Candidates who back gun rights win elections
Analyses of the Republican debacle and James Comer's triumph have so far missed the 800-pound gorilla at the political kaffeeklatsch: the Second Amendment.
Folks in Kentucky and 40-plus states are realizing that the right to keep and bear arms is the most important of all civil rights, and it's the most endangered.
Imagine that in order to be allowed to go to a church legally you had to be 21 or older, have no criminal record, pay $135 initially and $60 every five years, work eight hours without pay, demonstrate you worship in the government-approved way and affirm in writing that it is the only acceptable way to worship.
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Then freedom of religion would be on the same footing as the right to keep and bear arms.
We want the right to keep and bear arms on the same footing as freedom of religion. Comer was the only Republican candidate who had done more to help us than his opponent.
Jack Conway was the only Democratic candidate who'd helped more than his opponent. Auditor candidate John Kemper said he wanted to make things worse.
These were the races which could make a difference to the right to keep and bear arms. The NRA endorsed Comer and Conway and suggested Adam Edelen. All won.
The Second Amendment brought Republicans their only victory, and guaranteed them two losses. It could have brought them four victories had they chosen candidates who had done something toward restoring our most important civil right.
Bringing prayer to public
On Nov. 12 the unthinkable happened at a football stadium in Pennsylvania. Here the players of two major colleges got down on their knees and — can you believe it? — prayed.
No, this was not, as reported in this newspaper a "moment of silence." It was an actual prayer with the running back coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers leading in a vocal supplication to God.
In the past, references to God have gotten public institutions in trouble with the American Civil Liberties Union, which stopped the posting of the Ten Commandments at a courthouse in Pulaski County.
(One of these commandments is "Thou shalt not steal." Can you imagine how obnoxious this commandment is to those who are in charge of finances of state and national governments? It is no wonder they fight it.)
The prayer before the Penn State-Nebraska game is the type of thing that caused a high school here in Kentucky recently to desist. ACLU is not about to permit that.
I am awaiting a horrific outcry from these defenders of American freedom to the prayer at Beaver Stadium. To be consistent, they will surely file suit against Penn State.
I am reminded of a sign which reportedly showed up in a Nebraska high school. It said, "In the event of a tornado the law against prayer in this building will be temporarily suspended."
Could it be that it will take more major sex scandals or a tornado to get God back into tax-supported schools in America?
John F. Thornbury
I appreciated Karla Ward's article on the life of the late Dot Smith ("Music teacher and Transy benefactor Dorothy Smith dies," Nov. 15).
I think it would be appropriate to remember the many students — perhaps thousands — to whom she communicated her love of and enthusiasm for music and her marvelous wit over her long career.
Time to rethink OWS
With regards to the Occupy Wall Street movement, mayors had been doing some much-needed rethinking. Initially, they seemed to regard the movement and gatherings as totally acceptable. They believed in our right to assemble and protest.
As they saw the movement developing, however, they realized that something needed to be done to restore order.
As the result, more control was ordered and illegal encampments were cleared. The public officials were in no way saying that public outcry and protest is illegal.
They were saying that while people exercise their rights, attention must be given to the rights of others. It should seem logical that the right to protest doesn't give protestors a license to ignore public statutes and public welfare.
It's likely that most of us agree with the rethinking and the resulting actions. But rethinking by protestors and their leaders is needed as well.
Currently it appears the leaders of the group are responding with tantrum-like actions. Increased flouting of the laws, heavy disruption, unreasoning violence are seen in press coverage every day.
Many believing in non-violent protest have left in disgust. Other protesters may well be thinking, "Do I really belong here?"
There is clear evidence of anarchistic trends. Extreme rebellion against the establishment, the fashioning of ones' own laws — these trends call for protester rethinking. "Is this me? Do I really want to be a part of this?"
Merrill O. Challman
Make fathers pay
Since the paternity of children can now be determined via DNA testing, why aren't the wages of more fathers being garnisheed, when necessary, to help pay for the upbringing of their offspring?
The extra money could provide children with a better start in life, with the hope that they will then become fine, productive citizens.
A non-injured veteran who has an income of $35,284 or more does not get any free medical care from Veterans Affairs. He has to pay just like everyone else.
When you make too much money, you do not receive Medicaid.
Why doesn't our government cut off people who earn more than $250,000 a year from Social Security and Medicare?
It could also lift the income limit, so no matter how high your income, you still pay your share. Let's stop pandering to and protecting the rich.
Our current government is a plutocracy, defined as government by the wealthy. In order to restore any semblance of democracy, several changes need to occur.
Election reform would limit the amount of money candidates could spend to campaign.
Our current system allows only the very wealthy to run. The elections cost so much that candidates require large contributions to fund their campaigns. This leads to an expectation of quid pro quo.
Term limits would not allow an elected official to make political office a career. The Founding Fathers had expectations that those who govern would do so for limited periods of time.
Ensure more transparency of lobbying in order that legislation would benefit the citizens of the United States rather than large corporations or special interests.
Many of us are distressed by the state of the union. Change needs to come soon to return our country to a government where "we the people" have representation.