GOP puts itself into politically selfish bind
It was a selfishly immature act for Republican representatives and senators to sign a no-tax increase pledge; and, it is a selfishly immature act for GOP presidential candidates and legislative leaders to base their entire campaigns on the goal of making Barack Obama a "one and done" president.
The first act has drawn a wide and deep line in the sand that removes any hope of raising the debt limit while being able to solve our national debt crisis. The second act simply shows they are against everything the president has done and proposes to do.
That is all they said during the GOP debate and what they are still saying in response to reporters' questions. They have no plans or goals to correct either our debt crisis or our fragile economy, both of which they were complicit in creating.
Both actions continue to display how deeply the GOP feels for the extremely wealthy and highly profitable businesses at the continued expense of the lower and middle class of hourly and salaried wage earners who have sacrificed already in stagnant incomes, loss of benefits, jobs and proportionately higher taxes.
Unfair to jobless
In the beginning months of 2009 I quit my job at a local factory because I was having pregnancy complications. While off for the last few months of my pregnancy (and the short period after) my baby-sitter found a new job.
It made more sense for me to become a stay-at-home mom because my husband made enough to support our family of four.
Two and a half years later I have been seeking employment since April of this year because my husband had to switch jobs.
I often get shut down with a statement like, "You haven't had a job in two years?"
I'm sorry but I fail to see the problem with my "lack of current work history."
People have treated me with disrespect and have told me they cannot help me and that I have wasted their time.
Discrimination is illegal in the United States, and that is exactly what is happening to me and many others who do not have "current work histories." I am not asking for a handout, I only want what I earn, but before I can prove myself the local companies need to give me a chance and stop giving the unemployed a cold shoulder.
I am on the brink of losing everything I have because somebody is looking down their nose at me, though I am no less of a person than they are. This needs to stop.
Yay for Trader Joe's
Twenty years ago, I wandered into a Trader Joe's store in California. So began a retail love affair of many years.
When I moved to Kentucky I thought I'd lost Trader Joe's forever, until I discovered the one in Cincinnati. Since then my family has made periodic trips to shop there.
We were not the only ones. We have overheard other Lexingtonians planning such trips.
We greeted the Herald-Leader's front-page story of a planned Lexington Trader Joe's with near-screaming joy. Already, we consider ourselves in the queue for opening day. Welcome, Joe, and thanks to the paper for the good news.
In the latest edition of Asbury University's magazine, Ambassador, a father wrote a touching story about his wife's pregnancy. She had a medical emergency that threatened her life and that of her baby. In their time of need, the family found an outpouring of aid from the Asbury community.
Thankfully, both the baby and the mother survived. The support they received from the Asbury community was commendable. However, not everyone in need finds that same support.
During the 2010-11 school year, Asbury staff tried to expel an unmarried student who became pregnant. The U.S. Department of Education forbids discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, so Asbury was not able to remove her.
But the message was clear; Asbury University would support her in no way because she was unmarried and visibly pregnant.
The same community at Asbury that helped one mother in need would not help another. The young woman, rightly outraged, dropped out.
The author of the Ambassador article says, "Community is a hard word to define." For Asbury University it is not. Their community only encompasses those who closely follow their unforgiving, selective, and narrow moral standards. Unwed mothers during their time of need are not welcome in their community.
It gets worse. The father of the unwed woman's child was never asked to leave and continues at Asbury. This situation reflects an administrative culture of rigid intolerance that falls far from the supposed Christian standards of compassion the university attempts, but fails to uphold.
Asbury University class of 2006
Delve into rankings
In what we can only hope will be the last hurrah of list-mania, Tom Eblen announced that Forbes magazine had listed Lexington as No. 4 on its list of Top 25 cities for businesses and careers. When Eblen examines Forbes' rankings methodology, let us hope he does not miss the opportunity to talk about what larger significance the Forbes article may hold.
Eblen can do so much more with the information that is provided, such as examining if our exceptionally high job-growth ranking will have any positive impact on our historically high unemployment rate, or if our equally low economic-growth ranking could do the opposite.
And even if these rankings mean little and were created arbitrarily, data were still used to create them and a closer examination of the data might give us more meaningful information than would commentary on the difficulty of comparing two cities.
Kevorkian a hero
Jack Kevorkian was both compassionate and courageous.
His intent was not to advocate "being killed by a doctor," as one recent letter put it, but to allow patients who are dying in unrelenting and untreatable agony to decide when they have had enough, and to die peacefully.
The doctors would honor the patient's decision, not make this decision themselves.
Kevorkian was a hero. He risked his career and his freedom to break new ground and open dialogue about our barbaric practice in this country of prolonging the deaths of patients suffering from intractable pain.
Scare tactics have been used as weapons against universal health care by unscrupulous politicians in their inflammatory diatribes about "death panels."
One need only research the Compassion and Choices organization (formerly the Hemlock Society) to understand this loving and humane movement.
Not once do they advocate anyone other than the patient making the most important individual decision possible.