Issue in Arizona shooting is our youth in crisis
Why are we making the shooting in Arizona a political matter? The individual charged with shooting U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, did not even vote, nor was he affiliated with any political party, and his obsession with Giffords started three years ago. Shame on those exploiting the tragedy for political reasons.
For once, I would like to see our local paper write about the real issue here: mental health. What are our laws regarding mental health, especially for young people? What do we have in place to ensure they have every opportunity to grow healthy emotionally?
Our young people are reared in an unstable world and many of them can't see beyond the fear that grips them as they contemplate their futures. They have no roots to speak of, no parents at home for emotional stability, and peer relationships are like mercury. What they see is an unstable government, an unstable economy, an unstable family and an unstable life, and they cannot cope mentally. It is enough to depress anyone, and depression is a real disease.
This is a great time to address the mental health issues and what our governments are doing to ensure better insurance to cover the costs, better and more concerned counselors at public schools and access for young people to mental health facilities. It's time to make the public aware of the great burdens on our young people and what their options are.
As we saw last month, there are repercussions.
Health care greed
The solution is not to cut Medicare but to make doctors work for less. The catastrophic rise in health care costs in the United States can be traceable to just one major cause: the ability of doctors and hospitals to raise their fees anytime they like.
These people raise their already high prices for services at least 12 percent to 15 percent each year — much more than a cost of living increase — and the entire health care industry follows suit. It's not malpractice insurance or lawsuits; it's not even health care insurance causing the problem. It is the industry raising its prices just to make more money for salaries and for more profits.
This is capitalism at its worst, wheeling and dealing with peoples' well-being. Make no mistake: Medicine is a business, and the state should regulate it. Doctors have a product and they work it like any other business. They raise their prices to stay ahead of inflation and everybody else. The only way to stop this monopoly — and it is one — is for the government to control all health care prices with a one-payer system, like Medicare, a system that takes in all and serves society in a fair and just manner, and requires doctors to serve the system for what it pays them. Doctors would essentially become well paid employees.
This is a democratic concept, a civilized and compassionate system and is already in place in the most civilized countries of Europe. We need it here.
Keith A. Williams
Interesting paper on Dec. 29. On the front page we see that some 263 taxpayers will become unemployed because AK Steel can't come up with $50 million to comply with environmental regulations at its coke plant. Then on the editorial page, your newspaper calls for more and stricter regulations.
Ashland's largest utility customer will not be paying for services, union dues will not be paid, and unemployment benefits will be charged to other taxpayers. And still you call for more regulations. Sad.
As a former tractor-trailer driver for Aramark, I wanted to add to the hoopla about the food vendor for Kentucky's prisons.
I walked out after 2½ years because my paycheck was always short. Getting my money corrected was like alligator wrestling.
Its slogan is "Managed Services, Managed Better." No wonder employees change it to "Managed Services, Mangled Better."
Hard to fathom
The writers of "Some scientists also embrace creationism" (Jan. 10) have doctoral degrees, and they indicated that a staff member of the Creation Museum has a Ph.D. from "an Ivy League school."
I have a doctorate from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, but even if I didn't, common sense and logic lead me to ask some rather significant questions about the story of the ark:
■ How do you build a boat big enough to hold "all living flesh" of the earth? True, Noah built a big one: 45 feet high, 75 feet wide, and 450 feet long. The RMS Queen Elizabeth is 118 feet wide, many decks high, and 987 feet long. I doubt all living flesh could be put on the QE.
■ How did Noah and his family (eight people) corral all the living creatures? My guess is that the lions, hippos, rhinos, etc., might have resisted.
■ How did Noah know when he had the required number of everything?
■ How do you gather enough food and water for all of those living things for 150 days? Red meat for the lions, cheetahs, etc. would have rotted, and instructions for the ark don't say anything about providing a freezer.
■ What about sanitation? Do you know how much an elephant eliminates at one time?
For me to accept the ark story literally, I would have to take leave of my senses. They want this to be an authentic display? Let them make it a live one.
Lawrence E. Durr
Someone recently rang my doorbell and banged loudly on the door. It was a man who announced he was from the cable company (not a salesman, according to him) and needed to check our indoor equipment. He then "invited" himself in and proceeded to shake the connections of the cable boxes and pronounced that he was not going to try to sell us anything (something he repeatedly mentioned).
What followed was the rudest, loudest "in your face" sales effort we've ever suffered through. He pushed purchase of a DVR, an Internet upgrade, an "enhanced" cable package with 51 additional channels ... all while running from room to room, checking connections.
We mentioned that we had an intermittent problem with the phone and a cable that hung pretty low in the back yard. He was not interested in discussing those issues, but told us to call a local number.
When we didn't buy, he announced he would be back every six months. He actually acted hurt when we basically shut him off (believe me, that wasn't easy to do).
We don't ever want to see this obnoxious hustler again.
We're leaning towards sending a complaint to the Better Business Bureau.
He was obviously a contract employee, because he had a generic business card (no name) and a magnetic sign on his car.
Whoever he was, he made the cable company look like a bunch of impolite, sleazy hustlers.
Wait. I've heard that about them before.