Monday, July 16, 2018

The Punishment Does Not Fit The Crime - Unless You Want To Burn Papa John At The Stake

So, enough already!

He confessed to using the “N” word, pressured into it he says, and what has happened to him?
Lost his positions with the firm he founded (in a broom closet) and built into 4500 stores globally (and all the jobs that went with them); had his name taken off the stadium at the school he loves—UofL, resigned from their board, --- all this in his home town of Louisville, and had been the object of universal disgust (his fair name and reputation) everywhere.
Worse, he has seen UK pile on, taking his name off a major building there, ending its financial relation with him and his foundation.
Now Papa John is well off—financially; several times a millionaire, many homes, private chopper, etcetec—all of which he earned by his hard work (and better ingredients) now lost in the blink of an eye.  Money yes, but what of one’s lost forever?
This is more than “let he without sin cast the first stone,"  but it is that, and jealousy, and much much more..including entirely too many columns of calumny in the C-J and elsewhere....but...let’s move on folks (and my colleagues in journalism)...there are more important news items, and things to be learned here.
For one, how to get a commercial name off a public stadium.  I have made no secrecy of my distaste  for Kroger Field. Before the UofL board realizes it now could rename Cardinal Stadium Commonwealth Stadium, is there any sexual or racial dirt we can get on a top Kroger executive and retain that time honored name here?
And two, the really important racial news of the past week is that the feds have reopened Emmett Till’s murder case—at last. If you don’t know the details here, please Google. The feds have pretty well known for years who killed this young black boy (as they did in the church bombing in Birmingham that killed the 4 young black girls,) but proving it was another matter. The Justice Department says “new information” caused the reopening. Let’s hope this does lead to justice in this most unfortunate case, and one far more important than one where the “N” word slipped out in a semi-private  conversation.
I'm just sayin'...

Monday, July 9, 2018

If I Were A Betting Man (I'm Not, But...)

1. A/G Beshear has ruled that blocking protesters entrance to our Capitol was illegal. This opinion does not have the force of law (as his opinions do in other areas) but they are guidance to state officials and agencies. KSP & the Governor’s office may have the final say here. Now that Beshear is officially running for governor (surprise!), I would hope Gov. Bevin would accept the A/G’s opinion, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
2. Even more so I wouldn’t bet the guv would accept the court’s opinion in another case. Franklin Circuit Judge Shepherd (the one he called a “hack”) has ruled the state must pay the Courier-Journal $33K in legal fees because it illegally withheld public records as to stockholders in a joint state-private firm, Braidy Industries. The court upheld A/G Beshear’s opinion that the state could not do this—because public money was involved. Now the guv has a right to appeal this decision. I hope he won’t—you & I have a right to know how OUR money is being invested—but I wouldn’t bet on it.
3. Because Kentucky (and many other states) allow nursing homes to report on their staffing problems voluntarily (that means UNverified by a public agency) we haven’t known if the homes followed state law requiring minimum levels of staffing. That’s important for the well-being and health of our loved ones. But  now we know. The NY Times citing data gathered under the Affordable Care act (Obamacare) shows many homes violated staffing laws, thus providing inadequate care.  I would hope state legislators would follow up next year and require such data to be made public here. But I wouldn’t bet on it. Instead, watch for the nursing home industry to lobby Congress to remove that provision of Obamacare so we won’t know of their less-than-adequate care of our family members.
4. Largely overlooked by the media when the Supreme Court upheld the latest version of the Trump discriminatory travel ban (thank you Judge Gorsuch and Mitch) was a footnote saying the 1944 decision UPHOLDING the wartime internment of US citizens of Japanese ancestry of that same Supreme Court was probably wrong. News reports conflict but PBS’s able court reporter said the court couldn’t bring itself to go all the way.  Downright shame. This modern Dred Scott decision has been law for much too long. I want to bet this one will eventually be overturned, but with the upcoming conservative court planned by Pres. Trump, that may not happen...either.
Elections have consequences.
Whatever your views, your failure to vote has even more.
I'm just sayin'...

Monday, July 2, 2018

Purple Fingers And The Fourth of July

But First:

Item One:

Gov. Bevin isn’t doing too well in the courts. He has lost 3 major decisions so far, and this past week a big one in federal court, which held that he/Ky. could not require medicaid recipients to work in order to continue their benefits.
The guv has apparently learned, tho. He didn’t refer to that federal judge as a “hack” or “stupid” as he has certain state judges. Federal judges can be a little testy when called such names, and have been known to throw the authors into the pokey.
But, properly, the guv has asked a state judge to reconsider his ruling tossing out the legislature’s pension overhaul. This was needed because the judge, as courts often do, ruled on very narrow grounds...and the state needs clarity on provisions not covered in the ruling, especially whether the new law violates the state’s “inviolable contract” with state workers. Good call, guv, needed...please just don’t keep calling judges names when they rule against you.    
Item Two:
 You’ve probably been seeing a lot of public service announcement about not texting and driving, not using cell phones and driving, and so on...but now, “progress” folks; "streaming” (video, not just audio) is becoming more and more installed in cars. BUT, only 2 states ban video use while driving. One would think all those state PSAs on mere texting would have led them to (finally) get ahead of the tech curve, and have bans in place when video also came. But no. And for you Detroit, did we really need this???
Item Three:
America’s Independence Day comes this week.  As I reflect on our freedoms, and revere the First Amendment (“Je suis Capital Gazette”), there is one area where I depart. You can’t force (or shouldn’t) people to talk—free speech; or go to church; or force them to come to a meeting; and so can force them to vote (or pay a helluva penalty)..and this is where I diverge from the usual view of freedom. I think voting is so essential in a democracy it must be required of all citizens. Or face a major fine; or jail time with repeated offenses. Yup, I’re outta your mind Ken, that’s not freedom  Maybe so. Is a 10% turnout in an election in a democracy freedom? In many other countries, including some with poverty, little education, civil wars, people have waited days (yes days) to vote...not hours; they have slogged thru war zones to vote, and faced incredible hardships to exercise this most fundamental right, when so many of us ignore it. They got purple dye on their fingers to show they had voted in many of these countries—and in many of these countries, armed partisans of one side or the other lopped off those purple fingers in retaliation.
But these cruel acts are not limited to the Third World.  Mexico voted Sunday on a new president. Not that any of our local media has called your attention to it.  Or that 130 candidates or potential candidates for offices in Mexico  in that election were murdered; yes, killed because they ran for office, mainly local offices. Crime gangs killed many, thus deciding the outcome of that election by bullets not ballots.
We MUST do something to increase voter turnout here...our democracy is at stake. I think it should be required. You come up with a better that works....please let us all know!

I'm just sayin'...