Celebrate freedom, recommit to ideals
It is my joyful duty to thank God for the Declaration of Independence's words of liberty and its challenge to tyranny.
We remember the value of freedom, those things which threaten freedom and the courage of those who fight oppression. But some things get overlooked in our national celebration:
■ Give thanks for our dependence on each other. The Declaration's pronouns ("We hold these truths; We mutually pledge our lives") remind us we are all in this together.
■ Celebrate those blessedly different from us, on whom we depend for daily life.
■ Remember that, along with military heroes, our freedom struggle includes heroes and martyrs like Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony and Harvey Milk.
■ Recommit to caring for the land which makes freedom and prosperity possible. The Declaration charges that King George "plundered our seas, ravished our coasts" for his own ends. We shouldn't do the same to our woodlands and mountains.
■ Welcome strangers from foreign lands just as our forebears were welcomed.
■ Remember that our blessings come not from our own hands, but from "reliance on the protection of divine Providence" and continue only as "we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
Episcopal Bishop of Lexington
Car safety a 'ding' away
In this fast-paced world where everyone rushes to the next meeting, soccer game, etc. we need all the help we can get.
Recently, another infant died tragically from being left in an overheated car.
Why then are we not seeking a solution to this problem by asking our automakers to truly make our families safer?
If our cars can alert us with a "ding" when we leave our keys in and when we don't buckle up, they could simply alert us when there is weight on infant seats.
I know it entails a bit of detailed engineering, but I believe that the safety of all of our children is priceless.
Prisoner swap meet
The Uniform Code of Military Justice provides for the execution of wartime deserters.
In today's post-modern America, it's "No Traitor Left Behind."
A single soldier, possibly a deserter, is celebrated as a hero after his release in exchange for five of the most dangerous Islamic terrorists.
If this is the way wars are resolved in the 21st century, then maybe President Barack Obama can trade Texas back to Mexico for our captive Marine, whose release has not been sought with any enthusiasm.
Enemies would pay their terrorists a bounty for every American prisoner they capture or kidnap instead of killing them.
The bounty would be governed by the condition of the prisoner, who would be traded back to us for an established ransom.
The U.N. could set universal guidelines on prisoner condition and corresponding ransoms. Prisoners could be more efficiently returned to the capture/bounty, ransom/release cycle to foster the redistribution of global wealth.
International prisoner exchanges could be created to facilitate prisoner trading.
To discourage unbridled capitalism, the exchanges and their personnel would be licensed and regulated by governments of competent jurisdiction.
This would create unionized jobs to provide campaign contributions to politicians and exorbitant salaries to union bosses.
Stephen H. Pulliam
UK not handicap friendly
We enjoyed the Gordon Lightfoot concert June 26 at the University of Kentucky Singletary Center. Unfortunately, the handicap access was inferior and dangerous.
After suffering a serious fall in April, I was given a handicap parking pass. We had handicap seating for the concert and were told that handicap parking was in the back with an access route allowing easy rear entrance.
The handicap parking had no wide access aisles. At the lower handicap entrance a sign stated it was only access for performers.
We managed to sneak into this entrance. At the end of the concert, ushers refused our exit telling us there was a ramp at the front entrance we needed to use.
There was no ramp at the front entrance. Several other attendees struggled to take a shortcut to the circular drop-off drive.
Using a knee walker, I was unable to take the steps. No elevator was available. I had to manage the sidewalk that led to the front entrance.
The 40 to 50 yard uphill raised-pebbled sidewalk made maneuvering my knee scooter very difficult. I'm ashamed that UK does not comply with the Disabilities Act of 1992. Kentucky's handicapped people deserve more respect.
Kynect errors costly
My contractor company made us change insurance because of the Affordable Care Act. The new plans were way too expensive, so I tried kynect and applied in April. I had to call kynect to complete the application because of errors.
I am eligible for payment assistance, but it took till June 20 to get this to the insurance company.
They wanted me to pay for June, when I had no insurance for the month of June. I asked that the date be changed to July 1, but kynect said they would make the request to the insurance company.
It still has not been done. I have been without insurance since May 31.
I've been sick and could not go to a doctor and am unable to refill any of my current prescriptions unless I pay the full amount, which I don't have the money for.
Patricia F. West