Karpf's supersized ego
I have known Dr. Paul Kearney for over 20 years. I think the question of "why now?" is relevant. However, the subject I would like to address is Dr. Michael Karpf.
My father was treated by University of Kentucky ophthalmologists in 2009 at the VA Hospital. At the end of a difficult procedure, the attending ophthalmologist said she had made mistakes during dad's surgery and apologized. Her face and words said it all. We later talked to the chief of medical affairs at VA, who reiterated that "when the VA makes a mistake, we own up to it, and make amends." My father's condition worsened and the need for help increased tenfold.
But after I met with Karpf, head of the UK medical system, everyone's story changed and all the previous discussions were recanted. I got in touch with then-UK president Dr. Lee Todd, who arranged the meeting with Karpf. Karpf voiced outrage at me going through Todd for the meeting.
In light of Kearney's allegations in Friday's article, I wonder if the recanting of errors was the result of a blow to Karpf's gigantic ego and retaliation for having done so.
White lives have always mattered
This country is 240 years old, and for 180 of those, slavery and segregation were the status quo. Black lives mattering is still a fairly new concept.
"All lives matter" is uttered only in response to "black lives matter." Why, when minority groups make space for themselves, do majority groups feel the need to be centered in that space?
White lives mattering was never a question. The system has always prioritized protecting white bodies.
How does saying "black lives matter" imply that others do not? Must you be black to assert the humanity of black people? This reminder is necessary because state-sponsored violence in the form of police brutality, modern poll taxes and mass incarceration undercut black lives mattering.
To those who need statistics to prove the questionable significance of black lives:
■ A black person is killed extra-judicially every 28 hours.
■ Young blacks are 4.5 times more likely to be killed by police than any other age or racial group, according to the Center on Juvenile Crime and Criminal Justice.
■ African-Americans comprise 26 percent of police shooting victims, though are only 13 percent of the U.S. population.
No to diversity for diversity's sake
Your paper has stated that diversity is missing on the University of Louisville board. According to your standards, diversity is more important than talent. Diversity for diversity's sake is the norm with your writers. Apparently vote totals must be rewarded by appointment favors.
Also, do black lives matter? Certainly, but so do white, red and yellow lives.
Tell your movie critics, college professors, lawyers and community organizers (whatever that is) that Gone With the Wind is a movie. You are not required to go, just as you are not required to listen to radio stations with which you don't agree.
Dangerous global experiment
Kudos for Roger Guffey's column repudiating climate change denial. I'd like to expand on a possible reason for climate change's accompanying increase in rain, snowfall and harsher winters. Warmer air holds more water vapor. However, the resulting increase and/or shifted concentration in precipitation varies around the globe; historic floods in some areas, longer droughts in others.
More importantly, water vapor is the most potent of all greenhouse gasses, albeit the shortest lived. Preliminary findings indicate a spiraling cycle of warmer air, more water vapor, still more warming, etc. This puts increasingly more energy in the atmosphere that drives the Earth's weather cycles. Recent meandering of the U.S. jet stream and accompanying harsher-than-normal winters are possible impacts of global warming.
Bottom line, we're conducting a global experiment to see how increasingly warmer air will affect the world's climates. We've seen what the current 1.6-degree increase has brought and I'm not looking forward to what a full 2 degrees will look like. At the rate we're going, global warming is forecast to be much higher than thought at mid-century. It boggles my mind that we're still choosing to ignore the threat.
What about kids not chosen?
I recently learned of the gifted and talented program. Primary students screened and selected as high potential learners and students in grades 4-12 are identified for strength in one or more areas: general intellectual aptitude, specific academic aptitude, creative or divergent thinking, psychosocial or leadership skills in the visual or performing arts. The benefit of the program: to assure continuous progress, minimize underachievement and provide early enrichment for those students.
Achievement should be rewarded. What disturbs me is the title. Are the students not chosen ordinary and talentless? Shouldn't public education provide early enrichment that assures continuous progress and minimizes underachievement for all students? If the goal is to provide the high-aptitude student work that is challenging, then do so.
We are incessantly being warned not to single out the child who excels for fear of hurting the self-esteem of another. Parents and teachers constantly give false praise and lower standards to alleviate this.
I would be honored if my child was inducted into a program that recognized citizenry or humanitarian qualities. I have always respected humility over pride, which is the connotation the title gives.
All this talk about the Confederate flag, gay marriage, health care and SCOTUS is a major distraction. While everyone on either side is going back and forth, what are the politicians doing?
No one knows what erosion of our rights is going on while everyone is busy complaining about those issues. That is what politicians do — get people distracted and upset so we are at each other's throats.
So let's stop following the distractions and focus our attention on our elected leaders and see what they are doing.
Fair and equal reporting
On the cover, above the fold, of the July 13 Herald-Leader there was a picture of an interdenominational gay marriage recognition ceremony. On July 14 there was an above-the-fold picture of supporters of the Rowan County Clerk for refusing to issue marriage licenses over the same issue. Below the fold was a smaller image of two of the plaintiffs.
I have read many letters to the editor complaining that the Herald-Leader is too liberal. From my perspective the paper tries to be balanced and factual. These images illustrate that point. I think I'm intelligent enough to come to my own conclusions after given the facts. Good job, Herald-Leader, for your efforts to be fair and equal in reporting.