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Friday, June 23, 2006

Since You've Been Gone 

I know a family who's moving to Kentucky. Sounds like they'll have fun:

Next time you criticize China for controlling its citizens' Google results, look at what's happening in our own country, by a Republican governor no less.

Kentucky state employees are finding themselves mysteriously unable to access a blog that has been critical of Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who has recently been in the center of a state hiring scandal.

"It's outrageous; it shows that we are in the People's Republic of Kentucky now — that government will block political speech that it does not approve of," says Mark Nickolas of banned blog http://www.bluegrassreport.org.

The Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky's premier free-market think tank and a Townhall.com partner, also found its blog blocked for awhile, but thankfully it's accessible again.

Not that the Bluegrass Institute is delighted about the apparent favoritism:

The Herald-Leader has picked up on the fact that the Bluegrass Institute site is no longer blocked by state government (including our blog), but other sites are still getting blocked.

The state, so far, has offered no credible rationale for why our site gets a pass and other sites do not.

Well, they sort of did:

Jill Midkiff, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet, said the Bluegrass Institute's site contained relevant policies related to the state. Officials lifted the ban on that entire site -- including its blog -- on Thursday morning.

But more than two blogs are involved:

Many Democratic-leaning blogs remain shut off from state workers, as well as some conservative ones, such as Kentucky Republican Voice, Kentucky Progress and The Conservative Edge.

Well, I for one am disappointed. Disappointed that the Ontario Empoblog has not yet been banned in the state of Kentucky. After all, it appears that the Empoblog was banned in China as of last October. (As of today, a search for Ontario Empoblog at cn.yahoo.com still does not turn up the Empoblog itself.)

So, how do I get this blog banned in Kentucky? Perhaps I just have to report that the Kentucky Derby is fixed. After all, USA Today reported it:

Now it can be told. Given the out-of-this-world finish by Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, maybe it's no surprise jockey Mike Smith is from Roswell, N.M....

Smith, who was all smiles in the barn area Sunday morning, described Roswell as "close to where the aliens live around."

Might those aliens have given him a lift on his first Derby victory in 12 rides?

"I felt like I was floating, so they must have," he said.

Actually, the Web Powers That Be in the Kentucky government probably don't care about that, but it seems that unrestrained political talk unsettles them. Perhaps this will get me banned:

Miss America 1971 Phyllis George Brown introduced her new skin care line last month on the television and web retailing giant HSN. Known for her many pioneering accomplishments, bright spirit and optimistic attitude, Phyllis has developed a complete line of everyday skin care products, simply titled “Phyllis George.”

OK, it's not Margaret Trudeau material, but it's close.

Actually, I have written about Kentucky politics on a private blog that most of you have never seen. Suffice it to say that my private blog post quoted from this article:

WASHINGTON, May 13 — The Department of Homeland Security has invested tens of millions of dollars and countless hours of labor over the last four years on a seemingly simple task: creating a tamperproof identification card for airport, rail and maritime workers.

Yet nearly two years past a planned deadline, production of the card, known as the Transportation Worker Identification Credential, has yet to begin.

Instead, the road to delivering this critical antiterrorism tool has taken detours to locations, companies and groups often linked to Representative Harold Rogers, a Kentucky Republican who is the powerful chairman of the House subcommittee that controls the Homeland Security budget.

It is a route that has benefited Mr. Rogers, creating jobs in his home district and profits for companies that are donors to his political causes....

Mr. Rogers, 68, whom The Lexington Herald-Leader last year called the Prince of Pork, has never been shy about using clout gained over 13 House terms to steer federal dollars to his sparsely populated, poor corner of southeastern Kentucky.

"We see Hal pretty often," Mayor Amos Miller of Corbin, a Republican, said in an interview. "And he always brings good news."

Corbin was settled as a railroad depot for nearby coal mines, and its first claim to fame came with Col. Harland Sanders, who began serving up dishes of fried chicken there in the 1930's. Mr. Rogers has made it a mission to create a new growth industry: domestic security.

"Our people will be on the front lines in the war against terrorism worldwide," Mr. Rogers told Corbin leaders in 2003, as he announced plans to build a plant for NucSafe, a radiation detection equipment company.

But this is federal government, not state government. What does the Bluegrass Report say that angers the Fletcher administration so?

[A] new statewide poll commissioned by the Republican Party shows that a 2007 contest for governor between our indicted Governor Fletcher (R) and Rep. Ben Chandler (D) is a blow-out:

Chandler (D) -- 55%
Fletcher (R) -- 28%

Or, how about this one:

Let's visit an old topic once again: Kentucky Democratic Party fundraising.

Remember earlier this year when Chairman Jerry Lundergan's pronouncements about the $1 million that he claimed to raise in his first 12 months didn't materialize in the federal campaign finance reports and it showed that only half of that amount was raised?...

I'm told for the 18+ month period from 11/9/04 through 6/15/06, the Kentucky Democratic Party raised just $178,987.38, spent $169,035.84 and has a balance of $58,883.30.

I'm going to wait until I have a copy of the report in my hand before I further comment. But if these numbers are correct, a very serious fraud was perpetuated against Kentucky Democrats.

This is why censorship is so ineffective. The stuff that you want to block (namely, the unpopularity of the Republican Party) gets repeated fifty million times over so everybody reads it anyway. The stuff that you don't want to block (namely, questionable issues in the opposing party's fundraising) gets blocked and no one pays attention.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

Check out www.proxydom.com to access blocked sites.
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