• I am a registered liberal who mostly toes the party line, but I am not devoted to the idea of big government. I loathe the law in New York state requiring gas pump nozzles to not latch. This means that I must stand beside my vehicle, holding the nozzle lever open, instead of latching it and walking into the gas station to use the john which, if you’re an older male and hear gushing liquid, you feel a powerful urge to do, so thanks to legislative over-regulation, I am on the verge of humiliating myself.

  • The U.S. shoots down a Syrian fighter-bomber. Iran launches missiles into eastern Syria. Russia threatens to attack coalition aircraft west of the Euphrates. What is going on?

    It might appear a mindless mess, but the outlines are clear. The great Muslim civil war, centered in Syria, is approaching its post-Islamic State phase. It’s the end of the beginning. The parties are maneuvering to shape what comes next.

  • Back when I was in Congress, I got a call from a constituent one day. I’d recently voted to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, and the man was more than irate. “Don’t you understand that we’ve got a serious spending and debt problem in this country?” he asked. “Why did you cast this idiotic vote?”

    He was right about the problem. But he was wrong about the vote. With Congress fast approaching another debt-ceiling vote and yet one more “fiscal cliff” drama taking shape, I’d like to explain why that is.

  • Gov. Matt Bevin might want to take a closer look at the motto on the flag of the state he was elected to represent.

    “United we stand. Divided we fall,” has graced our flag for almost a century.

    Yet, on Wednesday, this newspaper and many others received a guest opinion piece by Blake Brickman, the governor’s chief of staff, accusing the state’s largest newspapers of working in tandem with Democrats to intentionally harm Kentucky’s progress.

  • This week kicks off what’s been described as a “living tradition” as hundreds of musicians descend on Bardstown for Kentucky Music Week.

    There will be 50 instructors offering 150 classes on everything from dulcimers, guitar and ukuleles to clogging, stained glass and basketry.

    The five days of festivities begin with a jam session tonight, the first of many.

    Classes this year are at Bardstown City Schools, where as many as 500 participants from 30 states are expected to attend.

  • Who knew that back in 2003, when two guys from Australia, who had adopted Bardstown as their American home, closed the streets down and hosted a big party right in the heart of downtown that we would still be carrying on the same tradition 15 years later? Most would have said that it just wouldn’t happen, but the tradition lives on today and shows just what the determination of two individuals can achieve.

  • On June 10, I had the distinct pleasure to attend the opening night of “The Stephen Foster Story” in historic Bardstown. The talented cast was so entertaining, and the night flew by. The musical is truly a great Kentucky story about the life and music of the talented Stephen Foster, one of the first genuinely American composers.

  • Mexico has always been the “big problem” for the U.S. A neighbor whom we have regarded as perpetually impoverished; who seeks to steal our jobs; and whose violent gangs seek to engage our youth in violence and drugs. But, is it a problem because of the fear we have of their violence? Or, isn’t it fear of hordes of Mexico’s poor flooding our cities and overwhelming our systems?

  • Would you like a ticket to ride on the Gravy Train to Fat City? And you ask, where do I get that ticket? Well, according to an article, dated Sept. 10, 2013, from Forbes contributor Addison Wiggin, that train is the charter school movement.

  • Nelson County Library Director Sharon Shanks says she was quite gratified for the large crowd that turned out earlier this month at the fairgrounds to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the modern library operation in the county.


    Guest Columnist

    The Iranian Revolution and its aftermath, including the hostage crisis, form the basis for the antipathy many Americans feel for Iran. It was the Iranians who held U.S. diplomats hostage for 444 days, parading them, for maximum effect, across American television screens virtually every night.

  • Good and bad are very subjective terms. We all think we know the difference, and in many ways we do, but when it comes to people, the lines get somewhat blurry.

    Just a few weeks ago, we had an incident in this area where someone was killed after committing an alleged crime and taking a few shots at the police in the process. Seems pretty cut and dried. This was a bad guy and killing him was a good thing.

  • The Nelson County Schools system has recently started a series of “listening sessions” to discuss the issues experienced during the past school year. The main concerns include leadership by the district available to staff at the schools and student discipline.

  • A man lost his life this month when he was shot and killed in Bardstown by police officers during a shootout that came at the end of a high-speed chase that lasted more than two hours.

    Any loss of life in such a situation is a tragedy. The events in the early morning hours of June 5 would have been even more horrendous had one of the officers involved been shot or killed.

  • The sign by my seat said, “Fasten seatbelt whilst seated,” so clearly it was a British airline. My daughter and wife were alongside me and we were off to Europe for a break from the news. Our mad king had essentially been indicted in sworn testimony and he claimed vindication and offered to testify under oath, forgetting the one he’d taken in January. Crazy times: it’s good to go away.

  • Tragedies such as the attack on a congressional baseball team cry out for interpretation, and resist it.

  • While we may not like to admit it, hunger is everywhere, in every single community, including Nelson County.

    While the economy has been improving, food insecurity and poverty remain higher than before the Great Recession of 2008 began. And while food insecurity rates have declined, the millions of people still facing hunger could be falling further behind.

  • A father is the best teacher there is to be a father.

    There’s no handbook that I have found. There are plenty of books and websites willing to dispense advice. But as I near the one-decade mark of being a father to two little boys, what I find most valuable are the lessons my father taught me.

    He was not perfect, but he did more right than he got wrong. I’m sure I am making my own mistakes, and will make more in the future, but I hope that in the end I can live up to providing my boys with as good a father as I had.

  • It was a great relief to have Mr. Twitter out of the country for nine whole days, and the entire country felt it, like when your neighbor with the busted muffler goes away for a while and takes his yappy dog with him, and you realize what a beautiful thing common civility can be. We were able to turn to the joys of life and forget the absurdities for a while.

  • So what if, in his speech last week to NATO, Donald Trump didn’t explicitly reaffirm the provision that an attack on one is an attack on all?

    What’s the big deal? Didn’t he affirm a general commitment to NATO during his visit? Hadn’t he earlier sent his vice president and secretaries of state and defense to pledge allegiance to Article 5?

    And anyway, who believes that the United States would really go to war with Russia — and risk nuclear annihilation — over Estonia?