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Courage under fire

I am more than impressed with the way that the surviving students of last week's tragic shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida have channelled their grief, sadness, anger and bewilderment into a burgeoning national movement that appears to be gaining traction.

So far these students, along with supportive parents and teachers, have traveled to the Florida state capitol in Tallahassee to confer with and in some cases confront lawmakers (who for reasons passing understanding debated and voted on a measure identifying pornography as a teen health risk, but would not take up a measure on gun control on the same day); organized numerous rallies and marches; inspired a national movement, #neveragain, that will result in a march in Washington and elsewhere next month; prompted a televised town hall in Sunrise, Florida last night; and instigated a "listening session" with President Trump at the White House yesterday.

All is not positive with this e…
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18 in 45 days

As you well know, our country experienced another tragic school shooting last week, and depending on the criteria used for identification, it may be the 18th such event to have occurred just since the beginning of this year.  That's three per week.

Seventeen students and staff members were killed and numerous others were injured in the attack.  As has been the case multiple times in the past, the perpetrator appears to be a former student with a history of behavioral issues and numerous warning signs that something like this was possible.

To me, the difference with this incident is that many of the students are speaking out about the need for someone to do something.  These students articulate the frustration that so many of us feel in the face of these events, that there must be SOMETHING we as a society can do.  I applaud these students and parents for their statements and hope that they don't let up, now that they have captured the media's attention.

Worth noting here …

And now, something completely different

Borrowed today's title phrase from Monty Python's Flying Circus, a British comedy troupe containing some of the funniest people I've ever seen.

Yes, enough of the gloom-and-doom of current events.  Let's talk about something far more enjoyable.  Or several more things that fit that description!

I've always liked British things, for some reason, from the time I was a kid and could do a passable  British accent (or so I thought, anyway).  The Pythons, as noted above, were always a favorite, and they were well liked by my father, too, despite the fact that he didn't like much of anything foreign.  Kentucky Educational Television used to show Monty Python on Saturday nights at 11:00, and we were allowed to stay up and watch.  I don't know that I always understood the more subtle parts of their humor, but the broad, physical stuff was always a winner with me!

The Anglophile in me always enjoyed music by English performers, too.  As a kid I was aware of the Beatl…

Just when you think things can't get any worse

It's Thursday and our weather here in central Kentucky is still of two minds, apparently.  But we all know that the groundhog is never wrong, so best to brace for more cold.

It seems that hardly a day goes by that we don't learn something about a White House or Trump Administration employee at some level that makes us shake our heads.

Not much question that the overarching news of the last few days is that of the sudden revelation that the White House staff secretary has a history of abusing women, that this history was known to White House staff, that this individual rose through the ranks of White House staff to his current (and soon-to-be former) position as high-ranking members of the administration knew of this history, that prevented this individual from obtaining an appropriate security clearance to do his job (the staff secretary apparently is the person through whom all official paper makes its way to the Oval Office for the review or signature or approval of the Pres…

Retail price

Good Sunday morning, friends.  Our on-again/off-again dance with winter produced a small snowfall early this morning, so if you're in central Kentucky with places to go this morning, please be careful!

My wife and I yesterday made a day trip to Cincinnati, just for a change of pace and to visit some places we don't have here in Cincinnati.  As I've explained in this space before, we like visiting Cincinnati, because it's the nearest "large" city to us and it's just a little more than an hour away by car.

Anyway, our primary destinations when visiting the Queen City (with apologies to Charlotte, which also calls itself the same) usually begin with the Kenwood Towne Centre, at the intersection of Kenwood and Montgomery Roads and adjacent to I-71.  This mall is one of the few well-maintained enclosed shopping malls in the region (we have Fayette Mall here in Lexington that could also be described similarly) and it generally a pleasure to visit.

We arrived ye…

The state of the union

Good Tuesday morning, friends.Our schizophrenic weather has plunged us back into the deep freeze this morning, as the temperature is currently a balmy 25 degrees as I write this!
As you probably know, tonight is the State of the Union address, an annual requirement for the sitting President to report to Congress and, by extension, the country, on how we’re doing as a nation.Historically it’s often an exercise in both self-congratulation and introducing new legislative objectives for the coming year.
I would emphasize the word “historically” here, because our current President is nothing if not willing to buck historical trends.
For instance, his administration sports the lowest year-one approval rating of ANY presidency in history.He has had an alarming number of cabinet and staff personnel depart during that first year in office, whether they’ve left voluntarily or otherwise.He and his allies in Congress have fully politicized and subsequently attacked the Federal Bureau of Investig…

Scanning the horizon

Greetings, friends.  We're out of the deep freeze here in my home area, although the thermometer can't seem to make up its mind what each day will feel like.  Yesterday our temperatures were in the high 50's with some scattered showers; today we have already achieved our predicted high temp of 43 degrees!

If you're an employee of the federal government, I'm happy that you're going back to work today.  But given the way that the entire shutdown drama unfolded, I wonder if you're not in for a longer period of inactivity come February 8.  That's the next date when the government ceases to be funded, and avoiding that shutdown rests on verbal commitments by politicians, most notably from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, from my own state of Kentucky.

Worth noting that late Friday night McConnell procedurally objected to an bill that would have ensured that military personnel would retain their pay and the families of fallen soldiers their death benef…