Sunday, April 27, 2014


Senator McConnell got caught this week in a political hassle over what he said and what he meant about jobs.  He told the Beattyville newspaper editor it wasn’t his job to bring jobs to Kentucky, not even distressed areas. What he meant, he said later, was that the primary responsibility for that lay with state and local economic development agencies.

OK, they certainly have a role here, maybe, maybe the primary one..but his comments are a far cry from what he said when the Toyota plant the C-J’s Joe Gerth pointed out in his Sunday column.

Usually senators fall over themselves trying to get jobs for their areas, especially defense jobs---whether needed or not. You and I, as taxpayers, have wasted millions on UNneeded planes and vehicles, so Senator Phogbound could claim credit.

Bringing jobs to an area, when legit, is an old political activity, and often the very best of politics. Why McConnell and his party in the House can’t see this is beyond me. The American infrastructure..roads, bridges, water and sewer lines, have crumbled alarmingly over the past 2 decades as we UNwisely spent Billions on those same items in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is your job Senator to keep U-S highways SAFE, pipes available for CLEAN water, bridges that don’t collapse, and so on..whether in Kentucky or the nation. And it’s good politics, too.

Now, please do your job!

And speaking of jobs..I wish UK’s Julius Randle and James Young well as they apply for jobs in the NBA. Wish they had stuck around another year..and I’m convinced Willie and Alex and Dakari and the Twins made the right job decisions…and in the end will profit by it.

“One and done is NOT a good idea”  Nor is “succeed and proceed."  Otherwise, we should refer to them as “athlete-students” or maybe “$tudent-athlete$.

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, April 21, 2014


4 French journalists were freed last week, ten months after they went to Syria to cover the civil war there, and were captured..though we still don’t know by whom...or how they got released. Dozens of journalists still remain captives of one group or another.

Syria is the most dangerous country in the world for reporters. 121 died covering the war in 2012, and between 2007 and 2012, 430 journalists you could read a small paragraph in the Lexington paper, or a twenty second voice-over report on the local TV.

The U.S. keeps saying it is trying to limit injuries to civilians in our drone strikes, but in Yemen last week, a drone killed  nine suspected (not confirmed, just suspected) al-Qaeda militants…but also killed and wounded some civilians, including, reportedly, children.

50 years ago, April 24, 1964, LBJ sat on the front porch of a poverty couple in Inez, Ky., as he announced his war on poverty. The couple, as with the War on Poverty, did not fare well. After a brief boom, coal jobs decreased drastically in E. Ky., and the family suffered additional health problems. Both of them have since died…and recent statistics show the growing disparity between high and low income groups in the US..with CEOs being paid more and paid without any relationship to their firm’s stock or achievements..and more families entering poverty.

GM waited years to recall another group of its cars that had serious defects.  This time the Saturn defects were known to a government auto safety agency, which failed to issue a recall.

And a provision of the auto industry bail-out may exempt GM from liability, even for deaths caused by its defective cars. Congress wrote such a provision into the bail-out law...and now those chickens, and amputations, and life long health problems...and deaths...are coming home to roost.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Because it claims it’s still losing money.

Surprisingly, during its first year after expansion, and with a new lucrative TV contract, the SEC claims to have lost nearly $3.4 million. That didn’t stop the SEC board from raising the base salary of Commissioner Mike Slive to $1.2 mill—actually a loss when measured against a whopping bonus he got the year before—but still.

These figures come from a recent USA Today Sports report---and what they tell me is..BBN prepare for:  (a) higher ticket prices, everywhere, (b) a premium pay, exclusive SEC sports channel starting this fall, and (c) major legal expenses as the SEC battles college players who want to be paid something for their efforts.

These just may, I say may, be worth real protests on State Street (no burning couches tho!)

It certainly is worth a protest by the UK student government, and the LFUCG council, now renegotiating new cable contract with Time Warner (or Comcast which wishes to buy Time Warner.)

BTW, a Consumer Report survey of 18 major cable systems throughout the US found Time Warner just above LAST Place in consumer service, and Comcast just above TWC.  Some record.  And for this we should pay more?

Well, we’re going too..unless students, Bubba and Mrs Bubba, Dr. Eli, the UK Board of Trustees, Coach Cal, the BBN, and our city council truly have UK fans at heart and object..strenuously object and soon…over plans to raise ticket prices and cable fees…both of which are just around the corner…say as soon as  the next “Play Ball!

I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


I suspect all our hearts go out to the families of those on this missing plane. They need answers; the world need answers.

But a pair of books this week reminds me of the much larger answers the world needs also…as we still hear occasional calls for war. (Crimea, Ukraine, Iran, Syria, North Korea, etc.)

83,000 American service personnel are still missing over the past century---their families need answers, too.

“Vanished: the 60 year Search for the Missing Men of World War Two” details the attempt to find just 11 of them, the crew of one bomber, of one flight of one day in just one part of the vast Pacific War. And half of those 83,000 vanished during our Pacific campaign.

Efforts continue to find, and return home to families those missing in ‘Nam, occasionally Korea, but this much, much larger group from the 40s gets scant attention. In trying to locate and answer the fate of this one plane, we get a view into so  many things  a nation and its people never contemplate when they go blithely off to war..even justified war as this one was.

But how even more chilling is the thought that there are still families without fathers, sons, brothers from wars that might have been avoided…had governments tried harder. The second book is “The Sleepwalkers: How Europe went to War in 1914.”  This war could have been avoided.

And then there are  the Fort Hoods that seem to inevitably happen after all wars…and the bombs and mines that still turn up after a century or more to kill and maim those who didn’t know they were there, if they even knew there had been a war.

As frustrating as diplomatic maneuvers can be, as tempting as it is to punch Putin in the nose, or Abbas (this week, maybe Netanyahu next week), and as slowly as they grind…better diplomacy. War solves many fewer problems and leaves many more agonies to fester over much longer time.

I'm just sayin'...