Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Church—Sacred or Satanic?

For years, the media have been replete with accounts of the pedophilia rampant in the Roman Catholic priesthood and the huge payoffs (tens of millions) by dioceses to victims who have come forward years after they were abused, both genders. Church records confirmed their complaints, notably outlining the transfers of guilty priests to other parishes where they continued their filthy and criminal child-molestation habits, for which they virtually never appeared in criminal court. These accounts have represented only a tip of the iceberg. Bishops and Cardinals have traversed the system, probably guilty of the same things and therefore ill-equipped to inculcate any reforms.

Lately, there has been much reporting concerning the unbelievably corrupt denominational banking system headquartered in Rome, with Italian charges being handled in the criminal courts, something heretofore unheard of. The butler of Pope Benedict, current-Pope Francis's predecessor, was convicted in church court and then pardoned by Benedict. Courageous priests have now come forward as whistle-blowers and have paid a heavy price—ruined careers.

It wasn't until viewing the KET program Secrets of the Vatican (25 February in Lexington, Ky.), however, that I realized something of the magnitude and totality of what can only be called evil vis-a-vis the Vatican itself and the Curia, made up of the three departments: the Sacred Penitentiaria, the Sacred Roman Rota and the Apostolic Signatura, plus a plethora of other councils, congregations and other entities such as the Cardinals, all of which tend to the affairs of the church, with the Pope signing off on everything. His pronouncements are supposed to be straight from God, but most Catholics probably do not believe this, and with good reason.

The shocking thing about the priesthood, especially in the seminaries, is the unbelievable degree of homosexuality. Future seminarians are chosen while they're still in high school, at least in Rome, and in the seminaries they are introduced to sexual perversion or are already homosexuals. This is from Newsweek of May 2002: “ men may make up half the student body at the 76 high-school, college and graduate-level seminaries across the country, according to broad estimates. … There is no rule against celibate gays as seminarians, theologians say.” Yet, the preaching of the church is that homosexuality is an “intrinsic evil” and unacceptable. Since 2002, things could only have become more rotten.

Before he became Pope, Benedict was the Vatican official upon whose desk the buck stopped regarding instances of pedophilia/homosexuality. One supposes he could have expelled offenders instead of having them moved around, but he didn't. It was on his watch as Pope that the bank scandals blew up, with many banks refusing to do business with the Vatican bank. Benedict retired instead of dying in the office, something almost unheard of, but one can see why. He was as guilty as the sorry local bishops and cardinals who allowed child molestation and homosexual behavior to flourish.

Strangely, Pope Francis, Benedict's successor, said to a crowd on a plane, “Who am I to judge,” with respect to homosexuals. In a later speech, he excoriated capitalism because there are poor people in the world, but seemed not to understand that governments and churches do not create the wealth that has turned the Catholic Church into an incredibly wealthy enterprise characterized by ostentatious buildings, with officiants holding services therein, dressed in layers of ornate robes and wearing caps upon caps, depending upon the occasion. Speaking of the poor in his palatial surroundings makes Pope Francis appear hypocritical.

Though Pope Francis has formed a commission of sorts to help him bring about reform, the commentators on the program gave reform little hope, at least soon. The various Curia departments are fiefdoms jealousy guarded by whatever Cardinal or other pooh-bah runs the show. Nor will a homosexually oriented priesthood change overnight if at all. The moral and tangible shortcomings are set in concrete. More's the pity since the Catholic Church is seen as the preeminent Christian institution throughout the world. Instead, it appears to be run by amoral perverts. An old priest described his first night at Catholic boarding school when he was just a boy and was called at bedtime to report to the headmaster to masturbate him.

The saddest account in the program was delivered by a woman who at age ten was raped by her priest who, when he was through violating and bloodying her, said her parents would go to hell if she told on him. That says it all.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pseudo-Climate-Change Upsets Kerry

It's official—the sky is falling! Let those who have doubted this do penance for being both naively misled and then misleading others. The word has been passed down from the highest administrative level and from none other than State Secretary John Kerry, who in a fiery speech in Jakarta told the Indonesians that they were on the front lines of a global-warming cataclysm and that, absent immediate attention, half of Jakarta would be under water by the end of the century.

There was a time when Kerry was ranting about “global-warming” as creating the disaster, but since there's been no global warming since about 1995 that term has been abandoned and replaced by (a fanfare, please) CLIMATE-CHANGE! Kerry characterized climate change as “perhaps the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.” That sounds crazy...because it is. It's his way of saying God has declared war on the world. The climate has been changing throughout the eons of earth's existence. An ice-age was predicted in the 1970s, but then along came common sense.

Indeed, the “experts” say that it was much warmer globally in 1100 than it is now and that the climate changed not long after that into something called the Little Ice Age. They also say that Greenland used to be farming country but look at it now. They also say that eons ago (perhaps during the third ice-age) a glacier carved out the Ohio River with its slithering around before retreating back to the Arctic. The historians note that there was no industry then spewing anything into the air although the natives might have smoked something or other. The warm-age took place from 1000 to 1400. The Little Ice-Age ran from 1400 to 1900.

So...there's climate-change. There was a time when the healthcare plan was called “Obamacare.” Even the president modestly called it that. That term is also gone, and now the healthcare fiasco is called the Affordable Care Act. The lesson: When things are turning bad in this administration the name/subject is changed. Climate-Change has come along just in time to get the nation's mind off ACA, the IRS and Benghazi scandals, and the lies told by Obama (keep your doctor, period) in order to get reelected.

According to the National Climatic Data Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the average contiguous U.S. temperature for December was 30.9°F, or 2.0°F below the 20th century average, the 21st coldest December on record for the nation and the coldest since 2009. The average temperature Dec. – Feb. from 1901 to 2000 in the U.S. was 32.97 degrees F. During 2002 – 2011, the trend was downward by a whopping 4.13 degrees F. The hottest summer in the U.S. occurred in 1936, nearly 80 years ago.

There has been some warming since 1980, the year following a pronounced 25-year cold spell, but temperatures in the U.S. and the rest of the world have been stable since 1999, despite all the emissions from China, the origin of by far the most gases, etc., having built coal-fired generators of electricity in amazing numbers. Kerry was ranting in Indonesia when he should have been lecturing China and India, which together have 2.57 billion population, 37% of the world population, while the U.S. holds 4.5% of the world's people, and Indonesia much less than that.

The Obama/Kerry cabal is part of the United Nations effort to penalize particularly the U.S. (Obama's cap-and-trade scheme the House passed without anyone reading it) in an effort to disrupt the nation's energy sources and fulfill Obama's 2008 promise to wreck coal production and make electricity rates “skyrocket” in his own country. He was elected anyway. The suffering continues in a nation in which energy-suppliers at tremendous expense have practically removed all particulate from the atmosphere, while actual polluters, China and India, fill the air, making a lot of smog, yet don't affect climate.

The climate, as it always has, proceeds through cycles, notwithstanding anything man does. Man-made global warming is a proven fraud but in an election year takes folks' minds off the lies, IRS scandal, Obamacare, the economy, and the insane “red-line” foreign policy. The UN-IPCC/Gore/Obama fraud was exposed in 2009, completely wrecking the glorious climate-conference in Copenhagen in which Obama was to be the star. Although being Nobel Peace (not Climate) prize-winners, neither Gore nor Obama would know the difference between an isobar and Celsius.

According to the American Meteorlogical Society, the three hottest (coldest) years measured by the mean SAT over the United States were ranked as 1998, 2006, and 1934 (1917, 1895, and 1912). With the computerized climate-gang models, it's garbage in, garbage out. It gets hot, then cold and does it all over again, man's ideas notwithstanding.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Creationism or Secularism?

The recent debate by Ken Ham, founder of the Creation Museum in northern Kentucky, and Bill Nye, the TV “science guy,” concerning the origins of earth and its inhabitants provoked at least two Lexington Herald--Leader columns. Both writers used or implied the definition of creationism as a spontaneous making of the world by God in six 24-hour days. One columnist termed the debate as “evolution vs. creationism.”

The definition of creationism: “a doctrine or theory holding that matter, the various forms of life, and the world were created by God out of nothing and usually in the way described in Genesis.” This includes nothing concerning time or any sort of evolution of anything before or after the fact.

One columnist referred to the “Big Bang Theory” as a given, defined as “a theory in astronomy: the universe originated billions of years ago in an explosion from a single point of nearly infinite energy density.” This is probably the theory (not fact) held by most academicians, who believe the explosion is ongoing and that earth is still being propelled from somewhere to actually nowhere since it's inconceivable that the energy can be neutralized, or at least neutralized by any imagined force (a stronger “Big Bang?”). No one has defined or located the “single point” or how detonated.

It's pointless to debate creationism, whether involving 6,000 years or thousands/billions of years, vis-a-vis naturalism (evolutionary science) since both require faith to accept, the former in God and the latter in man. No one has any idea of the world's makeup 6,000 years ago. The creationist can believe the Genesis account as involving six 24-hour days, but a creationist can also see the Genesis process covering a long period, in light of II Peter 3:8, “...With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”

Scientific consensus is that the world is 4.5 – 5 billion years old. The consensus of astronomers is accounted as the universe being 12 – 14 billion years old, beginning with the Big Bang. It seems reasonable that the age of the earth and universe would be the same if they originated with the Big Bang but the academicians think otherwise, as if anyone can comprehend those numbers concerning anything but the national debt.

I'm a creationist with the long view regarding the physical earth and inhabitants but insist that humankind was a spontaneous construct by God, whether 6,000 years ago or six million, and not any part of a chain involving evolution from “lower” forms and transitioning into “higher” forms (like maybe the UFO greenies). The young-earth creationist can believe the Grand Canyon was made in a twinkling while I, also a creationist, can believe it was carved out by water-induced erosion over millions of years. No one can say for sure that he's right because no inhabitant of that era/area or successive ones has ever produced a real-time record.

The believer conceives of the human as a soul, while the naturalist conceives of him as just another organism. Believing the latter is to apply only physical attributes to man, putting him on animal-level, with instincts rather than reason motivating his behavior. Communist atheists Stalin and Mao-tse-tung, acting instinctively to gain worldwide dominance, considered people not as souls but as things and therefore expendable by the manifold millions.

One columnist quoted a poll indicating that only 43% of republicans believe in evolution, while 67% of democrats do. Does this mean that republicans (conservatives) are not “know-it-alls” and that democrats (progressives) are? In four years, President Obama progressively evolved (his term, so no pun intended) from insisting marriage to be only a man-woman thing to man-man now. Non-evolving Senator McConnell says “nay.”

The other columnist wrote that he couldn't conceive of a human and dinosaur sharing the earth concomitantly, though he has no idea when either one originated or about the makeup of the world more than a few thousand years ago, based only on speculation informed by very short-term scientific research—in other words, the notions of wildly disagreeing “experts.”

Even many ministers (Ph.d crowd) consider at least the first 11 chapters of Genesis as myth. I take it as truth, with the long view— thousands, millions, billions of years. Who knows? God spoke...period!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Governmental Pie-in-the-Sky

Using $465,000 of federal money and about two years of discussions in Lexington, Ky., transportation consultant Santec (hired May 2012) needs months more to decide which of Lexington's downtown streets must be converted from one-way to two-way streets, reversing the successful effort decades ago to undo the daily, numbing gridlock that made downtown an obstacle course. In the bargain, turn-lanes and actual on-street parking were produced. The horrific jams were ended.

It's obvious that no changes need to be made and if the city fathers/mothers listen to the citizens and vote accordingly none will be made. There's a small group of “important folks” who are determined to return the city to gridlock in order to make downtown more of a party-town, a fun/convention/sports/district, complete with an opened water-canal that was enclosed by concrete even more decades ago because it was...well, a water canal and a problem, just like railroad tracks that were justifiably removed.

The matter should have been settled by now, but there may be another fly in the ointment. The widest most easily traveled street is Vine Street. It actually has parking spaces and four-five lanes that allow passage through downtown in just minutes. The aesthetics-folks tried to get part of this street closed a number of years ago (another part as a street-park) and the commissioners actually gave the closing a first ordinance-reading. The citizens rose up and the matter has been buried ever since.

Santec's problem now may be that the aesthetics-folks have decided on something new, a complete renovation of Rupp Arena (seats 23,000 for basketball and has recently been renovated) and the convention center for a cool $310 million, especially separating Rupp (with those luxury boxes for the fat cats) from everything else. Vine Street is the main thoroughfare through the area. The picture of the complete project in the Lexington Herald-Leader of 11 February includes the naming of two streets, High and Main, but no mention of Vine, the most important and best traveled.

Indeed, the picture shows Vine not at all in the project. Rather, it seems to show a canal where Vine is now, and one can picture a boatman from Venice propelling the tourists over the short expanse of water. Nothing was said in the article, covering pages, about Vine Street or the colossal waterway (if that's what it is). It would be closed at the intersection with Broadway, and that closing would virtually demand that Main Street be returned to gridlock-land – one-way.

If this is the plan (and I don't know), though the mayor hasn't mentioned it or at least the paper didn't mention it, it's a sneaky way to once again try to thwart the citizens in their desire to be able to get around downtown without spending much of their time just sitting in traffic and also dodging the parking garages. The new plan includes yet another parking garage, this one underground.

Just the plans for renovating Rupp (one building) have cost $5.5 million at a time when the $22.5 million bond issue currently tied to the center is not scheduled for full discharge until 2021. So, better than $6 million have already been spent, without a feasible plan for financing the project in place yet. The governor has proposed $65 million in state-issued bonds but the legislature would be ill-advised to go for that and likely will not, with the state having a hard time even paying salaries and especially pensions.

Across Main Street from the Convention Center/Rupp is Victorian Square, a collection of shops and restaurants about to be completely overhauled. If the streets are returned to two-way status resulting in gridlock, the new owners might regret their decision. This result would also tie up everyone trying to get to ballgames at Rupp and anything at Convention Center, with parking a nightmare.

The Yum Center problem in Louisville provides a cautionary tale hopefully not too late for the learning. The highly ranked UL basketball team plays its games there and other activities take place. However, the bonds issued vis-a-vis that project have been downgraded to “junk” status. The Great Recession is still full-blown, notwithstanding glowing statements to the contrary. The actual unemployment rate of 13.1% is proof, not to mention inevitable new taxes to support both local and federal spending.

Doing nothing downtown will hurt nothing downtown, and saddling the taxpayers (who usually get stuck) with this new project is unseemly.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Friday, February 14, 2014

Pernicious Polling

The contempt in which media-types hold the citizens is amazing. Lexington Herald-Leader political writer Sam Youngman recently said in a piece of 11 February that Senator McConnell, though well-known, suffers from the fact that people don't like him, as proved by a 60% disapproval rating in the recently published Bluegrass Poll commissioned by the state's two largest newspapers and two TV stations. Youngman didn't mention that 66% of the people polled were registered democrats.

Do Youngman and the H-L actually believe people are so dumb that they can't see through this subterfuge? No geographic demographic was presented for the poll, i.e., statewide or local, so one presumes by its name that the poll was conducted in the Lexington/Louisville/Covington triangle, a democrat state within a state, so McConnell actually did quite well. Anyway, I strongly disapproved in my boot-camp days of the antics of my company commander, but I did not dislike him. Actually, he was kinda cool.

Youngman then launched into a recital of the reasons folks should like McConnell (his significant achievements) but actually didn't, therefore making him dead meat on the basis of a poll obviously rigged to suit the paper's agenda. Youngman then posited that since he's so disliked McConnell will be forced to go negative against Grimes, the presumptive democrat in November, and that this drives the numbers down with folks who don't approve of mudslinging (surprise, surprise), and that for McConnell the numbers can't get much lower anyway, apparently making him toast.

In the Bluegrass Poll, Grimes outdid McConnell by a few points, but Youngman said this: “For Grimes, who starts in a strong position, the danger is that she is largely unknown... .” That's a beautiful oxymoron. If she is so largely unknown, how did she get to be so dominating? Answer: People just hate McConnell so much that even an unknown orangutan could easily beat him.

According to the BG Poll, nearly half of registered voters had either no opinion or a neutral opinion of Grimes. Does this mean they'd never heard of her or had and just didn't care one way or the other? Youngman didn't explain but did say that this circumstance constitutes a “danger” for her and mentioned that McConnell “excels at defining his opponents negatively.” That will drive down his numbers, however, so Youngman can be relieved. Make that burnt toast.

On 13 February, Youngman explained—or let others explain in his behalf—that McConnell is responsible for Fed Judge John Heyburn II's District Court decision upholding the Supreme Court's decision allowing homosexuals to marry each other. The reason: McConnell recommended Heyburn to Bush 41, who nominated him to the judgeship. That makes McConnell the guilty party just like Obama blames Bush 43 for everything bad from bee-disease to the current recession and uninsured folks. What a stretch!

McConnell has always stood for traditional marriage so Youngman, in a surprising attack of honesty, quoted McConnell, who said, “I will continue to support traditional marriage and fight to make sure that Kentuckians define marriage as we see fit and never have a definition forced on us by interests outside of our state.” Youngman also mentioned that McConnell noted that 75% of Kentuckians voted for the constitutional amendment in 2004 banning same-sex marriage.

To make things even-up, Youngman mentioned that Grimes, in lock-step with the H-L, has supported same-sex marriage, noting that she and her husband, Andrew, have been married for seven years, presumably to each other, and quoting her, “I want to make sure all individuals have that same opportunity.” Don't all individuals already have that same opportunity—heterosexual marriage, or am I missing something here?

McConnell has Primary opposition from Matt Bevin, a Louisville businessman, whom Youngman quoted as saying “it was 'no surprise' McConnell was a part of Heyburn's assent to the federal bench.” Still laughing? Youngman mentioned that a Tea Party fund-raising group backing Bevin said in a news release that “a McConnell crony forces gay marriage on Kentucky.” Still laughing?

The questions on the virtually democrat-revered Bluegrass Poll have not been published, so one can only wonder how it was rigged. It may not have been, since 66% of the respondents were registered democrats registering 60% disapproval overall of old Mitch.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

64-Crayon Protocol

Under the heading See vermilion and turquoise, not just black and white in the Lexington Herald-Leader of 08 February, retired math teacher and sometime columnist Roger Guffey allowed that “life is like a box of crayons.” The theme seemed to be that folks should change as they mature from seeing things as black-or-white (absolutes) in favor of seeing things in many colors (64-crayon protocol).

Guffey wrote, “In a perfect world, as people mature they would learn that there are very few absolutes in the world: most things are not black and white nor are they even restricted to a few colors.” He probably meant “black OR white,” but in any case the world is not perfect, as Guffey would agree, so he must logically mean that in an imperfect world maturing people will recognize nothing as black or white, just in another shade, i.e., no absolutes.

This gets a bit scary. In a society where right and wrong (white and black, respectively) are determined on an individual basis, proper behavior could be anything from committing common decency to committing monstrous crimes (shades of some kind, but never black or white (no absolutes).

Guffey might be on to something, even if accidentally. A look at current society indicates a move toward nearly anything being okay as long as one person does no harm to another, with harm defined by the former and the law reflecting the mores of the society, which have been changing drastically since about the 1960s, when the hippy-dippy flower-children came of age and forsook the mores of what Brokaw called the “greatest generation” and earlier ones.

The mores of 1919 resulted in the ban-by-amendment to the U.S. Constitution of the manufacture, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages though the ban didn't last long as the nation blasted through the “roaring twenties” to the Great Depression thirties. Alcohol was/is a cancer on society and another generation was decent enough to do something about it. Such moral rectitude is lacking now.

According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, in 1973 homosexuality per se was removed from the DSM-II classification of mental disorders and replaced by the category Sexual Orientation Disturbance. In either case, homosexuality was/is considered an illness, presumably treatable, like other abnormalities. For obvious biological/sanitation/disgusting reasons, it rendered homosexuals unacceptable in the military as well as other organizations, creating discord and destroying morale.

Homosexuals are celebrated now as bravely “coming out.” FLOTUS invited Jason Collins, a pro basketball player who recently “came out” (first pro athlete) to the state-of-the-union address as her guest. Brave. She also invited a U.S. Marine who had been grievously wounded in battle. Brave. See any difference?

The latest celebration of perversion concerns Michael Sam, a college football player who just “came out” publicly because he was about to be “outed” anyway. CBS Evening News' Scott Pelley on 10 February compared him to Jackie Robinson, former army officer who broke the color line in major league baseball, actually exhibiting courage in both capacities. Encouraged by the president, men may now marry men in many states and be treated as husband and wife, something accounted as exponential perversion/insanity only a decade ago. Social blasphemy in both cases.

Guffey took his usual shot at churches, this time for opposing abortion (and contraception anent the Catholics) but not encouraging adoption. He could have mentioned rampant homosexuality and pedophilia in the Catholic priesthood, but the fathers got a pass. He mentioned that guns kill kids every day and I conjured up a piranha evolving into a gun to carry out that circumstance. He characterized the use of drones (collateral damage) as an exercise of vengeance, not as an act against terrorists who kill infidels (collateral damage?). Drones are black?

Guffey ended with this: “Political and religious differences have polarized us into a nation that sees only absolutes – stark blacks and whites... .” He couldn't be more wrong. Murder and stealing are still thought kinda black, admittedly, but little else is seen as black, just a shade, another color...probably white. Guffey should be happy with this. The body politic is going to hell, coloring out of the lines (engaging diversity as god), and anything goes (the 64-crayon protocol, of course).

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Monday, February 10, 2014

Media Blitz McConnell

The fear of Mitch McConnell by the Kentucky liberal establishment—at least as manipulated by the Lexington Herald-Leader, Louisville Courier-Journal and TV stations WKYT (Lexington) and WHAS (Louisville)—is seen in their apparent partnership-for-polling-purposes for early propagandizing in this election year. These entities had something called the “Bluegrass Poll” ginned up by an outfit called SurveyUSA that virtually elects democrat Alison Grimes over McConnell in November even though the primary, in which both have competition, isn't until May.

SurveyUSA interviewed 1,200 adults with home phones and cell phones between January 30 and February 4, of whom 1,082 were registered to vote in the state with 404 being registered republicans, but with Primary questions asked only of them. Other questions were asked of all registered voters. Why no Primary questions of democrats? Answer: these media activists have eliminated the other three democrat candidates...the fix is in. And why count 118 who were not even registered?

Twice as many democrats as republicans were polled, the reason being obvious to even a fifth-grader. Kentucky votes republican in national elections even though democrats outnumber republicans in the state by 52%. The media (at least the newspapers) combining for this poll are arch-enemies of Mitch McConnell but haven't gotten him defeated since 1984.

Kentucky's junior senator, Rand Paul, is a republican, as are five of the six Kentucky congressmen, a circumstance not likely to change, especially since Obama has made Kentucky a personal enemy by trying to kill its signature coal industry (as he promised) and throwing thousands out of work in the name of a now proven hoax/fraud—man-made climate-change. Obama is Grimes' albatross.

A short while ago, the Herald-Leader brought on board a “political writer,” Sam Youngman, the author of a very uncomplimentary Politico piece about the Washington news establishment he inhabited for a decade or so. Huge headlines, pictures, graphs and two-thirds of the front page and half of the second page of the Herald-Leader were devoted to the glorious poll-news that Grimes is ahead of McConnell. Youngman wrote it all.

Youngman's role this year will be pushing the Grimes candidacy; otherwise, the newspaper (owned by the super-liberal McClatchy chain) wouldn't touch him with a ten-foot pole. His opinion pieces appear on the front or third page, not in the opinion section. He has the experience to introduce Washington tactics to central Kentucky, a smattering of truth mixed with a lot of “fluffernutter,” as Biden might have it when he described John Edwards' presidential pitch.

Here's a quote from Youngman's article: “It's only been three months, and I’m still trying to kick some of the bad habits that seemed normal after 10 years in D.C. Like relying on polls instead of talking to voters.” This is called exponential irony, cynicism or hypocrisy vis-a-vis Youngman's subject matter—a POLL. He also has the gratuitous sex (nearly always too drunk to remember their names), booze, drug and rehab backgrounds to further solidify his worldly-wise bona fides, according to his tell-all Politico article.

Strangely (though I could have missed it), Youngman didn't mention that Grimes is (three fanfares, please!) a WOMAN, the first with a legitimate shot at the Senate from Kentucky. Anyway, the poll showed wicked and insensitive men favored McConnell while saintly women, especially those over age 50 (most likely to vote?), prefer their gal. Wish-washy independents favored Grimes, as did African Americans, surprisingly at just 65% to 25%. How could she lose?

It was a “bluegrass poll” so was the polling area just the “triangle” cornered by Louisville, Lexington and the Ohio River, a strong democrat stronghold that could skew the figures, though Lexington is represented by Andy Barr, a republican whom the legislature attempted to gerrymander out of his second try by unsuccessfully adding democrat counties to the sixth district? Polls are conducted to fit agendas when attached to politicians and activist, a grain of salt, please.

The poll has been cited nationally, great for Grimes since it will attract money. She's millions behind McConnell. A huge selling point for McConnell is that he would be the powerful majority leader next year if the Senate is taken by the republicans, who have an excellent chance. He would be positioned to do great things for the state, while Grimes would be a backbencher just trying to understand the manipulative/corrupt game.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Malfeasance = Impeachment

Someone in a top congressional position has finally said it, to wit, that passing laws is an empty undertaking because the president will not enforce them. House Speaker John Boehner made the remark in conjunction with his announcement that immigration reform will not likely receive attention this year. The primary element in reform accrues to sealing the borders and Obama has made it clear that this is not a priority for him, thus no enforcement, regardless of what Congress might do.

The president has made it clear publicly that he will do by executive order anything he desires, anyway, so laws mean little now in any area of government. He's already substantially changed Obamacare 25 times, so that the law as written carries only the weight he accords it, not that anyone seems to know precisely what the law is. Obama's made it clear that the law is whatever he says it is. Boehner was actually saying the president is dishonest and will not uphold the Constitution as required by that governing document of the president with regard to laws passed by the Congress. Perhaps his biggest wipe-out of Obamacare at this point was his announced refusal to enforce that part which required businesses to adhere to the law, beginning in January 2014. Presumably, adherence will occur in January 2015; however, the president has friends in business so he may never enforce the unpopular employer provision, which will incur tremendous rises in costs, private and public.

Obama has put himself in the position—emperor—that the founders made impossible (they thought) in instituting a nation of laws, with the chief executive, elected by the people, sworn to uphold them. The Constitution protects individuals and other entities from governmental interference in their rights. By its own admission, however, not to mention mountains of evidence affirming that admission, the Internal Revenue Service targeted specific groups for disallowing them any consideration, through various subterfuges, accruing to their tax-status during the three-year run-up to the 2012 elections.

An investigation of this was ordered, presumably by Attorney General Holder, and the House has been holding hearings on the matter since the investigation has not eventuated in evidence of the crimes to which the IRS has already admitted. Indeed, the investigation, officially led by a federal lawyer, Barbara Bosserman, who invested heavily ($6,750) in Obama's candidacy, has been closed without even an interview afforded the complainants involved. Their only recourse is to sue the IRS, a costly enterprise. In the meantime, they're still in limbo. Bosserman did not appear for questioning.

Actually, Bosserman, who did only as told, didn't close the investigation. The president closed the investigation. In a recent interview with Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly, he stated unequivocally that no IRS-corruption had occurred, meaning that the investigation was over because he said it was over and that he knew the result. No crimes to which admission had already been made had actually occurred because he said they hadn't. This is what an emperor does. His constitutional violations are abundantly obvious and constitute impeachable offenses.

Impeachment is what Boehner should work toward. Bill Clinton was impeached by a republican House over a simple act of perjury, nothing like a refusal to enforce the laws or just change them willy-nilly. Obama made war on Libya in 2011 without even a nod to Congress, violating both the Constitution and the War Powers Act, an impeachable offense that has turned Libya into a hopeless, bloody nightmare culminating in the Benghazi Massacre (four dead Americans), about which he repeatedly lied through his teeth but not under oath.

Though not under oath, Obama repeatedly lied in the O'Reilly interview about the IRS, even though the appropriate top IRS bureaucrat took the Fifth and refused to admit the obvious. She knew from where her orders came—the top. She resigned rather than face the ultimate music, which meant truth and criminality. Obama threw her under the bus.

So, why bother with immigration reform, especially when the House, cowed by the “race question,” is too weak to call up impeachment proceedings on more than just one illegal presidential action. Impeachment (the evidence absolutely undeniable) would be guaranteed (just a majority vote) but conviction would never happen in the Senate (two-thirds vote needed); however, the nation's interests would have been served and present and future officials put on notice.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Thursday, February 06, 2014

CVS Hypocrisy

The big news of the day in super-do-gooder world is that the second largest pharmacy chain in the country – CVS – will not be selling tobacco products as of October next. The reason is that tobacco represents a health hazard and a pharmacy encourages wellness. There's no argument with this since a business has a right to structure its policy and tobacco is harmful.

One wonders, of course, why CVS didn't stop selling tobacco as early as yesterday...just trash their supplies since their loss in future revenue has been well-publicized—$2 billion per year, so what's a cool billion more in six months? Of course, there's always another angle when a huge retail business “makes a stand.” Could CVS see its action as appealing to folks who believe in boycotts (a la the method of Jesse Jackson) for righting a wrong and boycotting Walgreen's now in favor of...yep...“making a stand” of their own and flocking to CVS.

Should one question the motives of CVS as benign? Yes. Should one wonder if other elements of marketing might have entered into the decision? Yes, since business decisions are usually made on the profit/loss basis more than any other. That's not to say that CVS has misrepresented its reasons for dropping tobacco. Its motives may be pure as the driven snow.

The kicker, however, is the hypocrisy CVS is exhibiting in dropping tobacco but continuing to sell both wine and malted liquor, products which are not only harmful to the body but—worse—deranging to thought processes and actuating consequent behaviors. Both products can induce (and very often do) drunkenness, with the attendant damnation brought on by drinking/drunk drivers. Nobody ever killed another person with a car while under the influence of nicotine.

So, whether considering injuries to throat and lungs caused by using tobacco or frying the liver and calcifying the brain as a result of boozing, do-goodism should apply across the board. The use of alcoholic beverages has caused billions more incidents of grief, pain and death in this country (and throughout history everywhere) than the use of tobacco. This is too well documented to deny by CVS or any other entity. Alcohol is an abuser/killer of users and/or their victims.

This hypocrisy reaches into government as well. The recently released budget recommended by Kentucky Governor Beshear is a case in point. It calls for a tax-increase of 67% on cigarettes and the restoration of a tax on cigarette rolling-papers. It creates an income tax-credit for bourbon producers who reinvest in their own businesses (a freebie since buying a used truck would qualify), reduces the wholesale tax on beer, wine and distilled spirits, and repeals the distilled-spirits case-sales tax.

Tobacco, beer, wine, and especially liquor are primary products endemic to Kentucky's business profile, so why the encouragement of the use of alcohol, the most damaging of all drugs (including heroin, marijuana, crack, prescription drugs, etc.) while attempting concomitantly to kill tobacco production, which poses no threat to society? The governor has not explained his reasoning. Admitting hypocrisy of that magnitude in officialdom would be far too great a pill to swallow. There is no rationale, of course.

Like most everything these days, it's a matter of political correctness, which demands that government initiate protection of people from themselves (prohibit tobacco-use) but protects people from other people only after the fact (victim in the morgue/hospital). Why not raise the tax on alcohol by 67% and see if that might help both the budget and the society? To be fair, shouldn't a sin-tax on one product be matched by a sin-tax on all similar products? Is a tobacco-farmer less a person than a whiskey-distiller?

This hypocrisy accrues to the elitist notion that booze encourages civility and sophistication (as well as redneck beer-binging), not to mention an inherent right to ingest anything one desires, despite the consequences. If someone gets what! But the sophisticates comprise the same crowd that believes government should protect people from themselves, not necessarily from each other. Make sense? Of course not!

So...CVS will continue its hypocrisy vis-a-vis tobacco and alcohol, and the president will continue yelling “hooray” but will not ban alcohol from the White House even though he's allegedly banned cigarettes from his nicotine-stained fingers. Such irony in high places!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Monday, February 03, 2014

Remedial Kindergarten?

Latest news from the Kentucky Department of Education is that 51% of kindergarteners are unprepared for first grade, not surprising since graduates of Head Start read no better by the fourth grade than children who did not participate in Head Start, the government program launched decades ago to prepare the most disadvantaged youngsters (always known as those on “free-lunch”) to perform as well as all other children. This latest announcement admits that Kentucky kindergarten joins Head Start in being a failure, with its only good feature being that the Head Start gang is well-fed.

Those even mildly long-in-the-tooth remember that public-school kindergarten did not exist back in the day. Children simply started first grade when they satisfied the age requirement. It was assumed that they had had no education up to that point and that they would be taught the basics at age six by a teacher trained to handle them. Largely depending upon the age cutoff-date for entrance (six by maybe June 30, September 30 or December 31), they just “went to school.” Public-school graduates in those years managed the best schools in the world, created the greatest economy and directly saved the world in 1941-45, as well as later during the “Cold War,” when communists tried to enslave everyone else.

I could have sent my children to kindergarten but opted against that, figuring they would be better off at home, profiting from the efforts of my wife and me (especially her) to prepare them for first grade and avoiding the regimentation that would from then on set their schedules. Admittedly, many children didn't get much preparation in the time-period of my childhood (the 1930s, when many parents just finished eight or fewer grades) but they “caught up” in public schools in which education was far more serious than it seems to be now. Discipline was a huge part of the process, with learning about the only concern and fun-and-games left to youngsters to design at recess themselves, whether indoors or outdoors.

In those days, school personnel had to do with learning—teaching, not social engineering. Childcare was virtually unheard of since most mothers were homemakers and kindergarten held little importance. Now, government—especially relating to schools—is also considered the primary babysitter and a childcare agency, politically correct but educationally a disaster area. Children are under governmental care from early morning until the end of “after-school experiences,” in very late afternoon, with virtually no time to give structure to their own existences.

Schools have become a huge and grossly expensive part of the welfare system...drop-off spots for the kids while their parents do their thing – make money. A school “snow-day” is a disaster for parents since it sticks them with the inconvenience of making arrangements for oversight of their children. Two-earner households are the rule now, not the exception.

Old folks like me are told that “times have changed” and I need to understand that. The institutions of school and family have substantially changed. Whereas once people were satisfied to adjust lifestyle to resources, they now adjust everything to lifestyle, including finances and the educating of their children. This nation lags behind even some poor countries in education as a result. The cream will always rise to the top educationally, but the masses of students suffer because their parents like it this way.

In my student-days, desks were bolted to the floor in rows. For male teachers, it was coat-and-tie. I taught for some five years in the 1950s and that's how I dressed to teach math. Women teachers dressed modestly in nice clothes, both dress-codes remarking the respect given to education...something then endemic to churchgoing. Now—at least in the classroom-shots on TV—both male and female teachers look sloppy...just like most of the students. For story-telling, I might have sat occasionally on the floor in first grade, but never after that. Teachers are not supposed to be “one of the gang.”

Accompanying the failure of kindergarten is this latest educational nonsense—squandering money to finance education for four-year-olds – pre-kindergarteners, providing an opportunity to let students fail twice before they start first grade. This endeavor is priority on both the state and national levels. The president and the governors never let an opportunity to mention education pass in the speeches third parties write for them. They can't even pass speech-writing 101 and they whine about the failure of kindergarten. Egad!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark