Do Friends of Coal license plate sales mean anything?
On June 29 the Herald-Leader ran a small item that more than 40,000 Friends of Coal license plates have been issued. That story failed to provide context by not providing a breakdown on the number of all types of license plates issued. How popular is that plate versus plates for other causes like Breast Cancer Awareness, Kentucky Colonel, Law Enforcement Memorial or the myriad other special license plates available? A basis for comparison is needed.
Kentucky issues 35 special license plates, another eight university license plates, another 21 for independent colleges, and 19 military license plates, a total of 83 special plates.
The president of the Kentucky Coal Association claims 40,000 plates shows popular support for miners. However, that black license plate says Friends of Coal, not Friends of Coal Miners. The Kentucky Coal Association doesn't represent coal miners, it represents coal operators, as its Web site states.
Miners' welfare is undertaken by the United Mine Workers, and their safety is overseen by the U.S. Labor Department's Mine Safety and Health Administration. The safety of the environment from effects of coal mining on communities is undertaken by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The true Friends of Coal are Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, who constantly oppose the efforts of UMW, MSHA and the EPA. Maybe Kentucky should consider another license plate, Friends of the Environment. But effective friends for either the miner or the environment will only begin when voters elect two new senators.
James F. Wisniewski
Why did the Herald-Leader edit the Declaration of Independence it printed in the paper on July 4? You removed the part where it says, "if you don't want to pursue happiness, the government will tax everyone else and give it to you."
I also could not find the part that says everyone gets health care no matter the costs.
It does say all people are equal. Why does the current government think they can treat people different? How come some groups are exempt from having to get health insurance? Why don't all people pay the same percent of their income in taxes?
I called 1-866-277-7617 to congratulate Sen. Mitch McConnell on bringing down the United States government.
With the debacle that he has created, the last protections for the middle class and working poor (not to mention the homeless) will disappear as people become less and less secure.
To give Republicans an ideological benefit of the doubt, they are strong believers in a representative democracy which says that because the majority of people are not intelligent enough to understand the workings of government, they must allow the representatives that they elect to make decisions for them.
So as not to give Democrats praise for what they haven't done, consider how different the situation might have been had they been less cowardly. And, had they, too, not fallen into the trough of corporate money.
To prove the point that Democrats and Republicans in Congress ignore us, recall what polls have shown:
The majority say yes to:
■ Protecting the environment.
■ Banning ownership of assault weapons.
■ Public option for health care.
And they say no to:
■ Bailouts for those who caused the financial crisis.
■ Corporations being designated as people.
■ Cuts in Medicare.
■ NAFTA-style trade agreements.
■ Putting Social Security payments in the hands of Wall Street gamblers. (They haven't succeeded in giving this to them yet, but they will surely find a way.)
A new poll shows that 68 percent of Americans want a third party.
Sara M. Porter
Frugal gets expensive
I am a big fan of the Fru-Gal, but her column on July 14 about how she saves money on groceries highlighted a very unhealthy diet that will contribute to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are very expensive conditions to treat medically.
As a nurse practitioner, I see patients all the time who can't afford their medications for these conditions. The truth is, eating an unhealthy diet is more expensive in the long run than eating a healthy one.
Our country is going broke with health care costs associated with these preventable conditions, and what about the human cost? Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly — consider it a civic duty to control the country's health care costs,
I'm a life member of the American Legion, the VFW and Disabled American Veterans. Recently, about 15 veterans attended one of Gov. Steve Beshear's town hall meetings at the Knicely Conference Center in Bowling Green. We sat together in the second row, right behind the governor's staff. We all wore our American Legion hats, so our status as veterans was obvious to all.
We listened to the governor talk and open the floor to questions. The governor answered question after question, but he completely ignored the row of veterans right in front of him. I'm not sure if he was afraid of what we might ask or just didn't care what we had to say, but his snub did not go unnoticed.
Beshear received all sorts of bad press when he went to a horse race instead of greeting our soldiers at Fort Campbell with the president. He ignores veterans who just want to ask him a few questions. Veterans are voters. In fact, we vote religiously because we know how precious the right to vote is. We fought and risked our lives for it. I guess Beshear doesn't care about our votes. He certainly won't be receiving mine.
Roger E. Miller
Schools curtail liberty
Almost everywhere you look, the rights of citizens are being curtailed or overridden. The recent renewal of the so-called Patriot Act and security activities at airports are just two examples.
Not a whole lot of attention has been paid to the ways Kentucky's government participates in the erosion of freedom and liberty. The main thrust is through the power the legislature has given the Department of Education. It can have parents thrown in jail and parents are told when to take children to the doctor and, in Fayette County, to the dentist.
Add to this that schools are absorbing more of our income in higher taxes and they are one of the few institutions that I'm aware of that is being paid to do a poor job. If you doubt this, just go to a shopping area and listen to the mindless, empty-headed conversations. People in this state cannot even speak English properly — so what is the solution to that? The Fayette County school system and others emphasize the teaching of Spanish.
This state, and indeed the nation, are rapidly descending into a new Dark Ages as good people have sat on their hands and done nothing. Until people are willing to get out and stop governments doing all they are doing to eliminate our rights and freedoms, nothing is going to change.