Friday, June 22, 2012


While many UK students were on summer break, some hopefully with a summer job, 140 UK employees lost their jobs--permanently.
That UK had to cut staff was not surprising, given the years and years state legislators have devoted to cutting back on higher education. A budget is a statement of policy, .and each state budget reflects the views of House & Senate, Democrats & Republicans, legislators & to what is important, and what isn't.
Higher education lost---again.
Contrast that with pious statements of state officials that Kentucky's most important resource is its youth...(its undereducated youth, apparently).
This is due to a "no tax hike" approach. Or, more pragmatically put.."I won't vote to raise your taxes so you will vote for me next election."
And so we have..140  fired here (160 more jobs not filled.)
And--Social workers carrying 3 times the recommended case load, so babies fall thru the cracks and are shaken to death by ill-suited parents.
And--Inadequate roads, poorly maintained..with pot holes that cause accidents that cause deaths. (Too bad lawmakers can't be sued for indirectly causing deaths and injuries.)
And--Mental health staffing so bad an unattended man walks away--to his death.
And--More and more meth labs killing more and more people because there aren't enough police to find them all, quickly.
And--Not enough auditors so several sheriffs are on the take, buy votes, look the other way, or state agencies, even elected officials, spend what tax money there is illegally.
Is this really what Kentuckians want?
Maybe you will consider asking your local representative, during the fall campaign upcoming, "We need better  roads (or schools or health services). Will you vote for them?"  But: don't forget to add: ..".and I'm willing to pay more taxes to get them."
That's what it will take.
I'm just sayin'...

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Some of you may be saying.."Watergate??"  If so, your high school (and college) education has been sadly neglected.
Watergate-40 years ago-was an attempt by a profane, meglamonical president to use all the powers he had, and others he assumed he had ("When the President does it, it's right" was the excuse  Nixon used  to tv interviewer David Frost, placing the office--but especially himself--above the law)  to pursue an ever explanding list of "enemies" by means fair, but most often very, very foul. And for that, and 2 young reporters, backed by a great paper, our country escaped serious danger to our democratic institutions, in a scandal which began with a White house led burglary of the Democratic National Committee offices in a building called Watergate.
Now Washington, which seldom learns from either history or experience, is trying again to probe leaks from "the government."  This time it's said those leaks, reported in the media, are said to harm national security. But, as the 2 Watergate reporters, Woodward and Bernstein, said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation", reporters have a much better track record at protecting national security than many federal agencies.
"Leaks" are an American institution.  "Leaks" are a way of life in DC.  "Leaks" are not new, and have been used by many administrations over the years to seek public approval (or disapproval when  sending up a trial balloon.)
My favorite story about government leaks involves a famous Kentuckian... the late Ed Prichard, a brilliant man who in the 30s was a member of the White House inner circle.
He was in a small group, so the story goes, meeting with FDR to discuss a major new program the President wanted Congress to pass. After some discussion, Mr. Roosevelt decided to send up just such a trial balloon to see how the program might be received.
"Prich", he said, "you leak this to the Post."
"I can't do that, Mr. Preisdent," the young Brain Truster replied.
I can just see FDR, looking incredulously through his pince-nez: "Why not?"
"Because, Mr. President, I already have."

Sunday, June 3, 2012


A couple of weeks ago I saw the Lexington Advertising Club gave out its annual "Addy" awards, for the best ads in different formats and media.
I prefer to hand out the "Baddy" awards for the WORST in local ads.
Winner again this year--surprise! surprise!--the  ads for American Freight Forwarders, which continue to talk down, actually shout down at 200 decibels, to gullible Kentuckians.
Losers again are the customers who buy there, and the station amangers of our local TV stations who continue to run down their medium by letting such ads run, without asking them to tone down the cacaphony.
Somewhere in economics (not my college major) there's a principle that the bad will drive the good out of circulation. In econ this may apply to currency, but it works in ads too. Already at least one of our old-line, traditional furniture stores is running ads using that same, loud truck diesel horn that AFF uses to announce its impending nonsense.
Maybe a national advertiser has also taken note.  Stanley Steemers used to feature its laid back crew. Have you seen its  latest ads featuring some rock group that devastates a home owner's rooms, all the time shouting at the top of their voices? (No music here.)
And in #2, the American Window group of ads..not because any one of them is inherently bad..but because they are running so very,very,very,very,very many they have overstayed their welcome. This happens more times than ad agencies will tell their clients, but let me tell them, as a viewer,  it happens. (And I "love" a variation on this where a short local ad runs once, then a different ad runs, then the same first ad runs again! Bor-ring! Turns me off; I won't use their product or service, and I suspect the same is true for others watching.)
These ads make "Where price sells cars!" , which retired the Baddy trophy years ago, seem tame by comparison.
If you see a "Baddy" ad, in your own judgment, let the stations know because of that ad you are not inclined to buy that product or service, and when it comes on you change channels--I do. The stations may get the message. Don't call our Baddy winner; they just won't understand. Tell the stations you expect them to do better. 

I'm just sayin'...