Rebuild U.S. infrastructure to create jobs
It's time to put America back to work and rebuild the foundation of our country. Rather than wasting billions on nation-building boondoggles in foreign lands, we need to invest in the future of America. Millions of Americans are ready to start work today.
We need to bring our infrastructure into the 21st century. Overcrowded highways need expansion. Bridges need repair. We need to build a national high-speed rail network. Imagine, Lexington-Louisville or Lexington-Cincinnati in 30 minutes.
We need to make our homes, buildings and transportation systems energy efficient.
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We need to create clean and renewable energy alternatives. Or shall we let China, Japan and Europe do the work for us while we slide into second class nationhood?
We need to clean our air and water. Kentucky has 56,500 miles of water lines but only 12,800 miles of sewer lines. Two-thirds of the streams surveyed by the Division of Water were too polluted to swim in. We need to build 40,000 miles of sewer lines and associated treatment facilities.
There's no shortage of jobs that need to be done. And let's invest in our intellectual infrastructure by expanding the G.I. Bill; voluntary service to our country, either civilian or military, would guarantee tuition for higher education.
Republicans/Tea Partiers say we can't afford to invest in our future and put millions of Americans back to work right now.
If not now, when?
Palin needs work
Sarah Palin has been described as folksy, smart, dumb and a political superstar. Whatever the description, whether negative or positive, Palin weighs in on topics that may not be in her best interest .
Palin weighed in on the Dr. Laura Schlessinger incident, in which Dr. Laura used the N-word several times while talking with an African-American caller, by tweeting that Dr. Laura shouldn't resign and encouraging her to rock on.
My question is this: Did Palin, as an advocate, support a woman done wrong, or did she support the racist views of Dr. Laura?
I am perplexed because earlier, Shirley Sherrod — a black woman and government official who was wrongly portrayed as a racist by a Tea Party movement blogger and then forced to resign — was not consoled by Palin.
Palin is a Tea Party movement supporter and maybe that posed a conflict of interest if she supported Sherrod. Or maybe to Palin, a black woman is not the same as a white woman.
If Palin has aspirations of becoming president one day, she needs to readjust her thinking on race.
Faith and politics
I just moved from Lexington. The place tugs at my heart. I still belong to a church in the city. This is my response to Paul Prather's column on Oct. 23 ("Why I've adopted a no-politics policy at my church").
Given the recent revelation by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life that most Americans know little about religion or even the tenets of their own faith, I conclude that churches in America are not doing their job.
That job is spreading the principles of God's word: worshiping God, caring for members, reaching out to the larger community, etc.
Early in this nation's history, churches ran public schools. Why not continue to educate our citizens by telling the truth, contradicting lies and not hiding our faces from sin?
Imagine if more Italian and German churches had spoken up about Fascists and Nazis.
Imagine how the Roman Catholic Church would have progressed if priests had gone to jail rather than to other parishes.
Southern Baptists have apologized for tolerating lynchings. Imagine if they had spoken up earlier.
Imagine the kind of useful dialogue that might occur if modern clergy explained to their parishioners that Barack Obama's birth certificate from Hawaii is legitimate.
Christian clergy must not let Billy Graham's son use his reputation to impugn the president's Christianity. This isn't just a political question but also a spiritual one.
When the evil one is rampant, the church may not say, "I won't talk about politics."
Thank you, firefighters
Our house in Firebrook was destroyed by fire this past February. Last week the re-build was completed and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all those who helped our family.
Yes, we lost a beloved pet, all our possessions and endured three moves in eight months. Yet we were also welcomed by friends and neighbors who provided the initial food, shelter and clothing we needed as well as opening their homes for the numerous meetings with insurers in the days after.
The Lexington fire department was responsive and supportive that night as well.
We have always believed that our faith, family and friends were more important than any possession but thinking it and knowing it are two different things. We feel blessed to now know this for certain and our lives going forward have been changed for the better as a result.
Try to imagine a business in which no work is done because groups of employees refuse to cooperate with each other. Where blocks and delays stop any endeavor proposed. The managers and supervisors are detested and maligned.
These employees are well paid, have excellent benefits, health insurance, great retirement benefits, and additional perks. When hired, they promise to work and "get things done" but do not follow through.
It's not hard to imagine since this is business each day in Washington. Why should the citizens of the United States accept this? It is time for change.
Election reform and term limits could alleviate these problems. Ordinary people with new ideas could run for office, people without ties to contributors or lobbyists.
Each candidate would have an equal amount of money for campaigning without contributions. Our current campaigns cost millions, allowing mainly the very rich to run. Incumbents would be able to do their jobs instead of fund-raising.
In order to save our broken democracy, change needs to happen soon.
Rules of the road
There is a wide white line at Lexington intersections for a reason. I realize we don't have the driver's education we did when I went to high school, but people must realize that it is there for two reasons: 1) safety; 2) to trip the traffic light in certain cases.
People seem to either pull completely past the white line or stay too far back from it to not trip the light.
When a motorcycle is the first in the line, that individual will normally pull forward so that a car can trip the light since most motorcycles do not weigh enough to do this.
As for safety, the line is there so that cars turning left into the adjacent lane do not clip the car sitting at the red light. Give people room to make that turn. Two seconds of niceness can go a long way.