College not key to job creation or for everyone
During his State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama extolled the virtues and need for more emphasis on and, presumably, more money for college education to solve our financial/job problems.
I strongly disagree.
As a senior citizen, I have listened to this silly diatribe for years. I have no argument with the value of higher education, provided it is tempered with the recognition of lesser-educated people who do the everyday jobs that meet the needs of the public. I was particularly offended by Obama giving me a lecture on job creation since he apparently hasn't got a clue on how manufacturing or other jobs are created because he has never been in the non-academic world.
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One needs to look no farther than central European countries to find out how jobs are created. If an elementary or high school student doesn't meet the academic requirements, he or she cannot attend college and is given a technical school option. By blending the two, they have the best of two worlds that foster excellence in job creation.
America will never solve its job and financial troubles until we seriously address our many problems such as outsourcing, drugs, illegal immigration and fighting more military battles than Genghis Khan, to name but a few. As with the turtle, it's time to pull into our shell and become isolationists until we solve our many problems before it's too late.
Albert F. Kuhr
Too many jailed
In America, citizens are held captive more than in any other country. A child born in America is more likely than children born anywhere else to spend part of his life locked up.
Pharisees among us will say this is a good thing. Conservatives among us will say it is just too bad we have so many criminals. But their conclusions must be wrong.
If we justly lock up more than do any other countries, then U.S. citizens must be the most evil people on Earth. If the United States is the world's evil empire, then we need to invoke Iran's caliphate so we can become better.
The conservative premise is wrong. The sons and daughters we lock up never see a trial, never face their individual accusers, never see the evidence against them. They are simply given a confession to sign, or else. Or else, a zealous prosecutor will indict their spouse, their parents, their children. Or else charges will be stacked to the sky. Unless you are very wealthy, you have no choice but to sign the confession and join the masses behind bars.
Kentucky's blue ribbon panel on corrections (including prosecutors) said we are locking up people who should be free. God says, "I, the Lord, have called thee to bring out the prisoners from the prison."
Now is the time for us to do the right thing and bring them out.
Our mining brethren
Last month I was traveling in New Zealand, where the searing memory of the recent coal mine disaster was fresh in the minds of many of the people I met.
I tried to convey to everyone the compassion and understanding from the people of Kentucky, where coal is also an important industry, and where we too have experienced mining accidents with tragic loss of life.
The people were grateful that we should care, and it eased their burden to some small degree to know that we in Kentucky understood very well their situation.
Later in my travels through the thermal regions of Rotorua we saw at close range numerous geysers, pools of boiling mud, steam vents and active volcanoes, all of which served to remind us of the immense powers of nature that are far beyond our ability to control. We employ all of the safety precautions that we can, but sometimes nature just takes over, and always has the last word.
Same old Paul
When you read Sen. Rand Paul's proposed federal budget cuts posted on his Web site, you will find several sensible proposals, but the vast majority are rationalized by the tired, old ultraconservative generalizations like "waste, fraud and abuse," "transfer control to states" and simplistic, arbitrary budget cuts. These are the tactics of gloom, doom and fear of government.
However, this is the 21st century. Positive visions are needed — for economic growth policies to generate revenue, for creative deficit-reduction solutions to big-ticket budget issues and for visionary ideas to compete in the global economy. Furthermore, Paul's budget-cutting proposal does nothing to serve his Kentucky constituents. Indeed, it would harm and burden our commonwealth.
His budget presentation is the same kind of public relations roll-out his father, Rep. Ron Paul from Texas, has used for years to gain national attention for his hopeless presidential candidacies.
I truly hope that his son, our newly elected senator, will learn to be a serious legislator during the next six years rather than a persistent critic basking in the limelight.
Based on the presentation of his hastily prepared budget-cutting plan, however, it is more likely that he plans to use Kentucky as a platform for a personal agenda that has little to do with serving the people who elected him.
All kinds of forced
Those who oppose the health care law say its provisions are unconstitutional because they force people to buy a product — health insurance — that they don't want.
Well, as a Medicare recipient I am forced to buy Medicare Part D prescription coverage I neither want nor need. Last year I paid 1.5 times as much in premiums as I received in benefits.
I understand how insurance works and that some must pay more than their benefits in order to provide coverage for all. But I don't have a choice. By law I must buy the coverage.
My insurance company has notified me that my 2011 premiums will nearly double. I, of course, have changed companies to save money. But I can't drop the coverage without paying a monthly penalty for life.
How is that different from being forced to buy health insurance?
William G. Hiles Jr.
Set the standard
What is Rupp Arena's standing for the average Kentucky basketball supporter? Gold standard. Who is always bringing up the basketball program's needs? Who has a better ball arena and seats more?
Coach John Calipari, the gold standard should govern everything we do or shouldn't do. What's wrong with the following or should be changed for the coach's gold standard? Wildcat Lodge, practice facility, travel arrangements, Rupp Arena, etc. Do we need more coaches? How many hours do the players spend in classrooms each day? Hold your breath on compliance.
Gold standards win NCAA Tournaments. Should be no problem with all the NBA-to-be players.
David V. Willhoit