Nothing stable about marriage, never has been
According to a letter writer, marriage is a stabilizer of human society.
I'm sure we would all like to believe that, but let's be real.
When we allow divorce and have no limit on the number of marriages a person can enter and exit, there is no way human society has had, or will ever have, a firm foundation on which to build stability.
Human society has never been stable. Over time, we have created many legal institutions designed to keep a lid on our shaky nature.
But try and try as we may, we will always come up short, fall down or hit a brick wall. We live in a corrupt, fallen world and the best we can do is extend fairness and mercy in as many situations, in as many places, as many times as we can.
This silly arguing over who should or shouldn't get married seems such a waste of effort — one of those brick walls we hit over and over. Marriage has never had a solid definition as we have found countless ways to break it down, redefine it, just to break it down again.
Finding a way to implement a level and open playing field for every human wanting to be in a committed, responsible relationship and award them the same titles and legalities as every other seems much more productive for stabilizing human society than continuing this endless grandstanding for equal rights — except for those different from ourselves.
Laura Jean Spence
It's the babies, stupid
Syndicated columnist Eugene Robinson weighed in on U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's recent decision to overturn the California law banning same-sex marriage.
He referred to Walker's statement that the ban violated the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause because there was "no rational justification" for treating same-sex relationships as inferior.
I disagree. The rational relationship revolves around babies.
Babies are a biological necessity. Without babies, the human race will cease to exist. Heterosexual sex produces babies. Homosexual sex does not. Biology says it takes a male sperm and a female egg to produce a child. Two sperms or two eggs won't do it.
A marriage between a man and a woman is the best basis for the creation and nurturing of children. And, while gay couples can provide a nurturing home, they cannot produce babies themselves. It is therefore an inferior relationship.
I think the gay community should show us "breeders" some respect and keep their hands off marriage. After all, we created gays. They didn't create themselves.
Edward L. Smith Jr.
Protect worker rights
A representative of a Kentucky business group wrote in a recent letter that the Employee Free Choice Act would eliminate the secret ballot and allow the government to dictate wages, benefits and work rules in the workplace. At best, that is misleading.
EFCA, also known as card check, simply puts into place protections of worker rights to organize.
Card check has been around since the National Labor Relations Act of 1935. Workers have two avenues to achieve bargaining rights. The first, a simple card check with 50 percent-plus-one signing cards seeking union representation.
The other route is for the bargaining unit to petition the National Labor Relations Board seeking a federally supervised vote. If 30 percent of the work force signs a card, then the process moves to an election. Those secret ballot elections are rarely scheduled sooner than 42 days from certification of the petition.
That gives a company six weeks to scare, harass and intimidate the work force: threaten to close the business, show anti-union videos and hold captive-audience meetings that paint the future black if a union is chosen. And, if the employees resist and choose to organize, the company can refuse to bargain in good faith until the workforce capitulates. The penalties for violating worker rights are so weak that they do little to deter those who violate the law.
The CEO of Wal-Mart makes more in one day than the average Wal-Mart employee earns in a year. Seems fair.
The coal industry has a long history of trying to silence its critics, so no one should be surprised that coal executives are taking aim at Kentucky's Democratic candidates.
Ironically, industry spokesmen insist they are under attack because, under President Barack Obama, the Environmental Protection Agency has been enforcing existing laws and making decisions based on hard scientific data.
Yet they continue to argue their case using manufactured PR fallacies. So let's consider some facts.
First, the industry itself has been most instrumental in eliminating jobs via mechanization and a shift toward surface mining.
Second, federal rulings that halt mountaintop removal are overdue. Studies show the destruction resulting from this cost-saving technique causes irreversible harm to Appalachia's ecosystems, increases flooding and contributes to regional poverty and poor health.
Third, coal is not cheap. Utility bills in Kentucky are climbing despite the taxpayers' average annual $111 million subsidy to the industry.
Fourth, if coal makes us energy independent, then why are companies shipping our coal to China and India?
Fifth, the Department of Energy reports that coal accounts for slightly less than half of our nation's energy, but a U.S. Geological Survey study shows that 20 years from now we will run out of economically recoverable coal in central Appalachia.
And, according to recent studies, both wind and solar power are among the more viable alternatives for our state.
Too bad candidates are not being asked about cleaner renewable energy as opposed to professing their greater love of old King Coal.
About every week, I read the obituaries of war veterans who were awarded two or three Bronze Stars. Bronze Stars are awarded for valor on the battlefield, above and beyond the call of duty. I doubt anyone has three of them.
What is likely being referred to are battle stars or campaign stars. These are tiny stars that are attached to the ribbon of a service metal.
I have three of them attached to my Korean service metal, but they have nothing to do with valor.
Joseph E. Long
Joke's on who?
As reported in the Herald-Leader recently, a major opinion poll indicates that 18 percent of us think President Barack Obama is Muslim. Another 43 percent of us don't realize he is a Christian.
You got us.