April 6, 2014

Goodbye to Jim Segrest, a Louisville treasure

Saturday Louisville lost a treasure with the passing of Butchertown's Jim Segrest. He will be missed.

When another Louisville treasure, preservationist Ann Hassett, passed on in 2011, it was Jim who called me and suggested she might be best honored if her passing was used to draw attention the need for a downtown preservation district. It's hard to say no to Jim. His charm was very persuasive.

So I penned an op-ed in the Courier-Journal suggesting Jim's idea, and for once in my lifetime, the CJ endorsed one of my (sic) ideas on the same editorial page.

Curtis Morrison | Why historic district is needed
Editorial : Preserving Louisville

Jim, who the CJ once referred to as a gadfly, even brought me and the evil Gannett shortly-together. That was his brand of magic: bringing people together. There are countless stories of how Jim played a role in making Louisville communities as livable and vibrant as they could be, without taking credit. I just thought I'd share that one. Because Jim's impact was so enormous on our city, his legacy should be honored appropriately. Any ideas? (Hint: See above.)


Calvary Episcopal Church
821 S 4th St, Louisville, KY 40203 (4TH & York)
Wednesday, April 9 2014

Visitation: 4:00 pm-5: 45 pm
FUNERAL: 6 :00 pm
Interment at Cave Hill

February 4, 2014

KDP releases anti-Mitch McConnell infographic

(Editor's note: I've been getting emails of concern regarding why I have deactivated my social media. It's a personal matter and I am fine.)

Check the box!
The Kentucky Democratic Party (KDP) has released an infographic produced to encourage Kentuckians to voluntarily contribute $2 to the party on their Kentucky tax returns, suggesting the money will go to "help defeat Mitch McConnell."  According to a mass email email sent out this morning, $1.50 of each voluntary contribution will go to the state party, and $.50 will go to tax filer's county Democratic party.

Designate the $2. Even if you're mad at the KDP for this or that. As Rep. John Yarmuth says "money isn't speech, it's volume." And it is time to turn up the volume. I plan to check the box and get my return in as soon as Insider Louisville gets me a 1099.
(Nudge, Terry, nudge.)

January 27, 2014

Mitch McConnell prepares to recast himself as our only hope against NSA

Sen. Mitch McConnell knew about the gross NSA infringements upon the civil rights of American citizens, as an ex officio member of the Senate Intelligence Committee since 2007. But as McConnell cowardly remained silent about those abuses, whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed to us their construction, extent and context. McConnell's reaction was a swift condemnation of Snowden, saying "I hope that he is prosecuted to the full extent of the law."(CBS) Because, you know, surveillance of the American people is necessary and not wrong, except...

When McConnell made allegations he was under illegal surveillance last April, he asked the FBI to investigate how he it happened, and then asked the U.S. Attorney's office to do something about it. (MotherJones.com) McConnell is complicit in the surveillance of most human beings on Earth, yet he has no shame about assuming the victim's mantel when he mistakenly believes his own precious civil liberties could have been violated.  

Now McConnell faces Matt Bevin as a challenger in Kentucky's upcoming Republican primary. Bevin is calling for an end to "unconstitutional NSA surveillance of American citizens." He even wants to roll back the Patriot Act, which McConnell has called “one of the most important and overdue pieces of legislation in a generation,” adding“it did not go far enough.” (MattBevin.com)(FreedomWorks.org) Bevin's position is aligned close to Tea Party favorite, Sen. Rand Paul but even President Barack Obama is proposing modest NSA reform. McConnell's position on NSA abuses mirrors more President George Bush's more than Obama's or Paul's, and that makes him vulnerable, if he wasn't so darn politically crafty.

Groundhog Day isn't quite here, yet McConnell's already poking his nervous head outside his hole of hypocrisy in preparation for the most predictable 180 degree position flip of his entire career.

Just a couple weeks ago, he said “I think we’re all interested in reviewing the current NSA procedures and were going to take a look at what he (Obama) recommends.” (Gerth, Courier-Journal)

Before we make it to May 20, 2014, I predict McConnell will be gallantly fighting the NSA across Kentucky on horseback with a bald eagle on his shoulder, not in reality, but in commercials aimed at the most-uninformed, and therefore easily-persuaded Kentucky voters.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate McConnell's interest in reforming and gutting his own legacy of abuse against our civil liberties, but re-elect him? Being complicit himself in creating the fertile ground that made NSA abuse possible, does McConnell really have the obtuse audacity to ask Kentucky voters to entrust him to police the very agency he empowered up to now? Come on.

(Political cartoon by Roger Bethke. Like him on Facebook at: Art of Roger Bethke, or visit his website at rogerbethke.com.

January 25, 2014

"Reflections on a snowy day......" by Martina Kunnecke

(Note: The following short essay was written and distributed today by Martina Kunnecke and published here with her permission.)

Reflections on a snowy day...... (by Martina Kunnecke)

221 years ago this week (1/21/1793) , the man for whom Louisville is named lost his head to the guillotine--essentially ending the absolute monarchy that had ruled France for a 1000 years. Years before, the VA legislature had named our fair city after Louis XVI-- who had sent troops to aid the young American country to fight the British.Louisville has a rich historic connection with the French.

January 21, 2014

Khalilah V. Collins, J.P. Davis - whippersnappers who might whip up the council

(Note: An update which previously appeared in this space was removed as the tipster was playing games.)

If you have not noticed, no one has yet filed as a candidate to be Louisville's next mayor, except of course the incumbent Mayor Greg Fischer. (.pdf from clerk's office) This is sad because democracy works best when there are choices. Louisville has never had a woman mayor, a black mayor, or to my knowledge, a Presbyterian mayor. Now that's some backwards for ya. Meanwhile, Metro Council races, the odd-numbered districts for 2014, might be a whole bunch of fun. For instance, check out what's up in Districts 7, 9 and 15 after the jump...