Repealing Obamacare would shorten the lives of some Kentuckians
I was disturbed and shocked to read an item in the Herald-Leader last month about how the least-educated whites had lost four years of life expectancy since 1990.
The steepest decline was for white women without a high school diploma, with a five-year loss of life expectancy.
While life expectancy for more educated and, by definition, more affluent members of society has been gradually increasing, this new study is stunning.
I do not know how large a group of Americans this describes, but four or five years for an individual is a personal misfortune; four or five years for a large group of Americans is a catastrophe. It is a travesty for this to occur in as rich and affluent a society as is America, regardless of the cause.
I have practiced medicine for 48 years and have been on the Powell County Board of Health for almost all those years. This is exactly the demographic group our health department cares for.
Recently, we have had a marked reduction in funding. This action not only costs lives and materially reduces life expectancy for these very people at risk but it exerts terrible financial and moral costs on our society.
There are 48.6 million uninsured in this nation. These are the Americans who are at risk. This is what the Affordable Care Act (so-called Obamacare) was enacted to help correct. This is the very remedy that some of our politicians and some in our society so vehemently oppose.
Charles G. Noss M.D.
U.S. arrogance erodes respect
Robert Olson's Oct. 2 column on Muslim rage shows an understanding of culture that is sadly lacking in the actions of our policymakers in Washington.
In attempting to change the culture of Asian or African people, we exhibit an arrogance that is unearned. We shouldn't try to change something that we don't understand.
How many of our politicians speak Arabic or Farsi or Urdu? How many have lived in or even visited a non-Western nation?
To understand people you must be able to talk to them, preferably in their language. There is much that is lost in translation. How many of our people have read even part of the Quran?
What do they know about Buddhism or Hinduism or the Shinto faith? Why do our leaders think they can create democracies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya or Egypt? We waste money and lives and become even more the "ugly Americans."
It's time to regroup and rethink. We have too much ignorance and crime at home, often among those people whom we expect to be leaders. This contributes to a decline in international respect.
UK fans go AWOL
I have watched some Texas A&M football games and the fans pride themselves on being "the twelfth man" on the football team. No matter what the score is they cheer and holler and implore their team to scrap and fight to the end.
They have designated their stadium as "The Home of the Twelfth Man."
The University of Kentucky's game against South Carolina displayed the quality of most UK football fans — "When the going gets tough it's time to go home." They cheer and holler as long as the team is doing well, but when things get rough they shut their mouths and sit on their hands until they walk off and leave the team to struggle alone. They criticize the coaches and the team but aren't willing to stick through the tough games or put effort into helping influence what is happening on the field by giving energetic, noisy, morale-boosting support right to the final horn.
Maybe we should put up a sign designating Commonwealth Stadium as "The Home of the Marshmallow Fans." UK fans want a tough, winning team but they, themselves, are mostly marshmallows.
If we want UK to be one of the better teams in the Southeastern Conference, then the home fans are going to have to become some of the most noisy, supportive, stick-to-the-end fans in the conference. The performance of the fans can have a big influence on the performance of the team.
Closed UK track disappointing
I have eagerly been anticipating the completion of the University of Kentucky Shively Track renovation since moving to the Hollywood Terrace neighborhood last year.
I have lived near other college campuses for the past 20 years (University of Georgia, Harvard, MIT, Tufts), and the university track has been — without exception — effectively open to the public and has served as the center of community athletic activity.
So it is with great disappointment that I now see that this beautiful public facility has been declared off-limits to all but those affiliated with the UK athletics department.
Of course, the track would need to be closed to the public when it is actually being used by athletes, since that is its primary purpose. Otherwise, the athletic department should leave the gates open.
GOP wants liberty for the few
This past summer, I traveled to D.C. with my children as part of a church-sponsored service trip. There, we visited the congressional offices of Rep. John Lewis, one of the original Freedom Riders.
In his office, Lewis keeps a jar of jelly beans as a reminder of where he comes from. During the days of Jim Crow law, many Southern states employed literacy tests to prevent blacks from registering to vote.
If an African—American came to register they might have to interpret a passage of the Constitution and possibly guess correctly how many jelly beans were in a jar.
Such unjust schemes to deny the vote to certain citizens were, we hoped, done away with the passage of the Voting Rights Act. Until now. In Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Texas, Florida and many other states, legislatures have tried to deny the right to vote to thousands based on the claim they were trying to reduce voter fraud.
Yet analysis of the incidence of election fraud shows it to be insignificant and in no way justifies the trouble to voters to acquire a government-issued photo identification.
It is clear, instead, that these laws, uniformly passed into law by Republican-controlled state legislatures, are intended to reduce the number of votes cast for Democrats.
The cries of the Republican Party for greater liberty ring hollow when we realize that, like Jim Crow laws of the past, what they really mean is liberty for a select group of like-minded people.
Outlaw abortion to reduce it
In response to the Oct. 5 article, "Study: Free birth control leads to fewer abortions," the study has a couple of major flaws. The overall abortions would not go down, they would actually go up.
This is proven by the fact that though the market has been flooded with contraception since the 1960s, abortion has skyrocketed. Not to mention when you flood the market with it, even more, that's millions more people that the failure rate would involve, thus the actual number of abortions goes up.
Secondly the study is only talking about surgical abortions. What about the abortions that the contraception itself causes. The kind stated in the article are all abortifacients.
They don't keep the women from getting pregnant, they keep her from staying pregnant. One health care specialist stated, "As a society we want to reduce ... abortion rates." But they don't. If they did they would make it illegal.
It only starts there, though. We have to change the minds and hearts of this nation that abortion goes against God's will for us.
All this study shows is when you want to rob someone of their religious liberty and force them to buy someone else's contraception, you will make the study say whatever you want it to say.