Monday, October 31, 2011

Term Limits For Politicians: The Good & The Bad


I do not support term limits on elected officials.

Two basic reasons:

1--it is not a limit on the office holder, but on my right to vote for someone. If it's a good person, I want to be able to vote to keep them in office--more to follow. And if it's a bad person, I want them to know I voted against them. Does that mean I run the risk a majority may not agree with me and vote to keep a "bad person" in office? Yup, and isn't that what choice and freedom is all about. If I have no choice, I have no freedom.

2--as I look at places with term limits, there never has been a problem with finding a second bad candidate to follow the first. It's finding good candidates that's the problem, and when we do find them, we need to keep them in office, not subject them to some arbitrary limit. Case in point: Crit Luallen. She has been a great auditor watching over taxpayers' money; finding graft and corruption from Frankfort to very small counties (where local officials and the media either couldn't or wouldn't find it themselves). The next auditor may be splendid, but is an unknown quantity now. Crit's great record we do know, and she's being forced out of office.

That's why I dislike term limits.

OK, voting. You will seldom, if ever, hear me say citizens should be FORCED to do something, but I do think people should be forced to vote! There is no guarantee a 99% turnout would make better decisions than a 20% turnout--which we had in one recent governor's race, but the odds definitely favor a better decision with more voting.

And I would give incentives to vote; maybe a discount on taxes, half price car licenses, more precincts, easier rules for absentee voting (but not too long a time or lax rules easily subject to manipulation), and some negative incentives too; a fine if you don't, gotta take your license over again each year if you don't, (grab people by their car keys and their minds will follow!), 2% added to property taxes, etc.

For all of you who shout.."that's undemocratic!", it may be..but so is electing people to run our democratic government units..from constable to president..on a steadily diminishing voter turnout.

If you don't like my plan, come up with your own to get more people to vote.

Nothing but the future of our country depends on it.

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, October 24, 2011


In the euphoria over the President's announcement that our troops, including many Kentuckians, will soon be home from Iraq, comes the carping opposition of many GOP candidates; who seem to forget the original deadline was set by President Bush.

We forget so much about foreign affairs and it often comes back to haunt us.

Take the recent announcement by the US of the arrest of an American in a scheme to kill the Saudi ambassador, a scheme we claim was sponsored by Iran. Assuming the U-S is right, this time, and that's a big assumption, let's pause and consider a few details. This is a bizarre plot in which the U-S alleges a Texas used car salesman asked a woman he hardly knew to find him a Mexican drug cartel hit-man to carry out the plot. As we wait for more "facts", let's not forget our own recent history.

Take what Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers, the GOP chair of the House Intelligence committee told CBS upon the plot's being made public..."Do you want a nation (Iran) that is actively involved in assassination in a foreign land, for political purposes, possessing nuclear weapons. I think no one, no rational person, will come to the conclusion that that's a good idea."

Let me see..."a nation with nuclear weapons", such as the U-S??.."actively involved in assassination in a foreign land, for political purposes", such as the U-S?? Have we forgotten Chile in the 1970's; where the U-S did everything but send troops to overthrow the democratically elected Pres. Allende because he was a Socialist--and as all good conservatives such as Henry Kissinger knew, "a Socialist is but a Communist on the installment plan."

The U-S conspired to bring General Pinochet to power, Allende was killed, and thousands more died in Chilean prisons (some were even tossed alive from military planes into the Pacific from ten thousand feet). Pinochet ruled for years as a cruel dictator until even Chile had had enough and tossed him out.

But not before Pinochet not only tried, but actually assassinated a former Allende official by exploding a bomb under his car in downtown Washington! That blast also killed at least one American riding with him. (To this day there is considerable suspicion, but no definite proof, the U-S government was deeply involved in at least the Allende overthrow if not also the Lettelier assassination.)

Et tu, Congressman Rogers?

All of this history, even if known, didn't stop one of the GOP's top hawks, Rep. Peter King and even Vice-President Biden from telling Iran "all options are on the table." That's Washington-speak for "we are considering war against you" and is designed to scare Iran.

I doubt that Iran will be scared, but it scares the hell out of me.

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Puzzle For Today

What do Beattyville, Ky. and October 17, 1940 have to do with what you're listening to today?

(And I do hope you are listening--as well as reading this blog and this website.)

Little known fact: WUKY-FM began its life in Beattyville on this date, October 17, 1940, as WBKY radio...Beattyville, KY..WBKY, get it?

It was a 100 watt station, owned by UK and the Lee County Board of Education; an experiment in bringing non commercial radio to a rural area, and the first of its kind in the country. As with many pioneers, there were many problems, and the station lasted less than a year, signing off in the summer of 1941. (To read more about this station's challenging start, Google WBKY, click on the Beattyville entry....because the call letters were reassigned by the FCC later to a station in Wisconsin.)

And that's because in 1941, UK moved the station to the Lexington campus, changed the call letters in 1989, and voila!...the station you are listening to today.

As a non-commercial, education station, WUKY-FM serves a different function than the commercial stations on Lexington's dial. That's good; there's room for all and for all different types on programming. There are strengths to commercial radio (and downsides, too!--and I got my start there) as there are to non-commercial stations such as WUKY. I'm glad they're both around, we need them both.

Glad you're broadcasting WUKY---and Happy Birthday!

Monday, October 10, 2011


"They say" the one constant in the universe is change.

That applies to knowledge, too. The things we know as fact, the things we have always grown up with, they just may not be true. The function of a university is to teach; but what? And to teach is to question.

For years nothing was faster than light. Now, not only do new experiments suggest some "things" (I don't understand what "things" I admit) may be faster..but that light itself is not a constant, and its speed may change. OMG! Physics teachers may have strokes, but old Albert is probably chuckling.

And that guy who just won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, when he first proposed his "theory", his fellow chemists hooted, even exiled him from their research group. He's laughing all the way to the bank with his $1.5 million award now.

Years ago a teacher told me "it takes the longest time to get an idea thru about 1/4" of a skull into a brain!" Once again a "new" federal study says women who took the drug DES years ago have put themselves and their daughters at higher risk of cancers. But I first heard that possibility in the late 1940s, and this "new" study is but the latest in a long list of such studies. Better questioning by doctors and universities in the '40s could have saved some lives here.

And old maxim in journalism puts it this way; "If your mother says she loves you, check it out!"

Not a bad approach for students, or universities, too.

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Your Credit Card And Mine

I changed banks awhile back, and I'm about to change credit cards because I am unhappy with the bank that issued it--for reasons of its greed and social policy.

You don't know what a wrench this is for me. I hate change in many ways, and am happy in my regular routine, but...

About a decade ago, my employer changed the bank my payroll checks were deposited in, and I inherited a new bank. Good people there, but I also kept my previous employee account in the original bank.

Last spring both banks informed me they would be adding new fees, some of which I felt were exorbitant; especially given bank profits, high executive salaries, and--as a taxpayer--I had already contributed considerable "fees" in bailing them out. I consulted with both staffs, both very helpful, and ended by not just picking the bank with the smaller fees, but also a "local" bank--my newer bank having been sold since I inherited it to an even larger, far away bank.

Now I am reviewing one of my bank issued credit cards. Since I started with it over a decade ago, it has been sold several times and is now part of Bank of America. Its service has been good; I have no problem with that. But recently BA announced it would lay off 30,000 workers...30,000! In these times that is not what a responsible bank should do, exacerbate the economy. Nor am I persuaded, with bank industry profits and those top executive salaries and bonuses, that this is what it should do.

Now BA is going to charge for purchases with its debit card. Hey, first you give them your money, which they invest and make a profit, and now they're going to charge you to give you your money back? Come on! (Another reason among many I have never used and would not recommend you use a debit card.)

So I am determined to change. I have a new bank all but picked out, with better features for the same credit card. And if they screw up, as BA has, I may change again.

This is my personal role in letting Wall Street know I, and I suspect a lot of Americans, have had it up to here (well above my wallet) with their brazen ways. I may not physically "Occupy Wall Street", but my heart is with those protestors..and now my meager bank account is also.

I'm just sayin'...