Where is that 'Dixie Chicks' outrage now?
In March 2003, Natalie Maines, the lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, had the audacity to state that "We don't want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the president of the United States [George W. Bush] is from Texas."
Well, the Republican Party went absolutely ballistic. How dare a private citizen express negative feelings about the president of the United States?
Their records were burned, their music ceased to be played on many conservative country music stations, their concerts were canceled and there were calls for their expulsion from the United States.
Fast forward nine years and we have Republicans, including their candidate for the presidency, calling President Barack Obama extraordinarily vile names and telling the most appalling lies.
The body of the ambassador to Libya was not even cold before Mitt Romney began excoriating our president for "apologizing to the perpetrators" and all but causing the attack on the U.S. Embassy.
No matter that none of this was true and that attacking the president in a time of war and crisis is something that just is not done by intelligent, rational people, even one running for president.
So now we see the Republicans for what they are — brazen hypocrites. When a Republican is in office, no one, not even a private citizen, is allowed to criticize him. But when a Democrat is in office there are no constraints on the other side. They feel free to say the most awful things and to lie with impunity.
Every day, the readers are treated to another article designed to increase police spending. Recently it was "Police link heroin epidemic to increase in other crimes." Use of the word "epidemic" is tabloid journalism that the Herald-Leader is known for.
You can't read a balanced article about drug policy and police spending levels because every article has to talk about a "scourge," "plague" or an "epidemic" of drugs. All of these are propaganda terms designed to produce fear and hatred of the non-violent people who choose to use drugs.
They are all terms used to describe diseases, and we all know the implied cure is more police spending, more arrests, more prison spending, more new laws and fewer rights for citizens.
I would like to ask the Herald-Leader to stop being used as a mouthpiece for the police. And if you feel you can't resist the urge to print tabloid-style hype and hysteria disguised as news, then at least balance it with an opposing viewpoint.
Chandler scare tactics
In the words of Ronald Reagan in his 1980 debate with Jimmy Carter, "There you go again." U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler is once again trying to scare senior citizens by telling them that Andy Barr will end traditional Medicare and raise costs for seniors more than $6,000 a year. These are false claims and scare tactics.
Barr supports a bipartisan plan that would make no changes to Medicare for those 55 and older and would preserve traditional Medicare as an option for future generations. The plan he supports would not cost seniors any more, according to the Congressional Budget Office's current analysis.
Even the liberal Herald-Leader labeled Chandler's Medicare attack ad only "half true."
Scaring vulnerable senior citizens is dishonest and shameful. I am proud to support Barr for Congress.
Barr parrots GOP lines
Andy Barr should have stuck with the ad that had his wife speaking. His and the GOP's current ads make me fume.
I'm trying to decide if Barr is a marionette or a ventriloquist's dummy. In his ads, all he does is parrot the Republican line, so I'm inclined to go with dummy. Apparently, Barr has no will or ideas of his own, so he should fade right into the "party of no" if he wins.
While Chandler's and the Democrats' ads aren't much better, at least Chandler has shown through his service he will try to do what he thinks is right and appears capable of making up his own mind.
I'm a moderate Republican, which is becoming an oxymoron. After the total silence that followed Mitt Romney's one sentence on compassion in his acceptance speech at the convention, I fear the winner-takes-all kind of nation we may become if Republicans win.
Wrong on health costs
The Herald-Leader editorial board is still confused about the nature of health insurance companies ("Mandate linchpin of health reform," Sept. 11 editorial).
True insurance or casualty companies write policies to cover potential losses. If you total your car or if your house burns down, your insurer knows in advance what the payout will be.
Under "Obamacare," health insurance companies cannot indemnify specific monetary risks because there is no ceiling on the payout. They are now in the business of pre-paid, pay-go medical care.
By law, health insurance companies operate under a different set of rules that shield them from legal and monetary risk.
"Hold harmless" clauses signed by patients and providers allow insurers to deny care without getting sued. Furthermore, every time the government mandates more coverage, they simply raise their premiums, as we have seen with the passage of Obamacare.
The individual mandate is just another tax, and Obamacare will be a new, open-ended entitlement.
More taxes will flow into the health care system and costs will grow, as will the IRS.
The only way to control costs under such as system is rationing, hence the Independent Payment Advisory Board which revs up in 2014.
This unelected panel of 15 bureaucrats will have the power to set all Medicare prices. Care priced below cost will become unavailable because nobody works for free.
If you want to see a real war on women, wait until you see what the IPAB has in store for grandma.
Cameron S. Schaeffer
Drought as punishment
All of us can understand the seriousness of the recent drought across the United States as it affects our food chain and the water we need to sustain life.
Yes, I am aware droughts have always occurred and some may not be open to hear this word from Leviticus 26:3.4: "If you walk in my statutes and keep my commandments and perform them, then I will give rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit."
It behooves all of us to search our lives to see where we may be living in such a way to block the promised blessing.
We may also be experiencing a drought in our spirits if rebellion is in our hearts. "The rebellious live in a sun scorched land." (Psalm 68:6)