In Menifee County, festival exemplifies tornado recovery
The Menifee County Mountain Memories Festival will be June 1-3. A few months before the March 2 tornado, community volunteers began planning an expanded festival that would include a guided bus tour of local artisans, the Little Miss Menifee Pageant, a play written and performed by high school students and community people (Mountain Memories: The Story of Us), presentation of videos submitted by students for the My Menifee competition, and a special area in downtown Frenchburg for over 30 artisans.
When the tornado hit, the entire community rallied to begin recovery and some questioned whether the festival could occur. Many of the same volunteers who spearheaded the recovery effort were also involved in planning for the festival. But with determination, a can-do spirit and many volunteers, the festival will happen.
After the tornado, many people wanted to know what they could do to help. Many came to work side-by-side with us, and others offered supplies. Now the Mountain Memories Festival (the first festival since the March tornados in an affected community) offers another opportunity to be a part of our recovery.
Our entire community, from youth to adults, has come together to celebrate our heritage and the mountain spirit. Join us on the first weekend in June to discover the talents of those who call Menifee County home and help us continue to build a better tomorrow.
On behalf of our athletes, Special Olympics Kentucky wants to thank the people of Walmart stores throughout the state for their work on the Walmart-SOKY Golf Classic that was held at Gibson Bay Golf Club on May 7.
The first-year event was a tremendous success, raising more than $25,000 for the Special Olympics.
Those funds will all go directly to the 2012 Special Olympics Kentucky State Summer Games, which will be held for the 18th straight year at Eastern Kentucky University on June 1-3. Walmart's support will help ensure a fantastic competitive experience for more than 1,200 athletes from across Kentucky.
The Walmart-SOKY Golf Classic continues a history of support for Special Olympics. Whether in local communities or through statewide grants to help fund our Healthy Athletes Program, Walmart has been a champion of individuals with intellectual disabilities in Kentucky.
We were particularly excited that Walmart selected Richmond to host the golf event. Richmond and EKU hold a special place in the hearts of our athletes and their families. For nearly two decades Richmond has welcomed Special Olympics for the State Summer Games. We hope that many Richmond and Central Kentucky residents choose to be a part of that weekend this year — as volunteers or as fans in the stands at EKU on June 2.
For information about Special Olympics or the State Summer Games, visit Soky.org.
Special Olympics Kentucky
Hedge fund campaigns
Though not a libertarian myself, I've been thinking lately that economist Friedrich Hayek's simple idea about the accuracy of prices explains why money is not well-suited to politics. Bear in mind that Hayek fervently believed in the fundamental honesty of markets. He counted on the market price to reflect all the available information about the related product.
So, it followed by Hayek's reasoning that market prices are the most accurate measure of true value.
What happens to prices when information is distorted? Our current economic conditions appear to provide an answer. When there is not a direct connection between prices and information about the products, money does not have the ability to tell the truth. Markets crash.
In politics, we frequently find that there is no real connection between the intentions of those who supply money to political campaigns and the rhetoric that comes out. The contributors want one thing while paying for attack ads that distract us from the actual issues.
It appears that political campaigns have become more like hedge funds, collateralized debt obligations and derivatives than like the high-quality products our economy and our country needs.
If we want the truth, how can we trust politicians who say that "money is speech?"
If bibles were guns ...
It's hard to imagine that folks intelligent and knowledgeable enough to write for The New York Times and Los Angeles Times are also naive and ignorant enough to believe themselves when they write that "Obama is not anti-gun," "NRA pretends," and "the battle against gun control has been largely won."
Here's what America would look like if our governments and media showed the same respect for "free exercise of religion."
■ Four states would allow people to go to church and possess Bibles.
■ One state would arrest anyone who went to church, and most residents and all visitors who possessed Bibles.
■ Nine states would arrest anyone who, without a license, went to church or possessed a Bible.
■ The remaining states would allow people to possess Bibles. They would issue "go-to-church" licenses to anyone who paid $100 per year, demonstrated that he/she worshiped in the government-approved way, and affirmed in writing that there was no other acceptable way.
■ Barack Obama, as a state and U.S. Senator, would have voted for all religion-control bills and against all bills to restore religious freedom and would state Americans should not be allowed to attend church. As president, he would have done nothing to restore religious freedom, and would "rarely have mentioned the topic."
Now substitute "carry a concealed handgun" for "go to church"; "handgun" for "Bible"; "handle a gun" for "worship"; and "gun" for "religion" or "religions"; and you've got the current state of the right "to keep and bear arms."
More than Farmer
Congratulations to the Herald-Leader for the past year of Richie Farmer headlines, including the smear of his family affairs.
I do have a question for the state auditor, Adam Edelen. How can taxpaying citizens of Kentucky get their requests for investigations into misuse of state spending and federal dollars?
For almost three years I have sought information on the state transportation department.
My questions: How many vehicles does the department have on the books? What's the cost of insurance on vehicles that are driven by employees? How much is spent on credit cards that drivers have? I have seen employees use them to buy breakfast at Speedway. They probably refund money to the state.
Why do state employees have state cars parked in front of their houses for weeks? Why do some state-owned cars have regular license plates on them?
If you want to see all this happening just notice the cars, trucks, SUVs and vans that are being used. This shows a stunning disregard for the difficulties faced by Kentuckians who work for a living. We have to pay for our insurance, gas, tires, etc.
They used a team of seven auditors in the Farmer case, reviewed thousands of documents, invoices and travel vouchers.
Maybe it's just another conflict that has always been a big deal for media. It would be like fresh air if they would set the standard for bipartisan reporting in the interest of better government for all Kentuckians. We know it's not just Republicans.