We are not plants; multiculturalism helps us thrive
A Dec. 30 letter used the example of invasive plant species to argue against multiculturalism and immigration. The use of a scientific argument (only slightly) cloaked the writer's race-fear message. He states: "A small segment of human culture could gradually reproduce until there is only one left. And the chance that your culture will be that last one is slim to none."
My feeling is the writer is dancing around a racist, eugenic message, throwing up a smokescreen of science. I'm actually surprised the Herald-Leader printed such a hate- and fear-filled letter.
The writer's argument is absurd. What is a culture anyway? My friend defines it as "what you eat and who you pray to." America has embraced and absorbed many cultures, such as Irish, Italian, English, Hispanic and Jewish. Have any of them threatened to out-reproduce another?
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In most cases, they have blended happily into a strong populace. Exactly which culture is the writer afraid is going to "take over"? Chinese Lutherans? Rural Hispanic Catholics? Somali Muslims? Urban Hindu Indians? Exiled Buddhist Tibetans?
These are all cultures. I'm afraid the writer feels his race is going to be outnumbered.
All people of this world are of one species. And as far as I'm concerned, of one race: the human race.
Multiculturalism is about us using our intellectual, spiritual and physical gifts to advance peace and understanding, to the benefit of all mankind and of the world around us. It dissolves borders and differences.
A waste of time
The Republican majority in Congress will vote on a repeal of health care reform rather than pass bills to improve the economy and job market, both more visceral concerns to American families than health care reform awaiting full implementation.
This action is a pure political stunt because Republicans know that, even if it passes the House, it will die in the Senate or President Barack Obama will rightly veto it. Republicans should formulate their own health care reforms to address the problems in our country before repealing the only possible fix we have.
Instead of wasting legislative time, a more rational approach would be to allow the reform to take effect and then keep what works and change what needs tweaking. Opponents of the health care reform law must fear that, once the law takes full effect, Americans will embrace it as they did Social Security and Medicare.
Republicans misread their mandate. Indeed, parts of the new law are quite popular and Republicans would find it tough to sell a rescission of the prohibition of insurance exclusion based on pre-existing condition, the ability of children to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26 and the progressive closing of the doughnut hole for prescription drug costs.
If this Congress re-litigates the work of the last two years, Republicans will label themselves as a protest, rather than governing, party. The elections proved that voters demanded a good-faith functioning government. Should Republicans choose simply to protest, they do so at their peril.
Thanks, winter warriors
I just want to thank all the people who work outside during these cold winter months.
I won't call their jobs by name because I'm sure I'll leave out someone. You know who you are, and I thank you for your service.
I had an epiphany while listening to talk radio. A reporter asked a Democratic congressman how he would do his job differently now that he is in the minority. Being somewhat idealistic, I thought the congressman would point out that, it being his primary function, he would continue to work to address the issues facing his district, his state and the country.
I had hoped he would continue by reminding her we have always been a large and diverse country and our only path forward is through rational debate and compromise.
Being in the majority or minority party should have no effect on the basic duties and responsibilities of any legislative body.
I waited to hear him point out that the fact the reporter would so casually ask the question points out a common misunderstanding of the role of the representatives. Their primary job is not to build up power bases and struggle to maintain a permanent majority. They are there to craft, pass, modify or rescind legislation that governs our society with the goal of moving the entire country forward the best way we can.
I had hoped he would point out that demonizing the other party was the exact opposite of what was needed. Instead, the only way forward was to focus on our commonality and not our differences, our refusal to do so being responsible for our increasing reduced role on the world stage.
I had hoped to hear these things. I was disappointed.
Reading reporter Andy Mead's article about Prajna Design and Construction made me realize how much I will miss his writing now that he has retired. He has a knack for scouting out interesting stories and telling them with a voice that is genuine and objective.
I have especially appreciated his coverage of environmental issues and always made a point to read any article that had his byline.
I hope whoever takes his beat will be as adventurous and authentic as Mead has been.
Our political state
It is time for all Kentuckians to start paying attention to what is happening to our state of politics. First of all, we know how badly we are being treated by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. He obviously doesn't care about the people in our state.
Then Rand Paul was elected our other U.S. senator. He created his own organization to certify himself as an ophthalmologist. He has absolutely no experience in politics and will use any means possible to get his way. Poor little rich kid syndrome. Of course, he was elected thanks to millions in out-of-state contributions.
Now, state Senate President David Williams is showing what he will do in his run for governor. He says U.S. senators should be appointed by state legislators. Isn't that nice?
We are being led by a U.S. Senate where the median wealth is $2.38 million and a House with a median wealth of $765,000. Do you think they care about the middle class?
It would benefit everyone to have term limits put on our senators and congressmen, as well as state lawmakers. If we limit our president to two terms, the state's representatives should be held to the same standard. Maybe we could get someone to represent us and not themselves.
Finally, there should not be any out-of state money allowed into the election coffers of state officials.