Why does a drug user get more time than a murderer?
Can someone please explain to me how Kentucky's justice system works? It seems pretty messed up to me. A man murders his toddler and receives a five-year sentence. A mother leaves her young child in a hot car and the child dies. She receives a one-year sentence.
This tells me that the justice system believes that Kentucky's children are expendable. It just shows that you can kill your child, pay a small price and then be on the street again.
I will be the first one to say that drugs are a scourge in our society. But once again, I just don't understand our justice system. My son was arrested for possessing a very small amount of cocaine. He is serving a 20-year sentence for this. I say go after the big drug pushers and give them 20 years. This includes people selling meth, illegal pain pills and pounds of pot. They are the ones who belong behind bars with stiff sentences.
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Until the day comes when our justice system starts giving out life sentences to the people who deserve them, namely the big drug pushers and parents who murder their children, I will remain disgusted.
It is past time for this system to take a long hard look at itself and mete out the sentence to match the crime. My son did not deserve the sentence he received. If he had murdered someone years ago, he would surely be home by now.
Justice in Kentucky? I don't think so.
Take pride in region
We are blessed to live in a part of the world in which the natural beauty of the land, combined with the horse farms, make this area picturesque and unique.
If you have ever visited Bavaria, Austria or Switzerland you encountered another beautiful part of the world, but that's where the comparisons end.
So what's the difference? Over there, they take pride in their country and don't allow their highways to be trashed. Yes, some litter does occasionally occur but it's quickly picked up by conscientious people and discarded.
For those of us who value a clean environment, there are viable options such as adopting a highway along with inmate and community cleanups. There's also Bluegrass Pride, an organization to which you can report littering anonymously. Just jot down the vehicle plate number, time and location then call 1-866-222-1648 ext 229. A letter is then sent to the vehicle owner noting the incident. There is a potential fine.
While these programs are reactive, they fail to address the real problem: a negative and uncaring attitude. A sizeable portion of our economy is generated by tourism. First impressions are lasting impressions. It also says something about the pride we take in our environment and what we're willing to do about it.
We should start teaching young children in school the do's and don't of keeping our environment clean. Just maybe the children could be instrumental in teaching their parents good habits, and that would be a win-win situation for everyone.
Vote with care
There is a well-worn saying that goes "Be careful what you wish for; you might get it." In the elections of this country, we should heed a paraphrase of that: "Be careful what you vote for; you might get it."
In the mid-term elections, a lot of people recklessly exercised their right to vote and the country ran red with elected Republicans. Now they are getting that for which they voted.
Republican governors and legislatures in Ohio, Michigan, Florida and Nevada are stripping workers of their rights to bargain and to join a union.
The labor movement, which gave us the eight-hour day, the 40-hour week and paid holidays, abolished child labor, improved wages and provided safety measures for workers — and much more — is under relentless attack by elected public officials. Benefits to workers which took decades to accomplish are being annulled with the stroke of a Republican pen.
On another front, Republican governors and legislatures are passing tyrannical voter ID and registration laws which will disenfranchise millions of voters, a throwback to the literacy tests and the poll tax.
We are seeing the democracy the founders of our country established erode before our very eyes. This 2012 election is a crucial one for our democracy. Be careful what you vote for; you might get it.
Lawrence E. Durr
GOP needs diversity
To rebut the president's State of the Union message, the Republicans chose Mitch Daniels, governor of Indiana. He is rumored to be on the short list of candidates if there is a brokered Republican convention this year.
He couldn't even get basic facts right in his short rebuttal. He claimed that Steve Jobs created more jobs than were created by the "Obama stimulus." Apple employs 43,000 people in America. The stimulus created between 1 million and 2.9 million jobs. Perhaps Daniels was counting jobs in other countries where Apple makes its products. Do those really count in this comparison?
His vision of the "haves and soon to have" is just doublespeak for the real Republican mantra once expressed by President George W. Bush when he looked around at the $100,000-a-plate dinner guests and said, "This is my kind of crowd, the haves and the have mores."
That is the Republican Party in a nutshell, apparently intent to continue to say one thing and mean another. Claim they are for the common person, yet cling to tax cuts for the wealthy with their dying breaths.
If the Republican Party is ever to be a force for good again for our nation, it needs to purge itself of the old angry white men and opt for a more representative slice of America.
I am torn about whether to wish them well. I still carry a lot of anger and resentment over their innate selfishness and shortsightedness over the previous decades.
Charles A. Bowsher
Washington and prayer
Since 1962, when the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision, Engel v Vitale, declaring it unconstitutional for the Union Free School District No. 9 in Hyde Park, N.Y., to require a specially composed prayer, school districts and courts have gone beyond that to eliminate all prayer and religious activity from school functions, culminating in what some call "a war on religion."
This has happened in spite of the fact that the Constitution, in the First Amendment adopted on Dec. 15, 1791, clearly states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
When I was in grade school and high school, Feb. 22 was a national holiday commemorating the birthday of George Washington, one of the founding fathers and the first president of the United States of America.
On Oct. 3, 1789, Washington issued a proclamation in which he declared, "It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour." Then, he declared that this "great and glorious Being," who he called Almighty God, "is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be."
Washington's birthday is no longer a national holiday. But when our nation is moving away from the principles of the founding fathers, his birthday is a good time to stop and think about the direction we want it to take.