Contraception issue: Religious freedom attacked
The recent news that Catholic institutions would be required to offer coverage for contraceptive and some abortion services in their health insurance plans should be alarming to all Americans.
The principle here is that this administration has attempted to use the coercive power of government to force individuals to act against their strongly held religious beliefs. Throughout biblical history and through more modern times, this has been the mark of tyranny.
Our country was formed by people who came to America for the free exercise of religion.
This is not an issue of women's health or of contraception or of abortion. This is about the attempt to abolish one of the most fundamental of freedoms in America.
The bloodshed by our forefathers to obtain our freedom has been in vain if Americans today are not willing to defend that freedom.
If Americans allow the Catholic Church to be forced into submission or destroyed, then none of us have any protection against government abuse of power and our constitution is a sham.
This is the time for all of our representatives to unite and defend democracy in America.
Obama acts like ruler
The Herald-Leader headline "Administration rules insurers must cover contraceptives" for the Jan. 21 story announcing the Obama administration's decision that health insurance plans must cover contraceptives, sterilization and abortion without charge was frighteningly accurate.
The Obama administration is ruling, not presiding, over us.
Throughout my lifetime, Congress has repeatedly refused to finance contraception and abortion. Now the current administration is tweaking the health care act to create medical (and other) problems, rather than prevent them.
Unfinanced contraceptive choices have led to glorified promiscuity and the seldom-reported increases in the types and prevalence of sexual disease. Two examples are that 60 percent of our population has chlamydia and 20 percent genital herpes.
How can we call providing contraception, abortion and sterilization preventive health care?
This measure is as mindless as providing free sugar, free hydrogenated shortening, free alcohol and free narcotics and not expecting diabetes, heart disease, alcoholism and drug addiction, as well as death rates, to increase.
We are at a moment in history when Americans can offer each other health care that heals or medical interventions that harm women, their offspring and eventually our community (contraceptive hormones do enter our water supply through public sewer systems and are not filtered out of it).
We need to challenge the Obama administration's "rule" with sound science. What is as politically popular as driving above the speed limit is, healthwise, just as dangerous.
A small inconvenience
The list of those who suffer from the production of meth is long: the users and producers of it, children, families, communities, police officers, and the environment.
The list of those who benefit from the production of meth is very short: the pharmaceutical companies. The easier it is to sell and distribute pseudoephedrine, the more money they make.
The pharmaceutical companies are the only ones who benefit from the sale of meth.
Without allergy meds containing pseudoephedrine, I am not even sure I could live in Kentucky. I have said more than a few prayers of gratitude for this medication and those who make it.
I do appreciate their work. I just wish they would spend their time and money developing medications rather than lobbying the legislature. I am an honest, law-abiding allergy sufferer, but the pharmaceutical companies do not speak for me.
I am more than willing to give up convenience, time and extra money to help protect children and police officers from harm.
The safety and health of my community is much more important to me than my own bottom line. I wish the pharmaceutical companies felt the same way.
Gun control paralysis
Syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. has his facts, assumptions and conclusions wrong in his Jan. 29 column. Pitts asserts that it's a "right (wing) ... paranoid delusion that ... gun control is code for confiscation."
In fact, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., having just enacted a gun-control bill, bragged to CBS' 60 Minutes in 1995, "If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them — Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in — I would have done it."
Gun control has led to confiscation of ugly semiautomatic longarms in California; handguns, full autos and center-fire semiautos and pumps in Britain; all legally privately owned guns in Mexico; and lots more all over the world. Pitts himself, in the same column, advocates confiscation of full autos.
Pitts asserts that the gun-control movement has not yet triumphed because of partisan legislative paralysis.
In fact, the gun control movement is a primary cause of that paralysis. That's because 70 million Americans own guns and recognize their right to do so is under constant threat, and that voting is the only way to preserve what remains and restore what's been taken away.
This means re-electing incumbents who've established solid records of actual preservation and restoration: currently 55 senators and 245 representatives.
Congress won't change, and will remain paralyzed, as long as 70 million American have to protect their most important civil right by re-electing incumbent majorities.
No budget, no pay
Remember the line: "I'm mad as heck and I'm not going to take it anymore?"
Well, that is how 88 percent of us feel regarding a do-nothing Congress. Their attitude is crisis management only, especially during Barack Obama's administration.
Business executives must take responsibility for their actions or their failure to act. Effective leaders understand this and act accordingly. Why should we not hold Congress to the same standard?
For years Congress has failed to meet its most basic responsibility and that is passing a budget. For 15 years Congress has been late.
On Oct. 1, the government's 2012 fiscal year began. Nothing was done, which created the bond-default crisis.
The heart of the situation is if Congress does not pass a budget on time, then members of Congress should not be paid until they do.
This basic concept is the foundation of the No Budget, No Pay Act introduced in the House (HB 3643) and Senate (S 1981).
Sen. Rand Paul is part of the committee to hear it on Wednesday. Call him at (270) 782-8303 or (202) 224-4343 in support of this commonsense measure.
The No Budget, No Pay Act is one of 12 no-nonsense proposals by Nolabels.org, a non-partisan citizen-based movement that advocates for commonsense ways to make Congress work rather than their present circus performances of crisis and stopgap management.
If you are mad also and want to exercise your power of voice and vote, please go to Nolabels.org to learn how you can effect change.
Ellen Clark Marshall