Voters should help lawmakers see light on smoking
My condolences to Sen. Julie Denton, R-Louisville, and Rep. Susan Westrom, D-Lexington, and other co-sponsors of House Bill 173 to create a statewide smoking ban in public places.
The bill was Westrom's brainchild. It was nurtured in the House Health and Welfare Committee but died of neglect in the House.
Apparently the leadership isn't concerned with the wellness of their constituents. Their lack of willingness to collaborate across party lines is shameful. Here was a chance for them to demonstrate altruism and accomplish something significantly beneficial for the people, but according to Speaker Greg Stumbo, the House leadership "didn't really want to address the issue in an election year."
I think it's the perfect time to address it.
This is the first year I will exercise my right to vote, and I'm paying attention to the actions (and inactions) of my representatives.
I hope Westrom and Denton will succeed in reviving this bill next year. A little CPR (corrective political ramifications) in the form of new representation can go a long way in accomplishing much good for Kentucky's citizens.
Mary Elizabeth Wood
America first, for now
The 1989 collapse of the Eastern bloc thrust America into the role of ascendent empire. Huge expenses are required to maintain our global military presence. Our ascendency is unlikely to last much longer due to the enfeebling borrow-and-spend policy.
The $17 trillion national debt has second-mortgaged our future. Too many rounds of tax cuts have put us behind the eight ball. If a large war were to come, our ability to borrow and prevail would be limited if we also tried to avoid unhinging the economy. The wasteful interest payment on the national debt is $800 billion a year, equal to the defense and veterans budgets combined.
As the tax cuts have been skewed to enrich society's wealthiest strata, the wealthy now own most everything. The best way to right the ship of state is a 10 percent dedicated surcharge tax on the gross income of the 10 percent of wealthiest citizens to reduce the national debt to $2 trillion.
Despite the need to run an endless marathon to maintain our empire, recent budget impasses have caused the federal credit rating to be reduced. Self-inflicted wounds like this are crazy. We must have pay-as-you-go plus reduce the national debt before we return to being just another second-rate regional power.
Allen T. Kelley
Mitch McConnell is a great senator and a greater asset to Kentucky and to our nation.
No matter what he does it is never right according to the Herald-Leader. He steps up to close a void in cases that no one else will, be it Republicans or Democrats, but according to you he is a lowlife.
Avoid the train wreck
Interesting piece by Paul Prather on grace (March 16). Being busy with questions of unmerited favor, human flaws, acceptance of others and realizations that life hangs by a thread can keep you busy. It also benefits those who accomplish by getting "the thinker" out of the way.
One impression is that a lot of religious appreciation of grace actually is a bow to material well-being and commercially created comfort.
Are we to believe by Prather's article that grace is entirely a divine gift and not a product of someone's hard work? What about abundant natural resources? Security is probably the true religion of America. Even pennies, nickels and dimes are secured with the slogan "In God We Trust."
Is grace so puny that you find evidence of it in restaurants, as Prather did with his father? Is Kentucky the place where one attains near-sainthood? How did this center of tobacco, whiskey, guns and horses become the Promised Land?
If people spend their time pondering grace, Noah's flood, Eden's sin and other ancient ideas, some people with effective modern ideas surely will take over. All should unite to avoid this train wreck.