Picking Todd's successor can be easy as C-O-A-L
On Feb. 24, I caught the article "UK search panel dives into candidate pool," referring to a replacement for Lee T. Todd Jr. as president of the University of Kentucky.
Since Todd announced his retirement, I've been concerned about his replacement, considering all of Todd's recent accomplishments. It will take a really special type of person to complete his work. The article said anyone could nominate a candidate, so I would like to nominate the following people.
When you look at backroom deals with Todd and the trustees in naming Wildcat Lodge "Wildcat Coal Lodge," naturally Alliance Coal's Joe Craft comes to mind; after all, he does come packing funds for the school.
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Todd and trustees, also through this deal, compelled internationally known author, poet and my friend Wendell Berry to pull his personal papers from the UK archives. Such an achievement would take someone really special.
My nomination would be the former chief executive of Massey Energy, Don Blankenship. I'm sure he would be great in working with the trustees on matters like this.
Other nominations could be Bill Bissett, president of the Kentucky Coal Association, or maybe bring former association spokesman Bill Caylor out of mothballs.
The list is endless, especially in the wake of Kentucky being named a Big Coal sanctuary state. I'm quite sure Kentucky lawmakers would not have any problems with this kind of move. Can we see in the future, University of Mountaintop Removal Coal?
Look closer to home
Dr. Doug Whitlock, president of Eastern Kentucky University, is a good administrator. He should be considered for president of the University of Kentucky.
Make it a fair market
The United States has the most skewed income distribution of any wealthy country in the world. So why is this at least as troublesome as the deficit?
There is nothing wrong with making more than $500,000 a year. But it is a misinformed notion that this 10 percent of our population is rich because of a free market, that the rich are somehow entitled.
There are no free markets. All markets are controlled to some extent. Ours is merely being controlled in favor of rich people.
For each person taking down over $500,000 a year, they are taking a portion of it from the rest of us.
A better thing for our country to aspire to would be a fair market.
Granted, capitalism thrives on competition. But when a growing 90 percent of the population is competing for a shrinking 30 percent of the wealth, competition becomes stifled or suppressed. People give up or don't try because their chances of "making it" are diminished.
A new book, The Price of Everything by Eduardo Porter, documents this phenomenon. Porter presents empirical evidence that winner-take-all games tend to elicit much less player effort and more cheating than games where rewards are distributed more evenly according to performance.
Why are we electing politicians who do nothing but reward rich people?
Still in the dark
My suspicions were confirmed by the Feb. 26 article, "Bill would allow secret reprimands of nursing homes." There will be very little disclosure, therefore little recourse, for those reporting nursing home abuses. Officials will continue to keep everything hidden and fire any whistle blower.
When you submit your loved one to the so-called "care" of this industry, it is a dark chasm. No information on the quality of care comes out. If it is leaked, there is very little recourse.
My family tried the home administrator, the ombudsman, a lawyer, and even the state police. We had pictures to prove the abuse and witnesses to testify. All of the people to whom we appealed shrugged their shoulders.
Calling these places "the nursing home industry" is most appropriate. It reflects the inhumanity of this system. This industry has a strong lobby on the state and national levels to maintain the status quo. Notice how all legislation for improvements gets watered down or killed.
There could be a very few good homes out there, but it would be very hard to find them.
Remember this when you must resort to using this so-called "care."
Elizabeth J. Kikuchi
Get to the source
I oppose the idea of a constitutional convention. Stop the grandstanding.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul talks about how "we" must be fiscally responsible, but he never says a word about accountability of who caused the mess in the first place. Hold accountable the Wall Street banksters who blew up the U.S./world economy. Indict them and make them pay back what they stole.
You want to balance the budget? Stop the military spending on phony fighting of "terrorism." We know what it's about: imperialism and war profiteering.
Want to stop stealing other countries' oil? Pass the Kentucky industrial hemp bill and fund it.
Not buying it
Such rhetoric from the GOP. Who are the people of the United States? Are we the puppets of the rich?
Right now, Republicans are trying to undermine every value that the working man has strived for all his life. We are seeing Wisconsin and other states trying to do away with collective bargaining rights.
Most other Republican legislatures are trying to install right-to-work legislation. These are measures to limit the rights of workers.
If it were left up to employers to give rights to workers we would all be in a world of hurt. Unions are what made this nation strong. Without them, we might still be working in sweatshops with no benefits.
There is so much GOP propaganda being spread about their great leader, Ronald Reagan. Let me tell you, he was elected because he convinced labor that he supported them; he was a president of a labor union, the Screen Actors Guild.
What he did was sell unions out. He installed his "trickle-down theory" so that Big Business would take tremendous incentives and expand their businesses and hire more employees. Instead, money-mongering businessmen took that money, downsized and merged with other money-hungry chief executives, did away with many jobs because of downsizing and left more money for corporate bonuses.
Don't even get me started on U.S. Sen. Rand Paul's and state Sen. David Williams' dog-and-pony show to call for a constitutional convention. These people are so out of touch with the middle class they can never hope to recover.