Letters to the Editor: March 14

March 14, 2013 

Pass bill providing electronic vote to our military

Having grown up next to Fort Knox during the height of the Vietnam War, and having family fight there and in the current war, I realize firsthand our military members make tremendous sacrifices to protect our rights, and they deserve our best efforts to preserve their right to vote.

I thank Alison Lundergan Grimes for standing up for Kentucky's military and encourage members of the General Assembly to follow her lead and pass Senate Bill 1 with provisions that permit Kentucky's military and overseas voters to return executed ballots electronically and extend the receipt deadline for timely mailed ballots.

Nineteen other states have extended the receipt deadline for military ballots and 24 realize that technology exists to transmit the ballot while protecting the privacy of the voter and integrity of our elections.

Kentucky needs to get on board and make sure our service men and women are not left behind. Please contact your state representative and ask them to support our military members.

Phinis V. Hundley


Fatty-food fallacies

The March 5 article, "Chewing the fat, and not stinting on it either," failed to show how the Weston A. Price Foundation exaggerates the significance of Dr. Price's work. In fact, his observations do not hold up to today's rigorous scientific scrutiny.

National Council Against Health Fraud co-founder Dr. Stephen Barrett has stated, "Price made a whirlwind tour of primitive areas, examined the natives superficially, and jumped to simplistic conclusions. While extolling their health, he ignored their short life expectancy and high rates of infant mortality, endemic diseases, and malnutrition. While praising their diets for not producing cavities, he ignored the fact that malnourished people don't usually get many cavities."

The foundation's worship of animal fats and protein has led to an irrational disdain for vegetarian diets, which contradicts Price's advice to his own family and is not supported by his work or current nutrition research.

In fact, at a conference just last month, David Jacobs, Mayo professor in epidemiology at the University of Minnesota, said: "In general, plant-centered and vegetarian diets have more favorable chronic disease outcomes. This is one of the most consistent findings of nutritional epidemiology."

When it comes to the foundation's and similar diets, it is often said that people love to hear good news about their bad habits. How reassuring it must be to find a group that gives permission to indulge in butterfat as often as desired.

However, it is far from reassuring that the article would facilitate promotion of dangerous dietary advice that has so little basis in high quality peer-reviewed science.

Danita Hines


Healthier option

I was disconcerted to see an article regarding the Weston A. Price Foundation's very odd dietary recommendations.

So there is one woman in Winchester who seeks to promote consumption of cholesterol-laden saturated fats. Are you aware that a growing number of local residents are adopting a healthy plant-based (vegan) diet for many reasons, including human health, the environment and compassion for animals? Lexington has a monthly vegan potluck that has been meeting for over 20 years, always with a variety of delicious dishes.

Please do a little research on living physicians — such as Neal Bernard and John McDougal, who have successfully reversed heart disease and diabetes with a plant-based diet — instead of lending credibility to the misguided and misinterpreted opinions of a deceased dentist.

Pat Ritz


Denounce XL pipeline

I cannot imagine deafer ears for what I am about to say to fall upon than those of our congressional delegation.

Nevertheless, the political class is either not concerned about climate change or is more concerned about re-election than climate change. Given that, I fear that the pressure to green-light the infamous Keystone XL pipeline through the heart of the country is going to win out.

I am not even sure what our president's decision will be, despite the emphasis he placed on climate in his second inaugural speech.

I am not a scientist, but when the overwhelming consensus among those who are is that we have to find a way to leave more carbon in the ground for the sake of sustaining climate, I believe them.

The deniers seem to have an ulterior motive for their shallow, paranoid skepticism. Usually, it's their disdain for liberals, Al Gore or anything that smacks of a repudiation of the free market.

The Canadian tar sands may present us with a short-term boon in temporary construction jobs, but the damage from that kind of particularly dirty oil is not something we can stand.

Maybe our saying "no" will just mean they find another route for the oil. But it could also embolden the next wave of protests from others who share these concerns. The people are going to have to force our politicians to hear us.

Oh, one more thing: Go plant trees.

James Spragens


Kudos to champs

Congratulations, Madison Central High School for winning the state basketball championship.

Robbie Kelsay


A fun time

Old Ben Franklin was sitting in his print shop one day shooting the breeze with some of his cronies when he said: "Hey, guys, I know what would be fun. Let's see if we can convince everyone in America it would be a good idea to go through his/her house and change the time on all their clocks and watches twice a year, forward in the spring and back in the fall. Wouldn't that be hilarious? And, hey, if we can talk them into something this silly, I betcha we can talk them into just about anything."

Douglas Miller


Bill should be vetoed

Regarding "Human rights, fairness groups urge Beshear to veto religious-freedom bill" (Kentucky.com, March 8):

My father's family lives in Lexington and Mud Creek, and my father was a proud alum of the University of Kentucky. I was appalled to see that this bill, that will hurt so many vulnerable people would sail through the Kentucky legislature. It should be vetoed by the governor.

If members want to reconsider it, they should hold hearings about the this bill rather than its surface attractiveness.

It was pushed by the Catholic Conference and others who seek to overcome the neutral, generally applicable laws of the state.

Why would they be interested in having far more rights than the Constitution guarantees? In order to avoid liability for child sex abuse and the medical neglect of children. They are also seeking the right to impose their beliefs on anyone participating in their programs, even when those programs are heavily subsidized by the government.

The Kentucky Supreme Court, in its case about the Amish, did not apply this new, draconian standard. It applied the standard of reasonableness.

Marci A. Hamilton

Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law

Yeshiva University

New York

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