Letters to the Editor

Letters to editor: June 22

Voters will reject Chandler for vote against pro-life bill

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed historic pro-life legislation. The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act establishes a permanent government-wide ban on taxpayer funding for abortion, bans federal subsidies for health plans that include abortion and strengthens conscience protections for health care professionals. The final vote was 251-175.

This bipartisan, common sense legislation overwhelmingly reflects the view of American taxpayers, who refuse to be complicit in the destruction of innocent human life.

The vote among House Republicans was unanimous — all 235 Republicans voted to approve the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. Sixteen courageous Democrats broke with their party and voted with the Republicans to block federal funds for abortion.

Kentucky has only two elected officials in Washington who are Democrats, Representatives Ben Chandler and John Yarmuth. Both Chandler and Yarmuth voted against this bill.

Chandler narrowly won re-election in 2010. His challenger, Andy Barr, would have voted to approve the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.

In a lagging economy, Chandler's vote reflects his staunch belief that federal funding of insurance policies that cover elective abortions is a good use of taxpayer dollars.

These funds will be offered by the insurance exchanges of health care reform in a few short years.

The majority of Kentucky citizens do not agree with Chandler and will remember this when he is up for re-election in 2012.

Diana Maldonado

President, Right to Life of Central Kentucky


Farmer's lax attitude

Again, Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer gets his name in the paper for all the wrong reasons, most recently for not reporting or paying taxes on his personal use of a state vehicle for six years.

If I had received a letter from the state auditor indicating that I wasn't reporting fringe benefits, and if I had done my share of record keeping properly, I surely would have done my own investigation to find out why the IRS was not receiving the information I recorded.

To receive three letters from the auditor regarding the same problem indicates Farmer's attitude is, "Because I can."

Farmer has been in state government for quite a while and surely knows sometimes you must do the job yourself if it's to get done properly. Or, perhaps, he is too lazy and just doesn't care.

I have seen a political ad on television depicting a man who says we must grasp fiscal responsibility now before it's too late. But does Farmer have a clue about how state government works and that one is supposed to follow the laws?

Ira Fink


Democratic denial

It is often said these days that our government is dysfunctional because bipartisanship is dead. I am compelled to agree with this bleak assessment, but unlike most people these days I blame the general public more than the politicians in Washington.

As the early Greek philosopher Plato once said, "The partisan, when he is engaged in a dispute, cares nothing about the rights of the question, but is anxious only to convince his hearers of his own assertions."

Exemplifying that observation are the many Democrats who avoid discussing President Barack Obama's disastrous economic policies while continuing to blame former president George W. Bush for our economic crisis.

They conveniently forget that their own party controlled both houses of Congress during the two years prior to presidential hopeful John McCain's defeat, and, that during that time, Bush repeatedly warned congressional leaders that a banking crisis might result from their free-lending, free-spending policies.

Not that Bush escapes culpability, but the blame game isn't getting us anywhere, except perhaps to a place where, as Plato also said, "Democracy passes into despotism."

John Hitz


Coal: selfish 'friend'

In every friendship there is give and take. With this philosophy, I am vexed by the supposed friendship many Kentuckians claim to have with coal. Many bumper stickers proclaim such a relationship, but I wonder what they mean.

Was coal there when you were in a crisis? Did coal attend your wedding or send your child a birthday card?

When friends of mine feel it necessary to publicize only their positive virtues, I find they are concealing some lesser qualities they would prefer left unknown.

It seems coal, with its browbeating billboards and bumper-sticker campaigns, is acting much like an insecure friend.

If coal were my friend, I would ask what was wrong. What are you not proud of? How could you feel more comfortable with your role in society? With these questions, only a true friend could ask, a friend of coal might help their partner address its shortcomings, relinquishing the need to endlessly self-promote.

Erich Misner


Charity begins at home

Recently, I listened to a BBC newscast about the need for richer countries to spend more money sending vaccines to poorer countries.

While I agree they do need help and am glad that people care, I find it ironic that right here in this rich country thousands of people cannot afford health care and suffer with all kinds of medical problems because of it. And if they do manage to get health care that they can't afford, they are hounded to pay the bill even though they have nothing.

I would like to see a little more genuine caring right here in this rich country.

Vivienne Skidmore


No value in crane hunt

I have lived in Kentucky for more than 35 years. I've never seen a sandhill crane. Two friends of mine have witnessed flocks of cranes landing on their farms. Then the birds moved on.

As someone who has gone fishing since she was a child, I'm not holier-than-thou when it comes to killing what I intend to eat.

But I fail to see the benefit of shooting at beautiful birds that are neither an aggravation nor a necessary source of food. Plus, these birds may foster the kind of eco-tourism that Kentucky desperately needs.

Your reporter notes: "Many hunters countered that making sandhill cranes a hunted bird gives those animals value. There will be more money spent on land conservation to protect the cranes." Oh, I see: we are conserving their habitat, so we can hunt them.

Commissioner Stephen Glenn says Kentucky Fish and Wildlife could reverse course, acknowledging, "We are not afraid to say that we made a mistake." What a comfort.

I expect some bureaucrat prattled something similar many years ago about the passenger pigeon — after it was way too late.

To me and thousands of other people, sandhill cranes already have value. Where is the evidence to show that shooting 400 of them would somehow be helpful or "conservative"?

Patsy Lee Anderson