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Furthermore …

Smith

Ground control calling Sen. Smith ...

Brandon Smith, a Kentucky state senator, radically expanded the reach of the climate change debate recently.

During a meeting of the legislature’s Natural Resources and Environment Committee, the Republican lawmaker commented:

“I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There’s no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.”

The staff at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has a different view. NASA lists the average temperature on Earth as 57 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average temperature on Mars as 81 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

In addition to not having any known functioning coal mines, Mars also is 49 million miles farther away from the sun than Earth, and its atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide.

Otherwise, it’s a pretty good comparison.

But Sen. Smith might consider this, as well. Not a single Martian legislator, scientist or academician has yet spoken out against the EPA’s efforts to rein in climate change.

Not a single one.

Panel gives Lafayette officer’s career a shove

Would you push a man out of his wheelchair? While you were being recorded on video by a police camera? And while you, yourself, were wearing a badge?

In Lafayette, Lt. Tom Davidson did just that one day last October. He and other officers had been questioning a 25-year-old man who had been reported to have told people at a nearby charter school that he had a gun.

The man didn’t have a gun, though he had a pocketknife. The officers warned him not to come back to the school, and the man began to drive away in his motorized wheelchair.

In the videotape, Davidson stands with his foot outstretched as the wheelchair approaches him and seems to make no move to get out of its way.

When the wheelchair rolls over the officer’s foot, Davidson shoves the driver, toppling the wheelchair and sending the man tumbling into the street.

The man, who sustained facial injuries, was arrested and charged with felony assault on a police officer, though those charges were dropped five months later.

Last week, Police Chief Patrick Flannelly announced that he and the rest of the Lafayette Police Department command staff had recommended that Davidson be fired. Lafayette’s mayor, Tony Roswarski, said he supported that course of action as well. But the department’s civil service commission decided only to suspend the officer for 30 days and place him on probation for the next year.

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