Ky. senators wrong to vote against anti-violence bill
Since 1994, when the Violence Against Women Act became federal law, reauthorization votes in 2000 and 2005 have passed the U.S. Senate unanimously.
Recently, however, the Senate bill passed by a vote of 68-31. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul voted to oppose the Senate bill.
As a former president of the volunteer board of directors for Crisis Center North, a domestic-violence agency serving Pittsburgh, I can attest to the successful impact of the 1994 landmark legislation.
Among its provisions, the act provides a modest amount of program funding to community-based agencies that are staffed largely by volunteers and underpaid employees. They staff 24-hour crisis hotlines, operate shelters and other safe havens, and counsel victims — empowering them to make positive choices in their lives.
The 1994 law — and reauthor izations that have strengthened it each time — have also enabled community-wide initiatives to combat domestic violence. Courts, law enforcement, social services, hospitals, health care workers and private physicians' offices now collaborate across the United States to identify victims and coordinate advocacy.
It was especially disturbing to note Paul's "no" vote on the VAWA reauthorization. He is a physician who should be championing this legislation instead of trying to scuttle it for partisan reasons.
The House will soon be voting on its version of the VAWA. When the final bill comes up for consideration, both McConnell and Paul should do the right thing and vote "yes" to this important legislation.
To limit terms: Vote
The primary elections in Kentucky are on May 22 this year, and term limits have become a political issue again. Term limits are easy to talk about because they sound fair.
But they are hard to implement because legislators themselves think they are a bad idea. Congressman Geoff Davis is opposed to them. He is more honest than most. I'm sorry he isn't running again.
The best term limit is the vote of the people. Unfortunately, so many people have no idea what legislators do in office or even who their own legislators are. All they have is a "warm tummy" feeling about what goes on in government.
The proof of people's ignorance is the low turnout on election days.
Be smart. Vote May 22.
Edward L. Smith Jr.
You have recently published letters claiming that investment earnings are taxed at a lower rate because the investor has already paid taxes on the income he has received and invested.
This statement is quite simply false.
Certain investment earnings are taxed at a lower rate than other income because society wishes to encourage certain investment.
If the claim that the rate is lower because taxes have already been paid on the amount invested were true, interest earned on a savings account would be taxed at the same rate as capital gains. The two are in fact taxed at different rates.
Now, that's offensive
A special thanks to letter writers for complaining about Rich Copley's article using "ass" and alerting me to how offensive the word is.
I threw away my copies of the King James Version of the Bible since it contains dozens and dozens of uses and I sure wouldn't want some kid finding them. I must admit I am guilty of laughing out loud at most of the uses; just look them up and you'll see what I mean.
Now, onto checking other translations. In the future it's "kicking donkeys;" no more such phrases as "the jawbone of an ass" making us think of a politician.
Which brings us to another thought. Sen. Mitch McConnell can say what he wants, but he must not realize we the people have FactCheck.org on our side.
It recently busted him once again, this time for lying about oil production. Kentucky voters should visit this site every week or so to get the truth and hold him accountable for the smearing he does.
Promoting poor health
I was amazed to see that the April 25 article, "To be successful, young athletes need good nutrition" made no mention of the 2011 position paper by the American Academy of Pediatrics to promote water, not sports or energy drinks, as the principal source of hydration for children and adolescents.
In fact, the pictures in the article highlighting Blue Gatorade G2 and juice send the opposite message to Kentucky's parents.
What a missed opportunity to inform your readers about the importance of keeping kids hydrated by choosing water over sugary drinks.
Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are advocating that anyone as rich as they are should pay a 30 percent income tax. How generous are they? Buffett's income is 1/7,000th of his net worth; Gates' income is an even smaller proportion of his net worth. So if we take 30 percent of 1/7,000 we get .0043 percent.
Now let's put this in terms we can all relate to.
If your net equity in your house plus your savings plus your IRA plus any other investments you have (in other words your net worth) is $100,000, then you would pay $4.30 in taxes annually. If your net worth is $1 million you would pay $43 in taxes annually.
Aren't Warren and Bill gracious?
Buffett is a fantastic stock picker and Gates is a visionary, manager and technician beyond compare, and all of us envy their success. But if they want to recommend tax policy, they would sound a lot more sincere if they suggested a formula that would impact them personally.
May I suggest that anyone with a net worth in excess of $30 billion pay a tax of 30 percent on their net worth. After all, net worth is a measure of ability to pay which should appeal to their liberal philosophy.
Even with all the attack ads, the misrepresentations and the outright lies of the 2012 campaign (who knows how much worse it can get?) there is one thing that really gets me steamed.
It's the conceit of the one-percenters that wealth and success are the same thing, as in, "it isn't fair to punish the wealthy for being successful."
This disparages everyone honestly and effectively successful in their endeavors, whether in teaching, farming, instrument-making, nursing, engineering, care-giving, construction, public safety, etc.
Very few of these folks accumulate mansions, off-shore accounts and fleets of Cadillacs, but that doesn't make them any less successful.
Shades of blue
The penguins for the 21c Museum Hotel have to be blue; I get it. But couldn't they be International Klein blue?