Rand Paul: a candidate for our time
We are living through hard times. Many are out of work, and the economy is rebounding with the zip of a deflated basketball. The national mood is angry, and that mood overrides much common sense.
The evidence is everywhere. Lacking constructive plans, Republicans resort to saying "No" to almost everything; still, they gain the initiative in many mid-term races.
Irritated by one disrespectful passenger, a flight attendant throws a broadside tantrum, deploys the emergency slide and exits the plane, delaying the entire flight. He becomes an instant celebrity.
And now, with Congress paralyzed by battling ideologies, some people want to send a message even if it means electing dramatically unqualified candidates.
Rand Paul has made bundles of "misstatements." His supporters forgive him because he carries the message of their anger. In the TV debate with Trey Grayson, Paul defended his misstatements by accusing Grayson of misunderstanding him. Yet misstatements continue, as does Paul's claim of being misunderstood.
Libertarian Paul opposes even some of our most sensible regulations. But what are his solutions to the Senate's problems?
A litany of regulations: term limits; limiting the number of pages in a bill; requiring Senators to read a bill's every detail (no delegating to trusted, expert staff). All this from a man who ducks technical questions by saying he is not an expert.
It doesn't matter that the chances of Paul's Senate "reforms" being enacted are as likely as a Kentucky blizzard in July. In a season of irrational rage, Rand Paul makes a fine candidate.
T. Kerby Neill
A valued poem
Every time I've taken the time to read the Saturday "Living Our Values," I've enjoyed and gotten a lot out of the submissions. The one from July 31 was no exception.
The poem submitted by Marjorie Fey Farris of Richmond made me smile, and almost brought me to tears. I identify with all of her suggestions for things that those who love her should then do. Listen to someone's sad story — check. Help an elderly neighbor — check. Listen to the birds or smile at a child — double check. Marjorie Fey Farris, I don't know you, but I do love you. Thanks for sharing your (and my) values in a beautiful poem!
Scouts: Welcome gays
This is in response to the letter on Boy Scouts and gays.
While I support the right of any organization to restrict its membership, why would anyone want to teach such a negative value as discrimination to children? Wouldn't it be better to learn how to understand and accept them?
Barring gays from the Scouts would not "protect" anyone from them, as if such a thing were necessary; all of us are around them already much more than many may think. So, the only real decision by non-gays is whether their reaction to gays includes being hateful or dishonest.
For example, any athlete who doesn't want to shower with gays has almost certainly already done so and with no bad results.
Consider the possibility that God created gays to see who would be as loving, understanding and accepting of them as they are to everyone else. I'd love to be a fly on the wall when those who discriminate explain their uncharitable attitudes at the Pearly Gates.
ER too appealing?
While the health care reform bill was being debated, it seemed everyone, Democrats and Republicans alike, agreed we needed to cut back on health care spending where we could.
Everyone agreed we needed to try to reduce unnecessary use of high-priced emergency rooms for non-emergency conditions.
Now along comes one of our local "non-profit" hospitals, advertising in every conceivable way that it will "see you within 5 minutes, and a doctor will see you within 30 of your arrival." I can hear the average consumer, "Wow, 5 minutes! It sounds like I'll get seen sooner at the ER than I will with an appointment at my doctor's office."
It seems to me this advertisement encourages the misuse of expensive emergency room care, and is a reflection of exactly the wrong kind of corporate greed that America needs right now.
Not my job dept.
A couple of years ago, I contacted the city, Norfolk Southern Corp. and the health department about the disgusting mess at the underpass on South Broadway. I was told the city and the railroad could not agree on whose responsibility it was, so nothing was ever done.
I was also told this area is scheduled for cleaning only twice a year. The problem with that is the pigeons roost there 365 days a year.
Someone needs to determine whose responsibility it is to keep the sidewalks and street clean.
Help the low-income
Addressing the size of the federal deficit is critical, but we should not add to the already heavy burden facing low-income Americans.
With 10 percent unemployment in our state and with 23.5 percent of children in Kentucky living below the poverty line, I urge Rep. Ben Chandler and Sens. Mitch McConnell and Jim Bunning to vote for full funding of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization bills and to keep the improvements made to the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit programs.
Investing in programs for low-income families provides some of the most effective stimulus to the economy. Please do the right thing for Kentucky's children.
Iraq war too costly
A regular letter writer wrote in May, June and July lauding the results of the United States' unconstitutional invasion of Iraq.
He must be wearing opaque rose-colored glasses which have blinded them to the tragic losses for both Iraq and the United States.
Hundreds of thousand of Iraqis were injured and killed; millions of families displaced, with many fleeing Iraq; huge damage was done to residences, schools, hospitals, and other infrastructure; and sectarian conflicts were exacerbated.
Do conditions now justify all the human suffering and property destruction? Has anyone tried to compare the quality of life in Iraq before and after our invasion?
What was the prewar death rate compared to what it has been since the invasion?
In addition to ignoring the destruction in Iraq, the letters don't consider the fact that the United States is much worse off today because of the war.
There was no credible evidence in 2001-03 that Iraq posed a threat to the United States, and none was found after the invasion.
All the U.S. lives lost, all the injuries suffered, and all the money spent increasing the national debt brought zero benefit to our country.
It is quite illogical to claim, as the letters do, that the Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, Bush and, regrettably, Powell administration should be commended for actions in Iraq.