Letters to the editor, Jan. 1

January 1, 2014 

Rand Paul's own war on Christmas

Every December, the right complains about the "War on Christmas," but on Dec. 23 I read an article in the Herald-Leader demonstrating it's true. The irony is that article was not written by some lefty but from that darling of the right, Sen. Rand Paul, who at Christmas argues against extending unemployment benefits.

"Economic illiteracy condemns us to small-brained responses." Really, senator? Is Paul Krugman, Nobel Laureate in economics, a small-brained economic illiterate because he favors that extension since currently for every job opening there are three applicants?

How long before your Economic Freedom Zones Act produces any jobs and what do the unemployed do in the meantime? Krugman wrote, "unemployment benefits help create jobs and in today's economy have no negative effect at all on overall employment."

President Barack Obama offered an infrastructure plan that would have created jobs which Republicans, including Paul, opposed.

So where are those jobs the wealthy (aka job creators) were supposed to create after they got their tax cuts supported by Paul? Paul states employers choose job applicants who have been unemployed for shorter time periods over the long-term unemployed. So Sen. Ebenezer, how do the long- term unemployed survive? Paul never answers that question, just like he never says what to replace Obamacare with. Why do Republicans hate the working class and the poor? Word games are not policy, and the real war against Christmas is ignoring its basic principle — good will towards men.

James F. Wisniewski

Lexington


Don't raise wage

Here we go again. Minimum wage workers want the minimum wage increased from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour because it isn't easy to eke out a living or support children with a minimum wage job.

News flash for the bleeding hearts: You're not supposed to live on or support children with a minimum-wage position. You need a higher wage? Better yourself and then get a better paying job.

Increasing the federal minimum wage does two things: It devalues the salary others have earned (socialism) and causes minimum wage employers to cut jobs. Employers aren't going to have a higher budget for payroll just because the hourly rate has increased.

What is more troubling is the value of $15, which was picked for its unattainability with the hope that the compromised value will be maximized. Let's not forget the forward-thinking warning from historian Alexis de Tocqueville who surmised that, "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."

Let's quash this.

Jason Webb

Versailles


There's always hope

In medical school, caring professors and attending physicians stuffed my rational left brain while the intuitive, spiritual right brain withered.

I had always assumed spiritual people were simply the result of spiritual families. Boy, was I wrong. My patients have pried open a whole new world of understanding.

Jack was alcoholic with lots of regrets. He experienced an incredibly negative near-death experience, or NDE. For the next two years he did all he could to make amends. Then he had another NDE. This time it was blissful.

Sixteen other patients have had NDEs, all blissful. I was doing CPR on one while she hovered near the ceiling, which separated. A tiny light appeared in the sky and then whoosh. She gave a most elaborate description of heaven. When told it was not her time, too many were praying for her, she cried — and whooshed back.

All of my NDE patients report that the other realm is more real than this one. They don't want to come back. And afterwards none of them fear death.

What would life be without fear? If Nelson Mandela can emerge from 27 years in prison to become the greatest force for good in our generation, what can we each individually accomplish if we are fearless, compassionate and focused?

Remember there is always, always hope. There is always help when we focus on improving the world. We can all love, be loved and connect into a higher purpose and a higher power.

Jim Roach, M.D.

Midway

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