Across-the-board cuts irresponsible way to budget
The Kentucky Senate has proposed across-the-board cuts to solve the state's budget problem. It's the worst solution possible. It strikes at the heart of sound budgeting.
The purpose of the budget process is to solidify priorities. Across-the-board cuts are a lazy man's approach. Some would even call it cowardly since it won't face up to the job of making hard choices.
All departments in the state government do not suffer the same consequences with across-the-board cuts. Large units can more easily absorb them than small. Units with many employees and high turnover can more easily absorb them than those with little turnover.
Units that have extraordinary expenses such as fuel, utilities, or travel can suffer catastrophic consequences when they have no choice but to pare back.
In sum, across-the-board cuts have consequences that range from gigantic to minimal. It takes a trained budget staff to determine these differences and see that they become part of the budget debate.
That has not been the case in the state Senate. It has no clue as to the consequences of its action as it affects the range of agencies in state government.
Quoting from the New Testament, Gov. Happy Chandler used to say of his foes, "Forgive them, Lord; they know not what they do." The Biblical reference seems applicable.
Former state budget directorLexington
Where we're needed
I saw news reporters smiling while reporting the revolution in Egypt. And as a Kentucky transplant to Atlanta, I read on Kentucky.com a reference "jubilant revolutionaries" in a published commentary.
Nowhere am I hearing a voice of reason that, while our great experiment of democracy has been the envy and lifeline of the oppressed and downtrodden for more than a century, it cannot be for everyone. Democracy takes a foundation of solid core values and ideals of fairness and equality.
History now tells us, for the good of peace in the Middle East, we haven't been in such great position since the overthrow of the shah of Iran. The overthrow of Saddam Hussein has allowed an insidious rule of law to take hold so that Christians and others are now persecuted and tortured in Iraq.
So what is this we see emerging in Egypt? Yet another country where a fundamentalist Muslim group is poised to take control. But worse, its another case where those who risked their lives and believed the United States would protect them have instead learned how Washington mostly stays silent.
We cannot and should not rule the world, but we can resume our role of humanitarian It may be too late to recapture our stature as the moral authority in the world, but we must try.
Owen Earle Dorsey
Bill's death big news
It appears the state House has deep-sixed Senate Bill 6 (the illegal-immigrant proposal) because of its cost. Hopefully, it will never see the light of day.
However, I can't help wondering. On the day after the Feb. 8 march in Frankfort against the legislation, we saw pictures of the protesters on the front page. And lots and lots of news about the world events in Egypt.
But on Feb. 10, the news about the vote was buried on the back pages of the newspaper.
This news had the potential to affect 30,000 to 50,000 residents in Kentucky and yet the news was not on the front page. Why? While the news about Egypt was interesting, was it more important than the news about the immigrant bill?
Any laws that cause people to panic, run for the border, quit their jobs and pull children out of school deserve front-page coverage.
Save a Thoroughbred
I recently filled a void in my life. I sponsored a retired Throroughbred at the Maker's Mark Secretariat Center at the Kentucky Horse Park. Not only did I fill a void in my life, I'm actually helping save a life.
In the process I also met two wonderful people, Susanna Thomas and Melissa DeCarlo, who work there. And I do mean work.
Do yourself and your family a favor. Visit the Secretariat Center and give serious thought to sponsoring a retired Thoroughbred. Lie down at night knowing you're helping save a life. Yeah, you are saving a life.
Proud of unions
I have been a union member for nearly 27 years working for a large retail company. Without a union, I would hate to think what my hourly wage would be, or how much I would have to pay for my health care. My pension wouldn't exist without a union, not to mention job security and workers' rights.
Union road crew workers and carpenters deserve $35 to $45 per hour. I'm sure at that wage they're considered just middle class. And let's talk about autoworkers for General Motors. The $120 per hour some refer to in their comments is hourly wage, health care and pension contributions combined.
I'm sure if you figured wages, health care, 401(k) and free child care from Toyota, it wouldn't be far from GM wages.
I am tired of reading Democrat- and union-bashing articles from people who have forgotten which party put this country into its current shape. I'm very proud to be a dues-paying union member. If you're not a member, then join one today and take advantage of the benefits of bargaining for a better way of life.
In case of emergency ...
We have heard a lot of arguments about health care and government overreach. Twenty-six governors and lots of politicians seem to be convinced that the federal government, in particular, simply has no place in health care.
These folks claim they don't have any problem with health care, as long as the government keeps its hands off. So, let me see if I understand.
My wife and I are sitting at the dinner table and she suddenly keels headfirst into her mashed potatoes. What do I do?
Depends. If I know that the EMTs in my area are volunteers, I immediately call 911. If the EMTs work for the city, I hesitate a moment and then call 911. If the EMTs work for the county, I think about it a few seconds and then call 911. If the EMTs work for the state, I agonize for a minute and then call 911.
If the EMTs are federal employees, I pat her on her head, say "I love you dear, I wish I could help you, but it just wouldn't be right"
Well that's just stupid, you say? But there are only two differences between this stupid story and the people fighting health care reform.
First, it is my wife and not theirs. After all, they have access to affordable health care.
Second, they drag out the decision for years through courts and Congress instead of making it immediately at the time of need.