Webster: Homage to Stein; lumps for coal cheerleaders

Bees return, happy to have GOP apiarist

Contributing columnistFebruary 5, 2012 

The lady who talks for the Weather Service interrupted prime-time comedy — the GOP debates — to send an emergency message to Mason, Lewis, Robertson, Fleming, Bath, Montgomery, Nicholas and Harrison counties, alerting them to quickly build a synagogue, buy their new senator a nice house in Maysville or one of those Mt. Sterling mansions and provide her an apiarist.

Who wouldn't want to move to Maysville? The Clooneys aren't loonies.

The weather lady was telling new District 13 residents that they had better dash for the high ground, because the political winds have blown them the best state senator in Kentucky, and if they have any sense they will try to keep her. Let her old man have a ballpark. Get her up there.

It would be an unnatural disaster for you to get Kathy Stein for two years and then have to go back to the ordinary senators who threw her like a fat frog to a snake.

A disaster even more unnatural would be if some people in Lexington elected a woman for four years but only got her for two because, as old man Hogwallop said to McGill, she got run oft.

When she comes forth into the district and you come to know her, you will know that your new senator will know what she is talking about before she talks, and what she says cannot be boughten. The more you think about it, she sounds a little more Mt. Olivet, which had a crime once.

Back at the House, well, across from there, Kathy will just have to forgive the little slight from her colleagues. Legislators at all levels have a lot on their minds.

Their sacred cows are getting out and require not the mending of wall, but the building of fences.

Things are happening so fast. Six months ago, Kentucky coal was our future and six months from now it will be competing with peat and dried dung to see which will be obsolete first. The lumpy-chested Kentucky legislature recently came in third in a National Cheerleading Contest as the Friends Of Coal Kentucky team.

What the problem is ain't Obama. The railroad from Wyoming to Asia reported that its coal shipments had quadrupled. Back across the great divide, TECO Coal announced that it sold a million tons less than the year before. That, vaguely, seems like it ought to be Obama's fault,

Now, the coal industry does have some justification in blaming the government for the 130 million tons of coal ash the coal plants put out a year. The government wants to call this stuff a toxic waste because it is; to which the coal companies declare that they have left so much of it at so many places, that it would cost a whole lot to clean it up and so they shouldn't have to.

So this has been a bad year for coal Frankfort, despite that little boost it got from Japan. And another good thing. A lawmaker in another state has filed a bill to reclassify coal a renewable resource. Like diamonds. And soil.

Despite that good news, the bad news is gas, and we aren't nearly gassy enough. They have found more gas than they know what to do with and we coal people are both dirty and outnumbered. Somebody, like the senators from all those many gas states, will suggest we fire power plants with the cleaner greener natural gas.

So it's back to farming for us, but, as Texas Gov. Rick Perry would say: "oops." We sort of made that impossible to go back to didn't we, so what next? We don't even have the Marcellus shale here for fracking. West Virginia has us badly outgassed and totally outshaled.

Maybe I'm a worrier, but I wonder if all that gas being fracked and sucked is something which really needs to be down there in inner earth. Was that natural gas somehow necessary to keep the rocks pacified? If we exploit its pores, will the earth fall in like an unplugged swimmie?

The good news is that the bees will be back soon because, as we have long known, they would not have left in the first place if Kentucky had a Republican apiarist. The ousted Phil Craft just learned what happens when government gets pollinated by vote gathering.

We did learn a word. Most of us thought "apiarists" are the monkey keepers at the evolution museum but now we have learned that even beekeepers are expected to be drones and those not drone enough are turned out by the queen bee.

Larry Webster is a Pikeville attorney. Reach him at websterlawrencer@bellsouth.net.

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