Monday, November 19, 2012


I hope you watched Ken Burns' "The Dust Bowl" on KET last night, and part 2 tonight...if not, catch the repeats to come later on. This is a little known weather catastrophe of the early '30's in the Midwest..though the East was not immune..and a tragedy almost entirely caused by man's errors.  (Today we are still debating man's role in global warming, though there is no debate there is global warming. Perhaps we have learned something from the Dust Bowl).
If you want to see a short version of Burns' four hour epic, you can find the 25 minute "Plow that Broke the Plains" on YouTube (with a great score by Virgil Thompson)---the best documentary on the Dust Bowl til now..and produced (for $6000!) by a young West Virginian, Pare Lorentz.  Well worth the time.
The Middle East is aflame as I write this, without knowing where we are heading. Maybe a land war. I do not understand Hamas's reason for starting all this by firing rockets into Israel. It knows it cannot win such an exchange, and another invasion by the best army in  the Middle East will have the same result..defeat for Hamas and needless victims on both sides.
There is no such thing as a "surgical air strike", be it bombs or rockets or drones. Innocents suffer as they have in Iraq,Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan and Afghanistan..all those from U-S drones. One of the things I hold against President Obama is that he has drastically increased our use of drones...which violates every canon of international law, sovereignity, and the rule of law...making us prosecutor, judge and jury..all based on "intelligence" about "suspects." I hope the same intelligence minds that brought us the WMD fiasco in Iraq, where thousands died, aren't involved here.
Even if terrorist "suspects" are involved, there is a way to bring them to justice that follows our judicial traditions...not by dealing death from the skies which, inevitably means the killing of innocent others. There are pictures all over the internet of these innocents, which asks the question the current issue of "Counterpunch" asks..."Is this child dead enough for you?"
Remember these actions were taken by the Obama administration in our name and financed with our money! This was a topic I heard mentioned only once in the debates, when it should have been front and center in any foreign policy discussion.
Israel and Hamas will fare no better; parents and children will be killed on both sides as the drones watch and the rockets fall.  And don't believe those statistics about Iron Dome bringing down most rockets, and averting innocent deaths...(remember back to the Patriot misssle kill rate of a decade ago..highly exaggerated..said to be  90% when actually more nearly 25%).
As I write, frantic efforts are going on to avert expansion.
Blessed are the Peacemakers. May their tribe increase and succeed quickly so the world may have a true Thanksgiving.
I'm just sayin'...

Monday, November 12, 2012


One may take several lessons away from last week's elections..probably depending more on what you believed going in, than coming out.  Here are a few of my "lessons."

Statehouse Democrats tried hard to redistrict the Congressional races..and it did NOT work. See: Chandler, Ben (Remember the courts upheld these districts while throwing out the maps drawn for state races.) But it failed. The "safer" 6th district for the Dems went to the GOP. And some Jessamine County citizens are still to be represented, along with Owensboro, several hundred miles away, by a man who previously, if now, had little knowledge of the issues of importance to them.

But in January the House and Senate will come up with new districts and try to get court approval...if a challenge is filed. These maps will, as ever, be designed as "incumbent protection" districts, not true representation of local citizens.

Citizens everywhere should insist this job be taken out of the hands of the legislature, and given to a nonpartisan commission of poli-sci people, and geographers and population specialists--as  many states do...with the final maps subject to being overridden by an extra-ordinary legislative majority. Will Kentucky be that smart?  When race horses fly!

We MUST end the electoral college. One person, one vote--that's true democracy. It took 125 years to get U-S Senators to be elected by the's about time we extended this to our Chief Executive--just as some districts do surveyors and dog catchers.

Polls are getting better..the ones in advance..and exit polls are getting worse. I have asked the experts, googled and searched, and I still can not find an explanation of the margin of error they supposedly have. Several experts have told me they don't understand this either. We should end this invasion of our supposedly secret ballot.

Finally, may I express my absolute dee-light at Indiana's rejection of the GOP candidate for the know, the guy who defeated Sen Lugar in the primary, but later didn't understand rape?  Before coming here 37 years ago, I spent 9 years covering politics in the Hoosier state.  Dick Lugar is my idea of a great public servant.

Any of you who wish to sign my petition nominating ex-Senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga), and soon-to-be ex-Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind) for the Nobel Peace Prize for their work in attempting to lock-up all the loose nukes and nuke material around the world, feel free.

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, November 5, 2012


My blog last week reported that Judge Will Scott was smearing his opponent in a state supreme court race, charging Judge Janet Stumbo was "soft on crime" when there were many reasons she could have ruled the way she did.

And I reported both had signed an agreement to keep the race civil, but there was probably no sanctions if either didn't.

My blog was hardly out when the Judicial Campaign Conduct Committee issued a news release saying both candidates had violated their agreement---Scott for false and misleading TV and newspaper ads, and Stumbo for a misleading radio ad.  Stumbo said she had stopped running the ad; Scott is still running his TV smears.

The committee is an independent, non partisan group of 16 interested citizens of both parties from all over the state. It has no powers to fine or sanction, only to point out to the public when pledges are violated, and to encourage judicial candidates to campaign with integrity.

Statehouse Democrats are running TV ads that are the absolute essence of "smear tactics" and similar to Judge Scott's. The ads oppose GOP candidates for the House, saying they opposed the "pill mill bill", so of course they must "support pushers!"

There are many reasons people oppose legislation. I have covered legislatures in six states over 20 years and have often seen motions to adjourn be controversial. I support House Bill 1, but I can understand several arguments against it..not one of which includes supporting drug pushers.

House Democrats should be ashamed.

This week all those ads will end; you voters get to end them 

 By the way, the US is not #1 but 138 out of 172 countries in voter turnout.  Please do your part to get us a higher ranking.