A national day of prayer would help at this critical time
As a senior citizen and pastor, I would like to request that President Barack Obama call for a national day of humility and prayer in this time of political, international and economic crises.
There is strong precedent for such a call, beginning with the Constitutional Convention. Deliberations at first were characterized by nothing but debate and dissension; they became bogged down and appeared to be on the brink of total failure.
At that critical moment Benjamin Franklin stood up and cited a text from scripture, that even a sparrow cannot fall without God's notice. How, he asked, can an empire be raised without his aid? He suggested that each session begin with prayer; a plea that was heeded, and the delegates proceeded to put together the Constitution.
When the nation was torn apart by civil war, Abraham Lincoln called for a day of fasting and prayer, saying that nations as well as men are dependent upon the overruling power of God. He said although our nation had grown in power and wealth, "we have forgotten God."
Today our national debt is undermining financial stability. Parts of Europe are in economic distress, threatening our own welfare. We are mired in a seemingly endless war. North Korea is threatening nuclear holocaust. Iran is developing nuclear weapons and calls for the destruction of Israel.
Given these problems, I request that Obama call for a day of national prayer in which we confess our national sins and implore the mercy and providential deliverance of God.
John F. Thornbury
A healthy fight
I was among seven people arrested in Congressman Hal Rogers' office June 6. As a mother of five, this was a drastic decision but necessary, I felt, to bring attention to the issues facing the people of Appalachia.
My husband was born and raised in Lawrence County; most of his family still lives there. My two oldest children have a grandmother and other relatives in Harlan County. My husband and I ache to raise our kids among family. But there aren't enough good jobs to support a family of seven. Educational opportunities are limited. Good health care is hard to find. The air is full of coal dust. The water is contaminated by lead, mercury, selenium and other toxins. We could find the mountain behind us being blasted away and our creek buried by "overburden."
Instead of insisting the Clean Water Act be enforced, Rogers blames environmental regulators for the loss of coal jobs. That's not true. The number of workers decreased because of mechanization and demand has declined because natural gas is cheaper and cleaner. If Rogers, known as the "Prince of Pork," is doing such a good job of bringing money to the region, why is his district still one of the poorest in the nation? Why does it rank dead last in physical health? Why do Kentucky mine operators owe 40 percent of the nation's past-due fines for safety violations?
There is no "war on coal," there is a war on the people and land of Appalachia.
Carey Grace Henson
What senator didn't say
Regarding "Obama plays political football with student loan rates," (June 13):
Bushwah and hooey!
Yes, Sen. Mitch McConnell, the House passed a stopgap for student loan interest rates, but it was larded with banker pork and partisan gotchas.
As for those entry-level jobs, yes, pay dropped 10 percent from 2007 when the Bush administration drove the economy over a cliff and the banker bills came due. It must be hard to argue that we were better off in 2007 when the dominoes began to fall than we are in a recovery.
But McConnell has always had a nose for the money, and I am sure the banks, who administer student loans under the GOP plan, will be grateful.
In response to the Herald-Leader article regarding the Lexington Housing Authority: I and other elected officers — vice president Sherry Maddock and secretary Tanya Torp — represent the William Wells Brown Neighborhood Association and the interests of more than 4,000 East End residents.
The East End is comprised of approximately 400 acres, including HOPE VI and Equestrian View. Housing authority developments on about 40 acres, along with 10 acres of vacant properties, cover more than 12 percent of the East End, making the agency the largest property owner.
Yet, it does not hold itself to the same standards as other property owners and has no accountability to city code enforcement or local jurisdiction.
Why would anyone invest over $80 million in developing a community of affordable housing and then not keep the area well maintained? Surely, as a major developer of affordable housing and a Realtor, housing authority chief Austin Simms realizes the impact of neglected and abandoned properties on property values, as well as the overall negative impact on economic development and public safety.
This is of particular significance in a devalued, low-income area attempting to be revitalized.
Overgrown weeds, broken fences, scattered trash, ill-repaired sidewalks, damaged roofs, piles of rocks, dirt and construction debris and trees growing out of vacant buildings do matter. Even more so when they are in close proximity to a day care center, elementary school and retail businesses.
Yes, to residents who have worked so diligently to restore and maintain our community, these issues do matter.
William Wells Brown Neighborhood Association president
Seeing bias on disability
Why is there so much bias, discrimination and coverup when it comes to disability issues?
I'd like to ask the news media, the lawmakers, the governor of Kentucky, Sen. Rand Paul and President Barack Obama to answer the following without being biased and covering things up.
How come the news media will not do news stories about disability issues?
How come the lawmakers of Kentucky do not want to talk to the voters about disability issues? Is it because they support discrimination against people with disabilities?
Can the governor and lawmakers of Kentucky tell us why Kentucky is 50th in the United States when it comes to employing people with disabilities, and No. 1 when it comes to discrimination against people with disabilities?
I sent a letter to Obama about the disability services that taxpayers pay for. These disability services are not doing their job. This shows me Obama supports discrimination against people with disabilities.
On March 31, 2011, I had a meeting in Paul's office in Kentucky to put in a complaint against the office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, D.C., and in Louisville about the runaround and the discrimination act. They covered up the wrongdoings of the EEOC.
Are there any investigative reporters who have the guts to do stories about disability issues and about the disability services that don't work? Then I have a few news stories for them.