Dec 052012
Veteran homeless
In reflecting on hurricane Sandy, I started wondering about all the homeless that live in the old tunnels in New York City. Did NYC get them evacuated? How many of our homeless brethren did we loose to this storm? Will their deaths be counted?
So far, not counting homeless deaths due to Sandy, we’ve lost 36, 897 (Nava, November 2012). Since 6% of the homeless population are veterans who served our country with honor to protect our freedom, how are their deaths treated?
It would be wonderful to find housing for all of them. Obama fought for and got HUD funding for veterans, but he knows this isn’t enough to solve the problem that exist amongst our veterans. However, due to severe mental illness which they’ve developed while in service to this country Our Afghan War and early Iraq War veterans have even more risk of developing severe mental health disorders, which prevents them from reaching out to get help, assistance, and being able to maintain housing.
When you consider this number, 36,897 souls lost while homeless and 6% being veterans, this means close to 3,000 veterans have died while being homeless. So how do our cities/towns treat these honorable veterans’ deaths?
If their families can be located and want to take responsibility for the burial, do the families know they’re entitled to a military funeral? If the family can’t be found or don’t want to or can’t afford burial, do our cities/towns work with their local V.A. to see that these men and women who served their country get the military burial with honor that they so richly deserve? Would V.A. regulations even allow this?
If we can’t reach them before their death, we can at least restore dignity to them in their death by giving them the honor they earned when we bury them.
Robin Osgood, Rose Street, Lexington, KY
Walking while female
I hear you (“Shaming women,” November 2012). I too am female and live and used to work on the North end. During my tenure as a drafter for Windstream, currently housed in the building that used to be K-Mart on new Circle, I frequently used Lime, N. Broadway, etc., for my lunch time running grounds.
One day, I was walking back to work down N. Lime after an exhausting run for a pregnant lady. I don’t know if it was my running attire or generally disheveled appearance that signaled to some strange older guy in a minivan that I might be “working” the North Limestone area, but he shouted out the window asking if I wanted a ride. I waved him off, “no thanks, I can run” and kept on walking with a quickened pace. Really, I couldn’t run anymore…for some reason I was spent. Evidently, my decline didn’t convince him because he turned around, slowed up, stopped and waited as I walked on by. I didn’t have mace or a gun, but I had a phone, so I took it out and dialed one of my co-workers to let her know my distressing situation and where I could be located. The man decided I wasn’t worth the hassle, I guess, and drove off. Golden caravan, maybe 2000 model? This was at least 4 years ago, but I won’t forget it.
This wasn’t the first time I’ve felt threatened in a similar way by a man driving down a street, I on my feet. I used to live in Louisville and walking around at night in the highlands isn’t free of these kind of encounters.
Shannon, web post
Looking for topless mountains
Hello, I am on the search for the Topless Mountains are Obscene bumper sticker (“Outside the governor’s office,” June 2012). I am looking for the one that has the topless mountains that resemble a female’s breast. I can make donation or buy it. Any info would be appreciated.
Michael Cash, online
Author responds,
I got the rectangular shaped sticker from a woman from Louisville who was from the Unitarian Church or progressive Catholic Church. She was with a group lobbying in Frankfort last spring. You might ask Dave Cooper who is an organizer/spokesman with the Bluegrass Sierra Club and his own Mountaintop Removal Roadshow. Feel free to ask for more help if this is not enough. don pratt.
Oct 032012

DM: Add Epling’s June 3 image of FUCers

Slavery is real


We just wanted to send you a quick “thanks” for the articles that you’ve written regarding both sex and labor trafficking. They are very bold. Ultimately, we made the decision to share them with our organization’s audience and we look forward to any future news that you may publish on the issue. It is undoubtedly a worthy cause and your work to help spread the word is highly appreciated.

In the interest of keeping you informed on the local organizations that are working in the fight for freedom, we’d like to introduce ourselves as well. We are Slavery Is Real, a recent non-profit organization developed in Lexington, KY that seeks to raise awareness and take action against modern slavery. We enjoy working closely with many local individuals and organizations that share our interests as well, and we’d love to keep up-to-date on your work. We’ll leave some links below. Check them out when you get a chance.

Thank you,

The Team at Slavery Is Real,

Continue reading »

Aug 022012

Harlan and Bell radicals

Thanks so much for enlightening me of the strife felt in the early twentieth century and the radicalism shown by those in Harlan and Bell counties (“Mine strikes and commie songs,” Feb 2012). I spent, all told, about two years working on reclamation sites (this was the mid-80′s when there was money available for reclamation) and was run off by one landowner after the other. I was mistaken many times as a coal operator “goon” sent there to destroy even more of the land and water. When the opposite was true.

Today it’s Blair mountain, tomorrow the whole eastern part of our state (Kentucky) and the southwestern portion of West Virginia will be flattened.
I once did a site in Pike county that had only one point of reference, that being a survey control point saved by the coal company for future work. The rest of the land was flattened and had taken on the look of a moonscape. The maps I had showed no resemblance to the devastation created by the surface mining. I spent many days around Evarts, and the forks of the Upper Cumberland river, including Poor fork.
Man, I love reading this stuff. Keep it coming. You have my e-mail address.

Norman E. Goldie, Jr.
Mount sterling, KY Continue reading »

Aug 012012

Trayvon Martin

I appreciate your raising the question “was this [killing of Trayvon Martin] a hate crime?”, but in my opinion your editorial is as skewed as you portray the media to be. From the many inaccuracies and misstatements in your piece, here are a couple of the most critical ones that I hope will cause you to take a second look at your analysis of the Trayvon Martin case. First, you put quotes around the words “profiled and stalked” as if Zimmerman did not actually profile or stalk Martin. We know for a fact that he profiled Martin as a suspicious person, in his words “up to no good”, who Zimmerman thought may have been high (refer to the 911 recording). We know that Martin was stalked because Zimmerman got out of his car, told the dispatcher that Martin was running, and finally caught up with Martin several yards away. Next, you mention only two pieces of physical evidence recovered from the crime scene. What you fail to notice is that the bullet lodged in Martin’s chest is a piece of physical evidence- in fact, the most important one. The last error I will point out, is the point at which you contradict your own viewpoint (where you believe there is no solid evidence in anyone’s favor) by introducing a “possible scenario”. Here, the words you choose make a solid case for Zimmerman having committed murder. By saying that Martin was “confronted” by a “follower” (another word for stalker), you create a scenario where Zimmerman was the aggressor and that Martin was rightly defending himself. This is no doubt a case of murder (in the second degree). Whether or not it is a hate crime depends on how you interpret Zimmerman’s comment to the dispatcher “they always get away”.

Sean McElroy, website

Author responds

I appreciate the criticism of the piece, though I think you have misread a few points. My use of quotes for “profiled and stalked” is not to excuse Zimmerman for following Martin, but the events immediately after the 911 call are subject to witness testimony which has changed several times, see my link in the piece. Zimmerman was indeed reckless to disregard the 911 dispatcher. However, “profiled and stalked” suggests far more predatory behavior than investigating/following a person who looks “up to no good,” which is why I compared Martin’s death to Anderson’s hate-murder (a wholly malicious crime not in the least concerned with stopping a potential criminal).

I only mention the two pieces of evidence relative to my editorial. I did not think it necessary to mention the bullet since no one has disputed that Zimmerman killed Martin with a pistol. The key question is this: to what extent was the killing self defense and by how much, if any, will those circumstances ameliorate Zimmerman’s sentence? I included the physical wounds to show that Zimmerman may have been injured in one of two ways: 1) he may have been assaulted by Martin and fired in “self defense” or 2) he may have assaulted Martin, was on the losing end of a fight he chose, and so fired in “self defense.” The latter will carry a far heavier sentence than the former.

My goal with the piece was to challenge the idea of this killing as a “hate crime.” I would say no sane observer believes Zimmerman is wholly innocent. But when you suggest that I contradict my own viewpoint, I am using the unknown exchange between Zimmerman and Martin to impugn the idea of interpreting this killing as somehow racially motivated. We don’t know what was said or what happened between them. (I also never once questioned the idea of this as a case of second degree murder.) Lastly, I find it rather difficult to take seriously your idea that interpretation of Zimmerman’s comment (“they always get away”) carries the weight of a hate crime. If Zimmerman believed Martin was a burglar, then his statement that “they always get away” is overwhelmingly true–the FBI claims that roughly 1 in 10 burglaries are ever solved. Either way, “they always get away” is not in any way slanderous to any race and therefore not indicative of a racial killing.


Wealth distribution

Many of the “Occupy Groups” are decried for their claimed “Wealth Redistribution” aims. Most who decry them don’t really have an idea what the actual wealth distribution is in the United States. Answer this question before you read further. How much wealth (meaning money, land and assets) are controlled by the wealthiest 20% in our nation? If you guessed 50%, you are too low. If you guessed 80% you are still too low. It is actually 88%!

We live on a limited resource in the middle of nowhere. Sustainability, living sustainably, is the most direct, simplest behavior that we can enact to assure the near term survival of the human species. Make no mistake, we are at risk. This is in essence what the majority of participants in the various “Occupy” movements recognize.

Charles A. Bowsher

Southbend Drive

Be like Don Pratt

I am a fairly well known conservative analyst, and veteran. I knew Don Pratt from 1964 through his wife who was a classmate of mine. By 1968 anti-war protesters were generally separated into those who had deep convictions about the war, many with no marxist leanings whatsoever, and those with other items on their agenda, including a general fear of the inconveniences of military service (bill Clinton comes to mind.)…a kind of moral cowardice. And a few skipped to Canada.

I never knew Don Pratt’s politics, but that was a time a when one could stand for a thing, ending racial bias, or the war, without having any greater political agenda. I doubt that’s possible now, but he was (is) a man of courage, and quiet dignity. Everyone who ever met him wanted to be just like him.

Vassar Bushmils, online

Don responds

Damn, now more to live up to! I thank you, Vassar, and am still NOTHING but a human being and being for justice and more.
Off racing to get prepared for another foster son coming into my home and to pick up a sign protesting the local governments waste on a phony “Arts District”. WOW, how life is exciting!
And I must take time to say SINCERE thanks.

FUC Proud

You didn’t even mention the lameness of “Big Blue”, that UK blue colored horse that is supposed to be our mascot or something. And in the long list of embarrassing historical mentions you left out the bluegrass conspiracy. Everybody knows about Henry Clay and Jefferson Davis, but what mention do you see of Cassius Clay (the original)? Maybe there is a historical marker somewhere, but this dude ought to have a statue!

College sport citizens

Hard to add any meaningful words to this well-written, prize worthy article.

Crane Station, Smirking Chimp blog

You have it absolutely one hundred per cent correct.The booster of a brand.The kind of citizen who, even if he becomes politically aware or engaged,goes no further than putting on a team jersey and cheering for ”his side”—no matter what ”his side” is actually doing.Civil liberties can be gutted, for example and the practitioners of such politics are outraged–if it isn’t their team doing it, but when it is, they cheer for their team/party, leader/coach, make excuses, and keep shut.

The kind of citizen who can become a cheap hooligan at a moment’s notice.

Hardly the kind of citizen Thomas Jefferson hoped the republic would have.

MizzGrizz, Smirking Chimp blog


Michael Marchman, our man in Amsterdam, dropped a line to let us know of some corrections:

A couple of minor clarifications/corrections…
1. Romao is not exactly an “amateur filmmaker” as the article suggests. He has, in fact, worked in journalism for many years although this is his first documentary film.
2. The article implies that the film was made on a very small budget. In fact, Romao was supported/funded (in part) by Portuguese public television, which has aired the film.

Apologies to Romao for these mischaracterizations.

May 112011

Adjunct responses

Christian, thank you for speaking up for all us adjuncts suffering under the current state of affairs (“Adjuncts: the invisible majority,” April 27). As one of those adjuncts you mentioned who has taught several classes at several institutions of higher learning simultaneously trying to make ends meet, I appreciate you making people aware of our plight. Kudos!

Trent, online Continue reading »

Apr 272011

Kent State, Part IV?

I have been anxiously awaiting the concluding fourth part of Richard Becker’s excellent series, the first three parts of which ran in February, April, and May of last year. Assuming I did not overlook it somehow, any chance that we will see it soon, or must I abandon all hope?

Dan Casey

Kentucky expatriate

Editor responds:

That is a very good question Dan, and truth be told, you’re not the first person to ask it. So here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna put your question in our letters to the editor, and maybe Richard—who is currently back in Lexington—will by hook or by crook come across your question, and get inspired to complete part IV. Continue reading »

Apr 132011

Calling entrepreneurs: better bike baskets

Every practical bicyclist needs folding rear baskets, and they’re overpriced. So are the rear racks that hold the baskets and act as a fender. Google the baskets, and you’ll see prices from $15 to $30—apiece! You need a pair. You need the rear rack, too, and those things also range up and down the double-digits.

Continue reading »

Aug 112010

Criner scores, not Cornell

I played on team Tater Tots, and it was definitely Will Criner that scored against Burbonic Plague, not Chris Cornell. Just wanted to note that.

Great article!

Zach W

“Mall of God” ongoing

In Jake Caldwell’s response (July 28) to Andrew Battista’s cover story of July 14, Mr. Caldwell makes a distinction between Lexington’s “royal narrative” and the “narrative of God’s reign.” While this distinction is useful for his purposes, it’s essentially empty, as are two other distinctions Mr. Caldwell makes in his response, between “Lexington’s ruling elite” and whatever class Mr. Caldwell purports to represent, and between “mainline liberal Protestant churches” and “evangelical mega churches.” Continue reading »

Jun 092010

Mighty Wurlitzer also a part of KY Theatre experience

After reading Colleen Glenn’s informative article (“Kentucky Theatre Summer Classic Movies Series returns May 26,” May 19) about nearly all aspects of the 2010 Kentucky Theatre’s Summer Series—including the anticipation of the series, assemblage of the movies, people involved, Flash Gordon Series, and a synopsis of each feature film—were covered. However, there was no mention of one very essential item which is experienced before each matinee and evening feature picture, and has been a part of the Classic Series Film Series since 2001!

Kentucky’s Mighty Wurlitzer-Theatre Organ Project, Inc continues each Series with pre-show mini-concerts on the 2-Manual Conn Theatre Organ (a 1959 tube model), which recreates the movie patron’s experience of the “Golden Age of the movie palace,and at no cost to the Kentucky Theatre Group, Inc or movie patrons. Continue reading »

May 202010

We are kicking ass

Hola NoC,

You guys are kicking ass. Keep up the good work. I appreciate the product that comes from writing for the sake of being heard.

Tim Staley

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Kent State at UK

Thank you so much for your articles on the Kent State protests at UK. I was one of the crowd at Buell Armory that night that the ROTC building burned. Continue reading »