USDA agrees WIC violations should become public
In your June 28 editorial, “Open WIC files to fight malnutrition,” you suggested that USDA “should lift the absurd veil of secrecy” from the WIC program.
We couldn’t agree more.
This is a bad regulation, installed at the end of the previous presidential administration, and we’re going to do what we can to change it so that this information is more available and the WIC program has greater transparency.
The current policy in WIC is not even consistent with our own regulations on the treatment of vendors in other nutrition programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps).
In 2005, the WIC program proposed a rule that would allow the program to issue public notices when vendors are disqualified. The agency viewed this as a helpful tool in deterring fraud and abuse. However, after receiving feedback during the public comment period, the previous presidential administration decided to restrict this information.
Unfortunately, we do not have the authority to waive the nondisclosure requirement in WIC because the policy is already in place. However, we are currently exploring our options for changing the policy, and moving toward a more transparent public disclosure of vendor violations in WIC.
Kevin W. Concannon
Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services U.S. Department of Agriculture Washington, D.C.
Draw the line at catering
As a libertarian, I support same-sex unions to provide these couples with the same tax, inheritance and visitation rights as traditional heterosexual couples. Federal judicial action was required to prevent states from continuing discriminatory policies.
Using the term “marriage” is semantics, yet I know many on both sides ascribe this great importance. Government agents can no longer restrict marriage licenses, despite protestations to the contrary in recent days.
The next shoe to drop through the courts will be LGBT activists trying to force private companies to service their weddings and that is where I draw the line.
Forcing businesses to serve same-sex ceremonies that violate their religious beliefs is similarly discriminatory and states should codify protections. It is not legal for a retail store to refuse service based on gender, race, or sexual orientation. Business participation in weddings is much more involved and could be viewed as support for that lifestyle.
Personally, I would not consider asking someone who does not support my wedding to participate in it.
Yet I am sure that someone will seek legal remedy to being refused service, even though they had alternatives. Let’s hope that equal protection applies both ways.
Wrong job for some clerks
As a nurse, I have had to do a few deeds for my patients that were against my personal views. I did them because it wasn’t about me. It was about the needs of someone else.
One of my nurse co-workers did not believe in the use of birth control and only wanted to tell young women about abstinence. And there is nothing wrong with that, unless you are working in a family-planning clinic and your job description states you will equip the young women with information about all of their options.
So for the county clerks who want to choose who they give licenses to and who they don’t, it’s time to pick a job that doesn’t fall under the auspices of the Constitution of the United States.
Perhaps they would be happier in a more religion-based occupation. And don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that.
Wrong house for rainbow
I feel that President Barack Obama allowing the people’s White House to be lit up like a carnival to celebrate the Supreme Court decision on gay/lesbian marriages was disgusting, cheap and tacky. Totally inappropriate.
A monumental suggestion
When it comes to civic statues, now is the time for Lexington to learn from Ljubljana. This charming, historic capital of Slovenia, located near Germany, Italy, and Croatia in Eastern Europe, has a custom that no civic statues or monuments can honor military or political figures. Instead, the city celebrates musicians, artists, poets, writers, composers, actors, scientists and dancers. In addition to monuments, the city’s highest honor is an annual award whose recent recipients include a poet, a filmmaker, a graphic designer, a sculptor, an editor and a literary critic.
Since Lexington, too, is a community which embraces the arts and sciences in all their fullness and diversity, why not connect our historic monuments to the energy of our present and future civic renaissance?
Sharon and John Thelin
Right on, Coach Calipari
People recently lit up the web with negative comments about University of Kentucky Coach John Calipari’s answer to a reporter when asked about what to do about the Confederate flag. There are people in this state who are angry with him because he didn’t say what they wanted him to say.He said that if so many people find it offensive, they should remove it. That’s all he said. Why are people so angry? Calipari is not an old-school Southerner. He has no affiliation with that flag, which was placed on state grounds all over the South in defiance.
As soon as the Supreme Court said that public schools should be integrated, up went the flags. When the 1960s civil rights laws were passed, South Carolina officials got a Confederate monument out of a cemetery and placed it in front of the state Capitol.
What did either of these two instances have to do with pride? That war ended years ago. The majority of whites want these objects removed, because they know the true reason they were put there in the first place.
Calipari is the coach of a predominately black team. He said the right thing.
Lawless Supreme Court
Your editorial praised the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision, the law and the people it has newly covered, and questioned the motivation and integrity of lawmakers who thought the law should die a quick death, as well as the political alliances of the justices who dissented.
You stated that it was just a drafting error and we should all overlook that fact and jump to the “what they meant” portion.
It seems that you do not understand the role of the Supreme Court and neither do six of the justices. Their job is to look at what was written, not to add or subtract words. If the statute is ambiguous (it was not), then they possibly look at intent.
When John Marshall ruled on the constitutionality of an appointment by Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson correctly stated that if our society accepted this gift of power to the Supreme Court, our legislatures and executive branches were subject to a court which could rule the nation, despite the majority vote.
This has happened. At this point the questions must be asked: If the Supreme Court doesn’t have to follow the law, why do we? What if the court spoke and nobody listened?