Groundhogs used to be considered target practice in some rural parts of the country. They're almost always in season in Ohio, too. Maybe the fine folks in Punxsutawney, Pa. haven’t heard.

Six more weeks of winter, my Ruger Redhawk.

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In other chilling news, there’s a new report that the Ohio Legislature may want to follow the lead of some neighboring states and require that certain Medicaid recipients are working or enrolled in some sort of education or training program.

Kyle Gibson of Ohio Watchdog ( reports that Rea Hederman, executive director for the Economic Research Center at the Buckeye Institute, said Ohio’s Legislature has instructed Gov. John Kasich to seek Medicaid waivers that include education or job training programs. Hederman said the state “has an appetite to seek these Medicaid reforms, and that it is a positive for reform-minded people that the Trump administration is open to a work requirement.”

Talk about an effort in futility for Ohio lawmakers. Why waste the time? If Trump is pushing for any reforms in Medicaid, rest assured Kasich will be pushing against them.

Unless the General Assembly is prepared to override an obvious Kasich veto, lawmakers would be better public servants to focus on something where they might have some actual control – like reforming the ECOT and Gulen “schools” and publicizing all state officeholders who’ve accepted campaign cash from them or their surrogates.

Let’s face it: There will be no restrictions on Ohio’s bloated and expanded Medicaid program during Kasich’s watch. Probably not during DeWine’s, either. Both are politically closer to Ted Strickland than Matt Bevin.

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Closer to home, I can’t help but notice there are old dogs and there are young dogs. Our two dogs are old. I can type a newspaper column on my Mac laptop with Mocha and Turk at my feet. Like many of my readers, they soon fall asleep. And unlike Jim Thompson’s dog, Fred, neither has ever volunteered to pinch-hit and write my weekly offering.

Instead, while I type, they snore. But their snoring is not synchronized. In fact, it is my opinion that they are intentionally out of sync. As Mocha snores and exhales, an instant later, Turk inhales and snores. And so it goes until I either accept it or send them out into the frozen tundra of our 54 acres. On the plus side, I am always able to type with our dogs present, their snoring notwithstanding.

Our youngest daughter’s dog (named after the head coach of the New England Patriots), on the other hand, is much more high-maintenance than our two summertime lawn ornaments. Beli is a young bulldog/shepherd mix, though I’ve yet to see any of the shepherd gene. She has one speed: Full throttle. She is all muscle and teeth. She runs. She jumps. She barks. She eats. Then repeats the process.

She is protective of my daughter, though, and that’s not a bad thing. I suspect if an intruder messed with Meghan, Beli would tear into him. And I am quite certain that if an intruder messed with me, Mocha and Turk would wag their respective tails and expect to be petted and/or fed.

Of course, I still have the aforementioned Ruger Redhawk with which to welcome any would-be intruder.

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Did anyone hear about the American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit in Indiana in defense of Mark May for waving at a law enforcement officer with only one of his supposed 10 digits?

According to a story by Lisa Trigg in the Terre Haute Tribune-Star, May was ticketed after making a rude gesture (i.e. flipping the ol’ bird) at an Indiana State Police trooper.

The ACLU lawsuit in his behalf claims May’s constitutionally protected rights to free speech and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure were violated.

This brings to mind a brief conversation I had with esteemed Greenfield legal eagle Conrad Curren at about the same time Nelson Rockefeller, who was vice president of these United States in the mid-1970s, got away with “flipping the bird” at some hecklers in 1976.

Conrad’s client at that time didn’t fare quite so well. When I asked about why Rockefeller got off and the client did not, Conrad forcefully replied (paraphrasing), “My client is not the vice president of the United States.”


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Lastly, if you haven’t read columnist John Hawkins’ Feb. 4 column headlined “The 40 Iron Laws of Politics in America,” do yourself a favor and read it at

Here are just a few of Hawkins’ 40 laws of politics:

• Liberals care much more about policies that make them feel good about themselves than they do about policies that actually make life better for people.

• The bigger government gets, the worse it serves the people.

• While they are in office, all Republican presidents will be portrayed by the left as either evil, crazy, racist, stupid or some combination thereof.

• The richest, most powerful people in society will ALWAYS find ways to corrupt politicians. That means the best way to limit the power of those people over government is to keep the government small and limited in scope.

• Government is a necessary evil, and anyone who views it as a force for good is not someone you should want in power.

And my favorite:

• The more money the government takes, the less money there is left for the people to use as they see fit.

For more on Hawkins’ commentary, go to

Rory Ryan is publisher and owner of The Highland County Press, Highland County’s only locally owned and operated newspaper.