One-and-done wins; Big Blue integrity losses
Kentucky basketball had a long tradition of boys becoming men by "bleeding blue" on the basketball court. Rupp Arena is the brick-and-mortar tribute to their effort.
The boys in blue brought honor to the university, the community and this state during their four-year engagement in collegiate life.
Today a new philosophy of the game has traumatized the Big Blue Nation. The one-and-done concept proposes to raise Kentucky basketball to new heights and produce a financial windfall in the process.
In essence, the state's prestige and tradition are being prostituted to qualify new professional basketball players for the NBA.
The university provides the facilities. High schools provide the boys. The NBA and millions in TV revenues are the prize.
The merry-go-round revolves. The boys try to snatch the gold ring. A few lucky youngsters get the chance of the draw and become instant millionaires.
This is the pageant that professional basketball promotes year after year to satisfy the nation's thirst for roundball entertainment.
What role the Big Blue Nation will play in this pageant is for every fan to decide.
Help on free throws
UK men's basketball losses have been discussed, analyzed and primarily attributed to lack of team chemistry and cohesion of accumulated talent.
However the real culprit is their inability to make free throws in winnable games that become losses.
For whatever reason, be it pride or UK policy, the athletics department has refused repeatedly to return phone calls or answer letters with an offer of assistance in this area. Albeit the elderly gentleman does not have a national sports pedigree, he is very adept at identifying and correcting player deficiencies.
Reminds me of a stately gentleman whose Ferrari slipped into a ditch on an icy road but who refused help from an old man on a farm tractor because he was not licensed, certified or sanctioned by the towing industry.
These young men deserve every option available, however unconventional, to elevate their game to the next level, especially those who will be following their dreams in the NBA.
Beware of politicians
I have lived in Eastern Kentucky for 32 years and lately I have watched these commercials where Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul are here to help the people in the coalfields where jobs have diminished to almost nothing.
They are so anti-Obama that all they want is our vote come election time. The only politician who was for the working people in the coalfields was Rep. Carl D. Perkins, God bless his soul.
We, as registered voters, need to keep this in mind.
In a Nov. 17 commentary, political analyst Larry Sabato captured quite nicely the fact that President John F. Kennedy was a politician of conservative temperament, not unlike the current president, despite what his detractors say.
However, Sabato seemed to misunderstand the difference between the underlying rationale for the Kennedy tax-cut proposal and President Ronald Reagan's tax-cut proposal.
The Kennedy proposal was based on the Keynesian understanding that the economy was performing below its potential in 1960 because aggregate demand (spending) was not adequate to generate full employment.
Two proposals were pushed by his economic advisors. Walter Heller advocated the tax cut while John Kenneth Galbraith proposed increasing government spending. Heller, not surprisingly, prevailed since he was in Washington while Galbraith was assigned to New Delhi.
Cutting taxes did not appeal to conservatives in the early 1960s. Kennedy did, however, choose the less liberal proposal.
The Reagan tax cut was based on the belief that the economy was not performing well because tax rates were so high they were discouraging effort on the parts of workers and capitalists, especially capitalists.
The notion was that reducing taxes would encourage more effort and more investment. Its main proponent believed the resulting increase in economic output would generate sufficient tax revenue to prevent a deficit.
The tax cut and the accompanying increase in military spending did help the economy recover rapidly from the 1982 recession. However, the policies also resulted in a significant budget deficit which had to be remedied by tax increases in subsequent years.
Seniors cut next
Senior citizens, beware.
Recently, the U.S. Congress passed a two-year budget bill to avoid a possible shutdown of the federal government in 2015.
This bipartisan deal increased spending in the next two years with promised cuts during the next 10 years.
Some of the spending cuts — mainly to cost-of-living increases to our military personnel — are to take effect in 2015. (Congress promised that it would not touch any salaries or cost-of-living adjustments when it talked about trying to decrease spending in order to balance the budget.)
A plan was offered to change this decision — an amendment that would do away with child tax credits for illegal immigrants. But no such luck.
Senior citizens ask yourself: If the federal government wants to help balance the budget on the backs of our U.S. military, who do you think will be next?
How can we, as American patriots, continue to support a Congress and president who would prefer to help balance the budget on the backs of our military and maybe our seniors? Don't you think that maybe this tax credit for illegal immigrants (noncitizens, by the way) should be taken away before asking our citizens to bear this burden?
William D. Johnson
How things change
In 1974, a Republican president was impeached for breaking into the Democrats' headquarters. He and some of his cabinet members were found guilty. Cabinet members received some jail time.
It's 2013, and we have a leader that has lied about Obamacare insurance. A lot of changes in the past 40 years.
In the past few years, we have lost three Americans and the ambassador in Benghazi. When asked why this happened, the secretary of state at the time responded by asking why does it matter anyway.
No one cares about it.
We had a guard killed in the Mexican-American gun mess. To date, we still do not know who killed the guard. No idea of where guns are? Was Benghazi caused by film on TV or just a raid on our ambassador's building?
It's about time for the leaders to devote more efforts to taking care of our military personnel. There are other important needs besides Obamacare.