The foundation of a nation turns 235 years old
The winds of political change were blowing with increasing strength across colonial America in 1776. By the middle of that year, they had become gale-force winds. Americans, feeling "a long train of abuses and usurpations" from a despotic government in Great Britain, longed for freedom and the opportunity for self-determination.
Those longings came to fruition on July 4, 1776, when the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence.
That declaration, signed by 56 colonial patriots who recognized that by their action they risked their lives, fortunes and sacred honor, accomplished two important things: It broke political ties with Great Britain, and it established four basic principles upon which a new nation known as the United States of America was established.
Those principles, recognized by those colonial patriots as self-evident truths, are:
All men are created equal.
They are endowed with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed.
That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to replace it.
The Declaration of Independence, consisting of a mere 1,364 words, has become known as "the best known and the noblest of American State papers." The basic principles it set forth have been for 235 years the solid foundation stones of a nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.
May it ever remain so.
Regarding putting in more seating for the handicapped in the upper level of Rupp Arena: Why are they putting them upstairs? Put them on the floor.
Is it that these seats would be too valuable for the university to give up? I thought all tickets to events are the same price.
If I were in a wheelchair, I would want to be on the floor or close to it. Just something to think about.
Timothy B. Nickoson Sr.
Bill attacks legal act
In response to a June 22 letter concerning U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler's vote on the so-called No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act: I say "so-called" because, as the letter writer is no doubt well aware, there is no taxpayer funding for abortion.
What this act attempts to do is to stop insurance companies from covering reproductive services even when the policyholder pays for the policy out of his or her own pocket.
So what it amounts to is that people like this letter writer want to stop insurance companies from covering a perfectly legal medical procedure because of their personal objection to it.
What if I decided that insurance companies should not cover in-vitro fertilization? Would I have the right to agitate for my followers to cut off such funding? Most people would say no, that is none of your business, and that's exactly what I say to the letter writer and others.
I would like to thank Chandler and Rep. John Yarmuth for voting against this travesty of a bill.
Check for radon
The American Lung Association in Kentucky is pleased to see that nine federal agencies are working together under a new plan to tackle radon.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration and the departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior and Veterans Affairs are collaborating to address a problem that we know all too well in Kentucky.
Kentucky leads the nation in lung cancer, and radon is a leading cause, second only to smoking.
Approximately 42 percent of all Kentucky homes test above the EPA's action level, while nationwide only 7 percent of homes test above that level.
This means that nearly half of Kentuckians are exposed to toxic levels of radioactive radon.
While we encourage our federal agencies to act more aggressively to protect public health from needless exposure to radon, we applaud state Rep. Steve Riggs for passing radon legislation during Kentucky's 2011 legislative session.
His work, with support from the lung association, the Kentucky Association of Radon Professionals and many other health groups, is a step in the right direction toward eliminating radon exposure.
The EPA estimates that it costs an average of $51,290 to treat each radon-induced lung cancer patient. Reducing radon exposure saves the commonwealth health care costs and. more importantly, lives.
Test your home for radon. If the results are higher than 4 pCi/L, have your home fixed by a qualified radon professional.
American Lung Association in Kentucky Louisville
Pursue the positive
I hope the Herald-Leader puts as much effort into celebrating Coach John Calipari's official 500th win as sportswriter Jerry Tipton did in his pursuit of the NCAA's request to have it removed for vacated wins.
Tipton is such a negative reporter for your paper. Maybe you should think about hiring someone who actually likes the University of Kentucky basketball team.
Plan the party
Regarding the NCAA's decision not to allow the University of Kentucky to recognize John Calipari's 500th victory: No worries, we can just have a redo celebration next spring with more publicity and cake for all.
Melissa A. Brown