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Columns

  • 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.

  • Goodbye CATS, hello progress

    CATS has breathed its last breath.

    After several attempts in recent years, Kentucky lawmakers have finally agreed on a plan to hammer the final nail in the CATS coffin.

    So, after 10 years of working toward the 2014 proficiency goal, we're changing course. Sounds kinda discouraging, doesn't it?

    But the fact is that stuffing CATS back in the bag could be the boost that education in Kentucky needs.

  • Onions on pizza or blood pressure control?

    "Hello, Supreme Pizza, Carmen speaking, how can I help you Dr. Applebaum?"

    How do you know my name?

    "Caller ID, my friend, would you like the usual, vegetarian with extra onions delivered to 23 High Side Lane?"

    That would be great.

    "Ok, Dr., it will be there in 20 minutes and we'll charge it to your credit card on file, OK?"

    Sure, thank you, goodbye.

  • Sunshine is for more than just flowers

    Sun - shine [suhn-shahyn] n.

    1. the shining of the sun; direct light of the sun

    2. brightness or radiance; cheerfulness or happiness

    3. the effect of the sun in lighting and heating a place

    4. a place where the direct rays of the sun fall

    Say you have gone to a government or school board meeting to hear and maybe even participate in a discussion about why a certain action is being taken.

    Then, to your surprise, a vote is taken without that discussion taking place.

    What happened?

  • From the ridiculous to the stupid

    It always seems as if something breaks down or needs replacing whenever large bills are due.

    If it's time to pay the homeowner's insurance premium, then one of our vehicles needs new tires. If it's time for property tax bills, then the hot water heater goes out. That's just the way life is.

    Somehow, though, while there might not always be money for the things we want, there always seems to be enough for the things we need.

    But for those people who have more money than they know what to do with, companies are now making more and more "must have" items.