Can't feel sorry for guys with prison records
I have read, with some interest, your Pollyanna editorial about the connection between prison and poverty. Even after two readings, I can find no mention of the costs borne by the victim's family or in some cases the victim's inability to find employment.
You attempt to frighten us by stating that even though the crime rate is down the incarceration level is up. What does that tell us, but that the bad guys are in jail and the public is safe as a result? Sort of a cause and effect.
Sounds like our commonwealth attorneys are doing their jobs.
Where the heart is
Merlene Davis' Dec. 19 column missed the point. Because of all those courageous folks who stood up for our civil rights in the 1960s and 1970s, we can live anywhere we would like to live now in Kentucky. We can live in neighborhoods where we grew up or in any of the other neighborhoods across our town.
What Davis sees as segregation is simply that when young people grow up and get their own homes, they often feel more comfortable purchasing a home in their childhood neighborhoods; there are no more neighborhoods where they can or cannot live.
If the home is affordable, the choice of where we live is ours.
Abuse laws fail
State official Amanda Ross was shot outside her home. Her ex-fiancé is charged. Anyone would want to do something that would have saved Ross. No law or punishment will bring her back, but reaction has not addressed her concern.
The newspaper reported that she wanted her ex-fiancé to get help and not lose his job. She didn't get either, and after passage of Amanda's Law this still isn't an option.
Public opinion does not support prevention as much as it does punishment. In the rush to protect battered women, many women often are not served by a system that requires several trips to court, days wasted, work missed, and a failure to get results. Judges are lawyers, not psychologists or social workers. Strong human emotions are addressed in a legal framework that might not be appropriate in a particular case.
We have added millions of dollars to judicial budgets but seem not to be successful in reducing domestic violence. It is remarkable how much resistance and even hateful response there is to suggestions we could do better.
Ross was right; some people need help. She might have done better if help were available. Prevention is better. When no judge initially used Amanda's Law, our legislators put in $875,000 to study how well the law could work.
The money could have helped so much more if it had been spent on mental health professionals. We might have one guy with an ankle bracelet that is costing taxpayers a ridiculous amount of money.
Non-milk drinkers: Unite
I don't want to drink my milk. It's not just me. A lot of my friends, and quite a number of Kentuckians, don't like it either. This might not seem like a big issue right now, but by the time the liberals' big government takeover is complete, the federales will be telling us we have to drink our milk.
This is a state's rights issue and the best defense is a good offense.
Michelle Obama is already making noises about obesity in children, and before you know it, she'll be going after the adults as well.
I propose we take this opportunity to include non-milk-drinkers' rights in the proposed amendment to the state constitution to guarantee our right to hunt and fish. We might as well cover all the bases while we're at it.
The best part is that there is really no downside. Even if the amendment fails, we can use it in our attack ads in the next election, identifying all the people who voted in favor of federally enforced milk drinking. It's a win-win.
Column good, to a point
As I read Roger Guffey's very enlightening Dec. 26 column in evolution, I was thinking: How refreshing. Here is a true critical thinker. Here is an individual who has taken the time to learn about the validity and details of evolution and has the intellectual capacity to understand the underlying truths involved.
He understands and explains, very lucidly, the fact there is no moral direction in evolution and that species that cannot compete in nature quite simply do not survive. There is no special or protected life form on this planet.
This is the "blind watchmaker," as described by Richard Dawkins in his book of the same name. In other words, there is no "designer." the laws of nature and natural mutations carry on the business of life evolving into other forms of life.
Various species of hominids evolved and disappeared. We are the latest and, so far, best hominid species to evolve. However, evolution continues and the odds on our survival are as yet unknown. These are established facts.
However, near the end of his column, Guffey puts back on his faith blinkers, departs from empirical and critical thinking and intellectual honesty and places everything back into the hands of a god. Great start; disappointing ending.
I have never been so proud of being a Democrat as I am at the end of this session of Congress: START ratified, "don't ask, don't tell" repealed, health care for 9/11 first responders passed, food-safety bill passed, tax cuts for middle America passed, unemployment benefits extended. Great thanks to President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
In the next election, I hope that middle America will remember that it was Republicans who held tax cuts for middle America hostage so they could get fat tax cuts for themselves and their super-rich buddies, that it was Republicans who opposed START, that it was Republicans who opposed extending unemployment benefits, that it was Republicans who opposed health benefits for 9/11 responders and, in fact, it was Republicans (especially Sen. Mitch McConnell) who opposed everything to benefit middle America.
I am sure Republicans have already figured out how they will spin their attack against middle America so that they can get re-elected. I hope Democrats will map out a strategy and that they will hang tough like they did at the end of this session.
Lawrence E. Durr
Leave it to the Herald-Leader to present the last gasp of irresponsible spending (9/11 responders' aid) and the last gasp of irresponsible foreign policy (the START treaty) as a positive shift in momentum for the Democrats.
Both bills should have been passed, but neither should have been done in the unseemly haste that characterized the lame-duck session. The subhead read, "GOP got tax deal and little else."
You neglected to mention the biggest thing that the GOP got — a free hand to deal with "Obamacare" in a Republican-controlled House.
A billion dollars of pre-authorized implementation spending got thrown out with the monster omnibus spending bill. Put this together with the tax bill, and everything else in the session becomes peanuts by comparison.
Time will tell whether President Barack Obama is remembered for reining in nuclear weapons or selling us down the river on missile defense. Sadly, when the time comes, it will be blindingly obvious to everyone, although much too late.
The truth is finally coming to full light. Toyota is just like all the other Enrons, Fannie Maes and Freddie Macs.
The bottom line is all that really matters to corporations like Toyota is passing blame about its safety record and cutting pay by more than 8 percent while still posting billion-dollar profits every quarter.
Recalls have just been a minor inconvienence, future profits will be bolstered by Toyota's efforts to turn back wages and benefits a few decades. "Toyota Moving Forward" means eliminating what's left of the middle class in America.