|By Bob Weaver|
We saw these things coming to pass on a quarter moon night, sitting on the mossy rock at the head of Salvation Hollow with little Billy Braveheart and and the Ghost of Reason Kerby:
- Fox News and CNN will make a mistake and do a report on war torn Afghanistan.
- The Appalachian Regional Commission poverty agency will be ordered by Congress to direct all their resources toward helping the 50 poorest counties in their 406 county domain, to develop infrastructure and jobs, after they spent billions of their money helping "develop" cities like Pittsburgh in the past 40 years.
- The rillions spent on the Iraq war will be diverted to re-build the nations infrastructure, none of which will be dedicated to saving the American car industry.
- Lewis Slider will administer an oath to himself at his annual "swearing in" ceremony on the deck of his house at Hur, validating Hur's "Mayor for Life," passed by the Hur Council for Social Improvement and Upward Mobility a few years ago.
- The WV "See-No-Evil" Ethics Commission will be abolished and replaced by a seven-person Civilian Enforcement Panel that will have the authority to try and convict government officials when they appoint family members to be presidents of colleges and to head agencies, allow public servants to double dip, sell private golf courses to the state, pay their mothers to raise greyhounds, and the like.
- The American Middle Class, by an act of Congress, will be eliminated in the nation's lexicon, to be referred to as the "wannabe class," workers who aspire to have health care and retirement benefits.
- Former state senator and education expert Lloyd Jackson will return as President of the State Board of Education, continuing economies-of-scale school consolidation. He will build the Mountaineer Central Regional School on a 350-acre site beside the Central Regional Jail in Flatwoods at a cost of $1.5 billion. Students from 18 counties will be bused to the facility. Jackson will be quoted saying "Small community based schools create an image of poverty, and do not allow for educational opportunities. Consolidation will save millions."
- Hur's annual "Hunkerin' Ed Cooper Memorial Hunkering" will be held late in the year, allowing participants to get a little more limber.
- Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey Coal, will seek humility and decline his multi-million dollar salary and benefit package and become one of West Virginia's last 1,000 coal miners, operating a mountaintop removal drag-line to prove he is a common man.
- The coal industry will have the miner removed from the state's coal miner memorial on the capitol lawn, and replaced with a braided 500' drag-line which will stretch from the top of the statue across the Kanawha River. It will draw huge crowds of tourists and artists.
- The conglomerate that paid billions for West Virginia's water outfits, will be selling the Mountain State's own water for $2 a gallon on courthouse steps, a free-market endeavor.
- The West Virginia Legislature will have their first annual "Coming Out Day," with nearly all the house and senate leadership finally declaring they are Republicans.
- Governor Manchin will actually announce that thousands and thousands of jobs in WV, even low paying jobs, have left the state, and that WalMart really is the gold at the end of the rainbow.
- The Appalachian Regional Commission poverty agency will hold a multi-state conference at the Greenbrier and invite two token poor people to present their views on poverty.
- The new owners of thousands of acres of Mead-Westvaco woodlands will face up to their corporate responsibility and voluntarily pay tax of $1.50 an acre on land they own in Wirt County.
- Charleston lawyers whose firms were paid $50 million or more by the state of West Virginia for services and settlements will be loaded on buses, without their golf clubs, and taken to urban areas and ordered to provide free legal services to inner-city poor.
- The West Virginia State Police will have an epiphany and realize they are violating the public information laws of West Virginia, and spread sunshine regarding their good works and activity.
- The West Virginia Coal Association will hire a Jeffery Hunter Jesus look-a-like to replace WVU Coach Don Nehlen as their spokesperson. The TV ads will feature coal mining families around the supper table begrudging their plight, will be visited by "Jesus" who says "Never fear, I am the way, the truth and the light - I own the mountains that are being pushed into the streams and these good coal owners are my humble servants."
- Under duress, the WV Legislature will modify its ATV laws and establish the "Free Range Sports ATV and Sports Utility Program." For $100 annually, you can drive on any highway without restraints or helmets, unlimited passengers with no speed limits. The program is expected to balance the state budget.
A cloud came across the quarter-moon and the sky darkened, and old Reason said it was time for him to go.
Little Billy Braveheart said "Please, Uncle Reason, tell us some more."
"Life is full of the unexpected, the unexpected, the unexpected," said Reason ever so softly, as this ghostly presence lifted skyward from Salvation Hollow. "But I'll return someday if you come back for me..."