IRS should be fair, focus on churches involved in politics
I could not agree more with the Tea Party's concerns over what they call selective Internal Revenue Service enforcement. The IRS should be enforcing the tax rules equally, regardless of ideology.
It has been apparent for years that churches have been given a pass when preachers indulge in making political endorsements from the pulpit. When clergy make political endorsements they cease to be pastors; they become political operatives.
It has long been clear that this political role has been dominating many of our nation's churches. Such institutions ceased to be houses of worship long ago. They are political organizations. They are entitled to their political activities, but they are not entitled to the privilege of exemption from taxation.
A political operative who claims tax exemption for religious reasons is a liar and a thief. If the IRS begins to enforce the law without bias, such persons will be prosecuted and imprisoned. I look forward to this imaginary day with anticipation.
No more income tax
Disclosure of the latest overreach by the Internal Revenue Service, in targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny, should make us all afraid. This is an agency that can lawfully terrorize anyone that they choose. It is time to end this abuse of power and our 100-year experiment in income taxation.
No more complicated tax forms, individual audits or intrusive federal bureaucracy. No more income or payroll tax withholding. Take home every dollar that you earn. Ask your congressman to support the FairTax.
No taxes for bribes
In reference to the fact that the Central Intelligence Agency has been paying millions of dollars in cash to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, what business does the U.S. government have in taking one more cent in taxes from anyone in this country — rich, poor or otherwise?
No cover-up found
Once again, the Republican agitators have been proven wrong. The Benghazi "cover-up" was much ado about nothing.
I call it the unconstitutional party. One of our most basic tenets as spelled out in the Constitution is you are innocent until proven guilty. Remember the WMDs?
Now the Benghazi cover-up was "exposed" before any facts were established. The only goal is to demagogue anyone from the other party or who disagrees with them, such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who thanked the president for his support after superstorm Sandy.
My suggestion to the attack party is to take a deep breath, gather information, analyze this information and then determine innocence or guilt. Remember what "assume" stands for.
Bad experience at EKU
I want to voice my outrage at Eastern Kentucky University's treatment of the elderly and handicapped at the graduation ceremony May 11.
I understand the security surrounding the first lady, but the abusive treatment of people on oxygen, on walkers, in wheelchairs — who were forced to stand in line for up to two hours and longer in the cold and wind — was horrifying to watch. All the while, the so-called VIPs were ushered in.
My question is to those involved in the ceremony: How did you walk past all these precious people and do nothing? One gentleman had stood for so long, he was losing feeling in his feet. My personal thanks go to the pastor who finally stopped the entering of VIPs and allowed the remainder of the handicapped to go ahead.
This should have been one of the happiest days of my life; I ended up angry and extremely frustrated the rest of evening, and my husband remained in constant pain in his back and legs because of the length of time he was required to stand outside.
So, as impressive as it was to have the first lady at the graudation ceremony, EKU failed when it came to caring for the ones it should have cared for.
End LGBT discrimination
As a graduate and former employee of Georgetown College, I was so proud to see efforts by students, faculty and staff to eliminate discrimination against the lebsian, gay, bisexual and transgender community with this month's rally. While I understand that the college's current discrimination policy meets the letter of the law, I doubt anyone chooses to go there because of how well the college meets the status quo. If I was still a student or employee there, I'd be among those seeking this change.
My current employer includes sexual orientation in its non-discrimination policy. Even though I'm heterosexual, I love being able to tell anyone — gay or straight — that if we worked together, they'd have the same rights I have. I hope someday I can say that no matter where I work and that I can soon say the same thing about where I went to school.
Some may be tempted to turn this into a moral discussion, especially since Georgetown was a Baptist college. But that isn't the point. As the Herald-Leader noted, students are already protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation. It seems to me there is a gap between policies for students and staff that essentially says, "It's OK to be gay when you pay us tuition, but it might not be OK if we pay you a salary." Is that the message the college wants to send?
I strongly encourage the board of trustees to include sexual orientation in its employment non-discrimination policy.
Beware of melanoma
May is Melanoma Awareness Month. I want you to know of this horrific disease so that my father's story does not become yours nor your patients'. My father was diagnosed with an early stage melanoma in August 2010. In October 2011 he discovered a cluster of malignant lymph nodes.
By January 2012 the melanoma had spread to his lungs, liver, thoracic and sacral spine, and by May to the right adrenal glad and sinus cavity. Melanoma took his life one year ago today — at age 52.
Melanoma is the fastest-growing cancer diagnosis. One out of 50 Americans has a lifetime risk of developing melanoma. Caught early the 10 year survival rate is 95 percent. However, the median life expectancy drops to less than one year if the disease spreads to distant organs.
The key to beating the melanoma beast is education. I urge patients and clinicians to seek information rooted in sound and recent research. From the avoidance of UV rays, to effective detection of malignant moles, to guidelines for the appropriate use of a sentinel node biopsy.
Clinicians are encouraged to stay up to date on screening and treatment guidelines by completing continuing education credits in this area. Check out MelanomaCare.org, for examples.
As we enter the summer months, please seek out ways to protect yourself and your family. The Melanoma Research Foundation, American Cancer Society and The Shade Foundation are examples of educational resources I urge you to use.
Sarah Royse Schirmer