blog may recall the campaign to which I am now dedicated, to wit, to change the state motto of WV from "Mountaineers are always free" to "You can't make this **** up."

By a strange coincidence, two friends from different states have sent me bizarre stories from their own states that suggest WV isn't the only one where the rules of Whack apply.

Here's one from Rhode Island (which, incidentally, isn't an island) and one from Maryland (which bears little obvious resemblance to the Blessed Virgin for which it is named.

Here's the take home lesson I got: Whack has no borders.

October 21, 2014

A mess that needs fixing

It's no secret that West Virginia's juvenile justice system is a hot mess. It's even gotten national attention. The latest example of that is from PRI. The opening lines say it all:

The United States has been rethinking its juvenile justice system since the late 1990s. As a result, the national youth incarcreation rate has dropped dramatically in almost every state over the last 15 years--except in West Virginia.
While the US has cut its juvenile incarceration rate by half, West Virginia's rate is 42 percent higher than the rest of the country. The Mountain State has also seen the largest increase in youth incarceration since 2001.
 Fortunately, there is a good chance of things getting better on that front since Gov. Tomblin has convened a task force on the issue and solicited the help of folks from the Pew Charitable Trusts. It's gotten so bad that SOMETHING has to be done.

SPEAKING OF BAD WV SITUATIONS, here's another look at WV's economic future.

URGENT EXTINCT GIANT KANGAROO UPDATE here. Word is they didn't hop.