Thursday, April 21, 2011

Breif Thoughts - The Flintstones, Entitlements, and the Ballot Box

From Facebook - My Durrett HS classmate and friend Jeff Reid posted the following, referencing an old cartoon, a favorite of most of us our age. The Flintstones cartoon, with Fred and Wilma and Barney and Betty, premiered exactly one week after my birth, on September 30, 1960 and had its original run until April 1, 1966. One of the images we can all picture - at least those of us of a certain age - is Fred running, arm and fist extended, yelling "Charge!!!"

As a note, Jeff and I differ in political philosophy, which isn't a bad thing. Here is Jeff's entry, which is political in nature:

Does anyone else have visions of Wilma and Betty from the Flintstones, running out of the house yelling C H A R G E I T!!!!! Whenever I hear some of our politicians talking about fiscal responsibility?? --note: To anyone to young to have seen this cartoon you are simply socially deprived. ;)

Here is my response:

Obama is following in the footsteps of GWB and RWR, two other presidents who loved spending money but weren't willing to raise the revenues to cover their wars. For Reagan, that was left to Clinton, who left office with a huge surplus. If the Republicans want to cut entitlements as they say, they should go ahead and do so. They control both chambers and could probably override the president's veto with enough blue dog Democratic votes. Their only fear is the ballot box next year and the revenge of those receiving the entitlement checks, most of whom are older, disabled, and/or retired and are very good voters. If the Democrats want to champion the entitlement programs, they have to raise taxes to pay for it. Their only fear is the ballot box next year and the revenge of younger voters, most of whom have never received an entitlement check, and those who have are, like most people their age, very poor voters. Either way works but one or the other side has to get over their fear of revenge at the ballot box.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

689. Bhatraju, Facebook, and the Civil War - and Hidden Location #16

No, they aren't all related.

It has been almost a month since I've made an entry. A lot hasn't happened in that time. The two biggest things that didn't happen - at least in many Kentuckians minds - were part of the Madness of March. Louisville didn't beat Morehead State and Kentucky didn't beat Connecticut. Also, the Federal government didn't shut down, much to the chagrin of people on both sides of the aisle, all of whom said they didn't want it to, but many of whom would like for that to happen for one reason or another. What else hasn't happened?

For one thing, people didn't stop reading the blog, despite the lack of posts. According to the people-watching counters we're still averaging 34 hits a day. Woohoo. And, while I've been away, we crossed the 80,000th visit-mark. 80,000. That apparently happened on March 15 but I can't quite determine who it was.

But, let's move on. Item #1 above is Bhatraju. That's the surname of a dear friend of mine, Kiran Bhatraju, presently residing in Washington, D.C., but a native of Pike County, Kentucky, home to Pikeville University, one of the two local colleges which did win a basketball tournament last month. The Pikeville Bears defeated Mountain State University 83-76 for the championship of the NAIA Division I. Congratulations, Pikeville. The other college which was a championship was Louisville's own Bellarmine University Knights. Bellarmine defeated Brigham Young University-Hawaii 71-68 to win the school's first NCAA Division II title. Congratulations to Coach Davenport and the Knights. But, I digress.

I was speaking of my Pikeville friend Kiran Bhatraju. Today is his birthday. I ran into Kiran while I was in DC a few weeks back. We had a wonderful night out on the town at a place called Vinoteca, a wine-and-meat-and-cheese bar at 9th and U streets NW. It was Mariachi night, so all the Spanish wine bottles were half-off and we indulged our Castillian urges with some vino y carne y queso. If you were following my trip to DC on Facebook, you would already have this knowledge, as I "Facebooked" the whole trip.

That brings us to Item #2, Facebook. Lately, I've written quite a few updates on my Facebook, causing a serious deficit over here at the Left Bank of the Ohio River near Milepost 606. I need a more balanced way of writing, but as yet, I haven't stumbled upon it. In lieu of that, I am copying below a few of the entries for you perusal.

To wit,

Bourbon, for me, is usually reserved for one of three events - 1) Horse racing, 2) UK Football, or 3) Election Night.

Remember, before the Brown Bag was the Brown Bag, it was the Zanzibar. After the Brown Bag was the Brown Bag, it became the Zanzabar.

Here is the trivial matter: Elstner, Engle, Hill, Horton, McPherson, Philpot, Saint Clair Morton, Karnasch, Clark, Saunders, and Southworth. What's their significance to Louisville? No Googling.

The island where Baxter, Main, and Story intersect. Three US highway routes meet here, one of which ends. Can you name them?

And finally, We could all probably use a FB shutdown - maybe have time to check our regular emails and vacuum the living room. Maybe.

That last one is quite telling.

One of those Facebook quotes concerned a trivia question which was correctly answered by Hau Le, a senior at Central High School. He correctly identified those names as being those of forts in the Louisville area during the Civil War, known to some as the late War Between the States, or the War of Northern Aggression. The American Civil War began 150 years ago today with the firing on Fort Sumpter (South Carolina) of shots by a Lt. Col. Henry S. Farley of the Confederate States Army. The rest, as they say, is history. I just didn't want this date passing us by with a comment. A civil war 150 years ago doesn't seem so far removed after the elections of 2010 as it, perhaps, should.

Finally, a new Hidden Location. There are two pictures, taken from the same spot. There are two ways to win with this one. First, name the spot. Second, name the significance of that spot to today's post.

Happy Trails, and Happy Birthday, Kiran.

The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.