United Way must focus on charities, not businesses
The admission by Greg Dixon, chairman of the United Way of the Bluegrass board, that he wants non-profits to "do anything and everything possible to help" businesses ("Good business environment means stronger non-profits," Nov. 25), may have come as a surprise.
Most non-profits who benefit from United Way fund-raising are engaged in helping families and children by doing anything and everything to improve education, family stability, health, nutrition and welfare of disadvantaged persons.
Perhaps many do give a thought to "boosting our community's businesses" but are presently too busy helping the hungry and handicapped.
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If Dixon would spend less time clinking wine glasses with officers of the Federal Reserve Bank and pay a visit to a homeless shelter or addiction recovery center, he could come to a new view of the critical concerns of non-profit organizations.
The real issue of declining donations lays not so much with the true concerns of non-profits but with the intent of United Way donors, who are the working people of Central Kentucky. No doubt their intention, like mine, was for donations to be reserved for distribution to truly charitable organizations, leaving the business community to do its own self-promotion.
I hope other donors will not find the United Way's new emphasis on improving commercial operations as offensive as it seems to me.
Donors do have a choice, and can easily give directly to helping organizations, but those who read Dixon's comments may well be disappointed enough to stop giving at all.
At the Thanksgiving table I realized how much the definition of family has changed. My family is a blended one that includes a daughter who was adopted from China.
Next to me sat my friend and her husband from Africa. Not that long ago neither of us would have been legally or socially allowed to build these families that have given us so many blessings.
Farther down the table were another dear friend and her partner. They have been together longer than the first two families. Unfortunately, they cannot have their union legally recognized and celebrated.
If you think back to the first Thanksgiving, you also see a blending of cultures and traditions. Different individuals came together to celebrate and give thanks for their blessings, friendship and families. From then until now the family has changed, yet each family loves and supports its members, and cherishes their uniqueness.
Researchers like Ellen D.B. Riggle, Sharon S. Rostosky and Bernadette Barton have repeatedly demonstrated the devastating toll that discrimination takes on minority members of society. Other researchers, like Gregory M. Herek, Jeanine C. Cogan and J. Roy Gills have demonstrated the inability of hate-crime legislation to protect individuals who don't enjoy legal protection from discrimination.
Isn't it time that Kentucky adds legal protection from discrimination for our LGBT family members? Six states have given full equality, and civilization didn't end.
It really doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that politicians have sold taxpayers out to special interests.
In America, even the town drunk is a taxpayer when he buys his liquor, and all taxpayers should get nervous when a politician spends $10 million to get a job with a base pay of $400,000 a year.
They should also get very angry when they see politicians command the military and law enforcement officers to keep taxpayers in line with brutal actions. You can see what happens with this sort of leadership by just watching TV news.
What can you do about it? If you find out, tell me so I can join you.
Sympathies to the young
Some of us are pretty average, and have been all our lives.
We started working at 14, worked all our productive lives for the idea of doing as much as our parents had done, perhaps more.
We paid our taxes without trying to get special breaks, volunteered for duty in Vietnam because we thought we should, and maybe raised hell once or twice (or more).
After doing some research, I see that almost every member of our federal government — House, Senate and presidential advisers — are in the top 1 percent, the financial power elite. This was, I believe, not true in the 1960s and '70s.
My sincerest sympathies go to our younger generation.
I believe we have reached the point in modern times when one who raids or dissipates a pension plan should be eligible for the death penalty.
Such a legislative move would make some chief executive officers eligible for execution by adding this conduct to the list of potential death penalty offenses.
Presumably, upon conviction, the execution would be carried out by lethal injection. But it might also be carried out in the electric chair. Either method would be fitting.
This may sound harsh, but think of the lives that these CEOs ruin by not safeguarding company pensions. Many people who might otherwise oppose the death penalty might favor it for these cases.
Additionally, these CEOs would have the best legal defense that money can buy. Thus, we would not have the nagging thought that perhaps the wrong person was executed.
William E. Doyle
Corporate tax facts
"We are all entitled to our own opinions, but not our own facts" is attributed to the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y.
Therefore, I would like to give Richard Dawahare some assistance on "facts" he stated in his recent column ("Too many conservatives now abandon conservative values," Nov. 24).
He stated, "... that most American taxpayers pay more federal income taxes than GE, Boeing, Dupont, Wells Fargo, Verizon, (and many others) combined."
I took 30 minutes to determine the accuracy of his statement per each of these company's 10-K filings for the year 2010 and found that Dupont paid $659 million in income taxes, Boeing paid $1.196 billion, Wells Fargo paid $6.338 billion and Verizon paid $2.467 billion.
I don't have access to all American tax returns for the year 2010 but I do feel comfortable in stating that not one American pays even the paltry $659 million that Dupont paid.
Since 51 percent of Americans don't pay any income tax, Dawahare can say that most Americans pay the same income tax that GE pays, which was nothing in 2010.
By the way, GE contributes more money to Democrats than Republicans and until recently owned left-leaning NBC. Do you think there is a connection?
Dawahare also erred when he said that Republicans were not in favor of extending the payroll tax holiday in 2012.
Like all Americans, Dawahare is entitled to his own political opinion, but if he is going to attempt to base it on facts, those facts should be accurate.