Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Feb. 28

Stop prison company from taking private jobs

Kentuckians might know by now the story of Ashland Sales and Service, the company in Olive Hill that manufactures jackets for the Air Force that we learned this month might close because a government-owned company called Federal Prison Industries threatened to underbid them on the contract.

Federal Prison Industries can underbid a company like Ashland because it uses convicts for labor and pays between 23 cents and $1.15 an hour for the work.

Fortunately, publicity in newspapers around the state and outrage from ordinary citizens created enough political pressure that FPI decided not to bid on the contract, saving about 100 jobs in Olive Hill.

Unfortunately, Federal Prison Industries is at it again, this time bidding on a contract for T-shirts held by Campbellsville Apparel Company in Taylor County.

Beyond the sheer wrong of a government-owned company competing against a private enterprise, there is this to consider: if Federal Prison Industries fails to secure this contract, the convicts will still be in prison paying for their misdeeds and receiving food, clothing and shelter, sorry as it may be.

If Campbellsville fails to secure the contract, many workers there will lose their jobs, and the food, clothing and shelter of their families will be in jeopardy. Where is the justice in that?

I hope the people of Kentucky will call and write their respective Congress members demanding they put a stop to this. I am.

David Dickson

Bowling Green

Everyone benefits

Recently the Herald-Leader ran an Associated Press item, "UK will include closed-captioning on stadium screens."

This was indeed good news, not just for the deaf fans. As with other accommodations made for the deaf under the Americans With Disabilities Act, everyone benefits.

For example, they fought hard to get closed-captioning on television. Others argued it only benefited a small portion of the population.

What was not taken into consideration was the number of hard-of-hearing viewers who could enjoy their favorite television programs as well, not to mention the many hearing people who could enjoy shows in spite of noise in the room.

How many, I wonder, have been grateful for the ability to switch the TV to captioning to compensate for a muffled soundtrack or actors with heavy accents. I am sure the captioning for the scoreboards will have the same impact.

Jewel Vanderhoef


Disservice to blacks

John Johnson, executive director of Kentucky's Commission on Human Rights, should resign for writing such blather in his Feb. 11 commentary on fighting for justice.

He mentions blacks of history who overcame great odds and "climbed the rough side of the mountain in the face of grueling obstacles."

But, he continues, today's generations of blacks have not been able to overcome their biggest hurdle: racism. "Prejudice still obstructs African-Americans' lives," he writes. As if all other races have a yellow brick road laid out for them.

Give me a break, please. Take a trip up the hollers of Appalachia and tell me how easy it is for all those white folks to climb their mountains of prejudice, poverty and pills.

When is this same old tired racism rant going to end? The fact remains that blacks' biggest hurdle isn't white. It's black. And it's primarily black leaders like Jesse Jackson, Sheila Jackson Lee, Al Sharpton and, yes, Johnson, who continue to enable black children by teaching that they are victims and instilling in them the attitudes of losers and dependents.

And they do this while enriching themselves on the backs of the people they pretend to represent.

Today's America presents the greatest opportunity for all races than at any time in the history of the world, especially for blacks.

They should throw off their chains of victimhood, escape the plantation of black enablers, quit listening to these legions of black charlatans, take personal responsibility and truly overcome.

Gerald Belcher


God's science

A Feb. 8 letter to the editor said faith and science were not intertwined. I have to differ.

There are many scientific statements in the Bible written before the world of science, proving that God knows more about science than man does.

For example, in Job 26:7, it states, God hung the Earth on nothing. How in the world did Job know that? He was inspired by God.

Isaiah 40:22 spoke of how God sits enthroned above the circle of the earth. This at a time when man thought the earth was flat.

And in Psalm 8:8, David spoke of all the creatures that swim the paths of the sea. Man later studied and discovered that there indeed are currents or paths in the oceans.

These are only a few indications of God's wisdom and knowledge of science. If you study the Bible for yourself, you will find many more. Much more.

Marie Garland


Gas guzzling

Here we go again. Gas prices are on the rise and you can blame the GOP. Republicans blocked legislation that would have reined in speculators, who cause a lot of the spikes in the price for oil.

Stupid people will blame Barack Obama instead of the GOP.

Ditch Sen. Mitch McConnell and the rest of the GOP.

Lynn Congleton


Save resource centers

As the Kentucky House of Representatives is formulating its version of the fiscal 2013-14 budget, the Family Resource Youth Services Centers face possible cuts.

As a FRYSC partner, our organization is pleased to affirm its support for the centers and their programs.

Children, Incorporated is a non-profit organization that provides resources for children in need. Since 1964, our resources are delivered effectively through grass-roots affiliations with established institutions.

In the United States we are currently affiliated with more than 180 schools and centers in 11 states and the District of Columbia.

In Kentucky, we began working with the centers shortly after the Kentucky Education Reform Act was passed in 1990. Our first affiliations were in Pike County (1991-92); these have grown steadily while remaining focused in Eastern Kentucky.

Our database from 1999 through 2011 shows that Children, Incorporated sent to Eastern Kentucky FRYSCs funds and commodities in the amount of $10 million.

Identified students receive our organization's assistance through the FRYSCs' "basic needs and educational support" program.

Additionally, our sponsors' mentorship and encouragement, supervised safely through the FRYSCs, support students' self-esteem, ambition and goals.

Children, Incorporated has also partnered with the FRYSCs on a higher-education initiative. We are currently providing modest higher education stipends to two young people who were enrolled in our program and who are currently attending college. We provided assistance to five others who have graduated from college.

The FRYSCs are without question among our most successful and valued partnerships.

Renée Kube

Richmond, Va.