Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: July 10

Caught in cogs of unncessary state bureaucracy

My mother passed away May 21. On June 10, I was still waiting for a death certificate in order to collect insurance, open an estate bank account and pay debts.

I went by the Office of Vital Statistics in Frankfort in hopes of obtaining a copy of the certificate.

There was a 45-minute waiting time, so I said mail me my copy.

On June 14, I got a call from Vital Statistics telling me that there was a mistake on the funeral home's request.

Under "sex," the funeral home wrote "F" instead of writing out "female."

I requested to talk to the supervisor. He was somewhat sympathetic but explained he has no choice but to require what is mandated.

Then, I talked to another lady and asked what statute requires that sex be spelled out. She said it is a federal requirement and then read a quote from the funeral director's manual.

It is reassuring our laws are administered from a funeral home director's manual.

In a subsequent conversation with the supervisor, he said the spelling out requirement is "office policy."

Confused? So am I.

After much ado, Vital Statistics sent a correction form and information to the funeral home that in turn was to resubmit the request. The result was more delays.

I am 77 years old. Before I die, I hope to find there is some evidence of common sense and accountability at some level of government.

Gene Caudill


Just call me 'Sire'

Rand Paul does have novel ideas — like self-board certification.

Meaningless, of course, for eye patients seeking confidence in a doctor's competence — but appealing, nonetheless, in its directness.

Following his lead, I have realized a little dream of my own.

I herewith announce my self-certification as Emperor of the Known World (as certified by the Kentucky Board of Emperors of the Known World, president myself, vice president my wife, secretary-treasurer my daughter).

The KBEKW is presently accepting applications for certification as assistant emperor (maximum 100 positions), as well as for chancellor of the exchequer and court jester.

Copies of the fee schedule for these positions available upon submission of SASE.

The board's Web site is under construction and will soon appear worldwide.

Persons accepted for certification will receive a handsome certificate, professionally lettered in period calligraphic hand, printed on genuine parchment stock, suitable for framing.

Charles S. Merrill


Justice for victims

On June 17, Republican Joe Barton of Texas was reported as saying: "I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I apologize. It is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown, in this case, a $20-billion-shakedown."

He was referring to the fund to compensate the people of the Gulf Coast for damages caused by the BP oil spill.

Have the Republicans no conscience?

I am ashamed of our government also. I am ashamed that more than two months have passed since the start of the continuing oil spill and neither a corporation nor an individual has been charged in the deaths of 11 men.

In case anyone has forgotten, let us repeat: 11 men died in the BP oil rig explosion. They and their families deserve justice — the sooner the better.

John C. Wolff Jr.


Animal killings cruel

I recently passed a truck hauling small pigs. Their little noses were sticking out of the holes on the sides of the trailer and some of their little legs were wedged in the holes — apparently, they were unable to free them.

They, of course, were being shipped to some slaughterhouse where further unimaginable horrors awaited them. This, so people can eat baby-back ribs.

Those little pigs could have just as easily been little calves (veal) or chickens or cows on their way to a cruel (and if they are "lucky," quick and efficient) death.

Perhaps if we were to expose our children to the horrors of slaughterhouses the next generations would no longer cruelly kill animals just to dine on flesh.

Bonnie Arndt


Go private for repairs

One reason for the recent flooding in Tennessee might be that the Wolf Creek Dam at Lake Cumberland is operating at a lower water level than it's designed to contain.

The dam had helped to reduce flooding in the past.

One would certainly question the competence of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in its failure to quickly repair this structure and get it back into service.

This is another Hurricane Katrina-like failure of a corps project, but the national press chooses to ignore it.

Congress should turn over projects like this dam repair to private engineering firms.

The problem would have been solved much sooner. Private industry does everything better and more efficiently than government.

Donald R. Fugette


Buy American

The Herald-Leader printed a letter to the editor on April 1 entitled "Bring jobs back" such as those in China.

Well, Happy April Fools Day. I remember the '50s and '60s when businesses, large and small, in the United States manufactured their products, some right here in Lexington.

As Merle Haggard sang, "Are the good times really over for good?"

In spite of our economic suffering the big shots want to hoard the big bucks by shipping jobs to other countries.

U.S. laborers suffer, and the consumer purchases inferior quality and/or contaminated products.

Let's all join and refuse to buy products labeled "Made in China" (or any other country, but China seems to be the worst).

Let your merchants know why you are not buying. Be sure to check the source of products bought through mail order. They don't always provide the information.

Let us all once again bless America and do our part to make her strong again.

Gary L. Criswell