KFC’s colonel, President Madison and the Beatles’ Lennon got it right

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In this edition of “liberty lovers and losers”:

Liberty Losers: Knox County “educrats” and Liberty Lovers: Knox County parents.

What’s happening in the city where Col. Harland Sanders launched KFC should capture every liberty-loving Kentuckian’s righteous indignation. Knox County parents have sent more than 400 of their children to better-performing schools in Corbin for years. Now they must pay hundreds of dollars more in tuition or enroll students in failing schools. Some choice, huh?

The money-grubbing Knox County Board of Education arrogantly refuses to reconsider its decision to discontinue a reciprocal agreement with Corbin Independent schools, forcing parents to shell out more – on top of the school taxes they already pay – to send students to better public schools. Could anything be more un-American?

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The response of these Corbin parents – “Knox Parents for Corbin Schools” on Facebook – suggests a lot more fryin’ and grillin’ might go on before this ends.

Liberty Lovers: Judy’s “King” and Liberty Losers: Smoking nannies blowing stimulus money.

Today I enjoyed the Swiss steak, green beans and hot rolls at Judy’s Castle on the U.S. 31-W Bypass in Bowling Green.

“No Hassle at the Castle” is the restaurant’s motto. It’s true. It’s a friendly atmosphere and as of Feb. 1, it’s smoke-free. There’s still plenty of good home-cooked fare, but no smoking.

Jovial owner Paul Durbin wasn’t sure what to expect. But business thrives, proving that owners remain fully capable of deciding reasonable smoking policies. The best part is that local politician-busybodies and health nannies pushing government-imposed bans can never take credit for ending the smoking scourge at Judy’s. King Durbin took care of it himself.

Yet, while he contributes to the local economy by meeting payrolls and providing great barbecue and homemade coconut pies, Ellen Hahn, Kentucky’s leading anti-smoking activist, continues her campaign of harassment.

Hahn snared $296,664 of 2009 stimulus money to fund her efforts to assault the private-property rights of small business owners and our individual liberty. The grant description states: “Print media clippings from all 51 daily and non-daily newspapers in study counties will be evaluated for pro-con slant related to smoke-free environments.”

At least one of those clippings – this one – will show taxpayers aren’t happy about Hahn’s efforts using our own tax dollars to assail our freedom.

Liberty Lovers: Four million auditors and Liberty Losers (or lovers): Committee chairs

“Taxpayer Transparency Act of 2010” bills have been filed in the House and Senate by Sen. Damon Thayer, R- Georgetown, and Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Bowling Green. Thayer’s bill passed the Senate 37-0 last week. Yet, DeCesare’s bill languishes in committee.

The bills require all government branches and universities to put their checkbook ledgers online in searchable databases. Hopefully, any approved legislation will include mandating such information from extremely wasteful and above-the-law quasi-government agencies like the Kentucky League of Cities and the Kentucky Association of Counties.

Rep. Mike Cherry, D- Princeton, State Government committee co-chair, would be wise to embrace transparency. Cherry has sponsored some noteworthy legislation this session – including House Bill 75, which honored the officers and crew of the USS Kentucky. But much of that foresight could unravel if he denies taxpayers the right to audit the way the commonwealth spends their money.

President James Madison said: “A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

John Lennon sang: “Power to the people, right on.”

More transparency in government means more power to the people. Right on.

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