Monday, January 28, 2013


"Never drink and drive!"  We've heard that for years and the reasons, the common sense of it, are so obvious..yet many do. One Kentuckian did so recently and now he's dead..and so are 4 innocent people in the car he hit head-in. Nor is this example an isolated one.

"Never shake a baby."  But people do..and babies die, or live on with stunted brains and lives for many years. It's common sense, but apparently is overwhelmed by crying infants.

The media keeps running stories (and  many public service announcements) about these common sense know people see, read, hear them...but..shaken babies happen. Even more so drunken driving.

More innocent people die...victims of UN-common sense.

"Don't leave children in cars unattended."  Happens in cold weather and hot---and kids die. Saw several news stories on this very recently, in Kentucky and elsewhere. Is it "I'll just be gone a few minutes", or the lack of common sense?

Don't use fireworks on a nightclub stage. Not just in Rhode Island, or Argentina, or Brazil, but anywhere.  The latest inexcusable lapse of common sense came in a university town and students were among the many, many victims.

I will bet you, sometime in your life you may well go to a club or some "venue" where pyrotechnics will be used in a confined space. If that happens, please...walk quickly (don't run) and leave.

Lest you and your friends be the latest victims of uncommon sense.

I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


While you may have been on break, a study sent to NCAA presidents shows its public members spend, on average, six to 12 times as much on athletes each year as they do on you "regular" academic students.
Nowhere was the disparity worse than in the SEC, where the ratio was 12 times as much!!!
Biggest single item: coaches salaries, and the growth of athletic staffs.
While these are "averages" and will vary by acdemic department, the report continues the growth in jock spending over mere academic students..and covers the period from 2005 to 2010..when most public schools were pleading poor mouth to state governments (with reason)..yet in Division 1 schools, such as UK,, athletic spending went up twice as fast as academic spending.
Median SEC athletic spending in 2010 was $164,000 per athlete, versus $14,000 per academic student. The lowest paid SEC football head coach just got a $500,000 raise..about 33%.
At UK, let it be noted the Athletic department often diverts money from its budget to help the school in academic and non-athletic ways.. (Under some past ADs,  this wasn't entirely voluntary. Some presidents engaged in arm twisting to get the needed funds..but at least UK's program, often the richest in the conference, could do so).
But the ratio---and what it implies--is very much out of whack. Corrections need to be made. Many presidents are understandably reluctant to cede any powers over any school budget (or ratios) to the NCAA, and I am dubious the NCAA will gain even a modicum of such powers.
But, this puts the responsibility right where it belongs..on the individual school and its president and board. Can we get a "Committee of 1,000" started to act as academic boosters for UK, not to raise funds for more luxurious  locker rooms or executive suites at stadii?
I am not holding my breath, but how can any thinking Cat fan look at the NCAA report and not know things have to change and more emphasis must be put on academics.  Must. Now. 

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, January 14, 2013


When governments violate the law?

It's a question that needs study, because America is supposed to be a nation of laws.

This was called to my attention, again, by a weekend AP story. It pointed out that, the law to the contrary, two major "climate assessments" were NOT issued under the last President Bush. (Bush didn't like the global warming argument; wonder if that had anything to do with it?) Now that Obama is president, who is concerned about global warming, the reports have been issued..and, surprise!, they show serious climate problems.  (What you don't know CAN hurt you.)

In the fiscal cliff debacle, Congress violated its own law by not deciding on time.

(BTW, they're at it again, the bill for Sandy relief is, at this writing, loaded with pork and earmarks that have zip to do with Sandy relief..and they promised they wouldn't do this.)

We need a National Citizens Whistle Blower.

It ought to be the courts, but they usually can't originate anything on their own initiative. It might be the Justice Department, but the Attorney/General is named by the President.  Would Bush's A/G ask.."Mr. President, where's that climate assessment report?"  Somehow I doubt it.

OK, I've raised the issue. Do I have a solution? No. But we need one.  Just another of democracy's unanswered major issues. And, as Churchill reminded us.."Democracy is the worse form of government ever devised--except for all the rest."

I'm just sayin'....

Monday, January 7, 2013


Congress fell off the cliff, UNnecessarily, but as many had predicted, until 2 old pros, Biden and McConnell crafted an omnibus solution to some of the problems and got it thru the Senate. The House balked for a while until Democratic votes saved the compromise and Speaker Boehner's bacon.
As usual there were some good things in that plan and some bad. But as CBS News first pointed out (and only lately have the Kentucky print media used the story!) that bill contained $74Billion--that's Billions--in pork projects and earmarks..totally UNrelated to  fiscal cliff topics. One source estimated the bill saved perhaps $85Billion, which the earmarks largely took away.
It was a bad ending to the fiscal cliff saga..and, since the bill originated in the Senate, McConnell had to have known about the earmarks (which both parties and both chambers have pledged to either cut drastically or eliminate). He needs to be mercilessly questioned about these by all the media and especially by his Kentucky constituents..
Slow forward a few days to the new Congress, which then voted on $9B in emergency aid to Sandy's victims in NJ, NY, and CT. Our new 6th district Congressman, Andy Barr, in his first major vote, voted against this aid!  Makes you wonder if he had gotten 650 more votes two years ago and taken office then, would he have voted against emergency aid for the tornado victims of Kentucky?
This is neither "compassionate conservatism" (remember that phrase of not too long ago?) or even intelligent conservatism..and it is a bad start to his term as our representative.
I'm just sayin'...