Poverty hurts Ky.'s appeal to retirees
A new report by Bankrate placed Kentucky in a group of the 10 Worst Places to Retire. The basis was people decide to retire where the crime rate is lower, life expectancies run higher and poverty is less common.
This is not the typical approach which usually lists the cost of living, available services and access to cultural activities. But there is a basis for this approach.
Most of the states in the worst category had crime rates around 4,000 per 100,000. Kentucky had a rate of 2,793.9 per 100,000, close to the average of Bankrate's list of Top Places To Retire.
When you consider Bankrate's worst list (Louisiana, Georgia, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi and Alabama), what stands out versus its best list (Hawaii, Utah, New Hampshire, Vermont and Iowa)?
Is it education? Education Week's 2012 Quality Report Card gives states in both categories the same grades. What about politics?
Based on the 2008 presidential results, the study shows that those on the worst list (except New Mexico) were all red states. The five best places were all blue states. Imagine that.
The most interesting statistic was the one that measured the percent of retirees living below the poverty line. The worst group averaged 10.9 percent. The best group average was 6.5. Good jobs get people above the poverty line.
Who puts together a team to lure competent companies to invest here? Let us demand that Frankfort make it happen.
Hands off evolution
"Evolution isn't science," a letter last month declared, even though biologists are constantly publishing papers that use evolutionary principles to explain new observations and experimental results, and even though biology teachers in high schools, colleges and universities around the world teach evolution as the basis of everything we know about biology.
Charles Darwin's Origin of Species "was a hypothesis based on a natural philosophy," the letter continued, even though Darwin spent decades observing the natural world and the practices of animal breeders as he was developing his ideas, and even though others in the 19th century also proposed evolutionary theories independently of Darwin.
"Our children have been exposed for years to this false teaching, denying the creator," the letter writer said, even though countless religious people, including all of the most recent Catholic popes, see no contradiction between accepting the fact that evolution happened and believing in a divine creator.
About the only thing the letter said that was even remotely true was, "As Christians, we should teach creationism in our churches and in our homes."
By all means, feel free to teach your children to mimic your denial of the plain evidence of our senses. Just keep it out of our public schools so the children of the rest of us can learn about reality.
Preserve right to choose
To those against the federal health care mandate on the basis of Catholic teachings: Our constitution provides for freedom of and freedom from religion for individuals — not institutions.
Sadly, many folk appear confused about this concept. If our Catholic institutions are permitted to limit the type and scope of health care to employees — whether they be Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim or atheist — then the church is committing the very same offense they're upset about — denying our constitutional right to decide how we follow (or don't follow) religion.
How does providing comprehensive health care undermine our faith? Let individuals decide what parts of their health care coverage are appropriate options.
As Catholics, why don't we have enough faith to trust that each of us will make the best decisions we can based on our personal experience and knowledge of the church's teachings?
After all, aren't the choices each of us make in life ultimately between us and our God?
I am blessed to live in a country that allows me to choose for myself.
Fireworks ban needed
Yes, we enjoy celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks, but having to listen to them for two to three weeks prior and all the way up to the end of September is not good.
First, people work. Some have to be up at 3 a.m. and that means they go to bed early. How can they sleep with booms going off?
Second, dogs are scared by the loud noises.
This is not celebrating the Fourth of July, it is people not caring about their neighbors. Yes to the ban on fireworks.
Chandler keeps us safe
We first met while working for Ben Chandler nearly eight years ago. Later we married and we are currently serving in the Peace Corps in Indonesia.
We know that Chandler is the best choice for Kentucky's 6th District. We have had a front-row seat in watching how he thoughtfully and deliberatively makes decisions in his work in Congress.
Paramount in this process is his commitment to representing the views of the people of Central Kentucky. Additionally, we know he is an excellent steward of taxpayer dollars, which is more important now than ever.
Now, as we serve abroad during this time of international turbulence, we feel safer knowing that Chandler has devoted time in Congress to dealing with international issues as a member of the Foreign Affairs and Intelligence committees. We will proudly fill in our absentee ballots for Chandler this November.
Will and Amy Hille Glasscock
From my own experience I have determined that Rep. Ben Chandler is not the least bit interested in his constituents' concerns.
I made a phone call to the local offices of both Chandler and Sen. Mitch McConnell to give my views on a certain subject.
The lady at Chandler's office thanked me for the call. The lady at McConnell's office also thanked me but she asked my name and address.
McConnell followed up with a letter giving his views. I am still waiting to hear from Chandler.
What good is it to have a representative in Congress if he isn't interested in the views of the people he is supposedly representing?
Why we vote
Why are elections so vital to being an American citizen?
It is because elections enable us to peacefully change our government every few years. The emphasis is on "peacefully."
Just look around the world at the alternative: blood in the streets, persecutions, destruction and chaos as people at the top vie for power.
So next month let's run, walk or drag ourselves to the polling stations and vote. It is the greatest contribution we each can make to maintain civic peace and preserve our freedom of expression.
It also makes a statement: We love this country, and we are grateful for the privilege of being one of its citizens.