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Columns

  • Am I really getting paid for this?

    You know, sometimes I feel guilty calling what I do work. Sure, there are times when I feel like I'm not being paid enough. But there are also times when I have to stop and ask myself, "Am I really getting paid for this?"

    After a week of vacation, I returned to work last week with the dreaded prospect of two evening assignments.

  • The older I get ...

    Why is it that the older we get, the more we cherish our youth?

    It's not that I want to be young again ... heavens no. I've just begun to cherish those memories of years past, which really don't seem quite as old as they really are.

    A couple of months ago, I found a friend from 30 years ago on Facebook and, just Monday, I joined an alumni group from the junior/senior high school I attended at Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines. My family lived there for two years in the 70s before my dad retired from the Navy and we moved to Campbellsville.

  • New legislator makes his mark

    "I'm just a bill.

    Yes, I'm only a bill.

    And I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill.

    Well, it's a long, long journey to the capital city.

    It's a long, long wait while I'm sitting in committee.

    But I know I'll be a law some day.

    At least I hope and pray that I will.

    But today I am still just a bill."

    —School House Rock!

    I didn't really pay much attention to politics until I realized that the decisions politicians make actually do impact me.

  • Medicare for all: It's time

    President Barack Obama has said repeatedly that he wants "ideas that work." In spite of this, leading Democrats are working hard on plans for health care reform that will fail.

    These plans, pushed by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and others, seek to extend coverage to everyone by mandating the purchase of private insurance, with perhaps an option to buy into a public plan. They would ease this purchase through an "insurance exchange," while subsidizing premiums for those with low incomes.

  • We need farm policy reform now

    As our government enacts a stimulus package and President Barack Obama announces bold initiatives to stem home mortgage foreclosures, disaster still threatens family farmers and their communities. 

    The government's response to plummeting commodity prices and tightening credit markets leads to the basic question, who will produce our food?

  • Pennies in short supply

    A lady called our office last week hoping to persuade one of us to "share" one of the new Lincoln bicentennial pennies with her. While we were sympathetic that she has not been able to find one, we weren't about to mail one of the keepsakes to a perfect stranger.

    It's not like the pennies have been showing up in pocket change.

  • A little bit about a lot

    A few topics have been weighing on my mind lately, so I thought I would address them all at the same time.

    First up, the Fiscal Court contracting with Campbellsville Baptist Church to operate Veterans Memorial Park.

    I have to say that when I first heard that magistrates wanted to investigate whether leasing the park could save them some money, I immediately thought, don't we have bigger - and more costly - issues to worry about?

  • President's budget: Taxes too much, spends too much and borrows too much

    Many Kentuckians, just like many across the country, are struggling to get by during this economic crisis. Unemployment is at a 25-year high. Too many have seen their hard-earned savings dwindle. And people are worried about paying for education, health care or the mortgage.

    At a time like this, Americans have a right to expect that as they are cutting back, so is their government.

  • Some laws are flat-out stupid

    I've written before about the uselessness of antiquated laws still in existence. Remember the duties of a Kentucky constable?

    According to state law, constables are to be paid 50 cents for making an arrest for a violation involving a motor vehicle on the highway or "taking up a vagrant." The price goes up to $1 for killing a mad dog or "altering a stud, jackass or bull." The fee is $2 for killing and burying a cow and $3 for killing and burying a distempered horse, ass or mule.

  • That great big hill of hope

    Paradoxically, in this time of almost crushing concern over the state of our nation, the inauguration of a new President ushers in, at least briefly, a period of palpable hope.

    Hope for a better economy, for demonstrable progress in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East, and for improvements in everything from climate change to education to Social Security to health care. Indeed, optimism abounds even as things seem to be falling down all around us. It's the American way.

    But those aren't the only things we have to feel hopeful about. Or, for that matter, to worry about.