Civil rights is about more than color of skin
In response to a letter concerning California's passage of Prop 8, banning gay couples from marrying: Earlier this year, California's Supreme Court voted in favor of gay couples marrying. It was signed into law by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The court did not override the people as the writer said; it was the other way around.
Secondly, civil rights are not exclusive to skin color. Women's suffrage and their right to choose are examples of civil rights. Gay rights are just the latest.
It wasn't my choice to be gay. It wasn't my choice to not have the over 1,100-plus rights that married couples enjoy simply for taking an oath.
It's also not my choice to pay the same taxes as those that have those 1100-plus rights. But I do.
Thirdly, we are not a theocracy. We are a Democratic republic, a nation of laws. Our founding doctrine is the Constitution, not the Bible. The Constitution was written to protect minorities and the powerless from oppression. It's not about majority rule.
Finally, Prop 8 was largely funded by the Mormon Church, which funneled some $25 million into the cause. Some divorced people voted as well.
The irony is hard to miss. A church that is OK with a man having multiple wives and people with failed marriages voting on the rights of others to "mar traditional marriage."
Algae process exciting
How funny it is to see the Herald-Leader go two ways at once.
The paper is really against coal, which I make my living hauling. They sure can print pictures of places being mined, but seldom print a picture of a mine reclaimed.
Then on the front page of the Dec. 6 paper, the paper had an article about algae turning CO2 into oil. To me, that algae project is exciting. I might get to keep my job.
We don't have a replacement for the jobs that coal brings. I've never heard or seen once what anybody who rails against coal offers to replace our best source of income. They don't offer because they don't have anything to offer.
Well I guess we could do like Evanston in Breathitt County on Rt. 542. All that's there is the sign.
My boss told me once when I had made my best paycheck, "When you start doing better you can't go back." I can see that much better now.
How about instead of shutting things down, let's move up and work with that algae.
Ray E. Davis Jr.
Don't forget the sunlight
The article on using algae to capture CO2 and turn it into fuel is quite interesting and the idea worth pursuing.
However, there was one bit of information missing from the article and that was that "Green Algae" are plants and, therefore, require some 13 essential elements to grow, just like land plants.
It takes more than just water and carbon dioxide. The green algae (plants) do not need nor do they use "food" (organic energy).
They get their energy from the sun to combine carbon dioxide and water to form energy-rich organic compounds (food) in the presence of the essential elements; and, produce oxygen as a byproduct.
This, of course, is a simplified description of photosynthesis. It is obvious that we animals are totally dependent upon green plants for our food and energy. Even the energy in the fossil fuels on which we all depend came from the sun via photosynthesis.
David L. Terry
Coordinator, Fertilizer Regulatory Program
University of Kentucky
Dog had little chance
I regret that we allowed a "no kill" animal facility to take our boxer.
We were told that if he was upset, he would be given a shot to calm him down. We were told that they would do everything they could for him and if they couldn't find him a home, he would go into a rescue program where he would be rehabilitated, given medical care and placed in a suitable home
We turned him over because he bit my grandmother. He could have killed her if he wanted to and he barely broke skin.
Common sense would tell you that if you take a dog from a loving home into that environment, he will be upset for a while. We were told that he attempted to bite a few times.
All he needed was a young male to take him on and train him, someone that could establish and keep dominance over him. He was a very lovable and playful member of our family. And now, he's gone, without even as much as a courtesy call.
With a courtesy call, we would've gotten him. They killed him the same day he was brought in because he was upset. He wasn't given the chance we were promised.
So please, do your research before you turn in an animal. There are rescue programs out there that you surrender your dog to directly, that know how to deal with your breed. What this facility did to our dog was inhumane and cruel and there was never an attempt to save him.
Want to spread some holiday cheer? Send a $1 to $2 gift card or simply a Christmas card to the best-decorated house on your street.
Ivan Lawless Jr.
Treat immigrants better
From World War II emerged an international climate ready to embrace humanity, and on December 10, 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was affirmed. In honor of the 60th anniversary of the UDHR we should each thoughtfully consider the way in which we treat our neighbors.
Particularly, I would like to examine the way we treat immigrants. Immigrants, even undocumented immigrants, contribute considerably to our society. The majority of undocumented immigrants continue to pay federal, state, local and sales taxes, yet receive few of the services those taxes ensure.
Contrary to urban myths, the crime rates within the immigrant community are actually lower than in the general population.
And some individuals without citizenship so vehemently support the country that they are willing to make the greatest sacrifice of all. Of the 70,000 foreign-born members of the military about half are not U.S. citizens.
The Constitution, in most instances, applies to all U.S. residents and was designed to protect the most vulnerable members of our society. Our government can legitimately control its borders while continuing to respect the rights of all individuals.
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time in our nation's history where certain groups of people have been relegated to second-class status, and it probably won't be the last.
But Americans have accomplished great feats in our short history and our expectations for future generations are immense.
Please remember to treat our immigrant neighbors with the respect and dignity that we reserve for all human beings.
ACLU of Kentucky