• It’s far-fetched to think that Hillary Clinton’s performance of her duties as secretary of state would be influenced in any way by foreign donations to her husband’s charitable foundation. But it is naive to think that the exhaustive list of donors released Thursday by the William J. Clinton Foundation won’t provoke suspicion and give rise to conspiracy theories in parts of the world where transparency is seen as nothing more than an illusion.

  • From the Editorial Page of The New York Sun, written by Francis P. Church, Sept. 21, 1897.

    We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

    Dear Editor:

    I am 8 years old.

    Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.

    Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.”

    Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

    Virginia O’Hanlon

  • The holiday season is being extended again this year to include one final event, “The Mid-Winter Feaste,” a dinner theater presentation that is marking its 20th anniversary.  

    Mike and Wilma Wilson, perhaps best known as Dr. and Mrs. McDowell  in “Stephen Foster — The Musical”  before retiring several years ago, are the “Father and Mother” of the Bardstown Community Theatre production. Mike wrote the script and acts as producer-director. Wilma handles the peasant dances and leads a madrigal style choral group.  

  • The three most prominent Democrats in national politics during the past two years — Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton — are all ascending from the U.S. Senate to the executive branch, creating open Senate seats for Democratic governors to fill.

    And, oh, what a spectacle it is — of corruption, insider dealing, treacly dynastic politics and rank nepotism. The tidal wave of change turns out to leave a brackish aftertaste in its wake.

  • To the editor:

    It’s time the Democratic Party admits it was wrong when it comes to Iraq and the ability of the United States’ military to secure victory.

    President-elect Barack Obama said on April 10, 2007 that “the idea that the situation in Iraq is improving is simply not credible and that the hard truth is there’s no military solution to this war.” Then on Nov. 28, 2007 Vice President- Elect Joe Biden stated, “this whole notion that the surge is working is fantasy.”

  • Our hats are off to New Haven City Commissioners who passed a first reading last week to make the city’s streets just a little safer.

    The ordinance passed on first reading will create no-parking zones on the town’s two main streets in order to give drivers a better view of the traffic coming their way.

    The new no-parking zones will aid drivers’ views by creating a clearer picture, particularly when delivery trucks are unloading at local businesses.

  • To the editor:

    The Nelson County Public Library was scheduled to host Robert Prather, author of ‘The Strange Case of Jonathan Swift and the Real Long John Silver’ on Dec. 16. The Kentucky Standard featured the author’s visit on the front page prior to the visit and there was much interest expressed from the public to meet the author. Unfortunately, the snow and ice on Dec. 16 prevented the author’s visit.

  • Each holiday season, I make it a point to see my three favorite holiday classics — “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “The Polar Express.”

  • For the past month, there has been a good deal of Christmas related activities and stories in the news. As one who grew up celebrating the holiday, it doesn’t really seem out of the ordinary. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take a moment to take a deep breath, step back and take a long look around us. Although I do not find all the Christmas hype unusual there is something about the constant Christmas clamor that disturbs me beyond the consumerism (don’t get me started).

  • To the editor:

    I think that 99 percent of Americans would agree that as private citizens we should not be allowed to own jet fighter aircraft, warships, tanks and artillery pieces. An almost equal number, myself included, would agree that we may own regular pistols and revolvers, shotguns and hunting rifles. The problem is with the stuff in between.

  • The effects of Kentucky’s budget shortfall will be far-reaching. Any organization that receives state funding is vulnerable, regardless of its function or scope.

    In Nelson County, two areas that will definitely feel the pinch are public schools and commonwealth’s and county attorneys. Education and prosecution may seem as different as apples and oranges, but in this case, they’re one and the same.

  • I have long since lost count of the billions the government has distributed to the less fortunate businesses throughout the country, from AIG to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and now the just-proposed bailout/bankruptcy-prevention plan for the Big 3 auto makers.

    All anyone needs to do is start a business, mismanage funds (AIG), give loans to those who can’t afford to repay them (Fannie, Freddie, Bear Stearns) and make bad investments (take your pick) in order to receive government intervention. Of course, when I make a bad investment I’m left to my losses.

  • To the editor:

    It is no secret that smoking is bad for you and everyone around you.

  • The Night Before Christmas

    (at the White House)

    ’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the nation

    Not a creature was stirring, due to economic stagnation

    A list of woes was hung by the chimney with care,

    In hopes that Obama would soon be there;

    The twins were nestled all snug in their beds,

    While visions of bourbon balls danced in their heads

    And mamma in her ‘kerchief’ eating a wrap

    Had just settled down with the world’s biggest sap

  • Some co-workers and I recently discussed which generation we fall into —baby boomers, Generation X, Generation Y and so on. At age 33, I am right in the middle of Generation X, which includes those born from 1965-1980.

    We did some unscientific research — also known as googling — to see which characteristics define our generation. Although it is impossible to make millions of people fit one mold, it was interesting to consider whether the characteristics listed were applicable to our personalities.

  • When Franklin Roosevelt was pounding on the evils of business at the height of the New Deal, the great economist John Maynard Keynes tried to pull him back: “It is a mistake to think businessmen are more immoral than politicians.”

  • In handling questions about the arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich — for allegedly trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama’s former Senate seat to the highest bidder — Obama has gone strictly by the book. His statements have been cautious and precise, careful not to get ahead of the facts or make declarations that might later have to be retracted.

    For most politicians, that would be good enough. For Obama, who inspired the nation with a promise of “change we can believe in,” it’s not.

  • To the editor:

    For the first 18 years of my life, I lived in Nelson County. I then made my journey out of Nelson County into the world of college education and then on to the work field in another state.

  • Dec. 10 marked Human Rights Day 2008. This annual observance always evokes deep reflection in me.

    This year’s theme was “Dignity and justice for all of us.” This theme reinforced the vision of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That vision builds on the Declaration’s core values of  inherent human dignity, non-discrimination, equality, fairness and universality — which core values have to  apply to everyone, everywhere and always.

  • I’ll miss Byron Crawford. His folksy way of telling the news and his unique knack for finding a feature story that made you want to keep reading even after the story stopped were my favorite things.

    My favorite stories the Courier-Journal reporter wrote were about those close to Nelson County. My bias is evident. But soon, he’ll be gone. He was part of the 51 layoffs the Courier Journal had this week. Technically, Crawford took early retirement. But he’ll be gone nonetheless.