Immigrant detentions not needed for justice
In a recent op-ed about Lopez-Valenzuela vs Maricopa County, Garrard County Attorney Mark H. Metcalf tells the American Civil Liberties Union to check its facts.
We know the facts.
Before Prop 100 passed, Arizona judges already were making sure that criminal defendants who pose a flight risk or danger are jailed while their cases are pending. There is no evidence that undocumented immigrants pose a greater risk of fleeing or committing new crimes than other defendants.
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In fact, Maricopa County does not even claim that Prop 100 is needed to address public safety. By letting legislators deny a category of people their day in court, Prop 100 violates the Constitution.
This time, it is undocumented immigrants. Next time, it could be low-income people, or anyone else unlucky enough to be politically unpopular.
With Prop 100, countless individuals who had been judged not to pose a flight risk by an Arizona court, and who were showing up for court as instructed, were thrown into jail for no good reason — clogging the jails at taxpayer expense. Worst of all, Prop 100 results in the wrongful jailing of people who turn out to be innocent and who are not deportable after all.
Director, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project and lead counsel, Lopez-Valenzuela v. Maricopa County
San Francisco, Calif.
I'm really angry about Tuesday's election, but not about the results. I'm angry about the turnout. A 22.7 percent turnout in Fayette County — are you kidding me? That is pathetic.
I cannot believe so few people could be bothered to participate and make what amounts to a very minimal effort to go vote. I'm embarrassed to say I live here. When I used to live in Tennessee I thought turnout was poor, but this takes it to a whole new level.
So, to all those who just couldn't manage to show enough respect for their country to go vote, congratulations, your complacency is why the country is in the mess it's in.
Dirk Franzen, M.D.
End mental-illness stigma
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Chances are you, a family member or someone else you know is affected by mental illness.
A 2012 National Institute of Health study found an estimated 9.6 million adults suffered from a serious mental, behavioral or emotional illness not related to developmental issues or substance abuse.
As school and workplace violence has brought attention to mental illness, strides have been made to make access to care easier. Under the Affordable Care Act, access is slowly beginning to improve.
One large barrier remains: Due to the stigma of mental illness, many people will not get treatment.A recent study in Psychological Medicine found that one in four American adults suffered from mental illness but 26 percent actually go for treatment.
I'm quite open about my bipolar disorder and depression. But having been the subject of discrimination at a job, I certainly understand anyone's trepidation about seeking care.
When I had to be off for treatment, my then-employer would not allow me to return until I had an exam by physicians of their choosing.
Most people with depression, bipolar, anxiety and even schizophrenia not only go on to get an education, but work and raise families as well. Just as someone might have high blood pressure or diabetes, some have chemical imbalances that cause altered function of the brain — that's all mental illness is.
By keeping an open mind and showing compassion to someone who might have a mental illness, you may be helping them get the care they need.
Beshear's wrong move
After ignoring the separation of church and state by providing massive tax breaks to religious organizations like the Creation Museum and the Noah's Ark theme park, Gov. Steve Beshear's recent lawsuit on gay marriage was utterly despicable.
His lawyers argued for only providing benefits for straight couples, based on the utter bull that they're the only ones who can procreate.
Is he going to deny post menopausal couples or any couples where the man and/or woman are infertile?
Do we have no orphans who need homes, perhaps with a gay or lesbian couple? Is there no benefit to the state in general in happy and secure couples being able to pool their resources?
Beshear is now officially in the running for worst governor in the country. It's a good thing he can never run again. He is an embarrassment to the Democratic Party, the state of Kentucky and America.
No justice in son's death
My son died in Lexington last year of a drug overdose. The whole situation was mishandled from the beginning. To start, a lot of our son's friends knew about his death before we did. They were calling around and looking for him hours before we were notified.
Then, the lack of cooperation from the police department in investigating his death was just another slap in the face on top of the grief and suffering.
He died in the apartment of a now-convicted heroin dealer, but she won't be charged for her part in his death because there wasn't enough evidence.
If the police would have followed up on information we gave them things might be different. They made us feel that because he died of a drug overdose it wasn't important enough for them to pursue.
Heroin trafficking and overdose death is a problem everywhere. No community, neighborhood or family is immune. Drug laws and sentences are not tough enough. Now federal sentencing guidelines for some drug sales could be lowered, which could result in drug dealers being released from prison early.
Most drug dealers are considered non-violent criminals? How is that possible given the level of death and destruction they cause?
Vote for those who can and will take action. You may not have wealth or power, but you have a
Need patient responsibility
The health-care bureaucrats are developing mandates and protocols for treatment of diseases using often-flawed statistics.
This is supposed to make care less expensive, by eliminating variation in treatment choices to what works most often, not necessarily what is best for the individual.
Every patient is different: physiologically, psychologically, sociologically and pharmacologically.
Therefore, their diseases are different, as is the response and treatment. Physicians have to treat the patient as a whole and not just as a body with a disease. Yet, medical care is still only as good as patient compliance.
Recent studies have shown that patients on cholesterol medications use the medication as an excuse to eat more fatty meals. Diabetic patients will adjust insulin to suit their intake.
Then there is the issue of obesity, smoking and alcohol, for which people refuse to personally take responsibility.
People want to be healthy, but only at their convenience. There is no incentive in the system to be healthy — except health itself.
The culture is that we have a fix for every medical problem and Americans can live as they wish, and also sue if it does not work out.
The present administration has come out with a report saying the criteria for judging physicians is flawed for these very reasons.
Yet, the cost-saving system is proceeding with plans to punish physicians who have "bad outcomes" for taking care of the sickest and noncompliant patients.
So who's to blame for the increasing cost of living longer with chronic diseases, often self inflicted? Clearly, it is physicians who continue to care for you?
John Moore M.D.
Busing costs unclear
The recent article about private school busing raises some interesting questions. I wonder if you have considered what the cost of school buses for public schools would be if the private schools closed?
What about the added cost of paying the additional union school teachers if the private schools closed?
Now we know the motivation behind your article. Union membership and dues-payers to your causes. Sneaky. I bet you are also opposed to charter schools.
Day to acknowledge loss
For 186 years — since May 30, 1868 — Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was known for many years, has been observed. At first, it was always observed on May 30. But, in order to create at three-day weekend, the National Holiday Act of 1971 moved it to the last Monday of May.
The day continues to be a day to pay tribute to all of those who, willingly and sacrificially, served their country in military service. But over the passing years, it has developed into something more. Now, it is a day of remembrance of all those who are no longer with us.
On this special day, flags lining the streets will wave in the breeze, visits will be made to cemeteries and flowers will be placed on graves of loved ones. People will gather with patriotic pride in cemeteries or in designated areas where, with great flourishes of oratory, speakers will pay tribute to those who served their country in times of need, including those who paid the supreme sacrifice.
Others also will go solemnly and lonely to the grave of a loved one, place some flowers, stand there with heads bowed, shed some tears, and recall precious moments spent with the one buried there.
Memorial Day is more than a holiday that — with a day off from work and some fun-filled outdoor activities — marks the beginning of summer. It is a special day of remembrance for those we have loved and lost.
Memorial Day is a wonderful occasion to honor and remember people whom we have idolized over the years. A person whom I would like to mention is Captain John Bankhead Magruder. At the very close of the Battle of Cerro Gordo on April 18, 1847 during the Mexican-American War he turned an enemy cannon around, firing on the retreating Mexicans.
Heroism and the determination to finish a task are marked characteristics of a leader. Magruder exemplified these traits very well.
The other U.S. soldiers there were very impressed. Among them was a young lieutenant named Thomas Jonathan Jackson, also known as "Stonewall" Jackson in the next war. His superior officers were also impressed since they promoted him from captain to major.
Such people are worthy of our remembrance not only on Memorial Day but every day.
Freedom isn't free
I encourage others to not just treat this Memorial Day as a day off, but as a day to reflect on how many people have made, and are making, a life for all of us to live with the freedoms we enjoy.
There are people serving and dying to protect us from those who want to harm us. So please take some time to reflect on the past and our future and pray for our military.
Talk with your children if they are old enough. We should never take peace for granted. And if our children don't understand the importance of the price being paid for our freedom, then the next generation will not have a healthy respect of what others do for them every day.
The military won't have the day off on Monday. May God bless our troops and may He continue to bless the United States of America.