Barn-fire safety measures might protect animals
The Kentucky Derby will soon be here, and once more the world's eyes will be upon the horse capital of the world.
So, can someone please tell me why, in what seems like month after month, we are confronted with the horrific news of yet more devastating barn fires? ("Barn fire kills 19 Saddlebreds at Perryville horse farm," March 8.)
Even if it's only a business — as if one does not or cannot love these animals simply because they are beautiful creatures — why isn't this investment fully protected?
Surely there are various devices that try to minimize these horrific disasters. Sprinkler systems, smoke alarms that sound in your home to alert you, remote control devices that can release the horses' gates, giving the animals a chance to escape before the flames erupt, incapacitating them with fear, leaving them unable to flee.
The news media never mentions whether such preventive measures were in place. If they were, they were either not working or not effective, or both.
If the owners or investors will not take the necessary measures, if insurance companies do not insist on this, then perhaps it is time the state took charge to protect these valuable creatures.
Animals do not have voices; they do have feelings. They sense the smoke way before you do. The panic and fear, the pain the hapless animals experienced in yet another barn fire is plainly inexcusable.
It is way past time to provide better protection for these noble creatures.
Democrats want some monetary security for one's old age, health care for all ages, a decent living wage and integrity in government.
Social Security you have paid for already. Health insurers have ripped you off along with everyone else, and many can't afford it now. Unions have been the most instrumental way to obtain decent wages from employers, who would just as soon reap huge profits and let you go hungry.
Democrats want environmental protection, food safety and other regulations to make life better and safer.
Republicans intend to destroy Medicare, Social Security, food safety, bank regulations, anti-pollution measures that make life better and safer — they call all this Big Government — but they won't cut the military budget by 50 percent and save real money.
Republicans are anti-science. They don't care about climate change, since pollution means profits. Republicans don't care about population growth so severe that in just 40 years the Earth may not be able to feed its 9 billion people.
Republicans worship big medicine, big industry, big military and those tiny pre-babies, while they let adults die for lack of health care. They fought tooth and nail against health care reform but had no plan of their own. They wanted medicine to stay the way it is: big, ridiculously expensive, fraudulent and filled with lobbyists. And if you can't pay, just die and get out of the way.
Keith A. Williams
Fueled by speculation
There is a call to open our emergency oil supplies to bring down the price at the pumps. That's not going to happen.
There is no shortage of oil causing the price spike — it's the speculation on the futures market. Regulation of this type of trading was voted down by Republican lawmakers; keep that in mind every time you pay for gas.
Besides, if the oil from Alaska was pumped to the States instead of shipped to Japan and elsewhere there would be even more oil on the U.S. market.
Money to be made
The Herald-Leader typically reports only negative news about the coal industry. A March 5 article ("State reviewing land swap with coal company") omitted a very important benefit to the commonwealth.
If the estimated 418,993 tons mined by Blue Diamond Coal Co. as a result of the "swap" is correct, the severance tax paid to the commonwealth was at least $950,000, using a conservative $50/ton sales price.
This property swap revelation brings up another possible way for the commonwealth to generate revenues that could reduce the budget deficit. If an audit was undertaken of all of the surface and mineral rights belonging to Kentucky (property not taxed) there would be many acres, like those involved in the Blue Diamond swap, that, if sold, could be used to pay down the current and future deficits.
The property taxes inherent with private ownership would benefit the counties, the local tax districts and the commonwealth.
James H. Justice
Smoking bans offend
I am a student at Bluegrass Community and Technical College and have been affected by the smoking ban that took place campuswide in August, because I am a smoker.
House Bill 193, which died in committee, called for a statewide ban on smoking in or near the entrances of workplaces and public places, including restaurants, bars, hotels and bingo halls.
It also would have required employers and business owners or managers to tell smokers to extinguish their cigarettes and to call the police if smokers refuse.
Smokers would have been fined $100 for a first offense and $250 for each additional offense.
Employers and business owners or managers would have been fined $250 to $2,500 if they refused to enforce the ban.
This was taking it too far.
Though there are bigger issues to tackle than a ridiculous statewide smoking ban, I propose any future such bill incorporate a designated smoking area, possibly on the side or back of a workplace and/or public place, away from all public entrances.
This would make non-smokers feel more comfortable as they enter a place of business, and allow smokers to feel they are welcome in society as well.
I don't think smoking cigarettes is a good decision, and I don't think it's right to make me feel oppressed about the decisions I make in my life.
This is an easier, more logical answer to this issue.
Facts of life
A letter March 5 saying abortions should be kept legal stated that some women might die through illegal abortions.
Like most who support abortion rights, the writers think entirely of the person who is having the abortion. They totally ignore the fact that whenever an abortion is performed a baby dies.
Abortion is the premeditated murder of a baby in its mother's womb. And that is the fact of it.
I believe that if abortion is outlawed, the number of abortions will drop significantly and the lives of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of babies will be saved.
And, if a few of those having abortions die, well, taking the risk of an illegal abortion is their choice and the consequences are theirs.
There are alternatives to abortion: having the baby and adoption. Killing the baby should not be a legal choice.
Edward L. Smith Jr.