Stop rhetoric, focus on public business
In all my years of public service, I don't remember when I have heard as many speeches and read as many comments in the media in which so little of value was said than this past week.
Do I understand why people are so upset with the political process? I certainly do.
I have served as speaker of the House and president of the Senate. I assure you, I would never have allowed the lack of civility I witnessed this past week. More important, I would never have allowed the lack of attention to the critical issues facing our state. We have failed to act upon elder abuse, prescription drugs, illegal immigration, payday loans, school dropouts and most of all, the issue of balancing our Medicaid budget.
What is the answer? I call upon the gubernatorial candidates and their supporters to put the political rhetoric aside and take care of the business of the people of Kentucky. Our people back home sent us here to fulfill our constitutional responsibility, and we cannot do so by shutting down for political purposes and going home leaving our job undone.
I challenge the leaders of our legislative and executive branches of government to come back to Frankfort with an attitude of resolving our conflicts and compromising their positions in order to resolve our Medicaid crisis. Otherwise, the people of Kentucky should pay us nothing.
Julian M. Carroll
State senator and former governor
Gas roller coaster
We saw gasoline prices go from more than $4 per gallon in June 2008 to as low as $1.45 in December 2008. Now, a little over two years later, we're nearing the $4 nightmare again.
Where's the outrage? There's no political outrage, no media outrage, very little commentator or consumer outrage. What's going on here?
My own thoughts are that we had George W. Bush nearing the end of his second presidential term. While Bush did what he could to increase domestic production, our media blamed Republicans for gasoline price increases. This got the attention of Joe Six-pack, and the country started cutting back, conserving, carpooling. Prices dropped by over half in six months.
Enter Barack Obama, who could care less what the average U.S. citizen has to pay for gas. What he'd really like is $6-$8 per gallon gas, forcing consumers into alternative energies and somehow solving our reliance on Mideast oil by not purchasing and consuming.
As a conservative Republican, I know the best chance we have to defeat Obama in next year's election is for gas prices to remain high and go even higher, but it's not what's right and in the best interest of our citizenry. I'd probably even vote for Obama if he'd take a stand on gas prices and get them back down where they need to be.
It's time newspapers, commentators and politicians start doing what's in the best interests of our gasoline consumers and start reporting on this national outrage.
Can't blame Obama
A March 2 letter ("Factors in gas prices") claimed the high gas prices were due to the Obama administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. The groundless claim was made that our president wants to see $5 a gallon for gas and that the EPA is somehow responsible and should be abolished. In circular reasoning, the "proof" of this is the higher gas prices. Simple supply and demand was ignored in order to attack Obama.
The open hatred of Obama by some is almost becoming funny. It is obvious trouble in the Middle East and the resulting disruption of oil supplies is at the bottom of high gas prices. Oil is now more than $100 a barrel. That is the problem, not some subterfuge by the administration.
Kevin R. Greene
GOP in, gas price up
Gas prices had been $3 to $4 when a few weeks before Barack Obama was elected president they dropped to under $2 a gallon. They stayed under $3 until the House reloaded with Republicans, and now the price of gas is going up again.
Now that Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell have all of our heads pinned to the ground, the price of gas probably will go to $6 a gallon.
If people don't stop paying attention to the propaganda coming from the Republicans, this country is headed to a great depression.
Child care not free
There was a mistake in the letter concerning union pay and Toyota workers' pay ("Proud of unions," March 8). Toyota employees do not receive free child care.
I am wondering how one could be so misinformed, and then have that misinformation printed in the paper? Well I know it's not the first time the readers have been led astray.
What if everyone had something to take pride in? What if everyone had some type of employment guarantee after high school? College just isn't for some people. Should they be penalized for not wanting higher education or if they can't afford it?
I found a way to make society better and give every U.S. citizen a common purpose.
I propose that every citizen serve a mandatory two years in the military after high school. High school dropouts must complete a GED followed by a mandatory four years in the military.
Many people will say this would infringe on America's freedom and make us more of a militant society. I disagree; this would bring a sense of pride to every American. The outcome would be amazing — a boost to morale and society as a whole.
With the high unemployment rate and people getting laid off from jobs they have held for 20-plus years, we can say right now job opportunities aren't as promising as they used to be.
Two years in the military would pull people away from poverty-stricken areas they feel they can't get out of and give the wealthy more meaning to life than which Starbucks coffee to get.
In the end we would have a more respectful society and would open up a career path to every American.
That means we would see major decreases in the homeless population and crime rate and many advancements to our military.
Walter Pierre Birch
Yogurt shop pleases
It's rare that a new business opens in Lexington with which I can say I am really impressed. However, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt is a big exception.
I have been to Orange Leaf several times since it opened last fall. The staff and owners have reallygone out of their way to open a first-class establishment. Icing on the cake is finding out they make a monthly contribution to organizations such as Compassion and Food for the Hungry.
I want the owners to know what a fine example they are to our children. I wish them all the success in our community as they open their new stores.