Preaching conservative line
Concerning the “based more on emotion” banning of DDT, Cameron Schaeffer says in his March 18 commentary, “It may kill eagles, but so do wind turbines and hunters.”
Does Schaeffer, a doctor, tell his patients that there is no reason to treat their cancer because “it may kill you, but so will a heart attack or a plane crash”?
Schaeffer’s commentary is in aid of conservatives’ demonization of the Environmental Protection Agency. You have to pretend a lot of things are true to stay in that club, nowadays.
He also claims that “common-sense environmental regulations” are a libertarian concept. Well, not anymore, unfortunately. To claim that people who call themselves libertarians today are supporting environmental regulations is preposterous. It is self-proclaimed libertarians who are in the forefront of efforts with conservatives to abolish the EPA altogether.
Environmentalism was a bipartisan, common-sense reaction to real problems until the Republicans’ complete sellout to the interests of corporate profit. It has been left up to the other side now to do things like protecting children from lead poisoning. It is Schaeffer’s pals on the right whose “big head, small brain” policies and practices make us less free, more poor and more sick — as he well knows.
Future car should be past
The article “UK’s solar car ready” is like a cherry atop a mountain of shame for what mankind has not accomplished by 2016.
Not just the fact that there was a time in the 1800s when battery-powered cars were as common as internal combustion engine cars. The fact is that most commuters into this city, and perhaps many others, could be getting to their jobs in a much earlier version of the University of Kentucky’s solar car, one on display over 10 years ago. It would have meant no fuel buying and no pollution emanating from most of the vehicles backed up in the morning and afternoon rush hour commutes in the corridors of this city.
While it is true that on days when the sun isn’t sufficient to power the car and/or charge the onboard batteries, grid electric may be needed. But for a large number of Lexington’s commuters, a replication of the sleek, futuristic UK solar car from a decade ago would have been a game changer greater than an expensive Tesla Roadster.
Foreign policy matters
To the Herald-Leader’s credit, it recently ran two guest commentaries on American foreign policy: a critical piece by Cody Foster and a more positive view by Wilson Shirley. This is an essential discussion because the United States is involved everywhere, directly influencing the lives of millions of foreigners.
We have about 800 military outposts and bases in 160 countries. Powerful U.S. companies are partnering with and influencing foreign governments. Our government has sanctions against 24 nations.
Because of this, we have a responsibility to try to push our leaders and businesses in humane directions. However, this is a problem because the United States is famously inward looking, not interested enough in other countries. Only a quarter of Americans have passports.
It is startling for someone who has spent years living abroad to see how much international pop culture other countries have, and how little the United States has. TV’s coverage of foreign news concentrates on the nefarious behavior of enemies-of-the-moment.
Whether one agrees with positive or negative assessments, discussion of foreign policy is responsible and necessary.
Currently and historically, leaders and companies of any country generally disregard the rights of foreign populations, causing a lot of suffering. Thus, I see Foster’s critical assessment as better because, on a practical level, criticism of dubious behavior can improve it.
Pay gap math wrong
The Bloomberg News article by Sarah Grant on March 24 said that on average a woman earns 5 cents less per hour than a man with comparable blah blah blah. It also said that was — on average, again — a 24 percent gap. That would make the average male wages less than $1 an hour.
Do editors read these articles? (Incidentally, the 5 cent error — I think she means $5 —also appeared on the Bloomberg website.)
McConnell right to obstruct
I read with interest Richard Dawahare’s analysis of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s stonewalling President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.
As a side note, how soon Dawahare forgets Sen. Harry Reid’s role as Senate majority leader in keeping a “dead letter” file on his desk with bills that he would never present to Obama for consideration.
I can understand why President Ronald Reagan’s Supreme Court nominee during his last year in office was confirmed by a Democratic Senate, but Dawahare is comparing apples to oranges.
Our nation had absolute confidence in Reagan’s decisions, earned by eight years of respect and trust for the man in charge of our country. I can also understand why we should not take a chance on a lame-duck Obama nominee who would serve for a lifetime when Obama has made so many disruptive executive decisions, earning little to no trust or respect.
And let’s not even talk about the enormous increase to our national debt.
Good for McConnell for protecting our country with a take-charge “whoa.”
End horse slaughter
“McConnell rejects Obama’s SCOTUS nominee,” the headline of Phillip Bailey’s March 16 article, speaks for itself. This is troubling, as The Washington Post reports more than 60 percent of Americans agree that the Senate should hold hearings for President Barack Obama’s nominee.
Sen. Mitch McConnell has not been the type of senator who goes against the will of the so many, and I truly hope he will not do so in the coming weeks while deciding how to appropriate federal funding to our agricultural sector.
At an even greater margin, 80 percent, an overwhelming number of Americans, disagree with the practice of horse slaughter for human consumption.
Being from the horse-loving state of Kentucky, it is even more surprising that McConnell has not taken the lead in opposing horse slaughter plants on American soil by prohibiting funding, as well as abroad, by co-sponsoring the SAFE Act. Horse slaughter is not only inhumane and unnecessary, it is also bad for business, communities and workers. Whether the senator agrees or not, I hope he will recognize that as our representative, he must speak for us.