Aggressive U.S. military policy will backfire on us
The U.S. military policy of full-spectrum dominance cannot succeed and will only lead to bankruptcy.
Other countries resist domination, just as we would fight against any country that tried to establish military bases in Kentucky and operate missile-equipped drones out of Blue Grass Army Depot.
Our military aggressiveness predictably creates more enemies and ends up weakening our national security. The numerical strength and deadliness of radical Islamist groups multiplied after the invasion of Iraq. The CIA is now aiding radical groups fighting in Syria's long-running civil war. The same goes for Libya.
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Future blowback is inevitable. Osama bin Laden accepted our help in Afghanistan but later turned his combat-hardened organization against us.
Rep. Andy Barr has enthusiastically joined the foreign-policy hawks. All of his talk about balancing the budget is contemptible hypocrisy. If America goes bankrupt, it will be willfully blind, weak-minded politicians like Barr who will be to blame.
Geoffrey M. Young
Clean up the butts
Walk down the street, and there they are. Look out the car window, and there they are. Cigarette and cigar butts thrown down by smokers. Cleaning up this litter costs taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.
To defray these costs, I suggest the local government enact a "butt tax," say 10 cents per cigarette and 20 cents per cigar.
A tax such as this would not cost the non-smoking public. Only smokers who create the problem would pay. A place to start this action is Lexington-Fayette County. Clean our streets.
Missed chance on climate
A recent column about a new and alarming report on climate change caused me to think about a simple invention that came from Charles Frazer of Columbus, Ohio and is described in his 1918 patent No. 1,262,034.
His hydro-oxygen generation concept has been shown in several studies, including one by NASA, to be an effective method of greatly reducing the carbon pollution issuing from virtually any fossil fuel-burning device. It is finally being utilized in various applications at this late date.
If it had been widely implemented when it was first suggested nearly 100 years ago, who knows what the concentration of C02 in our atmosphere might be right now?
Look to the insurer
I was surprised to read a recent letter that complained about the Affordable Care Act on the grounds that a Medicare Advantage insurer has lowered compensation to doctors.
In April, Medicare abandoned a planned cutback and announced that payments to Medicare Advantage insurers actually would increase in 2015.
So the immediate concern would seem to be less with the government than with the insurer.
Breast-feed for health
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31.3 percent of Kentuckians are obese or overweight. Among those, 19.7 percent are children ages 10 to 17.
Research suggests that obesity risk might be minimized with increased duration of breast-feeding. However, in 2012 only 9.6 percent of babies in Kentucky were exclusively being breast-fed at six months of age, reported the CDC.
Return to work/school and lack of support from the community, employers, educational institutions and families are among the biggest reasons mothers discontinue breast-feeding.
So, it is high time for us to apply measures promoting breast-feeding in order to fight obesity. Policy makers can support nonprofits that promote breast- feeding, and strengthen programs that provide mother-to-mother support and peer counseling.
Organizations can initiate and implement programs that promote and support breast-feeding. Families can give mothers the support and encouragement they need to take advantage of programs to educate on breast-feeding. Employers can provide adequate breaks and clean places for mothers to breast-feed or pump.
Breast-feeding has many benefits for mother and baby. Let's come together as a community and support breast-feeding and better health for babies.
Beatrice Shellow and Sanskriti Thapa