Elephant in room: E. Ky. corruption
The SOAR initiative would allocate federal funds to Harlan County. Gov. Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep. Harold Rogers held forums in Pikeville and Hazard to target areas of concern, such as unemployment, poor health and rising drug addiction.
When all was over, the elephant was still standing. It matters not how many projects are started. What does matter: Where do the monies go? Are they used to uplift and better the lives of poor people?
In 2012, the state auditor found over $3 million unaccounted for after being put in the hands of Harlan's fiscal and circuit courts. We have all heard the phrase, "Follow the money, follow the power and find the corruption." This is not brain science, especially in Harlan. The problem is well known by state officials, judicial bodies, the attorney general and others in power.
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A bully crook can be found in every community, every government position, but their ability to steal from the poor and continue is left to the officials in charge. Is anyone listening? Harlan countians will soar when money is no longer segregated to the few and when the monies are used for their intended purpose.
Sen. Mitch McConnell wrote an open letter to the governors of all 50 states urging them to violate federal law by ignoring tough new Environmental Protection Agency standards on clean air and carbon emissions.
In what universe does the Senate majority leader urge governors to ignore the law? Doesn't the American Bar Association have the right to censure or even disbar any attorney (like McConnell) who tells people to commit a crime?
McConnell doesn't have to agree with the new regulations. But they do have to be obeyed. That's why the EPA was created and signed into law, not by any liberal, but by President Richard Nixon.
The new regs will be good for our air, the planet and the economy. They will spawn more innovation, which will lead to more jobs as well as better air.
But even if I am wrong and McConnell is right on the substance of the new regulations, he should push for those regs to be changed — not urge governors to disobey them. Any state attorney general who doesn't immediately tell his or her governor to ignore McConnell is failing to fulfill duties of the office.
Two extremely toxic fluoride gases are released in converting phosphate rock into soluble fertilizer and producing aluminum: hydrogen fluoride and silicon tetrafluoride. In the past, industries let these gases vent into the atmosphere.
This, however, caused severe damage downwind, including widespread cattle poisonings, scorched vegetation and various human health complaints.
Eventually, as a result of lobbying, litigation and regulation, the industries installed scrubbers to trap these gases. The collected liquid is put into rubber-lined tanker trucks and shipped to water departments to be added to drinking water. It is illegal to dump these toxic liquids into the sea or local surface water.
This is our national dental decay prevention water fluoridation system. A survey by the Centers for Disease Control found that Kentucky, the most fluoridated state, suffers the highest rate of tooth loss (44 percent) while Hawaii, the least fluoridated state, suffers the lowest rate (16 percent).
The U.S. fluoridates over 70 percent of its water supplies and has more people drinking fluoridated water than the rest of the world combined. Most developed nations, including Japan, Israel, and 97 percent of Western Europe do not fluoridate their water.
Why do we?
Save the innocents
The value of one human life is being discounted. It is as though that one precious human life has no soul, just a number. We have become so calloused, indifferent to the depraved atrocities occurring in the world, that we are numb.
That does not excuse us from responsibility. Only the United States has the resources to help the innocents of the world. We talk, we condemn, we deplore, we say we are working on issues, studying issues. But what are we, the leader of the free world, doing to help the children of the world?
Daily the innocents are brutalized, tortured, orphaned, sold into slavery. They have no advocate.
We have the ability to deliver needed supplies anywhere, anytime. We simply need to say that tomorrow we are landing a humanitarian care aircraft with relief supplies. If required, we could escort this relief aircraft with our military jet fighter.
We do not need United Nations approval. We have the ability. We do not have the resolve. Shame on us.