Court favors corporations over humans
What does Chief Justice John Roberts have in common with Chief Justice Roger B. Taney?
Over 150 years and 15 U.S. constitutional amendments separate them, and yet, they apparently share an antiquated opinion held over from the Middle Ages — talented, gifted or wealthy people deserve more rights than ordinary people.
This anachronism seems to have led both of them to decide that property rights are more important that human rights in historic Supreme Court cases.
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In the Dred Scott case, Taney simply could not see slaves as people. He had considered African-Americans the inferiors of European-Americans for so long that he believed the cruel inequality of slavery to be natural and reasonable.
Today, we have Roberts' decision in Arizona Free Enterprise Club vs. Bennett, which invalidated an Arizona campaign finance law that provided matching funds to candidates challenged by millionaire opponents.
As Roberts coldly writes, there is no "even playing field" in our constitutional right to free speech.
Apparently, it is natural and reasonable in Roberts' mind that corporations, as legal persons, possess far greater access to the means of free speech than real persons.
The right to use corporate money to control public airwaves is more important than the right of the people to hear all sides of issues.
Taney favored the property rights of plantation owners over the human rights of slaves. Now, Roberts favors the property rights of corporations over human rights of ordinary people.
Cut defense budget
The defense budget is overrepresented as part of the grand total of federal spending. With cuts coming to education on every government level every year, that area is underrepresented.
My simple solution? Cut half of the defense budget and give half of the remainder to education. That influx of supplies and support would lead to improved schools, a by-product being higher quality school breakfasts and lunches, aiding in the reduction of childhood obesity.
Also, just for the heck of it, we may produce more intelligent young people better prepared for the ultra-competitive world economy. The 75 percent cut in defense spending would also eliminate the national debt over time.
Yes, it really is that simple, and yes, we do waste that much money on our military.
During the Enes Kanter eligibility circus, John Calipari stated that the main goal of Kanter and his parents was receiving an education in the United States. How hollow sounding.
Yes, there are various avenues to an education, but spare me the sugarcoating in this instance. Indications are that Kanter is a quality young man.
Congratulations on his multimillion-dollar NBA contract.
Eric L. Hatton
Support our own
Jane Chiles' June 25 opinion, "Think locally, spend locally," is right on target.
We should shop first in our hometowns and then go to nearby towns and cities if we cannot find what we need. We should be able to find most everything we really need in those locations.
I was taught this as a young girl by my attorney father who encouraged me to shop in my small hometown first, as I would be supporting his clients who were the support of our family.
If we fail to support local merchants, we fail our town or city.
Polly Jo Green
Can't force learning
In response to "Raise the dropout age," children under 16 can be legally made to stay in school by parents.
I agree that a high school diploma is helpful in "the overall personal and financial success of students" as stated in the letter.
But forcing a child to stay in school until 18 will not make students attend school, study, do homework or care about grades. If passing laws deterred teenagers, we would not see so many of them in court.
I am tired of all the laws that infringe upon my rights and tell me what to do with my personal life. Focusing on improving the educational system and helping children learn to be successful is a much better solution.
While calculus and other advanced courses are helpful to students who want to attend college, what about the ones who don't?
Creating an environment where children can grow, learn to be successful facing everyday life challenges and make the most of lives spent even as blue-collar employees might keep students in school. A safe haven where they are respected and can be the best possible version of themselves, even if their goal is to be a garbage collector (who, in my book, should make millions).
Teenage years are difficult and anyone who has experienced a rebellious teen knows laws will not help them make good decisions. We must help them see and understand the benefits to a diploma.
Sound the alarm
It's time for the taxpayers to get nervous when our prison population becomes greater than our military population.
It's also time to get alarmed when our military is protecting everyone's borders but ours, and fighting three wars on credit.
We should get our heads out of the sand and stop voting for the incumbent in national elections. Voting for them is like saying "sock it to me again"
Walking the dog
In light of Lexington being ranked the most sedentary U.S. city by Men's Health magazine, I'd like to offer a painless way for residents to get more active: Walk your dogs.
Unlike human exercise partners, a canine companion will never bail out on a workout — which may explain why people who walk dogs are more likely to meet government recommendations for exercise.
But walking dogs isn't just good for our waistlines; it's also vital to dogs' happiness and well-being.
Dogs need to get outside, stretch their legs, breathe fresh air, and linger over the hydrants every day.
Walks give dogs exercise, which helps them burn off energy and prevents obesity; mental stimulation from investigating new smells, sights and sounds; and social interaction from meeting other people and dogs along the way.
Don't have a dog? Why not offer to walk a friend's or neighbor's dog (a lonely chained or caged dog would especially appreciate the attention, exercise and change of scenery) or volunteer to walk dogs at an animal shelter?
For more fun ways to get active with dogs, check out Let's Have a Dog Party (Adams Media) by Ingrid E. Newkirk or visitPETA.org.
The PETA Foundation