Choice makes better parents, healthier kids
I was happy to see Merlene Davis honor Planned Parenthood. There is a huge misconception about the many services Planned Parenthood offers to uninsured women in our community.
I was a very young woman living well below the poverty line when my oldest son was conceived. I sought help at Planned Parenthood. The staff was able to verify the pregnancy, help me find an affordable doctor, help with prenatal vitamins and, yes, give me information on abortion services.
This was a very important process for me. By having a choice I was able to weigh all my options and make a decision. This process made me a more dedicated mother.
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There is no doubt that being young, impoverished and responsible for a little person is a struggle. Being able to consciously make this commitment helped us get through many hard times. I cannot imagine how things would have played out if I had felt forced to have the baby without being able to consider all options.
Planned Parenthood treats its patients without judgment and offers Pap tests, vitamins, birth control and counseling. For many women, this is the only medical care they receive. It has even offered help for women wanting to conceive and offers prenatal vitamins and information on prenatal care.
Planned Parenthood speaks for future generations by making sure children are born healthy to well-informed and dedicated parents who have looked at all options.
Clean energy pays
I would like to commend Stanley Sturgill for his column, "Beshear's concern for King Coal misplaced." He is right that Gov. Steve Beshear should want clean air for all Kentuckians, and it is frustrating that this is not the case.
We've heard the "coal sanctuary" argument over and over again — that Kentucky should be exempt from clean air rules because of its reliance on coal. Truth is, sound clean-air policies will help, not hurt, the economy. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that installing modern pollution controls and building new plants will create high-paying, skilled jobs, including 31,000 capital investment jobs and 900 operation and maintenance jobs, over the next five years. Not to mention the health care costs that will be saved if these critical rules are implemented.
Change is hard, especially when all we hear from our leaders is that it is impossible. I believe in Kentucky and I believe that we can be just as forward thinking as many other states when it comes to clean-air policies.
A seat in Gratz Park
I attended the American Assembly for Men in Nursing conference in Lexington. It was my first visit to your lovely city. On that Saturday I had time to wander around the historic district and found Gratz Park. What a gem. I read every historical marker and admired the buildings.
Thinking it would be a fine spot to sit for a moment, I was dismayed that there are no benches in such a pleasant park. I can't imagine that you don't want people to linger in the park. I hope that before my next visit a civic-minded group will correct this situation.
More Ky. authors
The fine article on the Oct. 22 opinion page listed a University of Kentucky professor as the latest in a long line of standout Kentucky writers. I have no problem with this, but the list of state authors was missing some very prominent names. The late James Still, Barbara Kingsolver and the late Jesse Stuart come to mind immediately, though I am sure there are some I have not thought of just now.
John V. Payne
Sen. Mitch McConnell has long contended that money is speech, and the Supreme Court has opened the floodgates for political contributions.
I read that "more than half of U.S. senators and members of the House are part of the top one percent" of Americans in wealth.
If this is true, who are they?
What are their voting records?
What chance is there for passage of any legislation to change this?
How many years would it take to vote them out of office?
How soon can we elect politicians who will listen to the human voice instead of the "ka-ching!" of contributions?
Disrupt Arab oil
Our trouble in the Middle East is not a religious issue, it is an economic one. Therefore, to settle this, why don't we use our air power and drones to cripple their oil industry and shut off their money? Pick one or more countries and destroy 50 percent of its oil wells. This would really disrupt their money supply, as they did ours. With our work with alternative fuels such as ethanol, electric autos and the expanded drilling, the Arab nations might do some rethinking. It might save lives.
In the Oct. 30 letters it was stated that Sen. Mitch McConnell's net worth of $7 million to $32 million showed a lack of fairness and was unjustified. What one should realize is that the long-held tradition of collecting political graft is how a "good" political leader gains his wealth. The ability to pander and kowtow does not come easy and not many are as accomplished as our McConnell is.
If the other 99 percent want their opinions heard they need to pony up some cash and give it to the guy with the longest strings coming from his coattails. Yes, that's our Mitch.
Cain can heal
Herman Cain has a chance to win the presidential nomination for the Republican Party. If he does, he will become the first black man to do so. If he becomes the second black man to become president, that would be good for America and especially for black America. Having the first black Republican president would change blacks' view of the GOP as the party that has stymied progress and inclusion for blacks.
Part of President Ronald Reagan's platform was to abolish civil rights laws derived from the 1960s movement that gave African-Americans a hand up to participate in the American dream. Reagan was despised and feared by African-American community leaders.
President George W. Bush was equally despised as a Republican president by African-Americans; this perception came front and center when he neglected the blacks besieged by Hurricane Katrina's deluge.
If Cain becomes president, he will further cure the dreaded racism that has divided this country for decades. Barack Obama was elected president by securing a moderate portion of the white vote. Obama's election started the racial healing. Cain, as a Republican president, can change the country's perception on race and relations among blacks and whites. He could move the country even further toward healing these deep wounds.