Pike Countys Red Dog is back on the job

LawReader user Bill Adkins of Williamstown sent us a column by Pikeville attorney Larry Webster. Webster’s journalists nom de plume is “Red Dog”.

For years he wrote a provocative political column for a Pike County newspaper that was widely read. (I remember one column about a gubernatorial candidate who appeared at a church in Pikeville and was “saved” at the ministers call. “Red Dog” Webster, as he was known in his column, wrote that this was the l6th. time that the candidate had been saved since the campaign started. Great stuff!)

Red Dog once ran for Attorney General or Lt. Governor on the Republican ticket. We believe the Commonwealth lost a potentially great public servant when someone else was elected. Webster, was originally from Owen County in Northern Kentucky. We never knew how he got to Pike County but he has been there many years and has done well for himself.

Recently he has become a contributing columnist to Kentucky.com hosted by the Lexington Herald-Leader. In a recent column he did what he does best, tweaked the nose of conventionaly wisdom.

Here are a few of his missives fired in the old Red Dog tradition with mountain candor in his new column:

1. As advisers to the legislature, criminals are probably to be preferred to victims.

When Buford Johnson was police judge in Pikeville, he sometimes let drunks sentence themselves and they were remarkably fair. They usually gave themselves 30 days, probated.

Our current laws on crime and punishment are an abject failure. We are treating people like murderers and sending them to prison for causing car wrecks. We are using most of the state treasury to house convicts, while our crime rate goes up and up.

All this is due in part to the fact that most modern criminal laws were drawn up by victims or prosecutors, with almost zero participation from the criminal element or their lawyers, who are not hard to find but are far more honest than prosecutors or cops.

2. With regard to social workers, the public is in far greater need of laws protecting them from social workers than social workers are in need of protection from the public. The overreaching of social workers to take children away from the poor and ragged is a scandal.

Across the state, children of the lowly are being snatched from their families and put on a fast adoption train so that somebody who will make them wear a bike helmet can raise them as proper yuppies.

No disrespect to Boni Frederick, but the social worker was apparently murdered by a woman whose child was about to be taken away permanently by the state. Taking children away from their parents ought to be dangerous.

3.The coal industry had blamed a recent underground mine disaster on lightning, a theory that narrowly beat out black magic and mass suicide.

4.All in all the legislature didn’t do much, which is a relief. As of this writing, no agreement has been made to restore state government retirement systems to financial soundness, which may mean that some of those state workers may have to go out and get a job and work until they are old like the rest of us.

Red Dog, as you can see, has no trouble in saying what’s really on his mind. We are glad to see that his thoughts are now being brought to a wider publication. But we warn you that you had better buckle your seat belt before reading one of his columns, because whoever you are, you are probably going to be next on his list, as no one escapes his witty observations.

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