I read Lewis Kelly's April 1 article on taxing the public's indulgences and thought it must be an April Fools' joke. Permitting health care, insurance or corporations to start exercising socialism is hardly an answer. Neither is taxing those who indulge responsibly a fair solution. To deny that people are singular and try to remove their individuality is a form of totalitarianism that a free society should never accept.
CVS has already begun by requiring its employees to submit detailed health profiles.
Does everyone enjoy being told what they can eat or drink, what recreational activities they are permitted? No employer should ever have the right to dictate activities that occur off the clock.
What will come next? Will employers start telling employees where they may live, who their friends should be, what type of pet they may have (if any), what type of car to drive or where they may travel on vacation? If they claim it's in the name of "health," or that it will lower health care costs, then I'm sure the courts will side with them.
Continue down this path and find one day you are denied employment because your prospective employer reviewed your family history and found you are susceptible to a genetic illness that could cost them higher premiums. Do you want to live in a world where your skills, education or loyalty are no longer the determining factors for employment? Do you want to be considered as just a number that affects the bottom line?
Good idea won't work
Dr. Lewis A. Kelly's article in the Feedback section of the April 1 edition of this paper is absolutely spot-on in his suggestion to tax salt, sugar and fat found in restaurant food. Of course the accompanying cartoon said it all. As always, such a proposal is an uphill battle.
Individualism doesn't help
In a letter March 28, the writer stated that the poor should not be helped by the government but rather by churches and individuals.
Do the math. Could you, as one individual, take on the entire burden of one individual poor and/or disabled person? You would be paying for his or her food, shelter, schooling (if a child) and medical care, in addition to your own.
Churches and individuals are quite willing to help the poor and disabled, but it could never be enough. We live in a society with a government that must provide many services. I can't go out and repair a bridge or arrest a criminal or defend my country.
Every other advanced nation considers universal schooling at least through high school and universal health care, paid for by tax money, as the right of every person. Paul Ryan, who was quoted by the letter writer in question, follows a libertarian viewpoint of "I take care of myself, not of you; you take care of yourself, not of me." No civilized society can — or would want to — live entirely by this philosophy.
We need to catch up to our fellow societies and realize that care of the ill, the disabled and the poor is a basic human right, and one that we all must pay our part of. Taxes are not an evil, they are the funds that any culture pays for the services it cannot otherwise provide.
Mixed signals on rape
A predictable backlash against the victim and bystanders occurred in the wake of the prosecution of two teenage football players for raping a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio. This case highlights that our society tends to think we can protect ourselves from rape if we never get drunk, if we never dress in a manner some consider inappropriate, if we never go out at night alone. In fact, none of this advice will save you from being raped.
Most rapes are perpetrated by someone the victim knows and who simply does it because he has no respect for the victim. Most acts of rape don't have witnesses, but when they do, sometimes a bystander is unsure about what he is witnessing or doesn't know what to do. Stopping rape sounds easier than it is.
After 35 years hearing consistently from teenagers, staff in Kentucky's rape crisis centers realized these young people are being bombarded with messages that perpetuate a culture that allows rape to happen. We realized we needed to provide counter messages that were deceptively simple: This is what rape is, it is wrong and there are things you can do to prevent it.
For the past four years, 26 Kentucky high schools have participated in a research project to test a program called Green Dot, which clearly delivers those uncomplicated messages to teenagers. It is our hope those messages will be heard and will counteract all the other noise they are hearing.
A wonderful network of care can be accessed at Kasap.org.
Eileen A. Recktenwald
Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs Inc.
Get over it, Herald-Leader
Even though the Lexington Herald-Leader has been generous in printing what I have written, I am more than irritated by the tone of the paper, and particularly, the tone of letters written about Republicans.
There is a steady drumbeat of letters trashing Sen. Mitch McConnell. It's a constant barrage. I can just imagine little gnomes sitting in a boiler room cranking out the critical letters.
Republican McConnell is probably the person most responsible for things in Washington not being worse than they are now. Can you imagine what this country would be like if Barack Obama and Harry Reid were left unchecked by McConnell?
Your editorials are no better. Your trashing of Republican Congressman Andy Barr for holding the post office accountable as part of his job description is an example of your editorial bias.
The Herald-Leader regularly displays its pro-Democrat bias that goes back to the founders of the paper. They were pro-slavery Democrats who led the charge of lawsuits demanding that the owners of slaves be reimbursed by the government after the slaves were freed by Abraham Lincoln and slavery outlawed by the Republican-dominated 39th Congress.
It's like the Herald-Leader and its publishers are still angered at Republicans for ending slavery.