We once paused to celebrate that we were Americans
Every year, when I was a youngster in the 1940s, the United States celebrated "I am an American Day." It was a joyful day, and a day of gratitude.
For we remembered the tears, hardships, hopelessness, poverty and persecutions that our ancestors endured before they came here.
And they remembered as well the embrace of the Statue of Liberty, her torch held high, as their boats entered the New York harbor.
It was a day when we not merely mouthed "I am an American," but when we felt deep in our bones that all Americans, every one of them, were our brethren.
It was a time when executives of large companies quit their jobs to work for our government for one dollar per year, contributing to the war effort their skills, labor and wealth. It was a time when the children of the powerful and wealthy entered the armed forces and fought and died overseas.
Seventy years later, it is time to look into our hearts, to see if we can say with gratitude and appreciation "Yes, I am an American."
Alas, if we cannot, we revert to the dark past.
What a loss that would be for all of America, and for all of humanity.
What happens when a gullible, desperate and fatuous proletariat with unrealistic expectations meets a mendacious, arrogant and opportunistic ruling class which makes impossible promises?
Role of government
Running a business and running a government are two completely different things. Should both be fiscally responsible? Absolutely.
A business's purpose is to make a profit. It can cut losses, sell unprofitable sections and lay people off. A government has to steward the society as it goes through the changes it invariably will.
It does this by having leaders who recognize changes, have the character to confront them and help focus on the training and preparation to meet the changes.
Buggy-whip makers, train brakemen and mimeograph operators have to adapt.
Baghdad, before 1100 A.D., was the center of commerce and discovery. It gave us algebra, and most of the stars have Arabic names. Then, it chose a different path. Today you would be hard pressed to find anyone who thought the Middle East was a progressive region.
I tend to view our future through cartoons. Are we going to be Meet The Jetsons or The Flintstones?
Mankind has always progressed; as long as we survive, we always will. Some societies will become The Jetsons. China? Brazil? Australia? Some will become the Flintstones.
Turn signals do exist
Attention, Lexington drivers: When you get in your vehicle, you will notice a knob or long switch that is protruding from the left side of the steering column.
This is called a turn signal, and it allows you to notify other drivers of your intentions to make a left or right turn by moving it, usually up or down.
If this is used correctly, it can drastically reduce the possibility of a rear-end collision.
So take a moment to become familiar with this device, and even read your owner's manual if you are unsure as to its operation. If you are still having difficulty, then Lexington has a nice public transit system to take advantage of while you become properly trained on how to operate a motor vehicle.
Lexington will become a safer place thanks to your efforts.
Reports from the road
Why is it that the speed limits in Lexington are routinely ignored?
Drive New Circle, Man o' War, Liberty, Georgetown or Sir Barton. If you drive the limit you will get run over.
Why is it that 90 percent of the tailgaters are women? Don't they know that they can only go as fast as the slowest person ahead of them and riding someone's bumper will not speed up the traffic? At least use the one-second rule.
Why is it that some people must run stoplights? The yellow light is the signal to speed up and cross through the early red light. A few well-placed cameras would cure that issue.
Why is it that the majority of cellphone users while driving are women? Many have a car full of children.
Why is the school zone speed limit frequently ignored?
Drive down Liberty Road and observe the yellow signal light warning sign being ignored.
Maybe our motto should be "Drive Friendly, Drive Safe."
High cost of health care
I recently fell and broke my left ankle, damaged my right foot amd went to an ER.
I didn't have insurance at the time, so I asked what it would cost. The receptionist told me $375, including the X-rays. They wrapped my left foot.
Days later, I got a bill for $1,300.90. Next I got a doctor's bill for $782. Then I g0t a bill for $60 for someone not at the hospital to read my X-rays again.
After speaking with a person in billing at the hospital (who was very nice) I asked why I was paying so much when I could have walked in without ID and given a fake address and wouldn't pay anything. People like myself have to pay the extra for those who don't pay anything.
Hospitals should have to disclose the cost of people who don't pay their bills. The system is getting milked. All should have to show ID.
Lisa J. Johnson
Misuse of labels
University of Kentucky professor Dina M. Badie's Oct. 19 commentary, "How you can tell Obama is not a Marxist" was excellent.
It reminded me of the 1990s, when similarly misinformed people were calling Bill Clinton a "leftist."
My rejoinder then (and the perspective is still valid) was that Clinton's not a leftist because he appointed Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court; a real leftist would have appointed Allen Ginsberg.
The Herald-Leader's fact check of the truthfulness of campaign ads in the Chandler-Barr congressional race was hardly surprising, but still deeply alarming.
When candidates feel no compunction about lying to get elected, and pay no penalty for doing so, what assurance do we have that they won't continue the practice in office? I can think of few things more corrosive to democracy than this poisonous trend. We, as citizens, need to demand accountability, and we must not reward the big lie, wherever it comes from.
The airwaves are public property. While protecting the right to free speech, we must simultaneously protect the integrity of the political process. We must repeal the flawed Citizens' United Supreme Court ruling that resulted in unlimited corporate spending on elections, and we must support fact-check efforts like the Herald-Leader's.
And we must calmly and deliberately hold every candidate accountable for telling the truth.