Monday, April 24, 2017

Thoughts On Recent News Stories

1-Conservative columnist Ann Coulter and I don’t agree often, but I just knew –when I wrote last week about how today’s students do not understand free speech and what it means---and used the Berkeley campus at Cal as my main example, that she would be next. Sure enough, students there threatened a riot if she was allowed to speak. The university buckled, then relented and said she could talk at another time and place. Ms. Coulter demurred, and may sue...and UC still doesn’t understand what Free Speech or Academic Freedom means.
   
You may get a better idea from 2 recent books: "Free Speech: 10 Principles for a connected World," by Timothy Ash; Yale U press, and even more so from “The Soul of the First Amendment," Floyd Abrams, also Yale Press. Mr. Abrams, a long time Free Speech stalwart, was also the counsel for the big corporations who won the Citizens United case...a rare fall from grace—but that’s my opinion, and that’s what the First Amendment is all about.
 
2—America is not the only country having problems with these issues—the individual vs. Society. Australia, a country entirely descended from immigrants, (except of  course for the original inhabitants who the newcomers pushed out) is about to revise its test for new citizens in a way  designed to keep immigrants out, especially Muslims.
 
Vice-president Pence just visited Australia, as part of his Pacific tour, assuring the PM there of our support---on foreign policy matters, but given the President’s views on such things, maybe on immigration, too.
 
3—on that same official state tour, Mrs. Pence got off Air Force 2 in Seoul wearing leggings. Some of you may remember that  before United Airlines dragged a Kentucky doctor off a plane for Louisville, it had turned away two young ladies who showed up for boarding wearing leggings.  Somehow I think Mrs. Pence would not have had any trouble.
 
4—And, as some wiser person said years ago, “the Past is always with us.”  Western Kentucky University's student government voted for reparations due to slavery and for “full and free access for all black people” and other groups. Is this carrying Political Correctness too far??? President Gary Ransdell said WKU will not follow the student resolution, but then he’s retiring soon.  Look for this topic to come up again and elsewhere in Kentucky.
 
5—Speaking of Kentucky’s history, some Lexington tv newswriter last week wrote of “the fictitious” Colonel Sanders.” Dead he may be, but “fictitious,"no. ...but it got on the air. One wonders how?
 
I'm just sayin'...

Monday, April 17, 2017

Political Correctness Vs. The First Amendment - Or Whatever Happened To Free Speech?

Back in my college days, centuries ago, I was involved in a number of liberal activities...but none compared to those wild eyed radicals at Berkeley and the University of California.
 
They were truly wild, and they claimed credit for starting the “Free Speech” movement on college campuses.
 
I’m not sure that was right because ever since universities arose, about the 13th century, the entire idea was to investigate all things, discuss all things, wonder about all things...and not let political, social, or financial pressures from governments, churches, donors, or the schools themselves thwart free inquiry. One must hear from ALL sides of an issue before answers---“truth”—could be found.
 
What a turnaround recently!  At Berkeley, students rioted, yes rioted, in opposition to an avowed conservative speaker, and in the name of PC and free speech. What crap. And this has been followed at many schools across the nation, including UK and elsewhere in Kentucky. Now we hear such “liberal” schools as Berea and Centre may have opposition to graduation speakers on the same grounds...we don’t want to hear their views.  Hardly academic freedom.
 
And not very “politically correct” when one considers the views of our Founding Fathers.
 
I stand with Thomas Jefferson, founder of the University of Virginia who said in a case involving some people suspected of the serious crime of treason,"Let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it.”
 
That is true “free speech;”that is true “political correctness.”
 
I'm just sayin'...

Monday, April 10, 2017

The President Is Wrong; Senator Paul Is Right

Suppose North Korea fired a missile at our navy ships in the Sea of Japan; suppose a Russian sub off the East Coast fired a misile at Fort Dedrick, Md, where we culture and make nerve gases and germ warfare agents.
 
Wouldn’t we consider those acts of war?
 
In the same way, our firing missiles at Syrian airbases...no matter what our justifiable outrage over nerve gas attacks on civilians—is an act of war by the US against another nation.
 
And the Constitution clearly and emphatically spells out how we declare war...ONLY by an act of Congress, not by another executive order by a president...who, like every member of Congress took an oath to uphold the Constitution.
 
Congress has failed in its oath, and legal obligation here for years, but when will it stop and when will “law and order” be restored???
 
Mr. Trump’s illegal act could lead to much worse consequences...such as more US “boots on the ground.”  Do we really want that?
 
Besides, it didn’t work...at considerable cost to the taxpayers.  $60 million in Tomahawk missiles fired off, and within 24 hours the same airfield was up and running with Syrian and Russian jets taking off and bombing more Syrian citizens opposed to Assad.
 
Our “feel good” action may well come back to haunt us. Surprisingly, Russia has objected in terms far less than warlike and should be given some credit---for now. And Senator Paul’s quixotic foreign policy ideas were  right again...and even more so his plea to observe the Constitution.
 
Support of our Constitution should never be partisan.  I hope many of you will object to Rep. Barr and Sen. McConnell before the President gets the idea he can go further with his illegal foreign policy ventures...and the specter of atomic war once again threatens the world...as it truly did not so long ago.
 
I'm just sayin'...

Monday, March 27, 2017

While We Were Watching March Madness

The Madness that is War was going on in many parts of the world...with the danger of more US involvement growing.
 
In one of the worse cases, a “coalition” air strike on Mosul, Iraq’s 2nd largest city, reportedly killed as many as 100 civilians, not involved in taking the town back from ISIS. At first the US said this was a “coalition” event, but later confirmed it was made by US planes...and opened a probe into the civilian deaths and what happened. (Fortunately the original report did not call this a “surgical strike.”)
 
So, once again, as in Afghanistan, Iraq, (not to mention the ancient history in Vietnam), for all our best intentions to avoid “collateral damage” (read  “we killed innocents,”) these tragedies repeat.
 
They will likely repeat again as the Trump administration has indicated it will send more US troops to Iraq—and even Syria. Obama started this but said they would be support troops and not engage in combat. But one US serviceman has been killed already, because his support position apparently wasn’t far enough from the fighting. And military officials said that if our support people were fired on, they of course would, and should, fire back.
 
Meanwhile, the NY TImes reminded us that we are THREE YEARS into fighting ISIS and Congress has not followed the Constitution by “ passing legislation authorizing the anti-ISIS fight.”  Which, as a believer that only Congress may declare war—as the Constitution clearly indicates—makes our effort in Iraq & Syria illegal, as well as immoral.
 
And, by the way, Pres. Trump has indicated he will take such a hard line on North Korea that our new Sec. of State said “all options are on the table,” including a first strike by the US against them!
 
Please keep your eyes on these unfolding  events, and let our senators and representatives know your feelings.
 
*************************************
 
And oh yes, during March Madness, that shyster lawyer Eric Conn pled guilty to fraud...but his hundreds of Kentucky clients still face financial ruin and personal tragedy until their disability benefits, which he screwed up, get straightened out. Our federal and state representatives and agencies have done all too little to help these unfortunate people.  You might let them know your views here, as well.
 
I'm just sayin'...
 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Kentuckians Cried Out; Our Legislature Responded

The theory, in a representative democracy such as ours, is that the people elect representatives who will be concerned about their wishes and needs. (The theory also is if they don’t, they may be turned out of office...may be.)
So how has our first GOP-controlled legislature in a century done under our theory.
On some things, very well...at least if one assumes the majority did want, as it voted, the state GOP program (which is not necessarily the same as the Trump-program---whatever that is today---which may have driven more Kentuckians to vote Republican than the state GOP’s platform.)
On others, well let me offer some thoughts:
1—Many citizens, especially those in eastern Kentucky have complained for years about over-loaded coal truck on narrow roads, never designed for such loads..and the breakdown of those roads, increasing costs of maintenance (where maintained), and accidents, often fatal, caused.
What did our new legislature do?
Raise the load limit for some trucks hauling specific items by 50%. raised the fee on same, and setting up a study of same. I hope people in E. Ky. will watch this one carefully.
2—Lots of us, myself included, are tired of politics by the “Golden Rule”—he who has the gold makes the rules. We want the effect of money in politics to be more tightly controlled, with much more reporting of who gives how much to whom?
Our legislature doubled the amount people and corporations may now give. I don’t remember any of us rallying at the Capitol for this, but it remains to be seen how this will play out.
3—Kentucky has had a moratorium for years on building nuclear power plants, but our representatives in Frankfort ended that. (Obviously they didn’t have any testimony in committee about Chernobyl.) Their theory was we need more power options as coal declines. Maybe so, but I don’t remember any bills designed to help make coal “cleaner” as its advocates (and myself) contend it can be...which should also help coal regain markets.
I am aware KET aired a very interesting program recently on new ways to generate atomic power claimed to be safer, cleaner, and cheaper.
Maybe so; but for now color me both skeptical and wanting to keep UN-proven nuke power out of my home state.
4—It’s hard not to agree that mine inspections work to make coal mining safer. One way to keep coal keeping our lights on is by making that industry safer.  Yet our ladies and gentlemen in Frankfort cut the number of state required inspections in half. Maybe their theory is that The Donald, who says he wants to bring back coal and increase jobs, will do it for us. I have my doubts but a few more inspector jobs won’t help this basic Kentucky industry’s employment very much.
I’m sure our GOP legislative members can, and will cite legislation they consider beneficial to the Bluegrass state, but, on balance, let us not forget there is, arguably, another side.
I'm just sayin'...

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Random News Thoughts

 
1---Based on the news stories I’ve seen from Frankfort, I am amazed at the quiet surrounding a bill proposing to allow any governor to take over, dismiss, and name members of all the public university and college boards of trustees. Even more the quiet from the present boards and presidents at this unprecedented power grab. If you think the Southern accreditation board was just threatening the University of Louisville with loss of accreditation because of Bevin’s shenanagins here...wait til you see its reaction if the bill passes.
 
Of course, it will be the students hurt most---and faculty.
 
Lots of silence from the legislature on this topic recently---as the session nears an end. That worries me, too.
 
2---Thank you Wikileaks—again!  Now we know the CIA  (and our government) have the capability to spy on us thru our smart phones, our smart tvs (!) even our baby crib monitors. Who’da thunk it? But tis, sadly, true..and while the CIA loftily reminds us, by law, it can only use these tools to spy outside the country...does anyone seriously doubt they would  (and have in a few cases, if memory serves) use these at home against American citizens.
 
All in the name of “national security”—protecting our freedoms. When does our freedom to be let alone, and to enjoy free speech in our homes become more important than some bureaucrats’ idea of “security?”
 
3---Hope you saw CBS’ 60 Minutes Sunday night. A very revealing report on one man from Africa arrested, sent to GITMO, tortured (very badly), and whose “confession” then kept him there 14 years...until his legal council (initiated by his own handwritten request for freedom) got him off and the US finally agreed he was not a terrorist, not a threat to our “security”  (there’s that misapplied idea again), and he was sent home.  He wrote a book. “Guantanamo Diary” on his GITMO experience we probably all should read.
 
When will the US—especially Congress—realize GITMO is our Holocaust, and end it—totally and forever???
 
4---and now for something completely different...Just delighted to see Dom Hawkins named to SEC all-tourney team. Richly deserved for a guy who stuck it out for 4 years---while Coach Cal was touting his idea of “one and done.”   
 
Dickie V has the right idea when he talks about “senior leadership” and Dom is a great example of that.
 
Go Cats!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

As We All Know

“It is easier to campaign than to govern.”
 
“The devil is in the details.”
 
Listening to the President’s speech to Congress this week (will there be a later State of the Union address??) I was encouraged. I thought this was one of his best talks and was encouraged both by its tone and by some of the plans he outlined.
 
(I pray for each new president, whether I voted for him/her or not. I want each to succeed because that’s the best way for America to succeed.)
 
But a lot of the good vibes given off by his talk were dissipated later when he told a White House meeting “who knew health care was so complicated.”
 
Almost everyone, Mr. President, where have you been?
 
It bears out one of the points made last fall on Shields & Brooks on PBS. I think it was the conservative Brooks who said “Mr. Trump seems to be constitutionally UNcurious.”  This following some debate over Roe v Wade, which has been a public issue for decades..and yet, campaigner Trump seemed ignorant of the issues here, and their importance to many people.
 
And so now, it seems, with health care.
 
House Republicans in the past 4 years have tried over 50 votes to repeal Obamacare—and not once, when challenged by the “loyal opposition” did they come up with an alternative. It was just Repeal, Repeal, Repeal. Maybe they realized how very complex our national health care system is....and wanted no part of getting involved with that.
 
Whatever; the nation IS involved now..and the new administration. Repeal, replace, when, in what order, how---these are important questions for the new administration...and it is not unfair to say  that some citizens’ LIVES hang on the decisions made.
 
Good luck, Mr. T---and you, too Gov. B.
 
Only a little less than “the fate of the Republic”  (and your party) may be hanging on your answers.
 
I'm just sayin'...

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Truth Is Out There

(somewhere..covered up by errors and mistakes)
The New York Times Sunday took a full page ad containing just 7 words:
“Truth. It’s more important now than ever.”
I agree...and to try to help area citizens understand better, our local SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists) chapter held a public meeting last week to point out differences between fake news and the real thing. The H-L did an advance story, but I saw none of the actual meeting, and only  1 tv station covered it so far as I know.
We in the media are often our own worse enemy..and that’s especially true when we report stories full of grammatical errors and, worse, factual errors. Neither helps our mission to seek the truth and present it to readers, viewers, and listeners.
For example, one day last week, between the hours of 5:30 and 7pm I caught the following:
Lexington tv station---a good report on a Special Olympian about to go “halfway around the world” to compete—in Austria. Austria is about 6 thousand miles from Kentucky; halfway around the world is over 12 thousand miles.
The NBC Nightly News, reporting on tax reform plans spelled it “Refeorm.”
CBS in a report on Trump’s approval rating used a poll with a FIVE percentage point margin of error. That means a possible ten percentage point swing, large enough to invalidate the findings.
ABC’s evening news promoted 3 upcoming stories, ALL listed as “next.”  Only one story can be “next.”
The PBS NewsHour had a sponsor telling us “it’s 2016!”
Earlier one of our local stations presented two field reporters who told us “ I seen...”
And on an ESPN halftime report, one of its commentators reported (Joe) “run the court” well.
You may think some of these errors are minor; I don’t. If reporters don’t have much concern to use correct English, why should we think they have any concern for correct facts????
Without correct facts, there is no Truth.
And Truth, as I hope we all agree "is more important now than ever.”
I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Water Water Everywhere - (And Not A Drop To Drink!)

Why is it not possible to mine coal and NOT pollute nearby streams???   
 
Trump has moved to end EPA rules forbidding this, which leaves me puzzled.
 
Coal is a major engineering process...and I refuse to believe it cannot be done without endangering the lives of those living nearby by dangerously polluting their water supplies.
 
How important water is to all of us was re-emphasized this week by boil water advisories in Richmond and Nicholasville—temporary ones. But people in Eastern Kentucky have lived for years with bad tasting, foul smelling, discolored water as their norm. In many cases this is due to coal mines polluting their streams.
 
What profit a man to have a job if it causes his family to become ill?
 
I’m sure there are overreaching EPA regulations...as an interesting column in my fave morning Lexington paper pointed out.  BUT, surely there is a common sense way to allow mining without endangering that most precious commodity of water...and reasonable people mought to be able to find it.
 
I'm just sayin'...

Monday, February 13, 2017

Not Ideology, Just Common Sense

You can support the 2nd amendment (as I do, tho I disagree with the top court’s interpretation) and still not want to see any more school shootings such as Columbine Virginia Tech, Newtown...and how many others?
 
So current moves to take back mental health checks (involved in many shootings, remember Virginia Tech,) or drop the requirement for background checks, or training programs in gun use and safety (especially handguns) are not just wrong...they run contrary to common sense.
 
You don’t have to get involved in AK-47 issues, or ammo sizes or muzzle lengths to know that the issues listed above CAN—and should—be in our laws WITHOUT any dangers to the 2nd amendment.
 
Get real, gun lovers—or prepare for more stupid, unnecessary school shootings and more children dying.
 
And as for Wall Street, some years ago I interviewed  CBS News’s economics reporter, asking him what made Wall Street run. “Fear and Greed,” he shot back immediately.
 
Have we forgotten the Savings and Loan scandal, the mortgage frauds, the banks' involvement in our last recession (only 8 years ago) and several others...all foisted on Main Street by the Fear & Greed---mainly Greed on the part of those Big Banks, and some not so big?
 
Attempts to cut back on consumer protections, to allow banks free range in areas they really shouldn’t be in, more freedom for hedge funds and derivatives (these are but legalized gambling on a national scale) and the “fiduciary issue...which requires people who sell you retirement plans to put you first, not their commissions...these are now under attack.   (Did you see the cartoon in my fave Lexington morning paper recently?  The salesman says to his customer,"this last paragraph simply provides that I can’t lose any money, and you can lose lots and lots of money.”  That’s the fiduciary issue at work...and it will be foisted on us if the Trump administration and the GOP-controlled Congress has its way.
 
I'm just sayin'...
 
These run, IMHO, contrary to common sense....and good politics!.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Rat On, Governor!

When the British army, then the most powerful in the world, surrendered to a “rag-tag group of rebels” at Yorktown (with considerable assistance from France,) Cornwallis’ army band played “The World Turned Upside Down.”
 
That was my reaction to a major pronouncement by Gov. Bevin in his “State of the Commonwealth” speech this week.
 
In calling for special sessions to deal with pension reform---and tax reform—he said:
”Bring the sacred cows out of the barn. Some will be returned to the barn, some will become hamburger.”
 
When asked that meant on KET, long time political reporter Al Cross said “It means taxes are going up.”
 
This from a conservative, Tea Party governor!   And he swept away 20 years of  tax reform studies by Democrats, all of whom proclaimed they must be “revenue neutral”  (some taxes up, some down but no hike in taxes overall)—and all of which went nowhere.
 
He’s right...and, unfortunately, got a cautious reaction by House and Senate GOP leaders. This may be our best chance to update an old, very complex tax system; where we exempt more than we take in...not a good basis for a modern state.
 
Gov. Bevin also called for an overhaul of our foster care system, by some measures the worst in the nation, and long needed. (If done, this will be a major contribution to our state by the Courier-Journal, and C-J reporter Deborah Yetter whose series have chronicled major problems which have resulted in child deaths (yes, deaths) needlessly.
 
There have been calls for these before, but this just may give Kentucky its best hope for arriving in the 20th century---if not the 21st.
 
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
Tho the governor’s speech ended a few minutes after 8pm, my C-J arrived with nary a line about it, no story at all, not a nary. What gives here? Betcha if it had been a UofL basketball game, over at 8, we would have seen a story.
 
I'm just sayin'...

Monday, January 30, 2017

No Grand Pronouncements This Week

Just a few little notes to consider.
 
I have taken our state’s 2 major papers for years, both as a journalist and as a citizen.  I believe they are trying to do their best in trying times, but some things just don’t make sense to me.
 
For example. The comics are among the most often read parts of any paper, yet Sunday the Herald-Leader published NEXT Sunday’s comics!  How could this happen?  Surely someone there reads them, and should have spotted the error.
 
Now what? Does the H-L publish this past Sunday’s comics next week, or repeat them?
 
And how could the C-J have a full page color shot of Willis and the final UK-KU score, but NO story in the Lexington edition? The H-L had many and, presumably it is printed (at the C-J’s Louisville plant!) after the C-J’s own edition.
 
Ever since our local paper made its bargain with the Devil to give up local printing and go to Louisville, many stories (tho not as many as I had feared) have been delayed 24 hours into the next day’s edition.  (Even as that they often beat local tv newscasts on major stories, especially from certain “beats” such as courts, which our tv stations generally don’t cover.)
 
I have a great newspaper carrier, and he often leaves me a note that not enuff C-Js were delivered to Lexington so I don’t get one this day.
 
Why?
 
The C-J knows how many subscribers it has here..why would it not send enuff papers, or...why does it deliberately shortchange them?  90% of the time when I don’t get a paper, I can drive to the nearest vending machine or store and get one.
 
And why is it my clear  plastic wrappers let rain in, but the blue ones don’t seem to?  Why not use the blue wrappers all the time?
 
And why is the H-L threatening legal action if our city council passes a law forcing papers to be placed on our porches, out of snow and rain?  That’s the way it was for years and years. You’re all heart down there on Midland Avenue.
 
Finally, in the hopes of helping all of you who don’t understand the arguments about fake news and similar things, maybe this example will help:
 
Fact: the world is round.
Alternate fact: the world is flat.
 
I'm just sayin'...

Monday, January 23, 2017

Never Pick A Fight

With someone who buys ink by the barrel.
 
An old news maxim that you can’t win fighting “the media."
 
Trump hasn’t learned this yet, and may not, but let’s hope he and his press minions sober up.
 
Case in point: attendance at the inauguration.
 
Aerial photos and other evidence show conclusively his was far less than Obama’s but new White House press secretary Sean Spicer insisted the “truth” was out there, and The Donald  won.
 
Professional  journalists do NOT estimate crowds---ever. They get someone else, more qualified to do so and attribute the size to them. Most DC events are overseen by the National Park Service, and crowd estimates usually come from them...NOT individual reporters.
 
Spicer should know this...he may not be long for this world.
 
To the rest of you...viewers, listeners, readers, this advice:
 
Fasten your seatbelts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!!!
 
I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

News In Short Takes

I think John Lewis is wrong about Trump being an “illegitimate” president. But if he thinks so, why doesn't he offer an amendment to eliminate the Electoral College, and elect people by popular vote...solely?
 
I agree with Mr. Trump that the Democratic National Committee had very weak controls, making Russian hacking, or whomever, easier. But that’s no excuse for the FBI failure to go directly to them when its suspicions were aroused. instead, it took weeks.
 
Finally, a convicted drug dealer in Lexington gets his due...found by a judge to be responsible for the death of a buyer...he got a life term. It’s still murder in my book.
 
Something’s fishy about the Horse Park decision not to bid the World Equestrian event in 2022. The last one brought money and jobs to this area---goals of the Bevin administration. The decision was supposedly based (I have my doubts) on the “discovery” of $12 million in deferred maintenance needs. As I have said before, fix it now, or pay more later on.
 
Kentucky has had over 10 years to comply with the federal Real ID law...both governors and legislatures have been remiss here...and now you and I may suffer...not being able to get on planes, or visit Fort Knox (where our gold is.) The guv supported this last year, then vetoes the bill he asked for, supposedly because his Tea Party supporters didn’t like it. And so the rest of us may have problems soon.
 
A major marijuana report was issued recently.  Yes, there are medical uses for it, as I have believed, and Yes, states that have recently made recreational use legal have experienced a rise in auto accidents. My major concern: does smoking it cause cancer?  In my opinion this is still in the category of “needs more research.”
 
And the really big news of the past week...on the world’s (and US’s) wealth inequity,  EIGHT people have more money as the poorest HALF of the world....and  the world’s biggest 10 corporations have combined revenues equal to that of  the 180 poorest countries combined. Can you blame people for thinking the deal is stacked against them???
 
I'm just sayin...

Monday, January 9, 2017

The More Things Change

Eight years ago, as the Obama administration was beginning, Kentucky senator Mitch vows all his cabinet appointments would be subject to strict scrutiny, all their ethics and financial statements would be required before hand...BUT...this week Mitch said such statements wouldnt be needed before hearings so the new Trump administration could get started early.
 
For years when Dems controlled the House in Frankfort, Republicans complained---correctly—the majority party wouldn’t give them floor time to debate, wouldn’t let them offer amendments to bills, and treated them shabbily.  This past week, with the GOP running the house, guess what?  Committee hearings on their bills were held without advance notice, floor debate was limited to 30 minutes, and Democratic amendments were not allowed.
 
After telling the media (and the people) “Jobs are our first priority”, up pops abortion restrictions big time and revamp of the UofL board, among the first acts.  Yes there were some measures that impacted jobs...right to work and prevailing wages...where it can be argued jobs might be depressed not added.
 
Gov. Bevin asked for, and got, swift passage of the right to work law...after arguing that not having this put Kentucky at a great disadvantage in competing with other states around us, all of whom have such a law.   How did we ever land Toyota???
 
Back in DC, two senators (of many in the GOP) who have long opposed adding to the national debt, Cruz & Rubio, joined 49 other GOPers urging raising the debt limit by a mere 9 TRILLION dollars. Why? They argued it was needed as a procedural step to eliminate Obama-care.  Priorities, priorities.
 
Stay tuned..and remember all this next election.
 
I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Thoughts On Recent News Stories

1---Someone (?) tried to hack a small Vermont electric utility.
 
Thwarted without damage THIS time...but our entire power grid is vulnerable...AND...the power companies keep telling us their VOLUNTARY acts will keep us safe;without any federal rules or requirements.  This a major disaster waiting to happen.
 
2---Coal ash...that discard from mining and power plant operations...(remember the containment pond in Tennesse that collapsed holding this and killed some people?)
 
The Bevin administration wished to issue new orders calling for less rules here, and fewer inspections.  Both major papers editorilised against these proposals. The administration replied the media was “misleading us again." Enviro groups agreed with the media, so they  must be misleading us, too.
 
3---H-L story pointed out difficulties in tax code reform.
 
Kentucky takes in $10 billion in taxes each year...while failing to collect a possible $12 billion due to tax loopholes or exemptions.  Guess we will  make it up by volume. But then, each loophole has supporters, such as exemptions on horses sold at Keeneland. Boy, if there are any people who can afford to pay taxes here, it’s race horse buyers.
 
4---Coal mining reported one of the safest years ever last year.
 
BUT, the deaths did not factor in the low production, so maybe this good news isn’t so good after all.
 
5---Lexington has a new high school.
 
Frederick Douglass high...named for the  (not so long ago segregated school here.) The school board, after public comments made that decision...but also this week decided on the school’s mascot and colors.
 
Wouldn’t it have been much better to also get public comment, and maybe led the schools first students/staff make these decisions?
 
I'm just sayin'...