Letters to the editor, Feb. 6, 2014

February 6, 2014 

  • New election-year rules

    Letters about candidates in 2014 political races are limited to 150 words. No commentary from candidates will be published. Candidates may respond, every 30 days, in 250-word letters to editorials, news articles and columns in which they are the primary focus.

Unprecedented budget boost to fight Alzheimer's

At the urging of the Alzheimer's Association and more than 600,000 advocates, Congress passed and the president signed a fiscal 2014 funding bill with an unprecedented $122 million increase for Alzheimer's research, education, outreach and caregiver support.

We thank the Kentucky and Southern Indiana legislators who voted for this funding: Reps. John Yarmuth, Hal Rogers, Larry Bucshon, Ed Whitfield, Brett Guthrie, Andy Barr and Todd Young.

Federal and state monies, combined with local chapters' continued fund-raising efforts, are critical to:

■ Ensuring that we meet the National Alzheimer's Plan goal of preventing and effectively treating the disease by 2025.

■ Treating and preventing a disease that is always fatal. Alzheimer's is the sixth-leading cause of death in America, and the only one among the top 10 for which there is no way to prevent, stop or slow its progression.

■ Funding research that will discover new drugs. No new Alzheimer's medications have been approved in more than 10 years.

■ Stemming the enormous costs of caring for those with Alzheimer's, currently estimated at $203 billion a year, including $142 billion to Medicare and Medicaid.

The funding increase is a significant milestone in changing the trajectory of Alzheimer's that, without intervention, means more than 97,000 Kentuckians and 130,000 Indiana residents living with the disease by 2025.

We hope state lawmakers join with their federal counterparts to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer's and to provide funding to support families and caregivers dealing with the disease.

Teri Shirk

Alzheimer's Association, Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter


Contraceptive ruling

When is your body not your body?

Does it happen when profit-making corporations and non-profit religious groups ask the Roberts Supreme Court to deliberately set new insurance health rules on immorality and contraceptives?

This demands court clarification.

Taking birth control pills is not performing an abortion any more than using a condom is performing a vasectomy. It is taking personal responsibility for private acts.

If corporations and religious groups determine certain procedures are unacceptable to them, what basic women's services will they deny them later while they continue paying for male-libido drugs?

Employees are told they must pay more of their health care costs. This contraceptive mandate just allows employers to mine another way to avoid paying a fair share in workers' increased productivity.

There is a solution. Employees can pay cash for their birth control needs; no insurance paper trail. Church ladies can deduct their health-care costs from their envelope donations.

Actually whatever the court rules about women's bodies, the church already knows. Women rule now.

Judy Rembacki


Scientists err on climate

There has not been any statistically significant warming of the climate in the last 16 years while atmospheric CO² levels have increased 8 percent.

Most people who buy into the man-induced global warming hysteria do not understand the significance of this lack of warming. Major media, who are 100 percent in the alarmist camp, have pushed it aside as an unimportant anomaly.

But it is an extremely telling event. The catastrophic global warming crisis exists only in computer simulations; it's virtual, not real. Many computer assumptions have been exposed as incorrect.

This should have ended the discussion on the validity of computer model forecasts. But the media overlooked all the real science, basically censoring it by not making it available to the public, and continued to push more exaggerated claims of rising sea levels and continued warming.

The validity of computer models is judged by how well they forecast future events. In the case of the climate models their forecasts show global temperatures soaring for the past 16 years, when in fact the real climate data shows nothing of the sort.

Claims that the arctic ice cap will soon be gone were brought into question when the sea ice trend reversed, increasing this year. Then we have the recent drama of the climate alarmists' cruise on the Akademik Shokalskiy to Antarctica to recreate the voyage of the Mawson expedition a century ago. Mawson sailed into ice-free Commonwealth Bay, while our ship of fools was trapped in 20 kilometers of Antarctica ice.

George Tomaich


EPA's done it again

Why have Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul been silent about the latest Environmental Protection Agency attack in the "war on coal?"

A storage tank owned by coal processor Freedom Industries leaked 7,500 gallons of chemicals into the Elk River. The leak was a mile and a half upstream from the intake for the water supply of 300,000 residents of the Charleston, W.Va., area.

Freedom had incurred so much cost from regulations, including the most recent inspection in 1991, that the company was unable to fund maintenance of the tank and its retaining wall. Now the EPA has shut it down and forced it to clean up the spill. Freedom has had to declare bankruptcy, eliminating coal-processing jobs.

McConnell and Paul need to tell the people of Charleston to make a choice: Either support the EPA if they want clean drinking water, or support the coal industry's right to pollute if they want to keep the lights on.

Kevin Kline


Big government growth

If you are not convinced that government has gotten too big for the good of America, consider these figures from the Cato Institute.

Over the last 10 years, private sector employment has grown by 1 percent, but federal government employment is up 15 percent.

The transportation department has gone from one employee making over $170,000 per year to 1,690 people today; defense, from 1,868 to 10,100.

In the last two years, those in government making more than $100,000 has doubled.

Total federal government employment now stands at 21.3 million, or 16 percent of the U.S. voting public. This makes them the largest single special interest.

Assuming that their spouses will join them in voting to protect the government programs that pay these ever-increasing salaries, how can we expect to reduce government spending? How long before the private sector becomes the minority in this country?

This time bomb is ticking away and there is only a limited time to reverse this trend of government growth. If you haven't been concerned about big government before, perhaps this will convince you that you should be.

Karl Pfeifer


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