Letters to the editor: Feb. 9

February 9, 2013 

Boy Scouts fumble opportunity over gay-inclusion plan

After affirming their anti-gay stance just this past July, the Boy Scouts are now reconsidering their strict anti-gay policy in favor of turning the decision back to the local level. I assume this means that if this new policy is adopted, those who live their lives hating others will continue to impose such values onto little boys, while those who aren't so busy hating will then adopt policies allowing all to participate, thereby affirming the notion that all children are created equal.

While it's a nice gesture to turn the decision back to the local troops, it lacks the sincerity that a national commitment to revoke the discriminatory policy would bring.

Perhaps this is merely a band-aid effort designed to stop their hemorrhaging membership, which has declined by more than 1 million in the last decade, likely because more and more families realize that they don't want their sons hanging out with folks who hate others. You can't love one another and hate each other at the same time, can you?

The Boy Scouts should look to the Girl Scouts and the U.S. military if they want examples of the right thing to do. In the meantime if they leave the decisions up to the haters, the rest of us won't participate in Boy Scouts, even when we have sons who might have been otherwise interested.

Gretchen Ely

Lexington


Cuts for all

When considering slashing the so-called entitlements to help balance the budget, our elected leaders, especially Sen. Mitch McConnell, should include their own entitlement benefits and perks. For as little as they've accomplished, especially in the last four years, certainly no pay raise should be allowed, the same as if they were working in the private sector.

Go after all the tax breaks and subsidy entitlements big businesses receive, such as the over $800 million that Hollywood filmmakers spend cranking out movies that promote violence and immorality. Start in your own house, clean up the corruption and wasteful spending, ban lobbyists, especially in the insurance industry, close tax loopholes for billionaires, and go after Medicaid fraud. Stop the reference to small-town America and its hardworking citizens, who have paid their fair share of taxes, paid into Social Security and Medicare all their working lives.

We of the middle class are the backbone of this nation. We are not freeloaders or deadbeats; we pay our representatives' salaries, and if they want to continue to receive them, they should back off.

Eileen Stansbury

Lexington


Entitlement prescription

Mitch McConnell likes to tell folks he has "no sense of entitlement" (Kentucky.com, Feb. 3) to his job, but it is quite clear he has no humility when it comes to taking care of his supporters.

In spite of his continual statements about the Obama administration's spending priorities, McConnell had to be instrumental in including a $500 million gift to the Amgen Corp. in the fiscal cliff negotiations.

By continuing to impose price restraints on a lucrative class of Amgen drugs used by kidney dialysis patients, the Medicare program will again be required to pay the higher price for these drugs. With the fiscal cliff provision, Amgen quickly recouped the $762 million in criminal and civil penalties levied by the U.S. Justice Department for illegally marketing another drug.

While extolling the virtues of the private market, McConnell does not hesitate to use his position to reward his supporters and promote those regulations favoring corporations over taxpayers. Amgen has donated $73,000 to McConnell.

After 30 years and five terms in the Senate it's time for someone else to represent the taxpayers of Kentucky and the country.

William F. Stolte

Berea


Land-line security

I see that state Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, has introduced another bill to let AT&T eliminate land-line service where it doesn't make enough profit.

I find that interesting because AT&T had our cellphone contract near Mount Sterling for two years. We experienced, for the most part, one-bar signal strength. This frequently declined to zero signal strength within seconds. This made most ordinary phone calls impossible, even from our hilltop location.

Calls to AT&T's customer service brought the claim from the company that their map showed we got a good signal. AT&T sent a technician out to check out some problems. He was unable to call the company from our yard because he couldn't get a signal.

However, since we were in a "good signal" area, we were not allowed to cancel our contract.

Fortunately, we had a land line.

And, after two years of this, we went to Verizon and were finally able to call someone by cell.

If the state of Kentucky is ignorant enough to fall for AT&T's claims, it should at least be written into the law that lack of consistent signal strength is grounds for the customer to unilaterally cancel a mobile phone contract without penalty.

Stephen Midkiff

Mount Sterling


Times have changed

We live in a digital world where virtually every school, business and hospital is connected to the Internet. A world where more than half of Americans no longer even have or use a land-line telephone.

In fact, more than one-third of American homes have only wireless telephones, including 60 percent of all renters and nearly 52 percent of adults living under the poverty level.

Yet the regulations governing the way telecommunications companies supply phone service have not kept pace with these changes. The last time Kentucky's telecommunications laws were updated, the iPhone did not even exist.

Indiana, Tennessee and other states have all updated their telecommunications laws and have seen increased investment as well as improved wireless and broadband networks.

Their citizens have not cried out over lost services because they haven't lost them. In fact, most welcome the faster and more reliable wireless broadband that resulted.

Kentucky must get moving so we don't get left behind.

Gary Gerdemann

Executive director, Citizens for a Digital Future — Kentucky

Louisville


Word for word

The Second Amendment to the Constitution, a document most citizens hold to its original words and meanings, explicitly states: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Has a militia been legally formed or necessary in the history of this country? Has the security of a free state ever been necessary in our history?

Susan Bonner

Lexington

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