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A lot of people I come into contact with tend to ‘live in the past’, a malady I personally think we should avoid. While our memories become immune to harsh events from which we adapt, often we resort to thinking about the ‘good ole days’. Congressman Jamie Whitten, himself near or in his oct…

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Several weeks from another state I received a phone call from an ambitious Millennial whose business associates wanted to pick his brain for potential political influence in regard to complicated government rules in their related business. I know the person well. He was concerned that Congre…

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Week 8 was, again, filled with committee meetings and hearings. By March 3, bills must be passed out of committee to remain alive and possibly become law. Even though there was a small amount of time spent in the House Chamber, bills were discussed and votes were taken. SB2257 was the most h…

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As I was making my rounds, I encountered an acquaintance who wanted to talk to me about crime and ‘bad things’. I circulate so that I can percolate. His analysis was to contradict another person we both know who he says blames the plight on “republicans”. This individual disagreed and blamed…

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This was the sixth week of the 2020 Legislative Session. House members had a busy week full of committee meetings and hearings. The deadline for the introduction of general bills and constitutional amendments is Monday, February 17, so members will remain busy over the next few weeks decidin…

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There’s an old saying in Mississippi political talk that “school teachers can’t elect you but they can beat you.” Maybe that’s why a little more respect is being shown by the 2020 folks in the state capitol. Last week the senate unanimously approved a $1,000 next year pay increase for the ov…

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At the beginning of the 2004 Legislative Session, Speaker Bill McCoy appointed me Chairman of the Committee on Transportation for the Mississippi House of Representatives. In that capacity a lot of matters came for consideration. I was particularly interested in building more 4-lane roads bu…

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Ancient humans built the seven wonders of the world, only one of which stands today – the Great Pyramids of Giza. Since those ancient days, various lists have noted new human-engineered wonders, such as the Taj Mahal, the Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge and even the International Space St…

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Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

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This is the first report of the 2020 Session of the Mississippi House of Representatives. As usual the Session started slowly. On Tuesday, January 7th, the House was sworn into office by the Secretary of State on that day, Delbert Hosemann. Then, on Thursday, seven of the eight statewide ele…

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Health care as an issue landed with a thud in late December as members of Congress packed up and went home for the holidays. Two important pieces of legislation for patients didn’t make it to the finish line. Passage of either measure next year is a crapshoot since it’s an election year. One…

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Some folks call it ‘role model’. Most say “Be an example”. Holy Scripture challenges readers to cultivate traits of goodness, charity and mercy. So, why shouldn’t we begin a new decade by appealing to a better nature? Perhaps individually one can reflect on someone or several from whom we fi…

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This is a good time for memories. While viewing a ‘glass approach’, I admit to having a hard time always seeing it a “half full”. “Half empty” frequently is simply realistic. The late and great Congressman Jamie Loyd Whitten used to enumerate a litany of accomplishments which got longer as h…

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If you’re buying health insurance on your own this year, the marketplace is more complicated – and dangerous – than ever. Dangerous? How can that be? This is health insurance we’re talking about, not some sketchy Internet site. But the reality is that the scam artists are out in full force, …

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Thanksgiving is a time in my memory that takes me back to the days of splendidly set tables, endless rows of holiday delights and friends and family gathered with their heads bowed thanking God for his blessings upon our homes. I can still smell the turkey turning a golden brown, the sage th…

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(Written for the Lee County Courier, August, 2017) Editor’s Note: William Joseph (Billy) McCoy died in Tupelo on Tuesday, November 12, 2019. The original article was written and published more than two years ago. It has been modified by Bill Miles, a confidant and key advisor/leader to McCoy…

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Two years ago in Dallas I met an 85-year-old woman and her 65-year-old son. Both were very hungry with almost no food in their fridge or in their cupboards. After they had paid their bills, their meager monthly income from Social Security was dwindling. For lunch the mother wanted boiled cab…

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Years ago a wily businessman I knew told me that politics is about the masses versus the classes. He was describing how the perceived “have-nots” belong to the masses while the power structure is categorized in the “class” distinction. I can reflect the reality of watching candidates lure su…

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Bill Morris’ memoirs, “A Legendary Life”, is a heart rendering, informative narrative written in a contemporized atmosphere that tells a story of all things “Rural South” ending with classic success mixed with melancholy. Noel, as we called him around the Itawamba County Times in the 1950s, …

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Almost everybody would think that the United States of America is the place where the majority rules. But is that really the case and was that actually the intention of the people who wrote our Constitution? What most people don’t realize is that until the United States of America came toget…

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Grandma Kitty pulled her shiny case knife from the pocket of her blue apron. She reached down far to the bottom of the cane pole and cut it. “This will make a good one,” she said, as she handed it to a three-year-old me. Then she cut one for herself. As we walked to her favorite spot along F…

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Regardless of how the elections come out in November or next year in fact, this age-old description is more apt than unique. A person I know was talking about his life’s observations the other day. According to him he has watched his native domain resist equal opportunities based on race, ec…

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Solving society’s complex problems are above my pay grade. However, opinions are cheap and everyone has one or more which they believe are good. The circle(s) in which I navigate seem obsessed with ‘immigration’ talk. A friend sent me a link entitled, “When high school teenagers were recruit…

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Every year, drug-resistant bacteria and fungi known as “superbugs” infect 2 million Americans — and kill up to 162,000 of those patients. Sadly, that toll could soon skyrocket. Microorganisms like bacteria and fungi build resistance to medical treatments over time. Each time someone uses an …

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A convoy of police cars, lights flashing, sirens blaring roared by where I was the other morning. Usually about all that commotion arouses is a bewildered question “wonder what’s going on?” An acquaintance whose demeanor is low key and congenial disappeared from the area where I was enjoying…

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Trent Kelly (R-MS), in coordination with U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), introduced the VA-DOD Shared Medical Facilities Act of 2019, which authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) to enter into agreements with …

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Fifteen years ago I was invited to be a participant in the “Executive Seminar for Southern Legislators” held at the University of North Carolina. I recall an academic ‘demographer’s’ lecture on the changing ‘face’ of our nation. Such research relates to who we are, what we are and what we’ll…

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Consumers hoping a couple of recent policy proposals might lower prices for their prescription drugs may be out of luck, at least for now. Earlier this year the Trump administration had proposed a rule that would have required prescription drug manufacturers to disclose list prices for drugs…

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I often wonder what happened to math in America. I know I had my own trouble with it when I was in school. They always wanted you to follow some method of reaching the answer and show how you reached the answer. Even if you got the right answer, if you didn’t go at it the right way you were …

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After the formal declaration of American independence in July of 1776, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, that the occasion should be “solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from t…

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This train is going down a nostalgia track. If you don’t want to ride, get off at the end of the paragraph because the conductor will be taking tickets. Some of the old ‘coogars’ I associate with lament about uncertainty and speculate that a financial downturn is on the horizon. They forecas…

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I have often wondered what makes an enduring television show. One of my all-time favorite shows was “The Waltons.” Growing up, that show reflected most closely the South of my parents and grandparents. I related to John and Olivia, John-Boy, Jason, Mary Ellen, Ben, Erin, Jim-Bob and Elizabet…

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The late Congressman Jamie Whitten said, “If we allow our roads to deteriorate, our bridges to dilapidate and our rivers and harbors to silt, we can have all the money in the world and still be bankrupt.” I heard him make that statement so many times that I could have quoted it as well as he…

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Today most folks don’t give a second thought if they get their clothes dirty to go and change into another outfit. Of late, I have found myself babying a electric dryer as I have been trying to get parts to keep it working, so I am a little more cautious about how many clothes I have to wash…

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Ever wonder where a columnist gets ideas from which they write stories for publications like the one you’re reading? I can’t speak for any others since I’ve never seen a revelation but I suspect we’d all be surprised to learn this truth. I read quite a few other folks’ ‘pieces’ and sometimes…

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Two boys in Illinois took a shortcut across an orchard, and did not become aware of the presence of a vicious dog until it was too late to reach either fence. One boy was spry enough to escape the attack by climbing a tree, but the other started around the tree, with the dog in hot pursuit, …

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The other day I was sitting at a table in an establishment with several conversationalists when a person walked in wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again Trump’ Cap of which he has every right to do. I defend his right to express himself and hold any political view he wants. Of course, I wa…

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Mississippi State Auditor Shad White has made several cases across Mississippi. He has had success in finding money that has been taken from Mississippi Taxpayers. Everyone has been very happy with his work. This week a report was released that I have been asking for over the last 8 years. I…

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I like old things — really old things. I like to read stories about real life Indiana Jones characters. I’m a History Channel and Discovery Channel junkie. I don’t usually take what someone says as fact — I study, ponder and study some more. I wasn’t always that way.

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Recently Peggy, an Indiana woman and reader of this column, sent me a lengthy email about her 94-year-old mother who is rapidly spending down her minimal savings to pay for prescription drugs. Peggy didn’t hold out much hope that prices would come down before it was too late for her mom. But…

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The lead paragraph of the story in this region’s largest locally circulated newspaper read, “I was traveling in Mississippi Highway Patrol Unit 71 with Patrolman Noel Kirk on U. S. 78 from Heckman’s Store near the ‘Big Cut’ Hill toward Tremont. We were looking for two youths who had been a p…

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As a journalist, I quickly became aware that readers are fascinated about crime. While evolving as a working reporter, I enjoyed the adrenalin rush of being ‘on top of a story’ that subscribers to the newspapers I worked for would relish in the next edition. Early in my career, I determined …

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Solicitations for Medicare Advantage plans once again have been arriving in the mail, promising the best bargain since sliced bread. A case in point is one from Emblem Health, a managed care company in my area that says it considers me what they call a “candidate” for their “special needs pl…

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When Paul B. Johnson, Jr., known commonly as ‘Little Paul’, made his inaugural speech as our state’s new governor in 1964, its theme captured my idealism when he announced that (and I paraphrase) “Ignorance and prejudice will not rule Mississippi while I’m Governor.” This came after his raci…

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Nearly two weeks ago, I stood in front of the City Council and a packed audience in Council Chambers and said, “It is my great honor and privilege to stand before you today and report that by every measurable indicator of success, the state of the city is strong.”

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Usually I don’t comment on things I see on Facebook. However, last week I saw a posting from my friend, Jay Hughes, about a ‘homeless man’ caught attempting to get in the RV the legislator lives in while attending the legislative sessions in Jackson. He also uses it to ‘gallivant’ around the…

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This past weekend Linda, my wife, and I had a pleasant surprise when our daughter, Amy Clark Stone and our granddaughter Suzanne Stone stopped by for a quick visit.

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