McConnell fails to measure up to Henry Clay
U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell regularly compares himself to legendary Kentucky statesman Henry Clay. Visit McConnell's office and you'll see a stunning portrait of the great man on conspicuous display.
But the only thing they appear to have in common is their longevity.
Consider Clay's visionary plan for cooperation between business and government, which he named "The American Plan." As the Senate Web site explains, "Clay argued that a vigorously maintained system of sectional economic interdependence would eliminate the chance of renewed subservience to the free-trade laissez-faire British System."
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
In our own time, McConnell vigorously argues for bans on public regulation of business at every opportunity and serves as a point man for supply-side economic theory (which is discredited by most economists). It sounds like he intends to restore the laissez-faire system Clay sought to replace.
In this way, McConnell resembles John C. Calhoun, the famous 19th century senator and ardent defender of slavery. Consider Calhoun's exaggerated defense of the economics of slavery: "The defenses of human liberty against the aggression of despotic power have been always the most efficient in states where domestic slavery was to prevail."
It was obvious to everyone that Calhoun wanted the power of slave-plantation business to continue to dominate the South. In economic terms, he says the power of business is the best defense against the power of government.
As Calhoun spoke for the power of the slave plantations, McConnell speaks today for the power of businesses who contribute to his re-election campaigns.
Garbage trucks messy
Most of us in Lexington are proud of our city; we work hard to ensure we keep the trash picked up and recycled.
It is against the law to litter on roads and highways. However, that rule is not enforced as well as some would like to see.
But, when I drive around New Circle Road following a city garbage truck on more than one occasion and see papers and plastic cascading down like large snowflakes, this angers me.
Do these trucks not have a top on them, do they not work, what seems to be the issue? Do we pay someone extra to pick up the trash that our tax dollars already paid to have picked up?
If I did something at work that made my boss have to pay someone else to fix, I would lose my job. Government employees should be held to a high standard.
We wonder why our governments are in such deficit turmoil. Now we know. Once you get a job with them, if you don't do it correctly, you still have a job. It's OK, the taxpayers will pick up the tab for your incompetence.
But, on a good note: I do notice that all private-operated dumpster services do have covers and ensure minimal trash escapes. I would venture to say they know that if they do not go the extra mile to secure the debris, they would be faced with stiff penalties.
This is our city; fix this.
Reason trumps belief
A response to the commentary, "We have gods because we needed them," speaks not only of the failure of our educational system at the lower levels, but also at higher levels.
If God gives us a "gentle prompting" about altruism and fairness, then I wonder why he failed to spread his good intentions throughout the entire animal kingdom.
To blame all the so-called "evil" in our world on human sin, given our evolutionary understanding of the development of human nature, is sheer poppycock. And the tired argument that God is testing our faith concocts a divine sadist at the heart of things.
That religion might "give us a sense that the divine mystery is meaningful, purposeful and a sufficient ground for human hope," as the writer said, is nothing but wishful thinking.
A sense of something so outlandish is just a sense and no more — a delusion. But, I forgot, reason is obviously nothing but a false path to lead us astray. Give us poetry, myth, parables rather than scientific thought.
There is no reasonable reconciliation between the Christian faith and the doctrine of evolution. The real source of religious faith is no more than the belief in a pleasant lie when the unpleasant truth startles us, out of sheer desperation, into belief in God.
The underlying assumption behind this article is that religion is true because it works. It may work because it makes us feel better, but blissful feelings do not make it true.
Slick as in slippery
We are being inundated by a barrage of ads being run on PBS and MSNBC by Exxon-Mobil and the various oil and gas trade associations.
These ads feature earnest, trustworthy-looking men and professional-looking women striding about in tailored pantsuits extolling the virtues of oil and gas as fuels for America. Their slickly produced graphics attempt to put the lie to any suspicion that hydrofracking could possibly pollute water aquifers.
Why is it then that these same companies refuse to disclose what chemicals are being pumped into the ground and why is it that hundreds of landowners have had their water wells rendered useless by these poisons?
Why is it that some landowners' wells are so contaminated that they can literally set their water on fire as it comes out of the spigot? I think the oil and gas companies and their paid shills are realizing that the public is catching on to the enormous damage that they are doing, hence this reprehensible barrage of feel-good advertising to convince us otherwise.
Something in the air
I would like to touch on a subject that I have never seen written about before.
Jet aviation started coming into existence in a big way in 1945, and flying has increased many fold since. With flight patterns crisscrossing America and the world many times a day, there is a great fallout from the engines.
When I was in the Air Force in the early 1950s, we had 45 B47 bombers in our wing, with many of them running at the same time.
So no matter where you live in the United States, there is fallout from the jets coming down upon us. It has been 66 years since 1945 that we have been breathing this exhaust from those engines.
Wind currents carry these particles many thousands of miles, as seen by the explosion of Mount St. Helens a few decades ago.
Cancer has been around a long time, but I really feel that this situation has contributed to our cancer problem, aided by exhaust fumes from automobiles. This all is in the name of progress.
We may have passed the point of no return to clean air.