Cartoon to the editor

May 18: Letters to the editor

May 18, 2014 

20130606 Gay marriage


Even new hires in food services should retain UK pay, benefits

Outsourcing can take advantage of a better supply chain or greater expertise. But the contractor's profit is added to the overall cost, so why is outsourcing more efficient?

Often the savings come at the expense of workers, who move from full-time employment with benefits to part-time work with no sick leave, health insurance or stability in schedules.

Without sick leave, people come to work sick and spread their illnesses because losing a few days of income triggers a cascade of missed bills and late charges from which it is hard to recover. A constantly changing schedule interferes with family and community responsibilities. Part-time and temporary jobs do not build a healthy economy or community.

The University of Kentucky has announced that it will outsource food services. Education is not just a business. Education providers and government should model systems where the bottom line is not the only consideration. Human well-being, environmental protection and other important values must be given due priority.

UK should not only require that the new food-service providers keep current employees on the exact same terms, but also hire new employees at those same employment terms. These workers are members of our community, who do important but undervalued work.

Downgrading their jobs produces false savings. We cannot create healthy, vibrant communities by stripping people of their ability to provide for their families, or ignoring the damage done by so-called cost-savings.

The costs remain, to be borne by others, often those least able to bear them. That's just not right.

Zina Merkin


Charen's double standard?

I'd like to cordially invite syndicated columnist Mona Charen to join us in reality; obviously, she does not live in it.

In her May 11 column, "Upset about rape on campus? Blame the left, feminists," she claims that feminism and liberalism are to blame for women being raped.

I consider myself a feminist and a liberal — in other words, a woman who believes women are not inferior to men and that compassion should triumph over contempt.

I'm sure there are as many Republican women as Democratic women who imbibe at parties. Here's a little test for Charen: If a man was unconscious, at a party, and other partygoers decided to violate his body, would that be considered a sexual assault?

I feel sure that most people would immediately be outraged by this action. Why is it different for women? Are women held to higher standards at parties? Apparently we are, and if we happen to be liberals, then slut-shaming is also permitted. Really? I think not.

Sandra Wells


Support mental health bill

Thanks for publishing "Starving for help; Stop revolving door of mentally ill in prisons" on May 11. Please continue to help the public understand how its tax dollars are being wasted by punishing the most vulnerable among us, forcing them into inhumane conditions that set them up to fail.

For the first time in 50 years, real solutions have been proposed to fix the broken system. House Resolution 3717, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, introduced by Congressman Tim Murphy, is comprehensive legislation, designed to reduce the barriers to treatment for those who need it most.

H.R. 3717 would address the shortage of psychiatric beds, stabilize patients beyond the emergency room and promote alternatives to institutionalization. It would encourage greater use of criminal diversion programs, reach underserved and rural populations and advance critical medical research.

The legislation also aims to improve the quality of community behavioral health services, reduce the stigma of mental illness in schools and reform the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Kentucky Reps. Andy Barr and Ed Whitfield are cosponsors of the bill. Please call other Kentucky representatives and ask them to support this life-saving bill.

For more details on how you can help go to:

GG Burns


Retired justice misfires on rights

I had to shake my head in wonder as a retired justice of the Supreme Court, John Paul Stevens, in his April 27 commentary on the Second Amendment, did not know that automatic weapons had not been used in the Newtown, Conn. shootings.

Who would have known a justice didn't know the difference between semi-automatic and automatic weapons? Twice, he mentioned in his tirade that Congress failed to enact laws to limit availability of automatic weapons to citizens. Well, guess what? Those laws have been around for decades.

Stevens criticized recent court decisions that determined that D.C. citizens can have handguns in their homes for self-defense and limited the power of Chicago to outlaw possession of handguns by private citizens.

He described the 5-4 decisions as unwise. I guess he (and the other three dissenting justices) were the only ones who were wise. Does he not read any of the crime statistics? Crime is down in every state that has non-invasive gun control laws.

However, in places like Chicago (with some of the harshest gun laws in the nation) gun violence is out of control. I guess the criminals don't obey their gun laws.

The Second Amendment says, "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."

Is this right granted to the militia? Is this right granted to the state? No, it's granted to the people. The founding fathers knew what they were doing.

Bill McHatton


Many seniors just scrape by

So sorry that the young writer of a May 11 letter is tired of subsidizing seniors.

Many of us seniors are struggling to get by, because we paid our dues, and in many cases, paid college tuition for more than one child, so they could have a better start in life than we had.

Next time the writer goes to a big-box store and a senior is behind the counter or bagging groceries, have the courtesy to say thanks. They are working because they can't live on Social Security.

Many worked two jobs while their kids grew up, and never had the opportunity for a 401(k). It's not easy living on Social Security, but most of us get by because we've been pinching pennies for all our lives. We were taught this by our parents who lived through the Great Depression.

I will never vote for any candidate who would do nothing to help those truly in need. Yes, some laws need to be re-evaluated, but don't pick on the majority of seniors; we are not rich by any stretch of a young whippersnapper imagination.

Eileen Stansbury


Condolences after barn fire

I wanted to offer my condolences to trainer Gerry Carwood and the owners of the horses that were lost in the barn fire near Keeneland recently.

I had the opportunity to interview him for a feature for the Saratoga Special in upstate New York last summer, and he was incredibly gracious in opening up his barn and walking me through his daily routine with the two horses he was getting ready for races.

It was evident his passion for racing is deep-rooted and so much of what he does is for the horse. That was so clear from the May 10 article, detailing how he tried to save the horses though it was too late for most of them.

I know what the horses meant to him. I saw it in the way he handled the promising filly Malibu Angel as he rode her to train from the gate one morning last summer at Saratoga, and in the lovely barn he kept there.

All of us who live and breathe racing would be at a loss after such an event, and I hope he finds some solace in saving two. I know that it is not much to offer in the face of losing eight, but I appreciated how gracious he was to me and want to extend the same sentiment.

Sarah Troxell


Bible and Silas House

Gov. Steve Beshear is right in his actions on his gay marriage lawsuit. Our Kentucky Constitution defines our views of marriage and the views of the majority of the people.

Judges should do what they are supposed to and rule on the law, respect what the majority of the people want and quit making laws from the bench. That's the only way liberals can get their agenda passed on all their issues that are destroying our country.

I don't know why author Silas House is using the Bible to support his views on gay marriage in his column critical of the lawsuit.

Evidently he doesn't believe the Bible. If you read it you find out what God says about gays and lesbians. They will not inherit the kingdom of God. I don't know how much clearer this can be.

It also mentions other sinners, God was not just picking on gays. God loves gays just as much as He loves Christians. Christians should also love gays but not their actions.

God gives hope to gays and lesbians who are willing to change. God will change them but it's up to them. Satan wants gays to believe they cannot change.

House and others want to cherry-pick from the Bible. You can't do that. You accept the whole Bible or none of it.

Chester Howard


Insensitive appeal

This is in response to the May 10 article regarding Gov. Steve Beshear's decision to appeal U.S. District Court Judge Heyburn's order to require Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages from other states and countries.

I take issue with Beshear and his attorney's arguments that couples who are gay or lesbian are not the same as heterosexual couples because they cannot procreate.

First, this is insensitive to couples who are not able to produce children naturally or couples who choose not to have children.

Second, same-sex couples are not really different. My husband and I have many LGBT friends, and we socialize with them in our church, our community and our home.

One of our friends once said, "What do people think we do? We go to work, grocery shop, cook, clean and collapse in front of the TV. We're no different than any other couple."

When we have dinner with this couple, the conversations are no different than when we have dinner with our heterosexual friends. We talk about our activities, our children, our relationships, our frustrations, and our hopes. Same-sex couples are not asking for "special rights." They are asking for the same rights and respect given to other Americans.

The article also refers to another case in front of Heyburn, which he called Love v. Beshear. I can't help but appreciate Heyburn and his sense of humor.

Dorie Hubbard


No kids, no marriage?

If Kentucky shouldn't recognize same-sex relationships because the partners can't procreate and we need to grow the economy by having more children, I wonder about the state of my marriage.

When my wife and I were married more than 30 years ago, we knew we couldn't have more children. Was it a legal marriage? Am I eligible for an annulment?

Gordon Liddle


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