Monday, March 28, 2016


In recent days 2 tragedies have visited this area. In one a young mother and her 2 young children were killed, apparently by her husband, a PTSD victim from his Afghan war service.

And, a young wife from here and her husband were victims of the Brussels bombing.

To  me these are victims of war.

You can argue the US got into both the Iraq and Afghan wars because of misinformation...WMDs and the Taliban-AlQ link..(and should not have done so, as I believe)…or you can argue we needed to enter both wars for national security reasons.

Either way, the loss of these six young people are  casualties of the war.

Whether PTSD strikes 5 years after wartime service or 25, it is war related..and it is a cost of the war as surely as paying for veterans who lose a limb directly in the war and have to be maintained forever.

It is a cost usually not reckoned with when we count war’s cost, but it should be.

And it needs to be present in the debates we are hearing in the presidential campaign, from those who want US “boots on the ground” in Syria, and maybe Libya, and maybe back in Iraq, and…..

I'm just sayin'...

Sunday, March 20, 2016


First, our state senate is out of its ever lovin’ mind when it passed a bill to end state inspection of coal mines...leaving the job to the feds.

This is not the way to help balance the budget, by firing more state workers in E. Ky. Can any coal supporter, in their right mind, believe we need fewer mine inspections---given safety concerns there..and the abject failure of many mine owners in this area?  See: Blankenship, Don & Massey Energy on the web.

Mine safety is often what the foreman makes it. The senate bill would end required mine foreman safety training and leave it up to the companies. (See Blankenship, Don and Massey Energy on the web.)

The feds and the state inspect for different things at different times. Both are needed.

Then there’s clean coal. It is possible…but while mine owners and the industry, even the UMW support it...nothing I am aware of its being done to make it viable. Indeed the industry keeps claiming EPA regs are the reason the coal industry is suffering, while almost never pointing out that coal’s chief competitor, natural gas, is both considerably cheaper these days, as well as cleaner.

Unless you’re HRC, that is.  When she stumbled by saying, badly, “we’re going to put a lot of coal companies out of business”, the industry pounced. Clinton tried damage repair with a letter to her supporter, W. Va. Senator Joe Manchin stating she strongly supports those “who keep the lights on” and pledged to bring jobs to Appalachia and support “carbon capture technology”—which many believe is the best method to make coal clean.

The industry keeps saying It supports “clean coal” but talk is cheap..I wish they would finally walk the walk.

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, March 14, 2016


Our new governor may not know when committees meet, but thankfully KET does.

I’ve been watching a lot of its excellent coverage, and recommend it to you.

From just 2 sessions last week:

An earnest lady lawyer-legislator extolled the virtues of her bill to teach the Bible as world literature (which it is, as is the Quran) in a high school elective course. She said her bill was drafted carefully to avoid any small problems with the U.S. Constitution, and said her experience guaranteed that. The state Civil Liberties Union issued a statement that such courses almost always involved problems with the Constitution  but the committee adopted it, nearly unanimously. 


A second committee hearing found a former prosecutor telling the members why he had changed his mind on the death penalty. Among other arguments was one that there is never any guarantee we will not convict, and put to death, an innocent person...and as long as that is true  (and it is) it is better we go with life in prison rather than have the state, on our behalf, kill someone. (There are lots of other compelling arguments against capital punishment, which I support, but his experience lent new credibility to this one.)  BTW, after years on the other side, the Herald-Leader editorialized in favor of ending the death penalty, too.  The committee disagreed, although the vote against the bill to end capital punishment failed by only one vote---the closest margin yet. 

Surprise....I'm  just sayin'...

Monday, March 7, 2016


Which, of course, is what the  caucus was…even if its originator, Rand Paul, wasn’t there.

Did it work?  Not for my money.  (Or Sen. Paul’s $250 grand).

Yes, the turnout was up, slightly. Usually its 16 percent, early figures say 17.9%.

And that’s from only 111 counties, ‘cause the state GOP (RPK), in its wisdom, disenfranchised 9 counties, mainly in Eastern Kentucky, where there was no voting place…and little, if any, plans to transport voters to a nearby county.  Still think RPK should have been sued over this.

For those who think the higher turnout, and appearances by 2 of the candidates made Kentucky more “relevant”, NO Way.  Each 4 years has its own relevance, and that doesn’t necessary carry over four years later.

Beyond this, in 2 major GOP counties in N Ky, there was just one polling place for over 50,000 registered voters, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist…

RPK had promised statewide returns at 7pm. Nope, took til `10pm, and at least one county chairman said he couldn’t get thru because the lines were jammed.

As a citizen, I’m  happy about an 18% turnout (for the most powerful office in the world!  18%!!!)     As a reporter, waiting for returns that seemed never to come, I’m unhappy.  RPK mishandled the caucus, and it should NOT be repeated.

Some UK football player, who I don’t know, apparently did poorly on his NFL tryout, then opined..he would now go into TV sports, saying  “ain’t got nuthin’ better to do.”

I don’t know if he meant it, or had his tongue firmly in cheek. I will say, given the daily grammatical errors of our local TV broadcasters, he’ll fit right in.

I'm just sayin'...