McConnell, Patriot Act un-American
Recently, I became a little more ashamed to call myself a Kentuckian. Mitch McConnell introduced a bill to extend the Patriot Act until 2020. It baffles me that someone like him can remain in office and force these outrageous bills. It sickens me that the apathetic, ignorant, misinformed voters repeatedly elect him.
Now he's going directly against public opinion in destroying our freedom and privacy, yet no one seems to care. It's shocking and disheartening that the citizens of a republic have virtually no control over the political process. Unless, of course, you have money.
McConnell has shown that he does not care about anything but making him and his puppeteers rich, at the expense of multitudes of the middle and lower classes he is meant to represent. I have contacted his office but his staff takes the message, sends a form letter and McConnell does the exact opposite.
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Does anybody care that our constitutional rights to freedom and privacy are being tainted under the guise of patriotism? I'm sad to live in a country with so much potential that is being squandered by greedy old men in Washington.
As a former newspaperman and native of Hazard. I was dumbfounded at the Herald-Leader's strident, one-sided smackdown of Sen. McConnell on your editorial page ("Senator misguided on climate stance," April 14, 2015). A recent Gallup poll confirmed that even after years of rhetoric, Americans remain vastly unpersuaded by the White House's global warming agenda, which promises skyrocketing utility bills and a major drag on jobs and our economy.
Your editorial shows a disturbing indifference or lack of awareness to the plight of ordinary Americans who will be forced to pay the cost of continued regulations. With most Kentucky families living paycheck to paycheck, a 20-30 percent jump in an electric bill can be devastating, especially to seniors on fixed incomes.
Readers should know that scores of energy experts, public utility commissioners, power grid operators and regulators agree with McConnell's concern that the EPA plan will imperil the electric grid and will push power prices much higher.
Protecting the citizens of the commonwealth from a federal agency that imposes massive and costly burdens on its most vulnerable citizens deserves our praise, and many today are praising McConnell for his principled, common-sense stand.
Chairman and Founder of the 60 Plus Association
Israel a peaceful nation
Israelis value all life, embrace diversity and strive for peace. Last year, 180,000 Palestinians and hundreds of Syrians received medical treatment in Israel. In fact, the Hamas prime minister's granddaughter was once hospitalized in Israel. When life is at stake, Israelis put disputes behind.
In 2005, Hadassah Hospital was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize because of its diverse staff and for building bridges for peace. A recent survey conducted by Tel Aviv University shows that a majority of Israeli Arabs feel that the Knesset is an effective arena to address their concerns, 77 percent prefer Israeli over Palestinian citizenship, and the majority are optimistic about Jewish-Arab relations. In 1963, Beit Hagefen was established in Haifa to bring Arabs and Jews together and to nurture coexistence, neighborliness and tolerance.
Twelve years ago, former Israeli president Shimon Peres founded the Peres Center for Peace, which facilitates hundreds of projects, bringing thousands of Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs, together each year to build a foundation for lasting peace.
This is the 12th year of the Peace Center's soccer program, which will bring more than 600 children from Israel and the Palestinian territories to use soccer as a tool to build friendships between Jews and Arabs.
Free energy future
The recent article about a requested 9 percent-plus rate increase in our electric bills caused me to think of Nathan Stubblefield, the Kentuckian who had an idea for free and clean electricity long before there was an electric grid.
There is evidence that he inspired Nicola Tesla, who was instrumental in getting the grid going but then proposed something more along the lines of Stubblefield's ideas.
It is said that Tesla's financial backer, J.P. Morgan, stopped financing his research when he learned of his desire to make clean electricity available to all without cost.
This would have meant a world without all of the problems that have resulted from the centralized distribution of power, most notably serious environmental degradation but also periodic rate increases. It may seem like a pipe dream to some, but I like the prophecy that tells of a time when people will be self-sufficient and free of anxiety. Who knows what better ideas we will be making use of then?
Paul taking liberties
Last year I had my picture taken with Sen. Rand Paul and wore an "I stand with Rand" T-shirt. Today I no longer stand with Rand. I stand with Republican primary voters.
I follow a simple philosophy from the late Andrew Carnegie who said, "As I grow older I listen less to what people say and more to what they do."
Paul talks about liberty, yet he convinced a very small group of the party's executive committee to vote to switch from a primary to a caucus. He is another self-serving politician who does not care that people in the military, those living in nursing homes or anyone else who votes absentee cannot participate in caucuses.
Lucky for registered voters, the Republican State Committee has to approve the recommendation.
In Virginia, Ron Paul's loyalists took over the party and are threatening to vote to switch to a nominating convention. This involves traveling hundreds of miles for some people just to vote.
I appeal to those in Kentucky who truly love liberty to urge members of your state committee to preserve your primary and make Paul choose to run for either Senate or president. Virginia is counting on you.
State Coordinator for Facebook Group "Virginia Grassroots Cruz Revolution"
Newport News, Va.