Entering country illegally is a crime in itself
A recent story on illegal aliens and deportation laws has me completely confused on exactly what the term "illegal" actually means.
The story reflected on several communities around the country, one of which was Lexington, that are part of the Secure Communities program. This program allows law enforcement to cross-reference someone arrested with the citizenship database to see whether they are here legally.
Sounds good to me. But many advocates are concerned this infringes on civil rights, will lead to racial profiling and deport people who have not even been convicted of a crime or have not committed a serious crime.
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Are critics of this program actually saying entering the country illegally is not a crime in itself? Illegal aliens, by virtue of how they got here, have already committed a serious crime and really should not be given a single chance at breaking another law in the United States. How do they have any defense at all, whether found guilty or innocent of the crime with which they were originally charged, when simply breathing in the U.S. constitutes an illegal act?
Whatever the concerns are about the program, they should be utterly outweighed by the absolute fact that illegal aliens have already committed a serious crime. In fact, unless the new charge is extraordinarily serious, simply send them back to their country of origin so we can save taxpayer money to use on legal criminals.
Now that is an oxymoron if I ever saw one.
Deport more of them
In reference to a May 13 article: Only 41 illegal residents were deported? We need to see many more deportations than that in Lexington.
We have thousands of illegal residents here, and I do not understand why only 41 have been deported. It is illegal for them to be here. That is breaking the law and. I am so sick of pandering to illegal residents.
Their home countries would not tolerate us infiltrating there. And to those who say the Southwest belongs to Mexico: Baloney.
It is the people of this nation, our true citizens, who have made that area worth having. If it had remained under Mexican rule, it would be in the same dump Mexico is now and they would be saying the Midwest or the Southern states were theirs.
Let's stop making children who are born to illegal residents automatic citizens.
If the federal government refuses to do its job of securing our borders, then the states must rise to the occasion.
Patricia A. McCauley
Cure for what ailed me
The March 22 commentary by Charles Koch, benefactor of conservative politics, was a wonderful public service effort on the part of the Herald-Leader.
I had been dealing with a bad stomach all night, and Koch's column of self-serving half truths and outright lies wrapped in love of country did the trick. I threw up for 15 minutes.
It appears the "Rapture" predicted for May 21 has been postponed. Or maybe the calculations were inaccurate.
Human beings make mistakes, after all. That reminds me of something my third-grade teacher liked to say about disappointments, failures and follies: "It was a learning experience."
If we learned something from this "Rapture" prediction, maybe it's something like this. Literal interpretations of scripture are often not very practical.
It seems we are expected to balance the ancient wisdom with the real-life experiences of our own times.
Health care not a right
Our rights as Americans are eloquently spelled out in the Virginia Declaration of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, and they are codified in the Constitution and its amendments.
They come to us from our creator, whether it be "God" or "Nature"; they do not come from a king or other men, who are subject to whim.
Medical care is a professional service. Unlike our constitutional rights, medical care costs money. It consists of physician fees and a lot of other stuff — drugs, supplies, rents, nurse salaries, etc.
It costs my neighbor nothing if I stand on a corner and speak my mind, but it might cost him a lot if I am on Medicare and I get sick.
To presume a "right to medical care" is to acknowledge a sick man's legal claim to a doctor and a lot of other stuff, potentially paid for by someone else.
Your editorial correctly pointed out that physicians are not slaves because they are free to eschew participation in government insurance programs, which is to say they are free these days to have few patients. But you admit the corollary: Any future attempt to tie professional licensing with participation in Medicare and Medicaid would constitute involuntary servitude — a violation of the 13th Amendment.
Does a right to health care enslave? Only if you consider the man who toils, and is taxed, to pay for another man's physical comfort a slave.
Cameron S. Schaeffer
A right to a healthy life
In Sen. Rand Paul's latest rant, in which he equates providing health care with slavery, he notes that the founding fathers included the pursuit of happiness as a fundamental right, one that is not the same as physical comfort.
Leaving aside the crass reduction of one's health to a matter of comfort, one might remind the senator that another fundamental right the preamble to the Constitution asserts is that to life.
Preserving and promoting one's health is rather indispensable to the pursuit of life.
But that does not figure in the senator's calculus which consists of a reckless chasing after an (Ayn) Randian dystopia in which the individual is at full liberty to live in a Hobbesian world controlled by insurance companies, multinationals, financial giants and coal barons — the very "persons" to whom the senator owes his current office. Talk about freedom.
Robert Emmett Curran
A bounty on texters?
Are we ticketing texters? Is it just that I am always where the "texting while driving" folks are, or is the recently passed legislation being ignored?
Recently, in a 50-mile jaunt around Lexington, I saw one guy reading a book (should be illegal, I guess) while driving on I-75 at 70 mph, another one using an iPad while driving the same road, a couple of different people using their cells to text while driving.
I'm sure I am not the only one who sees these infractions, but I'm equally sure an unmarked car cruising around town would see all of this and much, much more on any given day.
Maybe a bounty for turning these abusers in is in order. Would that eventually stop this extremely unsafe habit before someone else gets badly injured or killed?
Whether the driver is harmed or harms someone else, the result is the same — failure to obey the law has caused a needless fatality or injury.
If I can see this many infractions in an hour or so on just the roads I traversed, how many more could that unmarked car find working 24/7?
I'd rather see their lives spared than collect the bounty, but something with some real impact has to be done.
We are literally texting ourselves to death.
Not cute at all
Have you ever asked a first-grader what he would do with $1,000? Chances are, you'd get answers like "buy a race car," "take a trip to the moon," "buy a gun and a tank and an airplane," "build a new house," "buy all of the Barbie dolls in the world" or "feed all the hungry people."
It's unbearably cute. It's also clear that 6- and 7-year olds don't quite understand how far $1,000 will (or rather, won't) go. Most of them will want to do several of these things with the same $1,000.
Why does this analogy come to mind when I hear Gov. Steve Beshear is excited about state revenues being up slightly? For some reason, it's not nearly as cute when he acts the same way with my money.
Bush was bin Laden's enabler
I write in response to the May 15 letter stating we should not ignore President George W. Bush's role in killing Osama bin Laden. I agree Bush shouldn't be ignored. He should be recognized for enabling bin Laden to escape Tora Bora, for giving bin Laden a decade-long head start and for blundering into Iraq. There are military geniuses, but Bush isn't one of them.
As for Republicans being strong on national security, puh-leeze, the Bush nightmare has put that myth to rest along with President Barack Obama's birth certificate and Sasquatch. Obama has done what George W. could not or would not do.
Don't forget that only a year into the hunt for bin Laden, Bush said he didn't care whether we got him or not. Well, I cared and Obama cared. Obama said he'd go in and get him wherever he was, including territory belonging to our "ally," Pakistan.
It's done. Obama did it. Bush only failed — again and again and again.
'We helped, too,' or maybe not
There was a TV commercial many years ago for a coating product for baking chicken and other meats. It showed a mother and two daughters in the kitchen as the mother extolled the wonders of the product and how to use it.
At the end of the pitch, the kids chimed in with the tag line: "We helped, too, didn't we Mamma?" Cue former members of the Bush administration as they swarmed the news talk shows this month loudly proclaiming, "We helped, too, didn't we, Obama?" concerning the belated demise of Osama bin Laden.
It all sounded quite touchy and defensive. Amusing enough to remind me of the cited commercial. Perhaps disappointed University of Kentucky basketball fans can use this line of thinking to claim a share of the NCAA championship credit for "preparing the groundwork" for the University of Connecticut win.
David A Browning
I could not believe it when a letter writer asked us "not to ignore Bush role in finding bin Laden." Really? It's not tongue-in-cheek or sarcasm, but the viewpoint of someone who obviously drank the Kool-Aid Fox News dispenses nightly.
Aside from a reference to enhanced interrogation techniques, the writer did not provide any facts of what apparatus former President George W. Bush put in place that led to finding Osama bin Laden. However, on the Senate floor, Sen. John McCain stated: "None of the crucial information that led the Central Intelligence Agency down the trail to Osama bin Laden came from coercive interrogation techniques."
The identity of the courier Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, the man who ultimately enabled us to find Bin Laden, came from a detainee held in another country. That, too, probably wasn't reported on Fox News but in the "liberal" media, or should we say the real news media.
What liberals object to is wiretapping and spying on U.S. citizens without probable cause and judicial oversight. It's the pesky document called the Constitution.
However, Bush should receive all the credit for invading a country that had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks, all the deaths stemming from that invasion, doubling the deficit, ruinous tax cuts and disastrous domestic policies. Bush talked, Obama accomplished. Now it's appropriate to say "Mission accomplished."
James F. Wisniewski
Bin Laden won; Americans lost
There were an estimated 2,998 lives lost in the Sept. 11 attacks. Over 4,000 American soldiers have died in Iraq, an estimated 33,000 American soldiers have been wounded and the suicide rate has increased dramatically.
And only God knows how many cases of post-traumatic stress disorder will occur in these soldiers. If Vietnam is any example, it will be astronomical.
The majority of the 17 hijackers were from Saudia Arabia, which we did not invade.
We were lied to by an American president and his administration and invaded a country which had absolutely nothing to do with the attacks, yet the American public says absolutely nothing.
Even though Osama bin Laden was killed, he won.
Remember also an estimated 100,000 Iraqi and Afghanistan civilians died under our bombs in countries which did not invade us. Americans: Do you still say you won?
My reaction to this war is just like it was back in the 1960s.
American mothers and fathers then said nothing. And they, in turn, had a large part in the 58,186 deaths, the more than 150,000 wounded, countless cases of PTSD and Agent Orange deaths.
It was the protesting kids who stopped that war. I wonder how long this war would have gone on if there had been a draft? I say no more than six months.