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Opinion

  • As we gather with family and friends to celebrate the season, it is important to take time to remember the brave men and women in uniform who cannot be home with their loved ones during the holidays because they are serving our country abroad.

    This year, about 285,000 American troops will serve overseas during the holidays, including more than 6,400 from Kentucky.  Fortunately, there are many ways we can show our support and share the Christmas spirit with our nation’s service men and women.

  • During my relatively short time in newspapers, I’ve been welcomed into countless homes.

    I’ve been welcomed into homes great and small, opulent and sparse. I’ve been welcomed into homes by those who are sick and dying, and by those who are healthy and living life to its fullest.

    And last week, I was welcomed into the home of Tony and Connie Hernandez. Theirs is a home full of love, life, joy and laughter.

    The family is, to put it simply, amazing.

  • One of the most challenging problems facing state government these days is our sky-rocketing prison population.

    This decade alone, the number of inmates has risen nearly 50 percent, while costs have gone up by more than half.  In the last fiscal year, we spent $450 million to house more than 21,000 prisoners, a population roughly the same size as our 17th largest city.

    In January, the legislature’s Program Review and Investigations Committee began taking a closer look at the reasons behind this surge.

  • Jesus did not ask the blind man or the leper, “give me your silver pieces and THEN I will heal you.”  Health care in this country is bought and sold at the marketplace for profit like any other private consumption good at the expense of human lives. Yet, we claim to be a Christian nation.  122 people die each day in the US due to lack of access to health care; that number is far greater than those who died on 911 and the death toll continues to rise. Where is the memorial to these fellow Americans?

  • The White House says it has good reasons to bring the terrorists who planned the 9/11 attacks to New York City to try them in a federal courtroom instead of at the secure detention facility at Guantanamo. But I can’t think of any.

    The reasons why that decision is a mistake, however, are easy to list. It puts the tools we use to fight terror at risk. And it is a needless risk to America’s security. And it gives these terrorists a worldwide platform to spread their hateful propaganda.

  • Dennis Prager, a well-known author and radio talk-show host, has written that gratitude is the key to happiness. Here is how he has put it:

    “There is a ‘secret to happiness’ and it is gratitude. All happy people are grateful, and ungrateful people cannot be happy. We tend to think that it is being unhappy that leads people to complain, but it is truer to say that it is complaining that leads to people becoming unhappy. Become grateful and you will become a much happier person.”

  • The local political season has started. To inform the interested, it is time for those who want to be active in their local, state or federal government to enter the system by applying for a position from now until Jan. 26 at 4 p.m. Either join us at our meetings or go to the Henry County Clerks Office for the forms and information to join the process.

  • It is hard to believe that three-fourths of the year is already over.  With that said, it is time for the annual New Castle Fall Fling, Saturday, Oct. 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in historic New Castle. 

  • Although Speaker Pelosi’s flawed 1,990 page health care bill (H.R. 3962) passed the House on Nov. 7, the debate on health care reform is far from over. 

    We need health care legislation that will give the American people the reform they have asked for: fix what is broken in our health care system, reduce cost and increase access to health insurance.  That is why my Republican colleagues and I introduced the Common Sense Health Reform and Affordability Act (H.R. 4038).

  • I am, typically, a patient person. I don’t easily lose my temper, nor do I get frustrated quickly.

    But last week, my patience was tested.

    Ten years ago, I started making baklava. For the uninitiated, baklava is a glorious combination of phyllo dough, honey, nuts and spices. It is rich, sweet, crunchy, and unbelievably delicious.

    I was introduced to this heavenly concoction as a kiddo when my mother toted me to an Helenic festival in Evansville. There, we found gobs of the stuff, and it was love at first munch.

  • I have often heard Henry Countians express their belief in traditional values, in their appreciation for the old ways, and their respect for the past. However, for a community as deeply rooted in what is perceived as tradition, it is very sad to see so little care taken of the physical reminders of where we have been and who we are.

  • A woman and her pocketbook share a unique bond. A pocketbook serves not only as a carrying case for any number of “necessary” items, it is also a fashion statement, and in some ways a reflection of her personality. A woman is apt to fuss about her purse now and then while a man will tend to carry around the same old wallet until it is so worn that bills start falling out. Most women need a frequent change in purses. 

  • As Veterans Day is upon us, we must remember that our country stands tall because of what veterans did and the values they stand for. Although many of our country’s giants were veterans, it’s important to remember that many of the veterans who pledged their lives for our freedom are quiet heroes, common folk that we know as neighbors and friends and family members.

  • When I was a child, cars were not equipped with shoulder harnesses, only lap belts, and child safety seats had yet to be invented.

    I remember clambering over back seats to take a nap in the rear compartment of the station wagon. I remember sitting literally on the edge of the front seat gazing out the windshield at stars and the roadside scenery whizzing by seemingly inches from my face.

    It was fun, and luckily we were never in a wreck.

  • On October 29, 2009, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the Democrats’ new health care reform legislation.  The Speaker, who once famously promised the “most open and transparent Congress in history,” added more than 900 pages to H.R. 3200 behind closed doors to develop a bigger, more expensive and more complicated health care reform package, the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962).

  • As Governor Beshear and the General Assembly prepare for the upcoming legislative session, it is becoming increasingly clear that the state’s two-year budget will be the most challenging Kentucky has faced since the Great Depression.

    Federal stimulus dollars have helped significantly, but unless Congress provides additional funds, the stimulus dollars will run out by the budget’s second year.  Barring an economic miracle, there will be considerable budget gaps and no painless way to fill them.

  • I would like to thank everyone who came out to the recent New Castle Fall Fling on Oct 3. Thank you for braving the winds. I would like to thank the following businesses and individuals for helping us put on the annual New Castle Fall Fling: Walmart — LaGrange, Jerry Durrett, Steve and Rhonda Heightchew, Peggy and Chuck Cox.

    I would like to thank our bands, Legacy and Longshot for keeping us entertained throughout the day.

  • One of my gurus, a psychiatrist famous in the 1940s and 1950s for his self-help program, wrote that one could take stress in stride by accepting frustration as an expected occurrence in everyday life. “Life is a business of frustrations,” he taught his patients to recite whenever the inevitable occurred. His was not a negative approach to life but rather a realistic one.

  • As we prepare for the Veterans Day assembly at Henry County High School, I wanted to once again thank the donors who contributed, this time by publicly recognizing them.  I also want to list the details of the assembly, for anyone wishing to attend.

    The owners and members of the following organizations – as well as the individual households listed– allowed us to reach our goal of providing medals to award veterans at this year’s assembly:

    1. Norms’ Food World

    2. REP Rick Rand (Rand Insurance Agency)

  • It’s hard to believe that in a county presumably named after Patrick Henry — that great man who declared, “Give me Liberty or give me death!” — that anybody would face the property rights issues the Cooks of New Castle are facing. Patrick Henry, by the way, was the first governor of Virginia in 1776, was also the first governor of what is now Kentucky.

    Maybe your county officials could do some reading of a good biography of Henry. Public officials these days are in need of some learning about what Liberty really means.