Gadget mania's safety advantages don't justify costs
When did building codes evolve from protecting basic safety into gadget corner? Here are some real-world examples with costs from a local store:
Arc-fault circuit breakers. There's no data showing they actually prevent fires and they're notorious for false alarms, but they're required for every circuit. If you have 20 circuits in your house, it'll cost an extra $740.
Tamper-resistant receptacles. At 97 cents versus 41 cents for regular outlets, the added cost is four times that of a child-proof plastic plug. If you have 100 outlets, that's another $58.
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Interconnected smoke detectors. It's not enough to have smoke detectors in each bedroom, outside each bedroom and on every floor, they also have to be connected so they all go off together. If you need 10 of them, battery-operated wireless detectors are $270 more expensive than traditional ones.
Combination carbon monoxide detectors, $30, are required on each floor; $18 plug-in detectors aren't good enough, but I can't find a reason why. If you have three floors, that's $36.
It costs $1,100 to upgrade a house to super-safe, and every dollar spent on these gizmos is a dollar not spent on something else. I've delayed replacing the brakes on my car because of these mandatory safety gadgets. Is that safe?
It's time our building code councils got a dose of common sense and said no to the gadget frenzy. Better yet, get rid of them and let people choose what they feel is safe.
Send GOP way of Whigs
As a conservative Republican, I must ask this paper's readers, especially Republicans, not to vote for Mitch McConnell in 2014.
As the Senate minority leader, McConnell should be delivering a continual, daily harangue of the president and his administration's agenda and making a spirited effort to block these Marxists at any and every opportunity.
Democratic minority opposition to Republican administrations is unrelenting. So why isn't McConnell similarly attacking the current administration?
Because he secretly supports the administration's agenda and desires more political power for himself. He recently refused to sign Sen. Mike Lee's letter demanding the full repeal of Obamacare and this is proof that he is in collusion with Boehner and other RINOs and is just another collaborator with the administration.
With this in mind, I urge all Kentucky Republicans to do two things: Vote for Matt Bevin instead of Mitch McConnell in the primary election, and. after defeating McConnell in that election, start a fund to prosecute him and all other RINOs for their many treasons, and push for the maximum punishment allowed by law. Failing that, we should, form a Tea Party officially right after the 2014 election. After that, there won't be enough RINO members of the GOP left to hinder the election of true conservatives, even if they throw in with the Democrats or the Libertarians, and the GOP can finally be sent to the dust bin of history with the Whig Party of so long ago.
In a jury trial it is the judge's job to provide neutral legal advice to the jury, beginning with a full explanation of a juror's rights and responsibilities.
But judges rarely fully inform jurors of their right to judge the law itself and vote on the verdict according to their consciences. Something is definitely wrong when the jurors feel apologetic about their verdict as in the Geroge Zimmerman trial.
So when it's your turn to serve, be aware: You may and should vote your conscience; you cannot be forced to obey a juror's oath. You have the right to "hang" the jury if you cannot agree with other jurors.
I encourage everyone to research jury nullification for yourself, especially if you have jury duty. If you are going to be tried by jury make sure the jury is informed about it. It's a way to get rid of bad laws when the government has taken away rights from the people.
You can also check the Fully Informed Jury Association which believes that liberty and justice for all won't return to America until citizens are again fully informed of — and using — their powers as jurors.
Sally M. Bowman
Dog days are over
An editorial cartoon touched me in an unexpected yet appropriate way — it showed two Dobermans lurking down a dark hallway, and the reader's response is expected to be a deep-seated reaction of fear.
The only problem with this is that, of the top five friendliest, most loving dogs I've ever met, two of them were Dobermans. The kind that look into your eyes, pleading, "Yes, I know I weigh 80 pounds, but please let me snuggle in your lap so you can pet me." Another was a Rottweiler, the fourth was a Weimaraner (who never seem to get bad press) and the fifth, an Irish wolfhound.
I guess the lesson that I learned from that cartoon was that, if George Zimmerman had ever given himself the opportunity to have positive interactions with young African-Americans, maybe he wouldn't have been so willing to hunt down that young man. But some white people (just like Doberman-dislikers) avoid the objects of their fear, their fear continues, and discrimination becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It broke my heart to see the cartoon by Pat Oliphant in the July 27 Herald Leader. The two menacing dogs in the alley with the sarcastic instructions: "Do not profile, ignore appearances" presumably referred to the Trayvon Martin case.
Are we really back at the place as a society where people feel okay comparing black human beings to dangerous animals? I feel that it was insulting, inflammatory and did not belong on the opinion pages of this fine newspaper.