Water on a planet does not mean life as we know it
The article on the discovery of the newly discovered, extra-solar "Goldilocks" planet quoted its co-discoverer as claiming "that chances for life on this planet are 100 percent."
Apparently this claim is based on the observation that the planet may support liquid water, and "because there always seems to be life on Earth where there is water."
I'm actually surprised a fellow scientist would make such a rash statement given the uncertainties in our current knowledge of life's origins and our incomplete knowledge of other Earth-like worlds.
Just because life has been observed on one planet with liquid water (Earth) does not mean that life must necessarily develop on every planet containing liquid water.
As much as network anchors and science popularizers claim that evidence for water equals evidence for life (such as Mars exploration), this is just not the case.
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Kentucky
Disrespect of Beck
I have been involved in securing services for the addicted for more than 25 years as a member of the board of a Behavioral Health Care Center, three years its chairman.
And as a current member of a regional planning council determining needs for and supporting mental health and substance addiction services, I am offended by Kathleen Parker's cavalier attitude toward Glenn Beck's recovery process.
The syndicated writer's comments were snide and displayed an ignorance she can't imagine. She owes Beck and everyone who attended his rally in Washington D.C. an apology.
Edward L. Smith Jr.
Chandler better bet
For Kentucky's 6th District, incumbent Rep. Ben Chandler is the better choice over novice Andy Barr.
Over his three terms in the House, Chandler has added to his previous service to Kentucky as state auditor and attorney general. His seniority has earned him a coveted seat on the appropriations committee whereby he can secure funding for projects important to the district.
Much to the chagrin of some Democrats, Chandler has an independent streak, evidenced when he voted against health care reform because he thought it wasn't the best legislation for Kentucky.
I was disappointed, but came to respect his refusal to back off his principled decisions.
Whatever differences Democrats have with Chandler pale in comparison to those with Barr.
As a junior representative, Barr would have no power but to support familiar Republican policies that got our country into economic hardship.
We can't risk going backward and must re-elect Chandler.
A helping hand
We are very fortunate to have Cheryl Feigel as council member in the 5th District.
Feigel is accessible when we need guidance and support in submitting our petitions to the local bureaucracy.
We can point to numerous improvements in our neighborhood which can be attributed to Feigel's hands-on interest in our district.
Feigel has proved herself to be a capable and responsive council member for the district.
While previous council members have used their constituents in the district as steppingstones to higher office, Feigel has allowed us to use her good office as a steppingstone to neighborhood enhancement.
Why Rand Paul?
It is difficult to understand the enthusiasm and support Rand Paul is generating.
Voters are simply ignoring his unrealistic stands on the issues. He opposes federal regulations on businesses and banks in spite of their recent disastrous economic decisions.
He opposes federal consumer protection laws and questions the necessary role of the federal government in the war on drugs in Eastern Kentucky as well as its efforts to ensure safe mining practices. Paul says local government can handle these issues.
Equally amazing, he thinks local government can provide health care, police protection, build highways and protect our water quality.
He does recognize the corrupting influence of money on our legislative system.
Yet he recently went to those very Washington lobbyists and collected his share of big-buck donations.
Finally, like all candidates, he promises lower taxes but fails to denote which necessary services he would cut. He simply doesn't get it.
H. E. (Henry) Everman
Social Security at risk
Here's food for thought for all those Tea Party members, particularly the seniors, who are riding high over recent primary wins: Sharon Angle of Nevada, Joe Miller of Alaska, Christy O'Donnell of Delaware and Kentucky's Rand Paul.
Tea Party candidates have one particular goal in mind, if elected to the U.S. Senate. They want to either reduce, privatize or eliminate altogether Social Security benefits.
So, if you're one of those Tea Partiers who dress up in the flag and chant that you want to "take your country back," don't be surprised if they do as they have promised and take your Social Security back.
If you call this fear-mongering, then you no doubt have not been following the Tea Party philosophy that you so eagerly embrace.
If this happens, I hope these seniors are either rich or have a good relationship with their children.
They just might end up living in their kid's basement.
Recently on Meet the Press, Kentucky's senior senator Mitch McConnell responded to a question from the moderator that he (McConnell) didn't know why so many Americans thought that President Obama was a Muslim.
McConnell is either lying or is too stupid to be a senator. But he is not stupid, having been smart enough to get elected again and again here in Kentucky.
That leaves the second option.
Norman E. Goldie Jr.