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Nothing funny about politicians’ half-hearted effort

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By Ben Carlson

Column as I see ’em …
I inappropriately blurted out what at the time was intended to be a funny remark during last Tuesday night’s fiscal court meeting.
I shouldn’t have done that because in retrospect what prompted that remark wasn’t the least bit humorous.
Here’s what happened: A representative of the state’s Rural Secondary Road Program was answering a magistrate’s question as to when Ninevah Road would be paved. The representative said it wouldn’t likely be done until next spring, adding that were this an election year for the governor, it would almost certainly be done by fall.
Ha ha.
The representative then looked around, saying that he hoped no newspaper reporters were in attendance.
Ha ha, again.
That’s when I opened my yap, and jokingly asked him to correctly spell his name, which brought down the house as we all laughed.
I’m not a comedian, but those who are often say that an element of truth is the crux of any good witticism or joke. Sure, the state road fellow was just getting off a little zinger during a fiscal court meeting, but his remark about the difference in performance between election and non-election years is absolutely true.
Politicians long before Gov. Beshear used the power of paving to ensure their votes. Heck, leading up to the most recent fiscal court elections, close to $100,000 more than was budgeted was spent paving county roads — a mere coincidence, I’m sure.
And this is hardly an issue owned by either political party, each of which uses our tax dollars with all the vim and vigor they can muster in their all-out efforts to stay elected.
Making a joke about them doing less in non-election years isn’t funny. In fact it stinks, and I regret participating in what should actually be viewed as an insult to taxpayers, not a joke.

Speaking of efforts, I’ll give kudos to a local person who recently wanted to purchase an ad to promote an admirable event, and for her understanding when I had to ask her to alter the ad before it was printed.
The ad she presented included the image of the American flag, and the company I work for does not allow it to appear in advertising.
Before rushing to call Sean Hannity or someone like him, let me explain. The reason we don’t allow the American flag to be used in an ad is simply out of respect for the flag. Not to mention doing so is in direct violation of our nation’s flag code.
Don’t believe me? Check out www.ushistory.org and you’ll find the United States Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, which says, “The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever.”
That’s as specific as it can be, and out of respect for the flag and its code, we cannot and will not allow it to be used in advertisements.
Think that’s a little draconian? It probably is, given how remarkably often the flag code is violated.
Most athletic teams these days have a small flag either on a helmet or hat, yet the code limits flags on clothing to military uniforms, firemen, policemen and members of patriotic organizations.
Of course we’ve all seen flags in parades, including draped over floats, which is another no-no. The code says flags in floats can be used only on a staff, as is the case if they’re used on automobiles.
But two wrongs never make a right, and if the code says flags in ads are wrong, so be it.