Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Some News Notes And A Correction

Correction first:
In my last blog, objecting to Ashley Judd’s barring broadcasters from her latest talk at UK (and the school’s going along) I said the silence from local broadcasters objecting was “deafening.” I also said the local chapter of the SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists) had not objected.  The president of the local group, Tom Eblen of the Herald-Leader corrects me, saying he had sent an objection to UK officials not allowing all members of the media to cover on behalf of the SPJ.  Good, but so far no changes that I know of in a bad UK policy.
News notes:
1--- When I was growing up the “Solid South” meant all those states voted Democratic. But ever since Southerner LBJ passed the Civil Rights Act of ‘64, the South has been growing more and more Republican (which says an awful lot!) Today the South is pretty much solidly GOP. So the recent victory in the Alabama US Senate race of Doug Jones over arch-conservative Roy Moore was global news. (Moore, BTW, is much worse than the recent sexual accusations would indicate. Google him for his actions as Chief Justice of Alabama for one example.)  But while the media put the major reason for his loss on those allegations, let me add another factor which may also have been a major contributor to his defeat...the charge by Pres. Trump in his next door speech in Florida that Jones “was soft on crime,”a major charge by the GOP on Democrats. Most people alive in Alabama knew that Jones, then a federal prosecutor, had been the driving force behind successful attempts to bring old Klansmen to justice in their horrendous bombing of a black Birmingham church that killed 4 young Sunday School girls years ago. State officials had done little to solve the case, and when Jones took it on in the '90s such actions could end your political career—or worse, get you killed.
Mr. Trump is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts, which many members of the media have spent the last year pointing out.
Which is the media’s job; speaking Truth to Power, trying to be the public’s advocate.
2---That has gotten a lot of reporters, editors, and photographers killed in 2017:  a  minimum of 81 in fact, according to the annual report of the International Federation of Journalists. (250 more were still in prison at year’s end.) The largest number were killed covering the drug wars in Mexico, while many more died covering wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan—and our disgraceful US policies in those 3 nations.
3---As the Kentucky legislature meets, issue Number Uno is: $$$.
Whether it be more $$$ for pension reform (which both legislatures and governors over the last decade or so are responsible for,) the need for tax reform (which exempts more $$$ than it brings in) or more $$$ for police agency needs, or more $$$ for adequate staffing of child protection agencies—or roads—or higher ed...or you name it, it’s still $$$.
Let us pray this year’s lawmakers will have the guts to tackle the $$$ issue head on, even in an election year, and raise taxes if need be to meet this state’s honest needs---but to do so without making marijuana legal, as more and more states are doing to raise more money. I support medical marijuana, and the industrial hemp industry, but recreational use, No Way. Even California won’t permit smoking weed in cars, even by passengers. We are setting ourselves up for another version of the lies and subterfuge and political corruption of Big Tobacco all over again; even if, as I suspect, smoking the darn stuff will have serious health effects too.
That’s not the way to raise $$$, as we have learned through the health and other costs of smoking.  One evil does not justify another.
I'm just sayin'...

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