Our democracy is dying
At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Benjamin Franklin was queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation. "Well, doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" Franklin replied, "A republic ... if you can keep it." The Founders' intent at the national level was a representative republic.
John Adams wrote that "There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide," and James Madison wrote that "Democracies have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths."
I fear ours is slowly dying. I fear the party of Lincoln and freedom has evolved into the party of Putin. When the head of that party attacks our constitution, by referring to the "free press" as "fake news" because he disagrees with what they say, when he asks foreign governments to help destroy anyone that would challenge his hold on power, when billionaires can buy our elected officials to satisfy their thirst for more power, and when a party will defend the president as he violates the emoluments clause of the constitution by allowing foreign governments to purchase access to the office through his hotels, and his sons run the family business on the government's dime, and our elected officials, knowingly defend our corrupt leader and not our constitution, we have almost reached the end of our reign.
We had a good run.
Daviess County needs a fairness ordinance
I urge Daviess County to pass a fairness ordinance ending legal discrimination against the LGBTQ community. I am an Owensboro resident employed by Matthew 25 AIDS Services. During the 2019 class of Leadership Owensboro, we discussed the economic prosperity associated with communities that embrace greater levels of diversity. Ending discrimination toward the LGBTQ community or any other group of people will improve our local diversity, leading to economic growth. Seeking economic growth is a viable reason for passing the fairness ordinance, but simply ending discrimination for the sake of morality is the key reason.
As a Christian man, I acknowledge that we live in a nation with separation of church and state. Regardless of your interpretation of the Bible, separation of church and state applies. Regardless of your religious convictions, the LGBTQ community are all children of God. The LGBTQ community has the right to pay for their housing, pay for business services and be gainfully employed as able without discrimination.
I urge you to support the eventual passing of the fairness ordinance. It is time for Daviess County to be forward-thinking. We need to look to the future rather than be regressive and look to generations of the past.
Is city being good stewards of our money?
The mayor and city commissioners voted unanimously to spend $80,000 to hire a consultant to "develop a strategic initiative to help Owensboro's downtown progress and livability plan move forward". One of my greatest concerns is that the entire commission thought it was appropriate to spend this money without accepting competitive proposals, choosing instead to simply hire a local firm -- a firm that was previously hired the same way and paid $40,000 for another project. We elect the mayor and commission to represent us and be good stewards of our money.
What is the scope of the project? I think the mayor made that clear: "So that's what we're looking for. We're going to have some condos -- not like the Enclave -- but condos and then some brownstones." If we already know the results, why are we spending $80,000 to hire a consultant? Is that being good stewards of our money?
How do we know we are getting the best overall value for our community; the best price and the most qualified consultant?
Without a competitive process, we will never know the answer. It's just more of the same. It could be that the firm hired is the best for this job, however, I have to believe there are other firms that can do this same type of work. And in my view, it would have been good stewardship to hear other perspectives before deciding to spend $80,000 for condos and brownstones.
One final question: Why are we focusing only on downtown?
Why do opponents of fairness and equality think God is on their side?
Concerning fairness and Owensboro's conversation about such: I bet the very pious folk think they have God on their side. Well, so did the slavers in our past. Funny how they feel they can discriminate against God's creation to justify their prejudice and desires. It is also telling how bigots and business people often fall on the same side of an argument. I have never been able to think of them as Christian because I never read Christ's exclusion gospel.
I don't understand homosexuality, but I don't understand why some people are left-handed either. Neither affects my opinion of their value and the expressly American ideal that all men are created equal. Maybe if we spent more time trying to be a bit more dignified and yes, fair, we wouldn't find ourselves cultivating so much divisive hate for each other and cultivate the unbiased love Christ spoke about.