Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 23, 2010

Bill would honor former coal leader

By WILSON BUTT

District 24 Delegate John Shott, R-Mercer, has sponsored 30 bills in this session of the West Virginia’s legislature. Delegate John Frazier, D-Mercer, has sponsored 42. Delegate Mike Porter, R-Mercer, has sponsored 23 and Delegate Clif Moore has sponsored 101 bills. One of Shott’s bills exempts construction performed on behalf of educational authorities from prevailing wage requirements. Shott also wants to raise the maximum personal income tax exemption for people over age 65 and for those who are totally disabled. Another bill that Shott, Frazier and Porter have sponsored would create a pre-engineering summer academy and provide scholarship opportunities for pre-engineering students and teachers through the West Virginia Board of Education. The bill would create a special revenue account, “The Eustace Frederick Pre-engineering and Technology Education Programs Fund,” named to honor the late Delegate and coal industry leader.

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Among those 101 bills Delegate Clif Moore has sponsored is one that would declare that the national motto, “In God We Trust,” should be prominently displayed on public property and in public buildings in honor of this country’s heritage. Amen.

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Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown did the right thing. Brown supported a bipartisan jobs bill that had partisan issues weighing it down. He did that by voting to defeat a GOP filibuster. Republicans Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, former Ohio Governor George Voinovich and Christopher Bond of Missouri also gave the nix to a filibuster. The bill also has some infrastructure spending attached. When the government spends money on infrastructure at least we have something tangible to show for the money spent.

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How did Rashad Hussain become an associate counsel to the president of the United States of America? Let us take a look at who he is and where he came from. Sources stated that he was born in Wyoming was raised in Plano, Texas, and is the son of Indian-born U.S. citizens. His father is a retired mining engineer and his mother is a medical doctor. Hussain graduated from a university not too far from here — the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, went to Harvard where he earned a master’s degree, and on to law school at Yale. Hussain’s academic record is sterling. Yet to secure his appointment as the “Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference” (OIC), there are questions about whether or not he has to told the truth in order to obtain an appointment on the president’s team and apparently unknowingly the president defended him. Again we have another issue where every word is being examined and dissected ala Bill Clinton. The bottom line is that if Hussain did not tell the truth about these matters, he will not tell the truth about something else and should not serve in this capacity.

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In August 2008 Rashad Hussain co-authored a paper entitled, “Reforming the Battle of Ideas: Understanding the role of Islam in Counter Terrorism Policy,” for the Sanan Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institute, a Washington think tank that has been around about 90 years. Hussain’s paper, “argues that in order to win the ‘battle of ideas,’ the United States government must carefully reformulate its strategy and work with the Muslim world to promote mainstream Islam over terrorist ideology.” The paper promotes eight recommendations. No matter how convincing or correct the paper may be, Hussain’s credibility is now suspect. Hussain is an American by birth and the ultimate question is “Would Hussain sell out his country?” Hussain now has Daveed Gartenstein Ross, a counter-terrorism expert and attorney who apparently cannot make up his mind as to what religion to follow, waffling on the issues in his behalf.

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I heard Judge Royce Agner from down in Perry, Fla., once taught a youngster a valuable lesson. The youth was visibly upset about some minor incident that had happened and complained to his friend the judge “so and so lied — he is a liar.” The judge politely listened. After hearing the young man’s version of the incident, the judge imparted a bit of wisdom to the youngster. “Never call anyone a liar — simply say that they are not telling the truth.”

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The truth is often an elusive concept these days. There are always two sides to any story and any situation viewed from one’s vantage point is more than likely different that that viewed from another individual’s vantage. Hiding the truth is another matter. Richard M. Nixon sought to hide the truth. It cost him his presidency. Bill Clinton — I don’t think I need to go there. There were “deceptions” by many former Presidents. John Kennedy on the Bay of Pigs: “I can assure you that the United States has no intention of using force to overthrow the Castro regime.” In matters of national security, some things are better kept under wraps and the failure to keep thing under wraps was one of the problems that contributed to the failure at the Bay of Pigs.

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There is a little problem that some people have with facts. John Adams once made the observation that, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

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There you have it, a few comments on items of interest to the area. I’m hoping that you enjoyed the blue skies we had this past weekend and I hope you have another blue sky today. And one more thing ... Bluefield, Va., is saddened by the loss of town employee Roy Lee Boyd.

Wilson Butt, a resident of Bluefield, is a retired Department of Highways official.