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There are so many serious topics confronting us now — the denial of the dissemination of public information by public officials then lying about it, crazy accusations by crazier people on Facebook, rampant corruption at every level of every tier of government, naked-racist statues forcing th…

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On Oct. 30, 1938, Orson Welles caused a nationwide panic by going on the radio and performing a realistic radio broadcast of H.G. Wells’ science fiction novel “War of the Worlds.” Reportedly, the radio broadcast of martians landing on earth was so realistic that New Jersey residents jammed h…

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Warren Central football coach Robert Morgan was a no-nonsense kind of coach on the sidelines. He was gentlemanly off the field, but between the lines, he was tough.

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On Friday, the New York Times headline read: “F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia.” Yes, America’s presumed leading newspaper, the one self-described as “Printing all the news that’s fit to print,” asked whether the president of the United States…

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“I” words are inundating Washington. President Trump insists his border wall would impede an invasion of illegal immigrants who injure innocents. Democrats say Trump indulges an idiotic idea to instigate an impasse and incite impassioned illusions.

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To the handful of you who read our headline “SHERIFF, SCAR SMACKED DOWN,” then went on Facebook and posted something like, “That’s just the Leader-Call bashing the sheriff because they don’t like him” … I invite you to go to our website and read Judge Dal Williamson’s order for yourself.

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I made it very clear in my New Year’s Day column that I am a big fan of Judge Dal Williamson. If you aren’t already, you should be, too. No, we don’t hang out. We’ve never been to each other’s houses. Heck, over the past 20 years, we have probably only spoken a half dozen times and most of t…

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STARKVILLE — Longevity runs in my family on both sides. My father lived to a few weeks shy of 76 years. My mom made it 82 years. My grandmothers lived to be 93 and 101, respectively. One grandfather died at 76 and the other at 81.

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Mark Thornton, my friend and colleague for many, many years, has a beautiful way with words, whereby he could even make someone like me sound grand. His column about my departure brought tears to my eyes — and that was well after I had originally resigned from this fine newspaper.

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In 2006, Congress passed the Secure Fence Act, which mandated the construction of multilayer pedestrian fencing along about 600 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. It passed with big, bipartisan majorities: 283 votes in the House and 80 in the Senate. Some top Democrats who are still in the Sen…

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The Republicans couldn’t do it when they controlled Congress and the White House. OK, “controlled” may be overstating any kind of management in Washington. 

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The haze of the New Year remains, so I won’t even attempt to write a continuous, coherent column. And since I have resolved to never write another resolutions column (unless I’m in a crunch and have less than an hour to turn in a column), this week’s rambling will be just a few bite-size nug…

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So, the United States government has been shut down for two weeks now and my life hasn’t changed one bit. You would think that for the amount of taxes I pay to the federal government, I would notice some sort of difference when things are shut down. But, no, nothing. My life hasn’t been affe…

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Christmas is the season Christians celebrate God putting on human flesh to save us from our sins. 

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As I mentioned in last week’s column, I am a close personal friend of the one and only Santa Claus. I first met “Butch” (that’s what his close friends call him) all the way back in 1967 at the Gimbels Department Store in Philadelphia, Pa.

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In the years before Facebook, it was only once a year when we were bombarded with those boastful holiday dispatches from family to family. They were like fruitcake in the form of a Christmas card. All the sweet stuff was piled on, and everyone just keeps passing it around, never really divin…

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OXFORD — It’s probably premature to make projections for the new year when the old one has a week or so left, so apologies for getting ahead of the calendar. Still, here goes:

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Many have admired the wits and wisdom of Samuel Clemens and Will Rogers, both of whom made astute and profound observations about politicians and other ill-reputed characters during their respective eras. We need more humor during the Trump era to counteract the utter cataclysmic pronounceme…

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Back when my kids were little, Santa would often ask for my help around Christmas time. I would buy toys, wrap presents, clean out the reindeer stalls, stir the eggnog, clean the porridge from Santa’s beard, give pep talks to the elves, wax the sleigh….in other words, I would do whatever was…

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Gracious! We’re ending 2018 on a bitter note, no different from the cacophony we’ve heard continually since the 2016 election. 

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I don’t have a son — at least, not that I know of (I apologize for the obligatory clichéd joke of every fun-loving man in the world). And, barring some Abraham-esque miracle (or a mental lapse in Vegas), I never will. 

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This really should have been my Thanksgiving column. You can blame two seemingly neverending afflictions on the delay — shingles and the sheriff, both of which can be described as lingering scourges of corruption and pestilence.

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For those of us who were ecstatic the night Donald Trump was elected president, who watch election night videos over and over again, it used to be easy to defend him against the charge that he is just a BS-ing con man who would say anything to get elected.

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OXFORD — It’s true that George H.W. Bush was the last president from The Greatest Generation. This week, commentators have pointed out that when Bill Clinton defeated Bush for a second term, Clinton’s youth was a big plus.

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I’m not sure that I’ve ever witnessed anyone who has let power go to his or her head as much as the current Jones County sheriff. I know the sheriff had been participating in “No Shave November,” but now that the calendar has switched over to December, he should simply go with a Hitler musta…

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STARKVILLE — In 2018, Mississippi voters elected two U.S. senators. The two elections saw about $27.6 million expended with $11 million of that coming from partisan outside groups — and armed with that money, Mississippians witnessed the near destruction of the reputations of at least two of…

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I took some time over the Thanksgiving break to review 2018 to date and noticed a climatic cycle in news. Nearly every week Americans were threatened with a crisis coming out of the White House … or, at least Washington … or, maybe just national news media! 

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I’m writing this on Wednesday Nov. 14, and because I have had a column about fishing with my Mom waiting in the old column queue for quite some time now, this one won’t run until Saturday  Nov. 24. So, happy belated Thanksgiving.

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Our sheriff is fond of saying he is “just dealing with facts,” as if that distinguishes him from us at the paper or anyone else who dares to cross him. Well, I have some damning facts, all of which are documented. I’ll share a few.

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Mississippi is in the national news again primarily due to one senate candidate making inflammatory remarks and the other candidate denying charges of being paid $750,000 to lobby Washington for an African despot. Fellow Mississippians, hold your noses and vote against the worse candidate. R…

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OXFORD — Longtime readers (for whom I am grateful) may recall Thanksgiving columns have often been homilies on how choosing an attitude of gratitude lessens stress, enhances enjoyment of life. (Too, longtime readers may not recall any such thing — what with op-eds having the same lifespan as…

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My intent was to write a scathing column about an ongoing issue that’s been affecting the paper for a while now. It’s long overdue. But since I’m so far behind with it already, it can wait another week, and I can continue my clichéd, traditional Thanksgiving column and make some of our criti…

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A few weeks back, I decided to surprise my mother with a trip to Florida to see her. She turned 75 this year and I was long overdue for a visit. When Mom found out I was coming, she started planning a deep-sea fishing trip.  

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The final words my father spoke to me in 1992 as I descended the escalators at New York’s Penn Station were, “You are stuck there for one semester. At Christmas, if you hate it, we can talk about it. But don’t go calling in two weeks saying you want to come home.”

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STARKVILLE — As it happened on Nov. 6, the pollsters on both sides were uncannily accurate in their predictions that Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democratic challenger Mike Espy would run a close first and second in the open primary and leave Republican challenger Chris McDaniel…

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OXFORD — For weeks if not months, there is media and coffee club speculation about the hearts and minds of American voters. Then election day comes, and we find out. The answer in Mississippi was, “We’re pretty much where we were two years ago, four years ago, six years ago …”

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Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse has written a book, “Them: Why We Hate Each Other — And How To Heal.” Sasse explores the many reasons we hate each other, and suggests three points we can do to heal our divisions.

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What a week. Tuesday was election day and, even though it wasn’t a complete disaster for the nation, we certainly gave away some of the momentum that we had going on under the first two years of Donald Trump’s presidency.