Frankfort

Horse Park encounters wrath of Ken Ham in State-funded theme park battle royale

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May 1, 2012
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Kentucky has a lot of awesome things. A state park called “Big Bone Lick” is just one of them. A crazy-ass Governor who’s willing to slash education by $50 Million while handing $43 Million to a creationist theme park that will build a giant Noah’s Ark complete with dinosaurs adorning the boat alongside men is another.

We’ve also got some cool rivalries. The Hatfields and McCoys. UK and Louisiville. Our coal-bought politicians and the lives of real human beings in Eastern Kentucky.

But one thing Kentucky has until now lacked is a great inter-tourism rivalry.

No more!

Ken Ham, the fully evolved brain behind the Creation Museum and the Biblically accurate Dinosaur Ark Park, recently lashed out at the Kentucky Horse Park because horses are actually bunnies or something which basically boils down to, yes, Ken Ham lecturing scientists on how evolution really happened.

Yes. The guy who believes dudes used to live 8 centuries as recently as like three millenia ago is also an expert on horse evolution.

The most excellent Ms. Blackford has the story:

Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, wrote a blog post published Saturday titled “Kentucky Horses Will Lead You Astray,” which challenges the validity of a permanent display.

Ham contends the idea of horse evolution is false, and he particularly disputes the line of prehistoric horses that scientists link to the modern horse.

Ham writes that in the display, two early horses, Miohippus and Merychippus, grow steadily bigger.

“What’s the problem, though, with the belief that horses somehow evolved into larger and larger animals? If that were true, shouldn’t we see only very large horses today? But we don’t — horses vary in size from the Clydesdale to the much smaller Fallabella (just 17 inches tall).”

Served!

Obviously the very best part of this (there’s more, read it all) is that Steve Beshear is giving tax breaks to Ken Ham’s theme park and Ken Ham is picking fights with the established state industry theme park.

That’s a great rivalry that is sure to increase Kentucky’s tourism brand and just goes to show you that you can give the crazy pretend Bible “literalist” $43 Million in taxpayer subsidy, but you can’t domesticate him. He is no horse, certainly not a very large one.

Coal Long and It was Good to Know Ya!

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May 1, 2012
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American Electric Power — the nation’s largest consumer of coal — held its annual meeting recently and CEO Nicholas Akins told shareholders that the company’s future in coal is diminishing as coal reserves diminish — expressing the truth that there is no future in coal which those in the industry know but are never willing to talk about:

“By 2020, we estimate natural gas will account for 27 percent of AEP’s generating capacity, compared with 24 percent today,” he said.

Coal will fall to 50 percent in 2020 from 67 percent in 2011, with the rest made up of nuclear, renewables, hydro and pumped storage and energy efficiency.

“This effort to create a more sustainable balance of our generation resources will be very challenging and expensive but will provide long-term fuel stability and allow us to adapt to the major upcoming market and operational changes,” he said.

Ken Ward Jr.’s excellent Coal Tattoo has a lot more reflection on what those statements mean — along with a tie-in to AEP’s Big Sandy project in Kentucky — and why coal-bought government leaders aren’t willing to acknowledge this reality… and why reporters aren’t more willing to confront them about it.

Citizens Say No to Kentucky Power Electric Rate Increase

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April 30, 2012
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Happening now…

Citizens Say No to Kentucky Power Electric Rate Increase

Over 1,000 comments turned in urging Public Service Commission to reject Kentucky Power Company’s proposed 30% rate increase

[Frankfort, KY] – On Friday, April 27, 2012, Representatives of the Sierra Club, and the Kentucky Environmental Foundation presented over 1,000 comments from citizens across the state urging the Public Service Commission (PSC) to reject Kentucky Power Company’s (KPC) request to raise electric rates 30 percent to pay for a scrubber to be installed on their Big Sandy coal-fired power plant. Concerned about health and financial costs associated with the coal plant, citizens called for the plant’s closure.

Kentucky Power Company’s request will place an unreasonable financial burden upon 175,000 citizens in eastern Kentucky who have already seen their rates go up 17% over the last couple years,” said Alex DeSha, a representative of Sierra Club and KPC ratepayer. “The Kentucky Public Service Commission is a public institution responsible for ensuring citizens are provided with safe, reliable energy service at a fair and reasonable rate, this proposal will place an unreasonable financial burden on ratepayers- the Big Sandy should be retired and we need to pursue better options.”

Sierra Club, represented by Earth Justice, recently submitted expert testimony by Synapse Energy Economics to the commission challenging Kentucky Power Company’s plan to charge ratepayers $940 million to retrofit the Big Sandy coal plant. Synapse Energy Economics testimony demonstrates that replacing the 43-year-old Big Sandy with energy efficiency, renewable energy, and cleaner natural gas generation would result in a substantial savings for ratepayers over the proposed retrofit.

Kentucky Environmental Foundation’s health coordinator, Deborah Payne, MPH., detailed that the costs of burning coal go beyond what is seen on electric bills. “While the costs of coal based energy are continuing to increase, it is also important to recognize other embodied costs of this energy source. Dollars spent treating asthma and heart disease caused by coal plant emissions create an unfair burden on Kentuckians.” John A. Patterson MD, MSPH, FAAFP was equally forthright, “Pollution at any level from coal fired power plants affects all human organ systems and contributes to 4 of the 5 leading causes of death in the U.S.- heart disease, cancer, stroke and chronic lung disease

The Public Service Commission is scheduled to hear testimony on the case this Monday, April 30th at 10 a.m. in the commission’s office in Frankfort, Kentucky. The proceedings are open to the public and will be streamed live at http://psc.ky.gov.

Filed testimony is available on the Commission’s electronic docket, located at: http://psc.ky.gov/Home/Library?type=Cases&folder=2011%20cases/2011-00401

 

Women Across America Aren’t Closing Their Eyes (and Mitt Romney’s startling pessimism)

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April 28, 2012
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The President of the United States of America spoke to the Women’s Leadership Forum last night — you can read about it at The Hill — but here’s the gist of it:

I probably don’t need to remind you that while our own Governor did not join those offensive assaults on women, the Republicans in our state legislature did try to force women under duress to have ultrasounds, telling them they could cover their eyes but attempting to legally bind them not to shut up their ears. They ultimately lost  in their mission to abuse women, but bless their hearts, they tried.

Meanwhile, Etch-a-Sketch Romney is busily trying to scrub his campaign of the conservative stances that tricked many Republicans into supporting him, which undoubtedly will anger and de-motivate the conservative pundits and the already angry yet active grassroots conservative volunteers who make up the heart of not just Freedom Works and the Tea Party but also the Republican Party. Romney will do anything and say anything and that’s going to resonate with his core and with independent voters he’s now seeking to dupe.

In addition to shifting his positions (he hasn’t gotten on board with Marco Rubio’s “amnesty” plan yet but he’s courting the Senator and toying with Hispanic voters, again enraging the racists at the base of his support), Romney is trying to reframe the Obama campaign’s message about “Fairness” — like millionaires who got a temporary tax cut ten years ago probably need to accept the “temporary”-ness of it in light of the fact that it contributes mightily to the nation’s debt crisis — by talking instead about “unfairness.”

Here’s Mittens trying his darndest:

“We will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the very taxpayers they serve,” the former Massachusetts governor said. “And we will stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger and larger debts on to the next.”

First of all, the government is (and has been for a long time, edging out the dead-end jobs of the “service industry”) the nation’s largest employer. So that’s a lot of families to threaten, and a lot of votes.

Secondly, Mitt Romney’s plan for America is apparently to fix the problems by creating even more people who don’t have health care or money for retirement. Even if you want to engage in the Republican Party’s class warfare here and resent people who work for the government the benefits they have, your predatory self-interest should probably leave you wanting a little more. Mitt Romeny apparently believes that if we all have nothing then everything will be more fair. While true, the plan does positively nothing to address how people who already have nothing — no retirement, exponentially escalating family health care bills — are going to be helped by dragging more people into their world of troubles.

Thirdly, this is a really pessimistic view of America. Mitt Romney has a vision, and it is dark.

Fourthly, further destroying the already broken tax structure which delivers temporary tax cuts for the wealthy in perpetuity by increasing the debt that’s already been created by those tax cuts and making more of them… doesn’t actually “stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger debts on to the next.” In fact, it — yes — perpetuates it.

But bless his heart, too.

Sue the Government — State Supreme Court rules against Beshear administration and their coal company cohorts

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April 27, 2012
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Back in 2010, a handful of community groups sought to join a legal dispute between the state government’s Energy and Enviornment Cabinet and a company, Frasure Creek Mining. A Judge allowed the action, which then complicated the Beshear administration’s Cabinet plan to settle with the mining company… because, you know, the citizens’ groups didn’t want to settle, they wanted justice. Crazy, right?

Beshear’s cabinet and the mining company then filed to remove the citizen’s from the lawsuit so they could do their behind-closed-doors Frankfort wheeling and dealing like normal.

Well the state’s Supreme Court just ruled that in fact the lower court judge was absolutely correct in allowing the groups to join the suit and while your duly elected Governor might see this as a loss, people who appreciate democracy will see it as a victory:

The high court unanimously found that Judge Phillip Shepherd did not err in allowing Appalachian Voices, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Kentucky Riverkeeper, Waterkeeper Alliance and three citizens to take part in a suit brought by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet against Frasure Creek Mining.

The groups sought to intervene to object to a settlement between the state and Frasure Creek, which operates coal mines in Pike County, over the discharge of pollutants into the Kentucky, Big Sandy and Licking rivers and their tributaries.

You can also read the Supreme Court’s full ruling if you like. Spoiler alert… this is how it ends:

Because the trial court has jurisdiction to permit the Citizen Plaintiffs a limited intervention, and because the propriety of that intervention under Kentucky law can be challenged and assessed in the ordinary course of trial and appeal, the Court of Appeals correctly denied the Cabinet’s and Frasure Creek’s petitions for extraordinary relief. Accordingly, we hereby affirm, the Court of Appeals’ Order in these consolidated cases.

All sitting. All concur.

Boo-hoo for coal bought politicians, woo-hoo for the rest of us.

And to the Supreme Court, Steve says…

“Godzillus”: The 4.5 Million year old fossil supposedly discovered mere miles from Gov. Beshear’s Dinosaur Ark Park in Northern Kentucky

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April 26, 2012
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Get a load of this!

A mysterious 450 million-year-old fossil discovered by a local man was unveiled Tuesday at a Geological Society of America meeting at the Dayton Convention Center.

The fossil, dubbed “Godzillus,” was found last year in Northern Kentucky by amateur paleontologist Ron Fine, a 43-year-old mechanical designer from Dayton. The elliptical-shaped specimen measures 3.5-foot wide by 6.5-foot long and is believed to be the largest fossil recovered from the Cincinnati area.

The question Tuesday at the GSA North-Central section 46th annual meeting was whether it was animal, vegetable or mineral.

“We are looking for people who might have an idea of what it is,” said Ben Dattilo, an assistant professor of geology at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, who is researching the discovery.

Uh… yeah. I got a pretty good idea what it is…

A g-ddamn lie! That’s what.

Northern Kentucky is clearly home to Governor Steve Beshear’s new Bible Theme Park which will feature a to-scale model of Noah’s Ark complete with Dinosaurs on it… all of which clearly proves the earth is only 6,000 years old.

That’s roughly four hundred and forty nine millions off the supposed projections of supposed scientists about this supposed fossil.

Which leaves two sides to this issue. Either you are curious about the year and origin of this supposed fossil, or you are on the side of G-d, the Bible, The State of Kentucky and Governor Steve Beshear and this “fossil” is nothing but a g-ddamn lie.

Do you want proof?

Well, by sheer divine providence, we were blessed just days ago (before this news of fabricated fossiling) with this explanation from Ken Ham and Answers In Geneis, the creators of Gov. Beshear’s brilliant Dinosaur Ark Park which will one day sit mere miles from where this supposed fossil was supposedly discovered.

Assumptions Change Estimate of Age

To solve this puzzle it is necessary to review the assumptions on which radiocarbon dating is based. These include:

  • The production rate of carbon-14 has always been the same in the past as now.
  • The atmosphere has had the same carbon-14 concentration in the past as now.
  • The biosphere (the places on earth where organisms live) has always had the same overall carbon-14 concentration as the atmosphere, due to the rapid transfer of carbon-14 atoms from the atmosphere to the biosphere.3

None of these assumptions is strictly correct, beyond a rough first approximation. Indeed, scientists have now documented that the atmosphere’s concentration of carbon-14 varies considerably according to latitude. They have also determined several geophysical causes for past and present fluctuations in carbon-14 production in the atmosphere.4

Specifically, we know that carbon-14 has varied in the past due to a stronger magnetic field on earth and changing cycles in sunspot activity. So when objects of known historical dates are dated using radiocarbon dating, we find that carbon-14 dates are accurate back to only about 400 BC.

The conventional scientific community ignores at least two factors that are crucial to recalibrating radiocarbon (so that it accounts for major changes in the biosphere and atmosphere that likely resulted from the Flood): (1) The earth’s magnetic field has been progressively stronger going back into the past, and (2) the Flood destroyed and buried a huge amount of carbon from the pre-Flood biosphere.

It is written!

And here’s a picture for those of you too stupid to grasp all those words because Gov. Beshear hasn’t yet fixed the state’s education system by totally defunding it:

And what if in the past it wasn't that the trees and lizards were really big but instead that everything was the same size and it was just the earth itself that was really small? What would you believe then?

Get real! You could listen to pagans with million year old histories, or you could listen to the Governor of the state of Kentucky. It’s your choice. And you know what happens if you choose wrong.

Friendly Reminder: Neo-Nazis rally tomorrow in Frankfort on behalf of all anti-immigrant bigots

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April 20, 2012
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Know someone who hates immigrants and wants ‘em all rounded up and kicked out of our country?

Well be sure to let them know about tomorrow’s rally in Frankfort because they aren’t going to want to miss it. It’s a catalyzing moment for the anti-immigration movement!

(Of course, if your bigot friends who hate immigrants actually cared about this issue they’d already know about this rally. Then again, your bigot friends are probably really lazy.)

From the Detroit Free Press:

A Detroiter who heads a national neo-Nazi group said members have permission to march against illegal immigration at a weekend rally at Kentucky’s state Capitol in Frankfort, where state authorities said they plan heightened security.

Jeff Schoep, 38, who calls himself commander of the Detroit-based National Socialist Movement, said Wednesday he hopes to have 200 people march Saturday in uniform.

The rally will be about “illegal immigration, rampant crime, the recession and white civil rights,” the group says on its website, which has a swastika superimposed over an American flag.

Read on… especially to find out about how they “scurry into this country like roaches.”

And by “they” obviously I mean the anti-immigration activists who are literally swarming Frankfort this weekend.

“I have no power,” says Kentucky Legislator

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April 11, 2012
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Over at KFTC, a lovely look at lobbying… in which you don’t need a suit, a briefcase or a smarmy attitude. You can be a lobbyist, KFTC can help you, it’s fun and informative:

Throughout the day we managed to see four more representatives. Two of them were already supporting the bill, another was sympathetic and was easily convinced to co-sponsor the bill. The last representative we spoke to was not sympathetic but his words stuck out to me more than anything else that was said that day. We filed into his neat office, settled in his guest chairs and gave him our usual pitch, focusing again on the economic boom that this bill would bring to Kentucky. At the end I watched for his reaction, he looked up from the note card on which he had been taking notes and, like the other representatives, asked us what we wanted him to do.

“Co-sponsor the bill, or help us get a hearing in committee.” His response made me cringe: “I have no power,” he capped his pen and then continued, “I’ll keep an open mind, but how could I possibly influence the bill getting a hearing?” With that, I felt hope drain from me. I thought I was the powerless one. I thought I was the one who needed to influence representatives and they, the officials with power, could make the change. But through the day, every politician we met had told us to look elsewhere for help. “The committee chair is really in charge, my support wouldn’t help… Go to their constituents, they’ll have influence over the representative… You can’t talk to me, talk to higher ups, they’ve got the control…”

Ahhh… Frankfort. Read the rest of Fiona Grant’s report

They were lobbying in favor of the Clean Energy Opportunity Act… you can read more about it here (PDF).

Pretty soon, maybe none of us will have any power.

Get it? Get it?

Highway to Hell

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April 2, 2012
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If you missed it last week, the road to the Dinosaur Ark Park is under attack:

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a Washington D.C. non-profit, is protesting the legislature’s decision to include $2 million for improvements to KY 36, a project included in road budgets proposed by Gov. Steve Beshear and approved by the House and Senate.

The $2 million would be used to purchase right-of-way and pre-construction work on an interchange with I-75.

Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, said the Kentucky Constitution bans the use of taxpayer dollars to support religion. Section 5 of the Constitution says taxpayers may not be forced to “contribute to the erection or maintenance” of any place of worship.

Even if you believe taxpayer funding for the erection of Ken Ham’s tyrannosaurs boat isn’t a beat too far, it’s pretty safe to say that spending $2 Million on improving a road for a destination that may not get built based on attendance projections no one really believes isn’t the best idea.

But it’s good enough for Steve Beshear and for Kentucky.

Rock on, Kentucky.

Kentucky’s August Presidential Primary

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March 22, 2012
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Via Frontloading HQ:

Senate PresidentDavid Williams (R-16th) has introduced SB 7 — legislation similar to the bill last year — which would shift the Kentucky presidential primary (and those for state and local offices not elected in off-years) from the first Tuesday after the first Monday in May to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in August.

Section 8 of SB 7:

(1)       Subject to KRS 118.555, on the first Tuesday after the first[third] Monday in August[May], in each presidential election year, the Commonwealth of Kentucky shall conduct presidential preference primaries[primary elections] within each political party.

Read on…

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