Wednesday, 27 March 2013 12:32
RE: Sequestration threatens vulnerable children
Head Start and Early Head Start programs are facing devastating budget cuts that will eliminate vital services for nearly 70,000 at-risk children. By failing to avert the budget sequester, our elected officials have missed the opportunity to lead by example and place the most vulnerable among us on a pathway to lifelong success.
As the Child Development Director of the KCEOC’s Head Start/Early Head Start Program, I can tell you that these cuts will be particularly catastrophic to the children and families we serve. For nearly fifty years Head Start has been getting results in preparing our neediest children for school, and leading the early childhood field in innovation and quality through both high standards and relentless insistence on excellence. Here in Kentucky, sequester means 1,100 fewer children can be served by Head Start and Early Head Start.
Head Start and other non-defense discretionary programs – at 3.4% of the budget – are not the cause of our growing dept. Congress and the Administration need to act quickly to restore fiscal stability and maintain funding for Kentucky’s at-risk children. Our nation’s budget simply cannot be balanced at the expense of America’s most vulnerable children and their families.
Child Development Director.
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 12:39
We’re not gonna take it
God’s children too long have been silent,
But we will not remain any longer.
We have awakened from our sleep,
When you put down my precious Lord
You’re walking on the fighting side of me.
Obama may believe Homosexuals have a right to every privilege of Christians. You sir, are wrong. You think you are in control of the world, God is still on his throne. He did not die and vacate the premises.
If this is your lifestyle, I ask you to change in the name of Jesus, Satan has to flee. If you are a sinner, God does not hear your prayer. People say they don’t believe that because they prayed and got theirs answered. What you don’t understand, there was a saint of God praying too.
The prayers of a righteous man availeth much. God is love, we must worship in deed, not in words. The Bible is a two edged sword. We should not use it to slice each other up. If the church would get on fire for God, sinners would come to watch it burn.
We invite you to Whitehall Baptist Church – Pastor Earnest Smith. God’s word will be preached. If only hypocrites go there, we always have room for one more.
Jesus and Judy Smallwood Smith
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 12:34
The evolution of politicians to public liars is the only real threat to America. Al-Qaeda and the other manufactured threats that keep our tax dollars flowing to the “military industrial complex” are strictly kindergarten compared to our politicians. Nowadays, they even dramatize their lies with props.
President Obama recently decorated his background with poor souls who would, according to him, be devastated by sequestration, which he knew would not cut one dime out of any federal budget. The ‘cuts’ that spawned his lies would simply require federal agencies to make do with the same budgets they had the previous year. Where were the 700,000 layoffs, long boarding lines at airports, kids kicked out of preschool, and burned-down houses in 2012?
Our founding fathers viewed the press as essential to our democratic republic. They expected reporters to keep the citizenry factually informed. Like our politicians, the press has also evolved to something less than their envisioned role in our democracy.
For example, after Obama and his supporters failed to convince the citizenry that sequestration would produce floods, famine, and a defenseless America, they changed their tact and launched the so-called “charm offensive.” The press reported that they had “changed their tune.” Instead of reporting they had stopped lying, they had “changed their tune.” Calling a spade a spade used to have merit. Has that also evolved to something less?
Both political parties are equally and obviously guilty of the most harmful public lie of all, gridlock, and it is a sworn lie to boot. Politicians raise their right hands to swear to serve America “well and good.” They do neither. Their allegiance is to themselves and their cash cows. Their 12% job approval rating confirms their allegiance.
When it comes to lying, there is no significant difference between Republicans and Democrats, especially among the long-sitting incumbents. They constantly lie about their ideological differences. Yet, their few legislative outcomes yield the same results. They get wealthier and middle class citizens get poorer and fewer.
Our lying politicians are indeed the only real threat to America. Abraham Lincoln once said: “No foreign troops would ever walk along the Mississippi or stomp the Blue Ridge. An enemy within will be our undoing.” By doggies, he was right. The “enemy within” is deeply entrenched and well fortified on Capitol Hill.
An informed, responsible electorate is the only power on Earth that can eliminate the corruption and cash-cow influence in Washing. Current voters have two choices. They can fumigate Congress and the White House or they can continue the status quo and wind up a brief footnote in history, which will simply state they were the voters who stood by and let their corrupt politicians kill America right out in broad daylight and didn’t lift a finger to help her.
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 13:30
It looks like Ritchie Farmer is facing another Goliath.
On the Internet yesterday, I discovered the "Manchester Forum" and noted the venom and vicious criticism aimed at Ritchie, which had apparently been triggered by the prospect of him becoming the basketball coach at Clay County High School.
I was born and raised in Clay County. My first cousin, Scott Parks, played center there for Coach Spurlock before Clay County High School was born. It was Manchester High School back in those days. He received a scholarship to Morehead State University, which was Morehead State College during his basketball career there. Consequently, I am aware of the enthusiasm for basketball that has long resided in Clay County.
Like many other people across Kentucky, I have been a Ritchie Farmer fan since I watched him help Clay County win the state championship in 1987. He would have helped UK win another championship if Coach Pitino had made the correct defensive call in the closing seconds of the Duke game, particularly since Duke went on to win the title that year.
Some folks may forget that Ritchie Farmer would not have made it to UK without the external pressure the press and others put on UK to recruit him. According to the experts, Ritchie was too short and too slow to play basketball in the Southeastern Conference. His jersey now hangs in the upper reaches of Rupp Arena certifying the extent of their flawed judgment of his basketball skills.
His career at UK reminded me of the David and Goliath story because of the similarities. In today’s rugged times, it essentially paralleled David’s feat.
Recently, he has sustained some heavy criticism for alleged wrongdoing. I have no firsthand knowledge or facts related to the allegations and therefore will not comment further, but I do wonder about his critics in the "Manchester Forum." Why so cruel?
I would wager that very few people, if any, can look back over their lives and say, "If I had it all to do over, I wouldn’t change a thing." I can only speak for myself, but I certainly would not do it all the same as I did the first time around.
Early on in life, no one passes out a how-to manual that shows us how to maneuver around the pitfalls that are scattered about life like potholes. Their great numbers practically guarantee the likelihood that some painful lessons will have to be learned along the way.
Moreover, I believe that most honest people can look back and find a time in their lives when they desperately needed a second chance and were given a second chance. At some juncture, we all need or will need our full quota of second chances.
I have over 30 years of experience working with students of middle and high school ages. Ten of those years I had the privilege of coaching football and basketball. When instruction and treatment are guided by the Golden Rule, about 99.8% of students will react to them with idealism and fair-mindedness. Accordingly, I have no doubt that any group of young men in black and gold would go the extra mile to help a wiser Ritchie Farmer slay another Goliath.
It turns out that the well-known Biblical verse (John 8:7) is the ideal closing for this letter. "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 13:27
A few years ago during a Ponder family reunion, E.B. “Reb” Allen gave me a collection of his poems. My favorite was “Shadow Miner”. This poem became a favorite of mining brothers in the United Kingdom. They asked for and received permission from Mr. Allen to post it on a coal mining based website in the U.K.
Wigon is a town in Lancashire, England that was once a hub of coal mining with many, very deep mines in a small area. Most of them were closed early in the 19th century but the nostalgia of their coal mining history remains a matter of local pride.
“An excellent ballad, and whilst it commemorates the miners of Harlan County in the U.S.A., it has meaning for miners throughout the world.”
–Iris and John Ellis
This tribute was sent to “Reb” Allen’s daughter Shila.
Submitted by Ted Garrison
How’d the dust blight come upon me?
Them I’ll tell you if I must,
‘bout the blight of the Shadow Miner,
Who walks the midnight dust.
T’was the year ’76, and the middle of March,
At the end of the number one line,
When the Shadow brought fire, and smoke and death,
To the boys in the Oven Fork Mine.
The Smoke was so thick, you could cut it.
The heat more than any could bear.
And the sound of top falling on the roadway
To the portal for which we much steer.
It was silent on number three section,
The shadow had plotted the mood.
There was no sound of life or motion,
To break the solitude.
Except the wailing of the gob rats,
That squealed in fearful disgust,
And the flapping of the brattice cloth curtain,
Making way for the smoke and the dust.
I said to myself, “I must keep my nerve.”
Through far the portal be,
Yet my heart would be much lighter,
If I only had company.
And so I sang and shouted,
Keeping rhythm, as I sped.
To the screech from the soles of my work shoes,
As they sprang beneath my tread.
Not far into the air course,
Had I stumbled on my way,
When I saw a dusty figure,
In a capuchin of gray.
And bending upon my shoe toes,
With a long and limber stride,
I caught the dusty stranger,
And we traveled side by side.
But no token of communion,
Gave he by word of nod,
And a fear chill fell upon me,
At the crossing of the gob.
For I saw by my dim lit mine light,
As I followed, lungs a bust,
That the walking of the stranger,
Left no footprints in the dust.
Then the far chill gathered o’er me,
Like a shroud around me cast,
As I sank upon the gob pile,
Where the Shadow Miner passed.
And the other miners found me,
Just before the break of day,
With my fair skin burned and blackened,
As the dust in which I lay.
But they spoke not, as they raised me,
For they knew that in the night,
I had seen the Shadow Miner,
And had withered in his blight.
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