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Bad advice on how to cast your vote

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By BEN CARLSON

Column as I see ’em …
If Anderson County wants to get its fair share of state funds, it needs to elect the candidate whose party controls the House.
That’s not my logic or recommendation; vote for whichever candidate you want. But it is something I’ve been told by a number of politically connected folks around here while discussing the race between incumbent Republican Kim King and challenger Kent Stevens, a Democrat.
Loosely referred to as The Game, that line of logic stems from the belief that only by electing those whose party controls the House, Senate or governor’s mansion can Anderson County get not only what it needs, but it’s “fair share,” too, whatever that means.
It’s The Game, and the only way to succeed, they say, is to play it.
On the surface that logic makes some sense. Once removed from the local level, most politicians get so brow beaten about towing the party line that casting a single vote that rubs their party’s fur the wrong way is enough to leave that politician, and his or her constituents, out in the cold.
Those who do play The Game are sometimes rewarded with all sorts of swag, including pork-filled projects that are designed to nothing more than keep them elected.
But if that logic works for the state rep seat, shouldn’t it also work elsewhere?
For instance, if the idea is to elect candidates whose party is in power, wouldn’t Anderson County be better off with a Republican state senator who can pull party favors from Senate President David Williams?
And if that’s true, wouldn’t we also be better off with a Republican in Congress who could get cozy with House Majority Leader John Boehner?
Of course those who lobby that logic locally would cringe at the above alternative scenarios because when you get to where the cheese binds, party comes long before simply choosing the best person for the job.

Speaking of better off, I seriously doubt the lives of poor and minority children in Kentucky have improved after reading a report in the Herald-Leader about the massive increase in the number of poor and disabled Kentucky children placed on antipsychotic drugs.
The paper reported that the number poor and disabled children on Medicaid who are receiving these drugs jumped 270 percent from 2000 to 2010, according to a report released by UK.
The cost to taxpayers during that time? A whopping $6.6 billion.
Leading that growth were minority children, who take those drugs at three times the rate of white children.
There are almost certainly cases where drugs of these types can help children, but no one is going to convince me that such a remarkable increase isn’t tied directly to the incessant advertisements the drug companies run on TV along with misguided and under-educated parents (and no shortage of teachers) who’d prefer to dope rambunctious children rather than deal with them as they are.
When you think about it, it’s not all that different than tying them to a bed for up to 16 hours a day, is it.

Speaking of dealing with them, there’s no doubt the letter to the editor from Jerry Milburn will make some in the faith community squirm.
It’s his second kick at the cat, so to speak, after a guest column of his appeared a couple of months ago in which he argued on behalf of atheism.
From a professional perspective I don’t care what the fellow does or doesn’t believe, any more than I care what any of you do or don’t believe. Like voting, that’s up to you, and I’m certainly not qualified to proselytize.
What I am qualified to do is decide what goes in this newspaper and, if it does, where it will appear.
As I’ve explained to Mr. Milburn, he is always welcome to submit letters and guest columns for my consideration. If they are unique and meet the usual standards for publication, I’ll print them. If not, I won’t.
As for his organization, if it submits news or calendar items that meet usual publication standards, I’ll print them, too.
What I won’t do is place either on our weekly faith page. Like the society, opinion and other specialty pages, it has a unique purpose and target audience. Placing information about atheism on the faith page would be akin to placing high school football coverage on the society page — it simply doesn’t go there.
Further, just because someone doesn’t like the content of a particular page doesn’t mean they have a right to have opposing or contradictory information printed on that page. As I often tell folks who cringe over dead deer photos in the sports section, if you don’t like them, don’t look at them.