Saturday, February 10, 2018

Conrad, Carson, and Ken Stepp at the Barbourville Car Show after a running race.



This posting brought to you by The Tiger Troupe




Wilma and Kenneth Stepp with The Mad Hatter of the Tiger Troupe in 2017.
Carson and Kenneth Stepp with the Mad Hatter from a Clay County Troupe stage play.

  1.  Kenneth Stepp
  2. Ken
  3. kenneth_stepp@yahoo.com
  4. (606)596-0360
  5. Photo will be provided later under separate cover.
  6. http://www.steppforcongress.blogspot.com
  7. As a candidate who had been a Republican, but is now a Democrat, I believe that we should be guided by the strengths of both major parties.  We need strong defense, but we also need progressive social programs.  The current impasse hurts everybody.  If I’m elected, I will support the successful programs so that two years after I am elected Kentuckians will be more prosperous and have a brighter future, and better skill training and job-related education.
  8. Education is the best solution to the problems of poverty, poor jobs, and poor quality of life.  With better educations, with Federal education subsidies, Kentuckians will be better able to fill the higher paying engineering and technological jobs of the future, putting poverty behind us.  Better jobs mean better quality of life as people with high job skills are better able to afford things that create a better quality of life.
  9. Affordable Health Care would result from better immigration laws—allowing more health care specialists into the United States, and allowing more prescription medications imported into the United States.  Also I would support more Federal subsidies for the education and training of health care specialists, including, but not limited to Doctors, Nurses, and pharmacists.
  10. I support comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.  Of course, as John F. Kennedy pointed out, we are a nation of immigrants.  Some Americans, or ancestors of Americans, arrived earlier than others, but we are Americans all.  Of course, immigrants with proper documentation are free to compete equally with others for jobs, housings, education, and other advantages of living in the U.S.A.  Undocumented immigrants who have not been convicted of felonies should be given a pathway to citizenship.  We should recognize that able-bodied people in the U.S.A. are assets, and not liabilities.  America’s strength is in our people.  I would make our programs more inclusive of more people who live here.
  11. Kentucky has energy resources in the forms of coal, natural gas, wind, water power, solar power, ethanol, wood and other types of energy.  Energy can be conserved with many devices including batteries, hydroelectric dams, storage facilities and other devices.  Coal smoke can be scrubbed to remove many impurities before the smoke leaves the power plant and passes into the atmosphere.  Tax laws can be rewritten to present incentives for energy facilities  to produce cleaner energy for market, and that would help create new jobs and energy savings for Kentuckians.
  12. Of course, people should not be denied jobs nor positions because of their ancestry or racial background.   I would vote to leave the Civil Rights laws on the books.  Some say that those attitudes that made people feel that the Fourteenth Amendment and the resulting Civil Rights laws were necessary, no longer exist.  Perhaps affirmative action and other such programs are no longer necessary; perhaps not.  We should be slow to remove those measures that were created to be barriers to white supremacy and to racial inequality.  Much progress has been made, but greater racial justice will require continued vigilance in future years, even as past misdeeds become forgotten.
  13. Of course, for the first time in human history, in this twenty-first century, city dwellers have a longer life expectancy than their country cousins.  Fighting against various forms of pollution, particularly in crowded cities, has resulted in better health for Kentuckians than in ages past.  We should continue having inspections for toxins and other noxious chemicals in our drinking water, air, and food, because that is the way to reduce toxins and other noxious chemicals and get rid of them, one at a time.
  14. We should try and get formerly incarcerated individuals who have served their full sentence re-integrated into society.  That would include restoring voting rights to such people.  America probably has the highest percentage of population incarcerated.  Once a person has paid his debt to society, his or her right to vote should be restored, so that he or she feels they have a stake in the democratic process.                                                                                                          The above paragraphs are my responses to the recent questionnaire sent to me by the Kentuckians for the Commonwealth with a letter dated February 1, 2018.

                                                              Yours truly,

                                                              /s/ Kenneth S. Stepp




                                                              Kenneth Stepp
KSS/ks

Kenneth Stepp Answers the Kentuckians for the Commonwealth

The following are my responses to the questionnaire sent to me by Kentuckians for the Commonwealth dated February 1, 2018.
  1.  Kenneth Stepp
  2. Ken
  3. kenneth_stepp@yahoo.com
  4. (606)596-0360
  5. Photo will be provided later under separate cover.
  6. http://www.steppforcongress.blogspot.com
  7. As a candidate who had been a Republican, but is now a Democrat, I believe that we should be guided by the strengths of both major parties.  We need strong defense, but we also need progressive social programs.  The current impasse hurts everybody.  If I’m elected, I will support the successful programs so that two years after I am elected Kentuckians will be more prosperous and have a brighter future, and better skill training and job-related education.
  8. Education is the best solution to the problems of poverty, poor jobs, and poor quality of life.  With better educations, with Federal education subsidies, Kentuckians will be better able to fill the higher paying engineering and technological jobs of the future, putting poverty behind us.  Better jobs mean better quality of life as people with high job skills are better able to afford things that create a better quality of life.
  9. Affordable Health Care would result from better immigration laws—allowing more health care specialists into the United States, and allowing more prescription medications imported into the United States.  Also I would support more Federal subsidies for the education and training of health care specialists, including, but not limited to Doctors, Nurses, and pharmacists.
  10. I support comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.  Of course, as John F. Kennedy pointed out, we are a nation of immigrants.  Some Americans, or ancestors of Americans, arrived earlier than others, but we are Americans all.  Of course, immigrants with proper documentation are free to compete equally with others for jobs, housings, education, and other advantages of living in the U.S.A.  Undocumented immigrants who have not been convicted of felonies should be given a pathway to citizenship.  We should recognize that able-bodied people in the U.S.A. are assets, and not liabilities.  America’s strength is in our people.  I would make our programs more inclusive of more people who live here.
  11. Kentucky has energy resources in the forms of coal, natural gas, wind, water power, solar power, ethanol, wood and other types of energy.  Energy can be conserved with many devices including batteries, hydroelectric dams, storage facilities and other devices.  Coal smoke can be scrubbed to remove many impurities before the smoke leaves the power plant and passes into the atmosphere.  Tax laws can be rewritten to present incentives for energy facilities  to produce cleaner energy for market, and that would help create new jobs and energy savings for Kentuckians.
  12. Of course, people should not be denied jobs nor positions because of their ancestry or racial background.   I would vote to leave the Civil Rights laws on the books.  Some say that those attitudes that made people feel that the Fourteenth Amendment and the resulting Civil Rights laws were necessary, no longer exist.  Perhaps affirmative action and other such programs are no longer necessary; perhaps not.  We should be slow to remove those measures that were created to be barriers to white supremacy and to racial inequality.  Much progress has been made, but greater racial justice will require continued vigilance in future years, even as past misdeeds become forgotten.
  13. Of course, for the first time in human history, in this twenty-first century, city dwellers have a longer life expectancy than their country cousins.  Fighting against various forms of pollution, particularly in crowded cities, has resulted in better health for Kentuckians than in ages past.  We should continue having inspections for toxins and other noxious chemicals in our drinking water, air, and food, because that is the way to reduce toxins and other noxious chemicals and get rid of them, one at a time.
  14. We should try and get formerly incarcerated individuals who have served their full sentence re-integrated into society.  That would include restoring voting rights to such people.  America probably has the highest percentage of population incarcerated.  Once a person has paid his debt to society, his or her right to vote should be restored, so that he or she feels they have a stake in the democratic process.

                                                              Yours truly,

                                                              /s/ Kenneth S. Stepp



                                                              Kenneth Stepp
KSS/ks

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Links:  steppforcongress.blogspot.com       a-democratic.blogspot.com                                                  Facebook:  Kenneth STEPP for Congress
                   Kenneth Stepp

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Thursday, February 08, 2018

Links:  steppforcongress.blogspot.com       a-democratic.blogspot.com                                                  Facebook:  Kenneth STEPP for Congress
                   Kenneth Stepp

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KEEP THE DACAs!

THE DACAs CAME TO THE U.S.A. AS CHILDREN.  IN THE PAST, THEY WERE ALLOWED TO STAY IN THE UNITED STATES TEMPORARILY.  AS CHILDREN, THEY COULD NOT BE PROSECUTED OR BLAMED FOR STAYING IN THE U.S. of A.  NOW PRESIDENT TRUMP AND HIS REPUBLICANS WANT TO DEPORT ALL THESE LONGTIME RESIDENTS OF AMERICA.  SOME HAVE MOTHERS, FATHERS,  BROTHERS AND SISTERS LIVING LEGALLY IN THE U.S.A.  BY DEPORTING SOME, DONALD TRUMP AND HIS REPUBLICANS WILL BE TEARING MANY FAMILIES APART.  KENNETH STEPP SAYS LET'S GRANT CITIZENSHIP TO THE DACAs WHO ARE AMERICAN ARMED SERVICES VETERANS, AND GIVE THE REMAINDER OF THEM FOUR YEAR EXTENSIONS OF ALLOWING THEM TO STAY IN THE U.S.A. AND A PATH TO CITIZENSHIP.  MANY OF THESE KIDS HAVE NO MEMORY OF ANY COUNTRY EXCEPT THE U.S.A.   LET 'EM STAY.    KENNETH S. STEPP.   CANDIDATE FOR U.S. CONGRESS.  DEMOCRAT.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

GENERAL ELECTION VOTES CAST PER CANDIDATE

NOV. 5, 1974

7TH DISTRICT UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE

UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE

                            REP                         DEM

                           GRANVILLE                   CARL

                                                        D.

                           THOMAS                     PERKINS
KENTUCKY COUNTY         VOTES RECEIVED              VOTES RECEIVED
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BATH                         404                          1446

BOYD                        2989                          9669

BRACKEN                      281                          1030

BREATHITT                    262                          1881

CARTER                      1171                          2891

ELLIOTT                      197                          1404

FLEMING                      591                          1477

FLOYD                       1052                          7089

GREENUP                     1973                          5258

JOHNSON                      924                          2092

KNOTT                        288                          2587

LAWRENCE                     901                          1663

LETCHER                      787                          2313

LEWIS                       1260                          1470

MAGOFFIN                     875                          2085

MARTIN                       656                           958

MASON                        747                          2287

MENIFEE                      165                           592

MONTGOMERY                   528                          1704

MORGAN                       366                          1474

NICHOLAS                     189                           759

PERRY                       1220                          3889

PIKE                        3544                         10257

POWELL                       498                          1363

ROBERTSON                     94                           307

ROWAN                        892                          2760

WOLFE                        222                           823

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TOTAL VOTES               00023076                     00071528

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
How times have changed!   In 2016, the Democrats in the Congressional District that includes many or most of the above Kentucky counties did not even have a Democrat on the ballot in the United States House of Representatives General Election Ballot.  In the 2014 and 2012 General Elections Elliott County remained loyal to the Democratic Party and voted for the Democratic Candidate for the United States House of Representatives, but the following United States  Fifth District of  Kentucky Counties that voted for the Democratic Candidate in the   1974 General Election had switched sides and voted for the Republican candidate for United States Congress in the 2012 and 2014 General Elections:  
 

BOYD                      
BREATHITT               
CARTER                     
FLOYD                       
JOHNSON                   
KNOTT,               LAWRENCE                 
LETCHER                     
MAGOFFIN                
MARTIN                     
MORGAN                      
PERRY                    
PIKE,     AND    ROWAN   COUNTIES.   These are fourteen counties now in the Kentucky Fifth District of the United States Congress.  Why have these Counties bolted from the Democratic Party? 
        It used to be that the Democratic Party was the Party of the working people--the people that scrabbled out a living with their hands and the sweat of their brow.  Is it the fault of the Democratic Party?  Has the Democratic Party become the party of the wealthy, and the people that are unwilling to work for a living?  The Democratic Party used to be solidly supported by the people of the South from the Ohio River to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Eastern shores of North Carolina and Virginia westward to El Paso, Texas.  I'm a Democrat.   Are you? 
       Perhaps the Democratic Party is like an old mule, that has outlived its usefulness.  Perhaps not.  I hope I have not outlived my usefulness.  The Democratic Party was the Party of the New Deal, and stood for Progress when Social Security was created, when SSI was created, when Medicare and Medicaid were created, when food stamps began to be distributed, and when great State Colleges and Universities were created throughout the South and in Kentucky, Western Kentucky, and Eastern Kentucky.  Now many outside the Democratic Party have concluded that these social welfare policies need to be reduced, curbed, and perhaps done away with.
       A philosopher from the 'sixties commented,  "Suppose they gave a war and nobody came?"   Suppose, indeed.   I feel saddened to learn of the deaths of four American soldiers killed by apparent ISIS agents while those soldiers were patrolling in Niger.   Why did we have troops in Niger?   Why did Congress authorize U.S. troops in Niger?  The Constitution says Congress shall declare war.  It does not give the President the authority to declare war.  Congress should guard its Constitutional authority, and not abdicate it to the President.  
      I'll try to enlarge on this blog about the weakening of the Democratic Party throughout the South, since the Solid South was a bastion of the Democratic Party during the New Deal and throughout the nineteen thirties.  Kenneth Stepp.                      

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Donald Trump would not even have let his Grandfather Friedrich Trump, a sixteen year old boy, enter the United States.



Immigrants outside a building on Ellis Island
Immigrants at Ellis Island.


Immigrants outside a building on Ellis Island
Immigrants at Ellis Island.

From the podium of the White House press room, senior adviser Stephen Miller stridently stood before America and the world this week and essentially declared that as far as Donald Trump is concerned, the American dream is over.
The idea that this nation is a refuge for those seeking freedom, that we are open and welcoming to those who hope to improve not just their own station in life but the station of their children, and their children’s children? That is simply not something that our president is interested.
Under Trump’s proposed stricter immigration rules requiring proficiency in English and “high skills,” Trump’s own grandfather Friedrich Trump, who immigrated at age 16 and originally worked as a barber (a trade he had apprenticed in because he was considered too sickly to join his brothers and sisters in the grape fields), would not have been allowed into America from his native Germany.
This argument between Miller and CNN’s Jim Acosta is fairly jarring, but also illustrative of how deeply the people in this White House fail to understand exactly what America is—and, clearly, what it’s not.

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“What you’re proposing here or what the president is proposing does not sound like it’s in keeping with American tradition when it comes to immigration,” Acosta pointed out. “The Statue of Liberty says ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses.’ It doesn’t say anything about speaking English or being able to be a computer programmer. Aren’t you trying to change what it means to be an immigrant if you are telling them they have to speak English. Can’t they learn to speak English when they get here?”
Miller took offense to Acosta’s mention of the Statue of Liberty.
“I don’t want to go off on a whole thing about history here,” Miller said. “The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of light in the world. It’s a symbol of American liberty light in the world. The poem you are referring to is not part of the original Statue of Liberty. It was added later.”
Entry into America is not and has never been a “prize” you get for eating all your Wheaties. Miller talks as if there isn’t already a program for highly-skilled workers to immigrate to America. In fact, those high-skilled worker visas have traditionally gone not to ones who benefit America, but instead the persons who would be better benefited by America.
These are the various categories through which people can currently acquire a Green Card.
  • Green Card through Family
    • Spouse of a U.S. citizen
    • Unmarried child under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen
    • Parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old
  • Green Card through Employment
    • First preference immigrant workers:
      • Have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, or
      • Are an outstanding professor or researcher, or
      • Are a multinational manager or executive who meets certain criteria
    • Second preference immigrant workers:
      • Are a member of a profession that requires an advanced degree, or
      • Have exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, or
      • Are seeking a national interest waiver
    • Third preference immigrant workers:
      • A skilled worker (meaning your job requires a minimum of 2 years training or work experience), or
      • A professional (meaning your job requires at least a U.S. bachelor's degree or a foreign equivalent and you are a member of the profession), or
      • An unskilled worker (meaning you will perform unskilled labor requiring less than 2 years training or experience)
  • Green Card as a Special Immigrant
    • Religious Worker
    • Abused Children
    • Afghanistan Translator or other Employee of U.S. Armed Forces
    • International Broadcaster or member of the Media
    • Employee of an international organization or Family member of a NATO employee
  • Green Card through Refugee or Asylee Status
  • Green Card for Human Trafficking and Crime Victims
  • Green Card for Victims of Abuse
    • The abused spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
    • The abused child (unmarried and under 21 years old) of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
    • The abused parent of a U.S. citizen
  • Green Card through Other Categories
  • Green Card through Registry
And just for the record, you don’t have to speak English to become a naturalized citizen.
As you can see, employability is already one of the factors involved in potentially obtaining a Green Card, but there are many other ways to do so through various methods and relationships. Miller’s proposal isn’t just changing our legal immigration system into something “merit”-based—it’s actually deleting and deprioritizing all of these other various avenues of access.
And then there’s this question: what exactly are they going to consider meritorious? Having a good education? Having a good, high-end skill? Having good “breeding?” And what is it with all this “assimilation” business?
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In the above video Charles Blow attempts to get Jeffrey Lord to explain exactly what he means by requiring people to “assimilate” rather than—as Lord claims they do—"self-segregate.”
He seems ignorant (of course) to the reality that the Irish community was isolated in New York 150 years ago specifically because they were ostracized and shunned by others. He ignores that the Italian community was similarly shunned and reviled. That this “assimilation” he speaks of was simply their attempting, over the course of generations, to “fit in” and literally de-ethnicize themselves. To become not so Irish-like and not so Italian-like but Neeta's, more generic and bland. Safe. Non-threatening.
So they Americanized their names and dropped the more obvious ethnic elements, their children grew up speaking English rather than the old language, and the kids naturally adopted more American cultural elements rather than the habits from the old country. This is the way the system has worked, but apparently Jeffrey Lord doesn’t understand the core point that Blow is alluding to, which is that some of us here in America aren’t immigrants.
Black people—and that term is used in this case to isolate persons whose ancestors go back to before 1808 when Congress was first allowed to end the importation of slaves, as opposed to voluntary African immigrants—didn’t come here by choice. They, like the Irish, Italians, and Jews, were not originally invited to openly integrate into the whole of America. They didn’t “self-segregate.” They were very deliberately forced to segregate for nearly two centuries, but simply changing their names wasn’t enough to make them “fit in” and slide under the radar to escape the social ostracization faced by other ethnic groups.
And it’s not like they remained culturally stagnant during that entire time. They developed their own but still American culture through the unique use of language, which is different from the mainstream “assimilated” uses of language. Through music, through food, through clothing, through dance and art, they built an Africanized but also very American culture of their own. They developed, by force of necessity, their own American perspective, which continues to revitalize and energize the larger American culture.
So when Blow asks Lord about “assimilation,” what he’s really questioning is de-culturalization.
And Lord’s argument boils down to: Don’t be so ethnic. Don’t be so different. Don’t be so unique. Or to put it another way: be. more. generic and white, like the rest of us have trained ourselves to be.
Take a step back and think about that from the perspective of our First Nations, our native Americans who were here long before the European migration of English, French, Dutch, and Spanish who eventually laid claim this  these lands. Are they supposed to “assimilate” too? Into what? Into who? They should abandon their culture and heritage to be more appeasing and appealing to those who conquered and massacred their ancestors? Really, man?
Our Latino brothers and sisters in many cases aren’t really from “somewhere else,” either. Their history in the Western U.S. goes back 400 years to when the Spanish and Natives interacted, so they are of a hybrid heritage and culture, part native but also Spanish-speaking, and often Catholic.
If you are an immigrant from another part of the world, scraping off much of that old culture is not a threat to the continuance of that culture because it continues to exist somewhere else. But that’s not really the case for black Americans (as opposed to a more recent African immigrant), for Native Americans, and for many Latino Americans as well. If these people remove much of their own culture just to make others more “comfortable” (as many immigrants do when they assimilate), just where does that culture go?
Be that as it may, conservative commentator Anna Navarro gets right to the heart of this matter right here.
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“This is yet one more wedge issue being fabricated by the Trump administration for the purpose of keeping his base happy,” Navarro told CNN host Anderson Cooper. “It is absolutely racist to award a point system.”
“I’d like to award points to people who don’t wedge and pit Americans against each other,” Navarro said.
“I live in a community which is full of people who came here without speaking English,” Navarro explained of her Miami neighbors. “Including myself, including Marco Rubio’s parents.”
“It’s absolutely racist and more than racist, it’s un-American,” Navarro charged.
Yeah, it absolutely is all that. It’s racist in the sense that it’s clearly giving priority to those who are already the most culturally like those in our business community. It’s certainly classist in that it favors those who have financial access to education and industry resources that can help them be high-skilled and high-value employees. And it’s also extremely, insultingly un-American.
It is completely blind and oblivious to people’s potential, and their ability to change and grow into something and someone far beyond who and what they may be right now. It ignores the fact that new and different perspectives can revitalize and re-energize us socially, culturally, and yes, also financially by presenting new ideas that can catch fire and spread, changing the nature and scope of who the rest of us are as nation.
If we had implemented this kind of policy 100 or more years ago, a 16-year-old Friedrich Trump wouldn’t have been allowed into the country, and his son wouldn’t have started a successful real estate empire in Queens, and his grandson wouldn’t have taken that business into Manhattan.
All of the millions upon millions of blue collar workers who immigrated in order to give their children the potential for a better, greater life—people like Friedrich—would see the gates of America sealed shut to them. They would be rejected. Branded insufficient. Failures.
And all that potential, would be lost, wasted. A future foreclosed.
This is literally the most heartless, selfish, myopic, anti-American proposal in at least a generation. It’s embarrassing and insulting. Let’s hope that Anna Navarro is correct, and that all the Americans in Congress who are the first- and second-generation sons and daughters of working-class immigrants—those who struggled and toiled in thankless, unglamorous jobs to give their children a greater future—will recognize this ridiculous proposal for what it is.


Sunday, Aug 6, 2017 · 2:04:24 PM EDT · Frank Vyan Walton
More evidence that this entire proposal is simply heartless xenophobia comes from Vox as they report that while Trump claims he wants fewer legal immigrants and for more of them to be “high skilled” his own Department of Homeland Security has increased the cap for H2B Visas per year from 66,000 to 81,000 and that his own companies in including Mar-A-Lago have submitted 76 more applications for low wage foreign workers.
On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security raised the cap on H-2B visas for foreign guest workers from 66,000 visas per year to 81,000.
On Thursday — just three days later — Trump’s properties told the Department of Labor that they wanted approval to hire 76 guest workers using those visas.
The policy change was surprising. Trump has criticized other guest-worker programs for supposedly taking away jobs from Americans. He has resisted calls from the tech industry to expand the H-1B visa program for high-skilled workers. He hasn't increased visas in the H-2A program for seasonal farmworkers, even though the agriculture industry has lobbied for it. He even delayed the launch of a startup visa program that Obama created to help foreign tech entrepreneurs start businesses in the United States.
This isn’t about helping American workers, this is about feeding hate and resentment.