We all know how the story starts ...
Down in Who-ville
Liked Christmas a lot...
But the Grinch,
Who lived just North of Who-ville,
And we know how it ends ...
“And he puzzled three hours, ‘till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
‘Maybe Christmas,’ he thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store.
‘Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!’”
The Grinch realizes that even without food and decorations and presents, the Whos still came together, held hands and sang on Christmas morning, despite his best efforts to take the holiday away.
Though the much-loved story, first published by Dr. Seuss in 1957, never once mentions Christ or his birth within its pages, it’s critical of the commercialization of Christmas and all but smacks you in the face with its moral about Christmas needing to be a celebration of the arrival of the Messiah.
The good doctor even admitted that he based the Grinch on himself after looking in the mirror one Dec. 26 and not liking what he saw. He wrote it, he said, to “rediscover something about Christmas I’d obviously lost.”
These days, maybe you could say the Grinch is still alive and well and trying to steal Christmas away ... In Texas rather than Whoville.
A new Texas law maintains that people may now — without fear of sparking a lawsuit — say “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hanukkah” or “Happy holidays” at school and display religious and secular symbols like Christmas trees, menorahs and Nativity scenes in public places as long as more than one religion and a secular symbol are included.
Conservative activists say it protects Christmas and strengthens First Amendment rights of children. Liberal ones say it isn’t necessary and it’s a way to introduce Protestant religious themes in the classroom.
One elementary school seems to have misinterpreted it. Instead of including more than one representation of Christmas, a “Winter Party” seems to have been planned to include none so as not to offend anyone. The rules of the party were: no Christmas trees, no use of red or green, no use of items that could stain carpets and no references to religious holidays, including Christmas.
Talk about national attention. Another shot fired in the War on Christmas? Is there even a war? We took that question to our readers, who log on to www.timeswv.com to vote in our online poll.
Last week we asked, “A Texas law has rattled many who claim there is a ‘war on Christmas’ and that schools, stores, companies are trying to wipe away the true meaning. How do you feel?”
And here’s what you had to say:
• Christmas is everywhere. If there’s a war, it isn’t a successful one — 10.68 percent.
• Religious observations and symbols of Christmas are personal and something that rules and laws can’t take away — 40.78 percent.
• Of course there’s a war! If I hear “happy holidays” one more time ... — 48.54 percent.
Merry Christmas, y’all. This week, let’s talk about the gifts we wish we could give.
Log on. Vote. Email me or respond online.
We all know how the story starts ...
‘Pothole blitz’ badly needed service coming in West Virginia
Hopefully, the heavy snow and extremely cold weather of January, February and early March are in the past.
Remnants of the harsh winter, though, remain. They’re faced each day by the state’s drivers.
Potholes have West Virginia’s roads in their worst condition in years, and the damaging freeze-thaw cycle is not over.
‘The issues are complicated’ with e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes have been around for about seven years.
But you’d be shocked at how long the idea for the the tobacco-less product has been around.
“A primitive, battery-operated ‘smokeless non-tobacco cigarette’ was patented as early as 1963 and described in Popular Mechanics in 1965,” Megan McArdle wrote for Business Week last monty.
Coal industry can’t afford to give this administration and EPA more ammunition
Coal already has a bad name in Washington, D.C.
The whole industry got another black eye this week when Alpha Natural Resources Inc., one of the country’s largest coal producers, agreed to pay a $27.5 million fine and invest $200 million to reduce illegal water pollution in five states, including West Virginia.
Being observant, reporting suspicions can make difference for hurting children
If a child is hurting, we wouldn’t hesitate to help.
Or would we?
In a five-year span, 22,830 children were victims of some type of neglect or abuse in West Virginia. That’s an overwhelming number to think about.
Gee makes major impact and earns another term as WVU president
Let’s imagine that a graduate from West Virginia University in the early 1980s, when E. Gordon Gee was president, came back to get an extra degree now and couldn’t believe that E. Gordon Gee is “still” the president of WVU.
Effort to encourage purchase of goods produced in U.S. deserves support
The concept of encouraging the purchase of American-made products is certainly not new.
On the federal level, the Buy American Act was passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Herbert Hoover. It required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases.
‘Stop Meth, Not Meds’ backed by readers
In West Virginia, there is something referred to as “stop-sale technology” that prevents a person from going to more than one pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter medication that contains the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant.
It’s not an issue of stuffy noses that lawmakers were worried about when they created the system.
Even small steps play part in critical mission to reduce childhood obesity
Just two years ago, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, meaning they had excess body weight based on their height.
It’s a troubling statistic, and one that health officials have worked diligently to reverse.
Cutting-edge heart procedure at Mon General is saving lives
“I used to think I wouldn’t live to be 50. Well, I made it to 50 and then some,” Pearl Walls said.
Walls is likely alive today and able to tell her story to the Times West Virginian because of a cutting-edge procedure performed at Monongalia General Hospital — a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which was only approved for use by the FDA in 2011.
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ many works, magic words
You know his words.
You know them well.
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- ‘Pothole blitz’ badly needed service coming in West Virginia